The Jihad of Umar Tal 1852-1863

[ 1852 - 1863 ]

The jihad of 'Umar Tal... The third major western African jihad of the 19th century was that of al-Hajj 'Umar Tal (c. 1797-1864), a Tukulor cleric from the Fouta-Toro. 
About 1838 'Umar arrived home in the Fouta-Toro, where he quickly became estranged from the local clerics. In 1848 he moved away with such followers as he had to Dinguiraye, on the borders of the Fouta Djallon. There he built up a community of his own, attracting and training military and commercial adventurers as well as religious reformers. His community traded with the Upper Guinea coast for firearms and was consciously conceived as the nucleus for a new state. In 1852 the Dinguiraye community came into conflict with the adjacent Bambara chiefs. A jihad was launched northward through the gold-bearing valleys across the upper Sénégal, where in 1854 the Bambara kingdom of Kaarta fell. 'Umar then turned west down the Sénégal toward his own homeland and the French trading posts. But he was repulsed by the French, and after 1859 he sought to join with the Fulani of Macina in the conquest of the more powerful Bambara kingdom of Segu. The Macina Fulani were opposed to the idea of a Tijani power advancing into their own Qadiri zone in the Niger valley and even gave some aid to Segu. After 'Umar's forces had conquered Segu in 1861, they continued eastward, and, finding that Ahmadu's somewhat autocratic and intolerant regime had estranged the longer established Muslim communities, they established 'Umar's hegemony as far as Timbuktu (1863).
In less than 10 years al-Hajj 'Umar's armies had conquered an empire almost as large as that of the Sokoto Fulani. 
The founder of the empire, al-Hajj 'Umar (c. 1795-1864), was a Tukulor cleric of the austere Tijaniyah brotherhood who about 1848 moved with his followers to Dinguiraye (now in Guinea), on the borders of the Fouta Djallon region, to prepare to found a new state that would conform to the stringent moral requirements of his order. He thus set about training an elite corps in which religious, military, and commercial considerations were combined. Equipped with European firearms, this force was ready by about 1850 to embark on a jihad, or holy war, against his neighbours. It first came into conflict with the Bambara chiefdoms to the north, then two years later moved northward again across the upper Sénégal River to conquer the Bambara kingdom of Kaarta. Checked by the French in their westward return down the Sénégal River, the Tukulor quickly overran the Bambara kingdom of Segu (1861) and thereafter conquered Macina. They then extended their dominion as far north as Timbuktu (now in Mali).
<table class='table table-bordered col-lg-12 col-md-12 col-sm-12 col-xs-12 margin20 row-30' border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><tbody><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">State</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Entry</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Exit</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Combat Forces</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Population</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Losses</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Bambara</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1810</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1810</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">10000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">4000</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Senegal</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1810</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1810</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">50000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">600000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">6000</font></td></tr></tbody></table>

Total Casualties 10000 Killed and Wounded
Casualties Killed 10000 / Wounded
Military Casualties Killed 10000 /Wounded
Civilian Casualties Killed / Wounded
Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
Bambara and Senegal 1810 1810 View

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts