The Jihads in the nineteenth century West Africa were a series of revolutions or sanctum wars that characterized the history of the part brushing from 1804 in Hausa land. 1818 in Masina and 1815 in Futa Jallon country under the leading of Uthman Dan Fodio. Seku Ahmadu and Al-Hajj Umar severally because of the un just conditions in society. These wars were intended to open a period of societal justness. security and prosperity in trade for all me who accepted Islam as seen below ;
Official corruptness. heavy revenue enhancement. arrogation of subject’s belongingss. subjugation of the hapless in general and bondage which instilled ageless fright. was every bit much a beginning of discontent to the Muslim as to the non-Muslim topics. This province of personal businesss led to tenseness and defeat particularly to the Muslim topics. as Smith rather justly observed:
“The place was thwarting for Muslims were by and large witting of being culturally far superior to the heathens. Their faith. of class. left them in no uncertainty about this. and on the practical degree they were likely to be superior citizens. cognizing much more about the universe than did the heathens. and conserving a critical monopoly of literacy. ”
( C. Smith. p. 169 )
Another grounds comes from the fact that the Jihads were intended to sublimate Islamic norms. which were to convey honestness to society. After the diminution of Mali and Songhai imperiums. there was diminution in Islamic religion in Western Sudan. Islam faith was assorted with pegan patterns like over imbibing and get marrieding non-Moslems. a state of affairs that could compromise the honestness and evenhandedness in society. Historians A. Ajayi and Michael Tidy contend that ” most of the opinion dynasties particularly among the Hausa province. Islam sat lightly on them and all kinds of un-Islamic patterns such as illegal revenue enhancement. captivity of Moslems and improper ictus of belongings were traveling on. ” ( Adu Boahen. A. Ajayi & A ; Michael Tidy. p. 44 )
Most of the swayers of western Sudan were autocrats who mistreated. oppressed and suppressed their topics and they failed to administrate justness with nonpartisanship. It was hence the desire of the Jihdists to liberate the people of west Africa from oppressive governments. Therefore. the Jihads were a motion for societal justness reform. Uthman. Dan Fodio for illustration. an understanding in which Moslems were granted freedom from gaol and freedom for Moslem work forces to have on turbans and the adult females to have on veils” ( Adu Boahen. A. Ajayi & A ; Michael Tidy. p. 48s )
On the economic scene. the nineteenth century Jihads had strong economic properties. Governments in western Sudan had been over taxing their topics for illustration in the town of Fulani. merchandisers ever complained of heavy revenue enhancements in their trade while Fulani pastoralists were opposed to high revenue enhancements on their cowss. This forced them to leap. aboard the jihad’s Bang waggon to extinguish all these. In composing about the economic consequences from the Jihads. Ajayi e-tal write that ‘the constitution of a uniform of authorities in topographic point of many competiting 1s a decrease in internecine wars that had characterized the history of the Hausa states… Peace and order reigned in most parts. . and this greatly stirred agricultural and industrial activities” ( Adu Boahen. A. Ajayi & A ; Michael Tidy. p. 49 )
Even the cruel method of roll uping the revenue enhancements that existed before the Jihads was arousing that fundamentalists could non stand it. It was pitiless in operation and revenue enhancement aggregators used to flog people in the aggregation of revenue enhancements and captive others. This was greatly resented by the Sudanese topics and they rose up against the governments of the twenty-four hours and to stop the ruthless method of revenue enhancement aggregation.
Coupled with the above is that the affluent Fulani felt that their wealth was insecure under the Hausa swayers who were openly covetous of the Fulani wealth. They hence sought to set up a authorities. which would vouch security to their belongings.
Through the creative activity and betterment of Islamic Education in the Sudan. Jihads displayed their purpose of greatly spread outing Islamic literacy particularly in Hausa and Fulani talking countries. Here. schools were built particularly in countries of western Sudan. In respect to hapless instruction before the Jihads. Ajayi writes “though acquisition and instruction did non decease out in the western Sudan in the eighteenth century. it is ne’er the less true that the tradition of scholarship had declined. Some of the mallams could non even read the Arabic linguistic communication. the linguistic communication of the Koran. ” ( A. Ajayi etal p. 45 )
The political units the were subsequently established by the Jihads are another justification that security and prosperity would be achieved. These units had better administrative machinery than the old governments. they were more merely. peaceable. orderly and less corrupt. This was a singular accomplishment for the Jihadist authorities as a fulfilment of their intended ends. ” Uthman’s Jihad had far making effects both inside and outside Hausaland. Politically it led to the constitution of a individual Fulani imperium in topographic point of the many rival provinces in Hausa land. ” ( A. Ajayi etal p. 49 )
Professor Ismail contends that the Jihads were for the societal economic justness of all who had converted to Islam. He provided cogent evidence when he wrote:
“That there was an Muslim motion with all that Islam stands for by virtuousness of its catholicity. its openness. its tolerance. its justness and equity. its cognition. acknowledgment and proviso for old faiths. its civilisations and history. agitating the socio-political order after successfully gnawing its cultural and rational footing and that it had achieved all this by instruction and patient persuasion. exactly non to compromise Islam. is merely but subtly overlooked or ignored. Had that motion been conceived or presented on a tribal footing as some wants us to believe it would hold been doomed to neglect non to advert the fact that it couldn’t have found a topographic point in Islam. ” ( A. S. Ismail. 1979. p. 24 )
Indeed the governors. the Jihadists. were at the same time consolidating internal order and security. justness and equity without which the ideal they fought for can non be realised. It should be added that this consolidation was alone. non merely because of its fullness non even because of its strength but chiefly because of the earnestness and the sense of mission with which it was carried out. The runs of Muhammad Bello and Dan Fodio for illustration with their prisoners and loots have been good noted by many bookmans. what seemed to hold escaped notice is this earnestness and sense of mission with which it was executed. Even if ulterior coevalss turned it into a slave raiding exercising. the fact still remained that Bello was non contending for prisoners or loots but for distributing Islam
From the societal point of position. the fact that the Jihads brought great resurgence in and spread of Islam which had in bend meant great stimulation to instruction and acquisition shows that they were in intended for societal economic justness. “This elevated the position of slaves and provincials and forced some mobile provincials to go colonists. ” ( A. Ajayi etal p. 53 ) Historian Kevin Shillington like Ajayi contends that ;
“Islam and Literacy spread more widely through the populations and the integrity of Islam brought an terminal to the destructive wars of inter province competition. Trade flourished and Kano in peculiar became a major market centre. ”
However. there is besides a instance to demo that Jihads were political motions under pretense of societal economic reform. The overthrow of Moslem disposal is testimony to this. Another instance besides is that the mass violent deaths. dislocation of societies and loss of belongings as a consequence of these Jihads reveal more than “purification” of society. Behind the streamers of social-economic justness. there was besides political dockets and robbery.
To coronate it up. it can be noted that though there hints of unfairness with in the class of the Jihads. like the force that was manifested. these were non the intended ends but they were accidents typical in any revolution. A clear expression at the causes and results of the Jihads confirms that establishes a justification that the purpose of the Jihads was to open a new period in west Africa of societal justness. security and prosperity in trade for all work forces who accepted Islam.
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A. S. Ismail. “Some contemplations on the literature of the Jihad and the caliphate” . in Y. B. Usman ( Ed. ) . Studies in the History of the Sokoto Caliphate. ( SHSC ) . Lagos. 1979
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