بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

SofiaB

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful Benefactor, the Merciful Redeemer.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful Benefactor, the Merciful Redeemer.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, The compassionate.
Which is the better translation?
 
  • I like Ayed's translation but I would take out the "most"s. The Arabic adjectives are not superlative.
     
    Interesing. So where did the "most" in the English translation come from in the first place?

    After all, the version with "most" seems to be by far more common.

    And something else - the reason why I originally searched for الرحمن and then bumped into this thread:

    Where does the long aa in رحمن come from, or else, why is there no "real" ا ?

    (And for those who are interested, with respect to the choice between a translation and a mere transliteration of الله in the English version see this thread: Allah)
     
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    Where does the long aa in رحمن come from, or else, why is there no "real" ا ?

    It's an older spelling. Long [aa] was not always spelled out with ا and some words retain this spelling. It's the same reason هذا is haadha.

    Ra7maan looks like a normal noun of the form fa3laan from the root r-7-m meaning "Merciful". In fully vocalized texts, the miim would have the "daggar alif" رَحْمٰن.

    I agree that "Most Merciful" is a common English translation for الرحمن. I'm not sure where the "Most" comes from either (grammatically; with respect to religion we could understand this meaning).
     
    Hi,
    The "most" comes from the fact that رحمان and رحيم have the مبالغة form (I don't know how it's called in English, but in Arabic, it's called صيغة المبالغة). They're not simply راحم (following the wazn faa3il), this is why they need to have an extra marker (most, very...) when translated from Arabic, to express the "feeling"(?) or connotation of the Arabic wazn/form/pattern.
     
    Thanks for your replies.
    Hi,
    The "most" comes from the fact that رحمان and رحيم have the مبالغة form (I don't know how it's called in English, but in Arabic, it's called صيغة المبالغة). They're not simply راحم (following the wazn faa3il), this is why they need to have an extra marker (most, very...) when translated from Arabic, to express the "feeling"(?) or connotation of the Arabic wazn/form/pattern.
    Interesting. So would رحمان be considered the modern spelling?

    As for the صيغة المبالغة (which must be something like "intensifying" or "exaggerating" in English, though I don't know the technical term either), don't تعبان and بردان , for example, have the same form without actually being مبالغة and having the same "most/very" connotation? (or maybe they do?)
     
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    Regarding the spelling, رحمن is the only accepted form I know of. Just like هذا، لكن these may be influence from the writing of the Qur'an. But I need to read more about this before confirming. The sure thing is, we don't write هاذا، لاكن but هذا، لكن .

    As for your second question, I'm afraid I couldn't find the answer :( I hope someone else would help with this.
     
    I actually have a question first -- are تعبان and بردان (with the meanings of "tired" and "cold") used in MSA or only in (certain) dialects? I have, of course, heard them frequently within the Egyptian dialect, but I can't recall ever hearing them in MSA.

    I ask because if they only occur in the dialects, then the answer may lie there. Often, I think, certain forms occur in the dialects that do not have the exact same meaning as the same form would in standard Arabic. For example, In the Egyptian dialect there are many words of the pattern فعيّل (e.g. is صغيّر Sughayyar, قليّلl2ulayyil) which is technically a diminutive form, but is not treated as such in Egyptian.

    So, it could be that even though فعلان is an intensive pattern in MSA, it is not used that way in the dialects. Who knows why this could be. It could be as a result of much use. Words that are used much or overused tend to lose meaning.
     
    So, it could be that even though فعلان is an intensive pattern in MSA, it is not used that way in the dialects. Who knows why this could be. (...)
    Yes, that could be the case, of course - but it would still not explain the intensive pattern/meaning of رحيم, given that the فَعِيل form is obviously used a lot in MSA, without normally having an intensive/intensifying meaning. (or maybe it does?)
     
    Yes, that could be the case, of course - but it would still not explain the intensive pattern/meaning of رحيم, given that the فَعِيل form is obviously used a lot in MSA, without normally having an intensive/intensifying meaning. (or maybe it does?)
    It certainly does have an intensive meaning in MSA. Look at سامع and سميع.
     
    As for your second question, I'm afraid I couldn't find the answer :( I hope someone else would help with this.
    فعلان can be صيغة مبالغة, but it is also used as صفة مشبّهة, which is why بردان وجوعان وسكران وعريان الخ are not intensive forms. The same actually applies to فعيل, while عليم وكريم are intensive, قتيل ووحيد are not.

    I ask because if they only occur in the dialects, then the answer may lie there.
    They occur in dialects, MSA, and Classical Arabic.
     
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