Does saying ‘Ramadan’ over ‘Ramazan’ make you a better Muslim?

Published: July 25, 2012
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The debate in the social media centers around the usage of words for the month; the Urdu word 'Ramzan' and the Arabic word 'Ramadan'. DESIGN: MEHREEN KASANA

Since the last few years, the arrival of the holy month brings with it the ignition of a debate on social media in Pakistan. At the centre of this is the dispute over how to pronounce the name of this month; should we use the Urdu word ‘Ramzan’ or the Arabic word ‘Ramadan’?

Here are a few tweets regarding this matter:

Beena Sarwar: @beenasarwar

You can call the holy month what you want. I’ll use Ramzan, rather than the corporatised, commercialised, Arabised, westernised Ramadan.

Fazeelat Aslam: @FazeelatAslam

If you’re Pakistani say Ramzan. If you enjoy continuing Zia’s mission and being a lemming, please say Ramadan. #lemmings

AM: @delhisultan

Today we say use Ramzan, not Ramadan. Tomorrow it will be something else. Where will these social dictates take us? @bdutt

Those on the left side of this schism opine that usage of Arabic instead of Urdu words is a constituent of Arab cultural imperialism and religious rigidity in Pakistan. They comment sarcastically on how the country’s name itself should be changed to al-Bakistan then since the Arabic language doesn’t contain the letter ‘P’ in it!

Those on the right argue in favour of using Arabic words to maintain their ‘proper’ religious linguistics or to hold on to Pakistan’s Islamic heritage; they are even found ‘correcting’ peoples’ usage of the word ‘Ramzan’ to what they believe is more appropriate – ‘Ramadan’.

An article in Guardian titled ‘In Pakistan, saying Goodbye can be a religious statement’ on a similar Khuda-Hafiz/Allah-Hafiz issue, says:

Until about 10 years ago “Khuda hafiz”, which means “God protect you”, was the phrase commonly used to say goodbye. But, in the past decade, “Khuda hafiz” began to be overtaken by a new term “Allah hafiz.

While languages change and evolve with time, and Pakistan certainly has bigger problems such as corruption and militancy, the alteration has unsettled liberals in Pakistan, who say it reflects a wider change in the country’s cultural landscape.

The promotion of “Allah hafiz” first began in the 1980s under the rule of General Zia-ul-Haq when Pakistan was involved in the US- Saudi-backed jihad against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

The belief that this ‘religious linguistic propriety’, which includes the introduction of ‘Allah Hafiz’ and ‘Ramadan’ in Pakistan’s lingual fashion, began with Zia’s campaign of cultural Islamisation does hold some truth. It has inevitably led to these (words, phrases) to be seen symbolic of the infamous general’s Islamification drive or ‘Saudisation‘ of Pakistan; which is the cause of many liberals and progressive-minded people objecting to their use today.

Although it is a question of precedence of subjects that needs to be reconsidered by them, because Zia’s ideological influence is at its most dangerous when it exists in our madrassas , mindsets and our constitution, rather than in mere words or phrases we use.

Despite that, it is important to realise that with the flight of decades, these words became incorporated into the nation’s lingo and style of speaking.

This happened in a manner that they are now viewed and used ordinarily; regardless of its background of Islamisation/Arabisation of the linguistic culture. This is particularly true for the younger generation of today who were either born in the 80s or grew up in an age where they were unable to notice the process of lingual transformation that was being attempted through a state-fuelled campaign.

It is questionable whether the application of a few phrases or words can be a testament to some rampant Arabisation of  Pakistan presently. To assume that all who like using the Arabic word for ‘Ramazan’ are proponents of degradation of Pakistan’s own distinct culture, lingual establishment and imposition of an Arab one, is preposterous.

Many use either of the words out of pure personal preference or habit. To be fair, Urdu as a language faces more threat of perishing at the hands of the colonial era inculcated sense of inferiority amongst us which has manifested itself in the ’Angraizi complex’, or the paramount significance that this society grants the English language over Urdu.

