Ramazan or Ramadan?

on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ramadan is already underway; however, the word Ramadan has got a few Muslims thinking as to its origin. It is said that the current term is taken from the Arabic language, as opposed to Urdu words. Ramadan was at one point referred to as Ramazan. In Uttar Pradesh, India the older generations taught their young to say goodbye, one had to say “Khuda Hafiz” and Ramadan was known as Ramazan. In addition, the mode of greeting was inclining towards “adaab” as opposed to salaam.

The change in wording is said to have begun in the 1980s, with a news anchor saying “Allah Hafis” at the end of the program. At that time, a dictator was in power, the change in wordings was seen as a passing trend, which would revert to normal, once the dictatorship came to an end. Alas, this was not meant to be.

A Muslim raised in the era of receiving “jeetay raho” in response to their ”adaab” had a hard time adjusting to the new “salaam” word. Such a Muslim faced a lot of ridicule when they used words such as “adaab” which was deemed as having lost its lifespan, and was at best suited to the historical dustbin. The term “adaab” was even dubbed as irreligious, and referred to as a term that was used only to greet Hindus in India, meaning that it had no place in the Islamic country. With the passing of time, the term was regarded as blasphemous, and a number of people refused to acknowledge it.

The change in wording is attributed to the influx of returnees in Pakistan from the Arab countries. Such returnees were said to not have become fluent in the Arabic language due to the fact they had a cloistered living style, which still compelled them to say Arabic words.

A Muslim word observer from India has observed that wordings such as Ramazan, Iftar, and Wuzu have faded away, instead becoming replaced by Ramadan, fitr and wudu.

It is said that a language dies when you supplant words that carry weightage. One such word that has been closely related to a number of people’s lives due to those changes in lifestyles which accompany it, as well as its age-old message of simplicity, love for mankind. Tolerance, compassion and generosity is known as ‘Ramazan’

According to Sibtain Naqvi, the coming of Ramadan, the Arabic counterpart of Ramazan, has brought a number of changes that belie the wholesome nature of the month. In addition, according to Naqvi, the symbolic nature of relationship between culture and language was deeply explored and well established.

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