Sokoto Jihad and the Formation of the Caliphate Essay
The greatest and certainly the most influential of the nineteenth century Jihads was that of Susan Dan Food. He was a Fulfill of the Throbbed clan which had migrated to Gobi, in north-western Husband, many generations before. He was born In 1754 Into a scholarly family and he and his younger brother Abdullah’, were given a broad Islamic education. At that time of his youth, Gobbler, as have seen, had become the most powerful of the Hausa states, particularly in Samara and Kebab, Goober’s domination was hated.
The people generally resented the heavy taxation that was used to maintain the armies and to make the big men in society greater and richer than before. The weak feared enslavement by the strong. Though the Have kings thought of themselves as Muslims, they did not always follow Muslim law and often tolerated and even participated in ‘pagan’ practices. The Muslim communities of Husband deeply resented the ‘paganism’ of their rulers and their failure to observe the Shari’s.
When Susan Dan Food, at the age of twenty, returned to Gobi from Shades, where had has been taught by the Muslim revolutionary teacher, Jib, here were many who were willing to listen to someone who would attack their rulers. Susan Dan Food held the attention of large crowds. When he criticized the Hausa rulers for their bad government, he found eager response from his listeners. In such circumstance. Many flocked to Join Susan Dan Food who was becoming a major political force in Gobi. Susan established his community at Degree on the borders of Gobi and Samara.
It was effectively independent of Gobi, and provided an example of what Muslim government should be. 2 There emerged a clash between Gobbler and Dan Food’s faction, caused by the fact hat the leader of Gobbler, Nonfat, felt threatened, thus he made attempts to frustrate Dan Food’s mission. Dan Food and his companions at Degree, including his father, his brother Abdullah, his son Muhammad Belle, and a number of scholars and disciples withdrew from Degree to GUID. This was the Hajji (flight) in imitation of the Prophet Mohammedan hoar from Mecca to Medina. Susan Dan Food was elected Emir-al- Mournful or Commander of the Faithful by his followers in February 1804 and they began to arm themselves for war, Dan Food defeated Yuan’s forces and proclaimed Jihad against all the ‘pagan’ Hausa rulers. It took him four years and several reverses before he finally took Alkali, the capital of Gobi, in 1808. The Jihad swept the Savannah like a fire. Its success was due largely to the unity, leadership and strength of support possessed by the Shadiest and lack of cooperation among the Have rulers. With this success, all the captured territories were incorporated to what formed the The Caliphate covered an area of 250,000 sq miles and stretched as far as Nikkei in the present day Benign Republic, Engendered and Tibia in the Republic of Cameroon and much of the southern part of Niger Republic. Its institutional influence also extended to Segue and Minas in the Republic of Mali, About Disallow in the Republic of Guiana, About Tort in the Seen-Gambler, Northern Ghana, Chad in the Central Africa and further east into the Republic of Sudan.
The ethical values, political organization, intellectual capacity and other legacies which Sotto Caliphate represented and cherished extended far beyond its physical frontiers in West Africa. The Sotto Caliphate was certainly the largest, most territorially extensive and literate state in African History. In addition, the Caliphate was expansively tremendous, containing diverseness, different culture, languages and religions. 5 PART TWO POLITICAL ADMINISTRATION The Sotto Caliphate operated on a monarchical system of government with the Sultan (Caliph) at the helm of affairs and head of government.
The Sotto Caliphate was not a unitary state but one which, like the present Nigeria, comprised of autonomous emirates each with its emir and government. The polity was not located on a continuous stretch of territory as it contained diverse independent communities and states within its borders. 6 He (Dan Food) divided the territories of the Caliphate roadway into two spheres. Abdullah’ Food, the Shay’s brother took charge of southwest with Muhammad Babushka, Shaky Dan Food’s son assisting him. Uganda was the headquarters of the southwest flank. Muhammad Belle, the Shakes son took charge of the northeast with Allay Jed assisting him.
