Destiny in Arabic

A reader requested that I translate the word “destiny” into Arabic. In fact, there are a number of alternative translations that are all correct, but might have slightly different meaning nuances.

al-maSeer

The Arabic word المصير al-maSeer can mean both destiny and fate. For example مصير الكون would translate as “the fate of the universe”.

al-maSeer

al-maSeer

al-Qadr

The word القدر al-qadr has a similar meaning, although the difference is probably that al-Qadr already implies that there is some sort of pre-determined goal that will be reached, whereas with al-maSeer this is not as clear. This word would also be used to translate “you are my destiny”, i.e. أنت قدريanta qadri (or addressing a woman anti qadri).

al-qadr destiny in Arabic

al-qadr destiny in Arabic

al-maktoob

Al-maktoob (المكتوب) literally means “that what is written” and refers to the idea that everything is pre-determined by God (or in some other sense), because it has been “written” in the book of life already. This concept is wide-spread in the Arab world and is often used to rationalize events ex post, e.g. “كان مكتوب عليه” – “it was written for him” or “that was his fate”.

al-maktoob

al-maktoob

Which one to choose?

Which translation to go with really depends on the meaning you wish to express. Perhaps the most encompassing of the three alternatives would be al-qadr.

5 thoughts on “Destiny in Arabic

  1. I like every things u wrote… I’m an Arab.. so from the title it was easy for me to guess the meaning ( as u wrote.. there are numerous meaning but this word “محتوم” comes to my mind in addition to the first two words which u explained …. anyway it means something u can’t avoid it) but the third one O.o… I’m really wandering how u got it… It’s 100% right…but I think becuz in my region usually the elder or religious people use that word.. so it sounds a bit weird …still clear and perfect explanation for “destiny” ^.^ .. and most of the time i go with first one.

  2. Please could you explain if ‘qismet’ would be applicable as a translation of fate/destiny and how it differs from Qadar? Also, what is the difference between ‘Qadar’ and ‘al-qadr’?
    Thanks so much!

  3. رغم ان الكلمه لها معنى اساسي لكن تختلف الكلمه معناها حسب الجمله

  4. Destiny emplies in arabic الغايه،والغايه تبرر الوسيله,. In case of destination:The way you are going to, by the questaion, where are you going,while destance is the mathematic measures by cm, mt,feet.
    In case القدر،it is the fath or fate, i guessوهو العقيده والمحتومwhich in it out of the human shoice
    In case of the arabic term المصيرwhich is meaning, the way which already choosen by itself or by somebody else

  5. In case of the arabic term المكتوب, it emplies the future which has been witten to human being durring his live,such as work, marriage, deathe, or birth. Arabic gaves examples for that as Idiom expresionالمكتوب علي الجبين لازم تشوفه العين

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