Talk:Abd al-Rahman I

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Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- John Carter 21:27, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


I have completed a lot of research on Abd al-Rahman I's wondrous story. I felt that the existing account of Abd al-Rahman was told in rather simple terms, and that a lot of the meat of the story was ommitted. Over the next couple of weeks I intend to completely overhaul Abd al-Rahman's page. For my freshman effort I have concentrated on the section entitled 'Flight from Syria'. Any comments or advice? Thucydides1-talk


I finally finished the rather large recounting of Abd al-Rahman I's enigmatic voyage from Syria to Spain. If you truly want a more detailed version of the story I suggest you read Ahmed ibn Muhammad al-Makkari's (AKA al-Makkari) "The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain". It is such a fascinating read! Al-Makkari also uses the work of previous Muslim historians to offer different accounts of what happened. Good stuff! The next section I'll be working on (as time allows) is "Fight for the Right". By that I mean, of course, fighting for the right to rule Muslim Spain. Abd al-Rahman's ascention will not be easy, and then it will remain tenous at best. Thucydides1.

How can you explain that, from Damascus, Abd Al Rahman fled to north Africa (Southwest) and still crossed the Euphrates (Northeast)? (talk) 11:51, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
Though not strictly a primary source, Al-Makkari is an old author, hence read cautiously and critically. It is a collection of earlier accounts, possibly including unreliable late 9th century Asturian chronicles. For a insightful approach to sources, check Roger Collins bibliography. Regards Iñaki LL (talk) 22:58, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Fight for the Right[edit]

Yes! The story of Abd al-Rahman's struggle to gain power in al-Andalus is better than sliced bread with butter!! Abd al-Rahman definitely had to juggle many things at once, as politicians are apt to do. Thucydides1.

POV Tag[edit]

I'm doing NPOV tag cleanup. Whenever an NPOV tag is placed, it is necessary to also post a message in the discussion section stating clearly why it is thought the article does not comply with POV guidelines, and suggestions for how to improve it. This permits discussion and consensus among editors. This is a drive-by tag, which is discouraged in WP, and it shall be removed. Future tags should have discussion posted as to why the tag was placed, and how the topic might be improved. Better yet, edit the topic yourself with the improvements. Jjdon (talk) 23:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Missing footnotes[edit]

In an edit of 04:16, 10 January 2007, Thucydides1 said in the "Bibliography" field that "Note that several bibliographical citations are missing. they will be placed back as time allows". It has now been over twenty months and the citations have not been provided. We cannot expect Thucydides1 to do it as his/her last edit was more than a year ago on 8 May 2007. So, can we pitch in and find the citations for footnotes 8 through 14? --Bejnar (talk) 16:32, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I think there's no other choice than remove them, unfortunately. --'''Attilios''' (talk) 13:07, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Removed image of coin[edit]

Dirhem Abd al Rahman I 755 788 silver 2680mg.jpg

I've removed the image to the right from the article because it is unrelated to Abd ar-Rahman. It's actually a coin from Baghdad, minted during the reign of Abbasid ruler al-Mahdi (775-785). If you read Arabic, read the image description at Wikimedia Commons and compare it to the inscription on the coin itself. It reads "Medinat as-Salam" (= Baghdad). Alfons Åberg (talk) 11:33, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Abd al-Rahman, not Abd ar-Rahman[edit]

Is there any reason why the title uses the phonetic Abd ar-Rahman rather than the proper spelling of his name, Abd al-Rahman? In Arabic (and standard English translations of Arabic), the name is Abd al-Rahman ("servant of the Gracious"). By verbal laziness, al-Rahman (the Gracious) is often pronounced as 'ar-rahman', but it is not spelled that way. In the Arabic spelling of his name, al-Rahman (الرحمن) clearly begins with 'al-' (ال). 'al' means 'the' in Arabic, whereas 'ar' is simply not a word. Most of the modern English-language scholarly sources on Arab and Spanish history I've read spell his name properly as 'Abd al-Rahman'. I've only seen the phonetic 'ar-' in archaic or unreliable writings (you might also find 'ar-' in Qur'anic lessons for foreigners, but those are geared to teaching pronunciation for recitation, rather than spelling/transliteration). So I'd like to move the title to the proper spelling "Abd al-Rahman", leaving note that it is often pronounced 'Abd ar-Rahman' (ergo the Spanish 'Abderraman', the Portuguese Abderramao' etc.) But rather than go ahead and change the title myself, I'd like to canvas opinions and get a consensus first. Walrasiad (talk) 02:07, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

