Fula jihads

Fula jihads

The Fula or Fulani jihads, were a series of independent but loosely connected events across West Africa between the late 17th century and European colonization, in which Muslim Fulas took control of various parts of the region. It is also sometimes referred to as "Fulani revolution."

A "jihad state" is a territory that was established by political and religious Muslim leaders who conquer a region by offensive war, invoking jihad ("struggle" in Arabic). The rulers often assumed honorific titles such as in the Fulani Empire, Emir, an Arabic title which can mean general as well as prince or governor, or a derivate in a local language. Another title was Almamy (from Imam) used by rulers of Kingdom of Fouta Djallon.

These states are listed in rough chronological order below.


A small state in present day Senegal in which Muslim Fulas took control in the late 17th century.

Fuuta Jalon

The Fouta Djallon located mainly in present day Guinea as well as parts of Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone was a major state with a written constitution and ruling alternance between the 2 main parties: the Soriya and the Alphaya. The Fouta Djallon state was born in 1735 when Fulani Muslims decided to rise against the non-Muslim Fulanis and Djalonkes rulers to create a confederation of provinces. Alpha Ibrahima Sory Maoudho was elected as the first Almaamy in 1735 at the capital Timbo in present day Guinea. The Fouta Djallon state lasted until 1898 when the French colonial troops defeated the last Almamy (Ruler) Bokar Biro Barry, dismantled the state and integrated it into their new colony of Rivières du Sud, which became Guinea.

Fuuta Tooro

Under the unifying banner of Islam, the Muslim Fulas revolted in 1776 under the leadership of Sileymaani Baal. The following Islamic revolution created the new kingdom of Fuuta Tooro under a government called the "Almamate" (a term derived from the Pulaar borrowing of the Arabic "al-imaam"). Before formal colonization this state was weakened by French incursions and the effort by El Hadj Umar Tall to carry his jihad eastward (see also Toucouleur Empire, below).

Fulani Empire

At the beginning of the 19th century under Usman dan Fodio the Fulani became the leaders of a centralized Fulani Empire which continued until 1903 when the Fulani were divided up among European colonizers.

Fulani jihad states

The term "jihad state" is historically used in reference to the 19th century Islamic conquests in Western Africa, especially the Fulani jihad or Fulbe (from "Fulɓe") jihad, a phrase referring to the state-founding jihad led by Usman dan Fodio in the first decade of the 19th century in and around Nigeria. Most of these states were in colonial times brought into the British Northern Nigeria Protectorate around 1901-1903.

The jihad states in the region controlled by the empire included:
*Abuja, replacing the former Zuba; the ruler's title was Sarkin Zazzau, from 1828 also Emir
*Adamawa (now partially in Cameroon), founded in 1809; title Baban-Lamido
*Agaie, founded in 1822; title emir
*Bauchi emirate, founded in 1805; title Lamido ("laamiiɗo" in Fula language), meaning "ruler" (similar meaning to Emir )
*Gombe, founded in 1804; title Modibo Gombe.
*Gwandu, a major Fulbe jihad state, founded in 1817; title Emir
*Hadejia, replaced Biram (title Sarkin Biram) in 1805; new title Sarkin Hadejia, from 1808 also styled Emir
*Jama`are, founded in 1811; style Emir.
*Jema`an Darroro, founded in 1810; title Emir
*Kano replaced the old (Hausa) Kano state in March 1807; the old title Sarkin Kano is still used, but now also styled Emir
*Katagum, founded in 1807; title Sarkin Katagum, also styled Emir
*Katsina replaced the old (Hausa) Katsina state in 1805; the old title Sarkin Katsina is still used, but now also styled Emir.
*Kazaure, founded in 1818; title Emir, also styled Sarkin *Arewa (apparently imitating neighbours)
*Keffi, founded in 1802; title Emir
*Lafiagi, founded in 1824; new title Emir
*Lapai, founded in 1825; style Emir
*Mubi, founded in 18..; title Emir
*Muri, founded in 1817, style Emir; 1892-1893 de facto French protectorate, 1901 part of Northern Nigerian British protectorate
*Sokoto, the center of the Fulani jihad, established on 21 February 1804 by Usman dan Fodio, title Amir al-Mu´minin, also styled Lamido Julbe; on 20 April 1817 Sokoto was styled sultanate (title sultan, also styled Amir al-Mu´minin and Sarkin Musulmi), the suzerain of all Fulbe jihad states; in 1903 the British occupied Sokoto Sultanate
*Zaria, superseded the old Zazzau state (title Sarkin Zazzau) on 31 December 1808; new style first Malam, since October/November 1835 Emir, also styled Sarkin Zaria and Sarkin Zazzau

