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The Urdu word Amanat means something that is very expensive and precious to its possessor and is given to a faithful person to keep it safe. The person to whom it is given also believes that the thing is very valuable, is very faithful, and thinks that he can take care of it better than the original possessor.

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    Could be something like treasure or keepsake. Is it necessary that the owner asks someone to look after it?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 11:55
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    It sounds like a heirloom: : a valuable object that is owned by a family for many years and passed from one generation to another.
    – user66974
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 11:59
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    Try the online Urdu-English dictionary urduenglishdictionary.org
    – rogermue
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 12:23
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    Is this word supposed to describe the item or the act of allowing someone else to care of the item in question?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 13:59
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    I'm Persian, and "Amanat" has always had a sense of responsibility to it. The object is entrusted to you. Worth is not important (at least not monetary).
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 21:08

6 Answers 6

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The Urdu word amanat is inherited from Islamic-era Parsi, which is inherited from Arabic.

The word amanat is common to Arabic, Aramaic and Hebrew. It is also found in Indonesian/Malay which inherited it from Persian traders. The difference between the three languages in this group of words are the vowelization. Modern/Quranic Arabic is derived from Aramaic, not paleo-Arabic. The word Allah is derived from Aramaic.

The root word is AMN (amen, amin) = we agree/concur.

So, the girls' name Aminah is from this word.

Amunah/Emunah = confidence/trustworthiness, which English Bibles translates into the ambiguous and often meaninglessly aliased word faith.

Amanah = participle/gerund of placing trust/confidence and hence privacy.

Amanat = a verbal noun of an entity you can place your trust/confidence and hence privacy.

The cognate of AMN is AMT (amat/emet) = truth.

Therefore in Arabic, an amanat could mean either

  • a democratically elected government agency.
  • a trusted agency appointed by a government or by a cooperative.
  • an entity set up to manage inheritance for children.
  • an entity set up to jointly manage/preserve assets you are unable or not allowed to manage by yourself.

Therefore, the equivalent English word that you could apply to amanat is

Trust
  1. A legal relationship in which one party holds a title to property while another party has the entitlement to the beneficial use of that property.
  2. The confidence reposed in a trustee when giving the trustee legal title to property to administer for another, together with the trustee's obligation regarding that property and the beneficiary.
  3. The property so held.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

e.g., A trust set up by dead parents to preserve the value of their assets for their children. A trust set up by a girl's rich parents that can only be used for the girl's benefit, when she is married away to another family.

See also trust fund: A financial trust.

See also Custodian (kʌsˈtəʊdɪən)

n
  1. (Law) a person who has custody, as of a prisoner, ward, etc
  2. (Art Terms) a guardian or keeper, as of an art collection, etc

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

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    Nice research. But are you sure that's what it means in Urdu? (we want to avoid the etymological fallacy)
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 14:57
  • In Urdu/Hindi, Amanat refers to the corpus (or assets) of a trust that is set aside for a beneficiary. I am not sure if it is used as a legal term in Urdu (in Pakistan or India) but in Urdu/Hindi movies and songs, it is frequently used for a lover (or spouse-to-be). Also see: law.cornell.edu/wex/trust_corpus.
    – Ritesh
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 18:07
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The word you are looking for is trust:

charge, custody, or care:
to leave valuables in someone's trust

To be "in trust" (idiom), means to be in the position of being left in the care or guardianship of another:

she left money to her uncle to keep in trust for her children.

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  • Even "entrust".
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 21:06
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It's the same word in Arabic ( أمانة ). It can be translated into trust, deposit, consignment, custody.

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Amanat means "bailment", something that is very expensive and precious to its possessor, and is given to a faithful person to keep it safe. Because the possessor believes that the one he gives his valuable to is very faithful and can take care of it better than the possessor himself. See Bailment (Wikipedia).

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I don't think there is a close equivalent of Amanat in English. Amanat means cherished possession; prized, treasured possession given to someone for safekeeping. Darling would be a good word to translate it; or 'darling thing' for a non living object.

Darling: Etymology, from wiktionary:

From Middle English derelyng, from Old English dīerling (“darling, favorite, minion; also household god”), corresponding to dear +‎ -ling.

Adjective

darling (comparative darlinger, superlative darlingest)

Dear; cherished.

  • She is my darling wife of twenty-two years.

charming

  • Well isn't that a darling little outfit she has on.
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I came across this question by accident and noted some good answers, but none that OP accepted. This question is rather unique because OP has given a foreign-language word (Hindi/Urdu; foreign to native English speakers) and asked for a single-word English equivalent. Many members have worked hard and previously given scholarly answers that guided me. This is a lovely example of an Asian language word having multiple layers of meaning. The challenge: how can a single word express it in English?

Looking at certain Urdu-English and Hindi/Urdu -English dictionaries, we can find 'amanat' defined as

(1) "guardianship / deposit"

http://hamariweb.com/dictionaries/امانت_urdu-english-meanings.aspx

(2.1) “something given in trust/deposit/security” (2.2)"Fidelity."

https://lyricstaal.com/glossary/amaanat-meaning-in-english-hindi/

(3.1) "leaving something valuable in the care of another person, or depositing it in a bank vault. An English translation would be 'safe keeping'.

(3.2) "In simple words, Amanat means something precious..."

https://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070703011150AAGzpYZ

Various members have already given scholarly interpretation of these same meanings. The word has multi-layered meaning because it is literally "something very valuable, entrusted to somebody for guardianship / trust / deposit / safe-keeping" but figuratively denotes "precious emotion...a treasure / trust / fidelity" which as the user in the last link (answers.yahoo) says, "has nothing to do with keeping in a bank vault, etc." In short the word is found used and defined both in a material sense and an emotional / spiritual sense.

So here it is: the English equivalent expressions would be

guardianship / deposit /safe-keeping/ precious treasure / trust / fidelity.

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