**By Tola Adeniyi
Journalism, like Islam, has its own five pillars: Information, Education, Entertainment, Instruction and Commentary. Today will fulfill one of the cardinal pillars in journalism by giving information and education. And I will do it by way of a sermon.
Yeshua, the great Prophet of God gave His own sermon that shook the world of His time to its very foundation. And here is a glimpse of that most memorable sermon. It is called the Sermon on the Mount. This is the greatest sermon Yeshua preached. The Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes and the golden rule are in this sermon. Yeshua delivered this sermon on a Mountain near Capernaum. Tradition ascribes the site to an extinct volcano named Karne Hittim.
Yeshua sat while delivering the Sermon on the Mount. Sitting connoted authority, so Rabbis often sat while teaching.
The Sermon on the Mount is in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of Matthew. It is divided into five sections listed below:
Beatitudes – these were meant to comfort suffering believers.
New laws – Contrasts the old Law of Moses with the New Law of Christ. A brief summary of Christian doctrine:
The Lord’s Prayer – Instructions on prayer. Yeshua also teaches the proper motive for fasting and offering gifts.
Money – Christian attitude concerning the use of money. Reasons to avoid worry.
Warnings – Dangers of false teachers and hypocrisy. Yeshua also preached the parable of the wise and the foolish.
That is all about the Sermon on the Mountain. But rather than go to the Horns of Hattin, I have decided to stay on the Hills of Olusote (Okelusote) in the town of Ibipe in Ago-Iwoye.
This intro was delieberately chosen because the subject matter of today has to do with gross misconceptions about religion; especially the two most prominent religions brought to our shores by both Arab slave raiders and British slave masters.
A prominent African American writer has submitted that the greatest danger to the African in this century and several centuries to follow is not poverty or insecurity or poor health or natural disasters or their chronic bad leadership but mental enslavement. The African mind has been so polluted, corrupted and jaundiced to the extent that it suffers the most horrible confusion any creature had ever known.
The African was thoroughly colonized. And the colonizers know that the easiest way to colonize a people is to first take away their culture. Destroy their faith, destroy their belief system, destroy their religion, and finally and fatally, destroy their language. All these steps had been perfected and now the African, even if he has 21 PhDs and is a professor, is at best a zombie when it comes to religion, language, and worldview of his forefathers.
One is shocked when one hears university professors regurgitating simple allegorical tales in The Holy Bible or the Holy Quran and they make them look like true life stories while they pop out their eyes as if possessed. Africa now has about ten times the number of churches and mosques that exist in the entire world combined. Japan, China, The Americas, and the whole of Europe laugh Africans to no end when they talk about the zealotry of the colonized minds regarding imported religions Unfortunately, the most idiotic, the most ignorant, the most naïve of these Africans are Nigerians. It is laughable that most Nigerians, particularly the Yoruba speaking stock, do not know that there are no Christian names and no Muslim names! What actually exist are Hebrew names and Arabic names. Names that had existed long before Yeshua (corrupted by the English speaking people to Jesus) and Mohammed were born.
Examples of Hebrew names that had existed from the beginning of time include Adam (meaning man or mankind), Yaakov (Jacob), Avraham (Abraham), Calev (Caleb), Gavriel (Gabriel), Yitzak (Isaac) which means ‘will laugh’, Jehoshua (Joshua) meaning the Lord is my salvation, Yehuda (Judah), Yonah (Jonak) meaning dove, Moshe (Moses) which means drawn out of the water) Yeshua (Jesus), Hannah (meaning Grace or gracious) Benyamin (Benjamin) Reuven (Reuben), Shimon (Simon), Shmuel (Samuel), and Yonatan (Jonathan), Saul among others. These names do not make you a Christian.
Examples of Arabic names include Abdel, Abdul (servant of Allah), Abdul-Aziz (Servant of the Mighty), Abdul-Fattah (Servant of the Opener), Abdul-Khaliq (servant of the Creator), Badr (Full moon), Diya al Din (Brightness of the Faith), Sayyid (Master) and Hamza (Lion). All of these names had existed long before the religion of Islam came into being during the life of Prophet Mohammed (571-632 AD).
All over the world, names have always had significant relevance to the circumstances of a child’s birth or family trade or lineage or the days of the week and similar situations.
First born children in most regions of the world do also bear names peculiar to the fact of being first born. Agraj is the name of first born in Sanskrit, while the female is Agraja. Alpha is the first born male child in Greek language; Ahila is the first born girl in Arabic. Haruko is the name of the first born male in Japanese while in Hebrew he is called Jephtah. Nwanawa is the first born female in Tanzania while the Egyptian names her Shamis, Italian calls the first born male Primo, while in Thai the name is Wanchai. Wynono is the name of the first male child to the Native American.
All these names are still borne today in all the cultures listed regardless of the faith their bearers adhere to. I have gone this length to educate the misguided Nigerians that a people should be proud of their ancestral names and should not be so damned stupid to allow pathological inferiority complex drive them into believing that some foreign names are better than their own or that they have to throw their parents’ names into the dustbin because they now embrace a different faith from that of their forbears.
It is annoying to have beautiful names (that immediately tell us where you or your ancestors belong) jettisoned in preference to names that have in fact being corrupted before they reached our shores.
Why should any Yoruba person be ashamed to carry his forefather’s name like Osowumi, Osoyimika, Osodimimu, Osobamijo, Osobamiro, Osotimeyin, Osogunle, Osoleye and Osowemimo Or names like Ifapemi, Ifafunto, Ifalaye, Ifasehun, Ifagbemi, Ifafunmito, Ifawehinmi, Ifaturoti, Ifagbamila, or Ifawole, Ogunlere, Ogungbemi, Ogunjimi, Egunleti or Egunjobi?
It has become fashionable to remove the “O” before Osoyemi and the “I” before Ifa, so that the bearer will not be immediately identified with the deity of his forefathers.
I must single out the Hausa speaking people of West Africa for retaining their names regardless of the faith they imbibe.
General Yakubu Gowon the proud son of Pa Evangelist Yohana still bears Yakubu (a name some people will ignorantly call a Muslim name) even though he is the Founder and Chief promoter of “Nigeria Prays” (a Christian Prayer Group). The same goes for Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma who till tomorrow is Yakubu. Dr Gowon, PhD, did not throw his forebear’s Gowon name into the dustbin nor did Danjuma stop being Danjuma. The same praise goes to Bishop of Remo Diocese, Most Reverend Sina Fape and the Reverend Ogungbe for being proud of the “Ifa” and “Ogun” in their ancestral names.
Those who have foolishly messed up their parents’ names by changing Shangogbemi to Olugbemi or Esubiyi to Jesubiyi or Ifarombi to Farouk should go and do a rethink.
There are no Christian names. There are no Muslim names.
Cuculus non facit monacum! The cloak does not make the monk!
*Chief Tola Adeniyi,* former Chairman/ MD/Editor-in-Chief, Daily Times Conglomerate is the Iroko of Yewa.