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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contradictions in creating a jihadi capital: Sokoto in the nineteenth century and its legacy
Author:Last, MurrayISNI
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Geographic terms:Northern Nigeria
Subjects:Sokoto polity
urban history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2013.38
Abstract:The Sokoto caliphate in nineteenth-century Northern Nigeria was an astonishing episode in the history of Africa: a huge, prosperous polity that created unity where none had existed before. Today its history is underexplored, sometimes ignored or even disparaged, both within Nigeria and in Europe and the US. Yet that history is extraordinary. Sokoto town was, and still is, an anomaly within Hausaland; built speedily on a 'green-field' open bush site as both a trading and a political centre for the caliphate, it is a site of pilgrimage that to this day remains a rural town with no monumental buildings or fine edifices. As a by-product of a religious movement (jihad), Sokoto thus represents many of the dilemmas that faced and still face radically reforming Islamic groups if they expand rapidly and go to war. Thus Sokoto history remains deeply significant for modern Nigeria. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]