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Wednesday, October 01, 2003


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Preserving the more traditional ways of writing and talking is important, I feel. It's good to have everyone be able to communicate in a single language, like English, but we can learn so much from keeping the old customs alive :)

It is easier now to write jawi without using an arabic keyboard. Check it out at .
also available is an online arab/jawi text editor at .

I'm lucky coz i come from Johore.. and Pak Matlob is from my kampong......I still can read and write in Jawi.. but i don't know ... how about my children in the future...Utusan Melayu pun dah sekali seminggu jer...

hello uncle,

when i was in school, i learnd how to read jawi, but since it wasn't an 'Arab' school, we never really learn how to write in jawi. but now, though i can still read jawi, i really dunno how to write. even my adik is better than me -- a lot better.

but it's never too late to learn, right! :)

The reason that Utusan Melayu is now Utusan Mingu is simply because they couldn't sell enough copies and were making huge losses. Apparently they got lots of complaints at the time from people who never bought the paper.

My parents always lament on the near-extinction of Jawi too. I, Alhamdulillah, can still write and read Jawi as part of my 5-year secondary school training in Sekolah Agama SBP that I attended. My mother has more opportunities now as she is currently attending Arabic Language classes once a week.

But I wonder how long would I be able to sustain my ability, given that my line of work is as far from Jawi as sky and earth..
but then, that's what after-office hours are for, right?

Last but not least, thank you very much Pak Adib for the short chat yesterday. I declare you my teacher now :)


Jawi is an excellent example how some people in position taught they are doing the right thing but actually make young generation lose some of tradition. Lots of people do not know how to read kitab kuning in jawi even they are jawi literate... I admire Ust Wan Saghir who do lots of transliteration from jawi to rumi to help young generation to read kitab2 jawi. I bet u still keep lots of yr late dad's precious kitabs somewhere in Beris.

For me, it was not a matter of choice since my parents sent me to an arab madrasah to learn jawi and arabic when I was small. Alhamdulillah, I am grateful for they have made a brilliant choice. I guess we should encourage more people to grasp this knowledge before it has the same fate as the Latin language...regal yet unwidely utilized.

I am not keeping my dad'books but I donated to the Arabic school near my home.All of them in Arabic like the works of Tantawi Jauhari.

We lost jawi because our political masters at that time made a decision based on short term political expediancy and NOT on real knowledge.This is an example of what Syed Naguib al-Attas said about the corruption of knowledge.Kitab kuning jawi contains a lot of Islamic knowledge written by our Malay scholars(from Malaya,Indonesia,Thailand) of that time. A few of those books contains great sufi thoughts!

May Allah swt reward Ustaz Wan Saghir for his works.

To be honest, I am a bit useless in Jawi; since primary schooldays...what a shame. (I'm did I went thru my arabic lessons for 3 years at my secondary...mmm)

At my school then, there was a Chinese teacher from Kelantan who wrote jawi in his 555 book; you know, the book teachers use as credit record at the canteen, or senang cakap: 'bayar bulan' or 'buku hutang'.

Put Jawi back at schools...yay! I'll go for it.

Adib, I admit I am one of those who never learnt Jawi in school. But, I don't feel any lesser. Anyway there aren't many jawi text to read nowadays so it does not really make much difference. I am ok as long as people don't equate having the ability to read and write jawi as a "holier than thou" thing.

I agree with you that people should not equate having the ability to read and write jawi as a "holier than thou" thing.

From my humble understanding,only taqwa is the measurement of one's status in the 'eyes' of Allah.

The ability to read and write is only a means to an end.

A couple of years ago, I had to visit all the newsagents on Jalan Gombak to find one copy of Utusan Melayu for my late father, God rest his soul. Jawi is precious and was the inspiration behind Tee-Line shorthand. My Chinese maths teacher would start his lessons by writing kaf-raw-ba-wau on the board. Perfect Jawi-er, useless teacher. Recently I was looking for someone to teach me Moroccan Arabic(Jawi) script which has conventions quite diff. from regular Jawi, but couldn't find one. Lately they tinkered with the Jawi in Malaysia. But why?

penawan: Moroccan Arabic...I'm sure saudara Muhd Afifi al-Akiti will be able to help you as he lived + berguru in Morocco before he came here. Even if you like to learn the now extinct Andalusia Arabic, he can do that as well. :-)

Thank you Atok. When I saw al-Akiti he was al-VeryBusy. But what I meant was the Moroccan script, not some dead language. The former is beautiful to see, but almost impossible for me to read. I once went into a da'wah bookshop, looking for a book called 'Albani Unveiled'. The bookseller gave me a fierce look and asked, 'Why do u want to unveil Albani'? A Wahhabi, of course. Eager to learn the said script, I did the same recently, and got the same treatment. My question was, 'Do you have books on Moroccan calligraphy?' Do u think there's something the matter with these Wahhabis, O Pak Adib/Kura-Kura?

I can read Jawi, I cannot write Jawi but I entered Jawi/Khat competiton when I was in Std 6. Guess what? I lost the competition because I could not translate those malay words into Jawi. Apparently tulisan khat cantik but ejaan tunggang langgang is a big no-no. Yes, put Jawi back into the curriculum! To show my support, maybe I should change my blog banner into Jawi, everyone should do it lah..thanks pak abib for the inspiration!

Blog banner in jawi? hmmm nice... I was about to suggest blog in jawi... :)
Stumbled into a few persian and arabic blogs...

Ustaz Yusof Abu Bakar is a well known figure in 'khat'.I am going to ask my friend Mus% to design one logo for my blog.

Thanks to Jemi and KaZ for the idea.

Let's start on a simple note. Let's sign our cheques, credit card slips, etc in Jawi. Sekarang Jawi, bayar lain kali...

Speaking of Jawi signature, my dad has his signature in doesn't look like one, tho..heh.

ok, i've changed my banner. Nothing fancy though...But I'm not sure whether the Jawi spelling is correct or not. :-)

ps. Jaring is now having problem accessing certain part of the if you can't access my site, you may try again later this evening. :-(

assalamua'laikum & hello to all!
ahhh!! jawi...still remembered i have chinese classmates who can actually read & write jawi and my mom teached a number of chinese & indian pupils jawi too (dunno if they can still read/write though!)
my belated grandfathers read utusan melayu everyday and i did that too when i was still young, then the jawi newspaper starts dissappearing....what a sad thing, at least hey can spare a section for jawi news or something...
anyway, alhamdulillah, coming from Johor - did sekolah agama, in college went to weekend pondok class (ni kes lompat pagar ni!!), then went to UIA had to take arabic and other Islamic studies classes to graduate, i can still write & read jawi....and i will try my best so that my kids will enherit the skills...our Quran is in Arabic too...not so much difference...
if we read Quran everyday...we will see the Arabic/jawi everyday....cuz nowdays, we cannot get the utusan melayu everyday!!!

whenever i use "post-it notes in the office, i'll always write salams in that i will keep on writing in jawi for as long as i can write!


It looks as though you have stumbled upon an old-style craft guild, The Guild of Morrocan calligraphers. They clearly don't want the craft to spread to outsiders.

i think when i was in primary school ('80-'85), learning jawi was part of our bahasa malaysia lesson. makes sense too as yes malay is the only language that can be written in latin and jawi. so it's no big deal but it *is* a big deal if you know what i mean. a few of my chinese and indian friends still know how to read and write it.

Yes, funny you've mentioned that. I do remember the man wearing an apron, rolling his trouser leg up way beyond the call of fashion, and giving me a funny handshake. Long live Moroccan crafters, long live The Craft.

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