Nana Asmāʾu: The Absolute Truth 1 (Nana Asmāʾu: Tabbat Haqiqan 1)

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Title Nana Asmāʾu: The Absolute Truth 1 (Nana Asmāʾu: Tabbat Haqiqan 1)
Author or Owner Nana Asmāʾu (author) or Nana Asma’u
Subject Belief, Exhortation, Prophet Muhammad, Nana Asma’u, Sokoto Caliphate, Jurisprudence, Rules of War, Rights of Married Women, Unjust Husbands, Judgement Day, Obligations of Rulers, Obligations of the People
Content This poem is composed by Nana Asma’u (1793-1864), the daughter of Shehu Usmanu ɗan Fodio (1754-1817). We learn in the poem that it was originally written by Shehu Usman ɗan Fodio, and later expanded by Nana Asma’u. The poem is written in Hausa Ajami, using the Maghribi writing style, and vocalized throughout. 

The Absolute Truth 1 (Tabbat Haqiqan 1) is a treatise on upright living, with clear instructions for both leaders and common folk. It provides numerous examples of practices one should follow and others that should be avoided. Rulers are enjoined to act at all times with compassion, fairness, and honesty and to refrain from oppressive and self-aggrandizing behaviors. People are to follow [Muslim] leaders and show respect towards them, and to institutions such as the courts. The poet denounces violence, robbery, cheating, witchcraft, dishonesty and oppressive behaviors, noting that Hellfire will be the reward for such behaviors. The theme of fairness and compassion stretches from the household to the battlefield. Listeners are urged to seek knowledge and to follow the true path of Islam, abstaining from injustice in any form.

Genre Poetry
Language Hausa
Script Hausa Ajami
Manuscript condition 10 pages (pages 11-20). 17 x 21 cm. + front and back covers.

Condition: Fully vocalized

Type Offset MS
Publisher Shina Commercial Press
Provenance Zaria, Nigeria
Source Reference Nana Asma’u, “Waƙoƙin Nana Asma’u” (nd). Courtesy of Northwestern University Libraries.
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, Babacar Dieng, Daivi Rodima-Taylor, Alison Parker, Frank Antonelli, Shawn Provencal, Mark Lewis, and Eric Schmidt.
Required citation information Citation: Fallou Ngom (PI), Daivi Rodima-Taylor, Jennifer Yanco,  Mustapha Hashim Kurfi, Garba Zakari, and Rebecca Shereikis. 2022. “The Absolute Truth 1.”


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