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Amadu's Jihad was a religious war or jihad fought from 1810 to 1818 in what is now the Mopti Region of Mali.

Seku Amadu (1775-1844), a Fulani Muslim leader in West Africa, overthrew the ruling Fulani dynasty of the Macina region of what is now Mali and created a new theocratic state with its capital at Hamdallahi. Amadu was probably influenced by the teachings of the Islamic reformer Usman dan Fodio and his jihad in neighboring Hausaland.

Initially, Amadu established an independent Muslim community where he gave expression to his fundamentalist Islamic views and preached in favor of a jihad of his own. Amadu's views brought him into conflict with his local, pagan Fulani chief, who called for help from his suzerain, the Bambara king of Segu. The result was a general uprising under Amadou that established the Massina Empire, a theocratic Muslim Fulani state throughout the Inner Niger Delta region and extending to both the ancient Muslim centers of Djenné and Tombouctou. Amadu's jihad was probably continuous from 1810 through 1818. However, some sources suggest two events, one in 1810 and another in 1818. One estimate suggests a total of 10,000 deaths resulting from this jihad. The rule of Amadou's family continued under his successors, Amadu Seku and Amadu Amadu, until the latter was captured and executed by al-Hajj 'Umar's Toucouleur army in 1862.

See also


  • Davidson, Basil. Africa in History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
  • Roberts, Richard L. Warriors, Merchants. and Slaves: The State and the Economy in the Middle Niger Valley, 1700-1914. Stanford, 1987. ISBN 0804713782
  • Klien, Martin. Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa. Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 0521596785

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