Welcome, Guest: Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New
Stats: 2,597,970 members, 6,029,143 topics. Date: Thursday, 03 December 2020 at 05:20 AM

Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets - Politics - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Politics / Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets (29973 Views)

Print More Naira Notes - Tinubu Tells FG / Reno Omokri Defends Arabic On Naira Note On His Social Media Page / Malcolm Omirhobo Sues FG, CBN, AGF Over Arabic Inscription On Naira, Army Logo (2) (3) (4)

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (Reply) (Go Down)

Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by DamnnNiggarr(m): 3:29am On Nov 15
Letter from Africa: Culture clash over Nigeria's rival alphabets

In our series of letters from African journalists, Mannir Dan Ali, former editor-in-chief of the Daily Trust newspaper, looks at what a row over Arabic script reveals about Nigeria's divides.



A lawyer has asked a court in Nigeria's commercial city of Lagos to compel the country's central bank to remove the Arabic script which appears on most naira banknotes. The lettering states the note's currency value.

He also wants the army to stop using the Arabic inscription: "Victory is from God", on its logo.

The move is likely to reopen an old controversy over the use of Arabic script, which some see as an attempt to Islamise the country.

But many seem unaware that the Arabic script used to write in several African languages is known as "Ajami".

It was the first means of literacy on the continent, centuries before Western colonisers and Christian missionaries arrived with their Roman script and its A-Z alphabet.

Among others, Swahili in East Africa, Tamashek, the language of the Tuaregs in North and West Africa, and Nigerian languages like Kanuri, Nupe, Yoruba, Fulfulde and Hausa all use Ajami.

Scholars and administrators in the Sokoto Caliphate, which dominated much of present-day northern Nigeria in the 19th Century, used Ajami to write many documents and books.

Nana Asma'u, the daughter of Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, who founded the caliphate, was a renowned and prolific poet - and probably the first woman to write several books in Hausa and Fulfulde using Ajami.

More than 150 years after her death, it is Ajami Hausa, not Arabic, that is on the naira notes.

Religious fault line
Deep division and suspicion have been the lot of Nigeria since British colonisers amalgamated the northern and southern parts of the country, alongside the colony of Lagos, in 1914.

To this day, some politicians still refer to it as "the mistake of 1914".

The divisions are fed by the different cultures, religions and worldviews of the people brought together into one country.

Even though the label "largely Muslim north and mainly Christian south" used by the media does not reflect the true complexities of Nigeria, it does capture one of its main fault lines.

This background explains the ebb and flow of the case now before a Lagos court.

The row first began a decade ago when, to commemorate Nigeria's 50th anniversary, the 50 naira note was redesigned. Four years later for the centenary of the country's creation, the 100 naira too was updated.

It provoked a strong reaction across the Christian-Muslim divide when Roman script was used to write the value in Hausa instead of Ajami.

An article on the subject by the New Yorker magazine summarised it by saying : "Some Christians supported the move as a step towards de-Islamising Nigeria, while many Muslims called it Islamophobia."

It is obvious that those opposed to the use of Arabic script on Nigeria's currency or emblems see it as an expression of Islamic identity owing to the origin of Arabic as the language of Islam and the initial use of Ajami as a means of spreading Islam on the African continent.

They fail to see that they are falling into the mindset of Boko Haram, as the Islamist militants who have been waging an 11-year insurgency in northern Nigeria are equally opposed to anything connected with Western education and ideas.

The Ajami writing on each naira note is for the benefit of the tens of millions of Hausa speakers, who can only read and write in that script, which is taught in schools across the north.

Such people could go to court to argue that their own rights were being infringed should the Ajami inscription be removed.

Africa's 'triple heritage'

As the debate about the Arabic script rages on, some on social media have been quick to show that in Israel, its currency, the shekel, has Arabic inscriptions for the benefit of the minority Arab population there.

The army logo is actually in Arabic, included by its designer, a Christian from southern Nigeria, to deflect criticism that the six-pointed star that sits below the eagle looked like a Jewish symbol, the Star of David.

It may also be worth noting what the late Kenyan writer and political scientist Ali Mazrui called "the triple heritage of Africa" - its Arab Islamic influence, Christian colonial experience and indigenous culture.

