The Rohingya are a Muslim people who live in the Arakan region. The origin of the term "Rohingya" is disputed. Some Rohingya historians like Khalilur Rahman contended that the term Rohingya is derived from Arabic word 'Raham' meaning sympathy. They trace the term back to the ship wreck in 8th century AD. According to them, after the Arab ship wrecked near Ramree Island, Arab traders were ordered to be executed by Arakanese king. Then, they shouted in their language, 'Raham'. Hence, these people were called 'Raham'. Gradually it changed from Raham to Rhohang and finally to Rohingyas. However, the claim was refuted by Jahiruddin Ahmed and Nazir Ahmed, former president and Secretary of Arakan Muslim Conference respectively. They argued that ship wrecked Muslims are currently called 'Thambu Kya' Muslims and currently residing along the Arakan sea shore. Should the term Rohingya derive from these Muslims, "Thambu Kyas" would have been the first group to be known as Ruhaingyas.
Contributions by Ragib, Kunyia, and Nykoko.