An Arabic-to-English transliteration-key for the essays and articles published on this platform.
Bāʾ (ب) = B/b
Tāʾ (ت) = T/t
Ṯāʾ (ث) = Ṯ/ṯ
Jīm (ج) = J/j
Ḥāʾ (ح) = Ḥ/ḥ
Ḵāʾ (خ) = Ḵ/ḵ
Dāl (د) = D/d
Ḏāl (ذ) = Ḏ/ḏ
Rāʾ (ر) = R/r
Zāʾ (ز) = Z/z
Sīn (س) = S/s
Šīn (ش) = Š/š
Ṣād (ص) = Ṣ/ṣ
Ḍād (ض) = Ḍ/ḍ
Ṭāʾ (ط) = Ṭ/ṭ
Ẓāʾ (ظ) = Ẓ/ẓ
ʿAyn (ع) = ʿ
Ḡayn (غ) = Ḡ/ḡ
Fāʾ (ف) = F/f
Qāf (ق) = Q/q
Kāf (ك) = K/k
Lām (ل) = L/l
Mīm (م) = M/m
Nūn (ن) = N/n
Hāʾ (ه) = H/h
Wāw (و) as a consonant = W/w
Wāw (ـُوْ) as a long-vowel = Ū/ū
Wāw (ـَوْ) as a diphthong = aw
Yāʾ (ي) as a consonant = Y/y
Yāʾ (ـِيْ) as a long-vowel = Ī/ī
Yāʾ (ـَيْ) as a diphthong = ay
ʾAlif (ا) by itself = A/a
ʾAlif (ـَا) as a long-vowel = Ā/ā
ʾAlif Maddah (ـَآ) = ʾÂ/ʾâ
ʾAlif Maqṣūrah (ـَى) = Á/á
ʾAlif + Kasrah (اِ) = I/i
ʾAlif + Ḍammah (اُ) = U/u
Hamzah (ء) = ʾ
Hamzah + ʾAlif + Fatḥah (أَ) = ʾa
Hamzah + ʾAlif + Ḍammah (أُ) = ʾu
Hamzah + ʾAlif + Kasrah (إِ) = ʾi
Fatḥah (ـَ) = A/a
Ḍammah (ـُ) = U/u
Kasrah (ـِ) = I/i
Fatḥatayn (ـًا) = an
Ḍammatayn (ـٌ) = un
Kasratayn (ـٍ) = in
Tāʾ Marbūṭah (ة) without a case-ending = H/h
Tāʾ Marbūṭah (ة) with a case-ending = T/t
Šaddah (ـّ) duplicates the consonant to which it is affixed (as in šaddah itself).
As for the implementation of this transliteration, a consistent usage is difficult to construct due to differences between oral and written Arabic and due to the idiosyncrasies of common academic usages; my system is as follows:
- When Arabic text is being quoted, the transliteration will reflect written Classical Arabic.
- The –iyy ending is rendered as such, e.g., al-nabiyy rather than al-nabī.
- The definite article in conjunction with a Sun Letter is rendered as a lām, e.g., al-nabiyy rather than an-nabiyy.
- Arabic transliterations are not capitalised (given that no such convention exists within Arabic), e.g., al-nabiyy rather than al-Nabiyy.
- In most other contexts, transliterations will follow spoken Classical Arabic (e.g., citing an Arabic name in an ordinary English sentence).
- The –iyy ending is rendered as –ī instead, e.g., al-Buḵārī rather than al-Bukariyy (which is also standard usage within academic literature).
- The definite article in conjunction with a Sun Letter is rendered as such, e.g., aṣ-Ṣiddīq rather than al-Ṣiddīq.
- Arabic proper names will always be transliterated.
- E.g., Muḥammad rather than Muhammad.
- The places, nations, dynasties, and sects will not be transliterated, and will instead retain English convention and usage.
- E.g., Damascus rather than Dimašq, Arab rather than ʿArabiyy or ʿArabī, Abbasid rather than ʿAbbāsiyy or ʿAbbāsī, Sunnite rather than Sunniyy or Sunnī.
- When referencing an Arabic work, the names of the author and editor are rendered in spoken Classical (outlined above), whilst the title, section-title, and publisher are rendered in written Classical (outlined above).
- E.g., Saʿīd ibn Manṣūr al-Ḵurāsānī (edited by Ḥabīb ar-Raḥmān al-ʾAʿẓamī), sunan saʿīd bn manṣūr, volume 1 (Beirut, Lebanon: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1985), ch. kitāb al-waṣāyā, § bāb mā jāʾ fī nikāḥ al-ʾabkār, p. 145, # 515.
- Case-endings (both vowels and nunation) are rendered in superscript.
- Dagger ʾAlif isn’t indicated differently from a normal long-vowel ʾAlif (ā), given that the occurrence of the Dagger ʾAlif is well known (e.g., Allāh, Raḥmān, and the demonstrative pronouns).