Archaic and innovative Islamic prayer names around the Sahara

Archaic and innovative Islamic prayer names around the Sahara

Author: 
Souag, Lameen
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press
Date published: 
2015
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Bulletin of the school of Oriental and African studies
Source: 
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 78, No. 2, June 2015, pp. 357-374
Abstract: 

Berber in the Sahara and southern Morocco, and several West African languages including Soninké, Mandinka and Songhay, all refer to the five Islamic daily prayers using terms not derived from their usual Arabic names, and showing striking mutual similarities. The motivation behind these names has not hitherto been explained. An examination of Islamic sources reveals that many correspond to terms attested within Arabic from an early period but which have passed out of use elsewhere. Others, with a more limited distribution, reflect transfer from a time-keeping system widely attested among Berber-speaking oases of the northern Sahara. These results demonstrate that the variant prayer terminologies attested in the adith reflect popular usages that were still commonplace at the time when North Africa was conquered, and underscore the conservatism of non-Arabic Islamic religious terminology in and around the Sahara.

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CITATION: Souag, Lameen. Archaic and innovative Islamic prayer names around the Sahara . : Cambridge University Press , 2015. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 78, No. 2, June 2015, pp. 357-374 - Available at: http://library.au.int/archaic-and-innovative-islamic-prayer-names-around-sahara