We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
title

Collected Works of Nana Asma'u

Daughter of Usman 'dan Fodiyo (1793-1864)

Jean Boyd

Publication Year: 2012

Nana Asma'u Bint Usman 'dan Fodio, a nineteenth-century Muslim scholar, lived in the region now known as northern Nigeria and was an eyewitness to battles of the largest of the West-African jihads of the era. The preparation and conduct of the jihad provide the topics for Nana Asma'u's poetry. Her work also includes treatises on history, law, mysticism, theology, and politics, and was heavily influenced by the Arabic poetic tradition. 
     This volume contains annotated translations of works by the 19th century intellectual giant, Nana Asma'u, including 54 poems and prose texts. Asma'u rallied public opinion behind a movement devoted to the revival of Islam in West Africa, and organized a public education system for women.

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (57.0 KB)
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (122.8 KB)
pp. v-viii

read more

Foreword

pdf iconDownload PDF (27.4 KB)
p. ix-ix

This book contains annotated translations of the corpus of works written by an intellectual giant of the nineteenth century, Nana Asma'u, whose fame is undimmed although she died nearly one hundred and fifty years ago. This learned and pious lady energetically rallied public opinion behind a movement devoted to the revival of Islam. She organized a public education system for...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (68.9 KB)
p. x-x

The completion of this project was ftmded by a generous two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with matching ftmds from the University of Kansas Endowment Association, as well as New Faculty and Graduate Research Awards from the University of Kansas. For all this support we are deeply grateful. In addition, we wish to thank everyone who has helped with...

Maps

pdf iconDownload PDF (315.3 KB)
pp. xi-xvi

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.1 MB)
pp. xvii-xxx

At the turn of the nineteenth century, in what is now north-western Nigeria, the illustrious Fulani Fodiyo clan was comprised of prolific scholars concerned about the nature of Islam and politics in the region. Like other scholars in her family, Nana Asma'u wrote in the Islamic literary tradition, using Arabic script to compose poetic and narrative treatises in several languages..

read more

The Essential Nana Asma'u

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 1-17

The background to Shehu Usman dan Fodiyo's nineteenth century Sokoto Jihad is well known and has been discussed at length in many scholarly works (see especially Hiskett 1973; Last 1967). It involves the confluence of several major forces of competition in the region: Islam, commerce, and a tenuous balance of control by several ethnic groups. Turmoil in eighteenth...

An Outline Chronology, The Collected Works of Nana Asma'u in English

pdf iconDownload PDF (253.4 KB)
pp. 17-20

read more

1. The Way of the Pious

pdf iconDownload PDF (590.8 KB)
pp. 21-28

This work was Asma'u's first, as far as we know, and was written when she was in her twenties. It is important because it shows how clear her vision was in relation to her life's work. She believed that one who loves Muhammad should work for the interests of the Muslim community, humbly and modestly, visiting the sick, teaching, and contributing to society. It is a condensed rule-book for Muslims and in particular for sufi Muslims.47 Part One of this work...

read more

2. So Verily...

pdf iconDownload PDF (245.1 KB)
pp. 28-31

On the surface this poem is a prayer for deliverance from the threat posed by the invasion of Gobir and Adar forces'9 Its true meaning only becomes apparent when the poem is read in the light of Waziri Junaidu's explanation, and alongside Muhammad Bello's poem on the same subject...

read more

3. Give Us Victory

pdf iconDownload PDF (111.5 KB)
pp. 32-33

This work is an urgent and impassioned plea to God to come to the aid of the Caliphate forces hard pressed by a rebellion (to the south and east) and among Hausa rulers, furious at their overthrow, massed at Maradi (to the north and east). (See map six.) This is a powerful work that Asma'u wrote in her desperation over the situation. Note in it the variety of "Holy Allies" who...

read more

4. Elegy for Abdullahi

pdf iconDownload PDF (386.1 KB)
pp. 34-38

This work is an expression of grief for the death of Abdullahi d'an Fodiyo, Asma'u's uncle, whose soubriquet was "the tall Arabist" due to his perfect fluency in the language. Abdullahi was born at Marnona in 1776 to Muhammad Fodiyo and Hauwa of Marnona. He died in 1829. He travelled with his elder brother, the Shehu, on preaching tours to Gobir, Zamfara, and Kebbi, and...

