14 September 2010

Mosque = Mosquito / Mecca = Whisky House / Mohd = A dog?


Baru2 ini, ana ada terjumpa dengan satu statement mengatakan bahawa perkataan Mosque berasal dari perkataan Mosquito, Mecca bermaksud rumah arak dan Mohd bermaksud anjing dengan mulut besar.

Contoh e-mail yang mendakwa kenyataan tersebut,

Request to all:
Muslims from now don’t say ((mosque)), say(Masjid), Islamic organizations found that mosque mean ''Mosquetoes'', and Mecca means ''house of wines'', please write as Maccah, also don’t write the name in short form as ''mohd'', it means ((the dog with a big mouth)), write as ((Mohmmad)), please spread it to all muslims, Hikmatullah. 

Sekali baca, tentu ramai yang percaya sekaligus berkobar-kobar ingin menyampaikan kepada Muslim yang lain termasuk ana. Tapi tunggu dulu! Kenyataannya tidak! Kita ditipu dengan maksud sebenar perkataan tersebut. Alhamdulillah, ana try search maksud perkataan2 itu dan terjumpa dengan keterangan sebenar perkara ini. Berikut merupakan penjelasan yang sudah terang lagi bersuluh ( alahai, sempat lagi ber-peribahasa kat sini ye... ). Memang penjelasannya panjang, tetapi apa salahnya meluangkan masa kerana Islam, kerana Allah?

Salam Alaycom!

There was a thread here on TTI last year about some claims that are widely spread among Muslims. I found evidence for their falsehood on the Internet that at least rely on reliable sources, unlike how the brother seemed to copy/paste it.


I don't understand how MANY MANY and MANY Muslims believe things so quickly. They pass on emails without knowing the source. Come on people this is so dangerous. People can put there poison while spreading emails about Islam and provide wrong info, and all Muslims do is forward it. This is so wrong!

These claims are nothing more than a deliberate fundamentalist prank preying upon bristling Muslim senitivities to further divide the growing chasm proposed (and engineered, in some ways) by those who created and supported the so-called 'clash of civilization' theories. That this is not considered by the Muslims who believe in such faked information and copy, paste and forward it here, there and everywhere used to amaze me ... but nothing about anyone leaning towards the right path does that any more. Muslims are responsible for checking and setting things straight - by what they say, read, write and transmit, inshaa`Allaah.

This invented "Mosque= the house of Mosquitoes / Mecca=Whisky House / Mohd=A dog which has a big mouth" email message has been in circulation for the past 8-9 years, posted mostly by well-meaning but uneducated Muslims.

Here are some details for the claims above:

- Claim (1) : Mosque= the house of Mosquitoes


The word Mosque from the French means mosquee - from old French mousquaie, from old Italian moschea or moscheta, from old Spanish mezquita, from Arabic masjid, has nothing whatsoever to do with the origin of Mosquito (Spanish and Portuguese diminutive of mosca, and Latin musca, meaning fly - as in the insect. A more interesting derivative of the same root is 'musket', the weapons from which bullets flies out! In fact the 'shot' come from the musket shares more characteristics with the insect: it flies, buzzes, and stings!). Incidentally, Mosquito is also the name of an American Indian tribe.

Etymology of the English word 'mosque'

Question: There is a book written by a Muslim revert, Yahiya Emerick entitled "The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam." The author discusses within it many things, including the etymology of the word “mosque”. He wrote that this word is derived from the Spanish word for "mosquito". He claimed that the word was first used during the Christian invasion of Muslim Spain in the 15th century when the forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella boasted they would swat out Muslim prayer houses like so many mosquitoes. Is this true?


This etymology is incorrect.

The Spanish word for "mosquito" is mosquito and literally means "little fly". This is a case where the English language borrowed the word directly from the Spanish.

The word for "fly" in Spanish is mosca, which is derived from the Latin musca. The diminutive suffix "-ito" is attached to it to form the word mosquito or "little fly".

The Spanish term for "mosque" is mezquita, derived from the old Spanish mesquita. This word was most certainly derived from the Arabic word masjid, which many Arabs then and now pronounce as masgid.

In Spain during the era of Muslim rule - and this was before the time of King Ferdinand - Spanish speakers were using the word mosquito for the insect and the word mesquita for the Muslim place of worship. The two words are not related to one another in any way.

The word "mosque" was introduced into the English language in the late 14th or early 15th century from the French. It comes from the French word mosque, from the old French word mousquaie. The French, in turn, derived the word from the Italian word moschea from moscheta. The Italians got it either directly from the Arabic word masjid which means sagada "he worshiped" or from the old Spanish mesquita.

1. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition; © 2000 Houghton Mifflin Company.