Massina Empire

Located in what is now central Mali, this state lasted from 1818 until 1862. Inspired by the recent Muslim uprisings of Usman dan Fodio in nearby Hausaland, preacher and social reformer Seku Amadu led a Fula army in jihad against the Bambara Empire. The empire expanded rapidly, taking Djenné and establishing a new capital at Hamdullahi. It was eventually defeated by Umar Tall and incorporated into the Toucouleur Empire.

Toucouleur Empire

El Hajj Umar Tall led armies east from his base in Futa Tooro and Dinguiraye to conquer Kaarta, the Bambara Empire, and Massina in the early 1860s. The Toucouleur controlled the region until French colonization, at which time the last leader of the state, Ahmadu Tall, fled to Sokoto.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bondu — was a state in West Africa, later a French protectorate dependent on the colony of Senegal. It lay between the Faleme River and the upper course of the Gambia River, that is between 13 and 15 N., and 12 and 13 W.DescriptionThe country is an… …   Wikipedia

  • Lamido — (plural Lamibe) is the Anglicisation of a term from the Fula language or Fulfulde, used to refer to a ruler. In the language it is properly laamiiɗo (pl. laamiiɓe), derived from the verbal root laam meaning to rule or to lead , and hence may be… …   Wikipedia

  • Usman dan Fodio — Uthman dan Fodio Sultan of Sokoto, Amir al Muminin Reign 1804 1815 Born 1754 Birthplace Gobir Died 1817 …   Wikipedia

  • Mali — Malian, n., adj. /mah lee/, n. Republic of, a republic in W Africa: formerly a territory of France; gained independence 1960. 9,945,383; 463,500 sq. mi. (120,000 sq. km). Cap.: Bamako. Formerly, French Sudan. * * * Mali Introduction Mali… …   Universalium

  • North Region (Cameroon) — Coordinates: 8°30′N 14°00′E / 8.5°N 14°E / 8.5; 14 …   Wikipedia

  • Futa Tooro — A town in Futa Tooro, portrayed by an 18th century European artist. F …   Wikipedia

  • North Province (Cameroon) — Geobox|Province name = North Province country = Cameroon country capital = Garoua map caption = Location of North Province within Cameroon coordinates type = adm1st lat d = 8 |lat m = 30 |lat NS = N long d = 14 |long m = 00 |long EW = E area =… …   Wikipedia

  • African military systems (1800-1900) — refers to the evolution of military systems on the African continent after 1800, with emphasis on the role of indigenous states and peoples within the African continent. Only major military systems or innovations and their development after 1800… …   Wikipedia

  • West Province (Cameroon) — Geobox|Province name = West Province country = Cameroon country capital = Bafoussam map caption = Location of West Province within Cameroon coordinates type = adm1st lat d = 5 |lat m = 30 |lat NS = N long d = 10 |long m = 30 |long EW = E area =… …   Wikipedia

  • western Africa, history of — Introduction       history of the region from the 11th century to the present.       A reasonable body of sources for the writing of western African history begins to be available about AD 1000. Three centuries earlier, the Arabs (Arab) had… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.