الحمد لله

Alhamdu lillah (something like "The praise belongs to God") is a very common phrase here. You use it when things go well, when you are asked how you or your family is, etc. I've gotten in the habit of saying it a fair bit myself, even when I'm back home in the US.

You see these words on lots of U-turn signs here in Al Ain, and whenever I see them I always wonder a couple of things, but then it slips my mind and I forget to ask my co-workers:

1. Who puts these up? I mean is it something that comes pre-printed on the sign straight from the factory and is there when it is put up or does someone slap a sticker on after it has been up for a while?

2. Why U-turns? Is it just because there is so much blank space or is this a common thing to say when making a U-turn?

Of course, then there is this one that is by Al Ain Mall that for some reason is written in Latin characters (and weirdly mis-transliterated, by which I mean I have never heard anyone pronounce this with an "o" sound):

I think that the green above the truck says "Allahu akbar" (God is greater or greatest) and the red says "la tanas dhakir Allah" (my very bad transliteration), which a co-worker told me means "Don't forget your obligations to God".


Humairah Irfan said...

1) I've wondered about the exact same things. I'm think if it's not from the govt (whichever dept.) then they would have removed it. But they're ALL over the place!

2) It's probably on the U-turns because you're in close proximity to the sign.

[The one in red is: la tansa dhikr Allah] I would translate it as, do not forget remembrance of Allah. Dhikr means recollection, remembrance, invocation of God, etc.

Maitha said...

Hi brn ,

I have read your comment on my blog.

Thank you very much.

Since I am from Al Ain city , you can ask me any question that you have.

You have a wonderful blog !!!!

and about the U-turns , these words remember us by Allah (our God).These are from our government , and they are on the U-turns because people would stop there for a moment and then cross the roads, so they can read them while waiting. That's why it's the best place to put them.

Mohammed UK said...

How is your pronunciation of the H in Al Humdo ?? Hehe. That's the challenge for you!

The other signs you see on the highways include "Blessings for the Prophet".

Related sayings of the prophet (approx):
- Remember your Lord near every tree and every stone, so that they can witness in your favour on the Day of Reckoning.

- When climbing an incline remember Allah's greatness (with Allahu Akbar - takbir). When descending thank Allah (with Subhan Allah - tasbih).

They do seem to work, as the phrases are short and at the least, one reads them.

When are you available for a visit to the Hammouda Masjid? Drop me an email and I'll try and arrange a visit.

Brn said...

Thanks for the transliteration and translation help humairah, and thank you for the compliment maitha.

Mohammed, ح is only one of the many, many pronounciation problems that I have with Arabic :).