Author Topic: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba  (Read 166418 times)

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Offline Tamara

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The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« on: June 24, 2010, 12:25:54 AM »
An Syrian friend sent this information to me and I wanted to share it with everyone.
Sometimes we forget the original blessings that came with the common greetings
we still use today. It is part of our Orthodox Christian treasure of heritage.

The real meaning of “MARHABA”

Marhaba....

Marhaba is an Arabic  word  used in the Middle East   as “Hello”.

But most people  don't know its source

 

Marhaba comes from a Syriac (Aramaic, Assyrian) origin and was used by the first Christians

 

Mar = Master or God

Haba =Love

 

Marhaba = God is love



إن كلمة "مرحبا" هي كلمة قديمة ذات أصول آرامية

استخدمها المسيحيون الأوائل من السريان وهي ذات شقين

الأول "مار" ومعناها سيد أو رب و"حبا" ومعناها محبة

وهي عبارة تعنى:


"الله محبة"



So ..... Marhaba!!

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 06:59:52 AM »
I always assumed it comes from the Arabic verb rahaba, 'to welcome'.

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 02:33:47 PM »
Very cool!  Shukran!

I think to welcome someone is something like, "Ahlan wa sahlan".
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 02:36:56 PM »
Also,

 Most folks know the word "Hajj" and "Hajji" to mean a Muslim who has taken the pilgrimage to Mecca.  But did you know that this word was originally an Arab Orthodox word for a Christian who took the pilgrimage to Jerusalem?  Isa can tell you the many derivatives we have today that are found in Eastern Orthodox Christian lands such as Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, etc...
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 03:32:13 PM »
But did you know that this word was originally an Arab Orthodox word for a Christian who took the pilgrimage to Jerusalem?  Isa can tell you the many derivatives we have today that are found in Eastern Orthodox Christian lands such as Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, etc...

It is a very common name among Orthodox Christians, and does indeed signify pilgrimage to Jerusalem. But is there any evidence to suggest that this is practice pre-dates Islam among the Orthodox?

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 04:23:46 PM »
But did you know that this word was originally an Arab Orthodox word for a Christian who took the pilgrimage to Jerusalem?  Isa can tell you the many derivatives we have today that are found in Eastern Orthodox Christian lands such as Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, etc...

It is a very common name among Orthodox Christians, and does indeed signify pilgrimage to Jerusalem. But is there any evidence to suggest that this is practice pre-dates Islam among the Orthodox?

 Great question!  Unfortunately, I'm not 100% positive, but because Muhammad "borrowed" so many of our traditions, it wouldn't surprise me.  When Isa sees this, he'll be able to answer.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 05:10:19 PM »
here is how you pronounce it:

http://www.forvo.com/word/marhaba/

Offline ialmisry

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2012, 05:24:35 PM »
But did you know that this word was originally an Arab Orthodox word for a Christian who took the pilgrimage to Jerusalem?  Isa can tell you the many derivatives we have today that are found in Eastern Orthodox Christian lands such as Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, etc...

It is a very common name among Orthodox Christians, and does indeed signify pilgrimage to Jerusalem. But is there any evidence to suggest that this is practice pre-dates Islam among the Orthodox?
Yes.  It is the same word in Hebrew used for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the three feasts (Shukot, Pascha, Pentecost), so used in Aramaic/Syriac and passed to its cognate in Arabic.  The Arab philologists (predominantly Muslim) are agreed that the meaning of the word as restricted to Mecca is later, with the imposition of Muslim law (for those who do not know, the Muslims, based on the Quran, admit that their first direction for prayer was towards Jerusalem, and was only changed later).  As for its use before Islam outside of the Middle East, no, I don't think any exists as I don't think it was used by anyone outside of the Semitic Orthodox until after the conquest of Jerusalem.  The form of the Greek I think would indicate it being borrowed around the time of the Great Schism with the Vatican.  
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Offline youssef

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2017, 03:47:56 PM »
I doubt this explanation.
The topic is old but by chance i got here.

Offline hecma925

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2017, 08:55:12 PM »
I doubt this explanation.
The topic is old but by chance i got here.