read more

5/16/29. The Qur'an

pdf iconDownload PDF (528.2 KB)
pp. 38-46

This work is a mnemonic device used for teaching beginners the names of the sūras of the Qur'an. Its usefulness is indicated by its appearance in Arabic, Fulfulde, and Hausa, making it accessible to all members of the jihad community. Hiskett says Asma'u "is also credited with a versification bearing the Arabic title Qasīda Fīl Munājā a work of little literary interest that...

6. Be Sure for God's Truth

pdf iconDownload PDF (596.8 KB)
pp. 47-57

read more

7. A Warning, I

pdf iconDownload PDF (231.0 KB)
pp. 57-60

This poem was written to teach Muslim students what their basic religious obligations were - prayer, alms, fasting, pilgrimage, and belief in God's Oneness. As a teacher of teachers, Asma'u does not seek distance from her students, but counts herself among those who need to be taught to practice humility: "May I be rescued from the wicked ways of Satan into which I have...

read more

8. Forgive Me

pdf iconDownload PDF (235.1 KB)
pp. 60-63

This poem by Asma'u was written either while she was in a mystic retreat, or khalwasup>99 or immediately after, while the experience was still fresh in her mind. There are many reasons for believing for this to be the circumstance in which she wrote this poem. First, in verse 15 Asma'u refers to the Prophet performing special religious rites "in the cave"; by inference these are worthy...

read more

9. Victory at Gawakuke

pdf iconDownload PDF (351.2 KB)
pp. 64-68

This work is a celebration of an important victory by Muhammad Bello's forces at Gawakuke on Tuesday, 29 March 1836. Asma'u wrote a longer, more descriptive poem about the same battle in 1858; this is The Battle of Gawakuke (Work 38) to which the reader is referred. These works are evidence that Asma'u was part of the team which labored to preserve the set of...

read more

10/11. Sufi Women

pdf iconDownload PDF (942.4 KB)
pp. 68-82

This work puts women's Islam firmly in the cultural picture. It is a roll of honor, a merit list of pious women and it includes women of the Shehu's community some of whom may have been alive and well known to many when the work was written. The poem is one of a pair, the other being the Fulfulde version, Tindinore, (Work 10). Both were written in 1837 to bring to...

read more

12/13. Elegy for Bello

pdf iconDownload PDF (405.6 KB)
pp. 83-89

This poem is about the sense of desolation Asma'u felt after Bello's death. It incorporates her prayers for the repose of his soul, and discusses the great love she had for her brother, the Caliph. She describes him as the teacher who was most important to her intellectual and spiritual development. In terms of its emotion, it may be compared to Asma'u's Lamentation for 'Aysha...

read more

14. Bello's Character

pdf iconDownload PDF (297.3 KB)
pp. 89-93

This memorial to Bello is the single most useful biographical work that exists. It is clearly an appreciation of Bello that represents him as a man to be emulated. Asma'u's praise of him addresses his learning and resourcefulness. What is omitted is any reference to Bello's military campaigns, the baraka...

read more

15. Elegy for My Sister Fadima

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.4 MB)
pp. 94-97

This is an elegy to commemorate the death of F adima, who was also known as Mo'Inna. Fadima, born at Dege1 circa 1787 A.D., was a full sister of Caliph Muhammad Bello, and a half sister (different mother) of Nana Asma'u. Fadima's mother, Hauwa, was known as Inna Garka, who came from a scholarly family: her children were Muhammad Bello (Caliph 1817-1837)...

