Fulani Empire

a powerful W African Muslim state that flourished in the 19th century in the area of present-day Nigeria.

* * *

▪ historical empire, Africa
      Muslim theocracy of the Western Sudan that flourished in the 19th century. The Fulani, a people of obscure origins, expanded eastward from Futa Toro in Lower Senegal in the 14th century. By the 16th century they had established themselves at Macina (upstream from the Niger Bend) and were proceeding eastward into Hausaland. Some settled in the 19th century at Adamawa (in the northern Cameroons). Many of the Fulani continued to pursue a pastoral life; some, however, particularly in Hausaland, gave up their nomadic pursuits, settled into existing urban communities, and were converted to Islām.

      In the 1790s a Fulani divine, Usman dan Fodio (1754–1817), who lived in the northern Hausa state of Gobir (northeast of Sokoto) quarreled with its rulers. Accusing the Hausa kings of being little more than pagans, he encouraged the Hausa people to revolt. Joined both by Hausa commoners and by Fulani pastoralists alike, the jihad, or holy war, swept through Hausaland and, repulsed only by the eastern empire of Kanem-Bornu, engulfed Adamawa, Nupe, and Yorubaland to the south. After the invasion by the Fulani of the northern provinces of the Oyo, the emirate of Ilorin to the northeast became the base from which Islām was to spread among the Yoruba. Usman, who was more a scholar than a statesman, ceded the practical direction of the eastern part of the empire to his son Muḥammad Bello, who settled in Sokoto, and the western (with its capital at Gwandu) to his brother Abdullahi. All three continued the Fulani denunciation of Bornu. The empire reached its zenith under Muḥammad Bello, who, like Usman, administered it according to the principles of Muslim law. The decay of this system was to aid the establishment in the late 19th century of British rule over what was later to be known as Northern Nigeria.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fulani Empire — a powerful W African Muslim state that flourished in the 19th century in the area of present day Nigeria …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fulani War — The Fulani War of 1804 1810, also known as the Fulani Jihad or Jihad of Usman dan Fodio, was a military conquest in present day Nigeria and Cameroon. Expelled from Gobir by his former student Yunfa in 1802, Islamic reformer Usman dan Fodio… …   Wikipedia

  • Fulani — Fulahs Fu lahs , Foolahs Foo lahs , Fulani Fu la*ni, n. pl.; sing. {Fulah}, {Foolah}. (Ethnol.) A peculiar African race of uncertain origin, but distinct from the negro tribes, inhabiting an extensive region of Western Soudan. Their color is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Empire of Great Fulo — ← …   Wikipedia

  • Fulani — Peuls  Pour la langue, voir Peul.  Peuls …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fulani — /fooh lah nee, foo lah /, n., pl. Fulanis, (esp. collectively) Fulani for 1. 1. Also, Fulah. a member of a pastoral and nomadic people of mixed African and Mediterranean ancestry, scattered through W Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. 2. the… …   Universalium

  • Oyo Empire — before the fourteenth century CE–still existant in 2011 …   Wikipedia

  • Bornu Empire — Infobox Former Country native name = conventional long name = Bornu Empire common name = Bornu Empire continent = Africa region = country = Niger era = Middle Ages status = status text = empire = government type = Monarchy year start = 1387 year… …   Wikipedia

  • Tukulor empire — ▪ historical empire, Africa Tukulor also spelled  Tukolor, or Toucouleur,         Muslim theocracy that flourished in the 19th century in western Africa from Senegal eastward to Timbuktu (Tombouctou).       The founder of the empire, al Ḥajj… …   Universalium

  • Mali Empire — Manden Kurufa ← 1230s–1600s …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.