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BIO DATA OF DR. ABDUL-HAFEEZ ADENIYI AHMAD ADEDIMEJI

BIO DATA OF DR. ABDUL-HAFEEZ ADENIYI AHMAD ADEDIMEJI

Dr.  Abdul-Hafeez A.A. Adedimeji  was born in Iwo, Osun State of Nigeria. He obtained his Diploma, B.A. & M.A. certificates in Arabic Studies and Arabic Rhetoric at the famous Islamic University, Medinah, Saudi Arabia. He bagged his Ph.D. in Arabic (with special interest in English-Arabic Translation) from the Dept. of Arabic, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.

PROFILE: Abdul-Hafeez Adeniyi Ahmad ADEDIMEJI (Ph.D.)

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ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

Qualifications: PhD (Arabic) University of Ilorin ; M.A. (Arabic Rhetoric) Madinah, KSA; B.A. (Arabic Studies), Medinah, KSA; Diploma (Arabic Fluency), Medinah, KSA.

Department/Unit: General Studies.

Institutional Affiliation: Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria.

Administrative/Religious Position(s): Ag. Head, General Studies Unit and University Grand Imaam.

Dr. Abdul-Hafeez Adeniyi Ahmad ADEDIMEJI, was admitted to Department of English Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in 1994. In November the same year, he won a Saudi Arabian scholarship which he utilised in  obtaining  his Diploma, B.A. & M.A. Certificates in diverse areas of Arabic Studies at Islamic University of Madinah, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. He has a  Ph.D. in Arabic at the Department of Arabic, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.  He is the Secretary General of Nigerian Centre for Arabic Research (NCAR) and an active member of National Association of Teachers of  Arabic and Islamic Studies (NATAIS), the professional umbrella body of lecturers of the twin-sister disciplines of Arabic and Islamic Studies. Also, he is registered member of Bamako-based Union of African Muslim Scholars (U.A.M.S). He is a also a formidable member of Jordan-based International Forum for Moderation (I.F.M.), a global Islamic non-governmental religious body that aims to preach religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence among all religious adherents and presents Islam as a moderate religion. His research interests cover translation from Arabic to English and vice versa, Arabic Literature, Critical Issues, Nigerian and global personalities who have contributed to the spread and development of Arabic, History and Dialects of Arabic, Arabic Rhetoric with particular interest in Prophet Muhammad’s styles and diction and Nigerian Muslims’ affairs. Dr. Adedimeji is a bilingual researcher who has published numerous national and international  academic research works in the afore-mentioned areas including three internationally-published books out of which one of them was a selection to mark Sharjah, United Arabs Emirates, as the Islamic Cultural Capital for 2014. He has presented academic papers and attended seminars in Arab and African countries that include Saudi-Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, among others. He is the Grand Imaam of Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria, and he currently heads the General Studies Department of the University.

Selected research publications:

* Adedimeji A.A.A. (2015), Theoretical and Historical Perspectives of Language: Arabic as a Case Study, in “Ilorin as a Beacon of Learning and Culture in West Africa”, Z.I. Oseni, AGAS Oladosu, B.O. Yusuf, & M.A. Adedimeji (Editors), a Publication of Centre for Ilorin Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Chapter 21, pp. 308-328.

*Adedimeji A.A.A. (2015), Arabic and Islamic Education as Agents of National Cohesion and Development, Fountain Journal of College of Management and Social Sciences (FUJMAS), Volume 4, No 1, Special Edition, pp 11-23.

*Adedimeji A.A.A. (translator from Arabic to English) 2014: Ahkaam Intiqaalil-Hadaanah Fil-Fiqhil-Islaamiy (Transfer of Parental Upbringing in Islamic Jurisprudence) by Sirajudeen Al-asra’ (Bin Bilal), Riyadh: Matbac tul-Humaedhiy.

*Adedimeji A.A.A. (2014): The Nigerian National Language Question: Arabic as a Viable Option in Anyigba Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, a publication of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 38-46.

*A.A.A. Adedimeji Sirajudeen Al-asra’ (Bin Bilal) 2013: Regulations Guiding Imamship  in Shari’ah, Cairo: Daarul-Fikril-‘Arabiy.

*Adedimeji A.A.A. (2013): cAamilut-Tashweeq Fil-‘Uluumil-Insaaniyatil-Mucaasirah (Creative Captivity Factor in Modern Disciplines of the Humanities) in Addad (Journal of Arabic Language, Literature and Culture), an academic journal being published by the Department of Languages and Linguistics, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 28-40.

*Adedimeji  A.A.A. (2012): Prospects of Arabic Language As A Unifying Force for Nigerian Muslims in Challenges of Moon-sighting and Preservation of Arabic manuscripts in Nigeria, Musa A. Abdu-Raheem (Ph.D.) edited, an annual publication of National Conference of National Association of Teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies (NATAIS), January, 2012/Safar 1433 A.H., pp. 121-140.

RESEARCH OUTPUT RANKING

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Abdul_Hafeez_Adeimeji?ev=prf_followers_xbrs

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=I0p9jaIAAAAJ&hl=en

Contacts: abdulhafeez.adedimeji@fountainuniversity.edu.ng,

abdulhafeezadedimeji@gmail.com & abdulhafeezmeji@yahoo.com

Phone Numbers: 08121521380, 08059310129

حضرات السادات والسيدات والإخوة والزملاء والأحبّة الكرام،

هذه صورتي حين كنت ألقي محاضرةً عنوانها “أهميّة الدراسات الإسلاميّة في المجتمع” في الشارع العام الفاصل بين القصر الملكيّ لمدينة إيوو إحدى كبرى المدن في بلاد يوربا والمسجد الجامع للمدينة يوم الأحد التاسع من شهر رجب عام 1437ه الموافق 17 من شهر أبريل عام 2016م. وقد نظّم المحاضرةَ منظّمةٌ إسلاميّة بلديَّة اسمها وحدة مسلمي إيوو للتّقدّم وحضرها ملك المدينة عبد الرشيد أَدَيْوَالَيْ أَكَنْبِي وكوكبة من عليّة الأكاديميّين والدعاة والسّاسة في المدينة وخارجها، وعلى رأسهم البروفيسور علّام اليقين أُوْيَيْتُوْرُوْ أُوْلاسُوبُوْ أُولادِيبُوْ.

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ذهب الشبابُ فما له مِن عودةٍ    وأتى المشيب فأين مِنه المَهْرَبُ؟

At the 2nd Qur’anic Competition and Presentation of Awards to eminent politicians, erudite scholars and renowned philanthropists of Iwo extraction that was held at Ojude-Oba, Iwo, on Sunday, 17th April, 2016 C.E. which was graced by the Paramount Ruler of the city, Oba Abdur-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu l and other notable personalities, I delivered a lecture entitled “The Role of Islamic Studies in the Society”.

سيرة موجزة للدكتور عبد الحفيظ أحمد أديدميج Abridged Arabic Resume of Dr. (Imaam) Abdul-Hafeez Adeniyi Ahmad Adedimeji

الدكتور عبد الحفيظ أدَينْنِييِي أحمد أَدَيْدِمَيْجِ من مواليد مدينة إيوو، ولاية أوشن، نيجيريا عام 1972م الموافق 1392هـ.

  • باحثٌ وأديبٌ ومترجم بين اللغتين العربيّة والإنجليزيّة وداعيةٌ نيجيريّ، تثقَّف بالثقافتين العربيّة والإنجليزيّة في المدارس الأهليّة العربيّة الإسلاميّة والحكوميّة الرّسميّة النيجيريّة العديدة حتى التحق بجامعة أُوبَافَيْمِي أَوُوْلُوْوُوْ بمدينة أيلي إفي، ولاية أوشن، نيجيريا سنة 1993م. وحصَل على دبلوم إجادة اللغة العربيّة ودرجة الليسانس ودرجة العالمية (الماجستير) بقسم الأدب والبلاغة من كلية اللغة العربية بالجامعة الإسلامية بالمدينة المنورة بتقدير “ممتاز-مع مرتبة الشرف”، وحصل مرحلة الدكتوراه من قسم اللغة العربيّة من جامعة إلورن إحدى الجامعات النيجيريّة الذائعة الصّيت.
  • استفاد استفادة جمّة من رحلته العلميّة التي دامت عشر سنوات -وحصل خلالها على ثلاث شهادات علميّة- من كبار علماء الأزهر الشريف الذين كانت تتعاقد معهم الجامعة الإسلاميّة بالمدينة المنوّرة والأدباء السعوديّين. وكان يلازم الحضور في لقاءات نادي المدينة المنوّرة الأدبي لتصقيل ثقافته وإرواء نهمه العلميّ. وتتلمذ كذلك على أيدي العلماء السعوديّين الكبار في المسجد النبويّ الشريف أمثال فضيلة الشيخ أبي بكر بن جابر الجزائري، وفضيلة الشيخ عبد المحسن العبّاد، وفضيلة الشيخ المرحوم عطيّة بن محمّد سالم، وفضيلة الشيخ المرحوم عمر فلاته، وفضيلة الشيخ محمّد المختار الشنقيطيّ.
  • يعمل حاليا محاضرا في جامعة فونتيئن (Fountain ومعناه “الينبوع”) بمدينة أوسوبو في نيجيريا، وهو الإمام الأكبر لجامع الجامعة، كما تمّ تعيينه رئيسا لقسم الدراسات العامّة (General Studies Unit) في الجامعة كذلك في عام 2012م، وهو الخطيب الكبير لجامع الجامعة، ولا يزال يشغل المنصبين حتّى الآن.

 

  • ساهم- ولا يزال يساهم- في الميادين الدعوية والأنشطة الأدبية الثقافيّة والبحوث العلميّة والمجالات النقابية. ومن أهمّ المناصب الثقافيّة التي يشغلها الأمين العام للمركز النيجيريّ للبحوث العربيّة،  وهو عضو اتحاد علماء أفريقيا الذي يتخذ من باماكو عاصمة جمهورية مالي مقرا له. قد نشرت له دائرة الإعلام والشارقة التابعة لإمارة الشارقة في الإمارات العربيّة المتّحدة كتابا بعنوان “أساليب التشويق البلاغية في الأحاديث النبوية من خلال الصحيحين” في مناسبة اختيار الشارقة عاصمةً للثقافة العربيّة لعام 2014م. وله العديد من البحوث العلميّة المنشورة في المجّلات العلميّة المحكَّمة، وكذلك قد قام بترجمة بعض المؤلّفات العلميّة العصرية من اللغة الإنجليزيّة إلى العربيّة. وزار عددا من الدول العربيّة والأفريقية مثل المملكة العربيّة السعودية والمغرب والسودان وتونس مشاركا في مؤتمرات دوليّة فيها.

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PROSPECTS OF ARABIC LANGUAGE AS A UNIFYING FORCE FOR NIGERIAN MUSLIMS

  1. DR. ABDUL –HAFEEZ ADENIYI AHMAD ADEDIMEJI

UNIVERSITY GRAND IMAAM & COORDINATOR OF DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL STUDIES,

FOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY, OSOGBO

abdulhafeezadedimeji@gmail.com & abdulhafeezmeji@yahoo.com

 


ABSTRACT

The assertion that Arabic language enjoys a wide patronage among Nigerian Muslims, like their fellow brothers and sisters throughout the globe, amounts to stating the obvious. However, the antagonist posture of colonial governments that held the sway before the country’s independence, the lackadaisical approach of Muslim elites who have been privileged to rule the country in its post-independence history and the ignorance of today’s Muslim youth of potentials of Arabic as an international, historical, political and religious significant language are some of the obstacles confronting its acquisition and spread vis-à-vis its two major rivals, English and French. This paper appraises the importance of Arabic as a widely-spoken and one of the earliest languages in the history of humanity. It x-rays the problems confronting it in Nigeria since its advent to the country, and consequently makes case for the government to accord it more priority and funding and serves as a wake-up call to the Muslim elites and intelligentsia of their vital role in patronizing this great language. The findings and suggestions provided in this work, if properly studied and adequately incorporated into the country’s educational and political plans, will not only ensure the much-desired Muslims’ unity in Nigeria but better the lot of the country in the comity of nations.

 

 

ARABIC LANGUAGE AS A UNIFYING FORCE FOR NIGERIAN MUSLIMS:

PROSPECTS,PROBLEMS AND SUGGESTIONS

By

ABDUL –HAFEEZ A. A. ADEDIMEJI

1:0     INTRODUCTION

1:1      LANGUAGE AS A SOCIAL ACTIVITY AND ITS ESSENCE TO MAN

Language is the medium of communication between human beings. It is a social activity that human life cannot be complete without. Every human being by nature has a language which he/she is affiliated with. Each community or group of people that speaks the same language is referred to as language group. Altogether, there are more than one thousand language groups worldwide.

There are languages whose speakers cannot exceed few hundreds of people while there are others whose speakers can be counted in millions. However, according to Al-Kiyaali (1990), there are twelve languages whose speakers exceed fifty millions per each of them. These are: English, German, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Bengali, Claytonia, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Urdu and French.(1)

A language may have different forms or modes of speaking. These forms are normally referred as dialects. Arabic, for example, has different dialects that hold sway in different countries of the Gulf region, North Africa and far West Africa. The Egyptian dialect is quite different from the Saudi dialect. These two dialects differ from the version being spoken by the Arabs of Algeria. At the local level, Yoruba language which is one of the widely spoken Nigerian languages has dialects that include: Oyo, Egba, Ijesha, Ijebu, Ekiti and Ondo dialects.

However, with the advent of writing as a way of preservation and language communication, there is always a standard form or dialect which native speakers of a particular language normally succumbed to and gives preference above others. The factors and yardsticks used in determining this standard dialect range from simplicity, originality, religious significance and general widespread. For example, the Quraesh dialect in which the Glorious Qur’an is written is the standard dialect for Arabic speakers while Oyo dialect has been unanimously accepted as the written and standard form of the language of the Yorubas.

Variety of languages is one of the signs of Almighty Allaah and one of the barometers used in identifying human beings and consolidating their relationships. Allaah, The Most Exalted, said: {And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and colours. Indeed, in that are signs for people of sound knowledge} (Quraan: ArRuum 30:22). He also said in another chapter: {O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female and made you nations and tribes you may know one another} (Quraan: AlHujuraat 49:13).

In fact, Allaah buttressed the fact that His message, like other human transactions, can not be efficiently carried out without correlation between the language of the Messenger and that of his audience where He stated inter alia: {And We did not sent any Messenger except with the language of his people in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them} (Quraan: Ibraaheem 14 4).

It is perhaps in the quest for making the world a global village and enhancing better understanding between different nations of the world that humanity has lately developed interest in invention of a universal language that will not know national and continental barriers. This led to the efforts of L.L Zamouhurf(1859- 1917 A.D.) who invented a language named Esperanto that is formed from modern European Languages and tailored in line with Latin language rules and grammar as the global language. (2) However, the body language of America, the dominant contemporary Super power, is suggesting that powers that be are trying to make English the global language.

 

2:0     BETWEEN ARABIC AND ISLAAM

2:1     ARABIC AND ITS CUSTODIANS

Simply put, Arabic is the mother tongue of the Arabs and the official language of Islaam. The double-edged way in which this definition comes will make it absolutely imperative to dwell on Arabs and later about Islaam and the interplay between the religion and its language.

The Arabs are group of people that speak Arabic as their native language. Their language, along with Hebrew, forms the large chunk of the Semitic languages.(3) Majority of Arabs originate from the Arabian Peninsula. Some scholars assert that the name Arab was derived from cArabah which is another name for Tuhaamah, a settlement in the Peninsula that the early Arabs were confined to and the social, cultural, religious and linguistic nerve of all the present-day Arabs.

Researchers agreed that there were some Arabs who have perished. This group is normally referred as Al- cArabul –Baaidah meaning: the perished (or no-more–living) Arabs. cAad, Thamuud (these two groups are mentioned in the Glorious Qur’aan), Tasam and Jadees.

{Has not the story of reached them of those before them? –the people of Nuuh (Noah) and (tribes of) cAad and Thamuud, the people of Ibraaheem (Abraham), the dwellers of Madyan and the cities overturned? (Qur’aan: At–Taubah 9:70) and :{And if they deny you, (O Muhammad) –so, before them, did the people of Nuuh (Noah) and (tribes of) cAad and Thamuud deny (their prophets)} (Qur’aan: AlHajj 22:42)

 

Another category of Arabs is the “Al– cArabul-cAaribah” which roughly means: “the real Arabs”. They are the Qataanis that live in the Republic of Yemen and Southern part of Saudi Arabia.

The third category are called “Al– cArabulMustacrabah” which can be translated to: Arabized Arabs, Arabs by adoption, or naturalized Arabs. These are the cAdnaanis that are off –springs and results of the inter-marriage that happened between Prophet Ismcāīl Bin Ibrāhīm (P.B.U.H.) who was an immigrant to the peninsula and married to an Arab woman.(4)

Arabic is one of the earliest languages in the history of mankind. In fact, there are relevant traditions quoted by scholars that suggest that the name of progenitor of all human beings, Aadam, was coined from an Arabic word. (5) It is however, sure that the language was existing in 2500 B.C. based on acceptable findings of archaeologists(6) This is in spite of what AzZayyaat asserted that it is an impossible task for a researcher to lay claim to the knowledge of the origin, development and stages of Arabic as a language.(7)

It is, however, noteworthy that Arabism or affiliation with Arabic is no more confined to the three afore –mentioned categories. This is because of the fact that various tribes who were not formerly Arabs have been fully integrated into Arabism, courtesy of Islaam. Arabism can only be determined nowadays through acquisition of a combination of habits, customs, ethics and language of Arabs. In fact, the Noblest Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was reported to have said: “O you people! Arabic is neither a father nor a mother of any of you. It is, on the contrary, a language. Whoever acquires it has become an Arab”.

 

2:2     ISLAM: THE IMAGE –MAKER OF ARABIC

Islam is a globally accepted celestial religion that has its adherents in the nooks and carnies of the world. It was revealed to Prophet Muhammad Bin Abdullah (P.B.U.H.), a Qurashite Arab man. Its holy book is Qur’aan and its official language is Arabic. It has successfully participated in building the civilization of man, charting a nobler cause for him and improving his living standard either through preservations of cultures that predated it or its valuable voyage of discoveries in the fields of Medicine, Chemistry, Physics, Philosophy, Geography, Sociology, Literature and Astrology to mention but a few.

Islaam aims at unification of the human race and elimination of all forms of discrimination by establishing a religious brotherhood that reigns supreme over colour, race, language, class and blood affiliations. It is the only global religion that accommodates all the divinely sent prophets. Abdulkadir A. Sambo (2004) was right when he emphasized the uniqueness of Islaam in this area thus:

“A Jew only believes in the Prophet of Israel, a Christian believes in Jesus Christ and, in a lesser degree, in the Prophets of Israel; Buddhist in Buddha; a Zoroastrian in Zoroastrian (sic); Hindu in the prophets who appeared in India, a Confucian in Confucians; but a Muslim believes in all those prophets sent by Allah and also in Muhammad, the last of the prophets. Islam is, therefore, an all-comprehensive religion within which unifying force the world has ever known. It converted together the warring tribes of one country and established a brotherhood of all nations of the world, even welding together those who had nothing in common except their common humanity. Islam obliterated difference of colour, race, language and geographical boundaries”(8)

In spite of all these feats, the western powers, through their Imperialist-Zionist Alliance agenda, has waged and continue to wage different ideological and military wars against Islaam in other to weaker, its adherents to a state of disarray and followership to the West.

 

2:3     ARABIC AND ISLAM: TWO SIDES OF A COIN

As said earlier, Arabic language predated historical Islaam. However, the significance of Arabic as a language derived from the fact that the Qur’aan was espoused it in and in a grandeur that surpassed colloquial Arabic. Arabic is universally known as the language of Qur’aan and Islamic liturgy.

For example, as the language of Qur’aan, it is the final authority on Islamic matters. On pilgrimage, all Muslims are required to worship in Arabic. All Muslims, during their mandatory prayers, must recite portions of Qur’aan in its original Arabic, no matter their native tongue.(9) Outside the mandatory prayer’s however, Islaam has accorded a great award to whoever recite the Glorious Qur’aan in its original Arabic form, whether he/she understands its meaning or not.(10)

Translation, although vital in foreign language teaching and learning, can not be of much use in a first–hand study of Islamic faith. In fact, a prominent modern–day Saudi Scholar, Ahmad Abdul–GafuurcAttaar, (1982/1402A.H) bitterly criticized his government for its generous funding of publications of translated versions of the Glorious Qur’aan thus: “It is better for those who spending hundreds of millions (of Saudi Riyals) on translating the meanings of Qur’aan to utilize that money in teaching Arabic to the generality of Muslims so that they can become familiar with it. This will undoubtedly consolidate their unity and enable them to regain their lost glory; because of the fact that Qur’aan will definitely unity them on the truth and prosperity. (11)

The above assertion collaborate the position of numerous scholars that Qur’aan is untranslatable and inimitable. According to R.D. Abubakre (2002), the dynasties of Umayyad and Abbasid Empires contributed immensely to the rise of Arabic as the official language of the Islamic religion, business and administration. This way, Arabic was able to gain linguistic pre –eminence over the territories of converts. (12)

 

3:1     ARABIC AND LANGUAGE QUESTION IN NIGERIA

3:2     ARABIC AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE

Although it is right to refer to Arabic as the liturgical language of Islam, as asserted above, it does not derive its significance from the noble religion alone. Rather, it is an international language which enjoys a very wide acceptance. It is has played a vital role in the socio –political life of the early West African Empires.

For example, the famous Mansa Kankan Musa who ruled the Old Mali Empire between 1307A.D. and 1332A.D. utilized his connections with the Arabs to better the lots of his subjects and consolidate his government. His historical pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324A.D. was a landmark event in the history of the Empire and a turning point in the prosperity of its economy. Find it difficult to forget the laudable role Mansa Musa’s connection with the Arabs played in the life and educational development of his people. As AdekunleOjelabi noted:

“On his return, Musa came back with Arab scholars to Mali who helped in raising the standard of learning and the form of architecture. Among others, Es-Saheli, a Spanish Arab who was also a poet accompanied Musa home. Saheli helped to build the magnificent brick mosques of Gao and Timbucktu. He also built a stone palace for Musa in Timbucktu. The Sankore mosque in Timbucktu also served as important centre of learning. The standard of learning was as high as in a modern university. This was evidenced by the fact that a teacher brought from Mecca by Musa had to be sent to Morocco for a three year further training before he could teach at Sankore” (13)

In fact, Mansa Musa’s real claim to a place of distinction came in consequence of the foreign recognition he gained for Mali. As a result of his pilgrimage, Mali was recognized as world power. Under Musa, Mali established diplomatic missions in Egypt, Arabia and Morocco. He cultivated a somewhat intra –personal friendship with the sultan of Fez. In 1339, Mali was represented on a world map with the inscription “Rex Malley” while other maps in 1375 bore witness to the existence and greatness of Mansa Musa’s Mali Empire. (14)

This situation of acceptability of Arabic in Africa is not limited to Old Mali Empire alone, it is a fact that Arabic has harmoniously related, and still relating, with the continent. It ranks as the language that has the most influence on African languages, especially, Swahili, Hausa, Wolof, Fulfulde and Yoruba. In addition to the major African languages, there are in Nigeria, such other languages such as Nupe, Ebira and Igala that have a large chunk of Arabic lexical items. In fact, Swahili which is one of the major African languages and, perhaps, the most widely spoken of all them derived its name, as attested to by reader, from Arabic. According to Reader (1997): “The name itself comes from Arabic Sahil, meaning shore or coast, and could be translated to as “coast dialect”(15)

At the contemporary level, Arabic is socio-politically on the sprawl across international borders. The spate of spread and importance of Arabic, for example, is evident in the very frequent use of Arabic on the electronic media by the B.B.C., the V.O.N. and the Voice of Nigeria. The Dutch, French, German and Russian national radio stations continually air Arabic versions of their programmes regularly over their network. Besides, Aljazeerah (High Arabic Version of CNN’s programme), beamed to the Arabic –speaking world. The numerous all –Arabic –satellite transmitting stations beaming programmes to the world give credence to the continuous rise of Arabic internationally. Currently, Arabic is being used as one the languages at the United Nations (U.N.) and at such regional groupings as the African Union (A.U.) and the Economic Community of West African States (E.C.O.W.A.S.) (16)

 

3:3     THE NIGERIAN LANGUAGE SITUATION

Nigeria, being the most populous African country, is being looked upon to take its rightful position in leadership position of the continent. Apart from the numerical strength that naturally gives the country an edge above other countries, to say the country is naturally endowed amount to stating the obvious. J. Reader observed thus: “The surge of optimism which has accompanied the transfer of power in Africa has been especially evident in the case of Nigeria. With the continent’s largest population, experienced politicians, an efficient civil service and the benefit of a strong, diversified economy, Nigeria was expected to be at the fore-front of economic and political progress in Africa leading the continent’s transition from an under –developed to a developed region”. (17)

However, the materialization of the above hope remains a mirage due to a large number of factors too numerous to mention here. What this writer is pre-occupied with is how multiplicity of languages has contributed to the backwardness or retardation of the country’s socio-political and economic spheres. In other to establish the enormity of the problem, let us first take a brief look at the country’s linguistic setting.

To try to determine the exact number of languages indigenous to Nigeria is a daunting task. Estimates have ranged from 200 to 400. The fundamental problem is a linguistic one: the problem of differentiating language from dialect, of deciding how to classify a particular speech system that serves for communication within a social group. In a situation of such multiplicity, it is not surprising (though not inevitable) that some languages have greater prominence is determined by number of speakers. Again, for lack of reliable statistics, it is impossible to be precise, but there can be no doubt that the number of native speakers of three of Nigeria’s languages, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, runs to several millions. (18) Apart from the three languages, languages like Kanuri, Fulfulde, Tiv, Efik, Ibibio, Edo, Nupe, Gwari, Igala and Idoma have millions of people that are speaking each of them as their mother tongue.

It is this multi –ethnic situation that threw up the country’s immediate post –independent rulers and the first generation of politicians who have been accepted as national heroes. While the duo of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Sir Ahmadu Bello represented the interest of the Hausa – Fulani tribes of the North, Chiefs Obafemi Awolowo and, to a lesser degree, Samuel Ladoke Akintola were regarded as leaders of Yorubas while Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who was then assisted by Sir Michael Okpara held the sway the Igbo –speaking Eastern Nigeria. Each of these tried their best to protect and project the interests of their tribes and left no stone unturned to make their people the dominant tribe in the affairs of the country.

This scenario led to a lot of unhealthy rivalry, accusations and counter –accusations that heated up the polity and threatened to tear the nation to shreds. The events that led to the nation’s protracted civil war were too glaring to expatiate on at this junction.    That happened between 1967-1970.

One measure that the successive military governments that ruled the country thought will break the backbone of predominance of three major tribes on the national scene, the unnecessary rivalry between them and what resulted from their over bearing posture at the regional level was states’ creation. The then powerful three regions were continually broken into smaller and weaker states that stand now at 36 and the Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T.)

However, states, creation and breaking of the country into smaller units had, rather solve the pathetic situation, aggravated Nigeria’s ethnic and social problems. The hitherto smaller tribes who counted very little or nothing in the scene during the era of regions have become –supers and formidable challengers in the present day states. With each of them insisting to be officially recognized, virtually every tribe in each of the states want its language recognized and given its due by airing news and events in its mother tongue. Jowitt asserted that in old Plateau State which consists of the present Plateau and Nasarawa States, news was usually given in no fewer than eleven languages while in the old Bendel State, which has been broken to Edo and Delta States, the situation was not far from being similar as news was being aired in seven different languages.

In a nutshell, the multiplicity of Nigerian indigenous languages has been a curse to the country more than a blessing. It has led to shedding of blood, intra-friction, inter-friction and bitterness between contending tribal leaders who are always at each other’s throat. In addition to this, it has battered the country’s image abroad and contributed in no small measure to the economic retardation and retrogression of the country. Not few people in and outside the country believed that the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late business mogul, Chief MoshoodAbiola and the political impasse that followed the sinful action was due to the reluctance of the then military government headed by a Northerner to hand over power to a freely and democratically elected Yoruba man from the south. Or else, how can one justify annulment of election won by a fellow Muslim brother who happened to be a friend of the head of the then military junta? This ugly situation has led to the efforts to search for a common or national language that will unify all Nigerian regardless of their affiliations and the geographical locations where they hail from.

