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Morisco alphabet

The Moriscos (Spanish for "Moor-like") were Muslims in Spain and Portugal how were forced to convert to Christianity at the beginning of the 16th century. Many Moriscos continued to practice Islam, most in secret, but some did so openly. A decree issued by King Felipe II in 1566 oblidged the Moriscos to adopt Spanish language, dress and customs. A number of unsuccessful rebellions of the Moriscos led to them being relocated from Granada to other parts of Spain, particularly Castile. At the beginning of the 17th century the Moriscos were expelled from Spain to Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.

The Moriscos produced books known as aljamiados, which written in Spanish using the Arabic alphabet and were used to instruct fellow Moriscos in Islam.

Morisco alphabet (alfabeto aljamiado / اَلخَمِيَ)

Morisco alphabet (alfabeto aljamiado)

Sample text in the Morisco alphabet

دَالْ وَلَرْدُنّ دَا لُشْ شَبِيُشْ
دِيشُ اُنْ رَّاكُنّتَدُرْ كِيَانْ دَامَنْدَرَ بُّرْ كَمِنُ اِ كَرَّا رَ بَّرَ اَبَّارَانْدَارْ سَانْسِيَ اِ شَبِدُرِيَ اَدَارَاسُلُ دِيُشْ اَدَكَالْتَلْ اَ اُنْ كَمِنُ دَا لُشْ كَمِنُشْ دَالْ بَّرَاِشُ اِ لُشْ اَنْجَالاَش أَشْتِيَانْدَانْ شُشْ اَلَشْ اَ لُشْ


Del galardón de los sabios - diso un recontador - quien demandará por camino y carrera para aprender sensia y sabiduria, enderesólo Dios ad aquel tal á un camino de los caminos del paraiso y los ángeles estienden sus alas á los [...].


From the award of the wise men - said a teller - who will demand by road and race to learn science and wisdom, God straightened him into a way of the ways of the paradise and the angels spread their wings to [...].

Translation and transcription by by Michael Peter Füstumum



Alhadith: Resources for the Study of Morisco Texts and Culture

Colección de Textos Aljamiados (Collection of Aljamiado/Morisco texts)

Other languages written with the Arabic script

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