On the other hand, to believe that the occasional usage of Arabic words lends one more religiosity or ‘Muslim-ness’ is equally absurd. Those possessing this outlook need to review it, too, because respect for religion rests not in a handful of words but in actions, behaviours and attitudes.

Does addressing Allah as God make one a lesser Muslim?

Intentions behind uttering something and its essence is what matters most; words and expressions may differ.

The aforementioned points, thus, should validate how trifling the apprehensions and perceptions and their basis are for both of the groups. To be so vehemently opposed to the usage of either ‘Ramazan’ or ‘Ramadan’ by any, on the account of the stated views or any other reasons, is irrational and in contrast with good sense.

Let everyone have the freedom and choice to pick their own unit of language up, without forcing or prodding others to conform to each other’s self-defined mediums of ‘appropriate’ expressions.

The people of Pakistan need to stop making a mountain out of this molehill and quit attaching such alarmingly grand nature to it; of cultural foist and religious inaccuracy.

While Pakistan gets mired in troubles of far great and disturbing kind, debate over ‘Ramazan’ or ‘Ramadan’, only gives prominence to the penchant amongst this nation with its preoccupation with the trivial.

Which pronunciation do you approve of?

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hafsa.khawaja

Hafsa Khawaja

A student based in Lahore who keeps a keen eye on Pakistan's socio-political issues and global affairs. She blogs at hafsakhawaja.wordpress.com/

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://twitter.com/omarulhaq OUH

    Oh, please. Pakistanis need to relax and quit being so dramatic. Ramadan and Ramzaan are the same thing so call it what you want. Trust wannabe liberal elites of Pakistan to make a big deal out of it. Really is none of my business but I doubt they’re even fasting, so why create such an issue?

    If you have such a problem with Arabic then maybe you should start praying in Urdu too. Recommend

  • Zubair

    They’re all words – its what is in the heart that counts. Thought provoking and very well written article however.Recommend

  • MEI

    Interesting commentary. I recall being told to use the phrase ‘Allah Hafiz’ instead of ‘Khuda Hafiz’ back in 4th grade (some 14 years ago) by my Urdu teacher. According to her, ‘Allah Hafiz’ was more appropriate as Khuda could refer to anyone, including the idols worshipped by Hindus which was why we as Muslims should be using ‘Allah Hafiz’. Since then, I made a habit of saying ‘Allah Hafiz’, to the point that saying ‘Khuda Hafiz’ seems almost unnatural and I never use it. I recall even trying to convince my parents (who are accustomed to saying Khuda Hafiz) to say ‘Allah Hafiz’ back in the day.

    Didn’t realize this was part of the Islamization process initiated in the Zia era. I agree with the author that intentions behind uttering something are what matter most. I think I’ll go back to saying Khuda Hafiz. Recommend

  • Zehra Jamal

    I merely read the title of this article and couldn’t continue. If these are the kinds of issues we are going to debate, then we shouldn’t be surprised at the demise of Islam. Grow up, let petty things slide and find something worthwhile to talk about.Recommend

  • Zeeshan

    I always find it intriguing when Pakistani liberals who draw upon much of their values from the Western world are trying to stand up against what they termed as “Arab cultural imperialism”. What about standing up against “Western cultural imperialism”?

    This is not about Zia. This is about Pakistani liberals’ hatred for anything Arabs. From abaya to Ramadan, anything which evokes of Arabness and not Westernness, is viewed with disdain by the Pakistani liberals. Maybe we should start using more Ramadan just to stand up against these liberals.Recommend

  • A.

