Names of prophets in English.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
As Salaam-O-Alaikum brother Burhan,
My friend Azim has 2 questions to ask.
1) In English translation of a Holy Quran, why are our beloved prophet names mentioned as "Abraham", "Noah", "Moses", "Jesus", etc when we know that their real names are "Ibrahim", Nuh", "Moosa", "Isa" etc...etc...
2) He is also surprised with the fact that even if we are watching Namaaz LIVE on "Saudi Channel", there too we find the same translations.
3) Also, why is Allah (swt) referred to as "God" & not "Allah". And it is more disturbing if the same is shown on a Saudi Channel.
Pls put some light on this from Islamic perspective.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your Question: In English translation of a Holy Quran, why are our beloved prophet names mentioned as "Abraham", "Noah", "Moses", "Jesus", etc when we know that their real names are "Ibrahim", Nuh", "Moosa", "Isa" etc...etc...
Your Question: He is also surprised with the fact that even if we are watching Namaaz LIVE on "Saudi Channel", there too we find the same translations.
Respected brother, it is only natural that when a name is translated or transliterated from one language to another or from one dialect to another, it might differ a little from its original pronunciation.
Secondly, one must understand most of the Prophets mentioned in the Quran were neither Arabs, nor did they speak the Arabic language….Thus, if fact be told, Nuh, and Ibraheem, and Moosa, and Isa, and Yunus, and Yaqoob, etc. are not exactly Arabic names or terms…but terms and names in the language spoken by the respective people where these Noble Prophets of Allah were sent.
Thirdly, the ‘English’ translations of the Glorious Quran are for the general English speaking public….and so as to identify the Prophets which are generally known to our Christian and Jewish brethren, the translators of the Quran in the English language chose to retain the ‘Biblical’ names of the Prophets…and if this makes the understanding of the Glorious Quran easier for our brethren from amongst the People of the Book, and there is absolutely no harm in that.
Your Question: Also, why is Allah (swt) referred to as "God" & not "Allah".
The literal meaning of the Arabic term ‘al’ is ‘the, and ‘ilaah’ is ‘god’ (small ‘g’); thus ‘Allah’ basically means ‘Al-Ilaah’ or ‘The God’ (Capital ‘G’)….signifying the One and Only Lord Creator Who Created everything in Existence.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chatper 17 Surah Israa verse 110:
110 Say: "Call upon Allah or call upon ‘Ar-Rahmaan;: by whatever Name ye call upon Him (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speak thy prayer aloud nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between."
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chatper 7 Surah Aaraaf verse 180:
180 The Most Beautiful Names all belong to Allah: so call on Him by them.
The Lord Most Gracious has innumerable Names, for all the Best Names belong to Him….. by whatever (Best) Name ye call upon Him (it is well).
If, to make it easier for the general public to understand the Guidance of the Glorious Quran one translates the Name Allah to the ‘Biblical’ Name of the Lord Creator, God (Capital ‘G’), there is absolutely no harm.
Respected brother in Islam, what is of absolute and paramount importance is that the believers strive their utmost to present the Guidance and the Message of the Lord Most Majestic to all who are willing to listen to good caution….and if some amongst the translators, to make it easier for the addressed public, choose to translate or transliterate the names of the Prophets or even of the Lord Himself in the dialect which is understood best by the people who are being addressed, there is absolutely no harm.
Allah says in the Holy Quran: Chapter 16, Surah An-Nahl Ayat 125:
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and excellent admonition and argue with people in the best manner. Your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Way and who is Rightly guided.
Instead of disputing over minor faults or short-comings
amongst ourselves, the energy of the believers would be best spent in
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,