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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Arabic literary tradition of Nigeria
Author:Hunwick, JohnISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
Arabic language
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3821003
Abstract:The history of writing in Arabic extends over a period close to 800 years in the Nigerian region. In the second half of the 20th century the usage of Arabic as a literary language and as a general language of written communication has become more widespread in Nigeria, even as literacy in English or in certain African languages has increased. This essay is concerned with the tradition of Arabic scholarship and the production of Arabic literature (in the broadest sense of that term) that is situated within that scholarly tradition, both as it evolved in the precolonial period and as it has developed and changed in the 20th century. It pays attention to centres of Arabic-Islamic teaching (Kano and Katsina, Sokoto, Zaria, and Ilorin), and to the Native Authority Press in Kano, which was the earliest Arabic printing press in Nigeria. It also describes the various categories of Arabic scholarly and literary writing in the country: research and teaching, polemical, devotional and 'secular', and poetry. Bibliogr., notes, ref.