    I can’t believe people even have the time on their hands to debate on this. Recommend

  • just_someone

    Wow, just wow. I really could not have come up with a more useless post than this. But knowing ET, im sure they will outdo themselves in the very near future.
    They have done it before.Recommend

  • Amir

    @Zeeshan

    I think Western cultural imperialists would prefer you say Ramadan, since that’s the term they use as well. Just stick with Ramazan to be safe :)Recommend

  • Parvez

    My answer to the question asked in the title is : NO but we do become bigger bigots and hypocrites than what we are.Recommend

  • Ali S

    There we go again. Idiotic liberals getting fussed up thinking that we’re giving way to fundamentalism by embracing the more Arabic pronounciation – there’s an extreme, ridiculous side to both ends of the political spectrum and liberals are not immune from it either. They might want to focus on actually fasting and praying instead, it will be a lot more productive for everyone.Recommend

  • Arham Orakzai

    Haha, I can’t believe someone actually wrote an article about this. Anyway. This reminds me of the time I moved from Pakistan to the UAE where once someone corrected me after I prayed in front of them saying that it isn’t ‘wal az zualeen’ but ‘wal ad dualeen’ and saying the former alters its meaning. I have never been more embarrassed.

    Anyhow, people have the right to pronouce a NOUN whichever way they want, Persian influence or Arabic influence and ET should find better ways to fill up their empty columns.Recommend

  • HasBeen

    Every freaking year, come this time of the year and this debate emerges, probably just to fill some column space/website megabytes. Ironically those having thier panties (or should I say ‘banties’) in a particular twist are english chattering and blogging cool brigade, some of whom for sure opted for ‘Easy Urdu’ in thier GCSEs. I have used Allah Hafiz and KHuda Hafiz interchangebly all my life without giving a hoot about who brainwashed me secretely in my formative years. As most commentators have already alluded to we do have bigger fish to fry.
    *Apologies for the rant about ranting about this topic and it was not aimed at this author who actually raised some good points. It is ‘rumzan’ (how’s that for punjabification of the urdu word) I am missing caffiene and feeling thirsty already.Recommend

  • A. Khan

    There is only one word and it came from Arabic, which pronounces it as Ramadan. In urdu or persian, the letter “zuad” is pronounced with “z” sound as opposed to arabic where it is pronounced with “d” sound. Hence the difference in pronunciation. And yes, because of the inflections (zer, zubr, pesh) used in older arabic, a slight change in pronunciation changes the meaning of the word. I leave to it users to decide which is best. Recommend

  • Ahmed HM

    Rather than relating this to Zia and the extremists, its better we learn the proper pronunciation. Ramadan is a word used in the Holy Quran is recited as ‘Ramadan’. I don’t think its going to affect our health if we use the Arabic form.

    As for the liberals such as Beena Sarwar and Fazeelat Aslam, you have very little to do with Islam. It shouldn’t concern you, so please stay out of it. Recommend

  • Shahrukh kazmi

    “> Ramazan assalam hai ramazan Assalam” :p Ramazan and Dr sahab all the way!!Recommend

  • hafsa Baja

    no it won’t make us a better Muslim but terms should be pronounced in right way.Recommend

  • Jamil

    i would also like to say that it doesnt matter what ever you say but the only thing which is important is that you should respect this month from heart be generous and do lots of charity for those who can not afford the basic necessitiesRecommend

  • Basit Khan

    My advice: Take up our pashto word ‘roja’ and finish this meaningless debate. Recommend

  • Hardliner

    I didn’t even know this debate exists…………………………… something new but really silly to me!Recommend

  • Faisal

    Oh Please ET!! just stop it or next time someone would come up with another idea

    **> Does praying in Arabic instead of Urdu

    makes you a better Muslim?**

    Recommend

  • Shadytr33

    From where do these ideas for such debates come from ? Heightened Paranoia much ? lol

    Also Next issue for ET will be: Should potato be called aaloo or should we just call it potatoRecommend

  • Big Rizvi

    It’s the same thing. Urdu and English are the languages of Pakistan. It is these languages that are first, the rest all come second.Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    Call whatever you want.

    This is for just a few years. Then Al Bakistan will be Al Punjabistan, Al Balochistan, Al Pakhtoonkhwa and Sindhudesh.

