Usman Dan Fodio

Usman Dan Fodio was a Fulani scholar who launched a religious war (jihad) in northern Nigeria in 1804 that lasted for six years, the goal of which was to revive and purify Islam, and to encourage less devout Muslims to return to orthodox Islam. This influential religious revolution united the Hausa states under Islamic law, and in 1812, led to the establishment of an empire called the Sokoto Caliphate, composed of emirates and subemirates, many of which were built on the sites of previous Hausa states. The Sokoto Caliphate became the most powerful economic and political system of the region during the 19th century, and contributed profoundly to Islamising Northern Nigeria.


B. G. Martin, Muslim Brotherhoods in Nineteenth-Century Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976).