Dum Pendebat Filius

A sniff in the kortevar, that what you cry for, yeled? A prert up the cull, a prang on the dumpendebat?

Another Arabic fish

The Liberal Avenger sent me a link to a a BBC story about a tuna fish, found in Mombasa, Kenya, which has what (supposedly) looks like a snippet of Koranic verse on it:

Picture of Koran fish

Supposedly, the markings on this tuna fish spell out a phrase from the Koran:

ﻮأﻨﺕ ﺨﻴﺭ اﻠﺭاﺰﻗﻴﻥ

wa-anta khayyiru r-raaziqiina

And you are the best of the providers

This is from the Koran (5.114):

qaala `iisaa ibnu maryama llahumma rabbanaa anzil `alaynaa maa’idatan mina s-samaa’i takuunu lanaa `iidan li-’awwalinaa wa-’akhirinaa wa-’ayyatan minka wa-irzuqnaa wa-anta khayyiru r-raaziqiina

The English-language translation on my bookshelf (M.M. Pickthall’s translation) renders this verse as follows:

Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for thou art the Best of Sustainers.

The word raaziqiina is in the genitive case. Its nominative form would be raaziquuna, a “sound” (as opposed to “broken”) masculine plural, from raaziq, a “maSdar” or “verbal noun.” It comes from the root word razaqa “to provide with the means of sustenance.” In the form ar-razzaaq (you’ll often see it spelled “Al-Razzak”), it is one of the 99 Attributes of God (”The Maintainer” or “The Provider”).

But you are probably not interested in the grammatical or etymological details of “wa-anta khayyiru r-raaziqiina,” readers. What you want to know is, does that fish actually have those words on it?

The answer is, I have no idea. I can’t find a clear enough picture on the Internet to make the determination. Look again at the fish and the Arabic words:

Close-up of Koran fish

ﻮأﻨﺕ ﺨﻴﺭ اﻠﺭاﺰﻗﻴﻥ

It sure doesn’t look like it to me, but who knows if that picture actually represents the purported Arabic writing? Whoever took the picture most likely doesn’t know; if you don’t know the Arabic alphabet, it all just looks like a bunch of squiggly lines. What’s on the fish kind of looks like Arabic script, but that’s the best I can tell you, given the pictures that are available. I’m pretty skeptical, I don’t mind telling you that much.

Filed under: Language by dumpendebat at 2006/05/21 - 15:34


  1. Sadiq:

    It DOES look like Arabic writing to me, but it looks like a bunch of “ra”s and “lam”s, and little else.

    Oh, wait! I think I see an ‘ayn in there too!

    damn kooky fanatics… it might as well be jesus in grilled cheese….

  2. Erik:

    Or Mary in a burger…

  3. syed subhani:

    i have one Live fish with the name of ALLAH written on its body.

    Syed Subhani

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