Doubt is good.  Can you refute or provide an alternative?
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2017, 04:27:54 PM »
Almost certainly it is from the root رخب (rḥb), which means "welcome." It is extremely doubtful that "mar-" comes from the Syriac word for "Lord," as the Syriac word has a long 'a', mār; in West Syriac this would be mor. The Arabic word "maraḥaba" is spelled مرحباً, that is, with a short 'a'. When the Syriac word was borrowed into Arabic as a title for saints, it is spelled مار, not simply مر.
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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2017, 04:49:47 PM »
Almost certainly it is from the root رخب (rḥb), which means "welcome." It is extremely doubtful that "mar-" comes from the Syriac word for "Lord," as the Syriac word has a long 'a', mār; in West Syriac this would be mor. The Arabic word "maraḥaba" is spelled مرحباً, that is, with a short 'a'. When the Syriac word was borrowed into Arabic as a title for saints, it is spelled مار, not simply مر.

Exactly.
However, in the Arabic letter you used the wrong "h", it should be  رحب. The transcription is correct, though.
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2017, 10:58:56 AM »
Almost certainly it is from the root رخب (rḥb), which means "welcome." It is extremely doubtful that "mar-" comes from the Syriac word for "Lord," as the Syriac word has a long 'a', mār; in West Syriac this would be mor. The Arabic word "maraḥaba" is spelled مرحباً, that is, with a short 'a'. When the Syriac word was borrowed into Arabic as a title for saints, it is spelled مار, not simply مر.

Exactly.
However, in the Arabic letter you used the wrong "h", it should be  رحب. The transcription is correct, though.

Argh! My Arabic and Syriac keyboards have different layouts, and I use the Arabic one so infrequently I'm hazy on where the letters are...
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Offline youssef

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 11:12:51 PM »
It is a common thing in arabic to use the letter m (م) before a verb. We will not say that marqas (مرقص) come from mar qas.


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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 11:18:33 PM »
Funny story.  We say "Mari" before certain saints, just like Syriacs do. 

So Abouna is given three names to commemorate for the departed (parenthesis is his train of thought):
Mary Youhanna
(Okay...)
Mary Mina
(Hmmmm...)
Mary Guirguis
(Okay someone is messing me here)
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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2017, 12:11:55 AM »
It is a common thing in arabic to use the letter m (م) before a verb. We will not say that marqas (مرقص) come from mar qas.

This is great information.
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Offline youssef

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2017, 02:18:08 AM »
Funny story.  We say "Mari" before certain saints, just like Syriacs do. 

So Abouna is given three names to commemorate for the departed (parenthesis is his train of thought):
Mary Youhanna
(Okay...)
Mary Mina
(Hmmmm...)
Mary Guirguis
(Okay someone is messing me here)

Mari should mean here my lord.

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2017, 07:16:59 AM »
It is a common thing in arabic to use the letter m (م) before a verb. We will not say that marqas (مرقص) come from mar qas.

Yeah, they're called masdar - "from the source". Arabic, as other Semitic langauges, si basd on roots. The first thing you derive from a root is a verb (according to one of "subjects"), and from the verb fromc ertain subject you create masdar. It's done according to the scheme, however the most basic thing is to put "m" in the beginning. It applies to the persoin doing the thing and the person on whom the thing is done (mut'ib - person that is tiring; mut'ab - a person that is tired, from ta'b - "to be tired"), a place (like manzil - "a flat", literally "the place in which you descend [from camel], from "nazal" - "to descend"), a tool (like miqass - "scissors" - from qass "to cut").
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: The true meaning of the Arabic greeting, Marhaba
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2017, 01:36:00 PM »
Somehow I missed answering the folk etymology of the OP.

No, it does not come from the Aramaic. It from the root r-H-b "to make spread out," "to be ample" the idea being a tent spread out and welcoming (think Moses entering Jethro's tent in the "Ten Commandments"), like "rolling out the red carpet."

The phrase means then "[May you be here] in an ample space/place."
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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                           and both come out of your mouth