"their" is more respectful than "his" ?

Discussion in 'Language Notes' started by abu Hasan, Aug 21, 2013.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    talal firing kuwaiti preacher tariq suwaidan by this letter.

    notice that he addresses him in plural.
  2. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    by the same token, farmaye not farmayeN.
  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    that is because, Allah sub'Hanahu wa ta'ala is Alone and we should not use even those words that may be misinterpreted as more than one.

    that is why, alaHazrat raDiyallahu `anhu - and other sunni ulama - forbade us to use plural forms of verbs in urdu like: kartey haiN when referring to Allah ta'ala. because the plural lingers on the tense, even though the tone and intention of the speaker is noble and glorifies the One without partner. therefore sunnis almost always say:Allah ta'ala kartaa hai, detaa hai, mu'af kareyga and NOT kartey haiN, detey haiN which certain other jamaats regularly use.

    frankly, i was not talking about classical usage - mainly because i am simply unqualified to do so. since, you have taken umbrage to even native speakers for the abomination of their not speaking proper arabic [which they call fuS'Haa; i know, i know..], i don't expect to be spared. you must forgive my lapses as i am far down below in the chain.

    as i said brother, you are making us claustrophobic.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
  4. here in the UK the queen uses 'we' and 'our' etc. though he subjects hardly say 'they' for 'her'

    I haven't read any dua that says 'antum' to Allah though glorification is obligatory.

    The word 'you' in English IS the plural/respectful form.
    That's why we say 'you ARE' and not you is, in standard english.

    the singular, 'thou, (oblique 'thee')' is defunct or dialectical.

    The word 'their' can be singular: everyone should know their rights.
    this is true of the pronouns: anyone can see for themself.

    kunh al-naqiibah
  5. Abd al-Mustafa

    Abd al-Mustafa New Member

    As-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah,

    Sidis, remember that it only sounds silly because you are not used to it. Those that have gotten used to it, for them it is not silly at all but has rather become the norm.

    Of course as far as I know (and my knowledge of English is limited, being a third language for me) this is not really the case in English (to use the plural for respect), but it is a fact that the usage of language does change with time... so if people want to do it, why not let them?

    Wa as-salamu 'alaykum
    'Abd al-Mustafa
  6. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    sometimes, we do. and as a mark of respect or honoring someone.
  7. Harisa

    Harisa Guest

    in Arabic, we use 'anta' and not 'antum' for you (singular second person).
  8. i guess it is because they think it is more respecful; i used to do it myself before i realised how silly it sounds in English!
  9. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    my point really was to ask why people do not want to use "him" for a scholar? they will say "them" instead.
  10. sadly English -- unlike Urdu/Farsi and some other European languages too like French and German--does not have plurals of respect.
  11. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    Just to clarify. The use of "tera" for rasulAllah sallAllahu 'alaihi wasallam and other awliya by Ala Hazrat (azim-ul-barkat) is a form of poetic license and is not permitted anywhere else except in poetry.

    I remember hearing a detailed explanation by Allama Turab-ul-Haq Shah Qadri. The audio file of that explanation is probably still available on www.nooremadinah.net.
  12. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    sorry for picking on you brother, but it's interesting how a lot of people use "their", "they" and "them" instead of "his", "he" and "him".

    i reckon we get it from our urdu mother tongue where we can say "aap" or similar words that denote more respect than "woh"; e.g. "aap apna khitaab aik baje shuru' kareiN ge" as opposed to "woh apna khitaab..."

    "aap", for me, is more respectful than "woh".

    also, in english we have "you", in urdu we have "too", "tum" and "aap".


    but, using "tera" instead of "aap ka" or "tumhara" is not necessarily disrespectful or of less respect. it can be disrespectful but not always.

    alaHazrat has used "tera" for rasulAllah sallAllahu 'alaihi wasallam and other awliya.

    i heard a reason for this in the form of poetry a long time ago which said something like aap se tum, tum se too because as they get closer to the messenger sallAllahu 'alaihi wasallam, they address him more personally.


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