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Posted By Topic: Guidelines and Benefits Related to Some Arabic Names (Saamee, Samee', al-Hasan, al-Qaasim, etc.)

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01-01-2011 @ 5:50 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
as-salaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullaah

ARABIC MEANINGS (despite their various transliterations):
Quite simply, samee' (ıııı) and saami' (ıııı), share the same meaning - someone who hears.  saamee (ıııı) is someone whose place or status is lofty (from sumuww  ııı), its the masculine mukab-bar version of a common female name sumayyah (ıııı).

A Name of Allaah, but shared with the creation
Allaah has referred to Himself as Samee' (ıııı), and He has referred to His creation as samee' as well (see al-Insaan or Ad-Dahr, verse 2).  As a principle, when Allaah refers to the Creation with an attribute that He has also referred to Himself with, it is understood that it is not something exclusive to Allaah to be described with that.  And the ruling on naming follows this generality.  So it is permissible to name someone Samee'.  Some of the Arabs would refer to a deaf person as samee' and a blind person as baseer, like how we call a large person "tiny" in english. (in Arabic its called: qalb, or "flipping the meaning" and its proper fus-haa not slang)

Customary Practices
Customarily, Saamee (ıııı) is a common Arab name, while Samee' (ıııı) and Saami' (ıııı) are not, even 'Abdus-Samee' was not a common name, as not every Name of Allaah was used for naming with an 'abd in front of it.

The Alif-laam in the beginning of people's name is not significant (to the meaning).
The custom of the Arabs in naming, despite what many latter-day people seem to think was that they used alif-laam at the beginning of some names and not others.  They would say Hasan and al-Hasan, or 'Abbaas and al-'Abbaas, or Qaasim and al-Qaasim, and so on.  There was no intention that al-Hasan was "THE" Hasan, it was just used without that inteniton.  If you understand Arabic grammar, then hasan is not munkar (or nakirah), its already ma'roof (or ma'rifah), its not in need of an alif-laam to become ma'rifah.  so the alif-laam on a name never had a significant meaning.

For most names, they would not add an alif-laam, like al-muhammad or az-zayd, and so on.

'Abbaas or al-'Abbaas?
in fact, they used to add it in some constructions for the same person, like when saying the name of the uncle of the prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), they would add it, saying al-'abbaas ibn 'abdil-mutallib, but when they would commonly drop the alif-laam when mentioning his name along with his son's, 'Abdullaah ibn 'Abbaas..  As a kunyah, they seem to have always used the alif-laam, saying abul-'abbaas, and they didn't used to say Aboo 'Abbaas, or Aboo Hasan, or Aboo Qaasim, and the likes.

Original usage vs. the later people's custom and understanding
As mentioned, many 'Arabs of today don't get this, and believe there is a significant difference between al-Hasan and Hasan.  The later scholars even differentiate between ibn 'Arabee the soofee heretic and ibn 'Arabee the Maalikee scholar, by saying that the maalikee scholar's name has an alif-laam and the soofee's name doesn't.  this may hold true when looking at some of the later scholars' words, yet it cannot apply to the words of the scholars of old, as they used to refer to both of them with or without the alif-laam, allowing the context and construction to dictate whether or not the alif-laam was added or not.  this is absolutely correct, and Allaah knows best, and those who disagree can email me privately and i can provide further details if they would like.

And Allaah knows best.

ibn John

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01-01-2011 @ 10:45 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Zayd Abu Ubayd (Peqin,Albania)
Posts: 795
Joined: Oct 2008
JazaakAllaah khayr akhee Moosaa.

Can you please explain the difference between the names Abdullah and Abdulilah?

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