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No, Storm Ali isn't named after the Prophet Muhammad's cousin... Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

No, Storm Ali isn't named after the Prophet Muhammad's cousin...

Ali is whipping up a storm in the UK [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 September, 2018

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Storm Ali is devastating parts of the UK, with many wondering if the name chosen is of Arabic origin.
Storm Ali is already tearing through large parts of the UK with weather warnings in place in Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland.

The gales are also whipping up a storm on social media, with many wondering if the name chosen by the Met is of Arabic or English origin.

Ali is a popular name in the Muslim world - among both Sunnis and Shias - given he was a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad and one of Islam's most prominent figures.

This week also sees millions of the global Shia community mark Ashura, the commemoration of the death of Hussein ibn Ali, Muhammad's grandson, in the Battle of Karbala in the seventh century - leaving many to wonder if there was a connection with the naming of the storm.

But the name Ali is also commonly used in the UK as a shortened form of the name Alistair (among others).

So Arabic or English? It has left many wondering the real identity of the storm. All large weather events of this nature are named by the Met Office.

"The names are chosen from names nominated by the public, so where there are two or more potential origins they could easily be either!" the Met Office told The New Arab. "There's not an 'official' position."

The Met said it received some 10,000 name suggestions last year, with names picked for every letter of the alphabet apart from Q, U, X, Y and Z.

So is it Arabic or English? The question has been keeping a lot of people busy on social media this afternoon.

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