The Sokoto Jihad which was led by to the establishment of Sokoto Caliphate was started by Uthuman Danfordio who was a respectable man in Hausa land and of member of the Qadiriya Suffi Order.

As a Muslim leader, Uthuman was a strong believer in diplomacy and never believed in violence.  He negotiated several teachers with the Sultan of Gobir i.e. Naffata to ensure freedom of worship, reduce taxes and release Muslims prisoners which Nafata accepted and fulfilled.

However after the death of Nafata, his son Yunfa who succeeded him proved to be a problem to the Muslims and he looked at Uthuman as a public enemy and he resorted to being rude to him. Because of this, many people sympathized with Uthuman he got a very big following and as a result Yunfa planned to kill him.  This situation resulted into Sokoto Jihads that led to establishment of Sokoto Caliphate.


  • Trust in God.  The Fulani believed that God was on their side which enabled them to fight courageously and won the battle. Uthuman insisted in their religious finalism and they came to know that whoever dies in Jihad go straight to Paradise.  This teaching enabled them to fight and they took over the control of the Hausaland.
  • The support given to the Fulani by the peasant Hausa people. The peasants in Hausaland saw in Islam a lot of hope.  They looked at it as a mode throught which liberation could be attained   i.e. the Hausa chiefs used to oppress them, over tax them etc.  Yet Uthuman assured them that he would introduce a new leadership and all the above would be stopped.
  • Use of Islam.  The Jihadists used Islam to bring about success on their side.  This is because Islam united them and created a sense of brotherhood among the masses.  It inspired courage and determination among the fighters a situation that led to success of the Sokoto Jihads.

  • Most of the Jihadists were educated in Islamic discipline unlike the Hausa people including their chiefs.  They told the masses genuine reasons why they had to support them and fight the oppressive leaders.  As a result of their convincing tactics, many people joined them which led to their success.
  • The disunity among the Hausa states.  It should be reminded that the kings of Kanu Gobir and Zaafara were not co-operative.  They used to fight each other over petty issues.  These situations were exploited by the Jihadists hence leading to their success.
  • Appointment of strongmen to lead the battle.  Uthuman Danfordio appointed flag bearers which conquered Hausa States one by one leading to the success of Sokoto Jihads.  These flag bearers were later appointed as governors of various provinces hence an incentive for them to work harder and develop the empire.
  • Military strength.  The Jihadists were more organised insistently than most of the Hausa Communities.  They had a strong Army supreme weapons and un matched skills which made their Jihad a success.

  • Presence of strong and able leaders.  The personality of Uthuman was that of good character not to mention the personalities of Abdullah and Muhammad Bello.  They were instrumental in sensitizing the masses towards the common factor that led to success of Sokoto Jihads.
  • Tribalism. Whereas the Jihads in Sokoto were religious to some extent they had racial indication.  This is because the nomadic planning gave over whelming support to the Fulani  therefore tribalism as practiced by the Fulani was away important factor that led to the success  of Sokoto Jihads.
  • The role of Quderriya Suffs order. Before the Jihads, Uthuman through this brotherhood had he carried out extensive preaching and teaching of true Islam, identifying innovations and other areas that needed to be purified.  At the same time this brotherhood helped him to fight against chiefs and their practices.

  • Weakness of Hausa Kings. The kings lacked popularity which was needed to fight an enemy who had addressed the evils of the society.  Uthuman had focused on people‚Äôs governances which made him popular and enabled him to mobilize every large following team to the discontented people thereby leading to the success of the Jihads.
  • The external influence.  It should be noted that moved from outside Hausaland to come and support Uthuman. Most of them came from Maccina others from Morocco etc.   With this support, Uthuman had to be successful in this Jihads.


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