In the name of Allah the most beneficent and most merciful all praise is due to Allah who is the most Gracious. He created with his absolute power the earth and the heavens and set right the affairs of the universe with his exclusive wisdom. May the salutations and blessing of Allah be upon the last Prophet Muhammad, (S.A.W) his family and relatives and all those who followed his Sunnah rightly to the day of resurrection.

Islam is a religion of peace and tranquility, a religion that gives emphasis to knowledge. Allah told the Prophet (S.A.W) to seek from the increase in knowledge in the following verse;

And say oh! My lord advances me in knowledge1.

Verily, the basic need of anyone who desire salvation from worship of Allah is to acquire knowledge and acquaintance as this is the origin of everything on which depends all success knowledge is required before worship, this is because worship without knowledge is just like tree without fruits. Knowledge is superior to worship because the Prophet (S.A.W) had said in a Hadith:

An Alim (a learned man) is superior to a worshipper, just as I am superior to you2.

1 Y. Ali, the holy Qur’an translation and commentary, Islamic foundation, London, (1975) chapter 20 vs 114

2 Abu Dawud, Sunan-Abi Daud, Jaddahs Press Ltd, 1994 Vol; 3, P. 313

This is so, considering the first five verses of the Qur’an revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) where he was directed to read.

Proclaim! (or read!) In the name of thy lord and cherisher, who created

Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood

Proclaim! And thy lord is most bountiful He who taught (the use of) the pen, Taught man that which he knew not

The Qur’an has in many places indicates the superiority of men of knowledge over the ignorant,3 what happened between Angels and Prophet Adam (AS) is a good example and categorically a real testimony of the position of knowledge and the scholars in Islam4.

Behold, thy lord said to the angels: I will create a vicegerent on earth. They said: will thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate thy praises and glorify thy holy (name)?

“He said,” I know what ye know not.

In another Hadith of the Prophet says:

Should I tell you who the best dwellers of paradise are? The noble companions (R.A) said: “yes, oh messenger of Allah He (S.A.W) said: they are the Ulama of my Ummah5”.

3 Y. Ali the holy Qur’an translation and commentary, Islamic foundation London (1975) chapter 96 vs 1-5

4 Ibid Chapter 2 verse 30

5 Bukhari, Vol. 1 P. 26

So know (O Muhammad (S.A.W) that lai’laha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)6.

Imam Bukhari, stated and explained that Almighty Allah commands his apostle to first seek for knowledge. The Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) emphasized the need to acquire knowledge to the extent that he made it obligatory upon all believers before they perform any act of worship. The Prophet (S.A.W) says.

The scholars are the heirs of the Prophets’ for the Prophets’ do not leave behind any diners or dirham but they leave behind knowledge, whoever receives this knowledge receives abundant good fortunate7.

Scholars are the best people in terms of the fear of Allah. Allah (S.W.T). Has raised their status in the world by making them to comprehend his religion through which the fear of Allah will be sustained, and in the hereafter to be among the prosperous.

Allah says:

Then we put thee on the (right) way of religion: so follow thou (way), and follow not the desires of those who know not8.

Scholars are the people who truly fear Allah and are best in position to know and understand about what is called evil and what leads to it. For this, they always warn people against it verily, from the foregoing discussion knowledge and it acquisition one will understand the paramount position of knowledge in Islam which will never be over emphasized.

6Y. Ali the holy Qur’an translation and commentary, Islamic foundation London (1975) chapter 47 vs 19

7 Tirmidhi, Vo. 4 p. 45

8 8 Y. Ali the holy Qur’an translation and commentary, Islamic foundation London (1975) chapter 96 vs 1-5

History has it that some Muslims throughout their lives set out to acquire and impart knowledge. Some of them even adopted scholarship as their most important duty in Islam they strived for knowledge and education; they endured great hardship in order to advance their studies.

No amount of trouble or vexation could prevent them from seeking for knowledge9.

In fact, in Islam, companions were considered to be the best in all kinds of knowledge dealing with all affairs in Islam. As they lived with the Prophet (S.A.W), they (Sahabah) constituted the first generation of scholars in Islam. In Hadith the Prophet (S.A.W) says:

Mu’azu bn Jabal is the leader of Ulama (scholars) here and hereafter (i.e. the day of judgment)10.

