Encoded Ajami, Talisman and the Preservation of Arabic ‘Spiritual Medicine’ in Hausa Society

18 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2017

See all articles by Nasiru Khalil

Nasiru Khalil

Federal Government of Nigeria - Court of Appeal (Kano State)

Date Written: May 8, 2009

Abstract

The paper is all about exploring the incorporated Ajami script in traditional Islamic astrology by the Islamic Scholars of Western Sudan from the jihad period to contemporary times. Talismanic practices, in the Islamic societies referred to as Asraru (the hidden) are based on numerological ascription to certain alphabets within Islamic literary texts (both religious from the Qur’an, and non-religious). These literary talismanic texts are often re-interpreted by Hausa ajami scholars as prescriptions for various spiritual and physical ailments as well as means of safeguard. This paper analyses the categories of Asraru publications commonly available in Kano markets, by looking at their origin, their availability, distribution, use and finally meaning. The fact that this type of spiritual practice is still currently subscribed to in the Hausa society makes it significant in understanding the force of Ajami literacy in communicating and preserving knowledge in traditional Hausa societies.

It is divided into two parts, the first part contain the issue of encoded Ajami and its application in Astrological calculation and the second part deals with the Talisman and the use of Ajami (here not the encoded type) in its explanation for remote usage.

Keywords: Ajami, Talisman, Spritual medicine, Hausa Society

JEL Classification: Z12

Suggested Citation

Khalil, Nasiru, Encoded Ajami, Talisman and the Preservation of Arabic ‘Spiritual Medicine’ in Hausa Society (May 8, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903524 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2903524

Nasiru Khalil (Contact Author)

Federal Government of Nigeria - Court of Appeal (Kano State) ( email )

Kano State
Nigeria

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