Category Archives: Hidden & forgotten history

But Arabic isn’t their native language?!?!?

A few months ago some interesting morsels of information were brought to my awareness.

MSALs (modern south Arabian languages) are those languages spoken by modern people living in the southernmost parts of the Arabian peninsula (especially Yemen & Oman) & Soqotra, an island located between Yemen & Somalia. 6 such languages have been identified so far:

  • Soqotri
  • Mahri/ Mehri
  • Shahri/ Shehri/ Jibbali
  • Bathari/ Batahari/ Bautahari
  • Harsusi
  • Hobyot

These are to be distinguished from OSALs, old south Arabian languages also known as Sayhadic, of which 4 have been identified:

  • Sabaean
  • Minaean/ Madhabic
  • Qatabanian/ Qatabanic
  • Hadramitic/ Hadramautic

Those 4 have gone extinct, but at least 2 OSALs still exist: Razihi & Faifi/ Fifi. However they are endangered and at risk of extinction.

(Incidentally south Arabian people are often MUCH darker-skinned than those in the more northern parts of the region, bearing much stronger resemblance to the people described in many sources as the aboriginal people of Arabia, or Qahtanis. Their facial features are often very similar to those of Dravidian south Asians &/or Habesha east Africans, with some looking rather “Australoid” to my eyes. The Soqotris at least have been shown to have near enough no African ancestry after the initial out-of-Africa migrations and the Mahra at least have Neanderthal genetic contribution on par with Europeans, south Asians & central Asians. On a slight but related tangent, in pre-Islamic times the sage Luqman was described as being from the tribe of ‘Ad therefore Arab, while in Islamic times he’s considered to be Ethiopian. Hmmm, sounds like another example of muslims lying about their own history – assuming Luqman existed…)

Soqotri children (left) & modern Saudi children (right)
Mahri men (left) & modern Saudi men (right) – incidentally the latter have all been arrested in Saudi for supporting female activists
Mahri man

As an ignorant outsider I always assumed that everyone in the Arabian peninsula spoke Arabic natively and there were no other languages (I console myself by thinking that probably everyone thought that). However, to these south Arabian people Arabic is foreign and they have to learn it as a 2nd or in some cases 3rd language! What?!?

Again, these people are likely direct descendants of the original Arabs, but Arabic isn’t their native language?!?!?

While discussing it to my girlfriend a hypothesis formulated in my head as some old information fell into place: what if Arabic isn’t an indigenous language to Arabs at all? This sounds kind of mad but allow me to explain the thought process at the time:

Modern Standard Arabic and all its dialects are based predominantly on Qur’anic, aka. classical, Arabic. It’s understandable that people would think this represents a pure unadulterated form of the language but Western historians of the Qur’an are increasingly finding that to not be the case. Some words in the book are not of Arab origin but from other languages, most especially Syriac. Admittedly it isn’t massively different since it’s still in the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family, but it nevertheless has a distinct migratory history throughout the Arabian peninsula. This can be illustrated by the differences between English & German; they share identical roots but are largely unintelligible to modern speakers. Furthermore, MSALs are seen by linguists as much closer in vocabulary & grammar to many tongues on the western side of the Red Sea (ie. east Africa) than to Arabic, while the OSALs have been documented from as long ago as the 8th century BC, while Arabic is generally believed to have been documented from the 1st century CE onwards (as Old Arabic). Furthermore, while the Qur’an was originally spoken in Muhammad’s dialect (Qurayshi) which was spoken in Makkah on the western side of Arabia, the text’s phonology was later converted to that from the eastern side which was more prestigious at the time. I would venture to guess that’s because of its geographical (& presumably cultural) proximity to Mesopotamia, the origin of Syriac which at the time was a lingua franca.

BUT THEN AGAIN!

Arabic can’t be of wholly foreign origins considering that it came from the same roots as all Afroasiatic languages. However, it does appear to have been alien to the vast majority of Yemenis & the Arabian peninsular population in history. Even the ANA (ancient north Arabian) tongues are nowadays seen as distinct from Arabic, even from proto-Arabic. Note that the ANAs all went extinct well before the rise of Arabic.

