SHEHU USMAN DAN FODIO AND ISLAMIZATION OF HAUSASTHROUGH JIHAD
In contemporary time, jihad is often understood as the violent process of waging war againstnon-Muslims. Muslims themselves have promoted it as a form of cleasing of external influencesfrom the Islamic personality at an individual level. However, historically in West Africa, jihadwas used as a pattern of Islamization to eradicate paganism and African culture to homogenizesociety as a whole to become a part of the Islamic Ummah. Islamization as a process occurred inevery age and time through revivalist movements that challenged particular order. Knowledgeand Islamization in relation to society is understood as the transformation of the public sphere interms of mass distribution of Islamic symbols and the increase of political representation of Islam. In other words, it is the contention of purporting an Islamic worldview by introducingIslamic values and method into educational institutions, science and politics.
Advent of Islam in west Africa
Islam made inroad into West Africa by trade, intermarriage and pilgrimage. Following the Arabconquest of North Africa, the Berbers accepted Islam and carried it across the Sahara to thekingdom of Soninke. The transmitting of Islam through culture explains its peaceful process of conversion, but its success laid in the Africanization of Islam. It proved its rational basis,simplicity and adaptability and tradition of scholarship. It was common, like in Gao that peoplewere pagans and their king a Muslim and so the court customs remained Pre -Islamic. Likewise,in Ghana Muslims lived in separate quarters under the protection of a pagan king who seek their prayers in overcoming plots, wars, and drought. It was difficult to rule over a powerful minorityMuslim community who monopolized trade and had extensive foreign relations but also had to please the pagan majority. Ibn Battuta's (1352-1353 A.D) accounts firmly placed Islam in thekingdom of Mali. He describes the political system as a struggle of influence between paganismand Islam especially when religion appealed differently to different social groups.Ritualism was prevalent and offering prayers was regarded the main tenet. There were no Kadi tosettle disputes and the community litigated before a preacher to settle through conciliation. The