The capital of the northeast was Sotto. Hence forth, all administrative and military decisions were carried out in Sotto and Uganda respectively. At its apex in 1860, the Caliphate then as a continuous phenomenon had over 31 emirates under allegiance with Kebab, Kane, Aziza (Sari), Bausch, Loris, Nape and Murk been the prominent ones. Even though the Caliph was the head of the Caliphate, he had very little to do with the day running of affairs in the emirates. His role was limited to giving guidance from time to time so as to keep the system going. Only the metropolis was under his direct administration.
Nevertheless, the Caliph through his Hazier and the Emir of Uganda occasionally intervened in the affairs of the emirates either to prevent or correct deviations from the established Islamic practice. His most important role in the Caliphate was the appointment of emirs. The first emirs were not selected and pointed by the She, but were local leaders who called on the She and got his blessings and flags. After that, it became the practice for emirates to recommend candidates to Sotto for appointment as emirs and, in most cases, the Caliph merely confirmed and installed local nominees.
However, the situation changed in respect to some emirates. In Sari, for example, the Caliph had, in the course of the 19th century, but over the administration generally. 8 In distant emirates, the control of the Caliph, especially with regard to the appointment of emirs was not very strong. In Bambina, he Caliph directed that Modify Adam, the qualified candidate in view of age and Islamic scholarship should be appointed as emir, but this was turned down by the officials at Yolk. In the emirates of Inurn, in the sass the electors in Jailing had, after obtaining approval from Sotto, declared Emir Muhammad Babushka deposed.
But when the Caliph’s representative arrived to install a new emir, he found that Muhammad had sorted things out and was in full control of government. It does appear that so far as the distant emirates were concerned the Caliphs maintained an open mind and whoever had the situation in the emirate under his control was usually confirmed as emir. 9 The obligation of the emirs to the Caliph was numerous. It was obligatory on all the emirs to visit Sotto on the appointment of a new Caliph and subsequently.
The first visit was to do allegiance and the subsequent ones were to ensure continued support. Payment of the tribute was also incumbent on all the emirs and the loyalty of the individual emirs was measured by the promptness and regularity of payment. Similarly, the volume of tribute was determined by the wealth of the emirate and the degree of its loyalty to Sotto. 10 The Wizard or Vizier was legal advisers and agents who carried out errands for the Caliph. Uganda to the West also had its Wizard, who performed same function as that at Sotto.
He was occasionally sent on assignments and was required to carry out tours of inspection of the emirates directly under Sotto as did the Wizard of Uganda of those emirates in the western sector. He also ensured that taxes and tribute were bayed as at when due. Sotto Caliphate King Makers There has been since the establishment of the Caliphate a body of gentle elders who are qualified by descent, convention, tradition and practice to select a person to succeed to the Sultanate upon the demise, resignation or removal of the last occupant of the throne.
The prestigious body consists of:- 1 . Wizard of Sotto, descendant of Sheikh Susan Dan Foods daughter Nana Gamma’s 2. Sarnia Yak, descendent of Allay Jed, the Caliphate’s commander of the armed Forces. 3. Imaging Raff, descendent of Dan Foods disciple Unarming Alkalis 4. Managing Agar, descendent of Babushka Dan Jade. 5. The Gaillardia, descendent of Dossier a brave fighter in the armed forces. 6. The Ardor (Fulfill word for ruler) of Shunt, descendent of Manure 7. The Ardor of Dingy, descendent of Manama. 8. Sarnia Kabuki of Yuba, descendent of Major 9.
The Abrade of Woman, descendent of Muhammad McCann They are known to have on occasions co-opted other caliphate title to help in their assignment. 11 These notable individual were responsible for selecting a new Sultan (head) based on the requirements laid down, which were basically age (years of experience) and level of scholarly insight in the Islamic religion and holy book (the Quern). 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The Sultan as the Chairman The Wizard Managing Raff Malign Agar The Gaillardia Terrain Sotto; Alkali She Susan Allay Shari 7. Sarnia Minimal; Late All. Birr Gauss 8. The secretary of the Sultanate Council.
