One Woman's Jihad: Nana Asma'u, Scholar and Scribe
Beverly B. Mack and Jean Boyd
This book is a lively life and times of Nana Asma'u (1793-1864), a West African woman who was a Muslim scholar and poet. As the daughter of the spiritual and political leader of the Sokoto community, Asma'u was a role model and teacher for other Muslim women as well as a scholar of Islam and a key advisor to her father as he waged a jihad to convert the population of what is now present day northwestern Nigeria to Islam.
Asma'u's literary legacy, consisting of 65 poems in Arabic, Fulfulde, and Hausa, constitutes one of the largest existing collections of nineteenth-century materials from the region. Her poetry has been transmitted – even forged – over the years and is familiar to Hausa Muslims today, attesting to the power and continued relevance of her convictions and achievements.
One Woman's Jihad provides a fascinating glimpse into the West African Muslim community at a pivotal point in its history. A generous selection of Asma'u's poetry, translated by Beverly B. Mack and Jean Boyd, highlights her prominent roles and amplifies her unique voice. Readers interested in history, literature, religion, and women roles in times of social and political conflict will find this biography appealing and original.