 

3:4     ARABIC: THE MOST VIABLE OPTION AS A NATIONAL LANGUAGE

The advent of Arabic to Nigeria, as said earlier and as common to all places whose people embraced Islam, is closely linked to the advent of the religion to the country. This has been as far back as eleventh country. This means that the advent of the language to Nigeria has clocked 1,000 years or very close to that. This is because of the fact that “Mai UmmeJilimni (better known as Ibn Abdul Jelil) was the first Bornu-ruler to accept Islam in 1085. DunamaDabeleni was the next ruler to accept and this was in the 13th century”. (20)­

With the above fact, Arabic is the first foreign language that made successful incursion into the Nigerian soil. In fact, referring to Arabic as a foreign language is not accurate as it is known that the Shuwa Arabs of the present – day BornuState, although relatively small in number, speak Arabic as their mother tongue. So, this writer is very comfortable to say categorically that Arabic is the only indigenous Nigerian language that enjoys global widespread and international acceptance.

Also, Nigeria stands to benefit economically and socially if Arabic is given its rightful place both at the official and unofficial quarters. There is virtually no country in the world today, except the Vatican, perhaps, that has no teaming Muslim population that stands at, at least, tens of thousands. As at 1978, the Muslim world population was estimated to be 700 million people. This figure must have doubled by now. The most populous Muslim nation is Indonesia which had 135 million Muslims as at then. It is followed by Bangladesh which had 75 millions. Standing in the third position is Pakistan with the 73 million Muslim populations. Other populous Muslim nations are: India, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt and Iran which had 65 millions, 40 millions, 35 millions, 34 millions and 33 millions Muslims respectively (21). The figures quoted above must have doubled by now since more than thirty years have passed after the quoted estimation.

We can notice the vintage position Nigeria occupies among the highly populous Muslim nations. Most of the above-named countries are more developed than Nigeria economically, technologically and militarily. This is apart from Saudi-Arabia and the Gulf nations which, although smaller in Muslim population than Nigeria, have Arabic as their mother-tongue and official language and have an almost 100% percentage Muslim population. The economic and strategic importance of these Gulf States in the contemporary world, especially Saudi-Arabia and United Arabs’ Emirates, can not be over-emphasized. The summary of this proposition is that adoption of Arabic as the national language is not a self-serving agenda of the Muslims alone but a holistic approach of making the country more integrated into the world and benefit from the enormous resources of the Arabic-speaking countries through bilateral trade that can be facilitated by sharing their language.

Another factor that makes Arabic the most viable alternative to English is the fact that it is the only language that Nigerians, indeed the world at large, acquire willingly without thinking of any material gain. It predated English by centuries and has, therefore, become part and parcel of millions of Nigerians and their means of communication that does not know state and regional barriers. This fact has been buttressed by a Christian researcher who asserted thus:

“English is not the only non-indigenous language learned by Nigerians. Long before the first Englishmen visited the coast of Nigeria, Arab missionaries, explorers and traders had brought their language to what is now the Northern part of Nigeria. The more intensive Islamization of North in the nineteenth century resulting from the Jihad of UsmandanFodio meant a great increase the number of Nigerians learning Arabic for religious purposes, chiefly in Koranic (sic) schools, and this increase has undoubtedly continued to the present day, especially as many facilities have been created for the study of Arabic at Secondary and tertiary levels. From Arabic, numerous words have entered into the vocabulary of certain Nigeria languages, notably Hausa was written in Arabic script. For some Nigerian Islamic teachers or students, Arabic potentially serves not only as a language of study and religious observance but also for inter-personal communication; and many of them know Arabic better than English. One small group in BornoState has Arabic as its mother-tongue”. (22)

From the above, we can deduce that the decision to adopt English as the Nigeria’s official language was not well thought by the first generation of our indigenous rulers. I heap the blame on the first set of our indigenous rulers because they had the ample opportunity of changing the status quo immediately the colonialists granted independence to this country. This writer is surprised to discover that the colonialists, despite their wickedness and selfishness, never declared English as the official language. This fact was exposed by another Christian researcher, Ayo Banjo (1996) said inter alia:

“The colonial government never expressly declared English as the official language of Nigeria. The tradition going back to the Roman Empire was simply assumed that the colonized adopt the language of the colonizer since the colonizer can not be expected to operate in anything except in his own mother tongue”.(23)

 

4:1     ARABIC BETWEEN ITS PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS

4:2     EFFORTS OF THE PROTAGONISTS TO AID THE SPREAD OF ARABIC

Whether officially recognized or not, it is a fact that Arabic has come to stay in Nigeria. This judgment is not only based on the assertions confessions and confirmations of those who will be categorically classified as enemies of Arabic, by the virtue of their religion and areas of specialization, but also on the manifestations of this fact that can be enumerated thus:

  • Enrolment of wards in Arabic schools and making it mandatory for then to learn Quranic recitation before embarking on any course or training that they may wish to make their livelihood from. This is added to the vintage position that a Muslim scholar enjoys among the general populace.
  • Priority that Nigerians accord to inclusion of Islamic teaching and dacwah programmes in any event they organize. For example, occasions like marriage and naming ceremonies always feature dacwah and Islamic awareness activities in their programmes. The apt attention people give to such sermons and lectures make them to develop interest in the acquisition of Islamic education, and, by extension, Arabic language.
  • The spread of Islamic and Arabic schools in the nooks and crannies of the country despite the fact that they do not enjoy patronage from government and the meager source of revenue of their sponsors.
  • The spread of Quranic schools in the length and breadth of the country. It is very rear to find a town or village in Nigeria, no matter how big or small, which does not have his kind of schools. The learning period in these schools is either in the early morning (after the dawn prayer), after the mid-day (cAsr) prayer or in the night (after cIshaaiprayer).
  • Establishment of Departments of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the indigenous Universities. The products of these Universities constitute a greater percentage of teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Nigerian public schools.(24)

 

4:3     CONSCIOUS AND UNCONSIOUS ENEMIES OF ARABIC

I deliberately classify the enemies or antagonists of Arabic into conscious and unconscious because, ordinarily, no Muslim should be regarded as enemy of the liturgical language of Islaam. The reality, however, point to the fact that some Muslims are either waging war against Arabic or getting involved in efforts aimed at relegating it to the background or retarding its progress. This category of people are either being used or ignorant of the fact that their status if being a Muslim is not complete until they know certain basic elements of  Arabic, in the least, and actively being pro-active in the battle to make it triumph over other languages, either foreign or local. This category of people, consequently, can also be regarded as enemies of Arabic, whether they acknowledge it or not.

On the other hand, ideologies that are openly engaging Arabic language and its twin-brother, Islaam, in bitter war. This category is not pretending under any guise to be associated with Islamic and can, therefore, be regarded as conscious enemies of Arabic. Most of the elements in this category are foreign-based, externally influenced and deliberately aiming to hurt the feelings of Muslims.

Because of the fact that the anti-Arabic activities of this second group are more pronounced than the latter’s efforts and my discovery that very little people give attention to their attempt at staging a deadly blow to Arabic, I will start with it before I discuss the other category.

 

  • IMPERIALIST-ZIONIST ALLIANCE

This is a combination of accords, relationships, goals and plans jointly hatched and being executed by western imperialist powers and interests on one hand and the international Zionism on the other hand. Those who are at the receiving and of this unholy alliance are the Muslim nations in particular and the third world in general. The Muslims has been the ultimate target of the west, which is playing god-father role for the Zionism, since the past two centuries ago. This age-long antagonism has, however, metamorphosed to enmity and open confrontation since 1948 in the so-called Middle East and became more pronounced in 2001, immediately after September 11 world trade centre and the pentagon events.

This antagonistic posture of the Zionism in particular and the western imperialism in general was borne out of the face the west has always suspect, rightly or wrongly, that Islaam and its civilization, which has Arabic as a major component, is the only viable alternative to the dwindling western civilization. This has led to the suspicious look of the west, with America as its arrow-head, to Islaam and its adherents.

In other to nip the successive vialibility of Arabic and Islaam in the bud, various ideological terms have been coined to label those who really ally with Islaam and its civilization. These include: fundamentalism, fanaticism, extremism, terrorism and Islamism. On the other hand, some other terms have been coined to describe those who denounce Islam and or those who merely ally with it by name alone. Some of these are: liberalism, moderation and civilization. Also, globalization is another theory the West is currently propounding to achieve their Unipolar word agenda


  • CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS FANATICISM

By religion fanaticism, I mean a form of over-zealousness in admiring a particular religion or belief that makes it adherents to under-estimate and under rate the opinions, rights and civilization of other religions to the point of waging unjustified propaganda against who differ with this set of people in religion and civilization and, thereby, crating unnecessary rivalry that is aimed at cultural annihilation of others and or continuous confrontation with them.

This has been clearly demonstrated by the action of unmediated past administration of Chief OlusegunObasanjowho, in collaboration with Prof. ChukwumaSoludo, the ex-governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (C.B.N) single-handedly removed Arabic inscriptions from all Nigeria currencies. Do  they know better than our foremost nationalists who put it there to represent the interest of the teeming Nigerian Muslim population and millions of the admirers of Arabic as their language of civilization?!  English, as affirmed earlier, only represents our colonial past and, at best, symbolized the Christian world which the west symbolized and is not, and should not be regarded as, the Nigerian national language.

It is undoubtful that this unguided decision has given the Nigerian Christians are edge over their Muslim counterparts which is clearly unfair. It is also certain that this action has gladdened the hearts of Christian fanatics who see nothing wrong in offending the feelings of Muslims. I will buttress this point by a rejoinder written by one Adesoji Moses in Friday, July 31, 2009 edition of Nigerian compass which is entitled: WHY ARABIC ON THE NAIRA? The man wrote thus:

“It is disheartening that our Muslim brother, IshaqLakinAkintola could raise the issue of removal of Arabic from the naira note as a coup against Arabic. Using English to represent Christian population is erroneous. If English is for Christian, he was supposed to have written his write-up in Arabic. Obasanjo -Soludo decision is commendable for including the three major Nigerian languages with English which is general (sic) language. What should be our objective now is unity not a religion overriding the other. I advise President Musa  Yaradua not to put Arabic on the naira note as he has been accused of bias and northernalisation of Nigeria in his political appointments”.

The write-up quoted above is full religious bias, sentimental argument and lop-sided assessment of issues. While it is not my concern to reply this Lilliputian writer who may not, after all, be privileged to read this work, I want to assert that allying Arabic and\or Islaam with the North alone as some of my fellow Muslim brothers erroneously do, is not only far from truth but equally annoying and offensive to the feelings of the southern Muslims. While this paper is not aimed at fledging muscles, I want to humbly submit that I am a Muslim whose ancestors up to the fifth generation were practicing Muslims. Without being immodest, I want to add that I have been associating with Arabic for more than thirty years, whether by learning or teaching, and I have not met any northern Muslim who speaks Arabic better than I do, even during my ten-year sojourn in Saudi Arabia.

On my own part, it is not disheartening that Obasanjo and Soludo did what they did to the Islamic interest and that another fanatic Christian is drumming support for them, what is disheartening, however, is that the present Muslim-led administration who has spent more than two years in government is ready to redress this injustice. It is also worrisome that our brothers, who constitute the majority in both the pastand present administrations, did not live up to the past of their electorates on this vital issue.

As if this insult was not enough for Nigerian Muslims, the Obasanjo government also went ahead to declare French the second Nigerian official language. He based this notorious decision on the argument that apart from   English, French is the official language of the majority of the fellow West African countries. Former President OlusegunObasanjo, while taking this faulty and stinking decision, forgot or pretended to forget that no responsible government sacrifices the interest of its citizenry to satisfy its neighours. He also ignored the fact that while Nigeria stands to gain a lot from moving closer to Arabic –speaking countries and the Islamic world with its vast economics and human resources, the reverse is the case with consolidating relationship with West African Countries who are not only densely populated, but devoid of any technological or economic advantage that Nigeria can tap from. After all, what has father –Christmas role Nigeria has been playing for these countries offer us in terms of international recognition or regional appreciation from the benefiting countries? There is no doubt that the decision was ill –conceived and aimed at hurting the feeling of the Muslims and feed them with another bitter pill of relegation. May I ask how many Nigerians speak French compared with Arabic whose admirers, speakers and advocates can be counted in millions among Nigerians?

I am sure that if our brothers in politics have given the then government a spirited fight on the matter, as they did with it on third-term agenda, the story will have been different today. Let us, at this junction, remind, evaluate and assess ourselves on the basis of remarks of Almighty Allaah which goes thus –:{Nay, you prefer the worldly life, while the Here after is better and more enduring}.(Qur’aan: AlAclaa 87-17)


  • RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

Racial discrimination is a facet of racism that relies on the theory of racial superiority. It is an ideology that classifies human beings on the basis of racial identity which renders some of them superior and the others inferior. This theory, based on this biased classification, segregates human beings and grants preferential treatment to the superior (or higher) class in terms of recognition, social service being rendered to the citizenry and access to the juicy positions in government. This will be in contrast with the dealings with the inferior (or lower class) who will suffer degradation, humiliation and constraints to menial jobs and access to limited basic amenities that will be grossly inadequate for an enviable living that an average human being desires to lead.

  • RACIAL SUPERIORITY

It is a twin-brother of racial discrimination. It can even be argued to be its mother because it is a theory, belief and conviction that give birth to racial discrimination. It assumes that human beings are genetically and racially distinct in such a way that they are not equally created intellectually. It was formulated as a result of the dire need of the West to justify the atrocities committed by them against their fellow human beings in the ages of history in general and last two centuries in particular. This theory has metamorphosed to different terminologies and surfaced in different forms. It has given birth to the theory of White Man’s burden among the English, surfaced as Nazism in Adolf Hitler’s Germany, led to the Apartheid system in Pre-Mandela’s era in South Africa and graduated to Zionism that humanity has been plagued with and is still battling with in Israel. (26)

It is noteworthy to mention here that although Islaam and Arabic are greatly suffering from this sinful theory, they are not the only casualties as the West itself has suffered from one form of facets of this theory or the other in its not –too distant history. In fact, it amounts to saying the obvious if we assert that the global community is suffering from this theory as the case of flagrant disobedience of Israel to United Nations’ Security and General Assembly resolutions easily come to mind. In the past century, the West has swallowed the bitter pill of Nazism that it finds and will continue to find difficult to forget.

  • IMPERIALISTIC EXPANSION

Imperialism in international politics means the activities and movements of the European countries to establish colonies in other countries of the world, especially in African and Asian countries that are regarded to be backward, that will serve as fertile lands for getting raw materials needed for their industries and double as markets for their finished products. This theory has its roots in the second part of the nineteenth century when Industrial Revolution was the order of the day.

The monster was nearly curtailed by the end of 1960 when virtually all the colonized countries attained independence from their different colonial masters. There was, however, a major set–back to this independence drive in 1948 when the Jews, with Britain and U.S.A as their major backers, established the state of Israel on the Palestinian soil.(26)

It is, however, worrisome that this theory, although denounced globally, generally condemned and regarded as an aberration in the history humanity, is rearing its ugly head in another forms exemplified in the building of military bases by the United States of America (U.S.A.) during the inglorious reign of George W. Bush (Jnr), imbalanced trade accords and relationships between the so –called developed countries and their developing counterparts, meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign nations and lately, the much –trumpeted global economy that the whole have been, willy–nilly, formed to share.

The above factors, as can be observed, are inflicted by people who are not Muslims and, generally, emanate from outside the boarders of Nigeria. There are, however, other factors that originate from the Nigerians themselves. In fact, the majority of these obstacles to the growth, flourish and consequently, adoption of Arabic as the national language are handiwork of Muslims themselves. This is why I tag these people, agents and factors unconscious enemies of Arabic.

 

  • BLEAK PROSPECT OF FURTHERING ARABIC AQUISITION TO THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL

In Nigeria today, tens of thousands of pupils and students graduate annually from the popular Arabic schools available throughout country. These holders of Mutawassitah (Junior Secondary) and Thanawiyyah (Senior Secondary) certificates are generally regarded to be unqualified for admission into the indigenous universities and other tertiary institutions because of lack of necessary pre–requisites for admission. This is what lead many of them to engage in menial jobs that are not only unsuitable for custodians of the sacred knowledge they possess but make them to forget this hard earned language easily.

 

  • NON-RECOGNITION OF ARABIC/ISLAMIC EDUCATION IN THE OFFICIAL QUARTERS AND AMONG THE WESTERN –ORIENTED MUSLIM SCHOLARS

The fact that the Nigerian protagonists of Western Education and the government accord little or no recognition to scholars of Arabic/Islamic education is too obvious to expatiate on. It is not uncommon for parochial Nigerian elites who are trained in the Western way, Muslims inclusive, to under–rate Arabic/Islamic education and allege that it is archaic and can not cater for the contemporary needs of modern–day man.

It is very saddening that some Islamic and Arabic scholars, who are expected to be at the vanguard of agitation for recognition of Arabic language and its civilization, have betrayed the trust of knowledge and joined forces with the enemies in this regard. This writer personally know some university dons who are products of Arabic schools but have opportunity of acquiring western education, whether by learning or by the virtue of the environment they are privileged to be, who will shamelessly declare that scholars in either Arabic or Islamic Studies disciplines who are devoid of western education are not fit to be scholars.

 

  • WEAK SYLLABUSES

The laid –down syllabuses of majority of Arabic schools are very weak and uncoordinated. Also, they lack revisions and frequent upgradings that are basic elements of a standard syllabus. This is the reason why some Arabic schools’ proprietors still stick to textbooks authored in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt which the producing countries have abandoned a couple of decades ago! The situation in universities and other institutions of higher learning is even more pathetic. Some Arabic language courses in most of these institutions are taught through English language as medium. This is the reason why majority of products of such institutions can hardly construct good simple sentences in Arabic. (28)

5:1     ARABIC: ITS UNIQUENESS AND WHY NIGERIANS MUST GIVE IT THE DUE RECOGNITION AND ACCEPTANCE

5:2     THE UNIQUENESS OF ARABIC

Apart from being the universally accepted language which acceptance is devoid of any material gain, Arabic possesses some distinct attributes which make it unique. Some of these attributes include:

  • The fact that Almighty Allaah uses it as the medium through which He spoke to the mankind. As said earlier, the missionaries of all the Messengers that preceded the advent of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) were restricted to their different peoples and generations. This is contrary to Islaam that is the only universal religion by design. {Indeed, we have made it a Qur’aan in Arabic so that you may understand} (Qur’aan: AzZukhruf 43:3).
  • Almighty Allaah qualified Arabic with the best attributes that a language can be qualified with. The Most Exalted used it to qualify His Book where He says: {A Book whose verses have been detailed, an Arabic Qur’aan for people who know} (Qur’aan: Fussilat 41:3). In the same vein, He also described it as a plain and clear language thus: {And truly, this Qur’aan is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. Which the trustworthy Ruuh (Jibreel) has brought down. Upon your heart (O Muhammad) so that you may be one of the warners. In the plain (clear) Arabic language} (Qur’aan: Ash –Shuacraa 26:192-195)
  • It is the only language that has stood the test of time without any transformation and alteration. It is a well –known fact that most modern European languages originated from Greek and Latin. In fact, the English in which Shakespeare wrote his plays in the sixteenth century can only be understood by the present generation of Britons and other English –Speakers through explanations and illustrations. This is unlike Arabic which has remained protected and preserved in the same for more than sixteen centuries, courtesy of the Glorious Qur’aan. A speaker or learner of Arabic will encounter no difficulty in reading the works of the first generation of Arabic poets like Imru’ul–Qaes, Zuhaer and Labeed. He will understand their poems just as he will understand the works of Jareer, Al –Farazdaq and Al –Mutanabbiy that lived centuries after the first generation. The works of these two groups are not linguistically disconnected from the contributions of modern poets like: Al –Baaruudi, Shaoqey and Haafiz.
  • Another uniqueness of Arabic emanates from the fact that it is the only international language spoken by a segment of Nigerians as a mother tongue. This is true in the case of Shuwa Arabs of Borno State who speak Arabic as their indigenous language.

 

5:3     ARABIC:  THE ANSWER TO THE QUEST FOR A NATIONAL LANGUAGE

Based on the qualities enumerated above, we can glaringly see that Arabic provides the best answer for Nigeria’s quest for a national language. However, Muslims should be at the vanguard of this noble cause because Islaam is, as explained and analyzed in the previous chapters, inseparable from Arabic.

By adoption of Arabic as the national language, Nigerian Muslims, nay Nigerians at large, will be become more united since language barrier breeds suspicion and suspicion leads to, in most cases, confrontation. This is the reason why Allaah unites the whole mankind in the earliest and biggest gathering ever known by humanity, Hajj, in one singular language which is Arabic. Sambo (2004) confirms this reality thus:

“The language of worship for Muslim denounces unwarranted suspect (sic) that adherents of Islaam are into different denominations like Christians. Arabic language is spoken during all spiritual devotions there by facilitating participation by every Muslim wherever he finds himself. Hence, this important aspect of globalization and a proof that Islaam is a global religion “(30)

To make this dream of Arabizing Nigeria or making Arabic the Nigerian national language a reality, I hereby recommend the following actions and steps:

  • Nigerian Muslims need a coordinated social mobilization of the entire citizenry to acknowledge the importance of Arabic language.
  • Muslim politicians should rise to their religious responsibility of fighting for the cause of Arabic through relevant legislations, financial support and needed acquisition.
  • Any attack or relegation aimed at Arabic should be seen an attack and relegation of Islaam.
  • Muslim scholars in the academics should organize different fora, symposia and seminars to sensitize the Nigerian elites about the role Arabic has played and is still playing in the civilization and development of man.
  • Establishment of a national board that will be responsible for the establishment, funding and co-ordination of Arabic schools available through-out the length and breadth of the country. This educational supervisory body should be well funded in other to be able to perform its administrative and over-sight functions effectively.
  • Arabic scholars in the academia should rub minds on how to improve the standard of Arabic being taught at various institutions. A national policy that will see that Arabic is taught and researched through the medium of the language alone should be formulated. On no conditions should Arabic scholars who speak good English should allow the language of Islam be subjugated to an imperial, colonial and foreign language. “So long as the Muslims continue looking toward the western civilization as the only force that could regenerate the stagnant civilization of Islam, they weaken their self-confidence and, indirectly, support the western assertion that Islam is a ” spent force”. (31)
  • An erroneous reference to Arabic as a foreign language should be corrected. Rather, the language should be tagged “the Nigerian indigenous language with international appeal”.

6:0     CONCLUSION

In this paper, an attempt has been made to trace the history of Arabic as an international language, analyze its relevance in the contemporary world, explain its link and relationship with Islaam and, above all, advocate for its adoption as the Nigerian national language. Also, the prospects of the language and the bitter ideological and political wars being waged against it were equally analyzed. Although, this paper does not shy away from the fact that the battle to make Arabic our national language should be spearheaded by Muslims who, by the virtue of their religion, hold it or should hold it in high esteem, it appeals to all and sundry as it makes case for the language for the numerous social, economic and political advantages that are attached to its adoption. Thus, a sincere and honest implementation of the recommendations enumerated above will go in long way in solving the country’s social and economic problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES AND REFERENCES

  • Al-Kiyaali, Abdul-Wahhaabet al (1990).Maosuuactus-Siyaasah:Beirut; Al-Muassasatul-‘Arobiyyah Lid-Diraasaat Wan-Nashr, vol.5,p.473
  • vol. 1,p,166
  • See: ”Semitic” in: Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary
  • Al-Kiyaali, Abdul-Wahhaabcit, vol. 4, p.70 and Ahmad HasanAz-Zayyaat.Taareekhul-Adabil-Jaahiliy:Beirut, Daaruth- Thaqaafah,pp.19-21.
  • See: At-Tabari,Muhammad Bin Jareer (1997a.d-1418a.h).Jaami’ul-Bayaan fee Ta’weelil-Qur’aan: Beirut, Daarul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyya, vol.1pp.251-252.
  • cAsaakir, Abdul-Fattaah (1979 A.D 1400A.H).Macal-Qur’aanil-Kareem: Cairo, Al-Markazuth-Thaqaafiy vol. 5, p. 257.
  • Az-Zayyaat. cit, pp.19-21.
  • Sambo, AbdulKadir (2004A.H).”Islam as a global religion”, Al-Wa’yu: An annual magazine of Arabic students in College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (C A I L S), Ilorin, Kwara State, p. 67-68.
  • Aje, S.A. (2004 A.D).”A survey of the Sociolinguistic setting of Arabic in Nigeria” in JARS Journal of Arabic and Religious Studies, a publication of Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, p.13.
  • Al–Ilory, Adam Abdullah (1967). Taareekhud -Dacwatil –IslaamiyyahMinal –AmsiIlal –Yaom: Beirut, DaarMaktabatil –Hayaah, p. 126.
  • cAt –Taar, Ahmad Abdul –Gafuur. (1982 A.D. – 1402 A.H) QadaayaaWamushkilaatunLugawiyyah: Riyadh, Tuhaamah, first edition, p 127.
  • D. Abubakre (2002): The Survival of Arabic in Difficult Terrains. 55thUniversity of Ilorin Inaugural Lecture, University of Ilorin Publication Committee: Ilorin.
  • Ojelabi, Adekunle. A textbook of West African History (1000 to the present day): Ibadan, Educational Research Institute, p. 13
  • Ibid.
  • Reader, J. (1997). Africa:A Biography of the Continent:London, Pengium Books, p175-176.
  • Aje, S.A.cit. p.12.
  • Reader J. cit. p. 660.
  • Jowitt, D. (1991). Nigerian English Usage: An Introduction:Ikeja, Longman PLC, p.9.
  • Ibid. p. 11
  • Ojelabi, cit. p.140.
  • Al-Kiyaali,. cit. vol 1, p.189
  • Jowitt, cit. p.21
  • Banjo, Ayo (1996). Making A virtue of Necessity: An Overview of The English Language in Nigeria:Ibadan, Ibadan University Press, p. 66.
  • Bilal, Sirajudeen, (2009). The reality of the Islamic education in present – day Nigeria, text of a paper delivered at the first Islamic Summit held in Kano, July, 2009. p 8-9.
  • Al-Kiyaali,. cit. vol 1, p.788
  • Ibid, vol 1, p.771
  • Ibid, vol 1, p.804
  • Bilal Sirajudeen,, cit, p.10 -12.
  • cAssaakir, Abdul Fattah, cit, vol 5, p.295
  • Sambo, AbduKadir, cit., p.69
  • Asad, Muhammad. (2001) Islam at the Crossroads:New Delhi, Goodword Books, p75
  • Nigeria Compass Newspaper, July 31, 2009 edition.

 

 

THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL LANGUAGE QUESTION: ARABIC AS A VIABLE OPTION

Dr. Abdul-Hafeez Adeniyi Ahmad Adedimeji,

 University Grand Imaam & Coordinator of Department of General Studies,

FountainUniversity, Osogbo.

E-mail: abdulhafeezmeji@hotmail.com& abdulhafeezmeji@yahoo.com

Tel: +2348059310129& +2348121521380

 

1.0 Introduction 

The need for every country to have a national language that will serve as a unifying factor for its entire citizenry is crucial for its identity and germane to its harmonious relationship, mutual coexistence and development. Many countries in the world are lucky to have a common mother tongue while most other countries resort to adopting one of their numerous indigenous languages as the national language. This national language may be the official language that the country uses for documenting its formal engagements and\or establishing its diplomatic relationships with other countries and may be different from it. Every citizen of a country understands and\or speaks the national language although there may be other languages that are sectional or regional. It is the absence of this national or common language in Nigeria that makes this paper proposes the suitability, viability and sustainability of Arabic for this purpose. While the paper does not shy away that this language may be linked to Islam in one way or the other, it relies on the fact that it is the only Nigerian indigenous language, being the native language of Shuwa Arabs of the present-day Bornu State, with international appeal to argue for its adoption. The juxtapositions and illuminations of roles and contributions of Arabic to the nation’s history and West African architecture are some of weapons this research relies on to advocate that Arabic should be embraced by all Nigerians regardless of their socio-religious affiliations and the geographical locations.