These above names all came to form a council of chiefs to the Caliphate. 12 The Kane Emirates Many of the emirates operated independent of the Caliphate at the centre each possessing distinct political organization and structure. Therefore a case study on the system of government of the Kane emirate would throw some light and give an insight into how their political administration was. The emirate administration in the pre-colonial period was organized along the line of the feudal social system. Of medieval Europe. Kane emirate was broken up into districts and each district was rather split into villages.
Each village was made up of wards. At the apex of the system was Sarnia Kane (the Emir) who was the imperial monarch and overlord. Below him were the Yakima (District Heads) and senior titled men whose functions were similar to those of the Greater Lords of Medieval Europe. Below the Yakima were the Digital (Village Heads) who could be likened to the Lesser Lords. Below the Digital were the AMA Ungluing (Ward Heads) who controlled the farmers and peasants. These Emirate functionaries represented Sarnia Kane at their respective territories.
Tribute gifts which were collected by the digital through the AMA Ungluing came in the form of a portion of the harvest from the farmers and peasants. Each Dacca sent a ratio of these tributary gifts to the supervising Yakima. Similarly each Yakima sent a percentage of the tributary gifts so collected to the Emir. The Yakima was responsible for the collection of taxes, for raising troops in time of war, and for maintenance of roads in his district. He also ensured that the precepts of Islam were not violated, that lives and property were secured and that law and order was maintained.
He handled minor adjudication within his domain. 13 The village was tangibly the artiest outreach of the Emirate administration. A village head (Didactic) continued the functions of the District Head at the village level. He encouraged every family to observe the slat (prayers), the Katz (charity), the sum (fasting) during the Ramadan, and other tenets of Islam. The Didactic was assisted by the Mass Ungluing in the village. A Maim Ungluing recorded every birth, death, marriage and other rites of passage. All these were dutifully reported to the Yakima for onward passage to the Sara’.
Successions to district and village headships were usually but not always hereditary, and the Emir had the last say as to who was appointed. 4 From the (spiritual leaders) were appointed by the Emir. At the Headquarters, they Emir led daily court with the Majolica’s Sari and took decisions as well as gave instructions for the day-to-day running of the administration. Besides the Majolica, there was also the Tara-TA-Kane a pricey council which had tremendous influence in the administration. The Emir-in-council was thus the highest policy making body.
He decided on important military, executive and Judicial matters. This council was made up ideally, of the Gaillardia, the Wombat, the Sarnia Dakar Diagrams, the Carom, he Madame, the Make, the Sarnia ABA, the Sarnia Dakar Maim Tutu, and the Wizard. All members of this ministerial Council acted in conjunction with the Emir and the Emir could not avoid consulting them on important cases. Whatever decision was taken on any issue was final and binding on all in the Emirate. The Gaillardia was a very important member of the Tara-TA-Kane and was believed to be the Emir’s right hand man.
Besides the Emir, the Gaillardia was the highest ranking official in the Kane Sarasota. He controlled the supplies to the Army and appointed the Commander of the Calvary (Madame). 1 5 The Barded was a senior military official. He marched with his men behind the Emir. Before the civil war, the title could be conferred on any freeman of ability and means. After the civil war, Emir Allay conferred it for the first time on a member of the royal family. The Sarnia Dakar Tsar GUID was a trusted and closest to the Emir among the high ranking senior officials.
He marched behind the Emir in procession or in the battle field and thus ensured the Emir’s security. If for any reason the Emir left his position, it was immediately taken over by the Sari Dakar Tsar GUID and while in that position, he was entitled to all the respect usually accorded the Emir. 6 This was the political structure at the Kane emirate. The Judiciary and Legislature The functions of the Caliphs in Sotto were not merely to appoint and depose emirs. As the Supreme Judge of Shari’s, the Caliphs had to supervise the working of the emirate system and to arbitrate in disputes within and between emirates.
He was expected to issue a fatwa on legal issues, such as the recovery of absconded slaves and validity of expeditions that resulted in enslavement. Similarly, in the event of territorial disputes between emirates, the Caliph was expected to intervene and arbitrate. In the sass, for example, the Caliph Abdominal sent his Acclaimed to settle dispute between Durra and Azure. He also settled the disputes between Gauss and Samara over the border down of Dock. But it was not always that disputes were successfully settled by the Caliph.
