Added: Aureliano Ellerbee - Date: 05.12.2021 13:35 - Views: 17097 - Clicks: 5149
Today, while Arabic is spoken by few in South India, versions of the Arabic script are still used to write local languages by a of Muslim communities, some of whom trace their ancestry to Arabs who came to the subcontinent for trade. They were introductions to be handed over to the local ruler, and one was in Portuguese, the other in Arabic. According to historian Sanjay Subrahmanyamthe Portuguese letter could not be read by anyone at the court of the ruler, and da Gama did not trust the Muslims at the court to translate the Arabic letter in his favour.
He asked for an Arabic-speaking Christian to be brought to assist, but the youth who was produced could only speak Arabic, not read it. Da Gama in the end had to rely on four Muslims to translate the message from the Portuguese king.
The amir of the merchants there was Ibrahim Shahbandar, of the people of Bahrain, a worthy man, of generous habits, at whose house the merchants used to gather and to eat at his table. Trade contacts meant that Arabs and the Arabic language were present in parts of India centuries before Islam arrived.
It eventually changed from a language used for trade to one associated exclusively with religion. In contrast, the Persian language, brought to India by various Persianate dynasties, became the language of the court and administration as well as high culture, and it was used by both Muslims and Hindus. Because of this, much of the Arabic vocabulary later absorbed by Indian languages was in fact Perso-Arabic vocabulary — Arabic words that had earlier been absorbed into Persian. Today, while economic relations have changed and Arab traders no longer head to the Indian coast as they once did, the influence of Arabic — particularly its script — lives on in a of languages used by South Indian Muslim communities.
The fact that these communities developed through contact with traders rather than as a result of conquest meant that despite being Muslim, they had good relationships with the local Hindu rulers, and they grew through conversion and intermarriage. The first Arab trader who arrived here went to meet the Rajah. The Arab gave the Rajah a jar of pickle and asked him to keep it safe until his return the following season.
After one year he returned and the Rajah gave him the jar back. The trader opened it and took out a gold coin. It was a test: as the Rajah proved trustworthy, the Arabs began to trade in Kozhikode. The Zamorin Rajah was very fond of Arab traders and gave them honours and land. He encouraged local people to marry Arabs and convert to Islam. The coastal Muslims had little contact with the Persianate culture which developed in the north of India from the eleventh century.
Their societies were shaped instead by connections across the Indian Ocean. Over time various Muslim communities in India adopted the Arabic or Perso-Arabic script for their own languages. The Nawayath are a Muslim community who live predominantly in the town of Bhatkal and the northern parts of coastal Karnataka in the southwest of India. Bhatkal has a population of 32, of which nearly 75 percent are Muslims, the majority of them Nawayath. The community today has strong links with the Gulf, where many Nawayath go to work.
A of communities in western and southern India are known as Nawayath, and they all share coastal origins. Both refer to the Arabs and Persians who came to live on the coast, although there is no agreement as to their exact place of origin. However, Nawayathi speaker Shaad Hassan Damudi, owner of a restaurant in Bangalore which serves Nawayathi cuisine, says the Urdu words are a recent addition to the language.
In a newspaper in the Nawayathi language was launched. Called Naqsh-e-Nawayathit keeps members of the community, now spread around the world, in touch with events in Bhatkal. The use of Urdu has increased among the Nawayath just as it has in other South Indian Muslim communities, because of its association with Muslim identity. Nawayathi is still spoken, and although it is not taught in schools, its use is encouraged by organisations like Nawayath Mehfil. Over time two Muslim communities evolved in Malabar: the foreign and the native.
The latter were known as the Mappilas, and the community developed through Arab sailors and merchants marrying local women, as well as Hindus converting to Islam. Today the Mappilas are the largest Muslim group in Kerala.
Arabi Malayalam is a form of Malayalam used mainly by the Mappila community.
It includes some Arabic, Persian, Tamil and Urdu vocabulary, and is written with an adapted Arabic script. It is not clear when it came into existence; scholars have dated its origin between to 1, years ago. Historically it was used by the community as a medium of religious instruction. In time, Arabi-Malayalam moved beyond the realm of religion and began to be used for literature. For a long time local scholars were opposed to the Mappilas learning Malayalam which they considered the language of Hindus and English the language of the colonial power.
The reformists were particularly critical of Sufi practices, and because Arabi-Malayalam was identified with Sufism, they encouraged learning Malayalam and English as a of so-called modernity. Over time, the use of Arabi-Malayalam has declined, but it is still used today as a medium of instruction in the thousands of madrasas — Islamic schools for children — run by the religious education bodies Samastha Kerala Islam Matha Vidyabhyasa Board and Samastha Kerala Sunni Vidyabhyasa Board. Thousands of s from Arabi-Malayalam texts and books will be available online.
Arwi is a form of Tamil written in a modified Arabic script which was once widely used by Muslim communities in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. The late Sri Lankan scholar M. Mahroof suggested that Arwi could have been invented as a matter of necessity by Arabic-speaking shipmasters and traders who needed to make records of their commercial transactions, and started transliterating the local language in Arabic script with some modifications.
Tschacher gives the example of the town of Koothanallur in Tamil Nadu, where most people could read and write only the Arabic script, and not the Tamil script, as late as the first half of the twentieth century. Shortly afterwards, in the first quarter of the twentieth century, knowledge of the language, particularly the script, started to decline.
The spread of modern — that is, non-religious — education in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, with the requirement to learn the Tamil script, meant that the use of Arwi became redundant. In addition, the rise in the use of Urdu among Tamil Muslims over the years means that today they actually find Arwi more difficult to read, because Urdu and Arwi adapted the Arabic script differently. A third reason for the decline of Arwi, like that of Arabi-Malayalam, is the Islamic reform movement that began in the early twentieth century, and was against popular Sufi practices. Older Arwi texts were often connected to Sufi tariqas, so were rejected by opponents of Sufism.
Today just a few schools, colleges and mosques in Tamil Nadu teach Arwi and use Arwi texts. Some Arwi texts are being republished in the Tamil script to reach a contemporary Muslim readership, but the Arwi script is unlikely to be revived. According to Tschacher, many Tamil Muslims are not even aware of the existence of Arwi anymore.
Today in India there are still a of communities that claim Arab origins. In the census, more than 50, people reported Arabic as their mother tongue, approximately half of them in the northern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. However, a note of caution should be sounded about such self-identification. Today the situation is reversed. They found oil, made huge fortunes. What is the point of them coming here? Now it is Malayalis who go to the Gulf! Nawayathi The Nawayath are a Muslim community who live predominantly in the town of Bhatkal and the northern parts of coastal Karnataka in the southwest of India.
Lasting Arab connections Today in India there are still a of communities that claim Arab origins.Looking for arabic or indian
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