This Hadith and others clearly indicate that the Sahabah were the leading generations of scholars having received their training directly from the Prophet (S.A.W) Among few to be mentioned were Abu Bakr (R.A), Umar bn Al-Khattab (R.A), Zaid Thabit (R.A), Abd Allah bn Abbas (R.A), Abd Allah bn Mas’ud (R.A), Aisha (R.A), Abu Hurairah (R.A) and Ubay bn Ka’ab (R.A).

By the end of the third century A.H Al-Ulama’ who specialized in various fields of study and aspects of knowledge were produced. Between the forth to the sixth centuries after Hijrah Al-Ulama among the Salaf (venerable fore-fathers) had exhausted

9 A.A. Islahi, Call to Islam and how the Prophet (S.A.W) preached, Islamic Book Publisher, Salaf, 1978, P. 55

10 Tirmidhi, Vol. 5 P. 169

almost every branch of knowledge by either being the pioneers or having additional contributions such as commentary-glossary, versification, abridgment, etc of work11.

In a nut shell, soundness of worship mostly depends on knowledge. Similarly, in Ilorin, Shaykh Alimi, a Fulani scholar converting people and at the sometime teaching them the words of Allah in the Glorious Qur’an. Alimi’s ultimate goal in all places he visited was Islamic propagation and when he left kuo, it was Ilorin he headed to. However, in Ilorin he met both Muslims and non Muslims alike but the Muslims were in minority. Among the contemporary scholars he met were Sholagberu, Sheikh Bay Sani, Sheikh Abubakar and Shaykh Muhammad Isalekoto. The above mentioned scholars also contributed immensely to the teachings and propagation of Islam in Ilorin12.

Ilorin like other Muslims towns in Northern Nigeria has witnessed the emergence of reputable and erudite scholar like the head of the community Al-Tahir whose nick named was “Solagberu”. He was a beri-beri migrant and an integrant Muslim preacher who, like Sheikh Alimi travelled widely over Yorubaland13.


The scope of this study is primary on the ‘contribution of some Hausa/Fulani scholars to the development of Islam in Ilorin metropolis. It does not cover other neighboring of Ilorin. However, reference may be made to areas beyond Ilorin when there is need.

11 A.A. Sokoto Al-Ulama: Toward a Conceptual Definition, 1991 Pp. 2-3

12 Abdullahi, A. Al-Ilori Lamhat Al-Baluri fi mashahi Ulamai Ilorin, Jamamilat maktabat Al-adab, 1982 P. 21 and 22

13 L.A.K. Jimoh, Ilorin the Journey so far, Ilorin Atoto Press Ltd, 1994, Pg. 54

For the propose of analysis, the research looks at the advantages and short comings that were attributed to the spread of Islam, problem and prospect especially in the particular areas of this research work i.e. Ilorin metropolis the task is therefore wide on its scope but doe to imperfect nature; and human inability and time constraints. This research work has been restricted on limited area of Ilorin metropolis.


Da’awah is an integral part of Islam. Islam can hardly survive without Da’awah the importance of a study of this nature cannot be over emphasized because it is on renowned scholars as well as analysis of their works in the area of teaching and propagation of Islam. Therefore, the work intends to meet the desire of many scholars and students who have been hearing about the impact of Hausa/Fulani scholars but never had the opportunity to know the extent of their contribution to the spread of Islam. Thus, this research will explore and expose more the works of these scholars so as to serve as a model to be emulated.


It is clearly known that in every kind of action there must be problem mere in either external or internal ones.

In order to trace out the problem of this research certain research questions are designed as: follows

1. What are the way and manners employed by Hausa/Fulani to the development of Islam?

2. What is the response of the people of that area?

3. What is the impact of Islamic message itself to the people of the area?

4. What are the problem and prospects?


In every work it must have objectives; this work is aims to achieve the following objectives.