When Contrary under Abraham conquered Been within Sari emirate and threatened Jeer on the Guard River, the Emir Hero, probably reluctant to fight against a leading member of the Sotto ruling family, appealed to the Caliph Abdominal. But no action was taken probably because the 1897 coup d’etat in Sari had alienated the Caliph authority and so Contrary continued its activities within Sari’s territory down to the end of the century. 17 He made sure that there was an impartial administration of Justice. He checked the courts, and frequently overruled decisions which he believed were unfair. 8 military superiority but on his religious authority. 19 And so, the laws and customs and laws administered were basically and purely based on Islamic principles which were inexcusably binding upon the people. Indeed failure to observe these set principles meant running fowl of the law which was punishable with whatever assures as was dimmed fit and applicable based on the nature of the offence committed. Equity and impartiality in the administering of Justice was very important, thus abiding by the strict principles of Islam. Offences most especially blasphemy was strictly intolerable.
Those who were caught stealing or committing any act of impurity had one hand amputated in accordance with the Shari law. PART THREE Military Administration The Sotto Caliphate did not have a standing Army. Although the Army at the Center was headed by The Sarnia Yak’, descendent of Allay Jed, was the Caliphate’s commander of the armed Forces. Directives on military expeditions (were necessary) were given or ordered by the Caliph himself. The army was not always readily called upon to rally round and protect the Caliphate against external aggression, except when required to.
They were more concerned about protecting the internal affairs and also ensuring that civic duties and customs were been observed. They also ensured that any act of rebellion or insurrection from within or among the emirates was subdued. At all points where there was danger of invasion by rulers who had been driven out of the kingdoms by the Jihad, rabbits or fortified towns were established. For instance, a series were built on the north-western frontier to deal with the Samara, Gobbling and Kebab. During his reign, Mohammed Belle was often at war as he was in his capital administering the Caliphate.
And this situation continued right through the century until the British conquest. 20 The walled towns and fortresses that were built on the Caliphate frontiers was where the army was stationed. 21 Each emirate tackled its defense problems. The Caliphate received military support from the various emirates, when it felt that it needed to fight as well as protect its territory against severe external aggression. The emirate regularly sent tributes in forms of military levies (mainly slaves for the army). Every year all the emirs Joined their armies with that of Sotto to extend became less frequent, for religious enthusiasm had declined. 2 Able bodied men from among the slaves were selected and sent and introduced to the Army at the central to add to the power and force of the Sotto Army. The military also possessed Calvary forces (horsemen) as well as armed foot soldiers who were armed with swords, short sharpened knifes and charms, belted around their waist. Soldiers were positioned at strategic locations in and around the Capital. Although it was difficult to employ Calvary forces in the forest areas. The military either employed offensive or defensive methods of warfare as the case may be.
The fortresses (rabbits) of the city was also well protected mostly against external forces, as could be seen in the Sooth’s confrontation with Born. As we have noted, the Caliph at Sotto was occupied in defending his capital against Kebab, Samara, the Turret and, of course, Gobi. He certainly did not have the time or the troops to suppress rebellions, or attempts to assert their independence on the part of his subordinate emirs. How then did he control emirs as distant as Bausch and Yolk? To understand this we must appreciate that the Caliph’s control of his emirs was not based on his military superiority but on his religious authority.
The emirs had sworn an allegiance to him as their Commander of the Faithful. As good Muslims, to break that allegiance would be to commit a sin. 23 The emphasis here is on allegiance to religion rather than the habitual use of force. This was the reason why Mohammed Belle during his reign weakened the power of the Fulfill military leaders and thus strengthened his own power. He could then stress the importance of reforming rather than the military side of the movement, of the scholars (whether Fulfill or Hausa) rather than the soldiers.
