Alhaji Umar was born in Futa Toro in 1794. He was initiated as a member of the Tijaniyya mystic brotherhood while on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1820.
He married three wives; two of whom were the daughters of the El-Kanemi and Muhammed Bello (Usman Dan Fodio’s son) respectively. His experiences of the Fulani Jihad in Hausaland inspired his own Jihad. He succeeded in dismantling Seku Ahmadu’s Massina Empire (1839) and Nyoro (1854).
He informed his people that he had received a spiritual call to reform the country and this subsequently made him proclaim his Jihad.
His overthrow of Nyoro was for a short period because the French gradually inhabited the area. He moved further to Segu in Bambara in 1861. In 1864, be was killed as the people rose against him after he had accused the King of Mussina of being religiously hypocritical.
Note that before the death of Umar; he had already proclaimed his son, Ahmad as his successor.