The Thoughts of Sokoto Scholars on Development


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Religious Studies


The triumvirate Fodios (Shehu Uthman, Abdullahi, Bello) were the political, military, and intellectual leaders of a nineteenth-century versatile religious revolution which led to the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate, the most territorially extensive and culturally complex polity in African history, which lasted a century and whose legacy still looms large in present day Nigeria. Their writings, probably the most prolific ever in Africa, covered many disciplines and issues aimed at spreading knowledge, principles, and values and at solving social problems of the decadent society they transformed. This work is an attempt at a systematic reconstruction and interpretation in modern terms of their thought and ideas in order to make them relevant for solving similar or new social problems in the contemporary world. The basis of their thought and policies lies in Islamic tradition, yet they successfully applied it to mobilize disparate and plural societies, bringing to reality a single territorially extensive, peaceful, harmonious society and developing various aspects of human endeavour before the intervention of colonialism. This work attempts to document their ideas, policies, and methods for teaching, for further research and for public policy in the contemporary times.