Urdu: lihaazah لہاذا

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by teaboy, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. teaboy Senior Member

    Can someone explain the little mini-alif hovering between the he and the daal in لِہٰذا "therefore" ? How is it to be pronounced? Why it is there? Is it like a human appendix - a leftover organ we don't really need anymore?
  2. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    This doesn't really answer your question, but the word looks similar. Perhaps they are related? Anyway, Cilqui and Faylasoof discuss the word a bit.

    edit: actually, they DO discuss your word.
  3. BP. Senior Member

    The vertical dash is a sound modifier, and one of the 5(?) Harakaat put above or below the letters, 3 of the rest being short vowels, and the last a glottal stop.

    This k.haRaa zabar introduces an aliph where it doesn't exist as in lihaadhaa-لہٰذا, and overrides any vowel if it occurs over one e.g. the y-ی in a3laa-اعلٰی.
  4. teaboy Senior Member

    I see. Why don't we just put a full adult alif in there then?

    Is it that in Urdu it is pronounced with an /aa/sound but in Arabic it wasn't?

    Or was there always an /aa/sound in the Arabic, and if so, then why didn't they spell it with a full grown-up alif in the first place?
  5. BP. Senior Member

    It is a fidel carry-over from Arabic. I have no idea why it is spelt this way. Someone with more 3amiiq knowledge of Arabic might be able help us on this.
  6. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    We are talking entirely about orthographic convention! When Urdu, Farsi, Ottoman Turkish etc. borrowed this word from Arabic they kept this form (لھٰذا), just like the following forms have been kept:

    muusaa موسی
    3iisaa عیسی
    ar-raHmaan الرحمٰن

    It is wrong to respell these as موسا , عیسا etc. They are actually موسیٰ , عیسیٰ and so on, i.e. with an alif maqSuurah ألف مقصورة ending.

    The use of this short alif on top of a letter – and it is a proper alif (!) – goes back to pre-Islamic times but the best place to look is in the Quran, where you’ll notice many other conventions that we can’t discuss here.

    BTW, some leeway is allowed! For example many people, including Rehman Malik, a Pakistani senator, spell their name in Urdu as رحمان. But we always write الرحمٰن when referring to the Quranic use of this word.

    In the end, it is لھٰذا and not لھاذا! The latter is not acceptable.
  7. BP. Senior Member

    Did a www search, and all I got for 'reHmaan with an alif' were written by people of forums or by Pakistanis. I think it is simply a case of writing convenience and in the Pakistanis' case, of misspelling. Anyway, official texts or the Qur-aan would certainly be written with the correct orthograph so it that there's no confusion.

    The wiki link is very unreliable for the spelling for the said person's name. He's being called 'maanaa Hajjaam', maanaa being a corruption of raHmaan, and later in the text referred to as 'rishwat khor'! The person who wrote that shouldn't be trusted with their spellings.
  8. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi

    I too noticed this! But see BBC Urdu link below! Yes, I know!

    It is just not here or on Pakistani web sites that the name is spelt like this. Here is a very interesting example of how
    in the same article on the BBC Urdu web site you see both the correct and the incorrect forms:

    رحمن ملک کو معافی کیوں

    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لاہور

    صدر مملکت آصف علی زرداری کی طرف سے وزیر داخلہ سینیٹر رحمان ملک کی سزا معاف کرنے کے اقدام نے اس سوال کو جنم دیا ہے کہ

    The incorrect spelling is seen 18x the correct only 3x!

    (BTW, I didn't present the Wiki link for its judgmental account of this person. Just a convenient link to show the use of this form that you also noted on the net. It would be best to treat the content of this article with the some scepticism!)

    Not surprisingly we also see ہٰذا /
    لھٰذا written as لھاذا , here and elsewhere on Urdu websites:

    لھاذا ماحولیات میں بہتری کے ھدف کو مستقبل کی تمام پالیسز میں مد نظر رکھا جائیگا، چنانچہ تمام پالیسز کو وضع کرتے وقت ماحولیاتی ضرورتوں ترجیح دی جائیگی۔

  9. teaboy Senior Member

    I think some of the misspellings may be due to deficiencies in the computer fonts. For instance, I cannot properly type لھٰذا in Nafees Nastaleeq. I have to "insert symbol" in Word in another font, then cut and paste from Word and then highlight and change the font to Nafees Nastaleeq.
  10. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I'm not sure if this is entirely an issue about fonts though they may also play a role.

    The BBC Urdu link above suggsets that it is possible for someone in the same article to spell the word correctly and inconrrectly all at once! This doesn't look like a fonts issue to me. Besides, it is OK to spell it like this: < لھذا >. It would be better to have the short alif above the <he> but if certain fonts give you problem you can just omit it.
  11. teaboy Senior Member

    Can someone instruct me in the correct usage of لہاذا ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2013
  12. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ranj se xuugar hu'aa insaaN to miT jaataa hai ranj
    mushkileN mujh par paRiiN itnii kih aasaaN ho ga'iiN


    li = for

    haazaa = this

    lihaazaa = so/therefore

    lihaazaa, teaboy Jii, aap himmat nah haareN aur "he" ke uupar ek khaRaa alif likh deN aur phir zaal ko he ke saath milaa deN.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  13. teaboy Senior Member

    I see. Thank you, QP Sahib. I'm not sure how to do that on a computer, but I will remember for when I hand write it.
  14. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    "lihaazaa" is wonderfully similar to the French "du coup": English doesn't have a precise equivalent, "so" doing the job.
  15. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    'Du coup' sounds a bit casual to me while lihaazaa is rather high register, TheTh / Thos Arabic...

    I think words like 'therefore' or 'consequently' are good fits for the job, aren't they?

    PS: It is by the way spelt لہذا without the alif (although it is pronounced: lihaazaa) since it follows the old spelling conventions of early Arabic. (some people do right a small detached alif above 'he' or between 'he' and 'daal', like this: لہٰذ )
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  16. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Teaboy jii shall be grateful to you to cut the story short. Your final alif seems to have moved forward! لہٰذا
  17. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I do agree with you regarding the different registers. "Du coup" belongs to fam., pop. register, whereas "lihaazaa" is certainly "standard", if not "soutenu", register. My point was rather that "lihaazaa" is used when the the consequence is more tightly related to what precedes (just like with "du coup", hence I gave its example): "therefore" and "consequently" are kind of vague, in the sense that you could digress a lot in between and then return back saying a "therefore", "hence", etc.

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