British colonial officers study Arabic extracts

Azoo, Rizkallah F. [Rizq Allah Fathi 'Azzun]. [Al-Rawdah al-zakiyah lil-imtihan fi al-lughah al-'arabiyah]. Ar-Rauzatu-z-zakiyah. Selections for the Higher Standard Examination in Arabic.

Calcutta, Baptist Mission Press, 1905.

8vo. (2), 332 pp. Original beige printed boards with red cloth spine.


First edition of a rare survival, illustrating the development of language studies among the officers of the British military during colonial rule in India and the Middle East. The work was compiled by Rizkallah Azoo, the Arabic Instructor to the board of examiners under the supervision of the secretary board of examiners at Fort William, Calcutta.

The book is divided into two parts, the first containing fables, anecdotes and narratives, travels of famous explorers (including Ibn Battuta and Sinbad the Sailor), and a final section on the travels of Sadiq Pasha to the Great Desert of Africa. Part two covers an extract from Kitab-ul-Wasitah, a description of Malta, and an account of European arts and sciences by Ahmed Faris Effendi, the editor of Al-Jawib. It concludes with some curious descriptions of Paris and London.

The standard examination of Arabic was a serious matter, affecting officers' roles and promotions in overseas territories. Failure to pass the elementary Arabic examination could result in deferment of appointments, and even the withholding of portions of an officer's salary.

Light exterior wear, otherwise well preserved. Rare: OCLC locates copies at Oxford and SOAS, as well as at the University of California (Berkeley) and seven additional libraries.


OCLC 417302837.