Abdullahi bin Muhammad bin Uthman bin Musa Jakolo, populary called Abdullahi Fodiyo and Abdullahi Gwandu or Mai Gwandu was born in the year 1181 A.H. Sheikh Abdullahi under the guidance of his scholar-parents, commited the Holy Qur’an to heart very early in life. He learnt other branches of knowledge and jurisprudence from his elder brother, Shiekh Uthman bin Fodiyo.
On attaining the age of maturity he listened to the study of Hadith along with his brother under the counsel of his uncle, Sheikh Muhammad Raji in the year 1201 A.H. He acquired the science of Fiqh (Usul) from Sheikh’s uncle, Mustapha. He enriched himself with Arabic grammar, owing to which he wrote several books in the field. A man with extra-ordinary memory, as it is often related that he committed the whole of Arabic dictionary to memory.
He became an embodiment of religious knowledge especially in the science of Hadith and Qur’anic exegesses. Consequently, he was at all times during the Jihad period on the right side of his brother, Sheikh Uthman bin Fodiyo. He is an asetic (who renounced this world). Abdullahi Fodio was a gallant field marshal that was both a warrior with the sword as well as with the pen. Despite fighting on the battle fields, administering the western part of the Caliphate, Sheikh Abdullahi Fodio wrote over 140 books covering every topic and issue of concern to the Muslim Ummah . Although, he wrote in the early 19th Century, his commentaries are as contemporary today as when they were written over 200 years ago. Among his writings were the Qur’anic exegeses called “Diya’ut-Tawil Fi Ma’ani Tanzil Wa Kifatu Du’a Fa’us Sudaniy” based on the recitation of Imam Warsh. In Fiqh, he studied Maliki School of Thought and compiled a comprehensive compendium of rules for Fiqh scholars. In the field of Arabic grammar, he is an ocean.
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