As Salaamu Alaikum Sidi Isa,
As for the legitimacy of the Sokoto Khilaafah:
"Shaykh `Uthman dan Fodio in his book Bayaan al Wujuub al Hijrah quoting from the book Diyaa' al-Khulafa' said that the
required qualifications of an Amir are eleven. He must be:
1. a Muslim;
2. a just man;
4. a freeman;
6. of sound mind;
7. a mujtahid (one qualified to give independent judgments in
both the `roots' and `branches' of the law;
9. a man of sound judgment and diplomacy in handling affairs;
10. a man able to execute his decisions and commands;
11. in the case of the supreme Imam (Amir ul-Mu'mineen) he has to be from the tribe of Quraysh if one can be found who fulfils the
previous requirements; otherwise he should be from Kinana; in the absence of such a Kinani, he should be a descendant of Ismaa'eel;if such a person is not to be found, the a non-Arab should be installed.
It should be noted here that there is a difference of opinion –
among the classical, upright scholars - regarding points seven through eleven."
The Sokoto Caliphate fulfilled all 11 of these conditions.
As for mulitiple Khalifahs or Amir-ul Mu'mineens:
"In his book Bayan Wujub al-Hijrah `Ala `l-`Ibad in the
chapter dealing with the qualifications required in an Imam he said,
"I add that a further condition is that there should be only one imam, according to what al-Ubbi quoted from al-Amidi at the beginning of [his commentary on] the chapter on the imamate in Muslim's Sahih. Al- Laqqani mentioned in his Ithaf: `According to ijma', it is not permitted for there to be more than one imam at the same time and in the same place. For the Prophet said, "Whoever pledges allegiance to an imam, giving him his hand in ratification thereof, and pledges his sincerest agreement, must obey him to the best of his ability. If another comes to contest [the office] with him, strike off the latter's head"; and in another rescension, "strike him with the sword, whoever he may be." But al-Ubbi quoted Ibn `Arafa as saying that the tradition "if two caliphs are paid allegiance to, kill the second one" is only with respect to the place where the authority of the imam has reached, but as for a distant place, far away from the sovereignty of the imam, it is permissible to appoint there another imam from that particular region.'""
Remember, these are the words of those qualified to speak on this subject. Not opinions of common people like us. For a historical example of the implementation of this point I site the following:
"In 1493 Askiya Muhammad conquered the Sonni dynasty and thrust Songhay and the Bilad as-Sudan into the most prosperous and illuminating period ever known in that region. Askiya Muhammad made his pilgrimage in 1497, and was appointed the Khalifah of the Bilad as-Sudan by the Sharif of Makkah and the Abbasid Khalifah in Egypt. On his return, he conquered most of the Sudanese kingdoms and created the most extensive Islamic empire to ever exist in Africa. Some of the most illustrious scholars of the time advised and counseled Askiya Muhammad on the duties and responsibilities of government.
Clearly, Songhay under Askiya Muhammad was a theocracy formulated and built upon the fundamentals of Islam. The ulamaa' and fuqaha had autonomy and legislative powers in the state which amounted to the executive government surrendering its authority to the judiciary.
The affairs of the state prospered under the Askiyas until around 1591, when corruption began to set in and international changes began to impinge upon events in Songhay."
Also the Sokoto Chaliphate was recognized (in writing) by the
Ottomans, Amir of Morroco and even the Kuffar - the Queen of England at that time (there was correspondence between her & Muhammad Bello).
If one is familiar with the history of Bilad us Sudan (Black Africa) it seems as if the Amirs & Khulafa' always enjoyed some sought of autonomy from the prevailing (or dominant) empires (Ummayad, Abbasid, etc...). This is part of an inner & outer manifestation of one of the promises that was made to the Negus of habisha by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. I could use that as proof of the legitamcy of the Sokoto Khilafah as well but that would make this email longer than it already is.
I apologize for taking so long to respond but I had problems
accessing the Yahoo groups page for some reason & I didn't want to just reply to the email because it seems as if when I "copy & paste" and send it to Bewleyupdates it comes out all jumbled up and hard to understand.