Military chiefs were gradually replaced in local administration by well- respected Malls. PART FOUR Economy Economically, the success of the Jihad brought a great deal of prosperity because of the establishment of peace and order. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Sotto Caliphate was probably the most prosperous area of the Sudan. Prosperity was built upon a thriving agriculture. Major cash crops included cotton, indigo and tobacco. Cotton and indigo provided the raw materials for the Caliphate’s major industry, the manufacture of cloth. The four most important manufacturing towns were Kane, Ibid, Arguing and Loris.
Cloth was woven, dyed and embroidered in Kane for sale all over the Sudan and Sahara. Ibid, Arguing manufactured cloth quite distinct from that of Kane. In addition, European cloth was imported, dyed and embroidered to make it acceptable to African taste. 24 Another major industry was the smiting of silver, brass and iron. Kane was again the major centre specializing in agricultural implements, weapons, bits and stirrups ND ladies’ ornaments. Ibid also possessed guilds of brass and silver myths noted for the quality of their designs and workmanship. Ibid was unique in the Central Sudan market.
Sotto was first and foremost a centre of learning, but it also produced and exported, to Kane the best quality iron to be found in the Caliphate. 25 Captain Accelerator in Navaho Lathe’s book titled, The Heritage of West Africa,observed that: There is a spacious market market place in front of the Sultan’s residence. The inhabitants are predominantly Fulfill, possessing slaves. Their usual employments are house building, shoe making, and iron work. Many bring firewood to the market for sale. Those employed in raising grain and tending castles of which the Fulfill have immense herds, reside in villages.
The necessities of life are very cheap. Butchered meat is in plenty and very good. 26 External Trade Relations Trade expanded beyond the locality, this involved importation and exportation of goods. Exchange was based on monitored currency involving cowries or gold silver coins. As Accelerator in (Navaho Lethal, 1964) stated that: The exports are principally civet and blue check topes, called share which are manufactured by slaves of Nape, f whom the men are considered the most expert weavers in the Sudan and the women the best spinners.
The common imports are coolants, bought from the borders of Shanty. The Arabs from Tripoli and Deadens bring inwrought silk, attar of roses, spices and beads, slaves are both exported and imported. A great quantity of Guiana corn is taken every year by the Turrets in exchange for salt. 27 Worthy of note is that one major economic change in the nineteenth century was the centralization of trade and commerce in Kane, which became the undisputed commercial and financial capital of the caliphate.
Its industry, the stability of its urinary and the fact that the trashcan routes gradually shifted from Born markets to Kane were important in the city growing commercial dominance. 28 PART FIVE Contributory Factors to the Decline of Sotto Caliphate The factors that led to the decline of the Sotto Caliphate can be divided into both Internal and External factors. All combining to contribute to the gradually witling down of the power and authority of the administration at the head. One of the growing internal crisis within the various emirates.
The revolt by the masses against the leadership at the centre, involved such rebellion which were mostly caused by inappropriate selection of an emir or unpopular pronouncement. For example the revolt in Kane was not against the Caliph in person but against an unpopular succession, the struggle by a ruling house to achieve what it rightly deserves but which was denied it by the caprice of a superior authority. The failure of the Caliph to crush the rebellion certainly harmed the prestige of the Caliph and exposed the powerlessness of Sotto to assert its will without support of the emirates.
Gradually the powers of the Caliph began to decline and so his authority could be compromised. 29 Secondly, the theocratic principles upon which the Caliphate based TTS authority and centered its attention on were gradually been eroded by the emirs at the emirates. While the Jihad had been fought to impose Muslim law on the people, many of the successors of the emirs to whom Susan Dan Food gave flags became guilty of the very abuses he had attacked in the rule o the Have kings, and lived lives of luxury and did little to spread the Muslim faith among their subjects. 0 Their allegiance and profession to act according to the Islamic faith and teachings had began to decline and so was their commitment to supply of soldiers to the centre. And so because Sotto did not have a central army, it had to depend on the fortresses it built to in order to withstand external aggression. Even though there were serious internal problems in the Sotto Caliphate throughout the 19th century that threatened its cohesion, it was not to the extent of weakening the operation of the emirate system, it was the British conquest that was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Confronted simultaneously by at least three European imperial powers, separated by great distances and the emirates could not muster enough resources to confront the European menace. 31 the British tit their superior weapons were able to subdue the entire emirates that made up the Caliphate. Reasons can be given as to why the Caliphate could not stand the British, such as advancement in weaponry, far superior tactical prowess, military tactical cohesion or motivation of the combatants etc. However what followed was the conquest of the Caliphate’s territories, a dethronement from the status of a sovereign power and authority to a colony.
