MuslimSpeak

I am so happy to find a blog space with the title MuslimSpeak at http://muslimspeak.wordpress.com/. I thought I had uniquely coined the term in my recent updates to my MA Thesis and other related Academic works. Here, I can see it refers to a forum for Muslims to speak out about Islam and speaking Arabic, the language of the Quran and Sunnah. It also touches on the way Muslims should pronounce the Arabic phrases Muslims use commonly throughout the world.

This latter area of advice is related to how I see and define the word MuslimSpeak  in my works. To me, MuslimSpeak refers to the Islamisation of our diverse languages to accommodate the phraseology and customary expressions used by Muslim Arabs in the Prophet’s, Peace be upon him, native Quareishi dialect. For example, it is rare for one Muslim to greet another with “Hola!” even if both are Spanish, or to gratefully say “à-dieu-va!” after some benefit in France, or to exclaim “Jeez!” even if you are born and bred in America. One would most probably say, “Salam” or “Salam alaykum” for the first expression, “Alhamdulillah!” for the second, and “Subhanallah!” for the third.

But MuslimSpeak goes further. We have phrases we commonly use to replace the Arabic equivalent. Even though the “dua” we make when we mention Prophet Mohammed should be, sallallahu alayhi wassallam, it is often rendered “Peace be upon him” in English, or shortened to “pbuh” in imitation of the Arabic calligraphic art form of this “supplication“. Even common English terms (and their translated equivalents in other countries), such as “pray“, “the prayer,” or “namaz” are loaded with the Islamic signification of “Tasalli” and “as-Salaah.”  How many of us say “I need to make Wudu” or “Je dois faire Wudu” before praying, rather than “I should ablute” or “dois faire mes ablutions” or even “where do I yatawada?“? In this last example, the Arabic word “Wudu” is Anglicised or Frenchified with the conjugate make/faire, thus making it a coined new native phrase. Last, but not least, I came across a new word to me coined by a commentator on Ablution in a blog. She said that  “najasites” did not know the importance of cleanliness before starting their ablutions. Now “najis” means “filth“, so she was coining an anglicised version of the term to refer to “habitually filthy (unclean) people“, or people who do not wash with soap and water before starting their ablutions.

To me, these are examples of MuslimSpeak as I coined the term in my Academic work: It refers to the common terms we use to talk about our religion no matter where we are from, the common concepts we have as Muslims even when we use our own language, and the social grist that foster our relations no matter what our cultural background is.  

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