Ramazan 1437

İyi Ramazanlar! Sundown tonight will be the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, so if you’re observing the fast then Ramazan mübarek olsun, and if you’re just interested in reading more then please enjoy my past writing on the topic.


Mevlid-i Şerif

The Prophet Muhammad’s birthday only comes once a year…on the Islamic calendar, that is. Every so often, though, it comes twice a year on the solar Gregorian calendar. It just so happens that this is one of those years, and today is the second occurrence of Mevlid-i Şerif in 2015. Happy holiday to Muslims who observe it.

Turkish Word a Day

The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, called Mevlid-i Şerif in Turkish, is being observed today, the 12th of the Hijri month Rabiyülevvel (if you want to be technical about it, the commemoration started at sundown last night, and I guess it’s ended by now in most of the world, but it’s still worth noting). Though not one of the major Islamic holidays, many Muslims do commemorate Muhammad’s birth with decorations and by exchanging small gifts or sweets.

Mevlid is not a universally celebrated holiday, for a couple of reasons. There’s no historical record of the earliest Muslims celebrating Muhammad’s birthday as a special event; the first widespread Mevlid celebration doesn’t appear in the record until the 12th century, though there are records of earlier, smaller observances. So for modern self-proclaimed “fundamentalists” the holiday is an innovation and therefore illegitimate. Honoring a historical figure’s birthday also comes too close to…

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Ramazan 1436

Sundown tonight will be the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan for some people around the world (moon observations make it hard to pinpoint these things exactly), so if you’re interested please enjoy my past writing on the topic.

Turkish Word a Day

There’s much more about the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins this evening for most Muslims around the world, over on the Arabic blog, if you’re so inclined.

My purpose here is only to give you some Turkish greetings you can offer for the month. If you’ve read that Arabic entry then this will be pretty simple, because we’re just using the same Arabic greetings, albeit with the Persian pronunciation “Ramazan” rather than the Arabic “Ramadan.” These are Ramazan mübarek (you could go with Mübarek Ramazan, also), “Blessed Ramadan!” and Ramazan kerim, “Generous Ramadan!” A more authentically Turkish greeting would be the title of this post: İyi Ramazanlar, “Good Ramadan!”

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Turkish numbers III: 11-1000

For the numbers 1-10, please go here.

Whenever I do a unit that covers all three of the languages I blog about, I always end with Turkish. After bouncing back and forth between Latin and Arabic script to do Arabic and Persian, it’s pretty nice to finish up without having to do that. That’s like quadruply true for this unit, because not only do we get to stay in Latin script, but Turkish also has a more logical system when it comes to handling numbers past 10. Where a lot of languages, including Arabic and Persian (and English) have a slightly altered form for the numbers 11-19, or once you get into the hundreds, Turkish does not. It’s as simple as can be. First let’s count by 10s to 100:

  • 10 (ten): on
  • 20 (twenty): yirmi
  • 30 (thirty): otuz
  • 40 (forty): kırk
  • 50 (fifty): elli
  • 60 (sixty): altmış
  • 70 (seventy): yetmiş
  • 80 (eighty): seksen
  • 90 (ninety): doksan
  • 100 (one hundred): yüz
  • 1000 (one thousand): bin

You may see that I cheated there and skipped straight from 100 to 1000. That’s because Turkish, unlike Arabic and Persian, doesn’t have any special form for even hundreds. As in English, if you want to say “four hundred,” you literally say “four hundred,” or dört yüz, and “seven hundred” is yedi yüz. Likewise, “fifteen” is simply “ten five” or on beş, “sixty-eight” is altmış sekiz, and “one hundred twenty-nine” is yüz yirmi dokuz. That’s it. If you refer back to the lesson on the numbers 1-10 and this lesson, you can put together any number up to a million pretty easily. Hell, this was so easy to write I’ll even throw in the Turkish word for “million” as a bonus. Are you ready? This might be tricky…

Just kidding. It’s milyon. You gotta love Turkish.


The holiday of Aşure began at sundown last night. Please enjoy the post I wrote about Aşure last year.

Turkish Word a Day

Sundown today marked the beginning of the Islamic holiday known as Aşure (Ashura), commemorated by both Sunni and Shiʿi Muslims but more more deeply honored by the Shiʿa as the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hüseyin (Husayn). This is the tenth day of the month of Muharrem, or in other words the tenth day of the new Islamic year. Please read some of the general information about the holiday at my Arabic site, and then more detail about its history and significance for Shiʿa at my Persian blog.

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