Singing the Glory of Niasse: The Joyful Music to Mock Salafis in Nigeria

  • Muhammad Sani Umar


This paper provides the translation of a Hausa song in praise of the Senegalese Tijāni leader Shaykh Ibrāhīm Niasse, written by the Nigerian singer, Kabiru Maulana. Locating it in the context of a wave of Sufi songs that were produced in reaction to the spread of Salafism in Nigeria, the paper argues that running parallel to the purpose of praising a Sufi leader lies an intention to mock the Salafis’ rejection of both Sufism and music. In other words, singing the glory of Niasse in public, is in today’s Nigeria also a means of satirizing and protesting the opposition to Sufism as well as marking the Islamic public sphere with a sign of the Sufi presence.


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eISSN: 0257-7062