Table of Contents

Title Page #
The comprehensiveness of Arabic Language 2
The structure of Arabic Language 3
Nahw - An Introduction to the Science of Arabic Grammar 6
Nahw - The Phrase 8
Nahw – The Grammatical States in Arabic Language 10
Nahw – The Grammatical States in Arabic Language – Part 2 13
Nahw – The Anatomy of a Sentence – Part 1 16
Nahw – The Anatomy of a Sentence – Part 2 19
Nahw – The Anatomy of a Sentence – Part 3 22
Nahw – Attached Pronouns: their Grammatical States 25
Nahw – The Grammatical States Playground 30
Nahw – Methods of Reflection of an Ism 37
Nahw – Methods of Reflection for the Muzare’ Verb 47
Nahw – Particles Resembling Verbs 52
Nahw – Singular, Dual and Plural Nouns in Arabic 55
Nahw – Let us Count in Arabic 59
Nahw – Let us Hit a Hitting or Rejoice a Rejoicing 62
Nahw – The Concept of Haal and Zul Haal 64
Nahw – The Followers 66
Sarf 72
Sarf – Variotaions of the Past Tense 74
Sarf – The Present and Future Tense 76
Sarf – Variations of al-Muzare’ 79
Sarf – More Variations of al-Muzare’ 83
Sarf – The Command Verb : Constructing the Amr 87
Sarf – Abwaab-ul-Af’aal – Introduction to Verb Groupings 92
Sarf – Categories of Irregular Verbs 97
Sarf – The Irregular Verb 99
Sarf – The Irregular Verb Part-1 105
Sarf – The Irregular Verb Part-2 110
Sarf – The Rules of Ta’leel – A Summary of Ajoof and Naaqis 115
Source of this Book 118
The comprehensiveness of Arabic Language
Arabic is a language which is known for its brevity and comprehensiveness. As an example, look at the
word given below which means: ‘they sought help’. Right away you can see that three English words
are required to translate this one Arabic word. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. This one
Arabic word conveys seven pieces of information to us. Let us see how:
·,`,=· ·=·
1. ,=· : to help
2. .= : seek
3. The absence of one of the 4 prefixes . . = · (which makes a future tense verb) plus the fathah
on ¸ which renders this word in the past tense.
4. the fathah on ¸ and = and kasra on · conveys the meaning of active voice ; changing this to a
damma on · and = and a kasra ¸ will change this to a passive voice i.e ·,`,=··=· will mean help
was sought from them
5. , at the end conveys the meaning of masculine gender
6. , at the end conveys the meaning of a group of more than 2 persons
7. , at the end conveys the meaning of third person
The structure of Arabic Language
All 28 alphabets of the Arabic Language are consonants. Unlike English, vowels do not form a part of
the Arabic alphabet set. Rather, they are distinct entities called =··,- (harakat). There are 3 short
vowels in Arabic:
1. -¬··(fatha) corresponds to English a
2. ·,.· (kasra )corresponds to English e, i
3. -«= (dhamma) corresponds to English o,u
The term =«| (articulation) refers to all words/sounds produced by the tongue. =«| can be either -,=,-
i.e. meaningful, or ¸«.`- i.e. meaningless. ¸«.`- words can turn in to -,=,-
words through the process of coinage.Thus, the word DVD 15 years ago was ¸«.`-but is -,=,-these
days.
-,=,-words can be further divided into two categories:
1. .,«` - (also called -«··) is composed of single words
2. .·,`-is composed of more than one word
It is the .,«`-which constitutes the parts of speech of the Arabic Language. Unlike English, which has 8
parts of speech, Arabic only has 3 ( =,- . ¸-· . .=· ) . The following table gives a comparison of the
parts of speech between English and Arabic:
English Arabic Definition
Noun, Pronoun, Adjective,
Adverb
.=·
This is the part of speech which indicates upon a meaning in itself
and is not linked to time
Verb
¸-·
This also indicates upon a meaning in itself but is also linked to
time(Thus the concept of tenses)
Preposition, Conjunction,
Article
=,-
Indicates the meaning of something else and does not have a full
independent meaning of it’s own
The other kind of -,=,-word i.e. .·,`-can be further subdivided into
1. =,«- .·,-, which is also known as a -·<, and contains a Subject/Predicate relationship. This is
essentially what we call a sentence in English
2. =,«- ~- .·,-is what we call a phrase in English. This combination of words conveys an
incomplete idea.
