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Which spelling -if any- of ar-Rahmaan is more correct "الرحمن" or "الرحمان"?


The noun ar-Rahmaan and its adjective rahmaan are pronounced with a prolongation of the letter alif between the last two letters meem and noon, nevertheless it is common that people with the name 'Abdurrahmaan ('Abdu ar-Rahmaan) write their names as follows -without an alif in the middle-:

عبد الرحمن

As said earlier this seems to be in contradiction to the pronunciation which sounds more like:

عبد الرحمان

In the qur'an (more exactly in the moshaf) the word ar-Rahman appears with a pendent letter alif which indicates that either the word has two spellings (this would rather be a matter of the science of qira'at, but there's no difference in this context as far as I know) or that the spelling as written in the original text was not in correspondence to the standard language and therefore the letter alif is missing:
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I'd like to ask whether both spellings are correct (even if my personal choice would be the later) or if there's a more explicit explanation for the correctness of both or any of them?

Why should this post be closed?


1 answer


I have a very little knowledge about Arabic but as far as I know, both spellings are correct and acceptable. Use whichever you want but be consistent.
The short vertical stroke on top of meem is called dagger alif. The spelling with the dagger alif is commoner than the other one. However, the dagger alif is rarely used.

The dagger alif occurs only in a few words but they include some common words like the word Allah ⟨الله⟩ (Allah) and ⟨رَحْمَٰن⟩ (Rahman). It indicates a long /aː/ sound.

As far as I know, ⟨الرحمان⟩ is commonly used in Urdu (national language of Pakistan).


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