Being a "Good Muslim": The Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Islamic Reform and Religious Change in Yorubaland, 1954 - 2014


Dr. Adeyemi Sharapha Balogun

Research Area:


By the 1950s, the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria had converted both to Christianity and Islam. However, while Nigerian education was dominated by Christians who mostly used their advantage to win converts into the religion, majority of Nigeria’s (northern) Muslims also looked down on Yoruba Muslims as less serious about their faith. As a result, Yoruba Muslim youths began to create their own sense of what it meant to be good educated Muslims in Nigeria, appropriating the influences of modernization to achieve their objective. Providing both mutual support and envisioning what a modern Muslim identity might look like, they engaged both with the practices and activities of important Muslim communities and modern institutions (and ideas) through a wide range of local, associational and social activities which sometimes breeds conflict and dissension in the larger Yoruba Muslim community. The proposed PhD will thus focus especially on the factors that led to the development of Muslim youth identity and culture and how they are constructed. It will also examine the influence of modernization and globalization in the formation of Muslim youth identity and culture and the conflicts between the vision of a modern Muslim youth identity and those of the mainstream Muslims.