Bigire (Space) in Hausa Worldview: Towards an Environmental Ethic of Zaman Lafiya (Peaceful Living)


  • Bambale Zubairu Lawal Department of Philosophy, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
  • Abubakar Ayuba, PhD Department of African Languages and Cultures, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria


Bigire (Space), Environmental Ethics, Hausa Worldview, Zaman Lafiya (Peaceful Living)


The Hausa conceives good life as that which is consisting in working
towards attaining a Peaceful Living (Zaman Lafia). This is guided by a
worldview that conceives of the world (duniya) as being chaotic and
complex among others, yet, indispensable for its being a space (bigire)
within which any worldly endeavour necessarily occurs. This peaceful
living is ontologically conceived widely to extend to the environment.
This paper investigates the Hausa culture/worldview especially as it
relates to the Hausa idea of space (bigire) which is central in Hausa
worldview, as virtually everything; houses, places of worship,
cemeteries, farms, and so on, exist within a given space (bigire). To
attain a good life, therefore, the Hausa strive towards a peaceful living
that does not exacerbate the already chaotic world. As its thesis, the
paper argues that human nature, for the Hausa, is shaped by constant
struggle to act in a manner by which the chaotic nature of the world is not


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