Man is largely believed to be a spiritual being with a body, soul and spirit. This, according to research, accounts for why he is easily attracted to mysteries and unraveling the truth behind this mortal façade. In this piece, the duo of Jimoh Bashir and Rowland Olonishuwa writes on activities of the Toriqat Satia Ministries Worldwide and what makes the sect a melting pot for all religions.
Since creation, or the big bang, which ever you believe, man has been driven by the thirst and hunger of identification; knowing himself and identifying the all powerful Force behind creation. All through the ages, the desire for identification and unraveling the hidden secrets of the world have led men into developing ways, patterns or rituals of accessing the uncreated Force of the universe.
This Force, known by different names, is generally referred to as God in many religions of the world. But then the question, if all religions claim connection to the same Being why then the religious crisis, why the crave for dominance by different sects and why the conflicting narratives of these religions?
In this part of the world, Christians and Muslims are the dominating religions. These religions lay claim to God as the author of their scared scriptures -even the traditional religion which had been relegated to the back seat also makes this claim- if this is true then, why is corruption and other vices thriving?
Definitely, something is wrong.
This is where Toriqat Satia Ministries Worldwide comes in. According to Khalifa Abdulakeem Kolawole Sulaiman, the leader of the sect in Ipaja/Ayobo branch, Lagos state and the 4th in the hierarchy of the Toriqat Satia Ministries Worldwide, “Toriqat Satia is not a religion. It is a Way. Islam and Christianity are religions, but Toriqat Satia is a Way. This is why we accommodate all human beings; be you a Christian, Muslim or even traditionalists, as long as you believe solely in the supremacy of Satia (God) you are welcomed.
“This Way was brought about by Divine knowledge. There is a boundary between Christianity and Islam, even though we claim to call on the same God this is because there are some differences between the two religions. But Toriqat Satia is a Way that teaches love and justice to all human beings irrespective of faith, political leaning or gender.
“This is why we are popularly called all-in-one. It is in this part of the world that we don’t have full knowledge about this. Christianity and Islam dominates here, but in the East or Asia, before you see a Muslim, you see Buddhists, Judaists, Hare Krishna and others, because they are virtually mystics. It is these mystics that are being referred to as Sufism in Islam.”
Explaining the difference between mystics and religionists, Khalifa Sulaiman disclosed that while religion is manmade, mystics depend on revelations, divine inspirations or knowledge for directions. He opined that religionists are usually occupied with how to create obstacles and barriers among adherents and non-adherents but Toriqat Satia on the other hand focuses on how love and justice will prevail in the world.
Every June 18, adherents of the Way gather at the world headquarters of the sect located at Omoowo quarters in Offa, Offa LGA of Kwara state to celebrate the birth of the founder, Sheikh Rasheed Karamollah.
This year’s celebration attracted an unprecedented throng of adherents and guests as the Omoowo neigbourhood witnessed human ‘go-slow.’ The whole neigbourhood brimmed with white, the official religious regalia of the group.
According to our guide, Khailfa Raji Rasaq Olayinka, leaders of the sect had arrived a week earlier to make spiritual preparations for the event.
In his words, “This is our major event for the year. Here we celebrate the gift of Satia to mankind for on this day our founder was born into the physical realm to bring peace, love and justice to all of mankind. Leaders come together, at least a week to the day to fast and pray and seek the face of Satia for the year.”
As early as 7am, the bustling for the new day had started as delegates from over 19 states of the nation converged at Omoowo quarters of Offa to celebrate. Despite the peaceful atmosphere and apparent brotherhood that could be felt in the gathering, security personnel could be seen patrolling. According to Khailfa Olayinka this is to forestall any possible break down of law and order.
“We grow every day and every year the attendance grows. When you have this kind of gathering of humans there is always the possibility of miscreants and mischief makers wanting to cause problems so that is why you see these security personnel around.
“Over the years we have enjoyed much cooperation and love but you know there will always be one or two dissents but that has only helped to boost our ranks. You know when people complain or protest against something a wise person will always want to understand what is going on first before taking a decision.
“Every complain or protest has been to our advantage. I must tell you that those who complain about us usually do not know anything about us but relay on hearsay. When those they tell come around to investigate they find out that everything is lies,” Khalifa Olayinka said.
At exactly 9:45am, a procession of wives and children of all the Khalifas made their grand entry into the large expanseof land where the program held. As a mark of reverence, young initiates lined up the two sides of the path and squat in deference as they entered amidst joyous songs and dancing.
The program itself started at exactly 10am as the first Khalifa of the sect, Khalifa AbdulGafar Olalekan Babalola led other Khalifas into the arena.
In his sermon, Khalifa Babalola explained that there are three things that inhibit human advancement and progress in life and urged mankind to be spiritually conscious at all times.
In his words, “We must never lose sight of the fact that we are a spirit being. God does not take delight in our retrogression or pain but there are three things that make us go astray from the divine will of the creator.
“The first is our disobedience to the established will of the creator, the schemes of the evil and temptations are the other two that can sway us from the path of progress and glory that has been destined for us from the foundation o the earth.”
The leader of the sect who explained through many parables the essence of obedience explained that, “no matter how insignificant the instruction is, obey it, because that is where the blessing lies.”
While charging spiritual leaders on the need to be humble the Khalifa noted that wisdom is never proud and so anyone who claims to be wise must be humble. “When wisdom intoxicates you then your downfall in near,” he stressed.
The one hour prayer session featured personal prayers and blessings. Prayers were said for the country, the state and Offa town in particular for divine protection, blessings and God’s continued mercy.