16/5/29 The Qur'an

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.6 MB)
pp. 38-46

read more

17. Medicine of the Prophet

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 97-119

Literally "A Message to the Brethren", this work is about alleviating pain and distress caused by illness, worry, threatening behavior, or adverse conditions. Written in Arabic, the language of scholarship, it was meant to be read and acted upon by the malams who specialized in "The Medicine of the Prophet" (Tibb al-Nabī). The latter differs from the early analytical...

read more

18. Elegy for Buhari

pdf iconDownload PDF (241.9 KB)
pp. 120-123

This work is a commemoration of the life of Asma'u's brother, Muhammad al-Bukhari, known as Buhari b. Shehu, who probably became mortally ill two months before Bello's death in 1837 (see v. 9). In the poem Asma'u also grieves for five ofBuhari's siblings who had died (v.20) and prays for Caliph AtiKu's victory over centers of resistance (v.25). Buhari was born circa 1782...

read more

19. In Praise of Ahmada

pdf iconDownload PDF (548.8 KB)
pp. 123-130

Professor Mervyn Hiskett kindly gave Jean Boyd permission to use his English translation of this work when preparing her collection. What appears below is a new English translation prepared by Boyd and Mack, which is similar to Hiskett's. In translating, we referred to Hiskett's version, which the reader is urged to consult (Hiskett 1975: 44-48). Note that in his version he...

read more

20/51. The Journey

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 131-154

This translation is based on Fulfulde and Hausa texts of the work from the library of Waziri Junaidu, and an English version by Aisha Ahmed (1981). The spirit of the work has been accommodated through attention to all versions, and also a close scrutiny of Infāq al-Maisūr by Asma'u's brother Bello...

read more

21. Thanksgiving for Recovery

pdf iconDownload PDF (238.2 KB)
pp. 154-156

This poem is about thanksgiving offered upon Asma'u's recovery from a broken hand: it was discovered in Paris by John Hunwick and made available to Jean Boyd. Related Texts:
There are no other known works of the period about recovery from illness. However, it is worth noting that a poem with such a topic exists, written by a famous woman sufi scholar...

read more

22/50 The Story of the Shehu

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.2 MB)
pp. 156-176

This work, written first by Asma'u in Fulfulde and later translated into Hausa by Isa b. Shehu, details the life of the Shehu.376 Verses 19-72 contain the names of the Shehu's brothers, sisters, wives, and children. Biographical details of his brother Abdullahi d'an Fodiyo are given in verses 20-22 and of his son Bello in verses 73-80. Many of the names were capable of triggering...

read more

23. The Path of Truth

pdf iconDownload PDF (746.2 KB)
pp. 176-188

This is a warning against committing sin. In it the penalties of Hell and the rewards of Heaven are set forth in a didactic way and the following important points, which are central to a thorough understanding of Islam, are explored...

read more

24. Rememberance of the Prophet, I

pdf iconDownload PDF (99.4 KB)
pp. 188-189

This poem is in praise of the Prophet Muhammad, listing some of the miracles God caused to happen through him. Related texts
None. However, it is known that Asma'u's education provided her with sound knowledge of the bibliographic details of the Prophet's life, as is evident in her "Yearning for the Prophet". Unfortwlately the translation for this work is missing; all we have is this summary, which was done...

read more

25. Caliph Aliyu's Victory, I (Fulfulde)

pdf iconDownload PDF (218.3 KB)
pp. 190-193

This work is about the victory of Caliph Aliyu over his Gobir and Kebbi enemies at a place called Tozai (13° 15' N, (6° 25' E). Tozai, north of Zunni on map 3, is in the middle of a fertile north-south corridor down which the Gobir people used to swoop to attack villages, raid grain stores, round up animals and carry away young women. The poem is a reaffmnation of the...

26. Caliph Aliyu's Victory, II (Hausa)

pdf iconDownload PDF (121.5 KB)
pp. 193-195

read more

27. Elegy for Halima

pdf iconDownload PDF (226.9 KB)
pp. 195-198

This poem is a tribute to Halima. She was one of Asma'u's neighbors; nothing more is known about her499 It is noteworthy that Asma'u valued Halima - and others - for perfectly ordinary characteristics achievable by all. Her focus was not on the rich, famous, and powerful...

read more

28. Elegy for Gid'ad'o

pdf iconDownload PDF (10.1 MB)
pp. 198-202

This is an elegy for Asma'u's husband. In it she lists his personal qualities (e.g. generosity, v.ll) and the work he did in connection with city buildings (he was in charge of the city gates, v.lS) and the strengthening of the ideology of the Caliphate (he reiterated the Shehu's message v. 18). She omits references to his position - as Waziri he was second only to the Caliph...

