As was requested by Richard, I have moved this discussion from my inbox to the GE.
I asked Richard:
Would you pronounce Hasan as / hæsən/ or /hæzən/. In Arabic, as you may know, it is pronounced with [s]. Yet, a friend of mine told me that if we wrote the name with one (s), a native speaker will pronounce the (s) as [z] unlike if the (s) was doubled i.e Hassan.
And if we doubled that letter, as my Friend suggested, we will end up with a different name. That is حسان but not حسن..
Now, I would like to have your answers to the two questions below.
1. Would you, the native speakers, pronounce the one (s) in Hasan as /z/?
2. I wounder if there is a word in English with a double (s) yet pronounced as /z/?
I don't know where your friend got that idea, Izzy, but whether it's Hasan or Hassan, it's going to be pronounced with the voiceless [s]. And no, there's no word in English with a double s that's pronounced like [z]. By the way, we normally see the name transliterated as Hassan.
Then Mahdi, one of the our GE members, and my collegue asked the following question:
Do know why Richard named you Izzy?, I think because your name is Ismael then he pronoumced it Izmael !
I can pronouce Hasan = Hazan
*look at this word (has) it pronounced /haz/ !
Besides what Mahdi asked about, I think the word "Islam" has two pronuncitions; one with /s/ and the other with /z/.
Please account for this, too.