By Muhammad Sabiu
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has announced that the sermon for this year’s Hajj would be broadcast in 10 languages, including Hausa, one of the major languages in the West African region.
This was contained in a short social media update on a popular English page, Haramain Sharifain, which releases important information courtesy of the Two Holy Mosques in KSA.
The other languages are English, Malay, Urdu, Persian, French, Mandarin, Turkish, Russian, and Bengali.
This was not a new move as part of the effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and minimise the number of pilgrims. Like the previous year, the chairman of the General Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Dr Abdul Rahman bin Abdulaziz Al Sudais, indicates that the decision was to do the same this year.
The inclusion of the Hausa language on the list may be connected with the increasing number of language speakers. In Ethnologue’s 2018 report, Hausa is the 11th most spoken language in the world. Therefore, this and the fact that most Hausa people are Muslims could be why Saudi authorities chose to include it on the list for the sermon to reach a broader audience.