29/5/16. The Qur'an

pdf iconDownload PDF (10.3 MB)
pp. 38-46

read more

30. Islam, Sokoto, and Wurno

pdf iconDownload PDF (238.6 KB)
pp. 203-206

The Shehu foretold the building of Wurno, the place which Bello made his principal frontier fortress (ribāṭ, Ar.) to protect Sokoto from the incursions of Gobir guerrillas, and Bello himself told Asma'u how life should be lived in a ribāṭ. This poem was intended as a rebuke to the men living in Wurno who, in the words of Asma'u's nephew, had "no enthusiasm" for living...

read more

31. Destroy Mayaki

pdf iconDownload PDF (278.4 KB)
pp. 206-210

This is a prayer for the overthrow of the chief of Gobir, MayaRi, the Chief of Kebbi, Nabame, and named centers of resistance like Maradi and Tsibiri (both in Gobir), Argungu and Gulma (both in Kebbi). By the time of the composition of this poem, people were becoming settled and complacent. Aliyu, the first Caliph even with a.strong standing army, was less...

read more

32. Elegy for a Youth

pdf iconDownload PDF (153.8 KB)
pp. 210-212

This is an impassioned prayer for a young person who was an invaluable aide, yet not even the gender of the person is known; "bingil' (F.) means simply "a person younger than yourself'. It is used in the same way that "child" or "teenager" might be used. The translator from Fulfulde guessed from the nature of the duties described that "bingil" was female. However it is...

33. Elegy for Na'Inna

pdf iconDownload PDF (221.2 KB)
pp. 213-217

read more

34. Elegy for Mustafa

pdf iconDownload PDF (294.9 KB)
pp. 217-221

This is an elegy for Mustafa, husband of Asma'u's eldest sister, Hadija.526 Surprisingly little is known about Mustafa, or "Malam Tafa", a nickname abbreviation. He was Muhammad Mustafa and his paternal ancestors were linked to the Shehu's family, according to an interview conducted with Mustafa's descendant, Sarkin Arewa in 1980 at Salame. There are many men...

read more

35. Remembrance of the Shehu

pdf iconDownload PDF (208.5 KB)
pp. 221-224

This poem is a work to honor the style and content of a work by the Shehu, said by Waziri Junaidu to have been the first written by the Shehu , called "Afalgimi" (F), when he was very young, probably in the year 1765, when he was ten years old.530 Both Asma'u's poem, and "Afalgimi", are simple sufi litanies, asking for guidance and strength in relevant endeavors, such...

read more

36. Lamentation for 'Aysha, I

pdf iconDownload PDF (265.8 KB)
pp. 224-227

This poem is one of two elegies for cAysha ": Asma'u's lifelong friend and beloved companion. cAysha was the daughter of the Shehu's friend and companion, Umaru Alƙammu, who was given the care of the booty after the capture of Matankari, the first victory of the Jihad, in 1804. Umaru remained at the Shehu's side as a non-combattant, without ever bearing any title...

read more

37. Lamentation for 'Aysha, II

pdf iconDownload PDF (161.4 KB)
pp. 227-229

This work is an expression of Asma'u's personal grief, similar in tone and depth of feeling to the moving elegy she wrote for Bello (Elegy for Bello). It is as different from her other elegy of cAysha as Elegy for Bello is from Bello's Character. The poem gives insight into the ways in which women related to each other: they were neither isolated nor under masculine domination...

read more

38. The Battle of Gawakuke

pdf iconDownload PDF (895.9 KB)
pp. 230-241

On 31 March 1836 Caliph Muhammad Bello defeated his enemies,539 in a desolate place, Gawakuke, situated in the southern fringes of the Sahara desert. Bello died the following year, leaving his successors a difficult act to follow. In the 1850s his son, Aliyu, suffered a number of military defeats. When enemies dared to attack the Caliphate heartland, and Muhammad Bello's...