Sotto Caliphate and its Legacies The Sotto Caliphate was a loose confederation of emirates that recognized the leadership of Susan Dan Food as “Commander of the Faithful. With Nigerian independence in 1960, many descendents of the founders of the Sotto Caliphate were among the first generation of national leaders, including Muhammad Belle, the premier of the Northern Region. The sultan of Sotto (Side Babushka Ill) continued to be regarded as the spiritual leader of the Muslim community of Nigeria. Legislative and executive functions of government passed to local, state and federal bodies.
The original emirates of the Sotto Caliphate have been re-organized into various states with the federation of Nigeria. Of the 36 states in the current Nigerian system, 14 eave had direct experience in the caliph/emirate system stemming from the reform movement of Susan Dan Food. Nineteen of the 36 states were part of the Northern Region of Nigeria, and have political links with the “northern” system, based on the religions of the three major ego-cultural components: 1) the emirate states; 2) Born; 3) the middle belt minority areas.
The influence of Muhammad Belle, (a direct descendent of Susan Dan Food), as the first (and only) (196(:)-66), set the basic pattern of regionally based federalism in Nigeria. The assassination of Muhammad Belle in January, 1966, presaged a long period of political ormolu, civil war, and military coups in Nigeria. 32 The emphasis on rule of law issue, in which there is even-handed Justice regardless of rank or privilege, is central to the legacy of Susan Dan Food.
While there are variations in the interpretation of law between the Dan Food brothers, the centrality of law is not in dispute. Susan Dan Food is famous for interpreting the law to take account of local circumstances, rather than a “one size fits all” hard line approach. The British continued this approach in criminal and civil matters, until the Penal Reforms of 1959, as mediated by Muhammad Belle, removed criminal law from the emirate legal structures, and paved the way for a national approach to criminal law, as a precondition to national independence in 1960. 3 Federalism The key to a workable three tier federalism is an appropriate balance of functions and responsibilities between the larger political unit, the component states, and the grassroots local areas; with appreciate appeals processes between the different levels. The Sotto Caliphate provides a mirror to some of those concerns confronting present day politics in Nigeria. After the passing of the original founding fathers- and mothers, since educated women were active in the early caliphate)-the “unity and diversity” issue became more salient.
A large state, such as Kane, which provided major human and material resources to the caliphate, felt it was entitled to more autonomy both with regard to its internal affairs, and succession to leadership processes. The Kane emir was responsible for emirate police and defense, as well as market system, and law and order. Local village and ward heads, selected by their communities (although submitted for final approval by the emir) were very much part of their grassroots communities. As mentioned above, a succession dispute in the sass resulted in a “civil war”, which devolved even more autonomy for Kane within the caliphate system.
Were it not for the British conquest in 1903, the Sotto Caliphate may well have evolved into a mixture of conferral and federal principles. More importantly, Kane authorities had to remain sensitive to the economic and political realities which characterized their role as the major commercial center in West Africa. Often, this meant serving as “conflict mediators” (or conflict resolves) as different ethnic and commercial interests settled in the metropolitan areas. While such processes often rested on a “rule of law” approach, the informal mediation went much further. 4 Conclusion In conclusion, the future of the Nigerian society may well depend on how it can build on such indigenous legacies to achieve unity with diversity, promote sustainable development, offer accountability among public office holders. True federalism should be practiced in the spirit of patriotism, nationalism and love for one’s nation. Thus the sovereign national conference will be a remarkable milestone in the history of this nation, as well as serving as bedrock of the transformation agenda of a truly democratic government.