 

 

 

2.0 The appalling Nigerian language situation

Language is the most noticeable feature of social entity and the most enduring aspect of any culture. Culture, as opined by E.B. Tylor (Anne Cooper and Elsie A. Maxwell 2003: 148)  is “that complex whole which included knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of a society”. Language is very critical to the preservation of cultural heritage of any given society and very vital to  its harmonious coexistence. Nothing can be more truthful and realistic in this regard than the Arabic saying which goes thus: “He who learns the language of a people becomes immune to their ploy”. It is also the most major distinguishing factor between human beings and other living creatures and the most highly developed form of communication that man is endowed with. Its essence, significance and status as a social activity is evident in Augusta Phil Omamar’s (2003: 27) conceptualization thus:

 

Language, whatever else it may or may not be, is the most important, most often used and most highly developed form of human communication. It is, in a sense, what sets humans apart from other animals which also happen to communicate in the sense of transmitting information of one kind or the other from a sender/source to a receiver. The big difference in the case of humans is not just that both sender and receiver are human as would naturally be expected, but also that the message is either sent vocally through the air and the vocal organs, orthographically by making particular kind of marks on paper.

 

Nigeria, being the most populous African country, is being looked upon to take its rightful position in leadership position of the continent. Apart from the numerical strength that naturally gives the country an edge above other countries, the assertion that  the country is naturally endowed amounts to stating the obvious.  Reader (Reader, J. 1997: 660) observed thus: “The surge of optimism which has accompanied the transfer of power in Africa has been especially evident in the case of Nigeria. With the continent’s largest population, experienced politicians, an efficient civil service and the benefit of a strong, diversified economy, Nigeria was expected to be at the fore-front of economic and political progress in Africa leading the continent’s transition from an under –developed to a developed region”.

However, the materialization of the above hope remains a mirage due to a large number of factors too numerous to mention here. What this writer is pre-occupied with at this juncture is how multiplicity of languages has contributed to the backwardness or retardation of the country’s socio-political and economic spheres. In other to establish the enormity of the problem, let us first take a brief look at the country’s linguistic setting.

To try to determine the exact number of languages indigenous to Nigeria is a daunting task. Estimates have ranged from 200 to 400. The fundamental problem is a linguistic one: the problem of differentiating language from dialect, of deciding how to classify a particular speech system that serves for communication within a social group. In a situation of such multiplicity, it is not surprising (though not inevitable) that greater prominence that some languages enjoy over others is determined by number of speakers. Again, for lack of reliable statistics, it is impossible to be precise, but there can be no doubt that the number of native speakers of three of Nigeria’s languages, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, runs to several millions(Jowitt, D. 1991: 9). Apart from the three languages, languages like Kanuri, Fulfulde, Tiv, Efik, Ibibio, Edo, Nupe, Gwari, Igala and Idoma have millions of people that are speaking each of them as their mother tongue.

It is this multi –ethnic situation that threw up the country’s immediate post –independent rulers and the first generation of politicians who have been accepted as national heroes. While the duo of AlhajiAbubakarTafawaBalewa and Sir Ahmadu Bello represented the interest of the Hausa – Fulani tribes of the North, Chiefs ObafemiAwolowo and, to a lesser degree, Samuel LadokeAkintola were regarded as leaders of Yorubas while Dr. NnamdiAzikiwe who was then assisted by Sir Michael Okpara held the sway the Igbo –speaking Eastern Nigeria. Each of these tried their best to protect and project the interests of their tribes and  ethnic entities. In other to actualize this and towards leaving their indelible marks in the annals of history, each of the above-mentioned national heroes left no stone unturned to make their people the dominant tribe in the affairs of the country (Adedimeji, A.A.A. 2012: 125).

This scenario led to a lot of unhealthy rivalry, accusations and counter –accusations that heated up the polity and threatened to tear the nation to shreds. The events that led to the nation’s protracted civil war that occurred between 1967-1970are too glaring to expatiate on at this juncture. This situation has made Adedimeji (Adedimeji M.A. 2012: 166) to conclude that, naturally, “ the language question assumes a critical and controversial dimension in a multi-lingual country, a typical example of which is Nigeria, with several languages competing for roles when the question is unduly politicized and sentimentalized”.

One measure that the successive military governments that ruled the country thought will break the backbone of predominance of three major tribes on the national scene, the unnecessary rivalry between them and what resulted from their overbearing posture at the regional level was states’ creation. The then powerful three regions were continually broken into smaller and weaker states that stand now at 36 and the Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T.)

However, states’ creation and breaking of the country into smaller units had, rather solve the pathetic situation, aggravated Nigeria’s ethnic and social problems. The hitherto smaller tribes who counted very little or nothing in the scene during the era of regions have become supers and formidable challengers in the present-day states. With each of them insisting to be officially recognized, virtually every tribe in each of the states want its language recognized and given its due by airing news and events in its mother tongue.

It is in response to these divergent agitations that Jowitt (Jowitt, D. 1991:9) asserted that in old Plateau State which consists of the present Plateau and Nasarawa States, news was usually given in no fewer than eleven languages while in the old Bendel State, which has been broken to Edo and Delta States, the situation was not far from being similar as news is being aired in seven different languages. In Kwara state which is one of the smallest states in Nigeria, the present writer who has worked in the state for some years can attest to the fact that news broadcasts and some other vital programmes are duplicated in most public Radio and Television stations in not less than five different languages.

In a nutshell, the multiplicity of Nigerian indigenous languages has been a curse to the country more than a blessing. It has led to shedding of blood, intra-friction, inter-friction and bitterness between contending tribal leaders who are always at each other’s throat. In addition to this, it has battered the country’s image abroad and contributed in no small measure to the economic retardation and retrogression of the country. Not few people in and outside the country believed that the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late business mogul, Chief MoshoodAbiola and the political impasse that followed the silly and sinful action was due to the reluctance of the then military government headed by a Northerner to hand over power to a freely and democratically elected Yoruba man from the South. (Adedimeji, A.A.A. 2012: 126). Or else, how can one justify the then military junta’s  annulment of election won by a candidate adjudged to be one of the best brains and most detribalized Nigerians?

This ugly situation and the need to have a national language that will unify all Nigerians regardless of their affiliations and the geographical locations where they hail from make the consideration of Arabic for this purpose at this juncture desirable and imperative. I need to assert here that English which is the country’s official language is incapable of playing this role as experience has shown that a larger percentage of Nigerians do not speak it due to its elitist nature on one part and the fact some groups or individuals still regard it, rightly or wrongly, as a colonial imposition that is better discarded.

 

3.0     Arabic presence in Africa and its acceptability in the world

Although it is right to refer to Arabic as the liturgical language of Islam, it does not derive its significance from the noble religion alone. Rather, it is an international language which enjoys a very wide acceptance. It is has played a vital role in the socio –political life of the early West African Empires.

For example, the famous Mansa Kankan Musa who ruled the Old Mali Empire between 1307A.D. and 1332A.D. utilized his connections with the Arabs to better the lots of his subjects and consolidate his hos on government. His historical pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324A.D. was a landmark event in the history of the Empire and a turning point in the prosperity of its economy. It is difficult to forget the laudable role Mansa Musa’s connection with the Arabs played in the life and educational development of his people. AsOjelabi (Ojelabi, A. :19) noted:

“On his return, Musa came back with Arab scholars to Mali who helped in raising the standard of learning and the form of architecture. Among others, Es-Saheli, a Spanish Arab who was also a poet accompanied Musa home. Saheli helped to build the magnificent brick mosques of Gao and Timbuktu. He also built a stone palace for Musa in Timbuktu. The Sankore mosque in Timbuktu also served as important centre of learning. The standard of learning was as high as in a modern university. This was evidenced by the fact that a teacher brought from Mecca by Musa had to be sent to Morocco for a three year further training before he could teach at Sankore”.

In fact, Mansa Musa’s real claim to a place of distinction came in consequence of the foreign recognition he gained for Mali. As a result of his pilgrimage, Mali was recognized as world power. Under Musa, Mali established diplomatic missions in Egypt, Arabia and Morocco. He cultivated a somewhat intra –personal friendship with the Sultan of Fez. In 1339, Mali was represented on a world map with the inscription “Rex Malley” while other maps in 1375 bore witness to the existence and greatness of Mansa Musa’s Mali Empire (Ojelabi, A: 13).

This situation of acceptability of Arabic in Africa is not limited to Old Mali Empire alone, it is a fact that Arabic has harmoniously related, and still relating, with the continent. It ranks as the language that has the most influence on African languages, especially Swahili, Hausa, Wolof, Fulfulde and Yoruba. In addition to the major African languages, there are in Nigeria, such other languages such as Nupe, Ebira and Igala that have a large chunk of Arabic lexical items. In fact, Swahili which is one of the major African languages and, perhaps, the most widely spoken of all them derived its name, as attested to by reader, from Arabic. According to Reader (Reader, J.1997 :175-176): “The name itself comes from Arabic Sahil, meaning shore or coast, and could be translated to as “coast dialect”.

 

At the contemporary level, Arabic is socio-politically on the sprawl across international borders. The spate of spread and importance of Arabic, for example, is evident in the very frequent use of Arabic on the electronic media by the B.B.C., the V.O.N. and the Voice of Nigeria. The Dutch, French, German and Russian national radio stations continually air Arabic versions of their programmes regularly over their network. Besides, Aljazeera (High Arabic Version of CNN’s programme), beams news and programmes to the Arabic –speaking world with this all-important language. The numerous Arabic –satellite transmitting stations beaming programmes to the world give credence to the continuous rise of Arabic internationally. Currently, Arabic is being used as one the languages at the United Nations (U.N.) and at such regional groupings such as the African Union (A.U.) and the Economic Community of West African States (E.C.O.W.A.S.) (Aje, S.A. 2004: 12).

 

4.0 Prospects and benefits of Arabic as Nigerian national language

The advent of Arabic to Nigeria, as common to all African and world countries whose people embraced Islam, is closely linked to the advent of the religion to the country. This has been as far back as eleventh country. This means that the advent of the language to Nigeria has already clocked 1,000 years. This is because of the fact that “Mai UmmeJilmi (better known as Ibn Abdul Jelil) was the first Bornu-ruler to accept Islam in 1085. DunamaDabeleni was the next ruler to accept and this was in the 13th century”(Ojelabi, A: 13).­

With the above fact, Arabic is the first foreign language that made successful incursion into the Nigerian soil. In fact, referring to Arabic as a foreign language is not accurate as it is known that the Shuwa Arabs of the present – day Bornu State, although relatively small in number, speak Arabic as their mother tongue. So, this writer is very comfortable to say categorically that Arabic is the only indigenous Nigerian language that enjoys global widespread and international acceptance.

Also, Nigeria stands to benefit economically and socially if Arabic is given its rightful place both at the official and unofficial quarters. There is virtually no country in the world today, except the Vatican, perhaps, that has no teaming Muslim population that stands at, at least, tens of thousands. As  at 1978, the Muslim world population was estimated to be 700 million people. This figure must have doubled by now. The most populous Muslim nation is Indonesia which had 135 million Muslims as at then. It is followed by Bangladesh which had 75 million. Standing in the third position is Pakistan with the 73 million Muslim populations. Other populous Muslim nations are: India, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt and Iran which had 65 million, 40 million, 35 million, 34 million and 33 million Muslims respectively(Al-Kiyaali, A. 1990: 1\189) . The figures quoted above must have doubled by now since more than thirty five years have passed after the quoted estimation. In short, apart from 35 countries that are officially recognized as Muslim\Islamic countries, about 17 countries which include Nigeria have large Muslim population that ranges between 38.7% and 98% (Anne Cooper and Elsie A. Maxwell 2003: 261-262. All thesecountries where teeming number of Muslims reside have large numbers of patrons and admirers of Arabic.

The fact that Arabic is a widely-accepted medium of communication and a very important language to numerous people at the global level is emphasized by Encyclopedia Britannica when it describes it as “of over-whelming importance as the language of the revelation of Islam and of the Qur’an, which Muslims regard as the epitome of literary excellence”.

Although, in the light of the afore-stated reality, it is right to refer to Arabic as the liturgical language of Islam, it does not derive its significance from the divine religion alone. Rather, it is an international language which enjoys a very wide acceptance. It has also contributed in no small measure to human civilization. The wide acceptance, universality and vintage status of Arabic vis-à-vis other international languages is chronicled by Oladosu(Oladosu, A.G.A.S. 2012: 10-11), relying heavily on a research published by the duo of Chejne and B. Whitaker in 1969 and 2009 respectively, in these glittering words:

 

Arabic is a universally recognized language, occupying a position which is not less in status and rank than that occupied by other international languages like English, French or German. It has long been adopted by the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as a tool for political and diplomatic exchange. Arabic has native speakers in Africa and Asia, emigrants in North and South America and many non-native speakers scattered around the world. In Africa, it is the native tongue of countries like Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, the Western Sahara and the Sudan. In Asia, it is the medium of expression for countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Qatar, Yemen and Palestine. By 1969, it was estimated that, altogether, Arabic was being used as liturgical language by more than four hundred million (400,000,000) people. Currently, Arabic ranks sixth in the world’s league table of languages. It is spoken as a mother tongue by an estimated 186 native speakers. The five languages ahead of Arabic are Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, English and Bengali.

 

From the picture painted above, we can notice the vintage position  Arabicoccupies in the contemporary worldand the rank of Nigeria in the comity of highly populous Muslim nations. Most of the above-named countries are more developed than Nigeria economically, technologically and militarily. Also, the numerical strength of these countries cannot be overlooked. Saudi-Arabia and the Gulf nations which, although smaller in Muslim population than Nigeria, have Arabic as their mother-tongue and official language. The economic and strategic importance of these Gulf States in the contemporary world, especially Saudi-Arabia and United Arabs’ Emirates, cannot be over-emphasized. The assertion that these highly-endowed nations influence the contemporary global politics amounts to stating the obvious.

At the continental level, majority of North African countries that include: Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia and Algeria are Arab countries. In the sub-region of  West Africa, Morocco and Mauritania are Arab countries while a large population of  Senegalese and Gambians patronize and speak  Arabic. The summary of this proposition is that adoption of Arabic as the national language is not, and should not be seen as, a self-serving agenda of the Muslims alone but a holistic approach of making the country more relevant to many African countries, better integrated into the world and benefit from the enormous resources of the Arabic-speaking countries through bilateral trade that can be facilitated by sharing their language.

Another factor that makes Arabic the most viable alternative to English is the fact that it is the only language that Nigerians, indeed the world at large, acquire willingly without thinking of any material gain. It predated English by centuries and has, therefore, become part and parcel of millions of Nigerians and their means of communication that does not know state and regional barriers. This fact has been buttressed by Jowitt(Jowitt, D. 1991: 21) who asserted thus:

“English is not the only non-indigenous language learned by Nigerians. Long before the first Englishmen visited the coast of Nigeria, Arab missionaries, explorers and traders had brought their language to what is now the Northern part of Nigeria. The more intensive Islamization of North in the nineteenth century resulting from the Jihad of UsmandanFodio meant a great increase the number of Nigerians learning Arabic for religious purposes, chiefly in Koranic (sic) schools, and this increase has undoubtedly continued to the present day, especially as many facilities have been created for the study of Arabic at Secondary and tertiary levels. From Arabic, numerous words have entered into the vocabulary of certain Nigeria languages, notably Hausa was written in Arabic script. For some Nigerian Islamic teachers or students, Arabic potentially serves not only as a language of study and religious observance but also for inter-personal communication; and many of them know Arabic better than English. One small group in Borno State has Arabic as its mother-tongue”.

From the above, we can deduce that the decision to adopt English as the Nigeria’s official language was not well thought by the first generation of our indigenous rulers. I heap the blame on the first set of our indigenous rulers because they had the ample opportunity of changing the status quo immediately the colonialists granted independence to this country. This writer is surprised to discover that the colonialists, despite their selfishness and well-known cultural imperialism agenda, never openly declared English as the official language. This fact was exposed by another Christian researcher who  said inter alia:

“The colonial government never expressly declared English as the official language of Nigeria. The tradition going back to the Roman Empire was simply assumed that the colonized adopt the language of the colonizer since the colonizer cannot be expected to operate in anything except in his own mother tongue” (Banjo, Ayo 1996: 66).

Talking about preservation of Nigerian history and its heritage, Arabic has paid its dues.Arabic language can serve as a veritable tool for the attainment of mutual cohesion and national harmony in Nigeria if it is viewed from the fact that it is the oldest language of civilization in the entire West African sub-region. “Before a single West African son knew a word in English or French, some of his people must have learnt Arabic and in many cases started to write various African Languages in Arabic characters, just as English and French are written in Roman characters” (Abubakre, 2004: 5).

Besides,Oloyede (2012: 29) has chronicled that “ no one can deny the intellectual and administrative roles of Islamic scholarship in pre-Independence and administrative Northern and South-Western Nigeria as Arabic Language was a saving grace for Africa’s original contribution to knowledge”.

To buttress the noble role that Arabic language has played in the history of modern-day Nigeria and the fact that it has served as a carrier of civilization and torch – bearer of progress in the nation’s immediate and remote past history, a vivid testimony of  reputable Christian historian and renowned  academic, Kenneth O. Dike, is relevant here:

As an historian myself, I have taken the keenest in this development, for it is through the aid of these Arabic documents and these written in African language in the Arabic script that the scholar will be aided in his task of unlocking the secrets of the African past. It has been a revelation to the whole world of scholarship to realize for the first time that Africa before the European penetration, so far from being a dark continent where the light of scholarship shone brightly, as the Arabic works now being discovered bear testimony… The Arabic scholars of the present, drawing upon the writings of the Arabic scholars of the past, will be able to bring before us the events and happenings of the past ages of Nigeria and so help us to write a history we may rightly call our own” (Oloyede, 2012: 2/48).

The vital roles the contemporary Arabic scholars can play in unlocking the nation’s history as well as the pivotal position of Arabic in beaming the light of knowledge on the African continent are not farfetched, as can be seen from the above-quoted testimony. This reality portrays the language as part and parcel of Nigeria and demonstrates that it is a viable and suitable answer to our national language question as its adoption will surely engender scholarship, facilitate harmony and limit or eradicate the frequent tribal confrontations  and ethnic violence that are unfortunately rampant in our polity.

 

Conclusion

The fact that Arabic has served as a means of historical preservation and an  indigenous language in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general is evident from the above study. Also, the fact that that it is one of the most powerfuland widely-accepted languages cannot be over-emphasised. This paper has used this historical and linguistic facts to buttress that the glorious past of Arabic can be rekindled if official recognition is accorded to this benevolent language by our governments in the various levels and fair-minded scholars begin to see reason  why it deserves to be recognized as our national language so that the country will not only continue to unlock its past through it but mutual and harmonious co-existence between its various nationalities could be achieved on one side and Nigeria will attain accelerated development through bilateral and regional co-operation with the relatively rich and more developed Arab and Islamic countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

  • Abubakre, R.D. (2004) The Interplay of Arabic and Yoruba Cultures in South-Western Nigeria,Iwo: Darul-‘Ilm Publishers.
  • Adedimeji, A.A.A. (2012) “The Prospects of Arabic Language as a Unifying Force for Nigerian Muslims” In Abdul-Raheem, M.A. (Ed.),Challenges of Moon Sighting and Preservation of Arabic Manuscriptsin Nigeria, Ijebu-Ode: Sebiotimo Publications, Ijebu-Ode, National Association of Teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies (NATAIS), pp. 121-140.
  • Adedimeji M.A. (2012), “Islamic Education in Nigeria and Al-Ilori: The Language Question and the Challenges Ahead” In R.D. Abubakre, (Ed.), Shaykh Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilory in the Tableau of Immortality,(Riyadh: Nigerian Centre for Arabic Research, 2012,) 2, 159-181.
  • Aje, S.A. (2004) “A Survey of the Sociolinguistic setting of Arabic in Nigeria” in JARS (Journal of Arabic and Religious Studies), a Publication of Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Ilorin.
  • Cooper A. & Maxwell E.A. (2003) Ishmael My Brother: A Christian Introduction to Islam, Kaduna: Evangel Publishers Ltd.

Al-Kiyaali, A. et al (1990), Maosuuatus-Siyaasah, Beirut: Al-Muassasatul-Arobiyyah Lid-Diraasat Wan-Nashr.

  • Dike, K.O. (as quoted by Oloyede, I.O. in “Trends, Development and Challenges of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Nigerian Universities: The Contributions of Shaykh Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilori” in Shaykh Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilory in the Tableau of Immortality, Riyadh: Nigerian Centre for Arabic Research, 2/45-67.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica(2007), Chicago: William Benton Publishers, vols. 6 and 18.
  • Jowitt, D. (1991) Nigerian English Usage: An Introduction, Ikeja, Longman Plc.
  • Ojelabi, A. , A Textbook of West African History, Ibadan, Educational Research Institute.
  • Oladosu, A.G.A.S. (2012) Fluctuations in the Fortunes of Arabic Education in Nigeria, (Ilorin: University of Ilorin Library and Publication Committee.
  • Oloyede, I.O. (2012) Islamics:The Conflux of Disciplines, Ilorin: University of Ilorin Library and Publication Committee.
  • Omamar, A.P. (2003) “Of Linguistics, Knowledge and Service to the Nation”, In Saliu, N.B. (Ed.), Nigerian Universities’ Inaugural Lectures Series, Abuja: National Universities Commission, p. 23-42.
  • Reader, J. (1997) Africa: A Biography of the Continent, London, Pengium Books.

 

ARABIC LANGUAGE AND ISLAMIC EDUCATION AS AGENTS OF NATIONAL COHESION AND DEVELOPMENT

Dr. Abdul-Hafeez Adeniyi Ahmad Adedimeji,

 University Grand Imaam & Coordinator of Department of General Studies,

 Fountain University,

Osogbo.

 

E-mail: abdulhafeezadedimeji@gmail.com,abdulhafeezmeji@yahoo.com

 

Tel: +2348059310129& +2348121521380

 

Abstract

 

The fact that education, in its true sense, emancipates and liberates its possessor amounts to stating the obvious. In the same vein, it is an incontrovertible fact that education can take many forms and serve many needs. While it is widely acknowledged that one of the greatest threats facing humanity is the problem of insecurity that is not only slowing down the much-anticipated development but poses danger to human existence, the vital role that Arabic language and Islamic Education which calls for unity, preaches peace and exemplifies harmonious relationship between all races and nations cannot be over-emphasised. The main objective of this paper is to examine the positive roles that Muslims, the torch-bearers of Arabic language and Islamic evangelism, have played in human development. It also seeks to  x-ray. Generally, expository  methodology was used in the course of this study while historical approach was resorted to where necessary. The study discovered that Arabic has played important role in the preservation of Nigerian history and arrives at the fact that muslims have been actively partaking in human development since the advent of Islam up till the contemporary time . Based on the above, the paper recommends  that proper recognition of Arabic be accorded to Arabic as a vital language and advocates that its importance does not lie in being the liturgical  language of the Muslims alone. In short, this study serves as an eye-opener to what Nigerians as a people in particular,  and humanity in general,  stand to gain in terms of peace and development if Arabic language and Islamic Education are given due consideration and proper patronage.

 

Keywords: Arabic language, Islamic Education, Development Agents, Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Language is the medium of communication between human beings. It is a social activity that human cannot be complete without. Every human being, by nature, has a language which he/she is affiliated with. Each community or group of people that speaks the same language is referred to as language group. Altogether, there are more than one thousand language groups worldwide.(Adedimeji, A. A. A. 2012:121).

It is the most noticeable distinguishing factor between human beings and other living creatures of the animal kingdom and the most highly developed form of communication man is endowed with. Its essence, significance and status as a social activity is evident in the lens of Augusta Phil Omamar (2003) when he attempted defining it thus:

“Language, whatever else it may or may not be, is the most important,most often used and most highly developed form of human communicationIt is, in a sense, what sets humans apart from other animals which also happen to communicate in the sense of transmitting information of one kind or the otherfrom a sender/source to a receiver. The big difference in the case of human is notjust that both sender and receiver are human as would naturally be expected, but also that the message is either sent vocally through the air and the vocal organs, orgraphically by making particular kind of marks on paper.

There are languages whose speakers cannot exceed thousands of people while there are others whose speakers can be counted in millions or, in rare cases, in tens or hundreds of millions.(Adedimeji, A. A. A. 2012:121). While discussing the numerical strength of various languages, Al-Kiyaali (1990) positioned that there are twelve languages whose speakers exceed fifty millions per each of them. These are: English, German, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Bengali, Claytonia, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Urdu and French.

From the above-mentioned position, it is crystally clear that Arabic is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world. Apart from this, the language is “of over-whelming importance as the language of the revelation of Islam and of the Qur’an, which muslims regard as the epitome of literary excellence”.(Encyclopedia Britannica, 6: 411).

Although, in the light of the afore-stated reality, it is right to refer to Arabic as the liturgical language of Islam, it does not derive its significance from the divine religion alone. Rather, it is an international language which enjoys a very wide acceptance. It has also contributed in no small measure to human civilization. The wide acceptance, universality and vintage status of Arabic vis-à-vis other international languages is chronicled by Oladosu (2012), relying heavily on a research published by the duo of Chejneand B. Whitaker in 1969 and 2009 respectively, in these glittering words:

 

“Arabic is a universally recognized language, occupying a position which is not less in status and rank than that occupied by other international languages like English, French or German. It has long been adopted by the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as a tool for political and diplomatic exchange. Arabic has native speakers in Africa and Asia, emigrants in North and South America and many non-native speakers scattered around the world. In Africa, it is the native tongue of countries like Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, the Western Sahara and the Sudan. In Asia, it is the medium of expression for countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Qatar, Yemen and Palestine. By 1969, it was estimated that, altogether, Arabic was being used as liturgical language by more than four hundred million (400,000,000) people. Currently, Arabic ranks sixth in the world’s league table of languages. It is spoken as a mother tongue by an estimated 186 native speakers. The five languages ahead of Arabic are Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, English and Bengali. (Oladosu A.G.A.S. 2012: 10-11).

 

Arabic being a liturgical language of Islam

Islam is a globally-accepted celestial religion that has its adherents in the nooks and crannies of the world. It was revealed to Prophet Muhammad Bin Abdullah (Peace Be Upon Him), a Qurashite Arab man. Its holy book is the glorious Qur’an and its official language is Arabic. Thus, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary aptly defines it as “the Muslim religion, based on the belief in one God and revealed through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah”(Hornby, A.S. 2000: 780).

Although Islam, alongside Christianity and Judaism , is one of the three greatest faiths in the world, its uniqueness emanates from the fact that it does not only connotes a religion but encapsulates the ideal way of life for all its adherents. This is the reason why “the most important and fundamental religious concept of Islam is that of the Sharicah, or the Law, which embraces the total way of life as explicitly and implicitly commanded by God.”(Encyclopedia Britannica, 5: 409)

For example, Islamic Sharicah covers a large range of all human endeavours such as business, education, science, social interactions like marriage, ceremonies, divorce, diet, wearing, mating, planting, agriculture, hunting, courtship, lending, and leisure activities in addition to acts of worship like mandatory prayers, alms-giving, fasting, supplicating, holy pilgrimage and missionary works in such a comprehensive and elaborate way that no religion can lay claims to such. No wonder, the most Exalted Allah stated inter alia in the Glorious Qur’an: {And there is no creature on/within the earth or bird that flies with its wings except that they are communities like you. We have not omitted anything in the Book (Qur’an). Then, unto their Lord they will be gathered}.(Qur’an: 6:38).

The Hadith (which is the sayings, actions and reactions of Prophet Muhammad in every situation as aptly related and accurately recorded by those who actually witnessed or heard them) is also available to shed more light on whatever is summarized in the Glorious Qur’an. This is in fulfillment of Allah’s commandment to his Prophet (Muhammad) –P.B.U.H- which is unequivocally stated thus: { And We revealed to you the message (i.e. the Qur’an) so that you will explain to the people what was sent down to them and that they may give thought (to it}.( Qur’an: 16:44).