read more

39. A Warning, II

pdf iconDownload PDF (323.5 KB)
pp. 242-246

This is an exhoratation to repent, give alms, and pray. Written in the simplest language, this poem goes back to the fundamental principle in Islam, "speak to the people according to their understanding", a saying ascribed to the Prophet. It is intended for Asma'u's women students, with the still radical message of women's obligation to seek religious knowledge, as well as their right...

read more

40. A Prayer for Rain

pdf iconDownload PDF (248.4 KB)
pp. 246-307

This poem is not only a prayer for rain, but also a strong attack on the pre-Islamic customs which had surfaced during a period of prolonged drought. Precisely what these were is open to speculation. Obviously, drumming was one of the activities involved. In Katsina, around 1964, there was a drought during which many hundreds of women took to the streets chanting, ''A ba mu...

read more

41. Elegy for Zaharatu

pdf iconDownload PDF (197.7 KB)
pp. 249-252

This is an elegy for Zaharatu, who was important because she benefitted the Muslim community, performing the necessary, mundane tasks (laying out bodies, acting as midwife, teaching religion) unhesitatingly. She delighted in giving. Asma'u, by the very act of describing these homely virtues, restated how critically important they were to society, and how much she...

read more

42. Elegy for Hawa'u

pdf iconDownload PDF (167.7 KB)
pp. 252-254

1bis poem is an elegy for Hawa'u, a jaji or leader of the bands of women students, known as 'Yan Taru, literally 'those who congregate together', translated here as "Sisterhood", who went to Asma'u for instruction.593 The poem is important because in it Asma'u says herself what she taught: "As for myself I taught them the religion of God ... " (vv.8-12).The poem makes it clear...

read more

43/44. Fear of the Herafter

pdf iconDownload PDF (303.6 KB)
pp. 254-260

These works were written at the same time in two languages for two different audiences, indicating the immediacy and universal importance of the message. The poems address the issues of how the world will end and the fate of both the wicked in Hell (suffering degrading tortures) and the virtuous in Paradise (who are filled with joy). For more such eschatological poetry by Asma'u...

read more

45. Elegy for Halilu

pdf iconDownload PDF (296.1 KB)
pp. 261-264

This is an elegy for Asma'u's cousin, Ibrahim Halilu b. Abdullabi, the Emir of Gwandu 1833-1856, in which she praises his scholarship, knowledge, and caring ways. In it there is a postscript asking for God's protection on Halilu's successor, his brother, Haliru (v.31). Interestingly Asma'u talks of God's protection having been given to "us" (the Caliphate) against...

read more

46. Reasons for Seeking God

pdf iconDownload PDF (187.2 KB)
pp. 264-267

This poem is one which Asma'u used as a teaching device. In it she answers the unspoken question, "Why should we seek God?" by listing His creations - the heavens, the earth and all things on it. Then, in response to another unspoken question, "How can we find God?", she lists the steps to take. The poem is straightforward in didactic admonition against "the forbidden...

read more

47. Destroy Bawa

pdf iconDownload PDF (174.6 KB)
pp. 268-270

This poem was created in immediate response to a raid by Bawa as an expression of Asma'u's vexation and a message to buoy the spirits of her people. It was not intended for the ears of the enemy because it was written in FuJfulde, a language Bawa did not speak. Bawa had raided for nearly ten years, and the Muslims were getting tired of his constant threat. Asma'u's annoyance...

read more

48. Elegy for My Niece Fad'ima

pdf iconDownload PDF (158.8 KB)
pp. 270-272

This is an elegy for Fad'ima, Asma'u's niece. She is believed to have been Bello's daughter who married Halilu, son of Abdullahi, (see Elegy for Halilu). Her mother may have been Asma'u's great friend, cAysha (see Elegy for cAysha I & II.) Fad'ima's qualities are highlighted here: a cheerful, gracious manner linked to intelligence and kindliness. Nothing more is known about...

