Hadejia (also Hadeja, previously Biram) is a Hausa town in eastern Jigawa State, northern Nigeria. The population was approximately 47,400 as of 1991.The people of Hadejia are largely Muslim, although some follow indigenous belief systems. The town lies to the north of the Hadejia River, and is upstream from the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, an ecologically important and sensitive zone.
Hadejia was once known as Biram, and is referred to as one of the “seven true Hausa states” (Hausa Bakwai),because it was ruled by the descendants of the Hausa mythological figure Bayajidda and his second wife, Daurama.By 1810, during the Fulani War, the Hausa rulers of the Hausa Bakwai had all been overcome by the Fulani.Hadejia Emirate itself had been founded two years earlier, in 1808, and lasted until 1991, when it was absorbed into Jigawa State. In 1906 Hadejia resisted British occupation, under the then Emir (Muhammadu Mai-Shahada)
Jews of the Bilad el-Sudan (West Africa)
According to the 17th century Tarikh al-Fattash and the Tarikh al-Sudan, several Jewish communities existed as parts of the Ghana, Mali, and later Songhay empires. One such community was formed by a group of Egyptian Jews, who allegedly traveled by way of the Sahel corridor through Chad into Mali. Manuscript C of the Tarikh al-Fattash described a community called the Bani Israel that in 1402 existed in Tindirma, possessed 333 wells, and had seven princes as well as an army.
Another such community was that of the Zuwa ruler of Koukiya (located at the Niger river). His name was known only as Zuwa Alyaman, meaning “He comes from Yemen”. According to an isolated local legend, Zuwa Alyaman was a member of one of the Jewish communities transported from Yemen by Abyssinians in the 6th century CE after the defeat of Dhu Nuwas. Zuwa Alyaman was said to have traveled into West Africa along with his brother. They established a community in Kukiya at the banks of the Niger River downstream from Gao. According to the Tarikh al-Sudan, after Zuwa Alyaman, there were 14 Zuwa rulers of Gao before the rise of Islam in in the second half of the eleventh century.
Other sources stated that other Jewish communities in the region arose from migrations from Morocco and Egypt, and later from Portugal. Some communities were said to have been populated by certain Berber Jews, like a group of Tuareg known as Dawsahak or Iddao Ishaak (“children of Isaac”). They speak a language related to Songhay, live in northeast Mali in the region of Menaka and were formerly herders for Tuareg nobles. In addition, some migrated into the area away from Muslim rule in North Africa.
Photo source National Archives