None of the three can be wished away by anyone who is aiming at an inclusive society.

As one person told the New Yorker in objection to the centenary naira redesign: ''If you still have English and it is not Christianising, why is the one in Arabic Islamising?"

Whatever the court may decide on the matter, it is unlikely to be the last word on this emotive issue.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-africa-54935804?__twitter_impression=true

8 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by PlayerMeji: 4:11am On Nov 15
When Christians are killed in South Kaduna, Jos etc daily.. why won't they claim 'largely Muslim population..'

70 Likes 9 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by porka: 5:26am On Nov 15
Arabic numerals are the ten digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

28 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by DeejaywonDJ1(m): 8:06am On Nov 15
porka:
Arabic numerals are the ten digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.


It was invented by India mathematicians not Arab

46 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by ThatFairGuy: 8:30am On Nov 15
Citing this 1000 note as an example, The Arabic inscription on it simply means NAIRA DUBU(Hausa language) in Transliteration which means #1000.

It's Hausa language but written in Arabic.

The Arabic word for a thousand naira is ألف not نير دوبو as it's on our thousand note.

I can also write egberun naira (Yoruba language) in Arabic as we have it in Hausa language (but written in Arabic) on our note. As well as in Igbo.

أيبر نير egberun naira (#1000).

IT'S JUST A LANGUAGE as explained in this write-up, nothing like ISLAMIZATION. We all need to look away on some certain things if we must live in peace, Which is ESSENTIAL.

I can sight some examples of what we're also using in Nigeria that are related to Christianity but no fuss from Muslim side.


WE NEED TO STOP ALL THESE UNNECESSARY FUSS

MODIFIED
Nigerians values religion more than even ethnicity, how I wish the values in religion can be impacted in our doings.

Mention upon mention

202 Likes 20 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by DropsMic(m): 2:39pm On Nov 15
All these things are Unnecessary....

14 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by Simplyleo: 2:39pm On Nov 15
Check very well, na ipob miscreants dey make dis noise.

Ipob miscreants are illiterates.

28 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by teamsynergy: 2:39pm On Nov 15
The whole system has collapsed....

If you like put swahili on the Naira note,it changes nothing

15 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by killuminati(m): 2:39pm On Nov 15
cry
Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by Omezif(m): 2:39pm On Nov 15
Some people like chasing shadow, the arabic scripts at some naira notes have nothing to do to islamize this country. Who is that person that have eaten and sartisfy from islam that would dare to islamize this nigeria country. Apart from killing some christians in some parts in north it's hard to see muslims making such decision in any social media, they know that they could not do anything even if they try it, they become silent.

5 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by Sterope(f): 2:39pm On Nov 15
Written with Arabic characters

I think Farsi also follows the same format
ThatFairGuy:
Sighting this 1000 note as an example, The Arabic inscription on it simply means NAIRA DUBU(Hausa language) in Transliteration which means #1000.

It's Hausa language but written in Arabic.

The Arabic word for a thousand naira is ألف not نير دوبو as it's on our thousand note.

I can also write egberun naira (Yoruba language) in Arabic as we have it in Hausa language (but written in Arabic) on our note. As well as in Igbo.

أيبر نير egberun naira (#1000).

IT'S JUST A LANGUAGE as explained in this write-up, nothing like ISLAMIZATION. We all need to look away on some certain things if we must live in peace, Which is ESSENTIAL.

I can sight some examples of what we're also using in Nigeria that are related to Christianity but no fuss from Muslim side.


WE NEED TO STOP ALL THESE UNNECESSARY FUSS

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by thebosstrevor1: 2:39pm On Nov 15
People are trying their best to cause religious war in this country.

People are suffering but some bigots think an arabic inscription on naira note is the solution to the problem.

When you go buy something, who cares if arabic words are written on the note, does it stop it from being a legal tender.

25 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by Macsjebs(m): 2:39pm On Nov 15
Hmmm, so much divisions everywhere, all we need is one love

I got more than I bargained for at the wedding of a nairalander on Saturday - it was indeed love at first smell. I was no where near the best dressed or most good looking, but my scent stole the show

For guys here still thinking, spending or ________ is the only way to get a lady, well, have u tried scenting heavenly. Kindly see reviews on the thread on my signature

3 Likes

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by Rugaria: 2:40pm On Nov 15
Cultural chauvinism! Some people feel that because they have been in power for long, they can force down their beliefs on others. It will backfire someday..

