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Ramadan Vs Ramazan: What’s Correct And What’s Not?

Ramazan/Ramadan is here and so is the never-ending debate on how to pronounce it.

Is it Ramadan or Ramazan?

Rizwan Ahmed breaks it down for The Print. He says that some people believe the shift from Ramazan to Ramadan is due to the shift towards Wahabbism, an ‘extreme version of Islam’. Some describe it as a reflection of the Muslim elite’s desire to shun the composite Indian culture and align with the Saudi brand of Islam.

But the author believes that such explanations are ‘superficial’ and ‘incorrect’.

Rizwan explains the difference between the two pronunciation via linguistic reasoning.

“In both Persian and Urdu, into which the word was borrowed centuries ago, the original pronunciation didn’t survive. Instead, it was replaced with the sound ‘z’. Consequently, it was written as Ramzan. Such borrowings and the accompanying loss of pronunciation are common in many languages,” he says.

He cited another reason for the shift from Ramazan to Ramadan which was globalization. He says due to globalization, many Indians (and also Pakistanis) travel abroad for work, especially the Gulf region, and there are greatly influenced by foreign languages.

“Having worked in the Gulf, Indians not only brought home foreign remittances but also some of its cultural and linguistic items. On special occasions, one can see some Muslims wearing a thawb, a long white robe worn by Arabs.”

For example, he mentions that the word ‘Khallas (finished)’, which is an Arabic word, has become part of the popular Indian culture and is widely used in movies. He also highlights the impact of social media and the internet saying that the word ‘Ramadan’ would bring 1,000s of links on search engines, but ‘Ramzan or Ramazan’ would bring far less.

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What do you believe is the correct pronunciation?

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