From Jihads History In Africa

 


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The jihads in Hausaland had a multitude of long term results as well as some immediate consequences. One was that it changed Islam from a tolerated minority religion, to which rulers subscribed when it suited them, into the official state ideology. That is, the set of beliefs and attitudes according to which rulers expected the people to conduct their lives.

The highest political office in Hausaland was now open to the “ulama”, whereas previously these had been the preserve of ancient dynastic families. It therefore fulfilled a persistent demand that was heard as far back as the days of the Sanhaja “ulama” in Timbuktu during the time of Sunni Ali and which was repeated in the Senegambia.

The Muslim Fulani had a long tradition of Islamic literacy. This created in them a sentiment of Islamic universalism, a feeling that the whole Islamic world was one, and any divergence from the central pattern laid down in the Sunna, the “tradition” of the prophet was intolerable. As a result of their literacy, the Muslim Fulani developed links with Egypt and Mecca and these links put them in touch with the new movements of thought that were sweeping the Islamic world of their day . These Muslim Fulani’s were to prove a key component to the success of the 1804 jihads in Hausaland.

Yet another consequence of the jihad, was that it replaced the decentralized collection of separate Habe kingdoms with a centralized structure of Islamic emirates united by common allegiance to the caliphal centre in Sokoto. It thus created a large new area of Dar-al-Islam in a political as well as a religious sense.

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