20 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by PointZerom: 2:40pm On Nov 15
What of the cow on two hundred naira note?

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by DennisEche(m): 2:40pm On Nov 15
N
Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by GOTVee(m): 2:40pm On Nov 15
sadEven though I've been a born again Christian of over 25 years, I think we Christians really need to let the sleeping Dog lie. I have been to several Arab nations on tourism and Evangelism and I can attest to the fact that Arabic remains one of the unique and outstanding languages on earth. What is the big deal in having Arabic inscriptions on Naira notes and Army uniform? Nigeria is a country of Muslim majority and due to their numerical advantage I think the Muslims deserve to have the Arabic as a national symbol. I mostly prefer to read my bible in Arabic language for better understanding despite being a Christian. The Muslims in this country have never complained of the fact that the national language is English. The Christian missionaries brough English language to Nigeria and our dear Muslim brothers easily accepted it without fuss. Why are we Christians trouble some unnecessarily? We Christians really to be careful not to cause a national disaster sad

47 Likes 13 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by NobleAngell(f): 2:40pm On Nov 15
Kk
Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by GoshenNLA(m): 2:40pm On Nov 15
Since I was a kid, i’v always had issue with that writing on naira note, and I do ask my parents wat it means, they said they don’t know
My submission, naira is National note legal tender, see no reason why a language not general known by all is on it, put our lingua Franca on it, e better

34 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by Prodigee: 2:40pm On Nov 15
So this is the next thing after end sars movement? undecided

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by Amspecial: 2:40pm On Nov 15
angry
Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by callmetoniaa: 2:41pm On Nov 15
I have nothing to comment. undecided
Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by Nobody: 2:41pm On Nov 15
Islamic also on Army logo

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by BestMan001: 2:41pm On Nov 15
So? shocked

1 Like

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by KingMicky3286: 2:41pm On Nov 15
quote author=ThatFairGuy post=96057332]Sighting this 1000 note as an example, The Arabic inscription on it simply means NAIRA DUBU(Hausa language) in Transliteration which means #1000.

It's Hausa language but written in Arabic.

The Arabic word for a thousand naira is ألف not نير دوبو as it's on our thousand note.

I can also write egberun naira (Yoruba language) in Arabic as we have it in Hausa language (but written in Arabic) on our note. As well as in Igbo.

أيبر نير egberun naira (#1000).

IT'S JUST A LANGUAGE as explained in this write-up, nothing like ISLAMIZATION. We all need to look away on some certain things if we must live in peace, Which is ESSENTIAL.

I can sight some examples of what we're also using in Nigeria that are related to Christianity but no fuss from Muslim side.


WE NEED TO STOP ALL THESE UNNECESSARY FUSS[/quote]


Does it mean that Hausa doesn't have any alphabet?

10 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by abumeinben(m): 2:41pm On Nov 15
angry

The inscription should be removed and replaced with English texts abeg. After all, the number system we use is Hindu-Arabic. (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0). Why the Arabic/ajamic inscription again?

The Army own na hin dey vess me pass.

abdul824:

Bigot
Yoghourt ni tongue

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by BestMan001: 2:41pm On Nov 15
callmetoniaa:
I have nothing to comment. undecided

Even me kiss
Re: Arabic Script On Naira Notes: Culture Clash Over Nigeria's Rival Alphabets by DennisEche(m): 2:42pm On Nov 15
To them they feel the Arabic Ajami on our notes takes them closer to Allah, bunch of brain washed mofos.. what has Arabic got to do with Nigeria, for the fooll above saying that the writing is Hausa but in Arabic. Why not write it in Hausa like Dubu Daya. That one na small thin Sha , if only the Arabic signs can make the naira equates dollar.

19 Likes 1 Share

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (Reply)

Buhari Bows To Pressure, Reverses Ban On 113 Oil Vessels / APC Leaders In Port-Harcourt To Woo Amechi (Pictures) / 5 Reasons Why The Saraki And Ekweremadu Partnership Won't Last

(Go Up)

Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket

Links: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)

Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2020 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 111
Disclaimer: Every Nairaland member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nairaland.