Ahmad

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For other uses, see Ahmad (disambiguation).
Ahmed and Ahmed
Pronunciation /ˈɑːmæd/, or
/ˈɑːmɛd/.
Arabic: [ˈ(ʔ)æħmæd].
Turkish: [ˈahmet].
Persian: [ˈ(ʔ)æhmæd].
Urdu: [ˈɛɦməd̪].
Gender Male
Language(s) Arabic
Origin
Meaning Highly praised
Other names
Variant form(s) Achmad, Achmat, Achmed, Achmet, Ahmat, Ahmet, Ahmadu, Amadou

Ahmad, Ahmed or Ahmet are the principal transliterations of an Arabic given name, Arabic: أحمد{{t ransl|ar|DIN|ʾaḥmad}}.

Etymology[edit]

Ahmad comes from the Arabic triconsonantal root of Ḥ-M-D, meaning "highly praised", which in turn implies "one who constantly thanks God." Several Arabic names are derived from this root word.

The name Ahmad has its origins in a prophecy attributed to Jesus, in the Quran in Surah 61: As-Saff (The Ranks). Some Muslim scholars see the names parallel in the word 'Paraclete' in the biblical text.[1][2][3][4][5]

Regarding Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad, the Sirat Asul Allah, Islamic scholar Alfred Guillaume wrote:

"Coming back to the term “Ahmad,” Muslims have suggested that Ahmad is the translation of periklutos, celebrated or the Praised One, which is a corruption of parakletos, the Paraclete of John XIV, XV and XVI."[6]

Lexicology[edit]

Other Arabic names from the same root include Mahmud, Ahmed, Hamed, Muhammad and Hamid. The name has one of the highest number of spelling variations in the world.[7]

Interpretations and meanings of Ahmad[edit]

Ahmad passage[edit]

Here are three translations of the passage in question in Surat 61 verse 6:

"And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, "This is obvious magic."

- Sahih International

"And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is the Praised One. Yet when he hath come unto them with clear proofs, they say: This is mere magic."

- Pickthall

"And when Jesus, son of Mary, said: "O children of Israel, I am God's messenger to you, authenticating what is present with me of the Torah and bringing good news of a messenger to come after me whose name will be acclaimed." But when he showed them the clear proofs, they said: "This is clearly magic."

- Modern Literal Translation

Scholarship regarding language translations[edit]

The verse in the Quran attributes a name or designation, describing or identifying who would follow Jesus. In his Farewell Discourse to his disciples, Jesus promised that he would "send the Holy Spirit" to them after his departure, in John 15:26 stating: "whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth... shall bear witness of me." John 14:17 states "[even] the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you."[8][9]

Regarding verse 61: 6 in the Quran:

"It is not clear to whom the pronoun ‘he’ refers in the concluding sentence. Bell says ‘probably Jesus,’ but ‘sometimes taken to refer to the promised messenger who is identified with Muhammad.’ Secondly, and in consequence the intervening words, ‘bearing the name Ahmad,’ are grammatically superfluous. They do not help to make the pronominal reference any clearer as to who it was whose Evidences were greeted as magic. Without the clause about Ahmad the context would appear to demand that it was Jesus rather than the next ‘messenger’ who was intended. Whether we maintain the usual reading or adopt that of ‘magician’ (as read by Ibn Masud and others), the charge of sorcery generally would seem as true to the Jewish calumnies in the Fourth Gospel as to the somewhat similar charges brought against Muhammad. In any case it was the Banu Isra'il to whom both Jesus and the ‘messenger’ came, and who regarded the mission as ‘sorcery.’ Once more, if we omit the phrase, ‘bearing the name Ahmad,’ and regard Muhammad as still drawing lessons from previous history, the dubious passage might refer to what happened at Pentecost, and other incidents recorded in the earlier chapters of the Acts. With the absence of any claim on this passage either by Ibn Ishaq or Ibn Hisham, may we go further and suggest that the two Arabic words rendered by Dr. Bell, ‘bearing the name Ahmad,’ are an interpolation to be dated after the death of Muhammad.[10]

"Early translators knew nothing about the surmised reading of periklutos for parakletos, and its possible rendering as Ahmad …. Periklutos does not come into the picture as far as Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham are concerned. The deception is not theirs. The opportunity to introduce Ahmad was not accepted - though it is highly improbable that they were aware of it being a possible rendering of Periklutos. It would have clinched the argument to have followed the Johannine references with a Quranic quotation.”[11]

