The Influence of Arabic on Indian Language: Historically and Lingustically
Having talked with many people from India when we studied there from 2007 till 2014, we were often fascinated by words that sounded Arabic in origin. When asking about the meaning, they were indeed Arabic. And I could detect more words in the few Hindi Bollywood movies that I have seen as well. Historicallyspeaking , Arabic has been used in India almost exclusively by its Muslim population,and has been a key force in delineating and shaping Indian Muslim identity. This is not surprising, for it is generally acknowledged that the Arabic language has a predominantly sacred character outside the Arabic speaking Middle East. A thorough study of Indian history suggests that India's first substantial contact with the Arabic language came when the Arab Muslims settled in the western Indian province of Sind. Subsequently, the Arabic language continued to flourish further under the patronage of the Mughal rulers in India. In the Islamic epochs, the usage of Arabic was liturgical. But after the independence of India, non-sacred Arabic gained momentum. However, the functional manifestation of the language in the subcontinent has great historical significance and has not been systematically explored.To this end, this paper presents an attempt to analyze the processes and extent of development and uses of Arabic in India since its arrival in the eighth century through the twentieth indicating career prospects in the days to come, inasmuch as they bring into sharper focus the scriptural face of Indian Arabic.
Key words- Arabic language, Arab Muslims, Urdu, Indian Arabic, development of Arabic, Mughal rulers