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If Your Name is Omar, Congratulations –


You are now officially a hurricane


Omar becomes a hurricane

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Omar strengthen to a hurricane Tuesday night as it churned in Caribbean waters near Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center said.

Omar formed Tuesday in the eastern Caribbean and dumped heavy rain on the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao off the coast of Venezuela. At 11 p.m. ET, its center was about 315 miles (505 km) south-southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The storm was moving northeast near 6 mph (9 kph).

Omar’s maximum sustained winds were 75 mph (120 kph), making it a minimal Category 1 hurricane. Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from Omar’s center. Tropical storm-force winds extend 90 miles (145 km) from Omar’s center, forecasters said.

“Omar would move through the northern Leeward Islands Wednesday night,” the hurricane center said

A hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning were in effect Tuesday night for Puerto Rico. Hurricane warning were in effect for many other islands in the area.

The storm is generally expected to dump up to 8 inches of rain over some areas, with 12 inches possible in some areas, the hurricane center said.

Some portions of Puerto Rico could get up to 20 inches of rain and the storm could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, according to the forecast.

Also, the storm could produce large swells affecting the west- and south-facing coasts of the Lesser Antilles, of which the Leeward Islands are a part. The swells could cause beach erosion and damage coastal structures, the hurricane center said..

Omar is the 15th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

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Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at



  1. ilmsummitee

    October 15, 2008 at 1:01 AM

    Why the congratulations? Thats some scary stuff, me personally – I would def NOT want to be associated with Allah’s (swt) wrath …………

    Anyways, I always wondered why the weather ppl, meterologists and whoever names these storms, how come they dont have names for other disasters, like major earthquakes? or floods? hmmmmm……

  2. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 15, 2008 at 1:18 AM

    bismillah. there is also a lot of good that hurricanes, do, mashaAllah. :) thinking of standing in the path of a hurricane named Omar, though, reminds me of the narration that out of fear of Omar radi Allaho anho, shaytan would actually flee from his path.

    so if this Omar could also be called Farouq, i would advise those in its path to look for a place of shelter. and the best refuge is “la ilaha illAllah.”

    Allahumma, laa tayra illa tayruk, wa laa khayra illa khayruk, wa la ilaha illAllah.

  3. ibnabeeomar

    October 15, 2008 at 1:25 AM

    after a whole childhood spent going to places like disney world, six flags, and other places. going to all kinds of gift and novelty stores, you see all these personalized toys. license plates, flashlights, souvenirs, etc all with the most random names – but no Omar. The fact that mainstream America has finally called something “Omar” is a call for congratulations. and on top of that, they got the correct spelling as well. no hurricane omer, or umar, or umer – but the proper OmAr.

  4. ilmsummitee

    October 15, 2008 at 4:14 AM

    Yea, but there are many non-Muslims also called Omar. Especially African-Americans.

    Besides, mainstream also like ethnic or exotic or uncommon names. Like Hurricane Katrina (latino) and Hurricane Gustav (Russian?), Hurricane Eduardo (Italian)

    By the way, they have all the names already set for like the next 4 years and skimming through them, dont see any other Muslim names :)

    Whatever the case of the names, may Allah protect us from such disasters, Ameen.

  5. Hassan

    October 15, 2008 at 8:01 AM

    Omar (pronounced as omaar) is common name in Latin America, perhaps originally adopted from arabs.

  6. Ahmad AlFarsi

    October 15, 2008 at 8:22 AM

    I just can’t wait for the media reports “Devastating Terrorist attacks by Hurricane Omar”… :)

  7. Arshada

    October 15, 2008 at 8:43 AM

    It is a setup by the McCain campaign :)


  8. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    October 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Yeah, I’ve always wondered if the common Latino name Omar was derived from the Arabic ‘Umar.

    The name Omar is in Genesis, though as the grandson of Esau, the Great Grandson of Isaac or Ishaq. It’s probably more likely that the Latino name Omar comes from this biblical Hebrew rather than the Arabic.

    Allaah knows best.

  9. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    October 15, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Katrina is a Latina name? It is also the German form of Catherine. Etymology is a fascinating subject because if you go into it you can learn a lot of history. Plus there is rarely one right definite answer and people can put forward all kinds of different theories. Of course, some will have stronger evidence or likelihood than others, but it will be rare that you can definitively say that only one is correct.

    Allaah knows best.

  10. Omer

    October 15, 2008 at 10:15 AM


  11. ibn alHyderabadee

    October 15, 2008 at 11:28 AM

    this Omar is not pronounced Umm-err – but pronounced O-Maar…..

    it’s a common latin name……

    etiology possibly arab or native american

  12. ilmsummitee

    October 15, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    there are so many Latino names that stem from araby/muslim heritage like the last name of Medina .

    Also, an interesting found I stumbled upon……

    ” While the Spanish exclamation “olé” comes from “Allah.” Some scholars seem to agree. “In a sense, no single word could be said to encapsulate as such Spanish history as that three-letter word ‘Olé,’ ” one historian wrote recently. “‘Olé’ is the Spanish adaptation of ‘Allah’, the Arabic word for God. So when Spaniards say ‘Olé’ at a bullfight, they are saying Praise ‘Allah’.” ‘

    SubhanAllah! Now thats something.

  13. weather_man

    October 15, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    Actually, when I read the news this morning regarding Hurricane Omar, the first thing that came to mind was Omar Bin Khattab. All the stories you hear about him give the image of a strong/powerful defender of the truth, friend of the weak. Let’s hope this hurricane doesn’t turn out to be a Omar bin Khattab type hurricane ;-)

  14. AsimG

    October 15, 2008 at 8:06 PM

    A very common name among hispanic and african americans that no doubt has links to the Muslim world.

    I still find it so weird when people are named Omar, Fatima, Khadija or even Muhammad and are not even Muslim!

  15. rafiq

    October 16, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    what is weird is that most hurricanes hit from east to west,
    this one is from west going east.

  16. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 16, 2008 at 2:25 AM

    bismillah. before Islam, the Arabs were no for finding omens in many things. subhanAllah. there are no evil omens, alhamdolillah, for a Muslim. and when a believer even feels that a bad omen exists, the dua from the Sunnah (recommended in Husn al Muslim, Fortress of the Muslim) is: Allahumma, laa tayra illa tayruk, wa laa khayra illa khayruk, wa la ilaha ghayruk.


  17. AbuZakariyya

    October 16, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    “. and on top of that, they got the correct spelling as well. no hurricane omer, or umar, or umer – but the proper OmAr.”

    hmm…what are you trying to imply here :) mr ibnabeOMAR

  18. waleed

    October 16, 2008 at 10:30 PM

    Its like what one of the guys from Allah Made me Funny said
    “Non Muslims are going to start blaming natural disasters on Muslims, naming hurricanes Abdul Rahman”

    btw i thought hurricanes were named from the meteorologist that discovered them…

  19. Omer

    October 22, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    bah, I think there is room for debate on the correct way to spell it in english. . but then again is it even worth debating :) arabic letters all the way

  20. Omar

    October 22, 2008 at 1:27 PM

    They spelt it right too!


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