"Furthermore the Peshitta, Old Syriac, and Philoxenian versions all write the name of John in the form Yuhanan, not in the Greek form Yuhannis found in the Arabic text. Accordingly to find a text of the Gospels from which Ibn Ishaq could have drawn his quotation we must look for a version which differs from all others in displaying these characteristics. Such a text is the Palestinian Syriac Lectionary of the Gospels which will conclusively prove that the Arabic writer had a Syriac text before him which he, or his informant, skillfully manipulated to provide the reading we have in the Sira."[12][13]

"Muslim children are never called Ahmad before the year 123AH. But there are many instances prior to this date of boys called 'Muhammad.' Very rarely is the name 'Ahmad' met with in pre-Islamic time of ignorance (Jahiliya), though the name Muhammad was in common use. Later traditions that the prophet's name was Ahmad show that this had not always been obvious, though commentators assume it after about 22 (AH)."[14]

"It has been concluded that the word Ahmad in Quran as-Saff 61:6 is to be taken not as a proper name but as an adjective... and that it was understood as a proper name only after Muhammad had been identified with the Paraclete."[15]

"Note that by the middle of the 2nd century AH, Muslims already identified Muhammad with the Greek word "Paracletos" (Counsellor / Advocate) or the Aramaic translation "Menahhemana."[16]

Transliterations[edit]

Ahmad is the most elementary transliteration. It is used commonly all over the Muslim world, although primarily in the Middle East. More recently, this transliteration has become increasing popular in the United States due to use by members of the African American community.

Ahmed is the most common variant transliteration, used especially in the context of the Ottoman Empire. This transliteration is also used throughout the Muslim world.

Ahmet is the modern Turkish transliteration. Modern Turkish uses a Latin-based alphabet, and most Arabic-derived names have standardized Turkish spellings.

The less common transliterations of Ahmad are used by Muslims outside the Middle East proper, such as in Indonesia and Russia.

Given name[edit]

Ahmad[edit]

Fictional characters

Ahmed[edit]

Ahmet[edit]

Other spellings[edit]

Surname[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Al-Masāq: studia arabo-islamica mediterranea: Volumes 9 à 10 ;Volume 9 University of Leeds. Dept. of Modern Arabic Studies, Taylor & Francis - 1997 "Many Muslim writers, including Ibn Hazm, al-Taban,al-Qurtubi, and Ibn Taymiyya, have identified the Paraclete with Muhammad. Probably the first to do so was the his biographer Ibn Ishaq in the mid eighth century."
  2. ^ "The Promised Prophet of the Bible". Scribd.com. 2007-07-31. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  3. ^ "Isa", Encyclopedia of Islam
  4. ^ Watt (1991) pp. 33–34
  5. ^ Ahmed Deedat (1994). "Muhummed (pbuh) Is The "Paraclete"". The Choice: Islam and Christianity, Volume 1. ideas4islam. pp. 59–63. 
  6. ^ Liddell and Scott`s celebrated Greek-English Lexicon gives this definition for periklutos: "heard of all round, famous, renowned, Latin inclytus: of things, excellent, noble, glorious". Rev. James M. Whiton, ed. A Lexicon abridged from Liddell and Scott`s Greek-English Lexicon. New York: American Book Company, N.D. c.1940s, p.549. Periklutos occurs in The Iliad and The Odyssey, and Hesiod`s Theogony.
  7. ^ Humanism, Culture, and Language in the Near East: Asma Afsaruddin, A. H. Mathias Zahniser - 1997 p 389
  8. ^ John by Andreas J. Köstenberger 2004 ISBN 080102644X, page 442.
  9. ^ The Gospel of John: Question by Question by Judith Schubert 2009 ISBN 0809145499, pages 112–127.
  10. ^ A. Guthrie and E. F. F. Bishop., The Paraclete, Almunhamanna and Ahmad. Muslim World XLI (October, 1951), p.254-255; italics / emphasis in original
  11. ^ A. Guthrie and E. F. F. Bishop., The Paraclete, Almunhamanna and Ahmad., Muslim World XLI (October, 1951), p.253-254.
  12. ^ A. Guillaume. The Version of the Gospels Used in Medina Circa 700 A.D. Al-Andalus, 15 (1950) pp.289-296.
  13. ^ Guillaume`s note: Evangeliarum Hierosolymitanum ed. Count F.M. Erizzo, Verona, 1861, p.347, and The Palestinian Syriac Lectionary of the Gospels re-edited from two Sinai MSS and from P. de Lagarde`s edition of the Evangeliarum Hierosolymitanum by Agnes Smith Lewis and Magaret Dunlop Gibson, London, 1899, p.187.
  14. ^ W. M. Watt who researched the name "Ahmad", as quoted by G. Parrinder, Jesus in the Koran, Sheldon Press, pp. 98-99.
  15. ^ J. Schacht, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol I, 1960, p.267.
  16. ^ New Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol I, 1960.