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The Development of Women's Authority in the Kano Tijaniyya, 1894-1963

This article acknowledges Kano Muslim women's contributions to their faith through their activities within the Kano Tijaniyya. It discusses two women from the first generation of Kano Tijani muqaddamat, Hajiya Iya and Umma Makaranta, who were very active during the period 1937-1963, a time of expansion in the Kano Tijaniyya's membership. This article describes these two Tijani women's lives and the ways male patrons helped them rise to the position of muqaddama, a status which entails considerable authority. These women achieved spiritual and personal authority in an Islamic setting without sacrificing "respectability." Their actions have helped create and legitimate new possibilities for women in contemporary Kano.