The Sokoto Kingdom Behind Veil
The synopsis history on the Sokoto kingdom
Sokoto is a city located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to where the Sokoto River and Rima River meet. Sokoto is the modern day capital of Sokoto State (and its predecessor, the Northwestern State).
The name Sokoto (which is the modern/anglicised version of the local name, Sakkwato) is of Arabic origin, representing suk, 'market'. It is also known as Sakkwato, Birnin Shaihu da Bello or "Sokoto, Capital of Shaihu and Bello").
Being the seat of the Sokoto Caliphate, the city is predominantly Muslim and an important seat of Islamic learning in Nigeria. The Sultan who heads the caliphate is effectively the spiritual leader of Nigerian .
Originally the capital of the Hausa
In 1809, Fulani chief and Islamic leader Usman dan Fodio chose Sokoto as the capital of the Sokoto Caliphate that ruled most of Northern Nigeria from the period of Usman dan Fodio's 1804-1812 jihad until its defeat at the hands of Frederick Lugard's Royal West African Frontier Force in 1903.
Sokoto, as a region, knows a longer history. During the reign of the Fulani Empire in the 19th century Sokoto was an important Fula state, in addition to being a city, of what was then west central Sudan.
In the year 2000, Islamic Shari'ah was introduced in several northern states of Nigeria including Sokoto State. While in principle these Islamic laws exclusively apply to Muslims, they've had consequences for all the Sokoto residents, such as, the ban on selling alcohol and the closure of film theaters in the State.
this is short keypoint history about the islamic region sokoto ,iinshallah i shall soon forward the biography of sheikh uthman dan fodio RT . i ask allah to retain and restore us our honour,distinction,progress and authority to release mankind from pagan and america oligarchy compell. amin .
إن أخوف ما أخاف على نفسي طولُ الأمَل واتباعُ الهوى ،ألا فإن الدنيا قد ولّت مدبرة والآخرة مقبلة ولكل واحدٍ منهما بنون، فكونوا من أبناء الآخرة ولا تكونوا من أبناء الدنيا ،فإن اليوم عمل لا حساب وغداً حساب لا عمل
Jazakallhu khairan Abu Muhammad. Here is something from www.islamonline.net:
The Sokoto Caliphate was established nearly 200 years ago, in 1808, in what is today's northern Nigeria, and continues to exist albeit in a slightly different form. The family of its founder, Usman dan Fodio, remains highly influential, and his daughter Nana Asma'u is still mentioned with respect.
In the 18th century, the area known as Western Sudan (sub-Saharan Africa) included communities of Fulbe (a.k.a. Fulanis), Hausas, and Tuaregs. Usman dan Fodio was from a prominent, scholarly Fulbe family affiliated to the Qadiriyya order of Sufism. His family was based in a village called Degel, situated within the Gobir kingdom, which was ruled by the Hausas, who practiced Islam alongside some traditional African practices. The name Fodio is the Hausa pronunciation of the Fulbe name Fodiye, meaning "learned"; dan Fodio means "son of the learned."
Dan Fodio had four wives: Maimuna, Aisha, Hauwa, and Hadiza, all of whom were educated in the Islamic sciences; and 23 children, of whom Nana Asma'us was the 22nd. The Fodio family members used to travel to the states surrounding Gobir in order to teach Islam and grew in popularity with every passing year. The importance of scholarship and writing for both men and women of the Fodio family became a fundamental characteristic of the Sokoto Caliphate as a whole, and Usman dan Fodio, his brother Abdullahi, his son Muhammad Bello, and his daughter Nana Asma'u produced hundreds of works and treatises in Arabic, Hausa, and Pulaar (the Fulani ********).
By 1790, Usman dan Fodio had a large following and was an adviser at the Sultan of Gobir's court, but dan Fodio's Fulbe community came to be seen as a threat, particularly as he tried to address issues of Hausa acts of oppression. In 1803, the Sultan of Gobir attempted to assassinate dan Fodio, and later a group from Gobir attacked dan Fodio's followers, including women, who managed to escape their captors and flee back to Degel. It was then that dan Fodio decided to make hijrah (emigration).
Usman dan Fodio was called a mujaddid or "reviver of the religion," and as one contemporary Nigerian scholar writes, the "Sokoto Caliphate emerged from the tajdid process" (Sulaiman, 1). When Usman dan Fodio left Degel, hundreds of his followers accompanied him. They became known as the Jama`ah.
Following their hijrah, the Jam`ah, which included children and women, spent four years on the move, sleeping in the open, sometimes drawing near to starvation, and fending off attacks by the Sultan of Gobir's men and allied Tuareg forces. The women of the Jama`ah took inspiration from those who had accompanied Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) army at Badr and Uhud. They made food for Usman dan Fodio's bowmen and soldiers: "the women threshed about a quarter of a million pounds of grain heads by hand in wooden mortars" (Boyd 16). They cleaned weapons, bound wounds, and comforted widows and orphans.