    Then 4 different peoples will have different language and different agendas.Recommend

  • Akshay

    He was not a terrorist but a lunatic. Terrorists kill for a political cause for eg, Jihadists want Islam to control the world, LTTE wanted a Tamil homeland, Maoists want to build communist state by replacing democracy in india, etc. That is why, Muslims who do terror in the name of Islam are called terrorists and that is why this man is NOT a terrorist but a MAD man.Recommend

  • Hassan Raza

    its all about the difference of languages .. if you say it in urdu u can say ramzan in arabic its ramadan i live in saudi arabia .. here different nationalities with different languages and cultures are living, also arabs rather saying rizwan .. say ridwan .. egyptians instead of saying jammat say gammat they use the letter gaaf instead of jeem so does that makes them stupid or what? ET bloggers make issues which have no importanceRecommend

  • Mahrukh

    Tomato or tamato , patato or potato.. Same as tht .:)Recommend

  • Modazul

    I can’t believe such an article got posted. What’s wrong with ET? Ramadan and Ramzan are the same thing. While reading Quran pronounce it Ramadan because thats how ita written in Arabic and pronounced. if u are just talking like that then say ramzan it doesn’t matter! It’s nothing about ZIA. Does any one know the word Khuda has a plural form as well? Only Allah doesn’t have a plural form. Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/munirhydershah munir hyder

    Very good
    keep it up Hafza
    my prayers are with youRecommend

  • karim

    So, calling ‘Ramzan’ makes you better south asian? The terminology of Islam is Arabic. There is no problem is using arabic words. Phewww!

    The reason for making reading Quran and praying in Arabic is to make Islam standardized across the world. There are so many sects even with this, imagine what would be the case if there was no standardization.Recommend

  • Manoj

    Ramadan, Allah Hafiz etc. are the symptoms of bigger disease that People of Pakistan have been inflicted with by it’s leadership.
    The disease is desire to get rid of subcontinents culture and heritage and define it’s self as part of middle east. Hence, many people in Pakistan feel proud by claiming that their lineage is of Arab, or Central Asian.

    Pakistani are the only group of people in the world which disown it’s own heritage and adopts those as hero who were tormentor of thier forefathers like abdali, ghori etc.

    This disease has sunk in so deep in the minds of pakistani that the moment they see any thing Arab originated which can replace it’s own native, they grab it with both hands and their eternal desire continues that one day Arab’s will accept them as equal muslims.

    In this process, Pakistan has lost it’s original identity and never got the Arab identity.

    Na Khuda Mila Na Visale Sanam.

    Maya mili Na Ram.

    God bless pakistan.Recommend

  • Massi

    I think the author have got enough comments to know that it`s not a place for discussing trivial things.Recommend

  • Talha

    Fake liberals: If people want to say Ramadan what’s your problem? Say ‘Ramazan’ (wherever that came from) if you want to, but try not to dictate to others for once.
    (Personally I say Ramzaan)

    Funny how people like NFP are on a crusade to enforce their personal preferences on others, and theorise that a grand Saudi conspiracy (and not a simple rise in religious fervour) is behind ‘Ramadan’ and ‘A. Hafiz’, yet have the gall to call themselves liberal and others conspiracy theorists!Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Roza aik nahin rekhna … but discussion 7th heaven ki !!!!!Recommend

  • Blasphemer

    ‘He’ is the one who Created everything including languages and names, so He cannot be, naudbillah, limited within His own creation. Neither ‘God’ nor ‘Khuda’ nor even ‘Allah’ can truly describe him. However, each indicates towards Him best within the limits of the language being used and within the limits of our perception. By the way, the phrase that ends in ‘Haafiz’, whether Khuda Haafiz or Allah Haafiz is a Persian construction, not an Arabic one. The Arabs tend to use the secular “Ma’ as salama” (Be in peace) than any religious goodbye.

