Searching the site for "Quraiza" doesn't get any matches. Instead, I had to use google.com and do Quraiza site:islam.stackexchange.com to find a match, which had the word romanised as "Qurayza".

Presumably, this is because there's no single way to convert Arabic language words into words using the Roman alphabet.

Are there any more convenient ways of searching this site when one of the words I'm searching for has a word derived from the Arabic language but written in the Roman alphabet?

Also, is Google the best search engine at handling Arabic related words?

  • Can't say about best but DuckDuckGo found it as well: duckduckgo.com/… Dec 28, 2014 at 13:33
  • That's one reason using a standard transliteration system is so important (for answers, at least; I would argue that allowing questions to use whatever transliteration they know/prefer is valuable for exactly this sort of search engine traffic who don't know what the "standard" transliteration is). That said, "Qurayza" is also the spelling preferred by Wikipedia.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Dec 29, 2014 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


Ideally, all Arabic terms should be transliterated using the same system; in early days we proposed basing our own transliterations on Wikipedia's rules, or just writing Arabic terms using actual Arabic text when such transliteration was insufficient.

In practice, not a lot of people seem to care and just use whatever transliteration they feel like (in many cases this appears to simply be a phonetic approximation based on hearing rather than reading the word, which pretty much renders it unsearchable).

In short, it's pretty much a crap shoot, but searching by using whatever spelling is (or would be) preferred by Wikipedia is your best bet:

  1. Primary transcription: If a particular spelling is commonly used in the majority of written media, or is self-preferred by the individual/group in question, that spelling should be used.
  2. Standard transliteration: If there's no primary transcription, and one can't find a convenient Wikipedia page to determine their preferred spelling, one can map the Arabic letters to the standard English alphabet according to Wikipedia's standard transliteration rules: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia%3aManual_of_Style/Arabic#Transliteration

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