Ilorin, the haven of Arabic and Islamic scholars, is multi-lingual and multi-ethnic community popularly known to some people as “GerinAlimi” (the town of Alimi) and to many others as “Ilorin Afonja” (Ilorin of Afonja); it has contributed and still contributing in no small measure to development of Arabic and Islamic studies not only in Yorubaland but also in Nigeria and beyond. As one of the Arabic and Islamic Centres in Yorubaland, Ilorin scholars have turned out numerous scholars who have occupied enviable positions in different spheres of human endeavours in different towns and cities in Yorubaland and West Africa. The paper aims at bringing into limelight the account of Ilorin as a great centre of Arabic and Islamic scholarship in Yorubaland. It delineates the various periods of the development of Arabic and Islamic learning in Yorubaland, explains the types of schools of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the area, the methods used in teaching in the schools and focuses on Shaykh Adam Abdullah Al-Iluri who had impacted greatly on Arabic and Islam in Yorubaland. It ends with a conclusion and recommendations. In carrying out this paper, the author has relied on history books, Arabic literary works and recent researches on the major scholars of Arabic and Islam. At the end, the reader would have been convinced as regards the tremendous role Ilorin scholars and in particular Shaykh Adam Abdullah Al-Iluri has played so far in Arabic and Islamic education in Yorubaland.
Key words: Yorubaland, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Ilorin, scholars, Quaran.
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