Along with the large collections of Hadith, the biography of the Prophet Muhammad- popularly known as “Seerah” in Islamic circles-is well –known as part of recorded history and source of legislation in Islam. The Prophet’s biographers were historians who, within the first century after his death, began to gather all the facts they could from various sources available, most of them oral. These included descriptions of battles and other events, descriptions of the Prophet’s character, descriptions of people with whom he came in contact with and various other biographical information.

Added to the above-mentioned sources of inspiration, guidance and legislation is the explanations of the Qur’an and the expatiation on the Hadith by the renowned scholars of repute. The authoritative books bequeathed to the Muslim Ummah (global society) by these eminent scholars also complement other sources of Islamic adjudication and enrich in such a way that there is hardly any issue in human society that a historical precedent and religious pronouncement will not be readily available for a Muslim to measure against.

Its noteworthy that Islam is not distinct in the availability of these sources of legislation but in the fact that it is the only religion where these sources are distinctly in existence. The Holy Book of Islam which Allah’s words-known as Qur’an- is independently available and permanently protected in a way that gives no room for revisions, editions and/or variations.

In the same vein, the books of the Hadiths and its categorizations are also independently available. Likewise, there are books which focus on the Prophet’s biography while there are others which centre on ideas, views and explanations of scholars of proven integrity. This is in contrast with books of other religions where the history of people, biographies of Prophets and views of their associates, disciples and/or historians are lumped together and regarded as holy and divine!

On the universality of Islam and the spread of its adherents, muslim population constituted 12% of the world population, coming second after Christianity which had 27%, in the advent of the twentieth century. (Adedimeji M.A. 2012: 2\159). Despite the existential challenges that it has faced, especially since the World War I till the aftermath events of September 11, 2011, which make its adherents to face various forms of decapitation, annihilation,relegation,humiliation and intimidation,  M.A. Adedimeji (2012), relying on October 9th, 2009 edition of, noted that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

 

It is the second largest religion in USA (3.7% Muslim), United Kingdom (4% Muslim), Canada (2% Muslim), France (7% Muslim) and Germany (3.5%). Contrary to the impression held by many, the Arabs constitute a minority in the world population of Muslims, constituting just 18% while non-Arabs are 82%. Africans constitute 20% of the world Muslim population and “there are altogether 241 million Muslims in Sub-Saharan Africa, making up about 15% of the world’s Muslim population”, according to the October 2009 report of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.(Adedimeji M.A. 2012: 2\159).

Coming to Nigeria, the most widely-read national newspaper has asserted that there are 78 million muslims in Nigeria, constituting 50% percent of the national population and 5% of the global muslim population; the remaining 50% of Nigerians are distributed between Christians and traditional religionists.( The Punch, 9th October, 2009: 53).

 

The link between Arabic language and Islamic education as tools for National Cohesion, Stability and Development

Although Arabic is the native language of the Arabs while Islam is the global religion revealed for the mankind through Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), as earlier asserted, the facts that the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic, muslims mostly worship their Creator using the Arabic medium and the reality that most non-Arab muslims learn Arabic for the sake of understanding Islam make both Arabic language and Islamic education to interweave to the extent of fusion. According to Abubakre (2002), “the dynasties of Ummayad and Abbasid Empires contributed immensely to the rise of Arabic as the official language of the Islamic religion, business and administration. This way, Arabic was able to gain linguistic pre-eminence over the territories of converts”.(Abubakre R. D. 2002: 25).  From this, we can see that the two disciplines are inter-related, hence the need to treat both as a set of twins.

Arabic education can serve as a veritable tool for the attainment of lasting peace and national development in Nigeria if it is viewed from the fact that it is the oldest language of civilization in the entire West African sub-region. “Before a single West African son knew a word in English or French, some of his people must have learnt Arabic and in many cases started to write various African Languages in Arabic characters, just as English and French are written in Roman characters” (Abubakre R. D. 2004: 5).

In fact, Oloyede (2012) has chronicled that “ no one can deny the intellectual and administrative roles of Islamic scholarship in pre-independence and administrative Northern and South-Western Nigeria as Arabic Language was a saving grace for Africa’s original contribution to knowledge”(Oloyede I. O. 2012: 29).

To buttress the noble role that Arabic language has played in the history of modern-day Nigeria and the fact that it has served as a carrier of civilization and torch – bearer of progress in the nation’s immediate and remote past history, a vivid testimony of an unbiased Christian historian, Dike (1965) is relevant here:

 

As an historian myself, I have taken the keenest in this development, for it is through the aid of these Arabic documents and those written in African languages in the Arabic script that the scholar will be aided in his task of unlocking the secrets of the African past. It has been a revelation to the whole world of scholarship to realize for the first time that Africa before the European penetration, so far from being a dark continent where the light of scholarship shone brightly, as the Arabic works now being discovered bear testimony… The Arabic scholars of the present, drawing upon the writings of the Arabic scholars of the past, will be able to bring before us the events and happenings of the past ages of Nigeria and so help us to write a history we may rightly call our own.(Dike K. O. 1965: 31-32).

 

The fact that Arabic has served as a means of historical preservation and an agent of development to Nigerians in particular and Africans in general, as evident from the quotation above, cannot be over-emphasised. What is pertinent to be buttressed here is that the glorious past of Arabic education can be rekindled if official recognition is accorded to this benevolent language by our governments in the various levels. It is high time for our fair-minded scholars to begin to see reason  why it deserves to be recognized as our national language so that the country will not only continue to unlock its past through it but mutual and harmonious co-existence between its various nationalities will be achieved on one side and Nigeria will attain accelerated development through bilateral and regional co-operation with the relatively rich developed Arab and Islamic countries on the other side.

Closely related to Arabic language education is the Islamic education. Education, which has been defined as “the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society”(Encyclopedia Britannica, 14\18) knows no barriers of languages and cultures. More than any civilization, Islam has contributed to the advancement of knowledge which is the driving force of development.

 

The translation into Latin of most Islamic works during the 12th and 13th centuries had a great impact upon the European Renaissance…… By 1300, when all that was worthwhile in Muslim scientific, philosophical and social learning had been transmitted to European schoolmen through Latin translations, European Scholars stood once again on the solid ground of Hellenistic thought, enriched or modified through Muslim and Byzantine effort.(Encyclopedia Britannica, 14\17).

 

The perspicacious assessment of role of Islam quoted above explains the position and goal of Islamic education. In Islam, education is about learning and trying to know the unknown. It is about the liberation of the mind and the development of the intellect. It is about trying to develop the intellect, mind, aspiration and assessment of the world and trying to use it to improve every individual’s personality, his environment and the entire community. In short, education is an essential part of Islam and the foundation on which is built. This explains why the word ever revealed by God to his Prophet, Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), in the Glorious Quran is “Read”. It is noteworthy that the word “Read” is broader than another closely word which is “Recite”. While the former deals with all aspects of knowledge, the latter focuses on religious verses alone. In fact, Allah delved on reproduction and embryonic developments of foetus which are scientific issues in the first verses. He communicated to His most beloved Prophet (P.B.U.H.) thus:

(Read in the name of your Lord Who created*He created man from a clinging substance (i.e. sperm) *Read, and your Lord is the most Generous*(it is He) Who taught through the pen* He taught man which he knew not*).(Qur’an: 96: 1-5).

In the light of the above, we can see that Islamic education covers all aspects of knowledge and it is not limited, contrary to the popular belief, to spiritual or religious education alone. This is why a popular versatile writer, Asad (1934), observed that:

Islam has never been a barrier to progress and science. It appreciates the intellectual activities of man to such a degree as to place him above the angels.21 No other religion went so far in asserting the predominance of reason and, consequently, of learning, above all other manifestations of life. If we conform ourselves  to the principles of this religion we cannot wish to eliminate modern learning out of our life. We wish to learn and to progress and to become scientifically and economically as efficient as the western nations are. (Asad M. 1934, 80).

While Islam enjoins its adherents to acquire and embrace all useful forms of knowledge, it is noteworthy that religious education occupies a vintage position in what a Muslim should familiarize himself/herself about. Islamically – speaking, the spiritual education is the bedrock of every knowledge. So, in Islam, to be truly religious, one has to possess some basic religious knowledge which will not be only useful to him/her in worshipping his/her Creator but also serves a guide to man in harmonious relationship with other creatures (man and other animals), an agent of positive change and  a torch to lighten the way for others who have went astray. So, the totality of knowledge and education postulates that without knowledge about God, about life, about creation, about the requirements of worship and about the fulfillment of man’s mission, one cannot worship God and, consequently, one cannot live happily and successfully within himself/herself and with his/her other country-men. Therefore, a devout Muslim is expected to regularly read the Glorious Qur’an so that he/she will know Allah’s injunctions of how to live the best way and relate with others.

For example, on the acquisition of knowledge and its essence, Almighty Allah buttressed that knowledge is life and the fact that an ignorant man is not living life to its fullest was stated in various forms and different verses of His Book. In verse 9 of chapter 39 (Suratuaz-Zumar) of the Qur’an, He asks rhetorically thus:{Are those who know equal to those who do not know?!’’ It is only men of understanding remember (and derive lessons from Allah’s signs}. In verse 28 of Chapter 35 (Suratu Faatir) however, he equates knowledge with piety thus: {It is only those who have knowledge among his slaves that fear Allah}. Likewise, He promised that He will exalt the pious and the knowledgeable people in degrees when he said in verse 11 of Chapter 58 (Suuratul – Mujaadilah) thus: {Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge}.

On peaceful co-existence and orderliness of the society, these are some Islamic teachings that promote tolerance, understanding and loyalty to the constituted authority. {Do not let the hatred of people who (once) stopped you from (entering) Al-Masjid Al-Haram) (at Makkah ) lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Cooperate in righteous and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression}. (Chapter 5, verse 2) {Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and to judge with justice when you judge between people. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Truly, Allah is ever All-Hearer, All-seer. O you who believe! Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger (Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him) and those in authority among you}. (Qur’an 4, 58-59).

Apart from the lessons and facts derivable from the afore-mentioned verses of the Glorious Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), led an exemplary life of honesty, righteousness, tolerance and peace that is yet unrivalled in history. Suffice at this juncture is the leadership qualities he bequeathed to the entire mankind when he was saddled with the onerous responsibility of managing the affairs of the entire Ummah at its inception and heading the multi-religious Madeenah community after his and his followers’ emigration to the holy city. In fact, it is not an overstatement when one states that Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) has, through his actions, deeds and utterances, demonstrated statesmanship more than any mortal in the history of humanity. The ground-breaking Sulhul-Hudaibeyyah (i.e. the Peace Treaty of Al-Haudaibeyyah)23 serves as a glittering example of the high sense of diplomacy, sagacity and statemanship of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). in the talks that were held between SuhailIbn Amir, who was delegated by the infidel Quraish people to act as their mouthpiece, and the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), the two opposing camps agreed as follows:

 

  1. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) should return back that year and he should not be given access to Makkah. Whenever the Muslims come in the following year, they would be allowed to enter Makkah with the arms of riders only (i.e. their swords should be sheathed).
  2. Wars between the two parties should be suspended for ten years when people enjoy security and abstain from all acts of fighting against one another.
  3. He who wants to go into agreement with Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) can do so. Similarly, he who wants to make a treaty with Quraish can do so. The tribe that joins either of the two parties is regarded as part of it. So, any act of aggression made against any tribe can be deemed as an attack on the relevant party.
  4. He who defects to Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), among the Quraish people, without his guardian’s permission (i.e. as fugitives), should be sent back. Contrarily, he who seeks asylum to Quraish from among the followers of Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) should not be returned to him.(Al-Mubarakfuriy S. 1999, 347-348).

One who is not familiar with the absolute tolerance of the Prophet (S.A.W.S.) and his large-heartedness may perceive him as a weakling by his consent to the terms of agreement mentioned above, especially on article (4) of the treaty. However, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was merely being concessional; diplomatic and peace-seeking. On the contrary, he was a strong, determined and courageous leader with a followership that can best be described as iron-willed. As a tolerant and law abiding leader, he started implementing the terms of the treaty with immediate effect as it was recorded that he sent Abu Jandal son of SuhailIbn Amir down to Makkah and released him to his father, the chief negotiator of the Quraish, when the former surfaced just after the signing of the agreement and declared his profession of Islam. When the worthless polytheists of Quraish were recalcitrant to honour their words, persistent in their infidelity and persecution of the Muslims, he did not hesitate to wage war on them some few years later and he and his followers emerged victorious as evident from the landmark Fathu (conquest) of Makkah.(Al-Mubarakfuriy S. 1999, 348-349).

In the modern day however, Muslims and Islamic nations have proved themselves as forces to be reckoned with in the areas of granting reliefs to the needy individuals and countries, extension of hands of fellowship to nations of different ideologies and active participation in economic development of member states. For example, the pro-active stand of Muslim nations is evident in the establishment of a multi-national economic institutions that benefit its members.

 

ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK (AL-BANK AL-ISLAMI LIL-ISTITHMAR), Muslim Bank directed toward financing the economic and social development of members in accordance with the principles of the Shari’ah (Islamic sacred laws). Conceived by the Organization of Islamic Conference in 1973, the bank was headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and formally opened on October 1975. Its member states are drawn from the ranks of those states belonging to the organization of the Islamic conference. The Islamic Development Bank seeks to spur economic and financial growth by participating in equity capital, by investing   in economic and infrastructure projects, and making loans to the public and private sectors”. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 6\441).

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

In the light of the above discussion, this research has been able to establish the followings:

i-  Arabic language has played the pivotal role in the development of the humanity in general and preservation of Nigerian history and political development in particular.

ii- Arabic is a global language that is widely accepted throughout the length and breadth of the universe. Its importance, therefore, transcends the narrow limits of being a mere liturgical language to a global medium of transaction useful for economic and political relationships between nations, communities and individuals.

iii- Islam recognizes the essence  and vital role in language as a unifying factor between races and different peoples of the world. Hence,its adoption of Arabic as its official language used in most of different forms of worship.

iv- Islam enjoins its adherents to acquire and embrace all useful forms of knowledge. Therefore, education in Islam should not be restricted, or understood to be restricted, to religious education alone.

v- Closely related to the above, Islam has never been a barrier to progress and science. It appreciates the intellectual activities of man to such a degree as to make the first verses ever revealed in its glorious Book to focus on essence of both religious and scientific education. An ideal Islamic scholar is, therefore, expected to be vast in religious and the so-called Western education.

vi- Since Islam derives its name from absolute and unconditional submission to the creator and peaceful co-existence with fellow creatures, it should be understood that acquisition of Islamic education will undoubtedly aid the much-sought national cohesion, accelerate growth and aid in the attainment of development. In other words, violence, coercion, compulsion and terror are totally alien to Islam, while conviction and tolerance are its attributes. Therefore, undesirable actions of some of its adherents should not be attributed to the sacred religion as there is no religion that does not has some misled and/or disgruntled elements within its fold.

vii- What is widely regarded as Islamic Studies in our formal education nowadays is, in actual fact, a conflux of disciplines that covers areas of specialization that include: Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Tafseer (Qur’anic exegesis), Seerah (Prophetic history), Hadeeth ( Prophetic action and sayings), cAgeedah (the Creed) and, of course, the knowledge of Qur’anic recitation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

 

  • Abubakre R.D. (2002), The Survival of Arabic in Difficult Terrains,Fifty fifth Inaugural Lecture, Ilorin: University of Ilorin Library and Publication Committee.
  • Abubakre, R.D. (2004) The Interplay of Arabic and Yoruba Cultures in South-Western Nigeria,Iwo: Darul-cIlm Publishers.
  • Adedimeji A.A.A. (2012), “The Prospects of Arabic Language as a Unifying Force for Nigerian Muslims” In Musa A. Abdul-Raheem Ph. D. (Ed.), Challenges of Moon Sighting and Preservation of Arabic Manuscriptsin Nigeria, theme of an annual Journal of Nigeria Association of Teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies (NATAIS), (Sebiotimo Publications, Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria), p. 121.
  • Adedimeji M.A., Islamic Education in Nigeria and Al-Ilori: The Language Question and the Challenges Ahead” In R.D. Abubakre Ph. D., (Ed.), Shaykh Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilory in the Tableau of Immortality, (Riyadh: Nigerian Centre for Arabic Research, 2012,) 2/159.
  • Al-Kiyaali A. (1990)et al, Maosuuatus-Siyaasah, Al-Muassasatul-cArabiyyah Lid-Diraasat Wan-Nashr, Beirut (Lebanon), vol. 5, p. 473.
  • Al-Mubarakfuriy S. (no date), Al-Rahiqul-Makhtoum, translated to English with the title: The Pure Nectar: A Treatise on Prophet’s Biography, by Muhammad Ibrahim Ghazy, Daramgd Publishers, Cairo, Egypt), pp. 347 – 348.
  • Asad M. (2001), Islam at the Crossroads, (New Delhi, (India): Goodword Books, 2001), p. 80.
  • Dike K.O. (1965), Report on a Seminar on the Teaching of Arabic in Nigeria, Ibadan and Kano, pp. 31-32 (as quoted by Abubakre, R.D. (2004) The Interplay of Arabic and Yoruba Cultures in South-Western Nigeria,Iwo: Darul-‘Ilm Publishers).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica (2007), Chicago: William Benton Publishers.
  • Hornby, A.S., Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, the word “Islam“.
  • Oladosu A.G.A.S. (2012), Fluctuations in the Fortunes of Arabic Education in Nigeria, One Hundred and Fifteenth Inaugural Lecture, (Ilorin: University of Ilorin Library and Publication Committee.
  • Oloyede I.O. (2012), Islamics: The Conflux of Disciplines, The One Hundred and Sixteenth Inaugural Lecture, Ilorin: University of Ilorin Library and Publication Committee.
  • Omamar A.P. (2003), “Of Linguistics, Knowledge and Service to the Nation”, Noel B. Saliu Ph.D. (Ed.), Nigerian Universities’ Inaugural Lectures Series, National Universities Commission, p.27.
  • The Punch, “Five percent of world’s Muslims in Nigeria”, Lagos: October 9, 2009, p.53.

 

 

 

THEORETICAL AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES OF LANGUAGE: ARABIC AS A CASE STUDY

Dr. Abdul-Hafeez Adeniyi Ahmad Adedimeji,

 University Grand Imaam & Coordinator of Department of General Studies,

Fountain University,

Osogbo.

E-mail: abdulhafeezadedimeji@gmail.com & abdulhafeezmeji@yahoo.com

                                   Tel: +2348059310129& +2348121521380                    

Abstract

Language is the most advanced and effective medium of communication between human beings. It is a social activity that human life cannot be complete without. In other words, every human being naturally has a language he\she is affiliated with. However, it is a double-edged tool that may be positively utilized by using it to achieve its major goal of expressing needs, thoughts and ideas as it may be negatively used to promote divisions and ethnic jingoism. Having observed that this negative trend in the application of  multiplicity of language is becoming the order of the day in the contemporary time, this paper takes a critical look at the essence of language, appraises its significance and beams searchlight on the theoretical, historical and social aspects of  language in general and Arabic in particular. With copious evidence, this work establishes that Arabic is one of the earliest languages, if not the earliest language, of the world. It further asserts, in unequivocal terms, that the importance of Arabic cannot be confined to liturgical relevance alone. The findings this study arrives at clearly indicate the vital role of language in human life, whether as an individual or an integral part of the society. It also posits that love, tranquility  and mutual understanding can be achieved smaller languages give way to the dominant one, as exemplified in the heterogeneous people of Ilorin, a major urban town in Nigeria, whose indigenes and inhabitants speak Yoruba. It concludes by laying emphasis on the vital role acquisition of languages of other people can play in engendering harmony in a pluralistic society.

 

1.0 Introduction        

This work is broadly divided into two sections. The first section centres on the vital aspects of language and explores its roles as a social necessity and effective means of cultural preservation. The section was further divided into sub-topics that feature: Essence and Forms of Language in Human Life, Variety of Languages: a Curse or a Blessing? Harmonisation of Languages and Unity in DiversityandLanguage: the Cultural Ambassador Plenipotentiary. It is on this solid foundation of general study and appraisal of language as a whole that section two which focuses on Arabic language was built. Arabic, which is the mother tongue of the Arabs and official language of Islam, is an ancient Semitic and international language whose native speakers spread across different countries of the Gulf region, many Asian countries, North and far  West Africa. In this section, a detailed study of the scope, root  and history of Arabic was undertaken. Also, the section attempts an in-depth look of its linguistic, typological, grammatical, syntactical classifications and affiliations In a nutshell, this paper x-rays various theories of origin of language with particular emphasis on Arabic. It also appraises the importance of Arabic as a widely-spoken and one of the earliest languages in the history of humanity. Finally, useful insights about the typology and nature of Arabic are provided in this research.

 

  • Essence and Forms of Language in Human Life

Language has been described as “the principal and richest means of communication used by human beings” (Encyclopedia Americana 2006: 16/727).  Perhaps, one of  its most precise definition  is the one rendered by the celebrated Arabic linguist Ibn Jinniy when he says that it is “voices that a group of people uses to express their needs and feelings”[Aswātun yucabbir bihā kullu qaomin can agrādihim أصوات يعبّر بها كلّ قومٍ عن أغراضهم] (Ibn Jinniy, Abul-Fath U., 1/73).The precision and accuracy of this definition lie in the fact that, as brief as it is, it consists of the four basic elements and features of any language which are: voices, expression, affiliation to a group of people or community and the goal of carrying the opinion or need/needs of the speaker. However, one has to take into cognizance the fact that the listed elements are features of the real language, and are not applicable to non-verbal language. This latter type has been defined as “means of passing across messages without using words, and includes gestures, body movements, facial expressions, colour, dressing and so on” (Yusuf, Y.K. 2006: 24).

Stating that all human communities possess language amounts to stating the obvious. A geographical entity without a unifying language is an entity that will continuously be plagued with bickering, suspicion and communal clashes. Nothing can be more truthful and realistic in this regard than the Arabic saying which goes thus: “He who learns the language of a people becomes immune to their ploy” (Man tacallama lugata qaomin amina makrahumمَنْ تَعَلَّمَ لُغَةَ قَوْمٍ أَمِنَ مَكْرَهُمْ ). In other words, no nationhood can be attained without the issue of binding language taken into consideration. This is why the popular Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary makes it the first prerequisite feature of nationhood when it defines a “nation” thus: “a country considered as a group of people with the same language, culture and history, who live in a particular area under one government” (Hornby, A.S. 2000: 780).

The essence of language can be further buttressed by the fact that no human civilization can be accomplished without the language which is not only the vital agent of change but the most potent instrument of cross-fertilization of ideas.

Languages differ in the strength of  people who speak them. While there are languages whose speakers cannot exceed few hundreds of people, there are others whose speakers can be counted in millions. However, according to Al-Kiyāli (Al-Kiyāli, A. 1990: 5\473), there are twelve languages whose speakers exceed fifty million per each of them. These are: English, German, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Bengali, Claytonia, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Urdu and French. We have no doubt that there are many languages that must have joined the league since almost one-quarter of a century that this assertion has been made.

It is certain that the languages that are being spoken throughout the world runs  into thousands. It is, however, a daunting task to arrive at a number with precision. Although some sources are emphatic that the number of global languages “may be estimated at about 6,500”(Encyclopedia Americana 2006: 16\731) while some estimate that “the number of languages in the world vary between 6,000 and 7,000” (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/language). This uncertainty in the knowledge of human speech varieties may be attributable to the vagueness of the term “language” itself. What is the demarcating line and distinguishing factor between a language and a dialect?

Generally speaking and in popular usage, a language is superior in dignity to a dialect. This is why it is correct to say that dialects are different forms or modes of speaking a particular language. Arabic, for example, has different dialects that hold sway in different countries of the Gulf region, other Asian nations, North Africa and far West Africa. The Egyptian dialect is quite different from the Saudi dialect. These two dialects differ from the version being spoken by the Arabs of Algeria. In the same vein, the Iraqis have their own separate dialect. At the local level, Yoruba language which is one of the widely-spoken Nigerian languages has dialects that include: Oyo, Egba, Ijesha, Ijebu, Ekiti and Ondo dialects(Adedimeji, A.A.A. 2012: 121-122).

However, with the advent of writing as a way of preservation and language communication, there is always a standard form or dialect which native speakers of a particular language normally succumb to and give preference above others. The factors and yardsticks used in determining this standard dialect range from simplicity, originality, religious significance and general widespread. For example, the Quraesh dialect in which the Glorious Qur’ān is written is the standard dialect for Arabic speakers while Oyo dialect has been unanimously accepted as the written and standard form of the language of the Yorubas. In English, British version is globally recognized because of its originality and source factors while the American form is having wide currency in the contemporary world because of the political and economic relevance of its native speakers.

In some circumstances however, the relationship between language and dialect as illustrated above with versions of Arabic, Yoruba and English languages may not be as clear and distinct as painted. For fear of political domination or in quest of economic gains, a particular dialect may claim to be a different language in defiance of the “source language”. This will certainly create a problem of precision in the number of languages that are available in the country where this scenario happens.

Apart from the above-mentioned situation, there are instances where, in actual fact, dialects develop to full-fledged languages as there are situations when independent languages extinct.

“As local dialect variants diverge over time, what were formally dialect variations of the same language develop differences to the point of mutual unintelligibility and become separate languages. Thus, the local variants of Latin spoken in different sections of the Roman Empire moved further and further apart and eventually became a number of distinct standard languages –including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian-  and many more extinct languages” (Encyclopedia Americana 2006: 16\731).

On the other hand, extinction of languages may be attributable to either cultural inferiority, colonialism, neo-colonialism, genocide, natural disasters or combination of some or all of the above. What is very baffling about this extinction issue  is the fact that some researches affirm that “between 50% and 90% of languages spoken at the beginning of the twenty-first century will probably have become extinct by the year 2100” (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/language).

 

1:2 Variety of Languages: a Curse or a Blessing?

Variety of languages and its attendant result of cultural identity and ethnic jingoism have caused, and  is still, causing a lot of problems in the world. This leads to the quest to search for what plurality of language stands for and it beckons to humanity as a race.

Religiously speaking, diversity of languages is one of the signs of Almighty Allāh and one of the barometers used in identifying human beings and consolidating their relationships. Allāh, The Most Exalted, said:

{And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and colours. Indeed, in that are signs for people of sound knowledge} (Qur’ān: ArRuum 30:22).

(ومن آياته خلقُ السموات والأرض واختلاف ألسنتكم وألوانكم إنّ في ذلك لآياتٍ للعالِمين) (سورة الروم، الآية 22).

 

In another Chapter, this fact was further re-stated where He says:

 

{O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female and made you nations and tribes you may know one another} (Qur’ān: AlHujut 9:13).

(يا أيّها الناس إنّا خلقناكم من ذكر وأنثى وجعلناكم شعوبًا وقبائل لتعارفوا إنّ أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم إنّ الله عليم خبير) (سورة الحجرات، الآية 13).

In fact, Allāh buttressed the fact that His message, like other human transactions, cannot be efficiently carried out without correlation between the language of the Messenger and that of his audience where He stated inter alia:

{And We did not send any Messenger except with the language of his people in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them} (Qur’ān: Ibrāhīm 14: 4).

(وما أرسلنا من رسول إلاّ بلسان قومه ليبيّن لهم) (سورة إبراهيم، الآية 4).

Unfortunately, this obvious sign of the Creator is being negatively exploited to cause social upheavals and communal clashes between human beings that all celestial religions regard as global family that originate from the same source (i.e. Adam and Hawā’\Eve). The reality of this fact is very glaring and one may not need to look far for incidences to buttress it. In many countries of the world, armed confrontations and genocidal attacks have occurred, and continue to occur, between citizens that of divergent languages. In many instances, the ethnic minorities have suffered displacement, marginalization, suppression and outright annihilation from fellow compatriots whose tribes enjoy numerical strength over them. This situation was true (and still true in some instances) for Jews in Germany, Tutsis in Rwanda, Tamils in Sri Lanka, Whites in Zimbabwe, Kikuyus in the Rift Valley and Chinese in Indonesia.

