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Q: origin of a name ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: origin of a name
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: narbguy-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 08 Jun 2003 06:30 PDT
Expires: 08 Jul 2003 06:30 PDT
Question ID: 214657
What is the origin of the name Naseen?
What is the significance of the name Nasreen in the Islamic religion?
Are there any ties to Christianity for the name Nasreen?  
Is there any evidence that the name Nasreen is derived from the name
of the town of Nazereth(as in Jesus the Nazarean)?
Subject: Re: origin of a name
Answered By: tehuti-ga on 08 Jun 2003 08:13 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello narbguy, 

It appears that the name Nasreen (or Nasrin) is a female name of
Persian origin, which has the meaning “wild rose”.

Here are some sites that confirm this information:

A web site with information about Guyanese Muslim names

A listing of original Persian names on Farhangsara, which describes
itself as: “the largest non-profit Iranian cultural web site with over
3500 pages about rich Iranian culture, history, geography and science” 

The site of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam
confirms the Persian origin of Nasrin and states that in addition to
meaning “wild rose”, it can also mean “white rose” or “jonquil” (a
jonquil is more like a daffodil than a rose).

Nasreen is defined as meaning “wild rose” within the notes to a nazm
(an Urdu poem) written in 1935 by Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz (Nb Urdu contains
many words of Persian origin) 

The Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary compiled by Francis Josef
Steingass (1825-1903) can be used to search for Persian words in
transliterated form.  I searched on nasrin, and obtained the
definition: “A wild rose; name of an island where amber is found.”

I have not found any links between the name Nasreen/Nasrin and the
Islamic religion (for example, I searched to see if there was a famous
saint or holy woman of that name).  However, I have found two
references to roses being linked symbolically to the prophet Mohammed:
“…the author fails to recognize the symbolism of the rose in the
Sultan's hand and mistakes it for "his closeness to nature" when, in
fact, it is a symbolic reference to the Prophet of Islam, from whose
tears and sweat sprouted roses.” 
“…the rose has been associated with all aspects of the spiritual life,
and mystical poets have used the symbolism of the rose to express the
complexities of existence. The poet Sa'adi of Shiraz wrote of the rose
garden as a garden of contemplation. "I shall pluck roses from the
garden, but I am drunk with the scent of the rose bush." Another
author, Shabistari, wrote The Secret Rose Garden. These poets used the
rose as a symbol to express the yearnings of the mystical life because
they were Sufis and followed beliefs which were disapproved of by the
othodox authorities. They expressed their beliefs through the
judicious use of symbols. For them the rose symbolised the achievement
of perfect understanding and union with God. It was also a symbol for
life itself. Orthdox religion accepted the symbolism of the rose,
which was reputed to have arisen from the tears of the Prophet.” 

With respect to Nazareth, I have found the following information,
which does not really show any possibility of an etymological link
between this name and Nasreen, with the exception of a very tenuous
proposal that the name Nazareth comes from a word for “flower”. 
However, this seems to derive from the Latin translation of a Hebrew
word generally translated as “shoot” or “branch”.
“The origin of the name Nazareth is still puzzling. In Hebrew the word
"Nazir" - (Nazarite - Monk) A person who was dedicated to special
sacred service through a vow made by the person or by his parents,
which could last a lifetime or for a limited period. The early name
"Nazarenes" given to early Christians, might have been a derogatory
nickname that the people of Judea gave to the followers of Jesus
(Matthew 26:71, Acts 6:38). Or as many scholars today think that the
name Nazareth comes from the Hebrew word "Netzer" (Branch) as
prophesied by Isaiah that Savior will come from the branches (roots)
of King David.” 

“Nazareth (naz' a-reth) (verdant, offshoot), from naser, meaning ‘a
shoot’. Other common variations are Nazerat or En-Nasira. The location
of the city and a variation na’zar, meaning ‘to watch’, is probably
behind Nazareth being interpreted as a lookout or ‘watchtower’. In the
various New Testament manuscripts the name occurs in many more
variations; Nazaret, Nazara, en Nasirah, Nazarenos, or Nazoraios.” 

“In the manuscripts of the New Testament, the name occurs in a great
orthographical variety, such as Nazaret, Nazareth, Nazara, Nazarat,
and the like. In the time of Eusebius and St. Jerome (Onomasticon),
its name was Nazara (in modern Arabic, en Nasirah), which therefore,
seems to be the correct name; in the New Testament we find its
derivatives written Nazarenos, or Nazoraios, but never Nazaretaios.
The etymology of Nazara is neser, which means "a shoot". The Vulgate
renders this word by flos, "flower", in the Prophecy of Isaias (xi,
1), which is applied to the Saviour. St. Jerome (Epist., xlvi, "Ad
Marcellam") gives the same interpretation to the name of the town.” (Catholic Encyclopedia)

The link between the name Nazareth and “flower”, however, it is
considered to be etymologically dubious:
“At the beginning of the 5th century, two ladies of Roman nobility,
who were disciples and friends of Saint Jerome, followed their master
to the Holy Land. They wrote to their friend Marcella, in order to
convince her to join them: "We will go to Nazareth and, according to
the interpretation of her name, we will see the 'flower of the
Galilee'."  Modern philologists would certainly not agree with this
etymology, in all likelihood suggested by Saint Jerome. However, Saint
Matthew, who was an inspired writer rather than a philologist,
connects the name Nazareth with the word netzer, meaning 'offspring'.
The Vulgate, followed by the liturgical tradition, translates this
word as flos, in the passage in Isaiah referring to the Messiah:
"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch
(netzer, FLOS: 'offspring') shall grow out of his roots."
The same article also states “The locals called the followers of Jesus
Notzrim (Heb., 'Nazareens') meaning 'disciple of Jesus'. It was only
in Antioch, outside of Palestine, that the disciples were called
'Christians' (Acts 11:26). This term has prevailed in the Greco-Roman
world, while the name Notzrim continues to be used in Modern Hebrew
From an article by Professor Marcel-Jacques Dubois is Professor
Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

Search strategy: 1. Nasreen origin name  2. Persian English online
dictionary  3. Nasreen Islam “female saint”  4. Nasreen Islam “holy
woman”  4. Nasreen Islam “religious significance”  5. rose symbolism
Islam  6. Nazareth etymology
narbguy-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $6.00
Thank you for your detailed and well constructed research.

Subject: Re: origin of a name
From: tehuti-ga on 11 Jun 2003 04:34 PDT
Thank you very much for the kind words and tip.

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