    In Pakistan, the supposed Arabicization of Ramzan and Khuda Haafiz was part of usurper Zia’s Wahhabification attempt. There is no Islamic basis in this thought that occurred to him almost a millennium and a half after finalization of the message of Islam!Recommend

  • Khalq e Khuda

    Dear reader,

    People are fighting back. After decades of being forced to say Allah instead of Khuda particularly in Karachi where there were bill boards condemning us to hell upon usage of Khuda we are reclaiming our right to say what we want. People can call it whatever they want but this rule works both ways/Recommend

  • Anum Athar

    Nearly every article/blog of ET has the primary objective of dragging Gen Zia into everything. Yesterday it was Shaista wahid and today nothing better than to say ramadan or ramazan. i think i should start writing blogs for you if you have ran out of all the topics in the world!Recommend

  • Salman Arshad

    If there is no problem in saying Allah Hafiz then there should be no problem in saying God Hafiz either.Recommend

  • Imran Con

    Alright this is starting to eat at me. Maybe it was mentioned and I missed it since I’m usually doing two things at once when looking at news sites. If it was, well, feel free to call me names.

    So there are the two spellings here…
    Arabic: Ramadan
    Urdu: Ramzan

    But I don’t see the origin of, or any reference to “Ramazan”. By the context it seems Ramzan and Ramazan are interchangeable so I’d assume that they’re both Urdu based yet, having two spellings of the same word that means the exact same thing from the same origin is a little odd. There’s usually at least a little something that separates them. I see Ramazan used by comments and the article itself but it never comes up as one of the “debatable” words of the topic. It just suddenly appears and disappears randomly with no explanation.
    So… I see the difference between Ramadan and Ramzan. But, what exactly is the difference between Ramzan and Ramazan? Recommend

  • Mountie

    I think most of you missed a key point in this article. its not about being a liberal or zia’s nonsense or anything like this. What shes trying to say is that we should be comfortable with our own language and culture. Why should we be saying ramadan kareem when in our culture ramzan mubarak is a more common greeting. Its as simple as that. Recommend

  • http://wordztogo.com Usman Shahid

    I can’t believe you made an article out of it. A total waste of time reading this. If you have a problem speaking a simple word of Arabic, start offering prayers in urdu as well. Its a shame if a Muslim can’t pronounce a simple word of Arabic as this word appears in Quran as well.Recommend

  • Muhammad Mustaqeem Yousfani

    completely disagreed from your view point of intentions matter the most and not the words etc. then let me clear you that there are few acts which is prohibited in ISLAM which we mostly Sindhi people are use to do which should not be done such as holding your hands together in front of someone which should only be before ALLAH. So, yes no doubt words matter the most but depends what are the words, where used.
    Agree with MEI comments, this does not relate with Zia’s era, the same thing we are taught which the guy has discussed in comment.Recommend

  • http://farwamanekia.wordpress.com Farwa Manekia

    Hafsa, I believe that language and our way of pronouncing common words is a part of our culture, and culture is meant to be a social heritage, as it is flexible and absorbent.
    Even If a gradual change in pronunciation happens to be true, Then it’s okay. Does it modifies our spirit and the prestige of this holy month? No.
    Pakistanis should take things easy. And concentrate on bigger issues. Recommend

  • http://www.sarfarazar.wordpress.com Sarfaraz

    Hafsa well writen as usual. I have been reprimanded for using Ramadan by a media friend recently. Personally, i think Urdu has a greater problem with rampant Indian dramas and movies, which are bringing in Sanskrit words into the language. Go into SEC C to E areas and you hear a lot of these words. My take, its a useless argument, as trends are bigger than the individual and they will find their own route to fruition…for the record i use Ramadan because i learnt a bit of Arabic during my stint in ME and therefore habitually got to use it. Nothing to do with Arab supremacy. Dont think the average Arab is too worried about colonizing us ‘miskeens’…Recommend

  • Aurangzeb

    Classical urdu has borrowed many words from arabic language, specially the religious terms, remove those words, u may lose 20% of urdu language. And this derivation occurred centuries before Zia. Today, Urdu is facing threat from English more than any other language. if you have love for your language & cultural integrity you need to save it more from intermixing with English, rather than arabic, which has natural resembles with urdu. Recommend

  • Waqas

    I was waiting for the first ET blog on this subject. Kudos; comes inside the first week. No need to read it though.

