History of Origin, Spread and Development of Tijjaniyyah Sufi Order in Hausaland: Case Study of Zaria City Circa 1835 to 1935


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships




Much has been written on the pre-colonial and colonial history of Hausaland and Zaria by several historians, but only a few studies document Sufism and the presence of the Tijaniyya Sufi order, as well as its rapid development within the area of study. The main thrust of this research is therefore to assess the origin, spread and development of the Tijaniyya Sufi order in Hausaland with particular reference to the ancient city of Zaria from 1835 to 1935. The Tijaniyya is one of the most widespread Islamic movements in contemporary Nigeria, commanding a following of many millions. Most importantly, however, the development of the Tijaniyya in Nigeria has had a profound impact on the intellectual history of the region, with the production of many works on different subjects like Islamic law, theology, Sufism, medicine, history, astrology etc. Most of these works are preserved in private and public manuscript collections, and they are yet to be studied. A second part of this research will therefore be devoted to unveil some of the scholarly works written in the 19th century by the Tijani scholars of Zaria city.