Usman Dan Fodio

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Usman Dan Fodio


Born 1744; died 1817. Leader of the Fulbe uprising of 1804–08 against the rulers of the states of the Hausa people in western Sudan. African Muslim preacher. Tutor of the son of the sultan of the Hausa state of Gobir.

Usman dan Fodio headed the opposition of the Fulbe aristocracy, who were dissatisfied with the political hegemony of the Hausa aristocracy. In February 1804, he and his brother Abdullahi called upon the Fulbe to wage a “holy war” against the “infidels,” the rulers of the Hausa. He was at once proclaimed “leader of the faithful.” By 1809, Usman Dan Fodio’s troops had captured virtually the entire country of the Hausa. The conquered territory was divided between Abdullahi, who received the sultanate of Gwandu, and Usman’s son, Muhammad Bello, who received the sultanate of Sokoto in present-day Nigeria.

Usman dan Fodio’s religious treatises are a valuable source of information on the history of northern Nigeria and adjacent regions.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The fact that women are encouraged by men can be traced back to the contributions of the legendary Muslim leader, scholar, and founder of the Sokoto Caliphate in northern Nigeria, Uthman dan Fodio. (40) In establishing Islam as the all-encompassing institution in northern Nigeria, dan Fodio encouraged men to teach their wives and children so that all women could receive an education.
83, the Muslim movement in Bundu (not Dundu) occurred in the eighteenth century, and Uthman dan Fodio's military actions began in 1804.
Murray Last considers internal conflict in the early Sokoto Caliphate by examining the career of a dissident Muslim scholar who contested the legitimacy of Muhammad Bello's succession after the death of Shaikh Uthman dan Fodio. Brenner and Last both suggest the need to place greater emphasis on internal debate and dissidence within the Islamic movements of West Africa.
The programme, with the theme: 'Resource utilisation and sustainable development,' and ended on Thursday, has more than 544 participants from various universities and polytechnics across the country, including University of Nigeria, Nsuka; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; University of Benin, Benin City; Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto; Federal Polytechnic, Ede; Federal University of Technology, Akure; Bell University of Science and Technology, Ota; Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, just to mention a few, in attendance.
If Shehu Uthman dan Fodio were to return today, he would find out that the religion he suffered to reform, the Emirs he appointed and the just system of Law he established were completely debased.
The Town Fulani, the stocks of Uthman Dan Fodio who are now the emirs of all these big cities in the North, by assimilation.
The traditional ruler's unilateral installation of Waziri of Yorubaland, Sheik Yahquub Abdul-BaaqiMuhammedalso compounded his problem as he was seen as pursuing what they called a Northern agenda to outrun Yorubaland in line with the dream of the late Uthman Dan Fodio, the jihadist who spread Islam in the Northern Nigeria.
- our new colonial masters with the establishment of grazing colonies where they and their cows will ride roughshod and which, assuredly, they will use now and in future as launching pads for future conquests, like Uthman dan Fodio did to the Hausa, other tribes in the North, and the Yoruba in Ilorin, economic sanction can be put to devastating effect in Nigeria by citizens resentful of Fulani suzerainty.