Here is a chart of all this information
Nahw - An Introduction to the Science of Arabic Grammar
.`··«·|· ¸=| ·v,| .| ,¬·|· ·.«·|
The most important of the sciences associated with the Arabic language is , for without it no communication can exist :
Ibn-e- Khaldun
,- is the science of Classical Arabic which describes:
1. How to arrange words to make meaningful sentences
2. How to determine the grammatical structure of a sentence(by determining the positioning of
.=· .¸-· . =,- ) by change in the last letter of a word
Recall that a sentence in Classical Arabic is defined as a group of words conveying a complete idea and
which has a Subject/Predicate relationship. Whenever we want to convey something to our listeners we
first form a mental image into our own minds and then describe that image in words to other people.
The ’something’ or the ‘primary’ part of the idea is the Subject of the sentence and its ‘description’ is
the Predicate of the sentence. The Subject is called -,|| =·.`-and the Predicate is called =·.`- in Classical
Arabic grammar. In English Language it is fairly easy to differentiate between the Subject and Predicate
in a sentence by using the word is. As an example, note the sentence ‘Amr is standing’. Here Amr is
Subject and standing describes what is happening with the Subject. As another another example note
the sentence ‘The cat ate the rat‘. Here it is very obvious that the cat is the subject and ‘ate the rat‘ is
the predicate, the rat being the object of eating . In English there is a sequence of words which
determines which part is the Subject and which is the Predicate. However, in Arabic there is no such
rule that a Subject has to come before the object i.e. there is no sequence rule. At first this might seem a
little odd; however, this is what gives the language its flexibility, where using only a few words one can
express themselves in variety of ways.
So how do we determine which is Subject and which is Predicate in a sentence? To make this easier,
Scholars of ,- have divided sentences into two types, based on the first word, and have named the
Subject and Predicate in each differently:
1. -,r| -·< (Nominal Sentence): This is the kind of sentence which begins with an .=· e.g. `.··| `= | ,|·
(The boy is standing). The Subject, `= | ,|· , is called ·=·,`- , and the predicate, `.··|,is called ,,-
2. -,·- · -·«`-(Verbal Sentence): This is the kind of sentence which begins with a ¸-·e.g.`=-·- .·. .
Here =-·-is ¸-··and .·. is ¸-·
Exactly how we determine which is the Subject and which is the Object will be dealt with once we
define the concept of Grammatical States in Arabic, where we will make use of all the terms defined
above and will see which grammatical state each fits in.
Nahw - The Phrase
In the last post we defined the concept of the Sentence, also called =,«- .·,- . Now we define the other
part, =,«- ~- .·,- , or Phrase. A Phrase is essentially a group of words which does not convey a
complete idea e.g. tall boy, intelligent girl etc. We will start by defining two kinds of phrases:
1. Noun / Adjective Phrase :This kind of phrase is made up of two .=· , the first being a noun and
the second an adjective. The first .=· is called =,=,-and the second is called -«=. Unlike in
English, where the adjective precedes the noun, in Arabic the noun will come before the
adjective e.g. ¸·,=|· =|,|· (tall boy) or ·=,=,|· .·,|· (intelligent girl)
Rules for =,=,- -«= phrase:
Both =,=,-and -«=should agree in Gender
Both =,=,-and -«=should agree in number e.g. .:·,=|· .·=|,|· (two tall boys)
Both =,=,-and -«=should agree in definiteness i.e. both should either be definite or
indefinite e.g. ¸·,| `=|,(a tall boy) or ¸·,=|· =|,|· (tall boy)
Both =,=,-and -«=should be in the same grammatical state
2. Possessive Phrase : This phrase is also made up of two .=· , which are linked together in a
possessive structure e.g. -.·|· .,=(messenger of Allah). The possessor is termed as -,|· =·=-
(here the word -.·|·) and the possessed is termed as =·=- (here the word .,= )
Nahw - The Grammatical States in Arabic Language
The concept oI Grammatical States is the cornerstone oI ,- . Without the proper understanding oI
grammatical states you can end up saying The rat ate the cat when you actually want to say The cat ate
the rat. An oIt cited example Ior this is Irom the Quran:
.-..·.,·,··¸····.·, .
