The Character of Our Times (Halin Zamani)

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Title The Character of Our Times (Halin Zamani)
Author or Owner Unknown
Subject Ethics, Guidance, Entrepreneurship, Wealth, Poverty, Honesty, Obedience, Self-restraint
Content The poem titled Halin Zamani incorporates three different themes of concern to the author as he witnesses the changing nature of attitudes in contemporary society. The first theme is the valuing of wealth and richness above everything else, including morality. Whatever a rich man says is considered true and correct, while the reverse is true of whatever a poor man says. The second theme concerns the benefits of skills and entrepreneurship, which go beyond financial freedom and comfort for the individual. These are equally beneficial to society, as being hardworking and self-reliant breeds contentment and has a positive effect on one’s immediate family, community, and society at large. The third and final theme of the poem takes the form of an elegy for a loved one that the poet has lost. The poet describes him as being honest, obedient and possessing self-restraint, a person who motivated the poet to pursue the search for knowledge. The poem opens with prayers to Allah, seeking His assistance, followed by salutations upon Prophet Muhammad. It concludes with expressions of thanks to God, asking Him to shower His love, compassion and mercy upon the Prophet, his companions and his household.
Genre Poetry
Language Hausa
Script Hausa Ajami
Manuscript condition 1 leaf.  18 x 24 cm. // 2 pp. of text.

Damp stained, frayed and worn at edges. Ms incomplete. No end.

Type Handwritten
Publisher Unpublished
Provenance Kano, Nigeria
Source Reference Unknown author, “Halin Zamani” (nd). Courtesy Northwestern University Libraries. Click here for the source link.
Access condition and copyright These materials are subject to copyright and are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. For use, distribution or reproduction beyond these terms, contact Professor Fallou Ngom (
Contributors Fallou Ngom, Jennifer J. Yanco, Mustapha Hashim Kurfi, Garba Zakari, Rebecca Shereikis, Daivi Rodima-Taylor, Alison Parker, Shawn Provencal, and Mark Lewis.
Required citation information Fallou Ngom (PI), Jennifer Yanco, Mustapha Hashim Kurfi, Garba Zakari, Babacar Dieng, Daivi Rodima-Taylor, and Rebecca Shereikis. 2022. “The Character of Our Times.”


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