Abjad numerals

The Abdschad (also: abjad ) is the alphabetic number system of the Arabs. The term Abdschad actually means as much as: the Arabic " ABGD ". According to the old order of the Arabic alphabet, which based itself on the Phoenician alphabet, were ابجد (a bah dah Jah ) the first four Arabic letters.

Prior to the acquisition of the Indian numerals by Arabs in the 9th century Abdschad was the standard Arabic number system, the actual Arabic numerals.

Use and history

The Arabic alphabet was divided into three groups of nine; as the numerical values ​​( Greek numbers) of the Greek and the Hebrew letters. The first group are the ones numbers from one to nine, the second group of ten numbers from 10 to 90 and the third group the numbers from 100 to 900, the twenty-eighth and last letter was set equal to one thousand.

As a memory aid, the letters are arranged in eight words whose first - abdschad ( ابجد ) - the importance alphabet has:

  • ابجد - abdschad: 1-2-3-4
  • هوز - hawwaz: 5-6-7
  • حطي - Hutti: 8-9-10
  • كلمن - Kalaman: 20-30-40-50
  • سعفص - sa'fas: 60-70-80-90
  • قرشت - qaraschat: 100-200-300-400
  • ثخذ - thachidh: 500-600-700
  • ضظغ - dazagh: 800-900-1000

To avoid confusion due to confusion with words, it is usually customary to draw a cross line across the Arab alphabetic numbers.

Until the gradual takeover of the Indian figures by the Arabs during the 9th century, this index numbers were also used in science and administration. In years to the Hijri era the alphabetic numerals are used to today preferred.

The year 1429 Hijri - that is, from January to December 2008 of the Christian era - is written like: غتكط.

Some alphabets of the Middle East had taken over the Greek letter-number system very early and transmitted to their own respective alphabets. For example, the Hebrew at the end of the 2nd century BC, and the Syriac alphabet middle of the 4th century AD.

In the Arab-Islamic sphere were after the conquest of the former Byzantine territories of the Middle East and North Africa, so here particularly Egypt, the Greek numbers first "literally" taken over. The Arabic texts of the Umayyad period ( 660-750 ) are regularly interspersed with original Greek numbers. After this, therefore at the time of the Abbasids, the Greek figures by the corresponding letters of the Arabic alphabet was replaced.

After the takeover of Indian numerals, the old numbers, of tradition, occasionally still used, similar to the Roman numerals in the West have been used since the Renaissance. They are found today, for example, in the chapter numbering Arabic books, as well as in tables. In the so-called numerology, they are also used.

Since a conversion of some letters in the Maghreb, there is, in addition to the traditional oriental Abdschad, a modified Abdschad in the western North Africa. There are differing for the 60 letter ص Sad, for 90 the letter ض Dad, for 800 the letter Za ظ, for 900 the letter غ Ghain for 1000 and the letter shin ش.

The memory aid is therefore as there ( behind the other group) as follows:

أبجد هوز حطي كلمن صعفض قرست ثخذ ظغش

(about: " abudschadin Hawazin hutiya kalman sa'fad qurisat thachudh taghusch " )