THE BOOK OF FULANI LINEAGE & FAMILY TIES

by Shaykh Bashir ibn Ahmad ibn Qadi Modibo Abdullahi ibn Bellel

All praises are due to Allah who created human beings from water and then made for them lineages and relationships by marriage. He says in His Book in which there is no poetry or magic:

“O mankind We created you from a single male and female and made you into nations and ethnicities so that you may know one another.” He did this so that they could have mutual ties of kinship and connections with the wombs that bore them. It is by means of His omnipotence and favor that humanity is able to know and acknowledge who they are. He says, as a command to those He has given understanding:

“Fear Allah regarding those about whom you will be questioned and the wombs that bore you.”

The most perfect blessings and most all-embracing peace be upon the one who supersedes in leadership all those who came before and those who come after; who said: “Human spirits are reinforced forces. Those spirits acquainted with one another are in harmony; and those spirits unacquainted with one another are in discord.”

This prophetic tradition was related by al-Bukhari on the authority of A`isha and by Muslim and Abu Dawud on the authority of Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with them, and ward off from us confusion.

He, upon him be peace also said: “I was sent from the best generation of the children of Adam; generation after generation until the generation in which I was in.”

This was related by al-Bukhari on the authority of Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him. He also said:

“Indeed Allah `izza wa jalla chose the Kinana from the children of Isma`il, upon him be blessings and peace. He then chose the Quraysh from the Kinana. He then chose from the Quraysh, the Banu Hashim. He then chose me from among the Banu Hashim.”

This was related by Muslim and at-Tirmidhi on the authority of Wathila, may Allah be pleased with him and provide us with the blessing of interconnectedness. He, upon him be peace also said:

“Learn from your own lineages that which can connect you to your own ties of kinship. Indeed connecting the ties of kinship induces love among the family, it induces abundance in wealth and it induces length in the traces.”

This was related by Imam Ahmad, al-Bukhari in his al-Adab’l-Mufrad, at-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim on the authority of Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him and it means that keeping the ties of kinship and being aware of one’s heritage is the causative factor for kindling love in the family, increasing wealth and producing distinction and increase in one’s years.

Umar, may Allah be pleased with him said:

“Learn from your lineage that which will connect you to your relationships”

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said:

“O mankind, the Lord is One singular Lord. The human progenitor is one singular father. The religion is one singular religion. You are not Arabic because of a common father or mother. Arab is by tongue; thus whoever speaks Arabic, then he is Arab.” This was related by al-Khateeb.

In the Taj ‘l-`Uruus of the Shareef al-Murtada az-Zabidi, a commentary upon the al-Qaamus:

“The expression ‘fullana’ with the letter laam stressed refer to a region or people stretching extensively across the lands of the west.” He mentioned this in the chapter regarding the letter taa. In the chapter regarding the letter nuun he said: “The Fullan are a subdivision of the Arab.” They said in both an-Nasab al-Fullani and the Husn’l-Muhaadira of as-Suyuti: “They descend from `Imraan ibn Fullan ibn al-`Eisa ibn Ishaq.”

Again in the Taj’l-`Uruus is said:

“The expression ‘Tukruur’ refers to a nation among the Blacks as well as region in the countries of the far west. This was cited by as-Sufani, but this was rejected by our teacher. The singular of the name is ‘Takruri’ and its plural is ‘Takaarara’. The general inclusive referent is ‘Takarna’; while in the al-Istiqsaa Li Akhbar Duwwal’l-Maghrib al-Aqsaa of Ahmad an-Naasir on the authority of Ibn Khalkaan: “The people of Kanem are an ethnicity from the people of Takrur. The expression Takrur is the name of of their land and thus they are referred to as Takruri.”

Ibn Khaldun cited that the people of Kanem are adjacent to the people of Kawkaw (Gao) and after them comes the land and people of at-Takrur.

It was cited in the al-`Ujlaan of Muhammad Sadiq ibn Hassan Khan using his wording:

“The communities of the Sudan include the people of at-Takrur who reside on the western Nile (the Niger River). They are both disbelievers and Muslim. Among them are the people of Kanem. All of them are upon the school of thought Imam Malik. The city state of Ghana is the greatest of the cities of the Sudan, which is located in the far south of the lands of the west.”

In the Infaq’l-Maysuur Fee Tarikh Bilad at-Takruur of Shaykh Muhammad Bello al-Fulani ibn
Shehu Uthman, the freedom fighter of the Hausalands, he said:

“The country of Songhay is bordered in the west by the kingdom of Borgu and in the north by the kingdom of Mali. These are extensive countries that have been developed by the Blacks. It is said that these people are actually a remnant of ancient Egyptians known today as the Copts. The Torodo and other Fulani, Arabs, Jews and Christians also inhabit these countries. In these lands can be found goldmines, and on its sea ports land the ships of the Christians from at least two European kingdoms.

