...below is a concise historical identity construct of the Torrodo Fulani by Shaykh Abdullahi Dan Fodio. Shaykh Abdullahi was a social revolutionary, military general & strategist, nation builder, prolific scholar, governor and Sufi Shaykh whose political authority stretched from western Nigeria and Niger to central Mali...
ON THE ORIGIN OF THE FULANI (ASLU AL-FULAATIYEEN
Shaykh Abdullahi gives us an account of the ethnic origin of his people, demonstrating that KNOWLEDGE OF SELF is essential in the process of self determination and the will to power.
This inter-generational transmitted identity constructs of the Fulani origins, became the critique and balance principle against which their history was measured, revised, and changed.
The Fulani identity construction acted as the social/historical precedence which functioned as the primary model for that ethnicity.
My professor, Dr. Joseph K. Adjaye asserted that “vital to identity construction are two preconditions: first, recognition of commonly held values that incorporate the moral and cultural universe of the self, and second, the outward, interactional interpretation of values by reference to the values that constitute the cultural universe of the community.”
Thus, the preservation and transmission of the symbols, myths and collective memories of the Fulani was extremely important for their individual and group survival through time.
Charles Weston suggested that the conception of time could be influenced by identity construct when he said:
“Many parts go to making the ethnic identity. The most powerful and universal one pertains to the mythological conception of common ancestry. All my ancestors, right back to the creation, have their place in time. In this respect, ethnic identity indeed is past oriented.”
The significance of examining the Torrodo Fulbe’s view of themselves is to analyze how they construct their identity and how they employ that identity construct for their own survival.
Fulani SELF KNOWLEDGE helps them to return to the idealization of their cultural values, myths and heroes in order to uphold and reaffirm their collective personality.
The following Fulani identity construct becomes what Ibn Khaldun would call the point of solidarity (asabiyya) that binds the Torrodo Fulani and provides them with a philosophy in their historical consciousness. It gives them their reason for being and what Nietzsche would call ‘the will to power’.
This strong and impregnable historical consciousness is what survived the Middle Passage and the American genocide; and created the persistence of viable Fulani culture in the Sepelo Islands, Carribeanand the east and Gulf coastal regions of the United States.
Without further adieu, I present the ASLU AL-FALATIEYEEN (the Origins of the Fulani) by Shaykh Abdullahi Dan Fodio:
Shaykh Muhammad Shareef bin Farid
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, may Allah bless the Unlettered Generous Prophet.
The origin of the entire Fullaatiyeen (Fulbe’) ethnicity comes from the geographical area of Mount Sinai (Tuur Sina). They thereafter persisted in migrating from place to place until they reached the lands of the far west (aqsa’l-maghrib) and to the lands that Allah ta`ala had willed for them to reach.
There is no ethnic category more numerous than that of the of Fulbe’, because they are found in most of the geographical regions of the lands under Islam (al-ard ‘l-islamiyya).
The reason that there are few other ethnicities that have attained their great number is because they are the masters of itinerant migration (as’hab’l-intiqaal). Even the etymological root of the al-Fulaati derives from the word falata [فَــلَـــتَ], which means ‘to escape, flee or be released,’ that is to be redeemed or saved. Like when you say in Arabic:
“So and so escaped”, when you want to say that someone redeemed or saved himself. This name was applied to this ethnic group customarily because they all redeem themselves (yanjuuna) and flea (yaflituuna) from the experience of trials and tribulations (dark’l-fitna).
That is, it is Allah ta`ala who redeems them. By reason of the fact that as soon as they see anything that would cause them grief they migrate from that place immediately. The fact that they are a people who are migrant people is the reason also that they are called Fullaatiyeen. You should examine the Kitab’t-Tanweer.
I say: For this reason it is inappropriate for us O party of Fulani to be negligent with the Fulani language and no reasonable Fulani person should show distain for it.
This is because this language is their foundation and whoever shows disdain for his language and is predisposed to another until he becomes preoccupied with it is like a person who shows disdain for his true parents and lends to the parents of another. The reason for this is that it is his foundation. This is true of every language except Arabic.