This matter is discussed in the Sun and moon letters article. Walrasiad's phrase "verbal laziness" is a very loaded way of describing what he later admits is considered the correct pronunciation. The question is whether a transliteration should be strictly letter-by letter, or whether it should reflect pronunciation, and practice has varied. Since both viewpoints are legitimate, changing now risks starting a pointless edit war, so it would be better to leave it as it is. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 14:00, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
There's further discussion of the issues in the article Romanization of Arabic. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 16:49, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, I didn't mean to deride, just cutely reflecting how it came to be pronounced that way. Practice has varied indeed - Abdurrahman, Abderahman, Abdul Rahman, etc. I don't think Abd ar-Rahman comes up any more often than these other phonetic variants. By contrast, Abd al-Rahman has the advantage of being transliterated correctly and the standard usage in modern scholarly sources (and elsewhere, e.g. Britannica writes it Abd al-Rahman). I certainly don't intend to cause an edit war. But there are numerous other articles in Wiki which refer to not only this Abd al-Rahman but other Abd al-Rahmans and write it as 'Abd al-Rahman'. Yet this article title (and those for II & III) stand out as starkly different. If I am allowed another moment of cuteness, I find phonetic spellings irritating to my senses (think of the feeling you get when you see "night" written as "nite"). But that is because, admittedly, I'm used to seeing and writing only Abd al-Rahman. So I am 'compelled' to correct it. But if people are very attached to Abd ar-Rahman, I'm willing to back off. Walrasiad (talk) 20:51, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

The correct wikipedia answer must be to follow WP:RS. If it really is "the standard usage in modern scholarly sources" (which I haven't examined enough to be sure), that argument wins. My reluctance is based only on an aversion to changing between alternatives which are equally valid, but I have no real objection provided we're sure that nobody would want to change it back again. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 21:20, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

I am not sure how you would want to go about doing that. But, say, a quick search check in Googlebooks, for instance, will show the difference. "Abd ar-Rahman" shows up in very few instances, and usually only in books written before 1910 or so. A search for "Abd al-Rahman" brings up the modern scholarly books. And, oh, ALA-LC Romanization (established by the US Library of Congress and American Library Association and used overwhelmingly in US academic sources) can be found at this link: [1] and indicates clearly it should be Abd al-Rahman. Let me quote rule 17, part (c) (on page 8 of the document): "the ل of the article (ال) is always romanized l whether it is followed by a "sun letter" or not, i.e. regardless of whether or not it is assimilated in pronunciation to the initial consonant of the word to which it is attached." I don't know if that's good enough. I could cite more books specifically dealing with Abd al-Rahman I, if you'd like?, e.g. the authoritative Leiden edition of the Encyclopedia of Islam uses only 'Abd al-Rahman', so does the more recent Medieval Iberia: an encyclopedia (p.4) use "Abd al-Rahman". Walrasiad (talk) 06:00, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

As nobody else appears to have strong feelings about this, I'm happy to quit here. I have no objection to your moving the article. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 11:06, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. Well, I'll hold off a couple more days, give anybody else a chance to pop in, before changing anything. Walrasiad (talk) 09:04, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't object to the use of al-Rahman, but the Spanish version of his name is Abderramán I and after Muslims/Arab accounts, they would be the best placed to know the right way to say it. (SSJPabs (talk) 16:10, 25 February 2012 (UTC))

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