The region of the Torodo is a region of the Futa. It is mentioned that they originally were settled in the regions between the Nile and Euphrates rivers. They then became well settled there and were the neighbors of the Jews who lived on the Arab peninsular. It was during this period of intermixing with the Jews that the Jews were conquered by the forces of the Companions. The Torodo said: ‘We were only residing in this peninsular awaiting the forces of the Prophet sent from God after whom there will be no other prophet.’

Thus, when he was sent and died, his Companion Abu Bakr rose and established the affair of Islam after him. Likewise when he died his Companion Umar rose up and established the affair of Islam after him. When he in turn died, he sent his forces against these lands and the Torodo had settled on the waters of Turmus. When they came, we pursued them and were conquered, because no army had conquered them.

This is what we encountered in our books. The Torodo eventually heard the call of Islam and when the forces of the Companions penetrated the far west, (according to what was transmitted in the historical narratives), until they settled in Turmus.

When the Torodo saw that they had superseded the Jews in meeting the armies of the Companions, they accepted Islam. The Jews said to them: ‘These Companions are not the one’s we were speaking about.’ The Torodo said: ‘Indeed we have seen the Truth and we will follow it.’

As a result the armies of the Companions made war with the armies of the Sarakolli. When they eventually conquered them, the armies of the Companions decided to depart; the ruler of the Torodo said to them: ‘You came to us with this religion, while we were ignorant of it. Therefore leave someone behind for us who can teach us. They left behind `Uqba ibn Yaasir or `Uqba ibn `Aamir’; it is said that it was `Uqba ibn Naafi`, which is the correct view. He settled there, teaching the religion and the law.

The ruler of the Torodo eventually married him to one of his daughters named Bajji Mangha. From him were born four sons:

[1] Di`tti;
[2] Naasu;
[3] Wuyye` and
[4] Ra`arabu.

Then `Uqba returned to his country until he reached Egypt leaving his cons with their mother. Thus, they grew up speaking other than the language of the father and mother. The language of the Torodo prior to that was Wanghara. These sons eventually married and had children, and thus their children became the Fullan and their ethnicity is Fullan.

All of them without exception return back to four groups:

[1] the Jiameere`Di`tti who engendered the Qatta`e, from whom came the ethnicity of the Songhai and others;

[2] the Naasu who engendered the Ba`aaween, from whom came the ethnicity called Wulrube` and others;

[3] the Wuyye` who engendered the Furbiy, which are well known among the Fulani; and [4] the Ra`arabu who engendered the Wayuube`. For these are the ethnological roots of the Fulani. When the population of these ethnicities increased, they settled in a place called Falaghu.”

The Torodo eventually returned back to Futa. The Fulani became divided into three distinct groups due to the social strife s a result of the murder of the jurist Ibrahim. One group remained with the majority of the Torodo. One group returned to settled in Futa Jallon. Another group were resolved to travel in the direction of the east in order to enter among the Arab ethnicities of their ancient father. They journeyed until they reached where they reached in these Hausa lands of ours.

Some of them eventually reached the Arab ethnicities and became weakened in that land. Some of them returned to the country of Qalghu. These were the Deeninkuube` Fulani, who were eventually fought by the jurist Sulayman and were conquered. After him the authority was given to Amir Abd’l-Qaadir. Then the authority was given to Muhammad al-Amin after him. It should be noted that in this region of Africa are far more scholars than in the learned center of Timbuktu and there are many people who have completed the pilgrimage to Mecca, as well mujtahid scholars.

Beyond them is the region of Dummel which are made up of the ethnicity of the Wolof famous as Senagal, a people whom Islam has not yet spread among. They reside on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, the place of the setting of the sun.

It has been transmitted that the ethnicity of the Torodo are divided into twelve qabaa’il (tribes). Ten of which we know:

[1] the Leedebe`;
[2] the Jaajeebe`;
[3] the Da`beebe`;
[4] the Baalbaalbe`;
[5] the Aan’aabe`;
[6] the Sahsahbe`;
[7] Hanhanbe`;
[8] the Jakarkobe`;
[9] the Jifrebe`;
[10] the Sissibe`.