1. To shed more light to the way and manner employed by Hausa/Fulani scholars to develop Islam in the area under research

2. To point out the success and development of Islamic preaching with particular reference to the people of Ilorin

3. It also aims at assisting some Muslims scholars and Muslims students in judging their disputes according to the commandment of Allah (S.W.T)

4. It is also aims at reducing the high rate of misunderstanding and adoption of self- interpretation of the Qur’an to protect one man’s interest on his Aqidah, sect, organization, Sheikhs or Imam


For a successfully research project need to adopt a good methods therefore in this research work two methods will be used, these include visiting libraries to obtained written data either published or unpublished material. Similarly, interview would also be conducted with relevant informants this in order to have relevant information from them. At the end, all information obtained is subjected scrutiny in order to have reliable and authentic information.


This research work is structured in to five chapters that covers the topic of research. Chapter one contains the introduction, background of the study, statement of the research problem, scope and limitation of the research, aims and objectives, it also contains the methodology as well as the structure of the work, then literature review. Chapter two, discusses the historical background of Ilorin, Islam in Ilorin, religion of people of Ilorin, emergence of Islamic learning at Ilorin, method of teaching, agent of Islamization in Ilorin, as well as factors enhance Islamization in Ilorin. Chapter three deals with the contribution of Hausa/Fulani scholars to the development of Islam in Ilorin metropolis, it also contains the establishment of Islamiyah schools, and Hausa/Fulani’s Scholars and Qur’anic Tafsir, preaching activities and efforts in converting people to Islam, as well as Literature works Hausa/Fulani Muslims Scholars. Chapter four is deals with impact of Hausa/Fulani’s contribution to the development of Islam in Ilorin, impact on religion political impact, economical Impact moral impacts, Nature of Situation before Arrival of Scholars as well as summary and conclusion.


There are many works carried out by various researchers, that deal with the spread of Islam in various places, but there is no any work dealing with the contribution of Hausa/Fulani scholars to the development of Islam in Ilorin Metropolis. Some of the work conducted by other people that help me in writing this important project because of their relevance to this research are: The first book that is related to my work is:

Uba’s book titled Islam in African History emphasized on the progress of Islam in Hausa states up to 1800 C.E. The author discussed the arrival of Islam in Hausa state and he gave accounts of the activities of some Muslim scholars in the development of Islam and its scholarship in the land up to 1800 C.E. The information in this book on the activities of scholars and scholarship in Katsina is very scanty and also limited to the period of the Jihad, but the relevant ideas found there in would be of relevance to the present research14.

Nasir’s “The life works of some selected “Ulama” in the area under study. It also provided valuable information on Islamic scholarship from the early Islamic period to the present day Nigeria. The work also highlighted the works of some “Ulama” in the Sokoto Emirate who flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries, in different areas of Hausaland. The work is related to this present work as it discussed on the work of some selected “Ulama” in the Sokoto Emirate while the present study is on the contribution of some Hausa/Fulani scholars in Ilorin Metropolis15”.

Also, Gada’s in his book title A short History of Early Islamic scholarship in Hausaland, traced Islamic scholarship in Hausaland and how it had impacted not only on the society during the early period of its introduction but also on scholarship in the 19th century. Sokoto Jihad leaders as legates of the 18th century scholarship, acquired their education within the confines of Hausaland. The level of knowledge of their teachers and the contribution they made to scholarship is enough evidence of the impact which scholarship in the early period made on the 19th century Jihad scholars. This work related

14 C.N Uban, Islam in Africa History, Baraka Press, and Publisher, Kaduna, 2001, P. 33

15 A.A Nasir, “The Life and work of some selected Ulama in the Sokoto emirate in the 20th century C.E Ph.D thesis, submitted to the Department of Islamic Studies UDUS, 2004, P. 44”

to this present work as it discussed on the Islamic scholarship in Hausaland while the present study is on Islamic scholarship in Ilorin. Therefore, the structure of the former will be adopted as a guide to the present.16

Hassan wrote his work on History of Islam. He explained the origin of the birth of Islam, the message of the Qur’an, the compilation and the classification of the Hadith from the point of view of their authenticity. The author highlighted the role of the Prophet (S.A.W) in Islam and also the vital contributions that the companions made to the extent that some of them were persecuted during the early stage of Islam but they were not disillusioned; infact, the faith strengthened their striving and kept on passing across the message of Allah all over this work also related to my research project17.

