Arabic etymology: شهيد

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Ihsiin, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Ihsiin

    Ihsiin Senior Member

    England
    English
    I recently discovered that the word martyr derives from the Greek μάρτυς, meaning 'witness'.
    I wondered whether Arabic شهيد could be a calque of the Greek.
    Can anyone confirm or contradict this?
    Thanks.
     
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, it is a calque on the Greek, via Syriac sāhdā with the same two meanings “witness, martyr”. The idea (in Christianity at least) is that martyrs “testify” to the truth of the Christian doctrine.
     
  3. Ihsiin

    Ihsiin Senior Member

    England
    English
    Thanks, fdb.
     
  4. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thank you too. An interesting query, wasn't it?
     
  5. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    The idea is common with Islam. Also this thread might be best moved to the Arabic forum.
     
  6. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    The word is not only used in Arabic and the question and answer was about etymology, with Syriac and Greek underway. As to the idea, you are of course right, so the word is, it appears.
     
  7. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    UAE
    Persian (Iran)
    Does the word مُسْتَشْهِدْ "mos-tash-hed" mean the same in Arabic? and could someone tell me what the root verb is here? Thanks in advance.
     
  8. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    mustašhid means ‘calling as a witness, attesting’. It is from the same root شهد .
     

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