For more, see:
Hunwick, J.O. “A New Source for the Biography of Ahmad Baba al-Tinbukti (1556-1627)”, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1964) 27: 568–593
Hunwick, John O. “Ahmad Baba on Slavery.” Sudanic Africa 11 (2000): 131–139
Lévi-Provençal, E.. “Aḥmad Bābā.” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online, 2015
Shehu Usmān dan Fodīo (d.1817). Also known as ‘Uthman b. Fudi, he was a religious scholar, jurist, ascetic, reformer, revolutionary, and founder of the Sokoto Caliphate in northern Nigeria. An ethnic Fulani residing in Hausaland, Dan Fodio was a jurist of the Maliki school and an adherent of the Qadariyya Sufi order. He placed heavy emphasis on political and religious reform, believing the Muslim states of West Africa to have deviated from the principles of justice and righteousness that were enshrined in Islamic law. He was particularly opposed to the oppressive social and fiscal practices that had come to dominate Hausaland and found strong support for his reforms among the peasantry in particular. He spearheaded a major campaign of religious revivalism and reform in order to rectify this state of affairs and led a major Fulani armed uprising against the rulers of Hausaland. His efforts culminated in the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate, a theocratic state based strictly on Islamic law. He then waged war against neighboring states, bringing them under his authority and implementing his reforms in the conquered regions. Shortly after his establishment of the caliphate, Dan Fodio, while continuing to hold the title of Commander of the Believers (amir al-mu’mineen) delegated his authority to his son (Muhammad Bello) and retired from public life, spending most of his time engaged in preaching, teaching and writing. He was a prolific writer, authoring numerous books and treatises on politics, philosophy, theology, mysticism, and law in both the Arabic and Fulani languages. He was a strong advocate of education and literacy, for both men and women, and several of his children (including his daughter, mentioned below) were important scholars in their own right.
Shehu Usman dan Fodio was perhaps the most important Muslim reformist leader in West Africa during the nineteenth century. This was due both to his scholarship and his role as a political leader, which reinvigorated West African Islam with a renewed sense of purpose. Most importantly was Dan Fodio’s founding of the Sokoto caliphate which brought the Hausa states and some neighbouring territories under a single central administration for the first time in history.
For more, see:
Mervyn Hiskett, The Sword of Truth: The Life and Times of the Shehu Usuman Dan Fodio (1972)
S. J. Hogben and A. H. M. Kirk-Greene, The Emirates of Northern Nigeria(1966)
Hugh A.S. Johnston, Fulani Empire of Sokoto (1967)
Ghislaine Lydon, On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks, and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century West Africa (2012)
Ibraheem Sulaiman, The Islamic State and the Challenge of History: Ideals, Policies, and Operation of the Sokoto Caliphate (1987)