'And remember when the Lord oI Ibrahim tested him.¨ (Al-Baqarah: 124)
Notice the fatha at the end oI .,·,··and the ahamma at the end oI -..·(.Ibrahima Rabbuhu.).
Now iI someone was to say the same thing as (.Ibrahimu Rabbahu.), that is, switch the fatha with
the ahamma, that would mean 'Ibrahim tested his Lord¨, which would change the meaning altogether
|Thanks to Fair who posted this explanation here|.
In English language we seldom see nouns changing their grammatical structure in sentences no matter
whether they are subiect, obiect, or part oI possession in a sentence. Take Ior example the Iollowing
three sentences in English:
1. The house fell
2. I enterea the house
3. Door of the house
Notice the noun : no matter how it occurs in the sentence (Subiect in the Iirst, Obiect in the
second, and possessive in the third) its Iorm does not change. The word house remains house. Not so in
Arabic! The word Ior house, .,·|·, will change grammaticallv (and not structurally) when the above
three sentences are rendered in Arabic:
1. .,·|·=«= (ahamma at the end oI .,·|· )
2. .,·|·.·-. (fatha at the end oI .,·|·)
3. .,·|·=·· (kasra at the end oI .,·|·)
This is a classic example oI change in grammatical state in the Arabic Language. Technically speaking
there are 4 grammatical states in Arabic:
1. -·
2. .=·
3. ,-
4. -,-
Let`s start with some simple rules:
1. whenever a noun is the subiect in a sentence it automatically goes in the state oI -· i.e. its last
letter will have a ahamma on it
2. whenever the noun is the obiect it goes in the state oI .=· and its last letter will have a fatha on
it
3. whenever a noun occurs in a possessive phrase it will automatically go in the state oI ,- i.e. its
last letter will have a kasra on it
4. the state oI -,-is experienced only by the -·=`- (present and Iuture tense) and we will tackle
this in a later post, Insha Allah
The name given to this process i.e. reIlecting grammatical states on the last letters oI words by using
ahamma,fatha, and kasra is =·,-| .
You should remember here that an .=· in Arabic Language covers more than simply nouns. It spans the
deIinition oI Adiective, Adverb, Noun, and Pronoun. ThereIore, rather than saying that an .=· goes into
a certain grammatical state, we will desiccate the .=· into each oI these categories and will see in which
grammatical state each category Ialls. For now, let us take another example using three Arabic words:
=·.=|,.=,= meaning Zaia, bov, and hit when read Irom leIt to right. Using these three words and the
grammatical states 1-3 noted above we will see how we can convey diIIerent ideas. This example also
shows the Iact that there is no Subiect-Obiect order in Arabic, as there is in English:
1. =,.= =·=|, Zaia hit a bov
2. =,.= =·=|, A bov hit Zaia
3. =,.= =·`=|, Zaias bov hit.
Notice how the the nouns Zaia and bov are being made subiect, obiect, and part oI a possessive phrase
iust by switching Irom one grammatical state to another. This is, thus, the concept oI Grammatical
Statesin Arabic. More on this in a later post, Insha Allah!
