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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:British fears over Mahdism in northern Nigeria: a look at Bormi 1903, Satiru 1906 and Dumbulwa 1923
Author:Saeed, Asmau G.ISNI
Periodical:Frankfurter afrikanistische Blätter
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
Great Britain
Abstract:In the 18th and 19th century a series of movements emerged all over the Muslim world whose main aim was Islamic revival. This paper deals with the reaction of the British colonial administration to one such movement - the Mahdiyya - in northern Nigeria. It compares the actions and reactions of the British authorities and the Mahdists in three areas where they confronted each other militarily and non-militarily: at Bormi in 1903, at Satiru in 1906, and at Dumbulwa in 1923. The evidence reveals, firstly, that the term 'Mahdism' was used during the colonial period to describe any kind of Islamic or Muslim opposition, real or imaginary. Secondly, Muslims in northern Nigeria in the early colonial period can be divided into three groups regarding their belief in Mahdism: 1) the Ansar, the original inhabitants of Bormi who were dispersed after Bormi's destruction in 1903; 2) spontaneous Mahdists such as the followers of Mallam Isa of Satiru; and 3) those who were still expecting the Mahdi to appear. Thirdly, the severity of the British reaction in Bormi and Satiru shows the extent of their fear of Mahdism. Notes, ref.