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August 13, 2017

Ridiculousness is a common currency, but some ridiculous matters are more ridiculous.

I have heard this claim: Since six of the so-called “the seven renowned ones”[1], authors of what is known as Al-Mu‘allaqāt al-Sabaa’h (المعلقات السبعة)[2], a group of seven long Arabic poems that are considered the best work of the pre-Islamic era, were Christian, we, the Copts, should embrace Arabic as a Christian language; adopt it; and take it as our own, speaking it and forgetting about reviving our Coptic language.

First, it is inaccurate that six of these dignitaries were Christian; but, second, even if the seven of them, not only six, were Christian, there could be nothing more ridiculous than to conclude from that that Arabic is a Christian language when almost 98% of its speakers are Muslim, or worse still, to suggest, based on that, that we, as Coptic Christians, should adopt Arabic as our language, and forget about our national language.


[1] These seven are: Imru’ al-Qais, Labīd, Tarafa, Zuhayr ibn Abi Sulma, Antara Ibn Shaddad, Amr ibn Kulthum and Harith ibn Hilliza.

[2] Al-Mu‘allaqāt al-Saba’ah means “The Hanging Poems”, as they were hung on the wall of Ka’ba at Mecca.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Iman Faltass permalink
    August 14, 2017 4:10 pm

    Thanks for this information.
    I don’t think it matters what they think, say or suggest. The buck stops with us Copts and unless we do something to revive our language it’s a losing debate and it doesn’t matter how much we can talk about it.
    It would obviously take generations before it may be spoken again as a language full time not just at church. And that’s if there is a serious undertaking of this initiative. So we need to get organized and strategic if this dream would ever be realized.
    God bless!

    • Dioscorus Boles permalink*
      August 14, 2017 4:25 pm

      Thank you very much for this, Iman. We must organise and be strategic as you say. Thanks again.

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