By Suhel Farooq Khan
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Redefining Islamic Education
Welcome to Transliteration Guide


Suhel Farooq Khan

Quite often, due to the very nature of the sounds of Arabic alphabet, it not only becomes difficult but also impossible to find their appropriate equivalents in the English language. Over the years, many individuals and groups have made several commendable attempts to bridge the gap for transliterating the Arabic sounds correctly to the English language.

Currently, a comibnation of three different techniques are employed for transliteration:

1. Placing a macron (-) over the English alphabets to indicate long vowels of the Arabic language.
Īmān إيمَان Rasūl رَسُول

2. Placements of dots under certain English alphabets to indicate certain Arabic alphabets, which do not have an equivalent in the English language.
ḥajj حَجّ Muḥammad مُحَمَّد ṭawāf طَوَاف ṣalāt صَلاَة

3. Underlining certain alphabet or comibnations of alphabet to some more Arabic alphabet, which do not have an equivalent in the English language.
‘Uthman عُثمَان Hadith حَدِيث

We, at Innovative Mindware have evolved a practical solution for this universal problem and have been using it for the past seven years quite satisfactorily in our writings.

Key to our approach is just one feature of underlining that is universally available in all existing word-processing programs.

Arabic Alphabet and their English equivalents

J ج Th ث T ت B A

R ر Dh ذ D د Kh خ H ح

D ض S ص Sh ش S س Z ز

F ف Gh غ ع Z ظ T ط

N ن M م L ل K ك Q ق

T ة I ى W و H ه

ء ‘U عُ ’I عِ ‘A عَ

Long vowels of Arabic

آ a الله Allah ي i رَحِيم Rahim و u رَسُول Rasul

While translating verses of the Holy Qur-an, we have chosen to color several alphabets with a different color to indicate that they are not to be pronounced and will remain silent. The extra long article 'Madd' is represented by an underlined alphabet repeated consequently.

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Bismi Allahi alr Rahmani alr Rahimi

ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ
Alhamdu lillahi Rabbi al ‘Alamin

ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Ar-Rahmani alr-Rahim

مَٰلِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ
Maliki yaumiddini

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
“Iyyaka na’budu wa “iyyaka nasta’inu

ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ
Ihdi na als-siratal mustaqima

ٱلَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ ٱلْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ
Siratal ladhina “an-’amta ‘alayhim ghayri al maghdubi ‘alayhim wala-ad-daalliin

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