Friday, November 1, 2019

A brief example on the dangers of using Ajami in this dispensation

 A brief example on the dangers of using Ajami in this dispensation.

First, 'What is Ajami?

The term Ajami (Arabic: عجمي‎, ʿajamī) or Ajamiyya (Arabic: عجمية‎, ʿajamiyyah), which comes from the Arabic root for foreign or stranger, has been applied to Arabic alphabets used for writing African languages, especially those of Hausa and Swahili, although many other African languages were written using the script, among them Yoruba, the Fulani/Pulaar of Fulfulde. It is considered an Arabic-derived African writing system.


Some years back while arranging some drugs on the shelf, a man walked in saw some empty packs on the ground. He shouted, 'Astagafurllah! three times with eyes almost popping out of their sockets at the packs. I was visibly taken aback. When I asked what was the problem, he pointed at the Arabic inscriptions on the empty pack and said that was God's name I flung carelessly on the floor. I saw danger looming from sheer ignorance. I quickly explained to him that that wasn't God's name but the drug's properties written in Hausa using Arabic letters.

I opened one of the leaflets with descriptions in different languages to further explain that the producers only wanted everyone to understand in their own language what was written in English.

For instance, Paracetamol for headaches was written in both English and Ajami languages.

He understood the point apologized and left.

It was a close shave. Another would have waited for an appropriate time to *deal* with a blasphemous character.

All said and done, a lot would have been saved writing, Paracetamol for headache simply in Hausa as, *Paracetamol maganin ciwon kai* instead of in Ajami which most interpret as Quranic verses just because they are in Arabic letters.

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