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Do not say “Ra’ina” but say “Unzurna”

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Quran 2:104:

 O ye of Faith! Say not (to the Messenger) words of ambiguous import, but words of respect; and hearken (to him): To those without Faith is a grievous punishment.

The following excerpt is taken from “The Quran with Annotated Interpretation” by Ali Unal pg. 106 note 94:

‘In their conversation with God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, the
Companions sometimes used the expression ra‘inā , meaning “kindly lend ear to us,” or
“please attend to us,” when they wanted to request a short pause. However, when some local
Jews visited the Messenger, they tried to vent their spite by using ambiguous expressions
in their greetings and conversation. They either used words with double meanings, one innocent and the other offensive, or changed the pronunciation of the expressions used by the
Companions. They would pronounce ra‘inā to sound like a Hebrew word meaning, “Listen,
may you become deaf ”, and sometimes like an Arabic word meaning, “our shepherd.” To
prevent the expression ra‘inā from being abused in this way, the Muslims were asked to
avoid it and use instead the straightforward expression un z urnā , meaning “kindly favor
us with your attention,” or “kindly grant us a while to follow.” The verse draws attention to
the importance of showing the necessary respect to God’s Messenger, upon him be peace
and blessings, and paying heed to his teachings.’


Unal, Ali (2006). The Quran with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English. (p.94)

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