read more

49. Dan Yalli

pdf iconDownload PDF (6.9 MB)
pp. 272-277

This poem is a release of Asma'u's feelings about the wanton acts of misgovernment which Caliph Aliyu had allowed to go unchecked. In it she criticizes her kinsman, Mamman Dan Yalli, ruler of nearby Yabo. He was known by his title Sarkin Kebbi , and "behaved unlawfully, [doing] wanton harm" (v. 2). The son of Moyijo (see The Journey who had played an important role in...

read more

50/22. The Story of the Shehu

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.9 MB)
pp. 156-176

This work, written first by Asma'u in Fulfulde and later translated into Hausa by Isa b. Shehu, details the life of the Shehu.376 Verses 19-72 contain the names of the Shehu's brothers, sisters, wives, and children. Biographical details of his brother Abdullahi cf an F odiyo are given in verses 20-22 and of his son Bello in verses 73-80. Many of the names were capable of triggering...

read more

51/20 The Journey

pdf iconDownload PDF (9.0 MB)
pp. 131-134

This translation is based on Fulfulde and Hausa texts of the work from the library of Waziri Junaidu, and an English version by Aisha Ahmed (1981). The spirit of the work has been accommodated through attention to all versions, and also a close scrutiny of Infāq al-Maisūr by Asma'u's brother Bello...

read more

52. Elegy for Modibo d'an Ali

pdf iconDownload PDF (218.7 KB)
pp. 277-280

This poem is an elegy for the genial elder cousin of Asma'u. He was noted for his happy nature, strict life style, and his care for the young and the elderly. Modibo derives from Moda (F.) "to be learned" and means "learned person"; a woman too, can be called Modibo. Whether this meant that Modibo d'an Ali was learned or not is difficult to say. Asma'u mentioned nothing about...

read more

53. Elegy for Malam Dandi

pdf iconDownload PDF (160.5 KB)
pp. 280-282

This poem is an elegy for Malam Dandi, who was a good, pious, helpful man, and was one of the Shehu's followers. Malam Dandi lived in Sokoto very near to the place where Bello extended the city wall to create a new area of residence for the Shehu. The line of the wall which Bello breached is close to the present-day homes of Tafida and Alhaji Ibrshim Gusau; "Katangar Dandi"...

read more

54. Welcome to the Mauritanian Scholar

pdf iconDownload PDF (171.2 KB)
pp. 282-284

This is a formal piece welcoming a visitor from Mauritania which is at least 1500 kIn to the northwest of Sokoto. It was written in reply to the visitor's poem to Asma'u announcing his arrival en route to Mecca from Mauretania.630 The identity of the scholar, A1haji Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Shinqiti is not clear; "al-Shinqiti" in Mauritania is the only clue, but further...

read more

55. Poems Exchanged Between Asma'u and Shaikh Sa'ad

pdf iconDownload PDF (270.0 KB)
pp. 284-287

Here is an exchange of greetings between Asma'u and her kinsman, Shaikh Sa'ad, to mark his return from Mecca. He was a scholar from Gwandu,637 whose pilgrimage would have taken a number of years to complete. The usual route led through Wadai and Darfur to Khartoum and the Red Sea ports. His son, Ahmad, was a prominent advisor on Caliphate policy at the time of the...

read more

56. Poems Exchanged Between Asma'u and Aliyu

pdf iconDownload PDF (224.2 KB)
pp. 287-291

This exchange could be connected with the Qādiriyya/Tijaniyya rift which came into focus as a result of the prominent Tijaniyya leader, Alhaji Vmar's prolonged stay at the court of Caliph Bello. In a short four page work, Kashfal-hijāb wa-rafc al-niqāb, Giɗaɗo refuted claims that Bello was a Tijani. Giɗaɗo and Asma'u's son, Waziri Abdulkadir, continued the argument in a number...

read more

57. Poems Exchanged Between Asma'u Ahmadu Rufa'i

pdf iconDownload PDF (145.2 KB)
pp. 291-293

This exchange is one of many salutations that Asma'u received, in keeping with the custom to pay respect to senior people by visiting them. For example, it is common to make visits to greet people after attending Friday mosque, or at the time of the Id ceremonies, and these customs are an integral part of the society. Among scholars, verse served as an important means of expressing...