    And as some would say to counter the silly Arabization argument – YOU WRITE IN ENGLISH! Why not the same concerns for westernization? Silly, silly liberals.Recommend

  • Critical

    Wow…I never knew that the Supreme God ,who created the entire universe and all the life forms in it, gets offended if someone out of the 6 billion humans refer him in a different language and might condemn you to hell just because of using the same name in a different language…

    If thats the case,why did he allow to create 10,000 languages for humans when he himself prefers Arabic??Recommend

  • user

    How do you feel when the western media pronounces Iraq as ‘I-Rack’?

    Yes exactly.
    That is the difference between Ramzan and Ramadan. It is originally an arabic word and pronounced Ramadan, if some people have issues with that then it is fine and totally up to you how you want to say. There is no need to blame a whole society and Arabic in general just because you cannot get over your petty complexes.
    Get a life and focus on some actual issues in your society. Recommend

  • Amir

    What’s wrong with praying namaz in Urdu, if you don’t understand Arabic but speak Urdu? For that matter, what’s wrong with praying namaz in English, or Pashto, or any other language? Provided the translation is accurate of course.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/nubeals Nabeel Khalid

    My ARGUMENT for using Arabic religious words ON SOCIAL MEDIA is that it is truly an international medium. Once you step outside Pakistan (virtually OR physically) no one will comprehend “Ramzan” or any other Urdu-based religious word. That is when the Arabic words come in – this is NOT some kind of Arabic Imperialism! This is plan and simple logic!Recommend

  • Ahmed HM

    @Amir:
    We follow the way of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). He told us to pray in Arabic, so we will pray in Arabic. Its very easy to understand, and Islam doesn’t tolerate innovations.Recommend

  • Haris Javed

    Those who are proponents of Allah Hafiz (against Khuda Hafiz) just to enhance Arabistion/Saudisation,
    it is pertinent to mention that Arabs/Saudis do not say Allah Hafiz, they use to say
    MA SALAMA OR ALLAH YSALAMAK as greeting.. . :)
    The term ALLAH HAFIZ is purely invented by us.. . :)
    + undoubtedly it is the intention behind our uttering that matters the most.. .Recommend

  • Sane

    This article is just:
    Making a non issue as issue for no gain at all.Recommend

  • Rashid Kharral

    Hafsa, Good write up..keep it up!Recommend

  • MAK

    @user, for your kind info., only non-Iraqis pronounce Iraq as IRAQ. the Iraqis pronounce it as ARAAQ. so given the analogy, if we do not mind pronouncing a country’s name the way we want, (Thailand instead of Prathet Thai or France instead of Francaise) then there is no issue in saying Ramzan instead of Ramadan. By the way my Khuda is Allah and there is no other god in my belief. He knows when i say KhudaHafiz i only ask Him to be my protector/Hafiz Hence KhudaHafiz should not be an issue too. Recommend

  • Asif khokher

    Words pronounced in the way of original language is the only correct way. Someone who has lived in Middle East would know that it is ‘Ramadan’, and ‘Ramazan’ does not exist. Similarly, ‘Usmania’ is no word in Arabic because it is pronounced as ‘Uthmania’.
    There is no point in making this issue; just follow Arabic language; donot speak Arabic in your urdu styleRecommend

  • Ayeza Sumsam

    Well, to be quite candid, in the midst of reading this article, it suddenly struck me that no such “Ramazan Vs Ramadan” debate exists in the first place and even if it does, then it is surely not intensified or exaggerated to the level that the article is claiming it to be. There is a dire need to stop promoting such articles in order to ensure that such nonsense and good-for-nothing debates and controversies are not popped up in the future years to come.Recommend

  • Ali Khan

    Kawwa halal hai ya Haram? ET’s next topic would be this.

