[Ads-l] sakk, sukuk and sukuks

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 20 18:52:50 EST 2016

Googling Google’s News for “sukuk” yields a Googestimate of 109K hits. In the “All” category, it’s 2 million Googits.

This word is not found in the online Oxford Dictionaries.

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukuk <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukuk>) says that sukuk (صكوك‎‎) are often called “sharia[-]compliant” bonds and are financial instruments used by people following the Islam proscription against earning income from money. "$ US 150 million First Global Sukuk: Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd” (http://www.kantakji.com/media/7165/90016.pdf <http://www.kantakji.com/media/7165/90016.pdf>) provides more details. 

Wikipedia notes that “sukuk” is the plural form, derived from “sakk” (صك, related to English “check”) and that “sukuks” is incorrect.

Wiktionary also has an entry (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sukuk <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sukuk>) that gives “sukuk" as the singular and “sukuks” as the plural.

A. Sakk, sukuk
1. 1894 is the earliest instance I see in Google Books, where it seems to mean “nail” as found in “The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night” but I don’t know if they are the same word:
http://bit.ly/2h7Sl2x <http://bit.ly/2h7Sl2x>
Richard Francis Burton, Leonard C. Smithers

1. The next instance has both sakk and sukuk in a dictionary published in 1895:
An Arabic-English Vocabulary of the Colloquial Arabic of Egypt: Containing the Vernacular Idioms and Expressions, Slang Phrases, Etc., Etc., Used by the Native Egyptians
by Socrates Spiro
http://bit.ly/2h7Ofrf <http://bit.ly/2h7Ofrf>

The Arabic words are identical or similar to the forms I quoted from Wikipedia above.

3. In 1963 (http://bit.ly/2i7I8Vi <http://bit.ly/2i7I8Vi>), there is a book where the word ṣukūk is used in two sentences.
Origin and Spread of Oriental Words in European Languages
by Arnald Steiger
http://bit.ly/2hRdDQE <http://bit.ly/2hRdDQE> 

… with provisions, Omar drew <<ṣukūk>>, i.e. drafts, assignments, upon the people, and the merchants sold the drafts among themselves before encashment’….

Nevertheless, the form of payment by means of <<ṣukūk>> continued to be used in Egypt.

4. In 1964 (http://bit.ly/2id6rgF <http://bit.ly/2id6rgF>), the word is provided in a footnote
An introduction to Islamic law
Joseph Schacht
http://bit.ly/2icRE5u <http://bit.ly/2icRE5u>

Documents are called _sakk_, pl. _ṣukūk_, or _wathīka_, pl. _wathā'ik_, or _dhukr_, pl. _adhkar_.

5. Jump to 1984 (http://bit.ly/2hSmtQq <http://bit.ly/2hSmtQq>)
Commercial law in the Gulf States: the Islamic legal tradition
Noel James Coulson
http://bit.ly/2icZZX9 <http://bit.ly/2icZZX9> 

They were known as _sukuk_ (s. _sikka_), and trading in _sukuk_ was roundly condemned by the scholars on the ground that it was _riba_.

From 2000 going forward, the number of books with the word “sukuk” climbs, with probably a bit under 100 over the past five years.

B. Sukuks 2006 - two instances occur in this year, the earliest year I find this word in Google Books, but neither can be viewed, other than the snippets provided by Google. The first quote makes it sound as if the word was well in place by that time. In addition, there are likely to be earlier hits on the internet at large. I searched only under Google Books.

1. Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad
By David Jonsson

Several corporate entities refer to these Sukuks as Musharakah Term Finance Certificates (MTFCs).

2. Kingdom of Bahrain: Financial System Stability Assessment, including Reports …
by International Monetary Fund

Domestic government securities including sukuks are registered at the BMA.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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