Monday, November 28, 2005


Abu Khaleel

What's in a Name!

I have already discussed the 'Abu' part of the name in an earlier post.

Khaleel (sometimes written Khalil) is one word in Arabic, meaning 'close friend' – but also alludes to spending time together in companionship. Another form of the word is 'Khil', with almost the same meaning.

The letters “kh” refer to one letter in Arabic. The closest pronunciation is as in the Scottish “loch”.

The word “Khaleel” is commonly associated with Prophet Abraham who is usually referred to as "Ibrahim, Khaleel Allah". Abraham was born in Ur, in ancient Iraq. I would like to think that no other single individual had more influence on religious thought of the world. He is so revered in these parts that he is frequently referred to as "Abul Anbeya" - Father of all Prophets.

On closer examination, the name turns out to be composed of two parts: Khal-eel, or Khal-il. Khal is definitely a corruption of "Khil" or close friend. The second part is derived from the word "el" which is an ancient word for God.

So, in essence, Khaleel means "friend of God"!

Those two letters, el or il are usually associated with Hebrew. However, they seem to have been in existence long before Hebrews or Arabs became know as distinct races. They were used originally not only by the ancient Sumerians of Iraq (who were not Semitic) but also by the Semitic Babylonians. At one stage, Inl-il was the most senior of Gods of Sumer.

In Arabic, A god is called ilah or elah. Even today, the Arabic word for God – Allah is a modified word from al-ilah, the God.

Many other old and current words commonly known across the world whether in the Judeo-Christian or Islamic heritage begin to have clearer meaning. This fact sheds interesting light on a number of other common names.

Babylon – more commonly known locally as Babil or Babel (bab = door) - Gateway to God.
Israel (Jacob son of Issac and Abraham’s grandson) - Slave of God (=Abdullah!)
Arbil (a northern, Kurdish city in Iraq) – (arba’ = four) - City of four Gods.
The list is long.

I would suggest that names such as Gabriel, Michael etc... ending with 'il' or 'el'... have Iraq's signature in them!

If only Michael Ledeen or Ambassador Khalilzad knew!

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