It is said that the best language is Arabic because by it the Generous Qur’an was revealed. Then it is the language that accords itself with most other languages. To Allah belong the praise due to the fact that our language, the language of Fulbe’ has many words which conform to Arabic, like khabr, sawt, `aafiy, modibo, suda, fahima, diyam, daftara, dawa’, sawm and the like.
If it were not for partiality to abridgement, I would produce the many congruencies between the language of Fulbe and the Arabic language. I could do this without boasting rather I could do it with illumination.
Our specific ethnicity the Turudbe’ is a clan from the Fulani and there is no difference between them similar to every other group which has many clans.
Further there is no disagreement that the forefather of all the Fulani even the Turudbe’ and the rest of the clans of the Fulani is `Uqba ibn `Aamir who is from the descendents of Isma`il ibn Ibrahim al-Khalil upon him be peace. Their mother was Majju Manghu, the daughter of the one of the rulers of ar-Ruum, who descended from the ar-Ruum ibn `Esau ibn Is’haq ibn Ibrahim al-Khalil upon him be peace.
It is from this kinship that all of the Fulani descend whoever they are and from wherever they are from among the clans of the Fulani. There is no difference between any of these kinships. Examine the voluminous text called Bayaan as-Shu`uub wa’l-Qabaa’il az-Zamani from which I chose a few items for my text called Kitaab an-Nasab.
Our grandfather Musa Jokolli came from Futa Toro with four hundred persons from the Fulani heading for pilgrimage during the fifth century of hijra of our master Muhammad the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
Thus every Fulani in these regions meaning by that the regions of Hausa to Adamawa are from the descendents of these communities (al-jama`at) except a few. Musa Jokolli was the head of all these communities and he had three children. The oldest of them was Adam, then Jughuu, then and Ayyub
When Musa Jokolli and his community reached this region, they established their sojourn there due to the fact that Allah did not permit them to travel on to the pilgrimage. They thus resided in the region for a long time.
When they despaired of journeying from the region the three sons of Musa separated and scattered into different regions. They did this following our master Ibrahim al-Khalil upon him be peace when he disembarked in Palestine for a long time since he was there grandfather as we mentioned earlier.
Between Musa Jokolli and `Uqba ibn `Aamir the ancestor of the Fulani there were forty-eight generations and between `Uqba and Ibrahim there were thirty-nine generations. If I did not fear elongation I would mention every man by his name up until our master Ibrahim upon him be peace that Musa Jokolli followed.
Because it s necessary for every amir that he specifically follow in the footsteps of his righteous ancestors like our master Ibrahim upon him be peace about whom Allah ta`ala said: “There is an excellent example in Ibrahim.”
Thus his oldest son Adam was sent a tropical garden full of blessings named Benwa of Binmaa. He then generated descendants who are now called Adamawiyeen deriving from the name of their father Adam. His second son Jughuu settled another tropical garden named Kuluu. From him was engendered descendants now named Jughuudijiyeen named after their father Jughuu.
These are our brothers with respect to the above-mentioned Musa Jokolli. I have disregarded mentioning the third son Ayyub. He is the one from whose descendants our father Muhammad Fodio descended because he was the son of Uthman ibn Saalih ibn Haruun ibn Ghurtu ibn Muhammad Jubba ibn Sanbu ibn Buba Baba ibn Maasiraan ibn Ayyub the son of the above mentioned Musa Jokolli who is the father of Adam Jughuu and Ayyub the righteous servant.
These were all blood brothers based upon what has reached us. Their mother was Leeghu the wife of Musa Jokolli the famous muhajir and Allah knows best.
The names of these grandfathers of ours can be gathered in your saying:
عُـــصَـــهَــغُــجُ سَــبُ مَـــامُ
The ع represents Uthman. The ص represents Saalih. The ه represent Haruun. The غ represent Ghurtu. The جrepresent Jubba. The س represent Sanbu. The ب represent Buba Baba. The م represent Maasiraan. The ا represent Ayyub. The final م represent Musa Jokolli.
The calligraphy has ended and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Amen.
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