Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Huda, May 11, 2013.
Would you please help me translate الاديان السماوية?
Divine religions (I don't like the sound of "Celestial religions").
You can also translate it as Abrahamic religions.
It is usually (always?) translated Abrahamic religions.
Zoroasterianism (مجوس in Koran) is also considered divine by some (since it also accepts articles of belief, though conceptually). However, clearly it is not Abrahamic.
Although the majority of Arabic speakers profess Islam, it is not accurate (in terms of language) to equate the Arabic meaning of "divine religions" with "Abrahamic religions".
There's no doubt that the followers of any or all religions believe that their religion is a دين سماوي ("divine" religion), but the Arabic term الأديان السماوية only refers to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These, in English, are called Abrahamic religions.
This doesn't seem to have been written by a native speaker; 'divine religions' doesn't mean much to an English reader.
I think there is definitely an advantage in translating this literally as “heavenly religions”, whatever the author might take this to mean. “Abrahamic religions” definitely excludes Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, that is: at least half the population of the world, but the question of which religions came down from heaven and which did not is a theological question, not a linguistic one.
The thing is... those three are all you ever mean when you say أديان سماوية in Arabic. And I don't need to point out that on top of Huda translating for an author on what seems to be a vaguely Islamic topic, the Arabic language is very much intertwined with the Abrahamic traditions, and doesn't really get intimate with religions from further east. I mean you don't have to look very hard to realise that Zoroastrianism is not favorably viewed by Arab-Islamic culture compared with Christianity and Judaism.
Separate names with a comma.