The Decline Of ‘Arabu-Tamil’ Language: A Great Loss To The Sri Lankan Muslim Heritage!

“I have four Arabu-Tamil books — Noor Nama (an account of Prophet Muhammad’s life), Simt-us-Sibyan,Mubarak Maalai (poems of the life of our Prophet) and Penn Puththi Maalai (advice for Muslim women). Though nobody wants to learn Arabu-Tamil anymore, I still read these books as they are part of our heritage. We need to preserve our traditions” (View of a Muslim lady)

As Meelad un Nabi, the commemoration of the birth of Prophet of Islam (OWBP) dawns, it is heart-warming to listen to many melodious and emotional songs of praise in his great memory, written in a language which may be quite unfamiliar to today’s younger generation.- Arwi- Arabu-Tamil. It is also sad to reflect on the sad decline of a versatile language which once provided a great medium to effectively and succinctly convey many Islamic teachings, poetry and other kinds of knowledge, to the  Tamil speaking Muslims in the subcontinent. Mubarak Maaai- an Ode to the Prophet(OWBP) written in Arwi, is one of the surviving literary masterpieces which is still being celebrated in Sri Lanka.

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