Development Of Jihad In West Africa - Printable Version

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Development Of Jihad In West Africa - MyElimu - 03-02-2016

BACKGROUND OF JIHAD During 19[sup]th [/sup] a number of reformer movement emerged in west African states especially in western Sudan. The main aim is to restore the Islamic faith, the empire like Songhai and Bornu in western Sudan had strong Islamic faith. The influence of Islam manifested itself differently in different societies places that were conquered first in the Umayyad period and went on to become Muslim states as Tunisia, Egypt and the rest of Berber of maghrib entered the Muslim world at an early date. Islam come later through missionary work so Islam had an ambitious as an individual or community to strive to lead a virtual life and to extend Islamic community through jihad.
The holly war which mean struggle for the defence of Islam. There are three most important jihads that the jihad of western Sudan led by Othman danfodio,  jihad of futa jalon and jihad of masina also there other people like ahmadou, lobbo (hamad bari ) and al hajj umar as result several states emerged and those appeared in west Africa after 1800. 

 The term jihad movement means, the struggle for the defense of Islam or it means the holly war struggling for the defence of islamJihad movement started in the period of 19[sup]th[/sup] c for the aim of restoring Islamic faith  the following are the participant of this movement the movement of western Sudan under osuman Dan fodio, ahmadou lobbo and al hajj umar and this movement create Islamic states like sokoto masina empire, Tunisia, Egypt, Maghreb, Songhai, Bornu and others.After looking the background the definitional term, participants and period started of this jihad movements let us looking about the origin and development of jihad war in west AfricaThe war originated in the west Africa in area like Tunisia and others like as the Muhammad saw the land of that countries was potential in supporting the poor who flooded medina, Hebron traditional burial place of Abraham the father of monotheism and this situation led the Islam to conquer other states in order to extend their faith.There three major aims of  this jihad movement this are based on the 3 major categories religion motives political and economic motives let us start with religion motives

To spread and strengthening Islamic faith this is among of the major factors which led the occurance of jihad movement they make sure that they establish that holy war through conquered Christians and other denomination to become muslim for example quran does suggest that god sent prophet to established justice on the earth also for muslim religion was the core of identity they divided the world into two section first the house of Islam where the law of Islam prevailed and the house war which was the rest of the world for example Fulani pastrolalist they converted from pagan ways of life into Christian, and also hausa societies in western sudan they also converted to be muslims. Here are the guatation written to support this point written as follows, “as there there is one god in heaven so there can be only one ruler on earth” pg 272. Isichei.To create Islamic state like futa toro, futa jalon and futa bondu, Syria, Songhai, bornu and others this states were the product of Islamic revolution in the 18[sup]th[/sup] c those revolution was  against  non muslim rulers and replace them with full Islamic states under rulers with Islamic faith who would rule by using Islamic laws called sharia. For example the jihad in fulbe led to the also establishment of masina Islamic state which later become part of tukolar empire, al hajj omar a muslim preacher led the tukolar jihad During that period.To use Islamic law (sharia) to rule the state as Muslim they use that law in order to follows the Islamic rules like those five  pillars of Islam’s. As this quotation sayyid“The result was the Sharia the finished version of Muslim law … was the one that to be most respected in Muslim Africa”( Isichei p.88)Politically there also factors like to fight against corruption among the Hausa ruling families who continue to corrupt each other’s so the aims of this movements is to make sure they destroy that habit of corruption for example imposition of taxation in Hausa in this case the Fulani were forced to pay cattle tax to Hausa rulers something which annoyed them and made them to join Islamic jihad.

Antocratic and self catering of hausa the jihad united the Hausa states politically for the first time in history for example the larger number of hausa like adamawa, nupe, gwari and Ilorin Yoruba those become into one unit and becoming the strongest states.
Formation of military organization this helps them to account for the Muslims rapid success  many recruits were recent converts to Islamic from Christian person and Berber backgrounds so through that situation the new military towns such as Al-fustat in Egypt and Basra in Iraq become sites from which future conquests were planned and directed they serf guarded Muslim identity and prevented the Muslim conqueror at first a small minority from being assimilated into the larger indigenous population as the subject people become Muslim the army towns become also major centre’s of the spread of Islam culture. For example most of danfodio’s  were Fulani, followed by  tuareq and hausa at gudu” danfodio was elected as amir al-mumin (commander of the faithful) and proclaimed a jihad against unbelievers just as the prophet had done in medina since danfodio was middle aged, and not a warrior but a teacher and scholar hid lieutenants Abdulla and bello were given charge of military operations”( okoth.p.3.)Also economically there some of factors which led the occurance of jihad war this is like follow’s

Heavy taxation to Fulani tribes were cattle keepers so they have the responsibility of pay heavy  taxation to the hausa rulers so this situations led them to join Islamic jihads in order to make sure that that amount could be decreases by those leaders of hausa so this condition help them to avoid that problem. This point supported by the following quotation below,“ Every adult male of sound mind among you shall have to pay a poll tax  (jizya)Of one dinar in good coin at the beginning of each year…poverty does not free youFrom any obligation nor it abrogate your pact”  (Mortimer c.1995,p,280).Fulani want to control salt mines example bama, kuwar, and taoden so through that situation the main aims of this jihad war is to make sure they defeated those societies and established themselves to colonize that areas because on that day the salt mines it seems very important and thus why they using force through that jihad war.

