'Classical Hausa' Glosses in a Nineteenth-Century Qur'anic Manuscript: A Case of 'Translational Reading' in Sudanic Africa?

Dobronravin, Nikolay
October 2013
Journal of Qur'anic Studies;2013, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p84
Academic Journal
This article presents an analysis of Hausa glosses in a nineteenth-century Qur'anic manuscript (C1688) from the library of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts in St Petersburg, and argues that a systematic study of Arabic manuscripts with Hausa glosses is needed for a re-interpretation of early Hausa writings in Arabic script. The origins of the Hausa written tradition in Arabic script and the evolution of the concept 'Ajami' in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from 'non-Arabic (language, culture, etc.)' to 'a variety of Arabic script adapted to African languages (with additional vowel-signs and diacritics)' is discussed, and it is suggested that the frequency of the marginal notes ʿajam and ʿajamī used to mark non-Arabic glosses in Arabic manuscripts might depend on the linguistic properties of the manuscripts as well as sub-regional traditions of writing in Sudanic Africa. Hausa glosses in the St Petersburg manuscript - including nouns, adjectives, verbs and verbal constructions - are described in same detail. Special attention is paid to borrowings from Arabic and negative verbal constructions which are not attested in Hausa dialects and modern Standard Hausa. For the first time in Hausa studies, the shift in the meaning of the Hausa word shisshigi (from 'acting tyrannically' to 'meddlesomeness') is explored. The glosses are compared with the Arabic text of Tafsīr al-Jalālayn and two modern Hausa tafāsīr, those of Abubakar Mahmud Gumi and Nasiru Kabara. It is demonstrated that the Hausa glosses in the St Petersburg Qur'anic MS share a greater affinity with Kabara's tafsīr than with Gumi's translation, and, on this basis, suggested that the translational practices reflected in the St Petersburg manuscript and in Kabara's tafsīr might be linked with the Qādiriyya tradition of Arabic-Hausa 'translational reading'.


Related Articles

  • Koran Fragments Found in UK Library Are Among World's Oldest, Says University. Holden, Michael; James, William // Catholic Library World;Sep2015, Vol. 86 Issue 1, p5 

    The article reports that fragments of a Koran manuscript were found at the University of Birmingham library in England, consisting of two parchment leaves, contained parts of Suras 18 to 20 and written with ink in an early form of Arabic script known as Hijazi.

  • Sura Headings and Subdivisions in Qur'an Manuscripts from Sub-Saharan Africa: Variations and Historical Implications. Hamès, Constant // Journal of Qur'anic Studies;2013, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p232 

    Sura headings, and the information they convey, were formulated well after the Qur'anic revelation itself. Furthermore, they were not determined by authoritative, standardising decisions, as was the case for the Qur'anic text, which has come down to us ne varietur. Given the geographical...

  • ADDITIONAL READING MARKS IN KUFIC MANUSCRIPTS. MUEHLHAEUSLER, MARK // Journal of Islamic Studies;Jan2016, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p1 

    The article discusses reading marks in within Kufic manuscripts from the 8th to 10th centuries (or 2nd to 4th centuries in the Islamic calendar), including the diacritic reading mark referred to as shadda, the reading of Kufic manuscripts and coloured-coded dashes. An overview reading marks...

  • Abdüssamed el-Gaznevî'nin Tefsîru'l-Kur'âni'l-Azîm'inin Kaynakları ve Tesirleri. ÖZMEN, Ferihan // Review of the Faculty of Theology of Uludag University;2012, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p87 

    The subject of this article is to introduce Abu'l-Fath Abdussamed b. Mahmud b. Yunus el-Ghaznavi who lived in 5th century AH and his tafsir entitled "Tafsir al Quran al-Azim" which he wrote in 487/1094 and it is intented to determine the resources and works which his work impressed. Thus, the...

  • Approaching the Qur'an. Nelson, Marcia Z. // Christian Century;1/16/2002, Vol. 119 Issue 2, p27 

    Discusses the book of Qur'an, the holy book of Islam and Muslims. Comparison with the Bible; Muslims' approach in reading and reciting the Qur'an; List of English translations of Qur'an.

  • Reviews of books. Conrad, Lawrence I. // Journal of the American Oriental Society;Jan96, Vol. 116 Issue 1, p152 

    Reviews the book `Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Hellmut Ritter Microfilm Collection of the Uppsala University Library,' compiled by Bernhard Lewin and Oscar Lofgren, edited by Mikael Persenius.

  • ABSTRACTS OF ARTICLES.  // Journal of Qur'anic Studies;2005, Vol. 7 Issue 1, Preceding p1 

    The article presents abstracts of Qur'anic studies. They include "Qur'an and Science: A Hermeneutical Approach," "Secondary Meaning in the Qur'an" and "The Principle of Vicegerency in the Islamic Economy: A study in the Light of the Qur'an."

  • Read Arabic. McGowan, Kristy // Calliope;Dec2003, Vol. 14 Issue 4, p33 

    The language of the Qur'an is Arabic. Most of the letters in Arabic script are connected to each other. Also, in the Arabic language words tend to join together for sound. As a result, when heard, they seem to blend into one another. The Arabic script can be modified to suit the grammar and...

  • El Corán.  // Islam (9781405350853);2002, p10 

    No abstract available.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics