Motivated by the recent post here, I went through the Arabic tags, and identified the following which do not match the Wikipedia page, as per the transliteration protocol.

I used a data explorer query to generate the list of all tags used at the site, then for each Arabic one, I looked it up on Wikipedia to see if it matched. The list should be either complete or close to complete.

Mismatched transliterations

These should probably be checked and renamed one by one. (Yeah, it's a lot of work, I know.)


These should probably be synonmyized.

Just for completeness, I'll list some others I found. I don't know if changing these is a good idea.


Other (needs checking)

  • It is just a transliteration. People can have their own transliteration so it doesn't matter. Jun 19, 2017 at 15:52
  • 1
    It matters when Googling what the tag means. It matters when choosing appropriate tags when writing questions. It matters when people want to find the list of questions with that tag. It matters because people create duplicate tags. It matters to be consistent. Jun 19, 2017 at 16:00
  • But people have their own transliteration so you can't choose which is the right one. Jun 19, 2017 at 16:02
  • This was decided way back at the formation of the site: transliteration protocol. Jun 19, 2017 at 16:05
  • I'd avoid flooding the home page though... I try to do 3 at a time (although other edits can arise, so it can be hard to stick to this). Jun 25, 2017 at 11:38
  • Ok we can delete, strike or mark the enteries in each others post once we have applied the changes.
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Jun 25, 2017 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


Note that Wikipedia uses a non-fluent transliteration, a fluent Arabic speaker would reject:

For example أهْلُ البَيْتِ ahl-ul-bayt(i) (Correct and fluent Arabic) vs. أهْلْ البَيْتْ ahl-al-Bayt (not fluent, spelled as if each word is spoken separately).

So as an Arabic native speaker the non-Wikipedia version sounds to me as the only correct one, but a non-native speaker would find the Wikipedia version easier and more comprehensive!

Therefore most of these mismatching tag-names have a justification.

I think we should take the terms of wikipedia with some care, as the authors don't even seem to have read what we use as the "standard transliteration protocoll" therefore i've made some choices... There were i might have not made a choice you may take the wikipedia term. Of course people are free to comment or reject my suggestions for the "correct" terms.

I'll try to check your list one by one and there where I have a suggestion for a choice, I'll add it in bold letters:

Mismatched transliterations

  • -> . Wikipedia: Ahl al-Bayt.
    See my intro example.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Ahmadiyya.
    Here the example of the "h" sound of the Arabic "ة" plays a role therefore both are acceptable!

  • -> . Wikipedia: Aqiqah.
    Here we have the English originated transliteration vs. the one of other Latin character languages: English "e" or "ee" = French/German/Spanish... "i" issue. This is also an Ahmadiyya/Ahmadiyyah issue wikipedia is inconsistent here!

  • -> . Wikipedia: Diya.
    I would even add diyyah الديّة (see Qur'an 4:92), as the "y" is empahsized in Arabic I'm against the Wikipedia transliteration as it is inconsistent (see Ahamdiyya, where the emphasis has been implemented)! Note the established technical term in fiqh books however is the plural ad-Diyyaat!
    My choice: diya, so basically there's nothing to do!

  • -> . Wikipedia: Eid al-Adha.
    See my intro example!

  • -> . Wikipedia: Fitra.
    See Ahamdiyyah/Ahmadiyya

  • -> . Wikipedia: Iman.
    Why not eman? Using English "e" in the middle-East a girl with the name ايمان would write it Eman based on the English background. The "alif" in the word ايمان is a backup for the version with the prolongation by two "a's"!

  • -> . Wikipedia: Kaaba.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya

  • -> . Wikipedia: Fidyah and Kaffara.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya

  • -> . Wikipedia: Kafir.
    kuffar is a plural and here I would suggest to leave the singular term! kuffar
    But do we need this tag? We have kufr, which covers more or less the same meaning and only 8 posts tagged kuffar!

  • -> . Wikipedia: Mahr.
    The closest to Arabic is mahr but at least Turkish speakers pronounce it mehr!

  • -> . Wikipedia: Mustahabb.
    Here again in Arabic there's an emphasize on the "b" therefore musthabb is more correct! One could also discuss mustahhabb... mustahab

  • -> . Wikipedia: Qadar.
    Here it depends, if qdar is related to laylatu l-qadr (layat ul-qadr as also transliterated -I'm not that much pro for these kinds of transliteration as the "u" sound is on the "t") it is correct, if we mean qadar the fate or destiny only qadar is correct! After checking the occurences qadr Replacing DONE

  • -> . Wikipedia: Qibla.
    See Ahamdiyyah/Ahmadiyya

  • -> . Wikipedia: Sahabah.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahamdiyya

  • -> . Wikipedia: Adh-Dhariyat.
    I would even prefer adh-dhaariyaat because of the two alifs!
    ad-dhariyat replacing DONE

  • -> . Wikipedia: Al-Baqara.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Al-Fatiha.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Al-Ma'ida.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Al-Mujadila.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Al-Qiyama.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya. One could aslo consider al-qiyaama/al-qiyaamah

  • -> . Wikipedia: Al-Waqi'a.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Al Imran.
    First transliteration to some extent considers fluency, but can also be misleading. But why nobody considers the emphasized prolongation on the "a" آل عمران it should be aal-imraan! surat-ali-imran Replacing DONE

  • -> . Wikipedia: An-Nur.
    Here I'd say "oo" stands for a rather English approach, I wonder why "u" is used maybe I misspell English as "u" which fits is AFAIK only available in German, Spanish etc. (in French I would chose "ou").

