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The people of north-western Nigeria and southern Niger. The original Hausa states, which included Kano and Zaria, were for many years the vassals of Bornu (see Kanem-Bornu). Muslim missionaries seem to have come in the 14th century, but during the reign of Muhammad Rumfa of Kano (1463–99) the celebrated divine al-Maghili is said to have introduced the sharia (the Muslim code of law), Sufism, and a body of constitutional theory. The Hausa states were conquered by the Songhay in 1513 and by the Fulani in the early 19th century.

Their traditional trading activities contributed to the spread of the Hausa language as a lingua franca throughout most of West Africa. Their society is hierarchical, consisting of several hereditary classes.

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