58. Rememberance of the Prophet, II

pdf iconDownload PDF (114.1 KB)
pp. 293-294

read more

59. Signs of the Day of Judgment

pdf iconDownload PDF (631.1 KB)
pp. 295-304

This poem was written to scare people. Asma'u said the signs of the Day of Judgment were known (v. 12) and some had already occurred (v.l7). Soon it would be too late: the Day of Judgment was nigh (v. I 0) and the days were fast approaching the end (v. 16). Signs of the Day of Judgment, along with other literature of the same genre, was aimed at establishing practical...

read more

60. Yearning for the Prophet

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.8 MB)
pp. 304-345

This work served a two-fold purpose: it was meant to inform the listener about the life of the Prophet Muhammed, but it was also intended as a prism through which the Sokoto audience could view the life of the Shehu, Usman dan Fodiyo. Composed in the classic sīra (biography of the Prophet) style, this work is a condensed yet extremely detailed history of the Prophet...

read more

61. Fear this

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 345-367

In this powerful poem the torments of hell are described in frightening detail.872 It opens with a warning to prepare for death because a terrible fate awaits those who do not (vv.I-7), and closes with a brief account of the delights of Heaven ( vv. 95-100), and a prayer for the poet's personal salvation. This work should be read with a copy of the Qur'an in hand, because it reiterates the terrors cited the Qur'an, which are put into local terms that the people readily would...

read more

62. Forgery I

pdf iconDownload PDF (238.7 KB)
pp. 367-370

This is a prophecy that a shift in power structures would occur in the mid 1960s in Northern Nigeria. The work, which is an irregular composition of mixed Arabic and Fulfulde prose is buttressed by unreferenced quotations from Asma'u, her brother Bello, and her cousin Ibrahim Halilu. It is clearly dissimilar from anything previously seen in Asma'u's works. It was...

read more

63. Forgery II

pdf iconDownload PDF (271.2 KB)
pp. 371-374

This work seems to be about the appearance of a Reviver of Islam in the year 1950 A.D .. It is a forgery, and the evidence that it is seems clear. The writer says that the Shehu (Usumanu) foretold the coming of the Mujaddid (Reviver ofIslam), who would be followed by the Mahdī (vv. 17-18). This is a statement throbbing with political and religious controversy. In his poem...

read more

64. List of Asma'u Students

pdf iconDownload PDF (194.3 KB)
pp. 375-377

The spellings reflect both pre-colonial pronunciations, and miswritings by copyists who did not understand what they were writing. For example, Bodinga (I. 8) is written "Bodiyga" which was perhaps the received pronunciation at the time. Also, as is always the case, transliterations frequently lead to complications. To take the example again of Bodinga: Ogunbiyi (1982) transliterates this as Butighay, Shuni as Sun, Chacho as Shasu,Jarecfi as Jarita, Kilgori as...

read more

65. Elegy for Asma'u

pdf iconDownload PDF (343.4 KB)
pp. 377-381

This is an elegy written for Asma'u, most probably by her brother Isa b. Shehu, which concentrates on her personal qualities, altruism, kindness, and role as a family peacemaker. Its value is self-evident. It is assumed here that Asma'u's elegy was written by her poet-brother and close associate, Isa...

66. Praise Song for Asma'u

pdf iconDownload PDF (109.7 KB)
pp. 381-384

Glossaries

pdf iconDownload PDF (640.8 KB)
pp. 385-398

Published Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 399-418

Unpublished Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF (293.4 KB)
pp. 419-423

Appendix A: Hausa Roman

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.7 MB)
pp. 424-501

Appendix B: Original Manuscripts (facsimile)

pdf iconDownload PDF (11.3 MB)
pp. 502-743

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (584.9 KB)
pp. 744-753


E-ISBN-13: 9781609170653
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870134753

Publication Year: 2012