He was born in 1830 to the Sonike family in Semankoro village found in Mandike Empire. His full name was Samouri Ibn Rasfa. He joined Tijjaniyah Suffs order after being influenced by Al Hajji Umar. Initially Toure was a trader by 1853, he changed from being a trader to a warrior when he joined the state army in order to rescue his mother who had been captured by the since raiding party in 1853.
Samoure Toure soon became a skilled solider and he quickly rose one merit to be a commander. At that point, he began to dream of building an empire out of the small Mandika chief in the region of upper Niger. In 1857, he break way a unity of soldiers and became an independent warrior from 1857 to 1867.
However, Toure began his conquests in 1866 when he conquered and defeated many chief doms of Mandika Empire and he made Bisandungu as the capital of his empire. He extended his authority over states like Konta, Toro, Kankan and by 1873, he had taken the Muslim like Al Imama meaning the leader of Muslims. He succeeded in building an empire extending to Tokolor, Futa Toro in the East and to Sierraleone . In Nigeria to the South. They wanted to revival of Mendrike greatness. He wanted the empire to be governed by the use of Sharia.
SIGNIFANCE OF SAMOURE TOURE’S RESISTANCE
- It made him a great warrior. He was the 1st African ruler to fight the modern war which modernitary equipments and tactics against the colonialists.
- Used Islam in his struggle which made him lose heroic nationalists as his performance was not based on tribal lines thus he was an example of the late 19th African Nationalists.
- His resistance makes him to have led the barrier of Africans towards protecting their sovereignty. It opened up a series of resistance which Africans rebelling against colonialists the resistance of Sekou toure of Ghana.
- As a great administrator his empire was perhaps the most effectively governed of all the large empires of the 19th century in West Africa. It’s on record that he succeeded in keeping the people of Madilikte solid behind him throughout his long struggle of the French.
- Development of Tijjaniyah suffs order. Toure belonged to the Tijjaniyah brotherhood movement which he developed and used and used it and organized people against foreign rule. Therefore his struggle using this movement represented the role of Islam against any oppression.
- His expansionist policy helped Islam to spread far and wide e.g.. Islam was felt over in the traditionalist areas who were so rigged to their cultures e.g.. the Segu territories.
- Toure displayed Islamic diplomacy and patience when he came into agreement with the Europeans at the signing of the treaty of Bissandungu and he developed Bissandungu as his capital as well as a center of Islamic learning.
- Established several schools, mosques and other Muslim infrastructures which promoted Islamic civilization.
- He used Sharia as a legal code of conduct in his empire. This was witnessed exemplary in the marriage Institution. This therefore helped him to administer to the empire thereby creating peace.
- Somoure Toure always stood against what Muslims did not want. He was always against oppression corruption, aggression and foreign domination therefore his appeal to the Mandikte people for solidarity and call for social equality won many oppressed people a factor which led to the development of Islam.
- His expansionist policy.
- Negatively, his resistance to the French had no good will for Islam because the French eventually captured the capital Bisandugu of his empire and eventually Islam was suppressed.
- His resistance led to loss of lives of very many people in the empire, some of whom were Muslims. It should be noted that during the fighting, Somoure Toure lost many of the fighters because his arms would not managed that of the French therefore leading to loss of lives thus retarding to the spread of Islam.
- The destruction of trade and the decadence of the social and economic welfare due to his resistance trans-Haran trade were destructed and at the same time the policy of destroying shambers and food granaries obviously affecting the development of Islam.
- Toure was replaced and so indifferent to human surprise. Thus very many people feared him so and they eventually turn to support the French therefore his personality retarded the spread of Islam in West Africa.
- He was over occupied with state affairs and on several occasions Islam was in words. This could even sometimes miss prayers, observe fasting and he never performed pilgrimage prayers and some people called him an empire builder but not an Islamic.
- His resistance led to depopulation of West Africa and Somoure Toure was accourable for this. It caused suffering to the people and noted to leaves the area. Some of them were Muslims.