Nana Asma'u

A Model for the Contemporary Nigerian Sufi Women Scholars

  • Abdur-Razzaq Mustapha Balogun Solagberu Chief Lecturer, Department of Islamic Studies, Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Keywords: Nana Asma’u, Qādiriyyah, Sufi order, Usman dan Fodio, women Sufi scholars, Yan Taru.


Nigeria has continued to produce many women who are recognized as great scholars. One of such women was Nana Asma’u (d. 1864), the daughter of Usman dan Fodio (d. 1817). She was a Sufi woman scholar of Qādiriyyah order, who lived a life of emulation in many respects. She had a remarkable influence on the people of her age, rather her impact on different aspects of human life continued to be felt in society. This article examines her life and her contribution to the sociopolitical, economic, and educational progress of her people. The objective of the research is to draw attention to the life achievements of this Sufi sage with the hope that the present Nigerian Muslim women especially the Sufis will seek guidance from her. The study is based on the interpretative approach in line with the disciplines of history and Sufism. It concludes that Nana Asma’u used her knowledge and Sufi inclination to better the lots of her society by establishing welfare projects, which made her influence last to the present age and that the Sufi scholars especially the women scholars can emulate her and make Sufism attractive by not restricting their activities to the rituals alone.


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How to Cite
Mustapha Balogun Solagberu, A.-R. (2021). Nana Asma’u: A Model for the Contemporary Nigerian Sufi Women Scholars. Islamic Studies, 60(4), 399-409.