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The Arab invaders in 633CE

Reader comment on item: Uncovering Early Islam
in response to reader comment: Muhajerun vs Mujahedeen

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jun 10, 2012 at 05:52

Sara wrote

Thanks DNM, it is a bit confusing to me that the word Mu-haj-erun is used interchangeably with Mu-jah-edeen but what you say makes sense. Is there a word Mu-ja-herun?

No however metathesis or reversing of letters is a rather common phenomenon in spoken Arabic but I'm not aware of any metathesis the likes of mujaherun

As I see it now, Muhajerun is a direct translation of the Hebrew Mehagrim (from the root HGR). So HGR in Hebrew corresponds to HJR in Arabic.

And in Egyptian Arabic the root would be HGR as the letter jeem in Egyptian Arabic is a Geem which I suspect it is from the Coptic/Egyptian letter Genga also Jenja

Interesting, and I wonder if there are other related root words that could be compared.

Do you have anyone in mind?

I suppose it makes sense for even radical Islamists to call themselves migrants or emigres (of Allah as you note), and of course I realize that Mujahid means one who will do Jihad,

Let me fix it a bit the word mujahid/mugahid really means he who is a holy warrior

I just did not understand the R part of the root rather than the D and now I do.

There is no R in the root it is JHD and in Arabic the starting point is the verb in the masculine present tense of the word and in the case of JHD we have the following

1. Yujahid (v) or he who fights a holy war, Mujahid (n) or he who fights a holy war, Jihad is the verbal noun or holy war

2. Yajtahid (v) or he strives to improve, Mujtahid (n) or he who strives to improve, Ijtihad is the verbal noun and it means striving to improve

3. Yajhud (v) or he strains, Majhood (n) he who is strained, Juhd is the verbal noun or strain

It is still interesting that Hagar/Hagarism was the name used for the mother of Ishmael and supposed origin of the Arabs when everyone who has been reading the bible in Hebrew all this time would have recognized the meaning of the word, if that has always been its meaning (of course Ben Yehuda could have fiddled with it). Perhaps its a chicken/egg question.

I agree you have to be careful as those non Muslim witnesses to the Arab invasion had no clue what these invading people were all About and they had to find something in the Bible that could explain what this invasion was all about and to add insult to injury these Arabs called themselves al-muhajiruun and why? we really do not know. The Arabs were called by Syriac speakers: tayayye but it was meant to be the name of the local Arabs

The Syriac word for al-muhajiruun became mhgraye and in Greek it is Moagaritoi so it was no more than to make such word easy to pronounce by Syriac and Greek speakers

And yes because the word al-muhajiruun sounds very close to Hagar now you can see the link


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