    Honestly, i live in Saudi, Arabs pronounce it RamaDan because they technically cant pronounce Z in practical everyday speaking, especially if they dont speak English.

    I say Ramadan, because i grew up here. But i also say Ramazan when talking to my Pakistani friends. Doesnt make any difference.

    If you have so problem with ‘Arabization’, why no articles on ‘Westernization’?

    Next time you complain about Arab influence, write your article in Urdu to shun the ‘English’ influence.

    I can bet my month’s earnings you cant write an article in your own mother tongue (Urdu).Recommend

  • Hirra

    I always say Khufa hafiz because I’m so used to it. It’s interesting that people have started saying “Allah bless” instead of “God Bless.” Even my mother had told me to use Allah instead of God or Khuda… Because according to her that’s not our God. Allah is our God. What I want to say is that there is only one God so what does it matter if we call Him Allah or God? My intentions are pure no matter what I say. Muslims just seem to have more and more hang ups every time!Recommend

  • http://hafsakhawaja.wordpress.com Hafsa Khawaja

    To all,

    I strong text emphasized textbasically dissected the views of both sides (without taking one myself), the left and right, in this debate that takes place on the social media; to show how futile the whole issue is, why it needs to end and our obsession with trivial things as a people – a line that echoes in most of the comments here.

    So I would really strong text suggest that you kindly read what the post is actually about and contains, rather than the strong text forming conclusions about that by just reading the very misleading title.

    Thank you.Recommend

  • Syme

    Its Ramzan, just like Chacha Ramzan:) Recommend

  • Dr Ilmana Fasih

    Thank you for writing this. ! Recommend

  • Shameful Pakistani

    Ramzan, Ramzan, Ramzan. Are you happy now? I feel shameful when I come across articles like this one. There are Pakistani children that say Ramzan that are being forced to perform child labor. There are Pakistani women who say Ramzan that are being forced into marriage. There are families in Pakistan that say Ramzan all day and all night that are so poor that they practically give their children up to madrassas where only Allah knows what is being done to their minds and bodies. Rather then the Educated, Literate, Pakistani Middle Class recognize that there is much work to be done in making conditions better for ALL Pakistanis, they wish to argue, discuss, debate, breakdown, point fingers and ultimately pick their battle over whether saying Ramzan is better then saying Ramadan. Pakistan Zindabad has to mean much more than just saying those two words and this article and the raging debate behind does not do a good job of showing that Pakistanis are about positive actions. It kind of just shows that Pakistani are only about words. Ramzan Mubarak and Khuda Hafiz.Recommend

  • http://www.iamzeeshan.blogspot.com Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

    A very interesting post. It should be a personal choice which term to use, and nothing should be imposed.

    Keep it up :) Recommend

  • really!!!

    really!!!! i really dont think that instead of having so mny problems in pakistan ,u people r here discussing whether it should be “ramadan” or ‘ramazan’…..”khuda hafiz” or “allah hafiz”……do u really dont have any topics…and i seriously hope that islam doesn’t allow these pointless discussions…..why dont u discuss something about what shall and what shouldnt we be doing in ramazan..oh wait…this is not your job,…right????pardon me if i have written ‘mny’ instead of MANY…Recommend

  • Raw is War

    @ Zeeshan

    arabs are cavemen.Recommend

  • voice

    in Quran, it says RAMADAN….just sayinRecommend

  • ayesha_khan

    @Nabeel Khalid: “My ARGUMENT for using Arabic religious words ON SOCIAL MEDIA is that it is truly an international medium. Once you step outside Pakistan (virtually OR physically) no one will comprehend “Ramzan” or any other Urdu-based religious word.”

    Not true. Indian Muslims also say Ramzan not Ramadan. Thus more Muslims say Ramzan than all Middle East Muslims put together.

