Muslim Responses to British Colonialism in Northern Nigeria as Expressed in Fulfulde Poems

In: Islamic Africa
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The pioneer of Fulfulde poetry in written Arabic/ajami was Shehu Uthmān bin Fodiye, who led a jihad in 1804 for the purification of Islam in Sokoto, northern Nigeria, also known as Hausa Land. His contemporaries followed his footsteps and the poetic tradition of resistance continues to the present day. This article examines poems that are concerned with Muslim responses to British colonial occupation in northern Nigeria, expressed in the Fulfulde language. The poets express that the myth of well-received and accepted colonial occupiers, propagated by the West, was in fact not true. Scholarly support is given to highlight the fierce battles, killings, and destructions of property that finally resulted in the imposition of colonial rule upon the people of northern Nigeria, replacing the more moderate Sokoto Caliphate.

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