Speaking with News Hub Magazine immediately after the event, Khalifa Abubakar Mohammed the leader of the sect in Oyo state disclosed that there are over 21 Khalifas and Mukaddams in Oyo state who are spreading the gospel of the sect.
Khalifa Mohammed who described the birth of Sheikh Rasheed Karamollah as the coming of light to mankind said the light is gradually spreading to the whole world.
“I have been in Ibadan since 1999, and I have moved to about four different locations in the town from the original location in 1999. We have notable people who are part of this movement in all parts of the world.
“People just fuel religion crisis because of selfish reasons. We worship one and only God. We don’t talk about religion here, but about fact, which is the truth and the way,” he said.
Also, Khalifa Ayo Fashola of Osun state disclosed that, “I am one of the over 60 Khalifas and Mukaddams in Osun state.
“Today is a powerful day. We celebrate the birth of the Founder, Sheikh Rasheed Karamollah every June 18th. It’s a day that God answers prayers. This Way made us to know that religion, Islam and Christianity should not be about conflict and crisis.
“Everything is all about God. Our people sometimes put their faith on politicians. We say we prefer this person as President against that, or we want that person as Governor instead of this. This is not the right thing. Until we start seeing and proclaiming God only as the one that can do it.
“For instance, if you have a nightmare, which hospital do you go to cure that? And which President or Governor can find solution to that? We have physical and spiritual knowledge, which works in different ways,” he said.
On his part, Khalifa Abdulfatai Adekunle of Ilorin disclosed that he has been in the Movement since 1994 and express joy that the sect is growing from strength to strength year after year.
“People are joining us because they want the truth. Toriqat Satia is about truth, and it’s the right way. It’s the way that talks about the oneness of God Almighty. There is no discrimination on both religion and ethnicity,” he said.
Also Mukoddim Olubuse Soliu Arowolo of Iree, Osun State expressed appreciation that God is using the platform to make people know more about him and acceptability is growing daily.
Leader of the sect in Port Harcourt and Rivers states, Mukoddim Akeem Ilaodo disclosed that, “I can tell you that even the Igbos and South South people have known God through this Ministry. With the coming of the Ministry to Port Harcourt, the issue of cultism has reduced drastically, and I am sure it will die finally.
“Toriqat Satia Ministry is transforming people. I was once in a different world. I got God’s call to join, and now, I am one of the instruments of God in transforming people. They are now seeing me as a good example.”
Giving a brief history of the sect, Khalifa Sulaiman explained that, “by the 24th of August, 2019 it will be 30 years of the launching of Toriqat Satia Ministries in Offa. Baba started the Ministry in Rigasa, in Kaduna state.
“Sheikh Rasheed Karamollah is different from me and you. He went to school, but even at that, he already knew about his callings. He was a spiritual being. When it was time for him to start the Ministry, he started it. Prophet Mohammed (SAW) saw a vision that there is God at the age of 25, and started praying about it. But it was not until at the age of 40 years of age that he got the first inspiration and began to see things differently. God used him to deliver messages to his people.
“Jesus was identified as a spiritual being from when he was conceived up to the time of his birth. Sheikh Rasheed Karamolla did not serve nor learn anything from anybody. Nobody taught him how to read the Holy Qur’an despite that he was the son of an Alfa and was born a Muslim.
“His messages are all about unity. Even among we, his followers, we have Muslims and Christians, and we don’t discriminate. We work together, despite having different religious backgrounds. Physical knowledge disunites people, both in terms of religion and ethnicity.
“When Islam was born in the Arab nation, they personalized the sect. Likewise when Christianity was born in Israel, they too personalized it. Even though they later spread their message, they believed they are the owners. And that was why, no matter what, there is always religious crisis. But Toriqat Satia talks about unity, irrespective of which religion you belong.”
Explaining more on the name ‘Satia’, Khalifa Sulaiman explained that, “God is Satia. We refer to God Almighty as Satia. His messenger to us is Sheikh Rasheed Karamollah. Satia is the genesis of everything, both the seen and the unseen forces. It combines all the other worlds.”
On the dos and don’ts of the sect, Khalifa Sulaiman said there are all transgressions frowned at by God in his word as conveyed through The Holy Qur’an, the Bible and other messages received before then warned against engaging in bad things and the sect also frowned at these.
“We frown at anything that God says is bad. But above all we preach love, justice and peace with all men irrespective of whether they are adherents of this Way or not.
He however disclosed that though the sect welcomes traditionalists they frown at people we are involved in making charms.
“There are classes of traditionalists; we have native doctors, herbalists, magicians and others. But we have those who believe in Ifa, Orunmila and others are messengers of Olodumare, the Supreme Being. These people are our members too. As long as you believe in the supremacy of God you can become our member.
“We associate with only those who don’t equate God Almighty with idols and anything that he creates. We are sometimes referred to as three-in-one, and why? This is because we don’t go against anybody based on religion.
“The seemingly unending battle of supremacy between Christians and Muslims has its roots in the battle of supremacy between Israel and the Arabs, and this was because the percentage of God’s Prophets that comes out of Israel was more than that that comes out of the Arab nation. That was why they drew that boundary line. That was what they transferred to us here, and we are killing ourselves because of it.”
Speaking on the different rungs in the sect, Khalifa Sulaiman said the highest position is the Khalifas followed by the Mukoddims, Mukaddams, Muradus, Muridas and Muridis in that order. According to him, the movement from one class to the other depends on how they are able to cope with the assimilation of the spiritual knowledge.