The final and decisive battle took place at Alkalawa, a city which Usman dan Fodio and his forces surrounded and eventually entered, killing the Sultan of Gobir. A year later, a new city was built, some miles away, at Sokoto.
According to Usman dan Fodio, the caliphate based at Sokoto was to be built and run according to the example of the first four caliphs and Imam Hasan, the Prophet's first grandson. Dan Fodio and his brother, Abdullahi, wrote two voluminous works on the principles of state called Bayan Wujub Al-Hijrah and Diyaa' Al-Hukkam. However, the caliphate was not to be a political entity only. Its entire foundation was built upon extensive learning and its purpose was to educate its citizens. In effect, it was to be a caliphate that encouraged the acquisition of knowledge. Usman dan Fodio made references in his works to 102 scholars, including Ghazali, Ibn Khaldun, the four Sunni imams (Malik, Ibn Hanbal, Abu Hanifah, Ash-Shafi`i), Al-Utbi from Cordoba, and Al-Nasafi from Turkestan.
In Misbah Ahl Al-Zaman and Najm Al-Ikhwan, dan Fodio set out points related to the "sanctity of the institution of caliph":
1. The office of the caliphate is a Shari`ah institution unanimously accepted by Ahl Al-Sunnah as valid and imperative.
2. Giving bay`ah [swearing allegiance] to the holder of this office is therefore obligatory; so also is showing loyalty to him both inwardly and outwardly, if only for the purpose of ensuring the unity and cohesion of the Ummah.
3. The caliphate "upholds the law … eliminates injustice, and subdues corrupt people."
4. The institution of caliphate is more important than the caliph himself; therefore, people must think carefully before giving up their bay`ah (Sulaiman 5).
Nevertheless, this caliphate came to take the form more resembling the Abbasids. The old Hausa kingdoms that were defeated in battle became emirates run by autonomous emirs (princes), and the role and position of wazir (premier) was implemented.
Usman dan Fodio did not just exhort Muslims to maintain loyalty to the caliphate; he also wrote treatises in which he warned future caliphs not to be unjust: "He who becomes Caliph to eat up his people and … to plunder and cheat … will burn, it is an absolute certainty. Do not misuse authority to oppress the people" (Boyd 28).
The role of women was equally crucial. Nana Asma'u set up an academic network of women who were trained in Islamic sciences and then sent to remote parts of the country to teach other women about Shari`ah and spirituality. These were called yan-taru, "the associates." Asma'u wrote many mnemonic poems to enable women to quickly learn and to remember what they had been taught. Her poems include "In Praise of Ahmada [the Prophet]" and "Medicine of the Prophet." In her "Elegy for My Sister Fatimah," Asma'u writes, "May we see Abdulkadir Jelani, and the Shehu [dan Fodio] and the Muslims/ Say 'Amen'" (Boyd 97). Muhammad Bello later wrote a poem called "An-Nasiha Al-Wadia" in which he describes the elevated qualities of more than 30 prominent women in Islamic history.
Usman dan Fodio died in 1817 and Muhammad Bello was voted caliph by the Jama`ah, much to Abdullahi Fodio's lingering bitterness. In the following decades, there still were battles among Hausa groups and Tuaregs but at its height in the early mid-19th century, the caliphate extended for more than 1,500 sq. km (579 sq. mi.). In 1903, the British arrived, forcing the caliph to take a secondary role. When Nigeria acquired independence in 1961, the caliph's role as a ruler over the Northern emirates was written into the constitution, although the caliph's powers were considerably reduced.
The Sokoto Caliphate was successfully established against prevailing odds and changed the landscape of West Africa for ever. Dan Fodio's revolution inspired other leading figures farther south, such as Al-Hajj `Umar Tall, who established an empire based on Islamic Law. As Nana Asma'u said, "I rely on God to help me overcome the impossible" (Boyd & Mack 271).
Boyd, Jean and Beverly B. Mack. Collected Works of Nana Asma'u, Daughter of Usman dan Fodio (1793-1864). East Lansing: Michigan State U P, 1997.
Boyd, Jean. The Caliph's Sister, Nana Asma'u, Teacher, Poet and Islamic Leader. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 1989.
Hiskett, Mervyn. The Course of Islam in Africa. Edinburgh: Edinburgh U P, 1994.
Robinson, David. "Revolutions in the Western Sudan," in Levtzion, Nehemia and Randall L. Pouwels (eds). The History of Islam in Africa. Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 2000.
Sulaiman, Ibraheem. The Islamic State and the Challenge of History. London and New York: Mansell Publishing Ltd, 1987.