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  1. #1
    Dr. Jawad Dr. Jawad's Avatar
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    What's the correct pronunciation and spelling of Abdullah?

    Assalam Aleikum

    Please tell me is the right spelling Abdullah or is it Abdallah. In case it is written as Abdallah, then shouldn't it be written AbdAllah. Also please tell me the right pronunciation. Would it be Abdul-lah or Abd-allah?
    The name Abdullah or Abdallah mean Slave of Allah. I wanted to make sure before I register the name for my son so I would really appreciate your help in the clarification.

    Jazakallah

  2. #2
    MDK
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    Re: What's the correct pronunciation and spelling of Abdullah?

    Salam alaikum.

    I think it is Abdullah, because many of the sahaba of nabi (saaws) was called Abdullah, for example Abdullah ibn mas'ud (ra), or Abu bakr (ra), who (i think) real name is Abdullah too.

    Here is an ayaah of the Qur'aan where 3sa (as) says he is an abdullah:
    'قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا'
    'inneeAAabdu All[a]hi'
    [19:30]

    wasalaam.

  3. #3
    Dr. Jawad Dr. Jawad's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct pronunciation and spelling of Abdullah?

    Jazakallah brother...

    I just wanted to make sure because I have hear many Arabic brothers pronounce the name as Abd-allah or Abdar-Rehman...but then as you mentioned above the citation shows its Abdullah and there are authors like Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

    Appreciate your reply....

  4. #4
    *bıɟɐɹɯıɯɐʇpɐʎızɯɯn* .: Anna :.'s Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct pronunciation and spelling of Abdullah?

    It depends on the place of the name in the sentence actually and its grammatical function.

    The U is there for the "nominative" case... we could say this is the default case, which is why I would definately say that the "u" spelling is the one which should be used when we transliterate this name into English.

    In Arabic grammar, "cases" are shown by the use of the short vowels on the last letter of the word, this indicates the function of the word...

    So we say it like this:

    jaa2a abdullah - abdullah came.
    or with any other word like: jaa2a al kalb ul kabeer. - the big dog came

    then when that word is the object we have it with the "a" sound:
    ra2aytu abdallah - i saw Abdallah
    ra2aytu-l kalb al kabeer - i saw the big dog

    also with "abdallah" we have to make a note of the vocative... vocative is basically when calling someone saying "yaa whoever" like "yaa Mohammed." "yaa Aisha" etc. When the name you are calling is a two parter name (called Idafa... basically meaning it can b trans as "......of......" like Abdullah = servant of Allah) then the first part will take a fatha on the end. (the 2nd takes a kasra, i sound but i think here its not relevant to your question.)
    So you will here Arabs calling "yaa Abdallah" instead of "yaa Abdullah".. this is because of that grammar point to do with the vocative. Note it is the exact same with Abdurrahman... yaa Abdarrahman

    Since it will be totally unlikely that people are going to change these vowel sounds will speaking English language, like to say "Abdullah came, I saw Abdallah, I went with Abdillah" Then in my opinion the most "correct" English spelling to stick with is Abdullah, or even Abdullaah.

    I know MDK already gave you the answer (and yes ur correct Abu Bakr radhiallahu anhu's name was Abdullah. [Abdullah Ibn Abi Quhafah]) but I just wanted to give the explanation so you can see a reason for the answer we have given insha allah
    .: Rufaida :.
    .:Fa Firroo Ila-llaah:.

    “People praise you for what they suppose is in you,
    but you must blame your soul for what you know is in you.”
    ~ Ibn Atallah


  5. #5
    Dr. Jawad Dr. Jawad's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct pronunciation and spelling of Abdullah?

    Jazakallah for that very informative reply


    I guess to summarize it up, naming either Abdullah or Abdallah shouldn't be a problem then, right? But then again, Abdullah would be preferable to write.

  6. #6
    *bıɟɐɹɯıɯɐʇpɐʎızɯɯn* .: Anna :.'s Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct pronunciation and spelling of Abdullah?

    yeah to summarise it Abdullah will be better insha allah.
    .: Rufaida :.
    .:Fa Firroo Ila-llaah:.

    “People praise you for what they suppose is in you,
    but you must blame your soul for what you know is in you.”
    ~ Ibn Atallah



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