Dr. Alan Godlas on the Literal Meaning of "Nabi"

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Dr. Alan Godlas, commenting on Lisan al-‘Arab, said, “The literal meaning of the Arabic word, ‘nabi,’ ‘prophet’, although cognate with the Hebrew ‘nabi’ and ‘navi’, one etymology given by the grammarian, Shaykh al-Kasa’i is that originally, it meant ‘path’, ‘thariq’, with ‘anbiya’’ being ‘paths of guidance.’  Shaykh Abu Mu’adz an-Nahwi said, ‘I heard Arabs saying, ‘Guide me on the nabi’, meaning ‘on the path.’’”


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