EJLLS Publication

Title: Language and Religion in Conflict: The Case of Fasting Greetings of Yaya Ibada/Noye Ibada
Author(s): Garba Kawu DAUDU
Abstract: ‘Yaya ibada/Noye ibada?’ means how is fasting? But literally it is better translated as how is worship? In the last two years, there seems to be some forceful language change that is anti the familiar fasting greetings for a modern ‘religious colouration’ form of greeting thus opening language conflict between the old or archaic forms of greeting and the new. The new form of greeting was very strong or more popular in this year’s fasting (April-May, 2018) as there was obvious disparage of the old form. The aim of this paper is to show that by referring to fasting as thirst, by speakers of Fulfulde and Hausa as was reflected in their greetings is a direct reference to a hadith of the Prophet and also merely a euphemistic reference. By giving fasting the sole name of ibada, whereas everything a Muslims does is an act of Ibada, is an exaggeration and misuse of language. Language is about culture and we know our culture allows us to use euphemism to show respect and give an appeasing meaning to popular appendages. The data for this research were collected through obtrusive and inobtrusive observation especially that the author is a Muslim too who fast in the month of Ramadan. The research is based on Kano town where almost everybody is a Muslim and this new form of greeting is not restricted to Muslims alone, but anybody one met on the street during the fasting period.
Keywords: Ibada, fasting (azumi/suumaye), thirst (kishin ruwa/?omka), religion, greeting