Nahw - The Grammatical States in Arabic Language - Part 2
In the last post we started discussing the concept oI grammatical states in the Arabic Language and saw
a Iew examples where an .=· took on these grammatical sates. It was also mentioned that the .=· itselI
can occur in Arabic sentences in the Iorm oI more than simply nouns. In Iact, an .=· can act like an:
1. Adiective e.g. The green apple
2. Adverb e.g. He ran quicklv
3. Obiect oI Preposition e.g. in the house
4. Adverb oI time and place e.g. I met Amr vesterdav
5. Adverb oI reason and cause e.g. I stooa up out of respect
In this post I will introduce quite a Iew more grammatical terms, all oI which Iorm part oI Arabic
sentences and all oI which will be .=· , and then we will see how each oI these terms Iall into one oI the
3 grammatical states. Since there are only 3 grammatical states which an .=· can take but multiple ways
in which it can occur in an Arabic sentence thereIore ,-..=·-· will cover a lot more than iust
indicating the Subiect/Obiect/Possessive characterization, as we had mentioned in the previous post. In
Iact, there are 22 positions or grammatical states in an Arabic sentence which an .=· can take.This will
entail deIining a whole set oI new grammatical terms, some oI which we have already seen. Let`s start
Irom the basics and see how it works.
We had earlier said that there are two kind oI sentences in Arabic: -,«=·-·«-(Nominal Sentence) and
-,·-·-·«-(Verbal Sentence). We can extract 5 separate grammatical terms Irom these two type oI
sentences:
1. ··=·,-.~- -,«=·-·«- e.g. .··|`=|,|· i.e. The bov is stanaing (Standing ÷ ,.> , Boy ÷ rIí..o )
2. ¸-· ¸-·· -,·-·-·«- e.g. =-·-=,= i.e. Hamia hit (Hamid ÷ ¸-·· , Hit ÷ ¸-·). II we were to say
=>·`=- ·-=, =i.e. Hamia hit Ahmaa, then Ahmad, the obiect oI the verb hit, becomes -·.,-«-
3. II we were to change the sentence above to passive voice i.e. Ahmaa was hit, then the ¸-··
(Hamid)is no more present and the -·.,-«- (Ahmad) becomes the subiect oI the sentence. In
such cases it is called ¸-··.··· , or the aeputv aoer
In addition to this we have also been introduced to the concept oI phrase and already know that a
possessive phrase consists oI two parts:
1. -,|·=·=- (The possessor)
2. =·=-(The possessed)
This is now the right time to introduce another term which is Irequently encountered in Arabic
sentences, called ,,= . As you may have guessed correctly this is the state when an .=· goes in the
state oI ,- . In Arabic, whenever an .=· is preceded by a preposition it automatically goes into ,- . An
example oI this is: .,,|·J (in the house). Note that .,,|· has entered its grammatical state because oI
the preposition J in Iront oI it. There are certain particles in Arabic which cause an .=· to enter a
speciIic grammatical state. These particles are known as Governing Agents. There are 17 oI them in
total. However, we will start with only two at this time and will see how the two oI them aIIect the
grammatical state oI an .=·. These two particles are:
1. .··
2. .|
Both these governing agents aIIect -,«=·-·«-and cancel the original grammatical states oI ··=·,-and ~-
.Also, the name oI both these terms change as well when a sentence contains either .·· or .|
. What was earlier known as ··=·,- is now known as .··`.=·(Ism of kana) and in case oI .|as .|.=·
(Ism of Inna). Similarly, the predicates are known as .··`~-and .|,,- .
So, all in all we have 12 terms at our disposal and the rules oI ,- will dictate which grammatical state
each oI these terms go in. Firstly, since we are only concerned with .=· at this stage, thereIore we will
remove ¸-· Irom our list, leaving us with 11 terms to deal with. The Iollowing table lists which
grammatical state each Ialls in:
-· ¸-·· ¸-··.··· |=·,- ~- .··`.=| .|`~-
.=· -·.,-«- .|.=· .··`~-
,- -,||=·=- ,,=
Now this is a lot oI inIormation! Insha Allah I will give a number oI examples in the coming posts Ior
each oI these rules so that they become easy to understand.
Nahw - The Anatomy of a Sentence - Part 1
In this post I will give a Iew examples Irom ¸.,,.·|· ¸=«|·(Qasas-un-Nabivveen - Stories of the
Prophets) which is the text which we are reading at the Toronto Shariah Program. The purpose here is
to see how some oI the grammatical terms which we have learned so Iar Iit into an Arabic sentence.
This will help in identiIying the correct terms and how they can be properly used while constructing
longer Arabic sentences. We will also learn a Iew new grammatical states and will Iit each oI them in
the table which we built in the previous Nahw post.
