Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare by Email

For centuries, Ajami, the modified Arabic scripts used in writing African languages, have been deeply embedded in the history and culture of many Islamized societies of Africa. Ajami has played an important role in the spread of Islam in Africa and continues to be used by the speakers of more than ten major African languages for everything from poetry and historical writing to road signs and advertisements. Nevertheless, Ajami is little known outside the communities where it is used. Many of the oldest Ajami manuscripts are in danger, and few of those with a scholarly interest in these materials have access to them. All documents were in the possession of Baba Issahak when they were scanned. All information about these manuscripts, including their history and their contents comes from Baba Issahak. Baba had little or no information about some of the manuscripts, especially those in Arabic (Salatu, Nahaanu Junuudu, Salatu Allah Ameen) and Hausa (Afa Ajura 2).

The Dagbanli Ajami manuscripts digitized in this project are of critical significance for the Muslim population in northern and northwestern Ghana. Ajami texts in Ghana in the Hausa language are common, including dozens archived in the Arabic Library in the University of Ghana Balme Library, but manuscripts in Dagbanli are extremely rare and not well documented. More than simply texts, these manuscripts are the lyrics to songs composed by Afa Yusif Ajura, which he performed in the course of public proselytizing and public sermons. This project enables scholars and interested members of the public to have access to dozens of pages of Dagbanli Ajami texts largely unknown both within the Dagbamba community, including many of Afa Ajura's living followers, as well as within the academy.

Recently Added

View more