Amir Muhammad Bello also said:

“This ethnicity of ours journeyed from Futa to these lands, meaning the Hausalands, a little after the dispersal of the Fulani.” He also said: “It is said that the Fulani are from the descendents of Ja`far ibn Abu Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him. It is also said that the Torodo re from the Jews. This latter view was transmitted by my father, Shehu Uthman from his teacher Shaykh Jibril, who got it from al-Murtada. There are other views on this as well.

Some of the historians said that the people of the Banu Tuuri are the paternal uncles of the Fulani, and the brothers of the Arabs. Their ethnological root branch off from Ruum ibn `Eisa and `Uqba is the father of all the Fulani in terms of lineage. Their mother was from the Tuurkaanat.”

In the ar-Rawd al-Anf of Shaykh Abd’r-Rahman as-Suhayli a commentary upon Seera of Ibn Hisham it said:

“Nasmat the daughter of Isma`il was the wife of `Eisa ibn Ishaq and gave birth to ar-Ruum and Faarisi based upon what at-Tabari cited.” Ibn Hisham said on the authority of Ibn Ishaq who said: “Isma`il engendered twelve men:

[1] Naabata, the eldest of them;
[2] Qedar;
[3] Adabel;
[4] Mansha;
[5] Masma`;
[6] Maasha;
[7] Damaa;
[8] Adhir;
[9] Dhayma;
[10] Tatuura;
[11] Nabusha; and
[12] Qubadhima.”

It said in the commentary of this by as-Suhayli on the authority of al-Bakri:

“The at-Tuuri were named after Tuuri ibn Isma`il and Nasmat was the daughter of Isma`il.”

This was also mentioned by at-Tha`labi in his al-`Araa’is. In the Tazyeen ‘l-Waraqaat of Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` al-Fulani, the paternal uncle of Muhammad Bello; he recited a poem in eulogy of one deceased where he said:

“The versifier of these verses ask for concealment
From errors from adornments of the All Beautiful
The insignificant servant, the ignorant, in a sea of sins
He is drowning, confused in an ocean of imaginations
Appalling, of a foreign tongue and from a foreign region
His father and mother from the people of the tribe of `Aal,”

He then said in explanation of his words ‘and from a foreign region’:

“For our region is the region of the Torodo` who originally came from Futa Toro, who, based upon what we have heard, are the maternal uncles of all the Fulani and the language of Fulfulde` is their tongue, because `Uqba ibn `Aamir (the correct view `Uqba ibn Naafi`), the freedom fighter who conquered the lands of the west during the time that `Amr ibn al-`Aas governed Egypt. When `Uqba ibn Naafi` reached them; and they were from the ethnicities of the ar-Ruum; their king accepted Islam without fighting and married his daughter to `Uqba. Her name was Bajju Mangha. All of the Fulani were engendered from them.

This is what has been consecutively transmitted to us from the veracious of those who left Futa Toro (meaning by that their scholars). The Torodo spoke the language of their mother and did not learn their father’s language due to the few who spoke it in their lands at that time.” He also said: “I learned that this ar-Ruum was the son of `Eisa ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim, upon them be peace and his mother was Nasmat, the daughter of Isma`il.”

Dhu ‘n-Nasibeen said in his book called at-Tanweer:

“Isma`il engendered twelve sons and one daughter. It is from his sons that all of the Arabs take their origin. When Isma`il neared his death, he made a bequest to his brother Ishaq that he marry his daughter, Nasmat, to his son, `Eisa. They married and they gave birth to ar-Ruum, who was yellowish (asfar) in complexion. It is for this reason his descendents were called the Banu Asfar.”

This was also mentioned by at-Tha`labi in his al-`Araa’is.

Shaykh Abdullahi said regarding his above cited poem where he said ‘His father and mother from the people of the tribe of `Aal’:

“This Àal is from our great grandfathers and his real name was Ali. Our mother, Hawwa was the daughter of Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Jamm ibn `Aal. The mother of our father, she was Maryum bint Jibril ibn Jamm ibn `Aal. Our father was Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Saalih ibn Haruun ibn Muhammad Gurtu; and this Gurtu was the brother of `Aal, from what we have heard. The father of both `Aal and Ghurtu was Muhammad Sanbu ibn Buba Baba ibn Musa. This Musa was the one who came with our ethnicity from the lands of Futa Toro, from what we have heard.”

It is mentioned in the al-Qaamus: regarding `Eisa ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim:

“The people ar-Ruum are the children of ar-Ruum ibn `Eisa.” In the Diya’t-Ta’wil Fee Ma`ana’t-Tanzil …

The Lost & Found Children of Abraham in Africa & the American Diaspora:
https://www.academia.edu/8092379/The_Lost_and_Found_Children_of_Abraham_In_Africa_and_the_American_Diaspora

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