Usman dan Fodio

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Shaihu Usman dan Fodio (Arabic: عثمان بن فودي ، عثمان دان فوديو‎) (also referred to as Shaikh Usman Ibn Fodio , Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye, or Shehu Usman dan Fodio, 1754 - 1817) was a writer and Islamic reformer. Dan Fodio was one of a class of urbanized ethnic Fulani living in the Hausa city-states in what is today northern Nigeria. He lived in the city-state of Gobir. He is considered an Islamic revivalist; he encouraged the education of women in religious matters, and several of his daughters emerged as scholars and writers.(African And Islamic Revival, John Hundwick)

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[edit] Training

Dan Fodio was well-educated in classical Islamic science, philosophy and theology and became a revered religious thinker. His teacher, Jibril ibn 'Umar argued that it was the duty and within the power of religious movements to establish the ideal society, free from oppression and vice. Dan Fodio used his influence to secure approval to create a religious community in his hometown of Degel that would, dan Fodio hoped, be a model town.

[edit] Spreading Islam

However, in 1802, the ruler of Gobir and one of dan Fodio's students, Yunfa turned against him, revoking Degel's autonomy and attempting to assassinate dan Fodio. Dan Fodio and his followers fled into the western grasslands where they turned to help from the local Fulani nomads. Yunfa turned for aid to the other leaders of the Hausa states, warning them that dan Fodio could trigger a widespread Jihad.<ref name="19th Century Jihaad Movements of Western Sudan ">Template:Cite web</ref>.


Yunfa proved right and dan Fodio was proclaimed Amir al-Muminin or Leader of the Faithful.<ref>Nigeria gets new Islamic leader:"...Uthman Dan Fodio, who led a 19th Century jihad to spread Islam across northern Nigeria." BBC News</ref> This, in effect made him political as well as religious leader, giving him the authority to declare and pursue a Jihad, raising an army and becoming its commander. A widespread uprising began in Hausaland. This uprising was largely composed of the Fulani, who held a powerful military advantage with their cavalry. It was also widely supported by the Hausa peasantry who felt over-taxed and oppressed by their rulers.

After only a few short years of the Fulani War, dan Fodio found himself in command of the largest state in Africa, the Fulani Empire. Dan Fodio worked to establish an efficient government, one grounded in Islamic law. Already aged at the beginning of the war, dan Fodio retired in 1815 passing the title of Sultan of Sokoto to his son Muhammed Bello.

Sheikh Uthman dan Fodio was a follower of the Maliki school in law and the Qadiri order in Sufism.

Dan Fodio's uprising inspired a number of later West African jihads, including those of Massina Empire founder Seku Amadu, Toucouleur Empire founder El Hadj Umar Tall (who married one of dan Fodio's granddaughters), Wassoulou Empire founder Samori Ture, and Adamawa Emirate founder Modibo Adama.

[edit] See also

Preceded by:
None
1th Sokoto Caliph
18041815
Succeeded by:
Muhammed Bello

[edit] References and notes

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Usman dan Fodio

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