RE: How, Jihads as an islamic war contributed to state formation in Pre–colonial Africa?
Jihads were one of the most significant events that dominated in West Africa during the 19 th century; they were mainly led by Othman Dan Fodio. Jihads can be traced back as far as the 10 th century when young Fulani immigrates with Islamic knowledge in politics influenced other people to start holy wars.
Jihads under the umbrella of Islam played a fundamental role in state formation in West Africa, states such as Sokoto, Mandika and Tokoro were a result of Jihads.
1. Unification: The Jihads acted as a unifying factor that brought people together under one umbrella. Islam became the official ruling ideology of the state. The unity provided by Islam was very crucial in state formation. The Islamic law ‘sheria’ proved the alternative model of government with which to compare and attack their rulers. Conversion of nonbelievers was an essential duty of all Muslims.
2. Formation of strong armies: The Jihads were characterized with the establishment of strong armies; these armies were later used for conquest and expansion thus forming states. This was responsible for the formation for states such as Sokoto caliphate and Hausa states.
3. Emergency of strong leaders: Jihad contributed to the rise of strong leadership; these leaders were seen as Muslim reformers who managed to create strong leadership under their leaders like futa Djallon in Guinea in 1725 and the Sokoto caliphate.
4. Control of trade routes: The Jihads led to the control of trade routes by the Jihad leaders. These trade routes attracted many people. The wealth accumulated was used to build strong states. Trade also accumulated guns that were used for conquest and expansion thus forming strong states such as Sokoto caliphate.
5. Consolidation of Feudalism: Jihads contributed to the consolidation of Feudalism as a mode of production, land was controlled by the Fulani, and the weapons accumulated were used to build states in West Africa.