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Title: Name-Giving Dreams in Arab Culture
Author(s): DIRBAS, Hekmat
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 74    Issue: 1-2   Date: 2017   
Pages: 52-60
DOI: 10.2143/BIOR.74.1.3239938

Abstract :
This article investigates the important role dreams have played in name-giving practices in Arabic culture through classical, modern, and contemporary sources. Given that our topic is related to public beliefs and that printed sources do not provide us with sufficient information on it, especially in our present time, the investigation is basically based on online sources (blogs and fatwa websites). The study distinguishes two types of name-giving dreams: (1) figurative name-giving dreams, where the child could be named after a dreamt-of object, and (2) direct name-giving dreams, where the child could be given a name directly received in a dream. Both types, mostly involving a mediator (i.e. a dream interpreter), reflect the essential concept of names as omens in Arabic; the latter type shows a stronger impact of Islamic instructions through the involvement of a religious personage (imam, mufti, or dervish).

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