You must have observed the Arabic inscription conspicuously written on the Nigerian naira notes and may be wondering how come and the reason behind it.
These inscriptions can be found on N5, N10, N20, N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1000 notes.Well, the Arabic inscription on the Naira notes is actually not pure Arabic language but what is known as Ajami.
Indeed the writing is not Arabic it is Ajami. Ajami written with Arabic letters is the way the Hausa language was written long before it was latinized. It was put on the Naira to allowed the uneducated Hausa market men and women who could read Ajami recognized each value on the Naira
Ajami is an Arabic style of writing Hausa language and it was included in the Naira notes to allows the non-western educated northerners who could read Ajami to recognize and differentiate each Naira notes for the ease of business transactions and financial dealings.
In the case of N500 the inscription means – Naira Dari Biyar – Five hundred Naira.
P. S. Ajam is an Arabic word meaning mute, which today refers to someone whose mother tongue is not Arabic.