Regarding this Important Work
When I first translated this work back in 1991, the geopolitical circumstances of the world were quite different from today. My main objective, then, was to give the growing jama`at of Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye` in the U.S., the necessary evidence and tools needed for our amirs to govern our small communities. Like any African American community with a unified and coherent belief system, shared customs and a collective spirit, we coalesced into jama`ats.1 At that time we were firmly established in Houston, Texas and Los Angeles California under the civil engineer al-Hajj Uthman and al-Hajj Abu Amir Abd’r-Rahim Ali.
Admittedly, I hoped that the Usuul’s-Siyaasa would have commanded the same position in the minds of the sisters and brothers of the jama`at that the arguments to ratify the US constitution had in the minds of most conscience Americans. I foresaw a time when our communities would grow and confederate with other indigenous American Muslims and move towards some form of autonomy, if only judicial.
The Usuul ‘s-Siyaasa laid the fundamental principles for a system of government that developed in diverse regions of the Bilad’s-Sudan, the highlands of Abyssinia and the Kiswahili coast, reaching its formative period in the 10th century A.H. (15th century C.E.) in the Upper Niger Bend and in the Haraar highlands of Abysinnia.
The intellectual zenith of African Islamic civilization occurred during the 18th century under Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye`, and his many erudite colleagues and disciples. It was during this period that all the foregoing principles of government expressed by Takrur, the three Futas, Diya, ancient Ghana, Mali, Massina, Songhay, Zaberma, Kanem- Bornu, Wodai, Birghima, Dar Fur, the Funj, and Tokar and Suakin on the Red Sea; had been synthesized into the works of government composed by the scholars, statesmen and stateswomen of the Sokoto polity. These opinions were as idealistic and forward looking as those espoused by any of the thinkers of the American Revolution.