Warning (Gargaɗi): Infiraji 2

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Title Warning (Gargaɗi): Infiraji 2
Author or Owner Alhaji Aliyu Namangi (author), Ibrahim Yaqubu Gusau (scribe/copyist)
Subject Warning, Heaven, Eulogy for the Prophet Muhammad, un-Islamic/pre-Islamic Practices, Superstition, Frivolous Music, Ephemeral Nature of Life
Content Gargaɗi, “warning”, aims to alert the hearer to the ephemeral nature of life. This life is only temporary, while life after death is permanent. The poem begins with the name of Allah, the Beneficent and the Merciful. The poet then prays that God may grant him knowledge, wisdom and eloquence to apprise others of the uncertainty of this world. The stanzas remind us that, regardless of position or status, all will certainly taste death. Examples abound, including prophets, saints, emperors, the rich, the poor, the aged, infants, frogs, and even the yet unborn – inside of the womb. Equally, the healthiest people have died along with those on their sickbed. The poem suggests that, since death is inescapable, it is incumbent upon us to be prepared for it. That means the search for knowledge, living a modest life, and being a practicing Muslim.

Gargadi is part of a larger collection entitled Infirāji (also written as Imfiraaji or Infiraji), which is a concept that means relief, comfort, consolation, happiness or salvation. This collection has nine poems composed by Dr. Alhaji Aliyu Namangi (1894-1990). Each poem discusses a particular subject. As with many Hausa poems, Infirāji incorporates Arabic words, phrases, and prayers. 

Dr. Namangi was a blind poet, preacher, and scholar who hailed from Zaria, Kaduna State, in Northern Nigeria. He was greatly influenced by his studies on asceticism, Sufism, eulogies, and general exhortations. He felt he had a duty to impart the knowledge he had acquired to others. He composed many poems, including Kanzil A’azam (The Greatest Treasure) and Tanbih al-Anām (A Reminder for Humankind); but Infiraji is certainly his magnum opus. Dr. Namangi’s Infiraji was originally written in Hausa Ajami, but later the Gaskiya Corporation of Zaria transcribed it into a nine-volume book written in Boko, or the Hausa Latin script. Because Dr. Aliyu Namangi was blind, scribes took on the task of writing it down as he did the composing and chanting of Infiraji. This has led to various versions, especially as Namangi himself would often update and make certain changes while chanting the poems. The version we are using here is the one written by Yaqubu Gusau.

Genre Poetry
Language Hausa
Script Hausa Ajami
Manuscript condition 17 pages (including cover and title page), reproduction of original mss. Alhaji Ahmad al-Tijani is the scribe as well as the distributor of the Ajami version.
Type Market edition, distributed by Alhaji Ahmad al-Tijani, with permission from the author, Malam Aliyu Namangi Zaria. Note that a Latin alphabet transcription of this mss. was also produced. It was distributed by Gaskiya Corporation of Zaria.
Publisher Gaskiya Corporation
Provenance Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria
Source Reference Kurfi, Mustapha and Ngom, Fallou. 2015. African Ajami Library: Digital Preservation of Hausa Ajami Manuscripts of Nigeria. Boston, Boston University Library: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/11724
Access condition and copyright These materials are subject to copyright and are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. For use, distribution or reproduction beyond these terms, contact Professor Fallou Ngom (fngom@bu.edu).
Contributors Fallou Ngom, Jennifer J. Yanco, Mustapha H. Kurfi, Garba Zakari, Rebecca Shereikis, Daivi Rodima-Taylor, Alison Parker, Frank Antonelli, Shawn Provencal, and Mark Lewis.
Required citation information Fallou Ngom (PI), Jennifer Yanco,  Mustapha Hashim Kurfi, Garba Zakari, Babacar Dieng, Daivi Rodima-Taylor, and Rebecca Shereikis. 2022. “Warning (Gargaɗi).” https://sites.bu.edu/nehajami/the-four-languages/hausa/hausa-manuscripts/infiraji-2-gargadi/


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