Nana Asma'u Bint Usman 'dan Fodio, a nineteenth-century Muslim scholar, lived in the region now known as northern Nigeria and was an eyewitness to battles of the largest of the West-African jihads of the era. The preparation and conduct of the jihad provide the topics for Nana Asma'u's poetry. Her work also includes treatises on history, law, mysticism, theology, and politics, and was heavily influenced by the Arabic poetic tradition.
This volume contains annotated translations of works by the 19th century intellectual giant, Nana Asma'u, including 54 poems and prose texts. Asma'u rallied public opinion behind a movement devoted to the revival of Islam in West Africa, and organized a public education system for women.