Back home in Nigeria, the most populous and the acclaimed giant country of Africa, the diversity of citizens is evident in various cultures and different languages available throughout the length and breadth of  our entity. In fact, numbers that range between 200 and 400 have been given for its standard languages (Jowitt, D. 1991: 9). However, there is a general consensus that the largest and the most widely-spoken of these languages are: Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. Apart from the three languages, languages like Kanuri, Fulfulde, Tiv, Efik, Ibibio, Edo, Nupe, Gwari, Igala and Idoma have millions of people that are speaking each of them as their mother tongue.

It is this multi –ethnic situation that threw up the country’s immediate post –independent rulers and the first generation of politicians who have been accepted as national heroes. While the duo of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Sir Ahmadu Bello represented the interest of the Hausa – Fulani tribes of the North, Chiefs Obafemi Awolowo and, to a lesser degree, Samuel Ladoke Akintola were regarded as leaders of Yorubas while Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who was then assisted by Sir Michael Okpara held the sway in the Igbo-speaking Eastern Nigeria. Each of these nationalists tried their best to protect and promote the interests of their tribes and left no stone unturned to make their people the dominant tribe in the affairs of the country.

This scenario led to a lot of unhealthy rivalry, accusations and counter –accusations that heated up the polity and threatened to tear the nation to shreds. The events that led to the nation’s protracted civil war, popularly known as Biafra war (1967-1970), were too glaring to expatiate on at this junction (Adedimeji, A.A.A. 2012: 125).

At the linguistic level, Al-Ilory established that most Nigerian ethnic tribes have abuse and offensive languages they use malign each other. While the Kanuri people see others as “afnuu” which means “slaves to the Kanuris”, the Yorubas refer to the Hausas and the generality of the Northerners as “gambari” which is a corruption of “Gobir“, the tribe that Yorubas used to buy and sell at seaports at a stage of their history. On their own part, the Hausas usually label Yorubas with “beerebe“, a very derogatory word in their language (Al-Ilory, Adam Abdullah 2012:89).

Perhaps, one of the most potent ways of curbing this ugly scenario or its drastic reduction is simultaneous teaching of the three major languages in all our primary or secondary schools or, better still, adoption of Arabic as the national language that must be embraced by the entire citizenry. At this juncture, it is noteworthy that Arabic is not, and should not be regarded as, a foreign language. Rather, the fact remains that it is the only Nigerian indigenous language, being the native language of Shuwa Arabs of the present-day Bornu State, with wide-range international appeal. Being a language of a minority tribe in Nigeria cannot count against the suitability and viability of Arabic, if it can link us with the wider world and serve our economic and political interests in the comity of nations.

Although it may be argued that adoption of one of the two afore-mentioned recommendations, especially the first one, may prove to be additional burden on the average Nigerian learner who is already finding it difficult to acquire English language alongside with mastery of his\her native language, in addition to other scientific and vocational subjects that he\she has to contend with. The answer to this poser is that no price is too high to attain a lasting peace and no sacrifice is too great to engender harmony.

To ease the anticipated burden this suggestion of learning truly national language\s may create, our education policy makers should find a way of merging some related courses or outright cancelation of some less relevant subjects. Anything short of this will be tantamount to curing common rashes while leprosy is being ignored. We cannot afford to continue to live  in mutual suspicion and tribal affiliations borne out of linguistic barriers. Adoption of this position will make Nigeria a cohesive nation and its citizens polyglot individuals.

The inner joy, sense of belonging  and feeling of fulfillment that a person who speaks different languages possess are indescribable. An anonymous Arab poet says:

بقدر لغات المرء يكثر نفعه          وتلك له عند الشدائد أعوان

فبادر إلى حفظ اللغات بسرعة      وكلّ لسانٍ في الحقيقة إنسان

The benefits derivable by an individual are proportional to the number of languages he speaks; these (languages) will be of immense assistance to him in times of difficulty. You should, therefore, gear up to learn as many languages as possible; since every language acquired by man makes another distinct personality (i.e. man is counted in the number of languages he speaks!)

 

 

 

1:3 Harmonisation of Languages and Unity in Diversity: The Ilorin Example

Another way through which mutual understanding and sustainable peace can be achieved is for smaller ethnic groups to succumb to the dominant one. By this succumbing theory, individual groups will still maintain their identities through family lineage names, names of quarters and other means while the binding language of the entire community remains one. The good example of the feasibility of this theory is Ilorin metropolis, the capital city of Kwara State of Nigeria. Nigeria as a country, nay humanity at large, has a lot to learn from the linguistic reality of this town. According to Al-Ilory (Al-Ilory, Adam Abdullah 1971: 134-135), this ancient city comprises of four quarters each of which was dominated with either an ethnic group and\or adherents of the same faith. These ethnic-cum-religious groups are: Fulanis who hosted the celebrated legendary Islamic scholar Muhammad Saleh (popularly known as Sheikh Alimi because of his erudition and vastness in Islamic scholarship), Hausas who were semi-mobile traders whose population fluctuates because of the nature of their commercial activities, muslim Yorubas of Oke-Suna who were mixtures of the real Yorubas and Berbers who has co-existed with them for a long time and the pagan Yorubas who are descendants of Afonja, the generalissimo of the oldOyo Empire who migrated to the two after an irreconcilable differences between him and the then Alaafin (the paramount ruler of the empire). Apart from these major ethnic or religious groups, other ethnic nationalities like Kanuris, Nupes, Ebiras and, lately, Igbos have settled in the ancient town.

Of note is the fact that despite the diversity of the origin of these ethnic tribes and groups, all indigenes of the town now speak Yoruba as the native language and medium of transaction between them. This, among other credible reasons cited, is the reason why Al-Ilory, in another scholarly work, insisted that the town is a Southern and Yoruba settlement. This is in defiance  of what the post-independent Nigerian politicians will want us to believe and what some few present-day indigenes and inhabitants of the have accepted as fiat accompli (Al-Ilory, Adam Abdullah 1987: 69-70).

However, the identities of each of the afore-mentioned tribes and other tribes that joined in the latter stage of their history is preserved through the names of compounds of the towns and its individuals. For example, the indigenes of the town who are of Nupe origin live in Gbodofu, Malefu, Yerefu, Kujitufu, Shotafu and Inukofu and bear names like Maimasa, Ndarabi, Korotaba and Salati (Ologele, Shuaeb A. 2012, 7 and 20). The affiliation to the tribal origin through the instrumentality of names and adoption of the dominant language as exemplified by the people of Ilorin is a practical example of unity in diversity and a middle course between the two extreme positions of loosing of one’s cultural identity and ethnic jingoism. This Ilorin example deserves a deeper study and closer look. This is important because whatever is acceptable and working  in town may prove to be welcomed by other Nigerians as the town has been rightly described as the “gateway to the north and the south” of the country (Abubakre, R.D. 2012: 2\19).

One other thing that needs to be stated at this juncture is the fact that although Yoruba has been embraced by all and sundry in the town, as stated above, vocabularies of other component languages and\or new words that are not of Yoruba origin abound in the day-to-day interactions of the people. Examples of this include: karanbaani (which means “a crook or a rascal”), kata (which means “a though or difficult person”), among others. These words, which are definitely alien to other Yorubas, are either borrowed from other component languages or coined outright to reflect the new linguistic confluence. Other noticeable deviations in the way Ilorin people speak their Yoruba is the usage of certain word markers. For example, the word “fa” – with a high pitch tonal pronunciation- which is invariably used to collocate a sentence in the end is a linguistic Ilorin invention. Also, while a typical Yoruba man will mean “great Islamic scholars” with “Aafaa nla-nla“, an Ilorin man will use it to mean “a very great Islamic scholar”. It is glaring from this example that while the repetition of the adjective (i.e. “nla“) will indicate pluralisation of the word to other Yorubas, the Ilorin man will use it to connote emphasis and\or superlative reference. This further buttresses what we have earlier asserted that smaller languages can voluntarily give way to a bigger one without necessarily being totally annihilated or consumed by it.

Apart from the above-analysed feature that makes Ilorin people stands out among Nigerians, inter-marriage of tribes that leads to multi-cultural consanguinity and mutual understanding is a social characteristic that is worthy of emulation. This consanguinity has led to few exceptions to the alliance to the origin language through the name of each individual earlier buttressed. This exemption is crystal from the name of the notable scholar who Sheikh Alimi met in Ilorin on his arrival. This scholar, according to Abubakre who relied on many notable documented historical accounts (Abubakre, R.D. 2004: 22), is “Solagberu, who was of Kanuri extraction and then a Yoruba Chief at Oke Suna in Ilorin”. The view is recently collaborated by Belgore (Belgore, S.M.A. 2014: 11)who remarked that “he was known as Solagberu, who despite his name, was of Kanuri stock”. In recent times, many members of Ilorin royal family have Yoruba names alongside their ancestral Fulani names. Although this feature depicts tolerance and mutual respect, it does not, however, contradict what we have earlier established that each individual is generally traced to his original tribe through the name he/she bears. Naturally, scholarship thrives and harmony reigns in an atmosphere that is devoid of egoism and self-centredness.

Lastly, it is, perhaps, in the quest for making the world a global village and enhancing better understanding between different nations of the world that humanity has lately developed interest in invention of a universal language that will not know national and continental barriers. This led to the efforts of L.L. Zamouhurf (1859- 1917 A.D.) who invented a language named Esperanto that is formed from modern European Languages and tailored in line with Latin language rules and grammar as the global language (Al-Kiyāli, A. 1990: 1\166). This attempt, as noble as its idea was, was doomed for failure as it was against nature (as buttressed in the Qur’ānic verses cited above) and commonsense (as no nation or tribe would be willing to give up its most prominent natural identity for a concocted language at best or a caricature at worse!)

 

 

 

1:4 Language: the Cultural Ambassador Plenipotentiary

In view of all the above-mentioned facts and realities, language is the most noticeable feature of social entity and the most enduring aspect of any culture. Culture, as opined by E.B. Tylor (Anne Cooper and Elsie A. Maxwell 2003: 148)  is “that complex whole which included knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of a society”.

Shākir, in his evaluation of aspects and forms of human arts, considers both the poetry and “conspicuous speech” two sides of the “higher arts”, while music, drawing\modern-day photography and sculpture are nothing but components of what he regards as the “lower arts”. These types of “lower arts”, according to him, are always in the service of the “higher arts” (Shākir, M.M. 1996: 170).As language is very critical to the preservation of cultural heritage of any given society and very vital to  its harmonious coexistence, it is equally indispensable to every human being.

On his part, Al-Jundiy ( Al-Jundiy, D. : 1) asserts that the need of a man for a language that will link him up with fellow members of his community and preserves his culture is more paramount to his need for water, food and commerce! The essence of this scholar’s assertion can be viewed from the fact that the cited needs, as important and indispensable they are in human life (which makes some of them to be duly qualified as “basic necessities of life”), cannot be attained, or very difficult to acquire, without the instrumentality of language.

It is also the most major distinguishing factor between human beings and other living creatures and the most highly developed form of communication that man is endowed with. Its essence, the significance and status as a social activity is evident in Augusta Phil Omamar’s (2003: 27) conceptualization thus:

 

Language, whatever else it may or may not be, is the most important, most often used and most highly developed form of human communication. It is, in a sense, what sets humans apart from other animals which also happen to communicate in the sense of transmitting information of one kind or the other from a sender/source to a receiver. The big difference in the case of humans is not just that both sender and receiver are human as would naturally be expected, but also that the message is either sent vocally through the air and the vocal organs, orthographically by making particular kind of marks on paper.

In short, language is the most noticeable cultural identity as its other aspects like beliefs, arts, dressing, habits, morals, laws and customs are all feeble and flabby in nature and, therefore, cannot stand the test of time as language does.

 


2:1 Arabic:  Its Scope, Root  and History

Simply put, Arabic is the mother tongue of the Arabs and the official language of  muslims. However, while it is true that muslims worldwide hold Arabic in high regards because of the fact that the Glorious Qur’ān was revealed in it and the consensus of Islamic scholars that this Holy Book is absolutely untranslatable, it is incorrect to say that “muslims regard Arabic as the only appropriate language of approach to Allāh” (Encyclopedia Americana 2006: 2\156).

The elaboration this general statement needs is that while there certain obligatory modes of Islamic worship that must be conducted in Arabic, like daily Salāt (obligatory or supererogatory  prayer) and some aspects of  hajj, a muslim is free to supplicate to his Lord and seek His blessings in his mother tongue or whatever language that pleases him. In a nutshell, while the Salāt  and some rituals of hajj (annual holy pilgrimage to Mecca in a specific period) must be observed in Arabic, muslims are encouraged, and not compelled, to learn the language.

What is more accurate on the relationship of Arabic with Islam vis-à-vis other faiths is the fact stated by another source thus:

“Classical Arabic is the language of the Qur’an. Arabic is closely associated with the religion of Islam because the Qur’an is written in the language, but it is nevertheless also spoken by Arab ChristiansMizrahi Jews and Iraqi Mandaeans. Most of the world’s Muslims do not speak Arabic as their native language, but many can read the Qur’ānic script and recite the Quran. Among non-Arab Muslims, translations of the Quran are most often accompanied by the original text”(www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_language).

On the other hand, Arabs are group of people that speak Arabic as their native language. Their language, alongside with Ethiopic, belongs to the southern group of Semitic languages. Other members of this language family include Phoenician, Hebrew, Aramaic and Akkadian.“But it surpasses them all in its conservatism, copiousness of vocabulary, possibilities of syntactic distinction, and elaborateness of verbal forms- all of which combine to make Arabic the best surviving representative of the original Semitic speech” (Encyclopedia Americana 2006: 16/727). Before the spread of Islam, the term “Arab” referred to any of  the largely nomadic Semitic inhabitants of the Arabia Peninsula  (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007: 1/504). Some scholars assert that the name “Arab” was derived from cArabah which is another name for Tuhāmah, a settlement in the Peninsula that the early Arabs were confined to and the social, cultural, religious and linguistic nerve of all the present-day Arabs.

However, the origin of Arabic is surrounded with mystery and myth as the origin of human language itself. On his part, Ibn Fāris– who lived in the eleventh century- was of the opinion that Arabic is divine and it was the Exalted Allāh that taught man how to speak, through Adam, the progenitor of all human beings. To support his position, he resorted to the history of creation of man as related by the Glorious Qur’ān where Allāh says:{He taught Adam All the names (of everything) } (Qur’ān: Al-Baqarah 2:31).

(وعلّم آدم الأسماء كلّها) (سورة البقرة، الآية 31).

. In another instance, he supported his view with Qur’ānic verse where the Lord says: {He –i.e. Allāh- taught him (man) eloquent speech} (Ar-Rahmān 55:4).

(علّمه البيان) (سورة الرحمان، الآية 4).

Relying on these two verses and the likes, he concludes thus:

“Allāh the Most Exalted inspired Adam to know what He (Allāh) wanted him to know in terms of what he needed to transact with in his time. Afterwards, whatever He wishes man to know (in term of language) diffuses” (Ibn Fāris, Ahmad. : 8).

Apart from the above-quoted opinion, other linguists posit that language, Arabic inclusive, is conventional or, to borrow the word of Saussure, arbitrary (i.e. it the product of what the society invents and accepts as appropriate). There are others who charted the middle of the two extreme positions by saying that some words are inspired while others and sentences are conventional. The fourth position belongs to those who observe that language originated from man’s mimicking or echoing of the sounds of nature. This school of thought rely on “few words (that) exist for which the sound does suggest their meanings (the so-called onomatopoeia) ” ( See: Encyclopedia Americana 2006: 16/727, http://www.uqu.edu.sa and http://www.ao-academy.com).

Relying on archaeological findings and religious sources, researchers agreed that there were some Arabs who have perished. This group is normally referred as Al- cArabul –Bāidah meaning: the perished (or no-more–living\extinct) Arabs. cAad, Thamuud (these two groups are mentioned in the Glorious Qur’ān), Tasam and Jadīs. In a place, the Exalted Allāh says:

{Has not the story reached them of those before them? –the people of Nuuh (Noah) and (tribes of) cAad and Thamuud, the people of Ibrāhīm (Abraham), the dwellers of Madyan and the cities overturned? (Qur’ān: At–Taubah 9:70).

 

(ألم يأتهم نبأ الذّين من قبلهم قوم نوح وعادٍ وثمود وقوم إبراهيم وأصحاب مدينَ والمؤتفكات) (سورة التوبة، الآية 70).

 

This was further buttressed in another verse of the Glorious Qur’ān where the Almighty Allāh stabilises and assures His Prophet thus:

 

{And if they deny you, (O Muhammad) –so, before them, did the people of Nuuh (Noah) and (tribes of) cAad and Thamuud deny (their prophets)} (Qur’ān: AlHajj 22:42).

(وإن يكذِّبوك فقد كذّبت قبلهم قوم نوحٍ وعادٌ وثمودُ) (سورة الحج، الآية 42).

Another category of Arabs is the “Al– cArabul-cAaribahالعرب العاربة)) which roughly means: “the real Arabs”. They are the Qahtānis that live in the Republic of Yemen and Southern part of Saudi Arabia.

The third category are called “Al– cArabul-Mustacrabahالعرب المستعربة) ) which can be translated to: Arabized Arabs, Arabs by adoption, or naturalized Arabs. These are the cAdnānis that are off –springs and results of the inter-marriage that happened between Prophet Ismcāīl Bin Ibrāhīm (P.B.U.H.) who was initially an immigrant to the peninsula but later got integrated through his marriage to an Arab woman (Al-Kiyāli, A. 1990: 5\470).

In short, Arabic is one of the earliest languages in the history of mankind. In fact, there are relevant traditions quoted by scholars that suggest that the name of progenitor of all human beings, Adam, was coined from an Arabic word (At-Tabarī, M.B.J. 1997:1/251-252).What is, however, sure is that the language has been in existence since 2500 B.C., based on acceptable findings of archaeologists (cAsākir, A. 1979: 5/257). This is in spite of what AzZayyāt asserted that it is an impossible task for a researcher to lay claim to the knowledge of the origin, development and stages of Arabic as a language (AzZayyāt, A.H. :19-21).

However, it is noteworthy that Arabism or affiliation with Arabic is no more confined to the afore –mentioned three categories. This is because of the fact that various tribes who were not formerly Arabs have been fully integrated into Arabism, courtesy of Islam. Arabism can only be determined nowadays through acquisition of a combination of habits, customs, ethics and language of Arabs. In fact, the Noblest Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was reported to have said: “O you people! Arabic is neither a father nor a mother of any of you. It is, on the contrary, a language. Whoever acquires it has become an Arab”.

Numerically,  hundreds of  millions of people worldwide speak Arabic as their mother tongue. While “it has been estimated that some 200 million people use it for daily communication” at some point in time (Encyclopedia Americana 2006: 2/156), other more recent findings assert that it “is spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it one of the half dozen most populous languages in the world”    (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_language).

 

 

2:2 Arabic:  A Linguistic Overview and Typological Classification

Classical Arabic, Standard Arabic, Qur’ānic Arabic or Literary Arabic are all terminologies used for the version of the language found in the Qur’ān, used since sixth century A.D. (some hundred years before the birth of Prophet  Muhammad (PBUH) and held sway since that period of Pre-Islamic Arabia down to the Abbasid Caliphate and has since gained a universal status. Theoretically, Classical Arabic is considered normative, according to the syntactic and grammatical norms laid down by classical grammarians (such as Al-KhalīlSībaweyh, Al-Kisāī and Ibn Mālik) and the vocabularies assembled and defined in classical dictionaries (such as the Kitābul-cAen, Al-Qāmuusul-Muhīt and Lisānul-cArab).

There is no doubt, as argued earlier, that this form of Arabic is of paramount importance to muslims, being the liturgical language of their religion. This is, perhaps, the reason why its influence on major world languages is second to none. It has served, and still serving, as “an important source of vocabulary for languages such as BaluchiBengaliBerberBosnianCatalan, English, French, German, GujaratiHausaHindustani,Italian, IndonesianKazakhKurdishKutchi,MalayMalayalamPashtoPersianPortuguesePunjabiRohingyaSaraikiSindhiSomali,Spanish, SwahiliTagalogTurkishUrduUzbek and Wolof, as well as other languages in countries where these languages are spoken” (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_language).

Being an all-important language, it has been studied and analysed in virtually all branches of linguistics and language-related disciplines of knowledge which include: syntax, grammar, lexicology, etymology, morphology, phonology, rhetoric, phonics, literature, etc.

Structurally, earlier grammarians like Sībaweyh were of the opinion that  Arabic letters are twenty nine, counting Alif  (ا), which is an elongation voice always associated with the Arabic equivalent of vowel “a”, as one them (Sībaweyh, 2/404). However, latter linguists like As-Sakāki (As-Sakāki, 5) and contemporary researchers are more realistic in their resolution that these alphabets are “consisting of 28 characters” (Encyclopedia Americana 2006: 2/155). Like other Semitic languages, all these characters are consonantal, the vowels which are nominally Fat-hah, Kasrah and Dammah –which are pronounced “a”, “i” and “u” respectively- are signs inserted either above or below the letters. These are, however, the main diacritical marks. Apart from these, there other subsidiary/auxiliary/supplemental marks that are four in number. These are: Sukuun (which is a closed/voiceless vowel), Fat-hattān (the high pitch tonal form of Fat-hah), Kasratān (the high pitch tonal form of  Kasrah) and Dammatān (the high pitch tonal form of Dammah). Arabic letters, like most of its Semitic sisters, are written from right to left.

Arabic grammarians classify all Arabic words under three main categories: noun (Ism اسم), verb (Ficlفعل ) and particle (Harfحرف ). The Arabic noun includes pronouns, adjectives adverbs,  interjections (in some instances) and, in very rare circumstances, prepositions. It is also noteworthy that what the Arabs call particle (Harfحرف ) is equivalent to either conjunction or some examples of preposition. It is only their verb (Ficlفعل ) that stands out to mean the exact import of the word in English grammar.

All derived words, whether nouns and verbs (note that all Arabic particles are fixed and static), stem from a tri-consonantal root which is either a noun (according to Basrī school of thought in Arabic grammar) or verb (as argued by the rival Kuufi school of thought). These two main Arabic grammatical schools of thought are named after two main metropolitan cities that were established in the first century of the advent of Islam, Al-Basrā and Al-Kuufah. Incidentally, the two cities are located in the present-day Iraq). It is pertinent to mention at this juncture that several schools of thought sprang up at various stages of evolution of the twin-sister fields of Arabic grammar علم النحو)) and morphology (علم الصرف). However, the main gladiators who held sway, and who have supporters and apologists till the present time, were the Basrī and Kuufi schools of thought.

Although, academic considerations make it unsuitable to elaborate on factors responsible for this development here, suffice is to say they can be attributable to economic, political and ideological reasons. In a nutshell, both Arabic grammar and morphology, in their evolution, passed through four main phases namely: Foundation and formulation phase (Taorul-Wad’ Wat-Takwīnطور الوضع والتكوين ), Emergency and development phase (Taorun-Nushuu Wan-Numw طور النشوء والنمو) Maturity and perfection phase (Taorun-Nuduuj Wal-Kamālطور النضوج والكمال ), Comparison and elaborate authorship phase (Taorut-Tarjīh Wal-Bast Fit-Tasnīfطور الترجيح والبسط في التصنيف ).

It is also relevant to mention here while the two antagonists dominated the second and third stages/phases, the pioneering credit should be given to Basrī scholars who originated the idea of laying foundation and enacting rules for Arabic speaking and mastering. In short, it was the Basriyyuun (Basrī scholars/scholars that associate with Basrī school of thought) that unilaterally championed the cause of Arabic grammar – popularly known as Nahw (النحو)in Islamic circles- in the first phase known as Foundation and formulation stage (Taorul-Wad’ Wat-Takwīn طور الوضع والتكوين). However, these two antagonists shrank to give way to their successors who spread across the major earlier Islamic urban centres (Bagdad, Andalus, Cairo, Damascus and its environs in the last phase (At-Tantāwī, M. 1991: 18-40) which is Comparison and elaborate authorship phase (Taorut-Tarjīh Wal-Bast Fit-Tasnīfطور الترجيح والبسط في التصنيف ). .

Typologically, Arabic, like English and unlike Yoruba, is a non-tonal language. In tonal languages, a difference of pitch in an otherwise identical syllable or word may produce a drastic change in meaning. For example, the word “igba” may mean either calabash, era, two hundred and rope that is used to hold a climber to the top of the tree, depending on the pitch of the tone. In other words, while the phrase “kataba” (كَتَبَ) will ever mean “he wrote” in Arabic, ” o kọ” which is its Yoruba equivalent can equally mean “he divorced” and “he refused”, depending on the speaker’s tone in its pronunciation.  However, it is more gendered and more inflective (i.e. words are analyzable into a number of elements expressing a variety of functions) than English.

Syntactically, Arabic is an VSO (i.e. Verb + Subject + Object) language, unlike English and Yoruba which are SVO (i.e. Subject + Verb + Object) languages. This means while an Arab will say: “Ishtarā Ahmad Qalamanاشْتَرى أَحْمَدُ قلمًا ” (note the position of “Ahmad” which is the subject vis-à-vis “Ishtarā” which is the verb), both English and Yoruba speakers will say: “Ahmad bought a biro” and “Ahmad ra gege kan” respectively.

Generally, each of Arabic’s standard letters are used as different phonemes, unlike Yoruba where both letters “s” and “ş” are used by different dialects as allophones of a single phoneme. The few exceptions to this rule of some Arabic characters being different allophones of certain specified phonemes, as noticed by Abdut-Tawwāb (Abdut-Tawwāb, R. 1995: 10), can be attributed to either the effect of modernity or influence of other acquired/learned language(s) on the mother tongue. The Palestinians whose some of their words/pronunciations were cited have had contacts with other nations  and lived under different civilizations in the cause of their rich but challenging history.

 

Conclusion:

The vital role of language in general and Arabic in particular has been illuminated in this work. The study also sheds light on the social, religious, historical, theoretical and linguistic aspects of Arabic which is one of the oldest and fastest growing languages of the world. While the intention of this work is not a comparative study of some selected languages, a comprehensive look at the theme of study compelled the writer to engage on a voyage of  comparison of Arabic with other languages, especially English and Yoruba. The paper cautions that diversity of language which one is of numerous signs of God and proofs of His limitless ability should not be abused and misconstrued, as it is unfortunately the case with Nigeria and other multi-lingual countries of the world. Rather, the writer makes a call for positive exploration of opportunities  that multi-lingualism offers as he also enjoins the government to formulate necessary policies that will create enabling environment needed for acquisition of more languages. For Nigerians, the harmony, love and mutual affection that unity of language in diversity of tribes and ethnics can engender is exemplified in the ethnically heterogeneous but Yoruba-speaking Ilorin people. The importance of the linguistic uniqueness of this people was highlighted in this research so that readers will borrow a leaf from the component tribes’ consanguinity.

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

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www.wikipedia.org/wiki/language, visited on Monday, 7th April, 2014.

أسلوب التّشويق وأهمّ مترادفاته في البلاغة العربيّة: عرض وتحليل (The Enthusing Style and its Major Synonyms in Arabic Rhetorics)

Abstract

Rhetorical discourse has been defined as the art of discovering all availaible means of persuasion in any given case. In other to draw attention of his audience and make them glued to his speech, an orator needs to employ means and devices that will not only enrich his point of view but equally  persuade the listeners or readers to accede to it. As one of the earliest and most learned languages in the history of man, Arabic possesses these means and styles in large quantity. As a necessary tool of literariness, a talented writer needs to acquaint himself with these rhetorical devises and use them effectively in his poetical and prosaic works. This paper aims at calling attention of the contemporary Arabists to the availaibility of this often either unknown or ignored theory in the works of earlier Arabic linguists. It, therefore, focuses on the essence and scope of tashweeq (i.e. enthusing or fascination) as discussed by classical Arab rhetoriticians and gifted writers. It also delves on some vital synonyms like targheeb (arousal of interest), tahyeej (excitation), ithaarah (stimulation), ilhaab (ignition) and laftul-intibaah (drawing attention). This work canvasses for more detailed study of this concept and harps on its vibrancy in message dissemination.

