Revolution = ثَوْرَةٌ

The word for “revolution” in Arabic is ثَوْرَةٌ (thawrah). It comes from the root verb ثَارَ , which has the meanings to become roused, provoked; to be stirred up, spread (dust); to flow, gush forth (water). As such, the primary meaning of ثَوْرَةٌ relates to some excitement or unrest, and so it has come to have to meaning revolution. It should be used in a positive sense only, however, such as when a tyrant is overthrown. The word for unrest, used with a negative connotation, such as when a revolution is accompanied by widespread killing and looting, is فِتْنَةٌ. This latter has the broader meaning of trial, affliction, hardship. It comes from the root verb فَتَنَ, which means to burn something in fire, especially gold (in order to remove its impurities), just as a فِتْنَةٌ distinguishes people of patience, resolve etc. from those who have not such qualities.