  • -> . Wikipedia: Ash-Shura.
    as-shuraa is wrong, a better fit would be a-shuraa or ash-shuraa (considering the emphasize on the "sh")! as-shuraa Replacing DONE

  • -> . Wikipedia: At-Tahrim.
    Again English vs. other Latin character languages e or ee = i

  • -> . Wikipedia: At-Tawba.
    See Ahmadiyyah/Ahmadiyya.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Sad (surah). The prolonged "a" transliteration is IMO the most correct one! sad

  • -> . Wikipedia: Ya Sin. Both are correct, as they are two different letters, but in the recitation there's no "space"!

  • -> . Wikipedia: Tafsir.
    Again e or ee =i.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Tajwid.
    Again e or ee =i.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Tarawih.
    Again e or ee =i.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Tashahhud.
    Strictly speaking tashahhud is the most correct one! tashahud Replacing DONE

  • -> . Wikipedia: Tawhid.
    Again e or ee =i.

  • -> . Wikipedia: Gog and Magog.
    There are two recitations that I know of ya'juj and ma'juj or ya'jooj and ma'jooj يأجوج ومأجوج and yajuj and majuj or yajooj and majooj ياجوج وماجوج without hamzas and those are in my opinion the valid transliterations! Here the choice of Wikipedia is only an approach to create a consistence between the term of the bible and the Qur'an, but it is far away from the Arabic term! Gog and Magog nothing to do!


These should probably be synonymized.


  • -> . Wikipedia: Fatimah.
    I'd chose one among: Fatima or Fatimah or Fatimah-az-Zahra' or Fatima-az-Zahra'!
  • -> . Wikipedia: Mahdi. It depends I guess our Shi'a brothers and sisters would prefer the prefix imam!
  • -> . Wikipedia: Ja'far al-Sadiq. It depends I guess our Shi'a brothers and sisters would prefer the prefix imam! However as-Sadiq would be my preference.

Other (needs checking)

  • -> . Wikipedia: Hujjat al-Islam. Depends Turkish Muslims seem to call the imam of Jama'ah hojjat, therefore I wonder if there's a consistent use. And I don't think this term is necessary I'd even suggest to delete these tags at all!
  • -> . Wikipedia: Al-Ghaib.
    Both are correct one is more general the other is specifically addressing the knowledge of Ghaib ('ilm-al-ghaib)... if we need to make a choice then ilm-al-ghaib as al-ghaib might be better known.
  • First: wow! But there would be an argument from simplicity (and one about making it easier to search) for just doing what Wikipedia does. (Otherwise, we should go through the ones that are consistent with Wikipedia and check if they're the right choice too.) Jun 19, 2017 at 12:43
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    @RebeccaJ.Stones I now pointed at my choices if any!
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Jun 21, 2017 at 6:43
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    My personal view on this is as Medi1Saif noted about "ahl-ul-bayt" instead of "ahl-al-bayt".
    – Kilise
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:15
  • 1
    No questions = deleted. (Diamond moderators can blacklist, but it's pointless in most cases.) Jun 25, 2017 at 11:13

I think "do what Wikipedia does" is a bit of a simplistic understanding of the transcription protocol.

In many of the cases you present, I would argue that Wikipedia is the one that's not following their own Manual of Style; the Basic Transcription rules, for example, would clearly include the taa marbutah in things like "Kaffarah", "Qiblah", "Fitrah", while the Wikipedia pages do not.

The main reason you would (or, at least, should) bypass the Basic Transcription is in cases where "a large majority of references in English use the same transcription or if a reliable source shows that an individual self-identifies with a particular transcription.". Is that the case here? I'm not sure, since that would basically require looking into whether each article in question actually researched "common" transcriptions or just used the first one that came to mind and everyone stuck with it because, hey, close enough. And that's not even counting the possibility that that "common" use has changed in the x years since the article was first written.

And honestly, I'm not sure it's relevant. The types of English-language references that would be used for a Wikipedia article aren't really the same sorts of references that we would (or should) be using here. I would think we'd want to give more weight to how, say, professionally-translated Islamic research materials choose to transliterate terms than, say, the popular media. Or even just the Islamic world in general, rather than everybody who speaks English.

There's actually a significant precedent for this in the way we already handle a number of proper names; Wikipedia for example uses the English names for the prophets (e.g. Abraham, Moses, Jesus), whereas we are far more likelty to use the Arabic names (e.g. Ibrahim, Musa, Isa). The former are obviously more common — and more commonly understood — by the English-speaking world in general, but the latter are definitely the preferred use among Muslims in particular.

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