2. Online Etymology Dictionary, ETYMOLOGY Moo-Muc http://www.etymonline.com

mosque c.1400, moseak, probably from M.Fr. mosquée, from It. moschea, from Sp. mesquita (modern mezquita), from Arabic masjid "temple, place of worship," from sajada "he worshipped" + prefix ma- denoting "place." In M.E. as muskey, moseache, etc.


mosquito c.1583, from Sp. mosquito "little gnat," dim. of mosca "fly," from L. musca "fly," from PIE base *mu-, perhaps imitative of the sound of humming insects. Colloquial form skeeter is attested from 1839.


Here are two more links which refute the myth that the word mosque originated from mosquito.



- Claim (2): Mecca=Whisky House


The spelling of the name "Mecca", for most Anglophones, Mecca has long been the accepted spelling for the Holy City. The word is a transliteration of the original Arabic, and has become part of the English language.

Where this claim is concerned, the word, Mecca, does not - for instance - mean Whisky House! There are no such meaning/translation in any authentic Arabic, English or foreign language dictionaries.

The common usage of the word Mecca - or mecca - in English (derived from the position of Mecca among Muslims) implies 'centre' or 'important meeting point' or a place to which people of a special group flock, as in "Wimbledon is the Mecca of Tennis" and Hawaai is "the tourist mecca". Such derived usages in English are common within the Western culture. For example, the Wisden Cricket Monthly, Wisden Book of Cricket Law and Wisden Book of Test Cricket are often called "The Cricket Bible" and Gibbon's is called the "Bible of stamp collectors" are common similes used. Less used but seen in major writings are phrases like "The holy grail of drug addicts ..."

The word Mecca now refers to more than just the geographical location (i.e. not only the Holy City in Saudi Arabia) , and is used to describe any center of activity sought or converged upon by a group of people with a common interest. Las Vegas, for example, is sometimes described as 'the Mecca of gambling,' and 'Mecca Bingo' a division of The Rank Group Plc., which Muslims find these out-of-context uses very offensive. There is no doubt in many minds that the insensitivity displayed in the naming of the fairly old chain known as Mecca Dancing Clubs (a very popular series of dance halls that may also house drinking areas in the UK) was not entirely an act of naive usage of language.

Mecca is also used in the names of two towns in the USA, a soft drink and two acronyms:

a.. Mecca, California, a town in Riverside County, California, USA.

b.. Mecca, Indiana, a town in Parke County, Indiana, USA.

c.. Mecca-Cola a cola-flavoured carbonated beverage[1]

d.. MECCA is also the acronym for Model Evaluation Consortium for Climate Assessment and Missile Environment Computer Control Analysis that I know of ... and there are bound to be others.

[1] Mecca-Cola was launched in France, in November 2002, by entrepreneur Tawfik Mathlouthi, as a means of aiding Palestinians by tapping into demand for alternative products in European countries. He had been inspired by a similar Iranian product, Zam Zam Cola, which was already successful in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and in fact only decided to launch his own brand when he was unable to agree on terms for a distribution contract with Zam Zam. Mecca-Cola in turn inspired the creation of Qibla Cola in the United Kingdom.

If Mecca means "whisky house," why was there no public condemnation from the Saudi Arabian government when Anglophones first started using the word "Mecca" - for example when the British explorer Sir Richard Burton in 1853 disguised himself as an Afghan Muslim to visit and write his "Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Mecca?" (Whisky house? How utterly absurd!)

However, in an effort to distinguish between the metaphorical and official references to the holy site, the Saudi Arabian government in the 1980s began promoting a new transliteration, 'Makkah al-Mukarramah' ( مكة المكرمة), which is closer to the original Arabic. While this new usage has been officially adopted by the U.S. Department of State http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3584.htm, its spread is still incipient among Anglophones at large (i.e. it is not part of the active vocabulary of English-speakers.)

- Claim (3): Many people, whose names start with MUHAMMAD, write in a short form as "Mohd". Mohd="A dog which has a big mouth"


As for this other concocted description that the short form name "Mohd" for Muhammad stands for "A dog which has a big mouth" - I could not find any Islamic information to support this most absurd claim. Surprisingly, nor could I find any refutation from any of the scholars.

Mohd is a non-word (the combination of letters has no possible base in any of the Western Romance languages and gives away the inventor's illiteracy). I think the people (non-Muslims or Muslims, only Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala knows best) who 'invented' this definition - or, at least, gave currency to this via email, to create alarm - is more guilty of 'blasphemy' than those he or she deceptively accuses. Googling this in dictionaries or thesauri will not offer up any such word, I assure you. However, with this emailed falsehood being forwarded around the web by "well-meaning" Muslims, I have no doubt that this insult to our Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam will become added to the current usage in many languages. One test would be to google it now (all across Google, as well as in the dictionary section alone) ... where it'll turn up nothing ... and in a few months from now, when it will indicate the meaning given it, in most cases, with reference to the above forwarded message. Years later, the origin will have been forgotten and another obnoxious word set in motion to further malign Islam.

"And do not follow (blindly) any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception, you must verify it for yourself). In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning." (Al Israa 17:36 - interpretation of the meaning)


Source for all above:

Link asal,

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