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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:In Search of One Words Meaning: Zaman in Early Twentieth Century Kano
Author:Christelow, AllanISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
Great Britain
Islamic law
language usage
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3172020
Abstract:An intriguing item in Kano vocabulary that emerged during the turbulent first decade of British colonial rule in Nigeria was a new usage of 'zaman' (time, era) that occurs in the records of the Emir of Kano's judicial council in such terms as 'hukm al-zaman' (rule of the era) and ''umur al-zaman' (things of the era). These terms occur uniquely in relation to legal matters in which the British had intervened. Understanding them can shed light on the religious and political adaptation of northern Nigerian Muslim leaders to life under British rule. This article explores their meaning by examining various usages and understandings of 'zaman' in nonlegal sources; describing how the judicial council used the word; and analysing how this usage may have been related to any of a number of influences, ranging from British officials to West African Islamic scholars to Western-educated North Africans passing through the region. It concludes that 'zaman' as used by the Kano judicial council was a deeply ambivalent term with associations as complex as Kano's wide network of economic and communication links. It seemed to offer a rationalization for collaboration with the British and acceptance of new rules they instituted, without, however, lending full legitimacy to those rules. Notes, ref.