 

 

أسلوب التّشويق وأهمّ مترادفاته في البلاغة العربيّة: عرض وتحليل

بقلم:

الدكتور عبد الحفيظ أدينييي أحمد أديدميج

عضو هيئة التدريس بجامعة فونتئينFountain ، أوشوبو، ولاية أوشن، نيجيريا، والإمام الأكبر لجامع الجامعة

البريد الإلكتروني:abdulhafeezadedimeji@gmail.com &abdulhafeezmeji@yahoo.com

رقما الهاتف: +2348059310129 & +2348121521380

 

مقدّمة

         الحمد لله العليّ ذي السلطان، خالق الإنسان وواهب البيان، والصلاة والسلام التّامّان على سيّد ولد عدنان، خاتم النبيّين وإمام المرسلين سيّدنا محمد أفصح الناطقين وأبلغ المتكلِّمين، وعلى آله وصحبه نجوم الهدى وحملة راية العلم والعرفان، وبعد:

        فمعروف أنّ الألفاظ ظواهر المعاني، تحسن بحسنها وتقبح بقبحها، وتتألّف بحسب ما تحمله من المعاني المتأنّقة والأحاسيس المتألِّقة. ومن هنا تدرس هذه الورقة العلميّة مصطلح “التشويق” وأهمّ مترادفاته في البلاغة العربيّة. والسبب الدافع إلى الخوض في هذا الموضوع أمران:

  • -كون حديث البلاغيّين عن الطرق والخصائص التي تستدعي التشويق والإثارة، وتهزّ المشاعر، وتلفت الانتباه إشاراتٍ مبثوثةً في كتب البلاغة، متناثرة في ثنايا مسائلها، تبدو حينا، وتختفي أحيانا، ولم تعط حقَّها من الدراسة المستقلّة التي تجلّيها وتؤصّلها، وتبيِّن قيمتها، وتكشف عن أهميّتها.

  • – كون التشويق عنصرا له أهميّته في بلاغة الكلام، حيث يثير نفس المتلقّي، ويستحثّ مشاعره، ويدفع عنه شبح الملل، ويدفعه إلى الاستجابة، ويبعثه على فعل المطلوب. فإذا بحثت أساليبه وجلِّيَت طرقه، أمكن توظيفها والاستفادة منها في مجالات الدعوة إلى الله تعالى، والخطابة، والكتابة، والتدريس، وغير ذلك من المجالات التي يعرض فيها المتكلّم نتاج عقله وبنات فكره على الناس؛ إذ يستطيع بها جذبَهم إلى حديثه، وتشويقهم إلى دعوته، والالتفاف حولها، والالتزام بها.

وتشتمل الدراسة التي عنوانها (نظريّة التشويق وأهمّ مترادفاته بين البلاغيّين والأدباء) على تمهيد وثلاثة مباحث وخاتمة:

المبحث الأوّل: ماهيّة التشويق البلاغيّ

المبحث الثّاني: أهمّ مرادفات التشويق ومعانيها عند البلاغيّين والأدباء

المبحث الثالث: تناول العلماء القدماء لأساليب التشويق في مؤلَّفاتهم

الخاتمة: وقد لخّصت فيا البحث، وتحّدث فيها عن أهمّ ما توصّل إليه.

المبحث الأوّل: ماهيّة التشويق البلاغيّ

          لما كان التعرف على تفاصيل شيء متوقفا على معرفة حقيقته، يحسن بنا أن ندخل في هذا الموضوع من خلال وقوفنا على حقيقة التشويق الذي هو المفتاح لهذه المقالة العلميّة. ولكون هذا اللفظ محورا أساسيا لهذا البحث نتدرج إلى مفهومه البلاغي من مدلوله اللغويّ، لأنّ الأول نابع عن الثاني، ولكون المعنى اللغوي مدارا لاصطلاح العلماء في كلّ فنّ وعلم.

        والتشويق مصدر: شوّقه يشوّقه، إذا أثار شوقه وجلبه وأحدثه. ويؤخذ من مجموع ما أفاده كلام علماء اللغة  أنّ الشوق هو شدّ الشيء إلى الشيء، أو شدّه به، أو شدّة تعلّق الشيء بغيره. قال ابن فارس: ‘‘(شوق) الشين والواو والقاف يدل على تعلقّ الشيء بالشيء، يقال شقت الطُنُب، أي الوتد، واسم ذلك الخيط الشياق، والشوق مثل النوط، ثمّ اشتقّ من ذلك الشوق، وهو نزاع النفس إلى الشيء. ويقال شاقني يشوقني، وذلك لا يكون إلاّ عن علق حبّ’’.([1])

      ويكاد يتّفق مع ابن فارس في المعنى المسوقِ صاحبُ لسان العرب ابن منظور الإفريقيّ حيث يقول:‘‘الشوق والاشتياق: نزاع النفس إلى الشيء، والجمع أشواق، شاق إليه شوقا وتشوّق واشتاق اشتياقا. والشوق حركة الهوى… وشاقني شوقا وشوقّني : هاجني فتشوّقت إذا هيّج شوقك، ويقال منه: شاقني حسنها وذكرها يشوقني أي: هيّج شوقي’’.([2])

       وقد أورد صاحب القاموس المحيط هذا المعنى نفسه، وذلك حيث يقول:‘‘الشوق: نزاع النفس وحركة الهوى. والجمع أشواق وقد شاقني حبها هاجني كشوّقني’’.([3])

         وساق المعجم الوسيط هذا المعنى المتداول للمادة، وزاد عليه شيئا بضرب الأمثلة لها بقوله: ’’شاق إليه يشوق شوقا: نزعت نفسه إليه. وشاق الشيء فلانا: هاجه. وشاق الشيء إلى آخر: شدّه إليه. يقال: شاق المشجب ونحوه إلى الحائط، والطنب إلى الوتد ….. شوّقه إليه: رغّبه فيه وحبّبه‘‘.([4])   

         وممّا يستعمله العرب مترادفات لكلمة الشوق الكَلَف، والغَرام، والشَّغَف، والوَجْد، والتَّوْق، والحنين، والمَيل، والنزاع، والصبابة.([5])

       ومن خلال ما سبق ندرك أنّ التشويق هو التهييج والإلهاب  والترغيب والتحبيب والحثّ والإثارة ونزاع النفس وميلها إلى شيء. ومنه سميّ العشّاق شُوقا، وكلُّ ما حبَّب إلى شيء أو أثار النفس نحوه فقد شوَّق إليه.

       فممّا ورد على هذا الأسلوب ودلّ على الترغيب والإلهاب وتحقّقت من خلاله  الإثارة ما رواه عبد الله بن صامت عن أبي ذرّ، قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم: ‘‘ألا أخبرك بأحبّ الكلام إلى الله’’؟ قلت: يا رسول الله! أخبرني بأحبّ الكلام إلى الله، فقال: ‘‘إنّ أحبّ الكلام إلى الله، سبحان الله وبحمده’’([6]).

نرى النّبيّ صلّى الله عليه وسلّم  في هذا الحديث الشريف يريد أن يرشد أبا ذرّ رضي الله عنه إلى خير جليل بوسعه تحصيلُه بلا تعب. وقد أراد أن يستولي على اهتمام الصحابي الكريم، وأن يثير شوقه إلى هذه الهداية الكبيرة والأجر الجزيل، فوظّف في ذلك أسلوب الاستفهام التشويقي، فقال: (ألا أخبرك بأحبّ الكلام إلى الله؟). فمن الذي لا يشتاق ويطلّع إلى اغتنام هذه الفرصة الثمينة؟! إنّ سماع أحبّ الكلام من أحبّ الخلق إلى الله ليس بأمر هيِّن. وتخصيص هذا الصحابيّ بهذا الخبر من حيث الأصل –وإن كان مضمون الحديث لكلّ المسلمين، كما هو الشأن في كلّ النصوص الشرعية- قد ساعد في تأثير هذا الأسلوب البليغ في هذا الصحابي الخيّر، ويبدو هذا الأثر في أنه لم يكتف بالجواب العادي المرتقب، من مثل (نعم!) أو (نعم، يا رسول الله!). بل استلذّ بالخبر حتّى أطنب في الجواب –والاستلذاذ بالذكر من مقتضيات الإطناب كما قرّر ذلك علماء المعاني([7])- فكانت إعادته للفظ السؤال في جوابه علامة شدّة تأثّره بهذا العرض المستطاب، وذلك حيث قال: يا رسول الله! أخبرني بأحب الكلام إلى الله. فقد رأينا كيف طار شوقه إلى تلقّي الخبر والاستفادة من الخبر، الذي هيّأ له النّبيّ صلّى الله عليه وسلّم قلبه. فجاء هذا الخير في ثلاث كلمات موجزة هي: (سبحان الله وبحمده). فيا له من كسب وافر لعمل قليل! يا له من بلاغة رائعة من النّبيّ صلّى الله عليه وسلّم!

      وهكذا يتبيّن لنا أنّ المراد بالتشويق – كما يظهر من استعمال النّبي عليه الصّلاة والسّلام لأسلوب الاستفهام في الحديث السّابق- هو لفت انتباه السامع أو المتلقِّي إلى الكلام الذي يُلقى عليه، وإثارته إليه، وترغيبه في القول. ويكون ذلك بتهييج مشاعره وإلهابها نحو هذا الأمرِ المحبوب أو القول المرتقَب. وقد توخَّى الرسول الكريم صلّى الله عليه وسلّم هذا الأسلوب كثيرا فيما لا يكاد يُحصَى من أحاديثه الشريفة.

ومن الأساليب التي تقدح زند الفكر بعد إخماده، وتوقظ طرف الفطرة من رقاده، وتعيد وهن الفهم إلى سداده ما اصطلح البلاغيّون على تسميته بالإلغاز. وقد وردت على هذا الأسلوب القائم على التعمية  عدّة أحاديث ألغز فيها النبيّ صلّى الله عليه وسلّم في صدر كلامه، ثمّ في صرّح بالمرموز إليه عقب تعميته؛ ليقف منها المتلقّون على بيّنة من الأمر لا يشوبها شك.

       ومن خيرِ ما يمثِّل ذلك ما ورد عن النعمان بن بشير يقول: سمعت رسول الله r يقول: ’’الحلال بيّن، والحرام بيّن، وبينهما مشبَّهاتٌ لا يعلمها كثير من الناس، فمن اتقّى المتشبّهات استبرأ لدينه وعرضه، ومن وقع في الشبهات كراعٍ يرعى حول الحمى يوشك أن يواقعه، ألا وإنّ في الجسد مضغة إذا صلحت صلح الجسد كلّه، وإذا فسدت فسد الجسد كلّه، ألا وهي القلب’’(8).

       يعدّ هذا الحديث الشريف من جوامع كلمه صلّى الله عليه وسلّم، فقد جعلوه من الأحاديث التي عليها مدار الإسلام(9)، بل وجد منهم من يقول إنه بالإمكان أن ينتزع منه وحده جميع أحكام الإسلام. وذلك لاشتماله على التفصيل بين الحلال وغيره، وعلى تعلّق جميع الأعمال بالقلب، فمن هنا يمكن ردّ جميع الأحكام إليه(10).

       أمّا في هذا المقام فالذي يهمّنا هو القطعة الأخيرة من الحديث، وهي قوله r: (ألا وإن في الجسد مضغة…). فقد اشتملت على عدّة أساليب تشويق من أبرزها العرض بـ(ألا) الاستفتاحيّة، والتأكيد بـ(إنّ) وتقديم خبرها على اسمها، والتقييد بـ(إذا)، علاوة على الإلغاز المبيَّن كما هو المنهج النبوي العام في الإلغاز أو غيره من الفنون المحتملة لأكثر من وجه وتفسير.

ومن هنا كان وجه الاستشهاد من هذا الحديث أنّ النّبيّ r ألغز وعمّى بقوله (ألا وإنّ في الجسد مضغة إذا صلحت صلح الجسد كلّه وإذا فسدت فسد الجسد كلّه)، لتذهب نفوس المتلقّين في التفكير عن هذه المضغة المهمّة التي تجرّ خلفها سائر أعضاء الجسم، ويصبح الجسد صالحاً بصلاحها وفاسداً بفسادها. ولا شكّ أنّ هذا ممّا يشدّ انتباه المتلقّين ويجذبهم إلى متابعة الكلام وإعمال الفكر فيه.

      وبعد أن قد حقّق هذا الأسلوب وظيفته البلاغية فكّ رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم عقدة هذا الإلغاز بقوله (ألا وهي القلب)؛ وذلك لتلوح في أفق هذا البيان الناصع إشارة بيضاء إلى أنّ ‘‘صلاح حركات العبد بجوارحه واجتنابه للمحرّمات واتّقائه للشبهات بحسب صلاح حركة قلبه، فإنْ كان قلبه سليماً ليس فيه إلا محبّة الله ومحبة ما يحبه الله وخشية الله وخشية الوقوع فيما يكرهه صلحت حركات الجوارح كلّها، ونشأ عن ذلك اجتناب المحرّمات كلّها توقّي الشبهات حذراً من الوقوع في المحرّمات، وإن كان القلب فاسداً قد استولى عليه اتباع الهوى وطلب ما يحبّه ولو كرهه الله فسدت حركات الجوارح كلّها وانبعثت إلى كل المعاصي والمشبهات بحسب اتّباع هوى القلب’’(11).

المبحث الثاني: أهمّ مترادفات التشويق ومعانيها لدى البلاغيّين

أوّلا: الإلهاب والتهييج.

        الإلهاب مأخوذ من ألهب، أي: أوقد. وألهب الكلام: أمضاه بسرعة.ولهب النار: ما يرتفع من النار كأنّه لسان.(12) قيل: وكنّي أبو لهب كذلك لجماله.(13)

        أمّا التهييج فهو في اللغة مثله. يقال: ألهبها للأمر: هيّجه له.(14) وأنشد الحريريّ لعديّ ابن الرقاع:

ولو قبل مبكاها بكيت صبابـة
ولكن بكت قبلي فهيّج لي البكا

بسُعْدَ شفيت النفس قبل التندم
بكاها فقلت الفضل للمتقـدّم(15)

 يعني بقوله (فهيّج لي البكا): حرّكني وحملني إليه ومهّد لي سبيله.

        أمّا في الاصطلاح فقد جمع بينهما العلوي في باب واحد، وجعلهما ضربا من ضروب الحثّ على الفعل ‘‘لمن لا يخلو عن الإتيان به، وعلى ترك الفعل لمن لا يتصوّر منه تركه’’.(16)

       ومن الأمثلة التي ضرب لهما قوله تعالى مخاطبا رسوله صلّى اللّه عليه وسلّم :{لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَبَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ}(17). وقوله عزّ وعلا لنبيّه عليه الصّلاة والسلام  :{بَلِ اللّهَ فَاعْبدْ وَكُنْ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ}(18). ثمّ قال عقيب ذلك: ‘‘فهذا كلّه وارد على جهة الحثّ لرسول الله عليه الصّلاة والسّلام والتحذير له عن مواقعة هذه الأفعال’’(19).

ثانيا: الترغيب.

     الترغيب من رغّبه في شيء يرغّب فيه: إذا حبّبه إليه وجعله مولعا به.

     أمّا عند علماء التربية الإسلاميّة فيُعْنى به ‘‘وعدٌ يصحبه تحبيبٌ وإغراء، بمصلحة أو لذة أو متعة آجلة، مؤكّدة، خيّرة، خالصة من الشوائب، مقابل القيام بعمل صالح أو الامتناع عن لذة ضارة أو عمل سيّئ ابتغاء مرضاة الله’’.(20)

ثالثا: لفت الانتباه.

        يتكوّن هذا المصطلح من عنصرين هما: اللفت، والانتباه. أمّا (اللفت) فهو مصدر لفَت، يلفِت: إذا لوّاه على غير وجهه وصرفه إلى ذات اليمين وذات الشمال.(21)

          والانتباه في اللغة هو التفطّن والتيقّظ والاستيقاظ. وعند علماء علم النفس ‘‘هو أن يبلور الإنسان شعوره على شيء ما في مجاله الإدراكي ّأو الحالة العقلية التي يبدو فيها شعور المرء مكوّنا من بؤرة وحاشية’’.(22) ومن ثمّ قسموه على أساس الميل إلى ثلاثة أقسام هي: الانتباه القسري، والانتباه الإراديّ، والانتباه التلقائيّ(23). ولعلّ مسمّى التشويق ينطبق على القسم الثالث الذي أطلقوا عليه اسم الانتباه التلقائي(24).

رابعا: الإثارة.

        تطلق الإثارة في اللغة ويراد بها عدّة معان أبرزها: التهييج. قال في اللسان: ‘‘أثرت فلانا: إذا هيّجته لأمر’’.(25) ويقال في معناه أيضا: ثوّرته، وفوّرته، وهجته، وأيقظته، ونبّهته، وأوقدته، ونفرته وغير ذلك.(26)

        وفي التربية هي ‘‘حافز يقدّم قبل السلوك المرغوب فيه عادة، ترغيبا في القيام به، بحيث يثير الاهتمام به في نفس الفرد، ويبعث على مباشرته’’.(27)      

        تلك هي أهمّ الكلمات التي ترادف التشويق أو تقاربه معنى، ومن خلالها نستطيع أن نأخذ صورة أوّلية عن هذا المصطلح، وذلك بغية توضيح مفهومه في البلاغة من جانب، ولإظهار علاقته بالأدب من جانب آخر.

 المبحث الثالث: تناول العلماء القدماء لأساليب التشويق في مؤلَّفاتهم

      في الحقيقة ليس هناك فنّ أو مجموعة مباحث أطلق عليها علماء البلاغة اسم التشويق، وإنما يستنبط ذلك من الدلالة اللغوية للكلمة، ومن مجموع مترادفاتها- كما سبق إيرادها-، ومن الإشارات المبثوثة التي أدلوا بها في ثنايا كتبهم عن هذه الأساليب.

        هذا، وهناك ألوان تعبير خاصة توظّف لاستمالة القلوب، وأسر النفوس، وحمل المتلقّي على الاقتناع والإيمان بما يقال له إن كان خبراً غيبيّاً، وتصديق القائل إن كان كلامه خبرا مجردا، والإقبال والإصغاء إن كان قصة، والتنفيذ إن كان أمرا، والكفّ إن كان نهيا، والاعتبار إن كان عظة. وهذه الفنون هي التي تنطبق عليها أساليب التشويق البلاغية، فهي أخصّ من عموم فنون البلاغة، لأنّ وظيفتها أدقّ من وظيفة ما سواها، لتجاوزها مرحلة الاستحسان والقبول إلى مرحلة الأسر والسحر.

         وهذه الفنون البلاغية والأساليب الأدبيّة لا تلزم المخاطب القيام بمقتضى الخطاب وتفحمه فحسب، بل تؤدّي أثرا أكبر وأجلّ من ذلك، وذلك لحملها إيّاه على الإذعان وإثارة عاطفته،‘‘فمرمى الإقناع الخطابيّ ليس هو الإلزام والإفحام فقط، بل مرماه حمل المخاطب على الإذعان والتسليم وإثارة عاطفته، وجعله يتعصّب للفكرة التي يدعو إليها الخطيب، ويتقدّم لفدائها بالنفس والنفيس عند الاقتضاء، ولا يكون ذلك بالدلائل المنطقية، تساق جافة، ولا بالبراهين العقلية تقدّم عارية، بل بذلك، وبإثارة العاطفة، ومخاطبة الوجدان. وإنّ الخطيب قد يستغني عن الدلائل العقلية، ولا يمكنه في أيّة حال الاستغناء عن المثيرات العاطفية، بل إنّ أكثر ما يعتمد عليه الخطيب في حمل السامعين على المراد منهم مخاطبة وجدانهم، والتأثير في عواطفهم’’.(28)

        وإذا كان المفهوم العامّ لأساليب التشويق واضحا ممّا سبق، فينبغي أن نقرّر أنّ البلاغيّين لم يغفلوا ذكر هذه اللفتات في مؤلّفاتهم القيّمة، لكنّها تختفي كثيرا في زوايا مسائل البلاغة، بحيث لا يتنبّه لها كثير من الدارسين وطلاّب العلم. ولإثبات هذه الحقيقة نسرد كلام ثلاثة من علماء البلاغة الأفذاذ وأئمّة البيان الأقطاب.

        يقول الإمام عبد القاهر الجرجاني في معرض كلامه عن التمثيل  الغريب المتطلّب لدقّة الفكرة قبل إدراك فحواه :

       ‘‘ومن المركوز في الطبع أنّ الشيء إذا نيل بعد الطلب له أو الاشتياق إليه، ومعاناة الحنين نحوه، كان نيله أحلى، وبالمزيّة أولى، فكان موقعه من النفس أجلّ وألطف، وكانت به أضنّ وأشغف، ولذلك ضرب المثل لكل ما لطف موقعه ببرد الماء على الظمأ’’.(29)

        ويقول في موضع آخر:

       ‘‘إنّ التوق إلى أن تقرّ الأمور قرارها، وتوضع الأشياء مواضعها، والنزاع إلى بيان ما يشكل، وحلّ ما ينعقد، والكشف عمّا يخفى، وتلخيص الصفة حتى يزداد السامع ثقة بالحجة، واستظهارا على الشبهة، واستبانة للدليل، شيء في سوس العقل، وفي طباع النفس إذا كانت نفسا’’.(30)

        والسّكاكي حين يعلّل ظاهرة إيراد المضمر موضع المظهر يذهب إلى أنّها ظاهرة أسلوبية توظّف في الكلام ‘‘ليتمكّن في ذهن السامع ما يعقبه، وذلك أنّ السامع متى لم يفهم من الضمير معنى، بقي منتظرا عقبى الكلام كيف تكون، فيتمكن المسموع بعده فضل تمكّن في ذهنه، وهو السر في التزام تقديمه’’.(31)

        وكذلك جعل السّكاكي إيراد اسم الموصول في صدر الجملة من فنون التشويق، مقرِّرا بذلك بذلك أنّ الإبهام الموجود في الاسم الموصول يحدث في نفس المتلقّي تشوّقا لمعرفة المراد به وتطلّعا لإدراك معناه عن صلته الكاشفة عن حقيقته المزيلة للإبهام الأوّلي الموجود في الاسم الموصول. ولذلك نجد النفس تنفتح بعد سماعها الموصولَ انفتاحا تلقائيا، فتلقف ما بعده بالدافع الجبلي المستشرف للمعرفة. وذلك حيث نصّ أنّ من أغراض التعريف بالموصول ‘‘أن يتوجّه ذهن السامع إلى ما سيخبر عنه منتظرا لوروده حتّى يأخذ منه مكانه إذا ورد، كقوله:

والـذي حارت الـبريّـة فيه        حيوان مستحـدث من جمـاد(32)’’(33).

        أمّا الخطيب القزوينيّ فكان كلامه المستفيض عن بلاغة التشويق في باب الإطناب. فيقول في بيان أنواعه، وذكر فوائد الإيضاح بعد الإبهام، وكشف روائعه: ‘‘إمّا بالإيضاح بعد الإبهام، ليرى المعنى في صورتين مختلفتين، أو ليتمكن في النفس فضل تمكّن، فإنّ المعنى إذا ألقي على سبيل الإجمال والإبهام تشوّقت نفس السامع إلى معرفته على سبيل التفصيل والإيضاح، فتتوجّه إلى ما يرد بعد ذلك، فإذا ألقي كذلك تمكن فيها فضل تمكن، وكان الشعور به أتمّ، أو لتكمل اللذّة بالعلم به، فإنّ الشيء إذا حصل كمال العلم به دفعة لم يتقدّم حصول اللذة به ألم، وإذا حصل الشعور به من وجه تشوقت النفس إلى العلم بالمجهول، فيحصل لها بسبب المجهول لذّة، وبسبب حرمانها من الباقي ألم، ثمّ إذا حصل لها العلم حصلت لها لذّة أخرى، واللذة عقيب الألم أقوى من اللذة التي لم يتقدّمها ألم، أو لتفخيم الأمر وتعظيمه’’.(34)

        وهكذا نرى الخطيب القزويني يجعل لفنّ الإيضاح بعد الإبهام فوائد أربعة يرجع جميعها عند إمعان النظر إلى أصل واحد، وهو إثارة المتلقي وترسيخ الكلام في بؤرة شعوره بصورة أفضل. وتتلخّص هذه الفوائد- حسب ورودها في النصّ السابق- فيما يأتي:

(1)- إيراد المعنى في صورتين مختلفتين.

(2)- تمكين المعنى في نفس المتلقي بصورة أرسخ لا يمحى من ذاكرته فترةً طويلةً.

(3)- عرض الكلام عرضا يلذّ عند السامع ويعجب به.

(4)- تفخيم الأمر المسوق له الكلام وتعظيمه.

       أمّا الطّيبيّ فقد وافق كلامه موقف السّكاكيّ أنّ عنصر التشويق كامنٌ في الجملة الخبريّة المصدَّرة بكلمة (الذي) الموصوليّة، فقد صرَّح بأنّ ‘‘التشويق المستحسن إحدى خوّاص الإخبار بالذي؛ لما فيه من الإبهام الذي هو سبب التشويق، وتطويله بالصلة هو سبب استحسانه’’(35).

       والخلاصة أنّ مثل هذه الفنون القوليّة التي يمكن وضع اليد على مواضع الحسن فيها وبيان أسباب روعتها هي التي نعنيها بأسلوب التشويق في البلاغة العربيّة، وهي كما رأينا من حديثي المصطفى صلّى الله عليه وسلّم وكلام البلاغيّين القدماء عدّة فنون بلاغيّة لا أسلوب واحد. وقد تعرَّضنا لها واستشهدنا لها قدر المستطاع وحلّلها حسبما ما يقتضيه المقام؛ ذلك لأنّ البلاغة عبارة عن مباحث محدّدة وقواعد مقنّنة يمكن تحليلها وتعليلها. ولهذه الأساليب وظيفة تربويّة أيضا؛ لكونها تدفع الملل، كما قرّرنا. ومن هنا ذهب بعض الدّارسين المعاصرين إلى أنّ كلّا من ‘‘الإمتاع والتشويق وجهان لعملة واحدة ترمي إلى هدف تربويّ مزدوج، وهو جعل المتعلِّم مريحا أثناء التّلقّي وداعيا إلى التّطلّع إلى مزيد من المعرفة، وليس هناك من شكٍّ أنّ تعليم اللغة العربيّة بحاجة إليهما’’(36).

خاتمة

        قد تبيّن ممّا سبق عرضه أنّ التّشويق – وإن كان مصطلحا بلاغيّا من حيث هو- عنصرٌ قوليٌّ له علاقةٌ بالأدب والأداء الخطابيّ. ومن مترادفاته – أو ما يقاربه في المعنى- الإلهاب والتهييج، والترغيب، ولفت الانتباه، والإثارة، والتنبيه، إلى غير ذلك من المعاني المماثلة. وهذه المصطلحات متلازمة متكاملة لا يمكن فصل بعضها عن بعض، فالمتكلِّم إذا نبّه المتلقّي فغايته من ذلك تشويقه إلى فحوى الكلام، وحين يتشوّق هذا المتلقي إلى مضمون الكلام فطبعيّ أن يتأثّر به بعد تأكّده لديه، وإثارة فكره لما يحمله من معان ودلالات. وهكذا يتبيّن القرب الشديد والتلازم الواضح بين هذه الألفاظ.

         والرجاء أن يسهم هذا العمل العلميّ المتواضع في تنبيه الباحثين إلى ضرورة التجديد  في دراسة البلاغة العربيّة دراسة جادّة تتسمّ بالعمق والدّقة وسبر أغوار كلام القدماء، آملين في هذا الصنيع تشويق العرب والمستعربين إلى كنوز المعرفة الكامنة في هذه العلوم المبخوسة الحقّ في طُرُقِ طَرْقِها، والله الهادي إلى سواء السبيل.