This ties in with the early Islamic genealogical works, in which scholars categorised Arabs as pure, perishing or Arabised. However this mentions nothing of the languages of those pure and perishing (probably now perished) ones, hence why such modern works are fascinating to me. Furthermore, it may also further explain or elucidate why the Makkans of Muhammad’s time saw Islam as a foreign religion and why Muhammad himself claimed Islam began as something strange. In fact, the religion seems to be the reason why other languages in the peninsula and neighbouring areas have become so rare. To this day speakers of Mahri, Shahri and the other MSALs, as well as Tamazight (Berber language), Tmetremenkeme/ Timetremenkhemi (endonymous name for Coptic, pronunciation dependent on dialect) and others are routinely discriminated against by Arabophones even though they’re pretty much all fellow Muslims. Parsi (Iranian language, Arabised to Farsi) would’ve been eradicated if it weren’t for the efforts of the Iranians’ ancestors. So on top of cultural artefacts and monuments, written works, religions and ethnic identities, Muslims have also been eradicating their neighbours’ languages. Why? Maybe to make sure when they get to jannah (paradise), Arabic will be the only tongue therefore really will be the language of paradise…?

Paradise: non-Arabophones need not apply

And this is legitimising the claim I’ve heard from some ex-Muslims that Islam is nothing but a pan-Arabist/ Arab nationalist/ Arab supremacist movement. While I still have doubts about that (partly due to the fact that most modern inhabitants of the peninsula are Arabised rather than ethnically pure Arabs, partly due to the fact that not all of the sahābah were Arab) it is true that Islam united all the Arab tribes that existed at the time, even if by force, and the earliest Muslims who left the peninsula to conquer other lands either directly set up or indirectly contributed to ethnic pecking orders that still exist in some form or another.

Hmmm…

Oi Tawny! You’d better stop catching onto our shenanigans or we’ll send this guy on your ass!

MORE INFLUENTIAL BOOKS

A fun little continuation of Influential Books.

Please note that many books have 2 ISBNs, a 10-digit and a 13-digit, which may be and often are completely different. Be aware that I have taken the 13-digit version and taken off the first 3 digits (978). In a few cases when I couldn’t find the ISBN I’ve listed the ASIN, which contain letters as well as numbers.

Listed in no particular order:  Continue reading MORE INFLUENTIAL BOOKS

Islām & Illustrious “Arab” Ancestry™

One thing that’s becoming more prominent to me since leaving Islām is just how Arabocentric it is. As a muslim I’d been made to believe Islām was a universalist religion that gave no priority to any cultural/ ethnic/ national background over any other, and that Allah chose Muhammad to be his final prophet for the world because Continue reading Islām & Illustrious “Arab” Ancestry™

Marcus Garvey’s views on the KKK in his own words

(taken from http://originalpeople.org/marcus-garvey-and-his-views-on-the-ku-klux-klan/)

Something to really think about…

Marcus Garvey’s views on the KKK in his own words:

 

“I interviewed the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan to find out the Klan’s attitude toward the race. You may believe it or not-I made several statements to him, in which he said this: Continue reading Marcus Garvey’s views on the KKK in his own words

Pure ‘white’ race – did it ever exist? Part 1

(based mainly on David Mac Ritchie’s Ancient and Modern Britons Volume 1, ISBN 9781592322251)51tqkszqn0l-_sy344_bo1204203200_

In keeping with accuracy, Britain does not mean just England. I mean it as synonymous with British Isles (the collective name of the island containing England, Scotland & Wales – what used to be called Albion/ Prettania/ Brettania/ Alouíōn), Ireland (Northern & Republic – what used to be called Ierne/ Hibernia/ Iouernía), and the surrounding smaller islands.

When I first heard of this book I knew I wanted it. Now I’ve got it, it’s quickly becoming one of the most fascinating books on ‘race’ I’ve ever read. Mac Ritchie was a ‘white’ Scottish historian & folklorist, yet the information he delivers will probably be nothing short of miraculous to ‘black’ people interested in ‘black’ history.

Disclaimer: As informative as it is, it must be remembered it was written in the 1800s before knowledge of DNA was available to corroborate. It was also the time when scientific racism was at its peak. I just present this info as a potentially useful guideline and insight into the mindset of the past. If you want to see how true the claims are, please do your own research to independently verify. 

Continue reading Pure ‘white’ race – did it ever exist? Part 1