From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau
The United Nations has ranked the Arabic as 6th among the over 7,000 languages spoken in the world with about 467 million speakers apart from English, French, Russian, Spanish and Chinese as contained in a statement issued by the Chairman Zamfara State chapter of the Academic Society for Arabic Language and Literature in Nigeria (ASALLIN), Dr. Abubakar Adamu Masama.
Dr. Masama, who is also the Head of Department of Arabic, Federal University Gusau, has called on Nigerians especially Muslims to remember and honor 18th of December, of every year as the “World Arabic Day” as set aside by the United Nations.
According to him, Arabic was accepted to be one of the official languages used in the United Nation’s Assembly in 1973, saying that part of the activities undertaken during the day were public lectures, radio and television Arabic programmes, brainstorming meetings, educative write-ups on the importance of Arabic language in the social media among other things.
He also stresses that, Arabic linguists use the day to write Arabic poems, Arabic Dramas and conduct Arabic debates in primary schools in order to display expertise in the language use, thereby promoting Arabic speaking and usage in the world.
“When compared with English Language in terms of available words, Arabic has more than twelve million, three hundred and two thousand, nine hundred and twelve words (12,302,912) while English has nothing more than six hundred thousand (600,000), making it necessary for English to borrow more than seven thousand (7000) words from Arabic.
“It is a known fact that Arabs had contributed immensely to the development of education in the world even when Europeans were in the age of ignorance. Some of the Arabian scholars who contributed to the development of education include Hunayn bn Ishaq Al-Ibadi, Al-kwarizimi, Al-Razi and Ibn Sina.
“Arabic was the first language used to bring to the limelight, the knowledge of Medicine, Chemistry, Astrology, Mathematics amongst others, through Islamic scholars like Ibn Haytham, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina etc.
“It was part of the tactics used by the Europeans to delete the names of Islamic Scholars from the book of history that led to changing their names for instance, Ibn-Rushd was changed to Averroes, Ibn-Sina to Avicenna and Al-kwarezmi to Algorism.