Islam in Nigeria By Abdur Rahman Ibrahim Doi: Zaria: Gaskiya Corporation Ltd., 1984 pp. 379

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Dennis Michael Warren

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Islam in Nigeria is the product of A. R. I. Doi's twenty years of research on the spread and development of Islam in Nigeria. Professor Doi, currently the director of the Centre for Islamic Legal Studies at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, has also taught at the University of Nigeria at Nsukka and the University of lfe. His lengthy tenure in the different major geographical zones of Nigeria is reflected in the book. The twenty-one chapters begin with a general introductory overview of the spread of Islam in West Africa. Part I is devoted to the impact of Islam in the Northern States of Nigeria, Part II deals with the more recent spread of Islam into the Southern Nigerian States and Part III explicates a wide variety of issues germane to the understanding of Islam at the national level. The book is comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and is based on analyses of secondary sources as well as primary field research conducted in all parts of Nigeria. The book has nine maps, seventy-three photographs, detailed notes at the end of each chapter, a bibliography and an index.
Professor Doi traces the spread of Islam through North Africa into the Ancient Empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai. As Islam moved into the Northern part of Nigeria, it had a dramatic impact on the seven Hausa states and on the Fulani peoples who carried out the jihad under Shehu Utham Dan Fodio and the Fulani Sultans of Sokoto. A link was established between the Umawz Arabs and the Kanem-Bornu State. Islam also influenced the Nupe and Ebirra peoples. With the arrival of the Royal Niger Company, British Imperialism and Christian missions began to move into Northern Nigeria about 1302 AH/1885 AC. The impact of colonialism and Christianity upon Islam in Northern Nigeria is analyzed by Dr. Doi. Of particular interest is the analysis of syncretism between Islam and the indigenous cultures and religions of Northern Nigeria. The Boori Cult and the belief in al-Jinni are described. The life cycle of the Hausa-Fulani Muslims includes descriptions of the ceremonies conducted at childbirth, the naming of a new child, engagement, marriage, divorce, and death. Non-Islamic beliefs which continue to persist among Muslims in Northern Nigeria are identified ...

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