Desire to control trade and trade centres the jihad movements also were established in order to make sure that the wealth was being obtain  through uses of force for example long distance trade makes some merchants fabulous wealth a jeweler in Baghdad remained rich even after the caph al mugtadir trade promoted scientific advances in navigation, ship building and cartography for example from Chinese, Arabic sailors seem to have learned about the compass and instrument used by manners to determine direction on the earth surface Muslim also developed the astrolabe an instrument used by manners to determine latitude and the time day.  The following are the different quotation supported this points this are as follows“if god permitted the in habitants of paradise to trade they would deal in cloth and perfyme” another  quotation also supported this points written as follows.      
“As the importance of trade increased in the western sudan from the eleventh centuary on wards, the muslim long-distance trade carried their network of commerce south ward from desert part on the sahel, they spread as a trade Diaspora sending out emigrants to settle at all the principal of trade so as to be assured of trust worthy business contacts the Arabic sources refer to  all these traders as” wangara” and by 1500 at least three separate network can be distinguished
Racial affinity the jihads were supported by the virtually all pastoralists Fulani who had a racial affinity with the town Fulani ( leader of jihad) they wanted to take the wealth of hausa towns so this is also one of the among of the development of jihad war in west Africa.  The haus a rulers were autocratic they were harsh they segregated  Fulani pastrolalists and they could not allow them enter their empire so this situation  led Fulani to enter their empire there fore to gain political power the Fulani started movement through jihad by 1808 the capital of gobir was captured where kebbi, zaria, katsina, zamfala and kano were converted to islam here bellow are the quotation supported this point, “I will deliver you from… the Fulani who are unjust … who impose upon you things which you can not pay” (Isichei E,p.293)Islamic become a unifying factors for state formation which led  state formation under the Fulani rule islam spread outside the town into the country districts or rural areas, islam become an official rulling ideology of state the religion become strong throughout the hausa land the “Islamic law usharia” provided the alternative model of government with which  compare and confront their rules conversion of non believers was an essential duty of every muslim.

Fulan and the bambara traders and rulers control the trade after the jihad war trade routes and trade centres attracted many more traders the wealth obtained from some trade such as guns and iron tools help them to create large and strong states for example sokoto, caliphate under the leader ship of osman danfodio thus why we can see the development of west Africa caused by jihad war.

Establishment of strong army this is due to the jihads war the ruling class and those merchants who were rich they establish strong armies which were responsible for conquering and absorbing the weaker states for example hausa states and creating other strong and large states for example the sokoto caliphate in 1846 on a preaching tour of futa toro, his home land umar followed the example of dan fodio and ahmed bari by preaching an appealing message of social reform here I quoted,” your are like the unfaithful eating and drinking oppression and your chiefs violate gods law by oppressing the weak”( okoth.p 9)Military aristocratic and rich merchants controlled the production of colanuts, gold and  slaves those labours which were captured they should be able to work on producing colanuts , extracting gold and so on they contributed much to the rise and consolidation of strong Islamic states for example sokoto and mandika.

Emergence of strong leader like mushin mujahiddina this leaders managed to create a new states under their leadership like futa-djalon in guinea in 1725 and the sokoto caliphate states turned from the religious reformers into a rulling class

Islamic become an official ruling religion and Islamic ideology was used as tools to be followed, Islamic religion was purified and strong throughout the Hausa land,  Islam and literacy spread more widely through the population and the unity of Islam bring an endless process to the destructive wars of inter states rivalry. Here are the quotation supported this points “Islam was seen as the final revelation, completing the message that God had partially conveyed through the Hebrew prophets and jesus”( Mortimer C,p 201)It led to the consolidation of feudalism this was the mode of production where by the owner of the land become fable (Fulani) and other paid rent or feudal rent to the ruling class here are the examples written that” production was expanded by extending the irrigation system and introducing year –around cultivation. Cotton had, we are told, a great advantage from the view point of the ruling class the fact that it could not be eaten by the peasant’s” (Isichei E,1997,p.280.)Islamc education was given to spread low and order this gave the birth to strong political organization and a great deal of progress was made in trade this trade  activities flourished in differents  parts and kano in particular become a major market centre. So due to that reasons there some quotation supported this points this is as follows,“They were inspired to battle by the prophets promise of vast rewards to those who died in the holy war against the non believers” (Mortimer C, p,202)                                         

To sum up the the above points mentioned those written is short summary about the jihad the holy Islamic war which were used in order to strength  the Islamic faith and also this war contributed much to the development in west Africa politically, economically and also at the religious motives and it seemed that some of the weaker societies were conquered become stronger societies were conquered become stronger societies   

Isichei Elizabeth ,( 1997)  A history of African societies to 1870, great Britain university press,combridge.
Jerry H Bentley et al, (2008) Traditions and Encounters a global perspectives on the past USA.
Mortimer chambers et al,(1995) The western experience mcgrawhill NEWYORK.
Okoth Assa, ( 2006) vol 1, A history of Africa 1800-1914 East African educational publishers Nairobi, Kampala, Dar es salaam.
Steven House et al, (2001) Essentials of western civilization History of european society, wadsworth USA. 


RE: Development Of Jihad In West Africa - Musa Ally - 08-17-2016

 for you