الهوامش والمراجع

(1)- أحمد ابن فارس، (بدون تاريخ) معجم مقاييس اللغة، تحقيق عبد السلام هارون، دار الجيل (بيروت)، مادة (شوق)، 3/229.11

(2)- ابن منظور الأفريقي، (1416هـ-1995م ) لسان العرب، تحقيق أمين محمّد عبد الوهاب ومحمد الصادق العبيدي، دار إحياء التراث العربي ومؤسّسة التراث العربي (بيروت)، الطبعة الأولى، مادة (شوق)، 7/239.

(4)- محمد بن يعقوب الفيروزآبادي، (1412هـ-1991م) القاموس المحيط،  دار إحياء التراث العربي (بيروت)، الطبعة الأولى، باب القاف، فصل الشين، 3/366.

(5)- إبراهيم أنيس ورفاقه (بدون تاريخ)، المعجم الوسيط، الطبعة الثانية، مادة (شوق)، ص 500.

(6)- مسلم بن الحجاج القشيري، (1419هـ-1998م) صحيح مسلم (مع شرح الإمام النووي)، تحقيق الشيخ خليل مأمون شيحا، دار المعرفة (بيروت)، الطبعة الخامسة، كتاب الذكر والدعاء، الحديث 6863، 17/ 50-51.

(7)- ينظر: درويش الجندي (بدون تاريخ)، علم المعاني، دار نهضة مصر للطبع والنشر، ص 179، وبكري شيخ أمين، البلاغة العربية في ثوبها الجديد،  دار العلم للملايين (بيروت)، الطبعة الثانية، 1991م، ص 202.

(8)- متفق عليه. ينظر: كتاب الجامع الصّحيح المشهور بصحيح البخاري في 1/ 153، كتاب الإيمان، الحديث 52. وأخرجه الإمام مسلم في صحيحه الشهير 11/ 29-30، كتاب المساقات، الحديث 4070.

(9)- يقول العلماء: إن مدار أحكام الإسلام على أربعة أحاديث: الأول (إنما الأعمال بالنيات)، والثاني (ما نهيتكم عنه فاجتنبوه، وما أمرتكم به فاتوا منه ما استطعتم)، والثالث (ازهد في الدنيا يحبك الله وازهد ما في أيدي الناس يحبك الناس)، والرابع هذا الحديث الذي بين أيدينا. هذا، وقد ورد بينهم خلاف في عدد هذه الأحاديث وعدّ بعضها منها.

(10)- ينظر: فتح الباري، 1/ 157.

(11)- الحافظ ابن رجب الحنبلي (1415هـ-1994م)، جامع العلوم والحكم، تحقيق مروان كجك، دار المؤتمن للنشر(الرياض)، 1/ 152.

 (12)- إبراهيم أنيس ورفاقه، المعجم الوسيط، مرجع سابق، مادة (لهب)، ص 841.

(13)- محمّد بن أبي بكر الرازي (بدون تاريخ)، مختار الصحاح، تحقيق محمود خاطر، دار الحديث (القاهرة)، مادة (لهب)، ص 606.

(14)- إبراهيم أنيس ورفاقه، المعجم الوسيط، مرجع سابق، مادة (لهب)، ص 841.

(15)- أبو محمد القاسم بن زيد الحريريّ (بدون تاريخ)، مقامات الحريري البصري (وعلى هامشه شرح الشريشي له)، تحقيق محمّد عبد المنعم خفاجي، المكتبة الثقافية (بيروت)، 1/20.

(16)- يحيى العلوي (بدون تاريخ)، الطراز، مكتبة المعارف (الرياض)، 3 /363.

(17)- سورة الزمر، الآية 65.

(18)-سورة الزمر، الآية 66 .

(19)- يحيى العلوي، الطراز، مرجع سابق، 3/364.

(20)- عبد الرحمن النحلاوي، (1417هـ-1996م) أصول التربية الإسلامية وأساليبها، دار الفكر (دمشق)، الطبعة الثالثة، ص 287.

(21)- إبراهيم أنيس ورفاقه، المعجم الوسيط، مرجع سابق، مادة (لفت)، ص 831.

(22)- مصطفى زيدان، (1404هـ-1984م) معجم المصطلحات النفسية والتربوية، دار الشروق، الطبعة الثانية، ص 153.

(23)- المرجع السابق، ص 153.

(24)- للوقوف على مرادهم من هذا المصطلح ينظر: السابق، 153.

(25)- ابن منظور الإفريقيّ، لسان العرب، مرجع سابق، مادة (ثور)، ص 2/149.

(26) ينظر: قدامة بن جعفر، (بدون تاريخ) جواهر الألفاظ، تحقيق محمد محي الدين عبد الحميد، المكتبة العلمية، ص 386.

(27)- الحسين جرنو محمود جلو، (1414هـ-1994م) أساليب التشويق والتعزيز في القرآن الكريم،  مؤسّسة الرسالة (بيروت)، الطبعة الأولى، ص 30.

 (28)- محمد أبو زهرة، (بدون تاريخ) الخطابة أصولها تاريخها في أزهر عصورها عند العرب، دار الفكر العربيّ (القاهرة)، ص 53.

(29)- عبد القاهر الجرجاني، (1412هـ-1991م)  أسرار البلاغة، تحقيق محمود محمد شاكر، دار المدني بجدة، الطبعة الأولى، ص 139.

(30)- عبد القاهر الجرجاني، (بدون تاريخ) دلائل الإعجاز، تحقيق محمد رشيد رضا، دار الكتب العلميّة (بيروت)، ص 28.

(31)- أبو يعقوب السكاكي (1407هـ-1987م)، مفتاح العلوم،  تحقيق نعيم زرزور، دار الكتب العلميّة (بيروت)، الطبعة الثانية، ص 198.

(32)- البيت لأحمد بن عبد الله المعروف بأبي العلاء المعري، الشاعر العباسي المعروف.

(33)- مفتاح العلوم، مرجع سابق، ص 182-183.

(34)- الخطيب القزويني، (1412هـ-1991م) الإيضاح (وعلى هامشه البغية لعبد المتعال الصعيدي)، مكتبة الآداب (القاهرة)، 2/133.

(35)- شرف الدين الطيبي (بدون تاريخ النشر)، التبيان في علم المعاني والبديع والبيان، تحقيق د/ هادي عطية مطر الهلالي، عالم الكتب ومكتبة النهضة العربية (بيروت)، ص 68.

(36)- ينظر: http://www.isesco.org.ma/pub/ARABIC/Langue_arabe/p4.htm

موجز تاريخ اليوربا وعلاقتها باللغة العربية والإسلام

موجز تاريخ اليوربا وعلاقتها باللغة العربية والإسلام

 

بقلم

عبد الحفيظ أحمد أديدميج

جامعة فونتيينFountain  (الينبوع)، أوشوبو، ولاية أوشن، نيجيريا

البريد الإلكتروني:abdulhafeezmeji@hotmail.com&abdulhafeezmeji@yahoo.com

Phone Numbers: 08059310129 & 08121521380

أرقام الهاتف الجوّال: 8059310129 234+ و8121521380 234+ و8172154426 234+

يُعدُّ اليوبيون –أو الأمّة الناطقة باليوربا- أصحاب لغة وثقافة ودولة كانت تميّزهم عن غيرهم حتّى زحفت جحافل الاستعمار إلى ديارهم في أواخر القرن التاسع عشر الميلاديّ فأثّرت في لغتهم- كما أثّرت فيها اللغة العربية من قبل-، وزعزعت ثقافتهم، وشتّتت دولتهم، فعوّضهم من بعد استقرارهم اضطرابا، ومن بعد عزتهم ذلّة، ومن بعد أمنهم خوفًا.1 ويتخلّص الغرض من هذه الدراسة في الإطلالة على حقيقة القوم تاريخا ومدنيّة وسياسيّة واقتصادا من جانب، والوقوف على مدى عراقة الثقافة العربيّة والديانة الإسلاميّة فيهم من جانب آخر.

الموقع الجغرافيّ والبعد التاريخيّ

يبلغ الناطقون بهذه اللغة عشرات الملايين. ويعيش معظمهم في الإقليم الجنوب الغربيّ من نيجيريا، وتقع بلادهم ‘‘جنوب نهر النيجر، وتمتدّ من حدود هذا النهر شرقًا وشمالاً حتى تكتسح الأراضي المنحدرة إلى المحيط الأطلسيّ جنوبا، حتّى بلاد الدّاهومي (بنين) غربًا’’.2 ويجدر بالإثبات في هذا الصدد أنّ مناطق اليوربا –إن أردنا التفصيل الأوفى- ‘‘يحدّها شمالا نهر النيجر وبلاد النُوفي (Nupe)، وجنوبا خليج غينيا (Gulf of Guinea)، وشرقًا بيني سيتى (Benin City)، وغربًا بلاد الداهومي (Dahomey) وبرغو (Borgu)’’3.

    ويعزو المؤرّخون تاريخ قبائل اليوربا إلى ما قبل ألف سنة، وكان يعمرها قوم من البرابرة والزنوج والنوبة، قبل نزول اليوربا الجدد الذين هم من العرب. وأقدم بلادهم جميعًا هي مدينة إليفي (Ile-Ife) ثمّ أُوْيُوْ إِلَيْ (Oyo-Ile) ثمّ إيكُوْيِي (Ikoyi). وهذه المدن الثلاثة هي التي بمثابة الأصل لسائر مدنهم وقراهم البائدة منها والقائمة حتّى اليوم، ومنها نزحت القبائل المنتشرة وأسّست جميع المدن الحاضرة.4

       أمّا عن أصل وفادتهم إلى بقعتهم الحاليّة وتحديد تاريخ هجرتهم يقول أحد الباحثين السودانيّين المعاصرين: ‘‘اليوربا جاؤوا من الشرق. وكانوا إذا نزلوا إقليما تركوا فيه فريقا منهم، ولهذا يدّعي اليوربا أنّ كلّ قبائل السودان انحدرت منهم. ولم يكونوا من أصل زنجيّ، وإنّما اختلطوا بالدّماء الزنجيّة على نطاق واسع. وقد وصلوا إليها قبل وصول الهوسا إليها. ومن المرجَّح أن ترجع أصول مملكتهم إلى المدّة التي تقع بين سنتي 600-1000م’’5.

        هذا، ويطلق اسم “اليوربا” على مجموعة من الناس في غرب إفريقيا تجمعهم لغة وثقافة واحدة، وأغلب هؤلاء القوم يسكنون في إقليم الجنوب الغربيّ من نيجيريا. ويغلب على الظّنّ أنّ جيرانهم الهوساويّين والفلانيّين هم الذين أطلقوا عليهم هذا الاسم.6 ويكاد اليوربيّون يجمعون على أنّ جدّهم الأعلى هو الشخص المسمّى بأُوْدُدُوَا (Oduduwa)،7 وهم الساكنون في الوقت الحاضر في ولايات أُوْيُوْ(Oyo)، وأُوْسُنْ (Osun)، وأُوْغُنْ (Ogun)، وأُونْدُوْ (Ondo)، وأَيْكِتِي (Ekiti)، ولاجُوسْ (Lagos) من نيجيريا، علاوةً على كونهم أغلب من يسكنون في ولاية كُوَارَا (Kwara). وتعزو الأسرة الحاكمة في مدينة بنين (Benin) الّتي هي عاصمة ولاية أَيْدُوْ (Edo) أصلها إلى مدينة إيلَيْ إيفَيْ (Ile-Ife) التي تعتبر هي منبت قبائل اليوربا والتي لها زعامتها الروحيّة. ويبدو أنّ لغة إتْشَيْكِرِي  (Itsekiri)التي يسكن أهلها في ولاية أَيْدُوْ (Edo) أيضا لهجة ناشئة عن لغة اليوربا أيضا، ولكنّها قد تأثرت بثقافة أهل مدينة بنين إلى حدّ كبير جدًّا.

اليوربا في خارج نيجيريا وأصل التّسمية

       واليوربيّون هم أكبر مجموعة لغويّة يسكنون في جمهوريتي بنين (Benin) وتوغو (Togo) حاليًّا، بل هم أهل البلد الأصليّون في بعض مدنهما.8 وبناءً على ما جرى من النّخاسة (تجارة الرقيق) التي شملت- فيما شملت- بلاد اليوربا، لا يزال كثير من اليوربيّين الذين بيعوا إلى العالم الجديد محتفظين بلغتهم ومتمسّكين-إلى حدّ بعيد- بهويّتهم الثّقافيّة. وقد وتكوّن سلالتهم الآن نسبة لا يستهان بها من الكاريبيّين والأمريكيّين الجنوبيّين خصوصا في كوبا (Cuba) والبرازيل (Brazil). وقد صاروا الأغلبية من سكّان ساحل سيراليون (Sierra Leone) بعد إبطال الاسترقاق.9 ويزيد عدد اليوربيّين عن ثلاثين مليون نسمة في نيجيريا وحدها.

وقد تقبّل اليوربيّون إطلاق اسم “اليوربا” عليهم بقبول حسن، وإن كان الاسم أصدق على أهل مدينة أُوْيُوْ وما حولها بناء على استعمال الهوساويّين والفلانيّين السالف الذكر له. ومن هنا صارت دلالة الاسم أوسع ممّا كانت عليه سلفا. وكذلك تعدّ الأشكال المختلفة لهذه اللغة حسبما يتكلّم بها مجموعاتها العديدة لهجاتها. ويعدّ علماء اللغة الشكل الأصليّ لهذه اللغة الذي يتكلّم بها أهل أويو وما يمتّ إليها بصلة اليوربا الفصحى، على حين يسمّي الاثنوغرافيون (علماء علم الإنسان الوصفيّ) اللاهجين بهذه الفصحى باليوربيّين الأصليّين. وكان المبشِّرون الكنسيُّون أوّلَ من أطلق هذه التسمية بصورتها العامّة على القوم لمّا كانوا يدرّسون اللغة في المدارس التي أنشؤوها.10 ولكن تجدر الإشارة أنّ لقبول هذا الإطلاق اسما لكلّ أصناف القوم علاقةً بالوعي السياسيّ والانتماء القبليّ المصاحبين لتأسيس جمعيّة سلالة أودودوا (Egbe Omo Oduduwa) التي أصبحت –فيما بعد- حزب جماعة الحركة لزعيمه أوبافيمي أوولووو (Obafemi Awolowo). وقد كان تشكيل الجماعة المشار إليها بصفتها منظّمةً يوربيّةً كان في لندن (London) عام 1945م.11

هذا، ويعرف الناطقون باليوربيّة في مناطق أخرى خارج نيجيريا بأسماء مختلفة. وفي جمهورية بنين (التي تعرف بداهومي  Dahomeyسابقا) والبرازيل يعرفون بأنغوه (Anago)12 بينما يطلق عليهم اسم أكو (Aku) في سيراليون (Sierra Leone).13 ويبدو أنّ الاسم الأخير مستنبط من التّحيّة التي يسلّم بها القوم بعضهم على بعض. 14 أمّا في كوبا فإنّ الاسم المختار لليوربيّين هو لُكُمِي (Lucumi)،15 ولا نشكّ أنّ هذا الاسم تحريف لعبارة “أُوْلُكُومِي” (Olukumi) التي تعني: صديقي.

مملكة أُوْيُوْ المظلّة السياسيّة لليوربيّين

ومن حيث الكيان الجغرافيّ والتباين الثقافيّ تنتسب مملكة أُوْيُوْ التي كان ينقاد لها كلّ أفراد اليوربيّين إلى منطقة غابة غينيا. وهي المنطقة الثانية لمنطقة السافانا، وإلى كلّ منهما ينقسم ما يعرف بغرب وسط السّودان لدى الدّارسين العرب. 16 وقد نشأت في كلّ من المنطقتين إمبراطوريات ومملكات وسلالات حاكمة. ومن أهمّ المملكات التي كان يربط بينها وبين اليوربيّين علاقات تاريخيّةٌ وجينيّةٌ وسياسيّةٌ مملكةُ داهومى (Dahomey) التي كانت عاصمتها في أبومي (Abomey)، والتي تتميّز بكونها سكنا لبعض قبائل اليوربا وجارة لمملكة أويو من الجهة الغربيّة. وكذلك كانت مملكة بنين (Benin) التي كان بحكمها سلالة يوربيّة في جنوب مملكة أويو الشرقي. وأخيرا، كانت مملكة أشنتي (Ashanti) في غرب مملكة داهومي.

      وكانت مملكة أويو التي ظهرت دولة قويّة في غابة غينيا قبل نهاية القرن الخامس عشر الميلادي يوربيّة.17 وكان يخضع لها في أوج مجدها التوسّعيّ دول قويّة أخرى سالفة الذكر في إقليم غابة غينيا. وذلك حيث كانت منطقة بنين (Benin) تدفع لها الجزية، وكانت داهومي تعطيها الجزية عن طوع منذ هزيمتها على يد قوّات اليوربا العسكرية في عام 1698م. ولم يتمرّد على مملكة أويو كيانات يوربيّة ضعيفة الشأن مثل كيتو (Ketu)، وإجيبو (Ijebu)، وأيبا (Egba) إلاّ في القرن التاسع عشر لمّا ظهر انقسام في صفوف شعوبها. وكذلك قد استغلت داهومي (Dahomey) فرصة ضعف المملكة الظاهر في تمرّد قائد قوّاتها المسلّحة المسمّى أفنجا (Afonja) من مدينة إلورن (Ilorin) 18 لنزع يدها عن الطاعة ودفع الجزية. هذا، وقد أثبت بعض المصادر التاريخية أنّ شعب أشنتي (Ashanti) في غانا كانوا يدفعون الضرائب لصالح أويو (Oyo) في عهد زعيمها الشديد البطش والقاسي القلب المسمّي باشورن غآ (Bashorun Gaa) ومنصب “باشورن” يعني في حكومة أويو الزعيم أو الوزير. وكانت الحادثة في عهد الملك آبولوأجي (Agboluaje).19 وعلاوة على هذا، فقد عدّ قومٌ الرجلَ المسمّى أُوْنِينَنَا (Oninana)- والاسم مشموم منه رائحة اليوربا- ملك غانْ (أي غانا) أحد ذريّة أودودووا جدّ اليوربيّين الأعلى السالف الذكر.20

        ومن الجدير بالذكر أنّ موقع مملكة أويو الجغرافيّ وكون عاصمتها مدينة أويو القديمة في أرض غير مطوّقة بحواجز قد مكّنا هذه المملكة من إقامة علاقات تجاريّة واجتماعيّة طيّبة مع الثقافة السائدة في منطقة السافانا حينذاك، الأمر الذي جعل المملكة مشاركة في التّجارة عبر الصّحراء.21

اقتصاد اليوربيّين ومهنهم

كانت الآلات والأسلحة التي تستخدم في عهد نفوذ إمبراطوريّة أويو مصنوعة من معادن الحديد التي كانت توجد فيها، وكان كلّ من النقش والنسج والصياغة من الصناعات الرائجة التي ساعدت الازدهار الاقتصاديّ فيها. وكانت صناعة الفخّار التي تتجسّد في الأوعية المتعدّدة الأشكال التي برع- ولم يزل يبرع-فيها سكّانها.

        وبجانب هذا، فإن اعتدال الطقس في كلّ من جنوب بلاد اليوربا وشرقها ممّا شجّع على الإقبال على الزراعة في هذه البلاد: فإن المستنقعات الموجودة في سواحلها، والغابات التي يسقيها الأمطار الوابلة في شرقها والغايات المفتوحة في كلّ من غربها ووسطها. ومن أجل هذه الظروف كلّها يمكن أن يتكرّر حصاد الذّرة مرّتين كلّ عام. وتحصل الأنشطة الزّراعيّة عند نزول الأمطار كزرع اليام في ربوع البلاد.22 وبعد قدوم وفود الأوروبيّين عرفت أنواع أخرى من الأطعمة والنباتات مثل الموز (بنوعيه) والكاكو والبنّ. وقبل اكتشاف البترول في نيجيريا كان الكاكو المزروع في بلاد اليروبا من أهمّ ما تصدّره نيجيريا إلى الخارج.

        ولمّا كانت الغابة اليابسة في مدينة إبادن (Ibadan) السافانا الناشئة في كلّ من أويو (Oyo) القديمة وإلورن (Ilorin) عاملا في جعل الفروسيّة مدارًا للنظام العسكري، ودافعا للحركة التجاريّة. فلقد كان لوجود المستنقعات والغابات الكثيفة في مناطق أخرى من البلاد يدٌ في ازدهار الزراعة، كما أسلفنا. وكان -ولم يزل- اعتماد بعض السكان على رعاية الدّواجن كالخراف والعنز والمواشي الأخرى. وعلى وجه العموم، فإنّ وقت الجفاف يمتدّ فيما بين شهر ديسمبر حتّى فبراير، والأشهر المتعاقبة معتدلة ومختلفة في جوّها، بينما تتدفّق الأمطار بدء من شهر يونيو حتّى سبتمبر. وفي وقت الجفاف، وفي أواخر ديسمبر على وجه الخصوص، يهبّ الشتاء الجاف المختلط بالغبار من الصحراء إلى جهة الجنوب، بينما تسيطر البرودة المعتدلة على خليج غينيا (Gulf of Guinea) في فصل الربيع.23 فالحقيقة أنّ التفاعل المشار إليه بين منطقتي السافانا وغابة غينيا تتجاوز آثارها الأنشطة الإنسانية إلى الظاهرة الطبيعية.

المدنية

        يعدّ اليوربيون أرقى النيجيريين- بل الأفارقة- مدنيّة.24 وفي نيجيريا اثنان وعشرون مستوطنا لا يقل سكّان كلّ واحد منها عن مائة ألف نسمة حسبما يثبته الإحصاء الرسمي للسكان في عام 1963م.25 ويسكن اليوربيّون في ثلاثة عشر مستوطنا من مجموع هذه المستوطنات النّيجيريّة.26 وكذلك يفيد الإحصاء الرسميّ المشار إليه أنّ نسبة المدن التي يسكنها عشرون ألف نسمة فصاعدا في الولايات الاثنتي عشرة الموجودة.27 في جمهوريّة نيجيريا قبل حدوث الهجرات الجماعية إلى المدن المركزيّة، كانت تتراوح بين 6% و72،5%. ومن بين هذه الولايات كانت الولاية الغربية التي يسكنها اليوربيّون، ولاجوس (Lagos)- التي كان ملوكها وأكثر أهلها من هذه القبيلة – هما الّلتان تزيد نسبة التجمعات المدينة فيهما عن 50% (وذلك لأنّ للولاية الغربيّة نسبة 51،9% بينما للاجوس 72،5%.)

        وتجدر الإشارة إلى أنّ أعلى نسبة سجّلت لولاية أخرى غير هاتين الولايتين هي كوارا (Kwara) التي يعيش فيها نصيب لا يستهان بها من اليوربيّين، والتي يكاد عاصمتها إلورن مدينة يوربيّة محضة، نظرا للغة والثقافة السائدتين فيها، وأهل المدينة وما يجاورها من مدينة كابا (Kabba) في ولاية كُوْغِي (Kogi) مرتبطون بالكتلة الرّئيسة لسائر اليوربيّين تاريخيّا ولغويا، وإن كانوا منفصلين عنهم سياسيّا وإداريّا. وقد جعلت هذه الظاهرة المدينة –أي مدينة إلُوْرِنْ- من بلاد اليوربا قبلة للوافدين ومنزلا للضيوف والنازحين من خارج الدّولة.

بلاد اليوربا في رعاية السجلات العربية القديمة

        إن لفكرة هجرة الأسلاف اليوربيين من مكة إلى مدينة إيلي إيفى (Ile Ife) التي تبناها صموئيل جونسون (Samuel Johnson)28 والتي عزاها إلى الحكاية القديمة المأثورة في مدينة أُوْيُوْ (Oyo) لها أهميّة في هذا الجانب من الدراسة. وقد وجدت هذه الفكرة صداها في كتاب (إنفاق الميسور في تاريخ بلاد التكرور) الذي ألّفه محمد بلُّوْ سلطان صُكُتُوْ.29 إنّنا لن نتناول الخلافات التي أثارها جُوْنسُونْ ومؤرخون آخرون هنا،30 كما لا نحاول الفصل بَيْنهم. إنما الذي يهمّنا كَوْنُ كلّ من مكّة المكرّمة والمدينة المنوّرة -دون غيرهما من بقاع الشرق- محلّ عناية اليوربيّين ومحبّتهم، حتّى جعلوهما مسقط رأسهم الأوّل. وهذا الرّبط هو الدّليل القويّ على أنّ لهؤلاء القوم ارتباطًا وثيقًا بالإسلام أقوى وأرسخ ممّا يبدو في أوّل وهلة. وكما أنّ منهجنا في هذه الدراسة عدم الوقوع فيما وقع فيه أكثر الدارسين في تبرير الأشياء بمحلولة تعميقها أكثر مما ينبغي، فبودّنا أن نصحِّح الانطباع الذي يروّجه كثير من الكتّاب المعاصرين.31 وموجز الانطباع أن ليس للإسلام في اليوربيين أثرٌ يذكر قبل جهاد عثمان بن فودي (Uthman Bin Fudi) الواقع في القرن التاسع عشر32 الميلاديّ وحركة الاستعمار في القرن العشرين. والحقّ أنّ في هذا الانطباع غلوًّا في أثر جهاد ابن فودي في الأوساط اليوربيّة.

        ويبدو من خلال التّحليل الثقافيّ السابق أنّ اليوربيين ليسوا متقوقعين على أنفسهم، ولا يمكن –بناء على هذه الحقيقة- أن يتصوّر انعزالهم عن مجريات الأمور حولَهم. إنّ في الادّعاء أن جهاد الفلانيين هو الذي عرّف اليوربيين الإسلام يعني أنّه ليست قبائل هوسا ونوبي (Nupe) مسلمين البتة قبل ذلك الجهاد. وهذا الادّعاء بعيد عن الحقيقة كلّ البعد، بل الحقيقة أن ثمة علماء بالعربية بين اليوربيين في أوائل القرن السابع عشر الميلادي على أقلّ تقدير. وبناء على تقرير يعزى إلى أحمد بابا التبمكتي (ت 1627م)، فقد وصف هذا التقرير بلاد اليوربا أنها بقعة ‘‘يسود فيها الكفر، وقلما يوجد فيها الإسلام’’.33

        وبعد قرابة أربعين سنة من تقرير أحمد بابا السالف الذكر ألّف أحد طلاب المغيلي الذي كان عالما بمدينة كَتْثِنا (Katsina)، واسمه أبو عبد الله بن مَسَنِي (Masanih)34، أو دان مَسَنِي (Dan Masinah) بالهوساوية، صنّف رسالة في اليوربيين. ولكن هناك قولين أو ثلاثة أقوال في حقيقة اسم هذه الرسالة. ومن بين هذه الأقوال رأي لكلّ من أ. د. ه. بيفر (A. D. H. Bivar) وم. هسكيت (M. Hisket) القائل بأنّ عنوان الكتاب هو ( شفاء الرّبا في تاريخ فقهاء يوربا). فقد ذهبا إلى أنّ تألفيه للرسالة كان تلبية للوسائل الهادية إلى تحديد وقت الغروب حسبما أفتى به فقهاء بلاد اليوربا35. هذا، والرأي الآخر في هذه الرسالة فهو موجود فيما ذكره ه. ف. س. سميث (H. F. C. Smith) في معرض تعداده لمؤلَّفات الرّجل. فكان يرى أنّ العنوان السابق أعلاه خلط في اسم كتابين مختلفين مع تعديل طفيف فيهما، وهما (شفاء الرّبا) و(أزهار الرّبا في أخبار يوربا). والكتاب الأوّل- كما يبدو من عنوانه- يتعلّق بتحديد وقت صلاة المغرب بينما يركّز الثاني على “عجائب بلاد اليوربا”. وأثبت سميث-كما أثبت الكتّاب من قبله- أنّ محمّدا بن بلُّوْ (Muhammad Bello) قد اطلع على الكتاب، ونقل منه في معرض حديثه عن الببغاء.36 والحديث عن الببغاء في بلاد اليوربا شيء مفيد فيما نحن بصدده. ذلك بأن مقرّ الطير المعترف به هو مدينة إيوو (Iwo)، وتلقّب المدينة بإلو آفا (Ilu Aafaa)- أي: مدينة العلماء بالعربية والإسلام و”إيْلَيْ أُوْدِيدَيْرَيْ” (Ile odidere)، ويعني  اللقب الأخير مُقامَ الببغاوات.