    Yuo can say Ramadan if you like but the logic you provided is not accurate.Recommend

  • Haroon

    While the debate of Allah Hafiz vs Khuda Hafiz might certainly hold wieght due a strong argument by the ‘Allah Hafiz’ people that God likes to be called by his chosen names (nevertheless calling Allah as God or Khuda does not mean he stops becoming a God, God-Forbid), but the debate of Ramadhan over Ramazan is utter stupidity. You need to realize that, setting aside Arab culturalism or Western imperialism or even religious feelings, the basic spelling of ramazan in Urdu and Arabic is the SAME. Also, the pronounciation of the ‘zuwad’ is more or less the same as well in Urdu and Arabic. Otherwise, how do you distinguish between the sounds of zaal, zay, zauwien and zuwad? Even in Arabs, the pronounciations differ. For example, the ‘qaaf’ words like ‘waqf’ (stop/park) maybe called ‘waghaf’ (qaaf pronounced as ghaaf, since Arabic lacks the ghaaf). The zuwad and ‘say’ (which some Arabs call ‘thay’, like ‘thalatha’ rather than ‘salaasa’ for number three) are more strongly pronounced by some Arab nations which is why the ‘dh’ came into Ramazan’s english spelling. However, truly speaking, even in Urdu or as per Pakistani standards the correct pronounciation of the letter zuwad is with a thicker begginning, that is a ‘thuwad’. So in Urdu and Arabic both, its Ramadhan not Ramazan. Recommend

  • imaan.sheikh

    @Haroon:
    Arabic lacks the letter ghaaf? Are you okay? One of Allah’s names is “Ghani”, my friend.

    Recommend

  • Abdul Wahab Saleem

    mam! problem is that it is pronunciation, nothing else, because in Arabic alphabets ض is the most difficult one so it is pronounced with D or DH….it is never Zia problem nor westeranism not any other serious thing!!! Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Ahmed HM:
    Islam was never, is not, and will never have just ONE simple interpretation to follow. There will always be interpretations that differ (or as you put it, “innovations”). Saying Ramzan Mubarak does NOT give u any less sawab than saying Ramadan Mubarak. Think outside the box. Maybe the Muslim world will finally catch up to this century instead of reeling backwards to the dark ages of intolerance and “my way is the right way” tunnel vision. Cheers. Recommend

  • Haroon

    @imaan.sheikh:
    Dear Imaan: Ghani is written with the alphabet ‘gaien’, not ‘ghaaf’. In Urdu we have ‘aien’ ‘gaien’, ‘kaaf’ and ‘ghaaf’ along with the ‘qaaf’ (with two dots). And what I mentioned was not about ‘gaien’ which is pronounced rightly, as in Gani, (not g’H’ani), but about the ‘qaaf’ which is pronounced ‘ghaaf’ here since they don’t have the Urdu alphabet ‘Ghaaf’. Also, if you talk to Eygptians, they have another thing which sounds funny even to the other Arabs. They can’t pronounce ‘J’., So a name like ‘Jafar’ is pronounces ‘Ghafar’ :)
    You need to revise your Urdu and Arabic alphabet lessons dear.Recommend

  • imaan.sheikh

    @Haroon:
    I mean the sound of “gh”. It’s there. As “ghaein” but it IS there.

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  • Usman Shami

    I’m amazed that people are having a discussion on this topic- to use z or d in ramzan… what a waste of time :s Recommend

  • JUNAID

    Come on guys ! its just like Yousef and Joseph .. what difference does it make .. you spell the word Hadees as Hadith .. no big deal .. what matter are your deeds .. remember!Recommend

  • Umar

    The author has written this article just for the sake of writing something and has made a mountain out of mole hill. Dude, there are bigger issues at hand. These so called issues don’t even concern common people, It only concerns the pseudo intellectuals like you who have to come up with any leftist vs rightist issue week in week out.Recommend