L.A.K. Jimoh, wrote a book title “Ilorin the journey so far” which he explained that Ilorin as a settlement is widely believe to have been built in the 17th century by an itinerant hunter from Gambe near Oyo Ile. The work is very relevant to the research because it deeply explained the first people who came to Ilorin and it also explained many scholars who came from different part of the Northern Nigeria to establish school in Ilorin. This is related to my project that is why I have chosen it in order to guide me to write my own project.18

Adisa Onikoko’s book title History of Ilorin Emirate in which he consider Ilorin as the city which was launched into a lime light with the arrival of Laderin and his larger retinue from Oyo. The author outlined the history of Ilorin. He discussed how Laderin

16 A.M Gada, A Short history of early Islamic scholarship in Hausaland Nadabo Print Production, Kaduna, igeria, 2010 P. 36

17 H. Masudul, History of Islam, Adam Publisher, New Delhi, 2009 P. 81

18 L.A.K Jimoh, Ilorin the journey so far, Atoto Press, Ltd Ilorin, 1994, P. 25

and his servants arrived Ilorin and the kind of role they played in the establishment of Ilorin. This book also related to my research.19

In another work title “Lamhat Al-Balori Fimashahir Ulama Ilorin” the writer Abdullahi Al. Al-Ilori said some scholars of different tribes assisted Shaykh Alimi until they succeeded in the establishment of Islamic scholarship in Yorubaland, among them are his students, friends and those who help him among the Bornu scholars and Hausa/Fulani scholars. The author highlighted the biography and works of some Ulama in Ilorin. The book throws light on the role of the discipline of the Jihad of Shaykh Alimi in Yorubaland. The book also related to my work that is why I have chosen it.20

The book of Mohammad’s Da’awah meaning and significance it is explained that

Da’awah is inviting or calling people to Allah Da’awah is used in the context of Risallah

i.e. to convey the message of Allah to people. He said all messengers of Allah were people that invited others towards the path of Allah. The book is very important and crucial to this research because it talks about inviting and calling people to the way of Allah which is very relevant to the topic of discussion. Hausa/Fulani scholars in Ilorin invite the people of Ilorin to the way of Allah with sure knowledge and wisdom throughout their life.21

The book of Fathis, title Islamic worker and the method of Da’awah, highlighted that an Islamic worker should know the conditions, problems, directions and inclinations of the  society. He opined that the Islamic  worker is a  physician who observes the

19 Adisa Onikoko, History of Ilorin Emirate, Sat Adis Press Service Entreprises, Ilorinh, 1992. P.1

20 Abdullahi A. Al Ilori, Lamhat Al ABalori fi mashahir Ulama Ilorin, Darul Nur Printing Press, Lagos, 1982 P. 25

21 M. Shafiq, Da’awah, meaning and significance, in Da’awah High International Islamic University, Islamabad, 1996, P. 19

symptoms of disease and diagnose its cause thoroughly familiarizing himself with it, work for the various solution and should be very careful in doing that he said. The book is also very relevant to the research because it deeply explained the method to be followed to all scholars in the cause of inviting people to Allah.22

Jawondo in his book title “New trends and tensions in the management of Mosque conflict in Ilorin Emirate” he explained that Ilorin has been in existence for over 200 years now over the years, it has attracted people of Diverse ethnicity, socio-cultural and religion orientations. The book is very important and related to this research because it talks about the diversity of people from their various backgrounds, and how the people have learnt to live together in peace, harmony, tranquility and mutual understanding to a large extent.23

22 F. Yakor, Islamic worker and the method of Da’awah Highlight, International University, Islamabad Vol. 16, 2005

23 Jawondo, I.A New trends and tension in the Ilorin Emirate Mosques in 1.0 Albert and O.N Olarinde (eds) Trends and tension in managing conflicts, society for peace and studies and practice, Abuja, 2010, Pp.





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