Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Sokoto Caliphate led by Usman dan Fodio is a custom civilization by TopHatPaladin, with contributions from Urdnot_Scott, Nutty, and Civitar.

This mod requires Brave New World. It is part of the 12 Days of Africa event.



The decline and fall of the Bornu Empire in the eighteenth century led to a period of fragmentation in the Sudanian Savanna, reducing the region to a patchwork of independent Hausa and Fulani cities. It was during this era that Usman dan Fodio emerged, preaching and educating in Gobir, but the sultan Yunfa became nervous about Usman's growing influence and sent him into exile. However, when Usman left, his followers largely followed him out of Gobir, which exacerbated the tension; seeking to prevent him from gaining any more power, Yunfa declared war on Usman and his supporters in 1804.

An ethnic Fulani, Usman dan Fodio declared a jihad against the Hausa states, and between 1805 and 1810 he gradually conquered the major city-states of the region. In the next few decades, the Sokoto Caliphate expanded throughout the modern north of Nigeria and its surroundings; to help consolidate their gains, Usman's successor Muhammad Bello began constructing ribats, fortresses that acted as miniature walled cities. The state was also supported by its decentralized administration, where emirs acted largely autonomously and paid allegiance to the sultan.

Usman dan Fodio[]

Usman dan Fodio, born to a distinguished Fulani family in 1754, was the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate. Although many of the Fulani were pastoralists in that era, his family was part of the urbanized Fulani minority living within the Hausa city-states. Usman received a strong and well-rounded education; the teacher most influential on him was Jibril ibn Umar, whose tutelage influenced Usman's hatred for corruption and his support of jihad as a tool against it. Around 1775, Usman began preaching in his own right, and he stridently condemned the Hausa kings for a variety of practices, including bribery, the enslavement of fellow Muslims, and their tolerance of paganism. These teachings resonated with many who were disillusioned with the Hausa kings, particularly other Fulani, and so Usman gained a substantial following throughout the last quarter of the century.

During much of this period, Usman tried to build an autonomous religious community in Degel - a city which at the time was part of the domain of Gobir. He had some successes, even teaching the future sultan Yunfa at one point, but after Yunfa acceded to the Gobir throne, he turned against Usman. Yunfa arranged an assassination attempt against Usman in 1802, but Usman escaped and fled with his followers into the grasslands of Gudu. Here he was proclaimed Amir al-Mu'minin, "Commander of the Faithful," and with this title he was empowered to raise an army and command it in a jihad. Usman's army attracted many followers and provoked widespread uprisings in Hausaland, and so by 1808 all of the major Hausa cities had fallen under his control.

After completing these conquests, Usman and his son Muhammad Bello set about establishing a system of administration that was both effective and grounded in Islamic law. Numerous religious scholars were patronized, and the largely pastoral Fulani were increasingly made sedentary during this period. Poetry also flourished in the Arabic, Hausa, and Fulfulde languages, with Usman penning close to 500 poems himself. In 1817, Usman died, and Muhammad Bello succeeded him and continued his efforts.

Dawn of Man[]

LS PNG Usman

Art by TopHatPaladin

"Salutations, Usman dan Fodio, commander of the faithful! Your preaching against the corruption of the Hausa states rallied the Fulani to your cause, and helped you bring the Sokoto Caliphate into not just existence but prominence. Your rulership restored religious law to the Sudanian Savanna, and allowed for scholars to educate their students without fear of reprisal. Your distinguished military record allowed you to overthrow all of the old Hausa kings, and your descendants would stretch the caliphate even farther than you did. Nor did your achievements stop with the political - you were a prolific writer of poems and treatises alike, leaving behind a brilliant and well-rounded model of rulership for those who came after you.

Sultan and caliph, the people of Sokoto long for the prosperity and scholarly rigor that they knew under your auspices. Can you establish an empire that will spread the values of faith and learning to all around you? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?"

Introduction: "Salutations! You stand in the presence of Usman dan Fodio. Are you a fellow man of the faith, or are you an enemy I must destroy?"

Defeat: "Heresy! You may have won on Earth, but you will pay dearly in Jahannam."

Unique Attributes[]

Sokoto (Usman dan Fodio)
IconPNG Usman

Art by TopHatPaladin

Fulani Jihads

Citadels increase the yields of adjacent tile improvements. When making FaithIcon Faith purchases, gain Greatperson Great General points scaling with the amount of FaithIcon Faith spent.

IconPNG YanLifida

Art by TopHatPaladin

Yan Lifida (Lancer)
  • Generates FaithIcon Faith from kills
  • Earns Greatperson Great General points 50% faster
IconPNG Marabout

Art by TopHatPaladin

Marabout (Missionary)
  • May be expended on an owned Fort or Citadel for a burst of FaithIcon Faith and Science Science
City List
  1. Sokoto
  2. Gwandu
  3. Kano
  4. Gudu
  5. Degel
  6. Zazzau
  7. Katsina
  8. Alkalawa
  9. Birni N'Konni
  10. Gombe Aba
  11. Bauchi
  12. Yola
  13. Daura
  14. Biram
  15. Wurno
  16. Gawakuke
  17. Dange Shuni
  18. Kwasarawa
  19. Dukku
  20. Rano
  21. Gusau
  22. Nafada
  23. Akko
  24. Anka
  25. Jalingo
  26. Nupe
  27. Zango
  28. Baure
Spy List
  • Muhammed Bello
  • Atiku
  • Jibril
  • Ahmadu
  • Gadido
  • Maimuna
  • Iyya Garka
  • Hawa'u
  • Mariyatu
  • Nana Asma'u
IconPNG Sokoto


Peace Theme War Theme
Link Link
Araabo recorded by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Bule Toko recorded by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Mod Support[]

Additional Achievements[]

Fula Throttle

  • Win the game on any difficulty setting as Sokoto.

Do You Have A Minute To Talk About...?

  • Expend a Marabout in an owned citadel adjacent to a foreign city.

Unique Cultural Influence[]

“Our people are now going to your ribats and studying from your jaji. I worry that the rest of the world will also succumb to the influence of your culture.”

Full Credits List[]

Steam Workshop
Latest Version: v 1
Last Updated: 7 February 2022


  • TopHatPaladin: Design, Code, Art, Text
  • Urdnot_Scott: Map
  • Nutty: Yan Lifida Model
  • Civitar: Marabout Model
  • Smithsonian Folkways Recordings: Music
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