History of Katsina State
Katsina is one of the ancient states in Nigeria, carved from the former Kaduna State, which is located in the northwestern geopolitical zone of the country. It is a state from the ancient kingdoms of the Hausa/Fulani, especially the two ancient kingdoms of “Katsina and Daura.”
Katsina State, known to the Hausas as Jihar Katsina, was created in 1987 and borders Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, and the Jigawa States. History has it that, as one of the earliest kingdoms in Nigeria, Katsina is known as an ancient seat of Islamic culture and learning. Thus, the state was nicknamed the “Home of Hospitality.”
According to research, other ancient kingdoms of the Hausas included Kano, Gobir, Zazzau, Rano, and Biram (Garun Gabas), and as a result, they formed the origin of Hausaland. Therefore, the capital city of the state, Katsina, and the town of Daura, is known as the strongholds of the political activities of the country at the moment this piece was published.
In this piece, Naijabiography narrates the history of Katsina State, including the culture of the Katsina people as well as their economic, social, and political structures.
The kingdom of Katsina, one of the Hausa Bakwai known as the “Seven True Hausa States,” is said to have been established in the 10th or 11th century. Islam was first practised in the 1450s, and Katsina’s first Muslim ruler was Muhammad Korau, who ruled in the late 15th century.
While Muhammad was in power, camel caravans travelled through the Sahara from Ghudmis (Ghadames), Tripoli, and Tunis to Katsina, bringing with them such riches that the state got entangled in the conflict between the two powerful West African empires, Songhai (Gao) and Bornu. The Songhai invaded Katsina in 1513.
However, history has it that the kingdom’s capital city, Katsina, was originally surrounded by walls constructed in the middle of the 16th century. The forces of Songhai were vanquished by Katsina in 1554, and those of Kano, its main rival in the trans-Saharan trade, were vanquished in 1570.
Meanwhile, Katsina was a tributary state of Bornu until the end of the 18th century, after Moroccan soldiers defeated Songhai in 1591. Early in the 18th century, Katsina experienced its greatest age of wealth. Along with being the most important Hausa trading kingdom, it took Timbuktu’s (Tombouctou’s) place as the principal West African hub for Islamic studies. The collapse of Katsina began later in the century with battles with Gobir, a Hausa polity to the northwest.
By the 15th century, Fulani ranchers had established themselves in Katsina, and in 1804, Usman Dan Fodio, the commander of the Fulani jihad (holy war), organized an uprising against the Hausa rulers that started in Gobir. The first Katsina emir was recognized with Katsina as his seat after the Fulani commander Umaru Dallaji took control of the town in 1806.
According to legends, both the local emir and the representative of the sultan of Sokoto, a town which is some 258 kilometres to the west, administered the emirate. Numerous Hausa aristocracy and commoners escaped to Dankama (25 miles to the northeast), Tassawa (Tessaoua), and Maradi in Niger, where they established a Hausa Katsina chiefdom.
Therefore, the Fulani emir and the Katsina town were weakened by their raids throughout the 19th century, which was said to have been surpassed by Kano.