Hausa–Fulani Arabs

Hausa–Fulani Arabs are an Afro-Arab ethnoreligious and ethnolinguistic group of the Sudan (Arabic: السودان), a vast region south of the Sahara, encompassing the Sahel (Arabic: ساحل), they are located primarily in the Northern region of Nigeria predominantly in Sokoto Caliphate, Gwandu Emirate, Kontagora Emirate, Kano Emirate, Katsina Emirate and Zazzau Emirate with descent from the Arabs that inter-married with the Hausa and Fulani tribes leading to their cultural assimilation with the Hausas and Fulanis.[1][2][3]

Hausa-Fulani Arabs
Related ethnic groups
Other Hausa, Fulani, Arabs, Kanuri, Tuareg, Shuwa Arabs

Historical perspectiveEdit

The Leadership Houses of Hausaland before the Fulani Jihad had traced their lineage to Bayajidda a prince of Arab descent from Baghdad and are proud of their descent from Bayajidda and the Arabs, some of the leaders of the Fulani jihad are also partly Arabs and partly Fulani as stated by Abdullahi dan Fodio, brother of Usman dan Fodio who claimed that their family are part Fulani, and part Arabs, they claimed to descent from the Arabs through Uqba ibn Nafi who was an Arab Muslim of the Umayyad branch of the Quraysh, and hence, a member of the family of the Prophet, Uqba ibn Nafi allegedly married a Fulani woman called Bajjumangbu through which the Torodbe family of Usman dan Fodio descended.[4] Caliph Muhammed Bello writing in his book Infaq al-Mansur claimed descent from Prophet Muhammad through his paternal grandmother's lineage called Hawwa (mother of Usman dan Fodio), Alhaji Muhammadu Junaidu, Wazirin Sokoto, a scholar of Fulani history, restated the claims of Shaykh Abdullahi bin Fodio in respect of the Danfodio family been part Arabs and part Fulani, while Ahmadu Bello in his autobiography written after independence replicated Caliph's Muhammadu Bello claim of descent from the Arabs through Usman Danfodio's mother, the historical account indicates that the family of Shehu dan Fodio are partly Arabs and partly Fulani who culturally assimilated with the Hausas and can be described as Hausa–Fulani Arabs. Prior to the beginning of the 1804 Jihad the category Fulani was not important for the Torankawa (Torodbe), their literature reveals the ambivalence they had defining Torodbe-Fulani relationships. They adopted the language of the Fulbe and much ethos while maintaining a separate identity[5] The Toronkawa clan at first recruited members from all levels of Sūdānī society, particularly the poorer people.[6] Toronkawa clerics included people whose origin was Fula, Wolof, Mande, Hausa and Berber. However, they spoke the Fula language, married into Fulbe families, and became the Fulbe scholarly caste.[7]

The Arabs under the leadership of Muhammad al-Maghili whom North African historians claimed was a Berber but historians in Kano claimed he was an Arab and a descendant of the prophet arrived in Kano three days before the coming of Sheikh Abdurrahman Zaite to Kano, who came with a large group of Mande speaking Muslim clerics. The Arabs and their leader Al-Maghili were welcomed to the court of Muhammad Rumfa, Al-Maghili devised ideas on the structure of a government, qualities of an ideal ruler, and the administration of justice. It is around this time that Al-Maghili referenced to the idea of him being a mujaddid, or reviver of Islam, which is believed to be the introduction of the concept to West Africa, and to an extent he enacted this role of mujaddid by influencing the reformists attempts in Kano. Upon the request of Muhammad Rumfa, Al-Maghili wrote his famous treatise on statecraft, Taj al-din fi ma yajib 'ala I-muluk, translated to “the crown of religion concerning the obligations of kings”, meant to be a guide to good government in line with Islam. Along with writing the Jumla Mukhtasara (1491) translated to the "summarized sentences", which focused on the prevention of crime.[8][9][10][11]

There is another dynasty with Arab descent in Kano called the Awliya Banu Gha dynasty of Imam Ghali, the clan has produced numerous imams, islamic theologians, traditional title holders, bureaucrats and politicians in the Sokoto Caliphate,[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19] some members of the scholarly clan claimed descent from the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh Arabs through the Sharifain Alaouite dynasty and the Islamic prophet Muhammad,[20] members of the clan identify themselves as Fulani, Hausa, Hausa-Fulani or Hausa–Fulani Arabs depending on their cultural assimilation, the claim of descent from the Arab tribe and the prophet is common in scholarly lineages throughout Northern Nigeria and the Sahara.[21][22][23] In Kano Emirate they are referred to as Madinawa Malamai by some people, in reference to the city of Medina where they claimed to have originated from, situated in Western Saudi Arabia.[24] Members of the clan who are descent of the Jobawa clan on the maternal side are entitled to be appointed as Makaman Kano, due to the precedence established during the reign of Sarkin Kano Aliyu Babba, who appointed Sarkin Takai Umaru Dan Maisaje as Makaman Kano, whose link with the Jobawa is through his father's mother Habiba, the sister of Malam Bakatsine, the traditional requisite of agnatic descent was not considered in the appointment leading to the establishment of a precedence for the descendants of the Jobawa with paternal or maternal links to aspire to be appointed as Makaman Kano.[25] A Madinawa Malamai clan member Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, the progenitor of the Muallimawa dynasty, has a link to the Jobawa through his paternal great-grandmother, the daughter of the Village head of Sumaila, Sarkin Sumaila Akilu, a bajobe and son of Makaman Kano Iliyasu.[26]

In Kano Emirate, the Arab settlers occupied various quarters such as Alfindiki, Alkantara, Dandali, Sanka, Sharifai, and some part of Bakin-Ruwa in Kano city, interaction between the Hausa people and Fulani people culminated in inter-marriages, a development that left a number of Kano people with a tradition of tracing their origin to Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, or Egypt, some of these descendants obtained appointments in the service of their areas of residence in Kano, the title of Ma'aji (Treasurer) was reserved for them in the Kano Native Authority at the beginning of the colonial period in recognition of the contributions of their forefathers in the development of trade and financial policy administration in the Emirate.[27]

The British conquered Kano on February 3, 1903, the resident Arab merchants led by Alhaji Abande were consulted by the British who showed preference to the appointment of Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Abass over the son of Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Tukur called Abdu Lele and Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Abass was appointed as the Emir of Kano by the British.[28]

In Katsina Emirate, Ummaran Dallaje the first Fulani emir as well as the patriarch of the Dallazawa dynasty born in the town of Dallaje approximately 50 km from Katsina, is an Arab by descent, his father's name was Abdulmumini. Ummaru's grandparents migrated from the Kanem-Bornu empire and originally belonged to an Arab tribe from Ouaddai currently part of the Republic of Chad. When Ummarun’s grandparents arrived in Katsina, they first settled in a village called Makar and later moved to Dasije after which they settled at Dallaje.[29][30][31]

Notable Hausa-Fulani ArabsEdit



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