Translators' glossary of common Arabic/Urdu/Farsi religious terminology

Discussion in 'Language Notes' started by naqshbandijamaati, Aug 26, 2007.

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  1. oh i have remembered -- istinja = abstersion

  2. btw 'data-mining' -- only an uber-geek would use such a term! :D
  3. aH...thank you :)
    yes Shaykh GF Haddad is a great source...someone should publish a dictionary for translators of arabic/urdu/persian into english!

    btw there is an exact English equivalent of the word istinja (astanja) which I used to know but cannot remember -- i think it ended with --tion. Do u know it~?
  4. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    mas'alah could be translated in varying contexts as

    or the tame:
    problem or

    listed under the entry of s-a-l [or he questioned] in al-qamus, taj al-arus and lisan al-arab, it is said:

    mas'alah is one of the many forms of the root [maSdar].

    meaning requirement, necessity, need [Hajah]; as it is said: 'his need was fulfilled'

    scientific* problems or rule or articles of knowledge [mas'alah al-`ilmiyyah.] an illustration of an issue [or issues cited as a problem]; for example, the issue of kohl among grammarians [mas'alah al-KuHl `inda an-NuHaah].

    and similar to imam shafiyi's remark: 'if i bothered myself with buying onions** i would not have memorized '[or mastered] a single article of islamic law [law kulliftu bi 'l baSalah la ma Hafiztu mas'alah]

    mas'alah as meant by researchers/scholars [ahl an-Nazar]: is a proposition upon which, or whose evidence, an enquiry is made. it is also used to mean the matter on which an exposition needs to be made. [sometimes] it is also used to indicate the ruling or opinion in the said matter.

    imho, no one-word in this case.

    Allah ta'ala knows best.

    * scientific here is used literally as 'pertaining to knowledge.'
    ** a hyperbole to mean: 'did not bother excessively with quotidian chores'
  5. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    the best place for data-mining islamic terms in english is shaykh gibril's work. his choice of words in english translated from arabic is impeccable, admirable and enviable.
  6. Viking Islam

    Viking Islam New Member

    As-salamu 'alaykum,

    I was taught that mas'ala means "subject". It may have other meanings.
  7. thanks...what would be the best one-word translation of the word mas'ala (plural: masa'il)?

  8. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    spelling checks:

  9. nabi - prophet
    rasool - messenger/apostle
    khalifa - caliph
    sahabi - Companion
    taba'ii - Successor ?
    hadrah -sacred dance ?
    hadrat/hazrat - presence/the reverend?
    ala hadrat - the most reverend?
    jannat - paradise
    ghawth - spiritual succour
    ghawth al azam - greatest spirtual succour
    qutb - spiritual pole
    fana - annihilation
    zawq/dhawq - taste
    wajd - ecstasy
    haal - state
    maqaam - station/rank
  10. mu'jiza - miracle /greater miracle
    karamat - lesser miracle? /charismata?

    I've found that a LOT of directly equivalent terms can be borrowed from Roman Catholicism...
  11. :s1:

    As a sometime translator I think it would be useful for myself and others if we could keep this thread permanent and add to it English translations of words that a translator of religious texts comes across commonly since it is necessary for any translator to be consistent. I think this will be useful.
    exceptions could be made for words which have become so common that they've entered the English lexicon e.g. Shariah.

    So here goes:

    'ilm -- knowledge
    ma'arifah/ma'arifat --gnosis?
    madhhab - school of thought?
    'ishq -- passionate love? passion? love?
    Shar'iah -
    (Islamic Sacred Law)
    sajadah - prostration
    ruku - genuflexion
    raka'h/raka't -- prayer cycle?
    tassawuf - sufism
    sama' - audition?
    wali -saint
    dua - supplication
    namaz/salah - canonical prayer
    na'at -laudation/song of praise?/eulogy
    hamd - hymn?
    tawbah - repentance
    gunaah - sin
    gunaah- e- kabira - mortal sin
    gunaah e saghira - venal sin
    tasbih - rosary
    wudu' - ablution
    ghusl - greater ablution?
    tajjali - theophany?
    jalal - majesty
    jamal - beauty
    tawaaf - circumambulation
    marsiya - elegy
    istinja - abstemation ?
    zikr/dhikr - chanting the names of God/remembrance?
    ta'widh/taweez - amulets
    tabbarak - sacred relics/holy relics

    please help by adding more! feel free to disagree! lets make this a great resource!

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