       ونستنبط من قول أحمد بابا السابق أنّ بلاد اليوربا لا يمكن أن تعدّ من ديار الإسلام في عصره، ونفهم منه أيضا عدم نفي بعض المسلمين في أوساطهم، مهما قلّ عددهم. وممّا يعجب الباحث أنّه قد ورد ذكر هذه البلاد عند هذا العالم بالعربية والإسلام في وقت ليس للأوروبيّين معروفة بهذه الديار.37

        أمّا عن كتاب دان مَسَنِي (Dan Masanih)، فإنّنا إن أردنا قبول العنوان الذي يميل إليه كلّ من بيفر (Bivar) وهسكيت (Hisket) نجد أن كان للإسلام رسوخ قدم في هذه البلاد في القرن السابع عشر الميلادي، بل كان فيها علماء مسلمون منذ ذلك الوقت البعيد.

        هذا، والدليل الداخليّ الذي يمكن أن نحلّ به هذا الخلاف – وإن كان جزئيا، وذلك إن تمسّكنا بعنوان بِيفَرْ وهسكيت، أنّ العنوان لا يدلّ على أنّ العلماء المعنيّين ساكنون في بلاد اليوربا ليس غير. فإنّ عبارة “فقهاء اليوربا” يمكن يفهم منها أحد أمرين، وقد يُفهَم منها معنًى ثالثٌ. وأوّلها الفقهاء اليوربيّون، والثاني: الفقهاء الذين في أوساط اليوربيين، والأخير: الفقهاء الذين يعلّمون اليوربيّين. وهذا التوجيه أشبه بالتفسير منه بالترجمة؛ وذلك لأنّه ليس في العنوان ما ينصّ على بلاد اليوربا أو أرض اليوربا. ويمكن أن يفهم منه معنى آخر، وذلك هو “علماء اليوربا”، ولكن باب الاحتمالات لا يزال مفتوحا، ولاسيما إذا لم يكن في الرسالة ما يحقر المعنى في المفهوم الأخير. وإذا أبعدنا هذا المفهوم الأخير فإنّ القول الثاني يرد فيه احتمال أن يكون المعنيُّ الفقهاء من أهل اليوربا أو ممّن نزلوا عندهم وليسوا منهم. والتفصيل السابق يؤكّد الاحتمال الأوّل أكثر من الاحتمال الأخير.

        وفيما يتعلّق برواية سميث (Smith) للكتاب، يبدو أنّه قد استفاد من كونه بعد رواية كلّ من بِيفَرْ (Bivar) وهسكيت (Hisket). وبذلك قد اطّلع على ما عندهما، وتمكّن من تحقيق أخبار لم تكن موثّقة عندهما، ولا شكّ أن لهذا الصنيع أثرًا إيجابيًّا أثرى الكتاب أيّما إثراء. وبناء على هذا كان اقتراحه لعنوان الكتاب موافقا لوجهة النظر السائدة عن اليوربيّين في الأوساط الإسلاميّة الأخرى وهي أن بلاد اليوربا كانت رائعة وحافلة بالكفر. ولكنّ تعرّض سميت (Smith) للكتاب بالذكر لم يكن له عند القارئ فائدة تذكر. وذلك لأنّه لم يصرّح بوجود الكتاب أو اندراسه. وقد أشار بِيفَرْ (Bivar) في بعض محادثاته الخاصّة أنّه أفيد بأنّ في المكتبة الأميريّة في مدينة كَتْثِنا (Katsina) نسخة من الكتاب، ولكنّ محاولاته لزيادة المكتبة قبل مغادرته نيجيريا عام 1960م قد باءت بالفشل.

        وقد واصل بِيفَرْ (Bivar) جهود البحث عن تاريخ العلم العربّي لدى اليوربيّين. وذلك حيث تحدّث عن مخطوطة نسخت في شهر رجب من عام 1070هـ، والتي هي في حوزة أمير مدينة ياؤري (Yauri) الحاجّ تُكُرْ (Alhaji Tukur) الآن، وفيها أنّ هناك كتاباً قديماً لا يعرف تاريخ نسخه على وجه التحديد قد بيع لإمامٍ اسمُه حبيب بن الحسن المالّوي اليوباوي.38 (Imam Habib bin Al-Hasan Al-Mallawi Al-Yurubawi).

       ويستنبط من ذكره لاسم مشتري الكتاب ثلاثة أمور. الأوّل أنّه كان إماماً يؤمّ الناس في الصلوات الخمس. وفي هذا دليل على أنّه لم يشتر الكتاب فحسب، بل يرجّح أنّه قد كان عالما بالعربيّة والمعارف الإسلاميّة. والثاني أنّه كان ملّويّا، وهذا يدلّ على أنّ هذا الاسم نسبة إلى مكان ما. ولمّا كان افتراض كون النسبة إلى جمهورية ملاوي (Malawi) الحاضرة39 في شرق أفريقيا بعيدًا كان أصبح احتمال النسبة إلى مالي (Mali) واردًا. وإذا تمسّكنا بهذا الاحتمال فتعني النسبة إلى مالي (Mali) أحد أمرين: أوّلهما أنّه تعلّم وتفقّه في مالي (Mali) حتّى أصبح أهلا للإمامة في الدين. والأمر الثاني أنّه لم يكن قد استوطن مالي (Mali)، ولكنّه انتسب إليها إظهارًا لنفسه أنّه كان من اليوربيّين المؤمنين بالدّين الذي يؤمن به الماليّون (أو المالويّون)، وذلك هو الدين الإسلاميّ. ومن الجدير بالذكر أنّ الاسم الذي يطلق على اليوربيّين المسلمين إلى يومنا هذا قريب من هذا، وهو إمَالَيْ (Imale). والأمر المستفاد الأخير أنّ المشتري كان يوربيًّا.40 ولكن هذا لا يمنع أن يكون الرّجل ماليَّ (ملويّ) الأصل، ولكنّه آثر أن ينتسب إلى بلاد اليوربا أيضًا لكونها أرض إقامته.

أثر اللغة العربية في اللغة اليوربية

        وعلاوةً على كلّ ما سبق من الأدلّة التي يمكن تسميتها بالأدلّة الخارجيّة على وجود العلاقة بين اليوربيّين وبين العربيّة قبل جهاد عثمان بن فودي (Uthman Bin Fudi)، فإنّ هناك دليلا داخليًّا أيضا. فقد تأثّرت لغة اليوربا بالعربيّة عبر الكلمات العربيّة الدخيلة أيّما تأثّر. وكاد هذا التأثّر البالغ أن يحمل على التسليم بالنظريّة غير المبرّرة السابقة الذكر القائلة بأنّ اليوربيّين من مكّة المكّرمة إلى موقعهم الحاليّ هاجروا.

        والدليل الداخليّ الآخر على وجود العلاقة القديمة بين اليوربيّين من جانب، وبين العربية والشعائر الإسلاميّة من جانب آخر واضحٌ في  الشعر الشعبيّ المعروف بإيفا (Ifa) موضوعاً له، وكانت الفكرة الرئيسة للقصيدة هي أُوْرنْمِيلاَ (Orunmila) والقاضي (الذي حرّفه اليوربيّون إلى أَلُكَادِي (Alukaadi). وفي القصيدة نرى القاضي خصمًا لأُوْرُنْمِلاَ (Orunmila). وفي هذا يقول هذا البيت الشعريّ اليوربيّ:

Igbonwo- mejeeji-o-see-gberu- saja A difa fun Alukaadi Omo Aala

ليس في وسع المرفقين أن تحملا المتاع إلى السّقف وذلك مثل القاضي، أهل الله وخاصته.

        يلاحظ من البيت أنّ لفظ الجلالة (الله) قد استعمل فيه بعد تصبيغه صبغة يوربيّة وأصبح (آلا)41. ومن هنا نجد من الباحثين العرب والأوربيّين من يعدّون اليوربيّة فرعا من العربيّة؛ لكثرة الملامح العربيّة ووفرة مفرداتها فيها. يقول الرّحالّة السّعودي المعاصر محمّد بن ناصر العبوديّ: ‘‘وقد تفرّعت اليوربويّة من العربيّة كما تحمل كيّة كبيرة من اللغة المصريّة القديمة. وقد قرّر ذلك الدّكتور في أديان اليوربا. ويعسر استقصاء الكلمات العربيّة التي تنازلت إلى اليوربويّة إذ منها ما اتّحدت لفظا ومعنى، ولم يسقط منها إلّا حرف أو حرفان، ومنها ما تحرّف يسيرا، ومنا ما تبدّل بحرف آخر. وقد راعينا أنّ أكثر كلماتها ثلاثيّة كما راعينا في التحريف والتبديل تقارب الحرفين’’42.

المصادر والتعليقات:

1)- ينظر: أوجيلابي أديكنلي  (Adekunle Ojelabi)،
(A Textbook of West African History: 1000 A.D. to the present day)، بعناية معهد البحوث التربوية (Educational Research Institute)، إبادن (نيجيريا)، عام 1970م، ص 61-66.

2)- آدم عبد الله الإلوري، (بدون التاريخ) نسيم الصبا في أخبار الإسلام وعلماء بلاد اليوربا، مكتبة الآداب والمطبعة النموذجية، الطبعة الثانية، ص18.

3)- مصطفى زغلول السنوسي، (1407هـ/1987م)،  أزهار الربا في أخبار بلاد يوربا، طبعة شركة تكنو برس الحديثة وإشراف القديم الفنيّ في مكتبة مجلة المنبر، بيروت، الطبعة الأولى، ص21.

4)- آدم عبد الله الإلوري، (1391هـ/ 1971م)، الإسلام في نيجيريا والشيخ عثمان بن فودي الفلاني، ، الطبعة الثانية، بدون اسم الناشر، ص 32-33.

5)- أبو الحسن عليّ السماني، (بدون تاريخ) تطبيق نصوص الفكر السياسيّ الإسلامي في دولة صكتو الإسلاميّة، دار هايل للطباعة والنشر والتغليف، الخرطوم، ص 53.

6)- ينظر: أ. بودق  (T.E. Bowdich)، Mission from cape Coast Castle to Ashanti، لندن، عام 1819م، ص 208-209 وقد استعمل هذا المؤلف كلمة “حو”Ho لشعب “أويو” كما استعمل “يَرْبا”Yarba  لليوربا. وينظر أيضا: د. فورد (D. Forde)، (The Yoruba Speaking Peoples of South-Western Nigeria)، لندن، 1951م، ص 1.

7)- الأدقّ أن يقال  أنّ جميع ملوك اليوربيّين الكبار يُرجِعون أصلهم إلى أوددوا (Oduduwa). وهناك قول سائد عند اليوربيّين أنّ ‘‘تاريخ أصل اليوربيّين يوقفنا على أنّ جميعهم من ذريّة أوددوا’’.

8)- ينظر: إ أ. أكنجوين (I.A. Akinjogbin)، Dahomey and its Neigbours، رسالة الدكتوراه مقدّمة في جامعة لندن، عام 1963م، ص 60.

9)- ينظر: ج. ف. أ. أجيي (J.F.A. Ajayi)، Christian Mission in Nigeria 18411891، لندن، عام 1965م، ص 127.

10)- يبدو أنّ أوّل من استعمل هذا المصطلح هو ج. ربن (J. Raban) في كتابه Eyo Vocabulary الذي نشره في عام 1832م. وفي عام 1864م  ذهب كول (Koelle) أنّ إطلاق الإرساليات المسيحيّة لهذا المصطلح على جميع الناطقين بلغة اليوربا خاطئ؛ لأنّ مصطلح “اليوربا” لم تكن تستعمل بهذه الطريقة. للوقوف على معلومات أوفى في هذه القضيّة ينظر: ج. ف.1. أجيي في بحث نشره بعنوان: How Yoruba was reduced to writing في مجلة “أُوْدُوْ” (Odu) العدد الثاني الصادر في عام 1960م ص 58-49. هذا، وقد عقّد استعمال بودق (Bowdick) المشار إليه آنفا المسألة، وذلك حيث أطلق كلاًّ من كلمة يَرِبَا أو يَرْبا لليوربا، وكلمة “حِؤُو (Hio)” لأويو، ويشكل هذا على من لم يعرف أنّه يعني بهما المشهور من اليوربا وأويو.

11)- ينظر: أُوْ.أَوُوْلُوْوُوْ (O. Awolowo)،Awo، The Autobiography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo)، مطبعة جامعة كمبرج، عام 1960م، ص 0167 واقرأ ص 217 أيضا (من أصل الكتاب المترجَم) حتى تقف على القبول الذي كان يتمتّع به الجماعة في أوساط اليوربيّين الساكنين في الأقاليم الغربية من نيجيريا بين عام 1950م و1951.

12)- ينظر: د. فود (D. Forde)، مرجع سابق، وأكنجوبن (Akinjogbin)، مرجع سابق أيضا، ص 7، وقد بيّنا في المرجعين أن الاسم الذى اشتهر به مجموعة من اليوربيّين في داهومي (Dahomey) هو أولوكمي (olukumi)، وتسمّى لهجتهم الكومش (al-komsh).

13)- ينظر إلى بحث شارك في نشره كل من ر.بروفوت (R. Proudfoot) وح. س ولسون (H.S. Wilson) بعنوان Muslim Attitudes to Education in Sierra Leone في مجلّة The Muslim World، العدد 50 الصادر في عام 1960م، ص 086.

14)- تعني كلمة “أيكو E ku”، “طيّب” أو “سعيد” في  أغلب الأحايين فإن قال اليوربيّ: “E ku aaro” فإنّه يعني “طيّب الله صباحكم” وقال “E ku odun titun” فمعناه: “عامكم سعيد”.

15)- ينظر: ف.و.ح. مجيود (F.W.H. Migoed)، The languages of West Africa، لندن، عام 1913م، الطبعة الأولى ص 44.

وانظر أيضا: ج. برّندر (G. Parrinder)، في “Yoruba-speaking Peoples in Dahomey” في مجلّة Africa))، العدد 17، ص 6، شهر أبريل من عام 1947م، وديانة غرب أفريقيا (West African Religion) للباحث نفسه، لندن، عام 1949، 90 وينظر كذلك: “Land Tenure in the Yoruba Provinces لح. ل. ورد برايث (H.L Ward Price)، لاغوس، عام 1933م، ص 1.

16)- ينظر: ج.س. ترمنغم (J.S. Trimingban)، Islam In West Africa، طبعة أكسفود (Oxford) عام 1959م ص 1. وبعد هذا استعيرت كلمة تكور ((Takur التي كانت تستعمل لمملكة على جانب نهر السنغال لأغلب مناطق غرب أفريقيا، وممّا يمثّل هذا الاستعمال المستعار إطلاق محمد بلُّوْ حين تعرضه لجهاد الفلانيّين (Fulani) في كتابه “إنفاق الميسور في تاريخ بلاد التكرور”. وينظر أيضا: ن. ليفتريون، (N. Levtzion) (Conversation to Islam)، طبعة نيويرك (New York) ولندن (London)، عام 1979م، ص 208.

17)- ينظر: ر. لر (R. Law)، The Oyo Empire(c1600-c1836)، A West Africa Imperialism in the Era of the Atlantic Slave Trade)، طبعة أكسفود (Oxford)، عام 1977م، ص7 ونرى المؤلّف يخالف في عدّ مقر أويو القديم جزء من إقليم غابة غينيا.

18)- ينظر: ر. سميت (R. Smith)، ((Ijaiye: the Western Palatine of the Yoruba)، مجلة جمعية التاريخ النيجيرية (JHSN)، المجلّد6، العدد 3، ديسمبر من عام 1962م، ص 0331

19)-ينظر: س جونسون (S. Johnson)، The History of the Yoruba، لندن، عام 1921م، ص 0179

20)- ينظر: و. بسقم (W. Bascom)، The Yoruba of South Western Nigeria، طبعة نيو يرك (New York)، عام 1969م ص4.

21)- ينظر: ب. مرتن وليامس (P. Morton-Williams)، The Influence of Habitat and Trade on the Polities of Oyo and Ashanti في مجلّة قام بتحريرها كلّ من م. دغلس وب. م. كبيّرى (M. Douglas and P.M. Kaberry) بعنوان (Man in Africa)، لندن، ص 1969م، ص 86 و89 و96.

22)- ينظر: ك. ل. بقانن (K.M. Buchanan) وج. س. بغ (J.C. Pugh)، أرض وأمم نيجيريا Land and People in Nigeria، لندن، عام 1964م، ص 29.

23)- اليوربا: سكان الجنوب الغربي من نيجيريا، مرجع سابق، ص 4.

24)- يقول بسقم (Bascom) معلّقا على الإحصاء الرّسمّي للسكان النّيجيريّين الذي أجري عام 1963م في المرجع السابق: كانت نسبة مؤشر التّمدّن في بلاد اليوربا 39،3 وهي أحطّ من النسبة في بريطانيا التي هي 65،9، ومن النسبة فغي ألمانيا التي هي 46،1، وتنقص عن النسبة 42،3 في الولايات المتّحدة قليلا. ولكنّها تجاوز النسبة في كندا التي هي 3، 34، وتزيد عن النسبة 2، 31 التي في فرنسا، وتربو عن النسبة 25،2 في اليونان، وترتفع على النسبة 17،4 في البولندا” وانظر أيضا: ا.ل. مبوغنجي (A.L. Mabogunje)، Urbanization in Nigeria، لندن، عام 1968م.

25)- جمهوريّة نيجيريا الفيدراليّة وبرنامج الخدمة الوطنيّة للطلاب الجامعيّين (National Youth Service Corps)، محاضرات للتكييف (Lectures for the Orientation)، شهر يوليو من عام 1973م، ص 17-18.

26)- ينظر: السابق.

27)- هذه البيانات مبنية على الوضع السابق في نيجيريا حيث كان عدد الولايات اثنتي عشرة ولاية. ولكن الحكومات المتعاقبة قد زادت عليه حتى أصبّح عددها الآن ستة وثلاثين ولاية، علاوة على عاصمة الجمهورية التي هي مدينة أبوجا.

28)- ينظر: س. جونسون (S. Johnson)، The History of the Yorubas، مرجع سابق، ص1.

29)- قد عزا محمد بلُّوْ (Muhammad Bello) أصل اليوربيّين إلى العراق في كتابه الذي عنوانه “إنفاق الميسور في تاريخ بلاد التكرور”، ص 48. أما م.س. أدييمي (M. C Adeyemi) فيرى في كتابه “كتاب تاريخ أويو” ((Iwe Itan Oyo أنّ أصلهم راجع إلى المدينة المنورة، طبعة إبادن (Ibadan)، عام 1914م، ص5. هذا، وقد وردت نظرية هجرة اليوربيّين في جزء من ترجمة بعض مخطوطات (إنفاق الميسور) التي قام بها كل من د. دنهام (D. Denhem)، وح. كلاباتون (H. Clapperton)، ود. أدني (N. Oudny) ينظر ذلك في: Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa، طبعة لندن، عام 1828م، المجلّد الخامس، هامش ص45. وانظر أيضا هامش رقم 78 الذي سيأتي.

30)- هذا النزاع قد تزعّمه كلّ من الشيخ آدم عبد الله الإلوري ور. لر (R. Law) قد تنوول بالتفصيل في الفصل الرابع من كتابنا هذا. وانظر كذلك: ح.أو. بير (H.U Beier)، The Historical and Psychological Significance of Yoruba Myths في مجلّة “أودو(Odu) الصادرة من جامعة إِفَيْ (Ife) – وهي جامعة أُوْبَافَيْمِي أَوُوْلُوْوُوْ Obafemi Awolowo الآن، العدد الأول، عام 1953م، ص 19-20.

31)- ينظر: م. كرودور (M. Crowder)، The Story of Nigeria، طبعة لندن، عام 1977م، ص 65 وج. س ترمنغم (J.S.Trimingham)، عام 1963م، A History of Islam، ص230، وج. برندر (G. Parrinder)، الديانة في مدينة أفريقية (Religion in an African City)، طبعة وستبورت (Westport) عام1972م، ص 63، وج. برندر (G. Parrinder) The Story of Ketu، طبعة مطبعة دامعة إبادن، عام 1956م، ور. سيمث (R. Smith)، عام 1969م، مملكات (Kingdoms) ص138.

32)- هناك سوء فهم في عدّ الجهاد الذي امتدّ إلى المناطق الشمالية من بلاد اليوربا “احتياجا تزعمه الفلانيون المسلمون”. هذا ما حكاه ب. دفيدسون (B. Davidson)، الأمّ السوداء: Black Mother: Africa The Years of Trial، الطبعة الثانية، لندن، عام 1970م، ص 219وهامش ص:119. وينظر: أ. أي. أكنجوبين (I. A. Akinjogbon)، A Prelude to the Yoruba Civil Wars of the Nineteenth Century”، في مجلّة أودو (Odu)، السلسلة الثانية، عام 1965م، ص46، وس. جونسون (S. Johnson)، تاريخ اليوربا، مرجع سابق، ص26.

33)- هذه مقالة أدلى بها عثمان بن فودي (Uthman bn Fudi) في كتابه “بيان وجوب الهجرة”، كما حكاها و.أ.ن. كيسدل (W.E.N. Kendale)، قائمة في المخطوطات العربية المحفوظة في مكتبة جامعة إبادن (م1955-1958م)، 54/82. وانظر أيضا: مخطوط كتاب الكشف والبيان لأصناف مجلوب السودان، لمؤلفه أحمد بابا (Ahmad Baba)، وتوجد نسخة من هذا المخطوط في النغرب وأخرى في باريس (Paris) كما أتيت ذلك ف.ح. المصري (F.H. El-Mesri)، “وإسلام” “Islam” في حررها كلّ من ب.س. لود (P.C. Lloyd)، و.أ. ل. مبوغنجي (A.L. Mabogunje)، و ب. أوي (B. Awe)، وبعنوان: The City of Ibadan، كمبردج (Cambridge)، عام 1967م، ص 249، هامش رقم 2.

34)- ينظر: أ.ب. فافنوا (A.B.Fafunwa)، History of Education in Nigeria، طبعة لندن، عام 1974م، ص 54، نقلا عن: ح. القاضي (H. Alkali)، A Note on Arabic Teaching In Northern Nigeria، في مجلة Kano Studies، العدد الثالث،شهر يونيو من عام 1967، ص 11.

35)- ينظر: أ.د.خ. بيفار (A. D. V. Biver) وم. هسكيت (M. Hiskett)، الأدب العربي في نيجيريا حتّى عام 1804م: رواية مؤقتة، مرجع سابق، العدد الخامس والعشرون، عام 1962م ص: 116، وقد نبّهت هذه الدراسة إلى الاختلاف في إيراد هذا الاسم، وذلك حين أشارت إلى أنّ السلطان محمد بلُّوْ قد أثبت العنوان نفسه في كتاب أزهار الربا في أخبار يوربا بصورة تدلّ وعلى العمل ذاته.

36)- ينظر: ح.ف .س. سميت (H. F. C. Smith)، “Arabic Manuscript Materials Bearing on the History of Western Sudan a Seventeeth- Century Writer of Katsina”، جمعية التاريخ النّيجيرية، ملحق نشرة الأخبار، الملجد الأول، ص3. 1961م. ينظر ح. كلابرتون (H. Clappernton )، Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa، لندن، 1826م، الذيل 12، قسم 4.

37)- هذا، وقد ذكر كاتب برتغالي اسمه دؤات بقيرو بريرا (Duate and Pacheco Pereira) أن كلا من مدينتي لاجوس (Lagos) وإجيبو أودي (Ijebu Ode) في حكايته فيما بين عامي 1505م و 1508م. ينظر: دؤات بقيرو بريرا (Daurte Pacheco Pereira)، (Esmeraldo de arbis)، ترجمة وتحرير ج.ح.ت. كِنْبُو (G.H.T. Kimble)، لندن،1937، ص124. وينظر: دي برّوس (De Barros)، The Voyages of Cadamosto and other Documents، لندن، عام 1937م، ص126-127. حيث ورد أنّ ملك مدينة بنين (Benin) وصف ملكا لزوّاره الأوروبيين في سنة 1486. ومن المحتمل جدًّا أن يكون ذلك الملك الموصوف هو زعيم مدينة إيفي (Oni of Ife) الذي هو الرئيس الروحي لجميع اليوربيّين.

38)- ينظر: أ.د.ح. بيفار (A.D.H. Biver) وم. هسكيت (M. Hisket)،“The Arabic Literature”، هامش ص116.

39)- كانت جمهورية ملاوي الحاضرة تعرف بديار انياسا (Nyasaland) قبل استقلالها. وكان هذا الاسم خاصًّا ببحيرة انيسا (Lake Nyasa) التي أصبحت تعرف فيما بعد ببحيرة مَلاَوِي (Lake Malawi) بدءًا من عام 1965م. لتفاصيل أوفى ينظر: الموسوعة البريطانية (Encyclopaedia Britannica)، مادة ملاوي (Malawi).

40)- إذا اعتددنا برواية حكاها السلطان بلُّوْ زعيم مدينة صُكُتُوْ (Sokoto) ونقلها كلابرتون (Clapperton) عام 1826م في كتاب “رحلات” (Travels)، فإن سكان مدينة يَوْرِي (Yaory or Yaori) لا يعتبرون من اليوربيين الذين تشملهم دراستنا هذه، بل يعدّون مجموعة من اليوربيين قدموا في إحدى الهجرات الأولى من الشرق، واستقروا في مقرهم الحالي حينما تقدم غيرهم في رحلتهم تجاه الجنوب. ومن المثير للعجب أن مملكات غرب إفيريقية مهمة أخرى في العهد الذي قبل الاستقلال يعزوون أصلهم إلى الشرق أيضا. فجماعة صُوْننكي (Soninke) في غانا (Ghana) يثبوتون علاقتهم الجينية بالرجل المسمّى دِنغا (Dinga) الذي يرى أنه مهاجر إلى غرب أفيريقيا من الشرق. للتحقيق في هذا ينظر: ليفتزيون (Levtzion)، Ancient Ghana and Mali، مرجع سابق، ص16-18. وكذلك يعدّ سلالة كَيْتا (Keita) التي حكمت مالي في القرن الوسطى من ذرية بلال الحبشي الذي كان مؤذن الرسول r. للاستزادة في هذا ينظر:ت نئاني، (T. Niane)، Sundiata: An Epic of OldMali، ترجمة س.د. بكيت (C.D. Pickett)، لندن، 1965م، ص2. وكذلك كانت السلالة الحاكمة الأولى تعزو أصلها إلى الشرق. ينظر: ب.ج. ريان (P.J. Ryan)، (Imale: Yoruba Participation in the Muslim Tradition)، طبعة أنّْ أربور (AnArbor)، 1978م، ص 1. وكذلك تربط مديمنة دَؤرَا (Daura) الأزلية أصل أمرائها الجيني بقدوم أمير من بغداد اسمه بَيَاجِدَا (Bayajida)، {وهل هذا تحريف لأبي يزيد؟}. ويقال أنّ هذا الأمير قد نفي من بلده. بنظر: ريان (Ryan)، إِمَالَيْ: مشاركة اليوربيين في الثقافة الإسلامية، مرجع سابق، ص11.

41)- ر.د. أبو بكر، (2004م) The Interplay of Arabic and Yoruba Cultures in the South-Western Nigeria الدار العلميّة، مدينة إيوو  في نيجيريا، مقدّمة الكتاب، ص 21-22 (اعتمدت على مواطن عديدة من هذا الكتاب القيّم اعتمادا يجعل هذا العمل العلميّ مدينا للمؤلّف لما أفاد به من معلومات وأفاض فيه من بيانات وتحليلات حفظه الله تعالى وجزاه خيرا).

42)- محمّد بن ناصر العبودي، (1415ه-1995م)، قصّة سفر في نيجيريا، مطابع الفرزدق التجاريّة، الرياض، الطبعة الأولى، 1/20.