Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Lecturer, Department of History

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Fellowship 2017
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Department of History, Ahmadu Bello University
Performing Religion in Northern Nigeria: A Study of the Maukibi ( of Qadiriyya) Religious Procession in Kano, 1958-2015

The recent spate of violence in northern Nigeria is deeply associated with religious processions. How "communitas" are being constituted, and ultimately mobilized to advertise religious identities in public space through processions despite the risk of violence involved? What are the mechanisms deploy by the state(s) to arrest the recurrence of violence associated with religious processions? How do the public respond to that? Mapping out the history, processes for domestication, changing nature, goals and violence - related manifestations of religious processions in northern Nigeria, this study examines the earliest and most popular religious procession in the history of Kano: the Maukibi (of the Qadiriyya). Annually performed since 1958, thousands of people stage procession through the major streets of Kano metropolis performing different rituals celebrating the birth of Shaykh Abd' al-Qadr, the founder of the Qadiriyya. Using ethnographic methods from participant observation, engaging the actors (performers), watching and analyzing videos of the Maukibi, in-dept personal interviews to textual analysis of Arabic treatises authored by the famous Qadiri scholar Shaykh Nasiru Kabara (who invented the Maukibi) on the subject and library/archival research, the study assesses the spatial magnitude of the Maukibi in the metropolitan Kano. It explores its significance as an important agency for articulation and revitalization of the Qadiriyya (Nasiriyya) ritual identity while highlighting the historical trends through which it evolved and the events that shape it. The study concludes that while the Maukibi represents performative display of the Qadiriyya (Nasiriyya) identities in a contested religious space of Kano, it generates the specter of violence – clash between 'Yan Daba (locally armed thugs) and 'attacks' on the Christians minority leading to its being banned.