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Arabic Language by Hafiz Ibrahim

December 22, 2009

This poem is written by Hafiz Ibrahim titled (اللغة العربية تنعي حظها بين أهلها) which focuses on Arabic Language. He was born in 1872 and known as one of the most popular poets from Egypt with the title "Sya'ier Al-Neel" (شاعر النيل‎), means the Poet of the Nile. He also was one of several poets that revived Arabic poetry during the latter half of the 19th Century. His late father was from Egypt and his late mother from Turkey. His father, Ibrahim Fahmi died while he was four. He was then adopted by his uncle. While he was young, he had strong passion for learning and studying and believed that his destiny was to become a great poet someday. Unfortunately he couldn’t finish his study when he was in High School for some reason.

His strong passions had guided him to continue exploring a light of knowledge. He spend most of his young time studying at Ahmadi Mosque in Tanta, Egypt. He studied a lot to gain his knowledge, especially in field of Fiqh Lughah, Syariah and Arabic. His passion more into Arabic since he loved to memorise and write poems. Most of the Syeikhs there were impressed with his efforts.

In the 20th century, there were some of Arab poets asked for a new evolution in education and writing system. They wanted to change the writing format from Arabic Fosha to Arabic Amiya (Colloquial Arabic). They wanted to use Arabic Amiya widely in their life as a new education system development. Some of the pure poets like Hafiz made a protest of that new system. They were worried that it would destroy the beauty of Quranic language. He wrote a poem ( القصيدة ‎) to object others who did dispute the credibility of Arabic Fosha. He died when he was 60 years in 1911 without having any marriage. This poem is perhaps the most famous and widely read of his works. His literary influence, however, derives largely from his numerous innovations of writing poems on political and social commentary.

( اللغة العربيه تنعي حظها بين أهلها )
رجعت لنـفسي فاتهمت حصاتي # ونـاديت قـومي فاتسـبـت حيــــاتي
رموني بعـقم في الشباب وليتنـي # عقمت فلـم أجـزع لـقول عــداتي
ولدت ولمـا لم أجــد لعـرائســي # رجـالا وأكـفــاء وأدت بـنــــاتــي
وسعت كتـاب الله لفظا و غايـة # وما ضقت عـن آي به وعـظـات
فكيف أضيق اليـوم عـن وصف # ألة وتنسيق أسـمـاء لمـختـرعــات
أنا البحر في أحشائه الدر كامن # فهل سالوا الغواص عن صـدفاتي

Author : حافظ إبراهيم
Title : اللغة العربية
Reference Book : نصوص مختارة من الادب الحديث

1st Verse :
I remember back what had happen to me in the time, when everyone was increasingly neglected and leaved me away. They doubted myself and consider me as useless in their life. I urged my community to comeback and activate me. But unfortunately, they ignored me. I pray Allah to save me.

The author tries to describe how Arabic Language feels when Arab Community has been fading it away by using Arabic Colloquial in their life. Day after day, Arabic language become useless, static and undeveloped. So “I” there refers to "Arabic Language". The author narratives and characterizes Arabic as a human who could talk and expressing his feelings with words, to make the readers understand deeply and clearly the desired meaning . “My community” ( قـومي ) refers to Arab world.

2nd Verse : My enemies accused me that I was unproductive and "infertility" or “sterile” ( عـقم ) due to my lack of producing new words, aphorisms, proverbs and language styles ( أساليب اللغة ). They hoped I always be static and backward among others. Nevertheless I wasn’t sad and frustrated or even effected with their accusations because I knew who I was and I knew it wasn’t true.

“The Enemies” there refers to other language that was developing on that time and the word “sterile” ( عـقم ) is used to illustrate the circumstance where Arabic failed to develop itself. Actually, Arabic already had a ton of words power and beautiful proverbs. It became unproductive on that time because the lack of using, not because of “sterile” as what other languages claimed. If Arabic hadn’t had words power and beautiful proverbs, it would have been suitable enough to be labelled as sterile language.

3rd Verse : I’m not sterile language since I had a lot of words power and beautiful proverbs. I created them with great partners (synonym & antonym), with heart (semantics & pragmatics) , with soul (phonology), but unfortunately they were sinking and buried because there was nobody or even qualified people stayed behind and saved me.

“Nobody” refers to Arab people who have ignored to use it in their life and “qualified people” refer to everyone who in Arabic field especially Scholars, Teachers, Poets and Writers that have been writing most of their writing in Colloquial Arabic.

4th Verse : Al Quran is proof of my existence. I’m proud my self takes part in Al Quran. I express the words widely in Al Quran with the desired meaning. I’m bold enough to elaborate and describe each of the sentences in the Al Quran.

5th Verse : Thus, I asked them back. Am I strong and independent enough to help my community for identifying new things nowadays?

6th Verse : I am such an ocean which has a lot of diamonds come from the center of the earth. Just like my circumstance, I have a lots of undiscovered words and vocabulary in my body. Do they ask the right people to explore them?

Arabic is a strong and unique language, there are a lots of words power and linguistics structure that undiscovered yet. Only who are acknowledge will get the shines of Arabic language by exploring and asking to the right people and right resources - Arab scholars.

A Collaboration with : Muhammad Hosnee Bin Zainal Abidin
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