The emirate was founded about 1750 by Dan Juma of Kano city and his followers from the Mangawa tribe. Shortly after his death in 1754, it became a tributary state of the Bornu kingdom. The emirate survived the Fulani attacks of Usman dan Fodio's jihad in the early 19th century and never became part of the Fulani empire of Sokoto. The present day location of Gumel is the result of an 1845 move from the city of Tumbi, which is located in present day Niger. The emirate has frequently been at war with the nearby cities of Hadejia, Danzomo, Kano, and Zinder since 1828. The war with Hadejia continued until the death of Gumel's emir, Abdullahi, in 1872. Before Emir Ahmadu accepted British rule in 1903 frequent slave raids from the town of Zinder were common. In 1976 Gumel became part of Kano State, and since 1991 it has been part of Jigawa State near by Danzomo, Gagarawa, Sule Tankarkar, Maigatari.
The current Emir of Gumel, HRH Alh. Ahmed Mohammed Sani II is the 16th Emir of Gumel. The Emir is a graduate of Political Science, Ohio State University United States of America and has been in office since 1981. The Emir's Palace is accessible only to those invited there by the Emir, members of the Royal family, and officials of the Royal court (the emirate council also called the Majlis).