Ahmadu's Jihad 1810-1818

[ 1810 - 1818 ]

Shehu Ahmadu Lobbo* (1775-1844), a Qadiri Fulani Muslim leader in western Africa, overthrew the ruling Fulani dynasty of the Macina region ( of what is now Mali) and created a new theocratic state with its capital at Hamdallahi. Ahmadu was probably influenced by the teachings of the Islamic reformer Usman dan Fodio and his jihad (holy war). The circumstances in which Ahmadu's own movement was born were very similar to those that had occasioned the jihad in Hausaland. Initially, Ahmadu established an independent Muslim community were he gave expression to his fundamentalist Islamic views and he preached in favor of a jihad of his own. Ahmadu's views brought him into conflict with his local, pagan Fulani chief, who was unwise enough to call for help from his suzerain, the Bambara king of Segu (ruled by Da Kaba, grandson of Ngolo Diara). The result was a general rising under Ahmadu that established a theocratic Muslim Fulani state throughout Macina and extended to both the ancient Muslim centers of Jenne (Djénné), where he had the great mosque destroyed because it offended his fundamentalist beliefs, and Timbuktu. Ahmadu's holy war was probably continuous from 1810 through 1818, however, some sources suggest two events (one in 1810 and one in 1818). One estimate suggests a total of 10,000 deaths resulting from this jihad. There is also reference to Ahmadu's jihad as a " Tukulor War." The rule of Ahmadu's family continued under his successors, Ahmadu II and Ahmadu III, until the latter was defeated by al-Hajj 'Umar in 1862.

* Shehu is also spelled SEKU, or CHEIKOU, LOBBO also spelled LOBO. He is also called HAMAD BARI, OR AHMADU HAMMADI BUBU, Arabic name AHMAD IBN MUHAMMAD IBN ABU BAKR IBN SA'ID.

Related Conflicts

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