·=-,..=- ¸`--·,| J .···(In a town there was a verv famous man) Note the order oI Noun,
Adiective, and Adverb here. In English we put Adverb ¹ Adiective ¹ Noun (verv · famous · man): in
Arabic this order is reversed (man · famous · verv). ·=-is the adverb here, called the normal aaverb
or _·=- .,-«-and it goes into .=·, thereIore you see the two fathas at the end. In addition to this -·,|is
in ,-since it is preceded by a preposition, J. Also notice ,..=- ¸`-: they have a -«= =,=,-
relationship and thus the Iollowing rules apply to them, as explained in this post:
1. DeIiniteness: no .·in Iront oI either
2. Plurality: both are singular
3. Gender: both are masculine
4. Grammatical state: both are in -·(double ahamma at the end). Why they are in -·is because
¸`-is the .=|oI .··and ,..=-has to agree with it in grammatical state because oI the -«=
=,=,-relationship. One important thing to note here is that there is no rule which says that the
word immediately Iollowing .··is it`s subiect. We have already stated in a previous post that
no such rule oI sequence exists in Arabic and in this sentence we see that ¸`-is not the word
which immediately Iollows .··
¹ ¸`-, |· ·=· `.=· .···(The name of this man was Aazar) Let`s take ¹Iirst: it is in .=·as can be seen
by the fatha at the end. This is because ¹is the ~-oI .··thereIore it goes into .=·. Also, note the
one ahamma on .=·which means that it is in the state oI -·. This is because it is .=|oI .··so it goes
in the state oI -·. Also, ¸`-,|·is the -,|| =·=-oI .=·thereIore it goes into ,-as our Grammatical State
Table shows. (Note: the Iinal kasra may not show properly on the web page)
-··=· .,,|· ·=· ¸· .·· ,(Ana in this house there were iaols): -··=·is the .=|oI .··so it is in the state oI
-·, thus the double ahamma at the end. The whole phrase .,,|· ·=· ¸·is termed to be in place of .=·
. This is necessary since this whole phrase, rather than iust a single word, is the ~-oI .··. However,
.,,|·itselI is in ,-because oI ¸·, a preposition. This concept oI being in a grammatical state is
important since most oI the time it is a whole phrase which will need to take up a speciIic grammatical
state rather than a single word. Because we cannot put ahamma, fatha. or kasra on the entire phrase
thereIore we consider the whole phrase into that speciIic grammatical state. This will become more
clear, Insha Allah, when I give more examples involving complex sentences.
-··=v·=.,-· ` ¹ .·· ,( Ana Aazar woula worship these iaols): The combination oI .··and -·='·verb
(=.,-·in this case) gives the meaning oI woula. In other terms, this combination depicts the past
continuous tense and is used whenever the idea oI a general habit or an action occurring over and over
again is to be conveyed. Notice the fatha at the end oI -··=v·: it is the -· .,-«-oI =.,-·thus it goes into
.=· .
I hope that these simple examples would be an easy primer to the application oI the concept oI
Grammatical States in Arabic Language. Insha Allah, I will soon post more example with more
complex sentences.
Nahw - The Anatomy of a Sentence - Part 2
As promised here is the second part oI our sentence analysis exercise. In this post, Insha Allah, I will
take up a complex Arabic sentence and will show how rules oI grammatical states apply to such
sentences.
··¬- -··=v· .·=,-· .,··,·· .·· ,( Ana Ibrahim woula recognize that iaols are rock)
Right away you can see that this sentence can be divided into two main parts: .=|oI .··, which is
.,··,··,and the rest oI the sentence, starting Irom =,-·, which is the ~-oI .··. However, within
this ~-oI .··are at least two other complete sentences: ··¬- -··=v· .· (iaols are rock) and =,-·
··¬- -··=v· .·(he knew that iaols are rock). As a rule, whenever an Arabic sentence is composed oI
other smaller sentences (and most oI them do!) then the rules oI grammatical states apply to the inner
sentences and the outer sentence is assumea to take the grammatical state which a stand-alone word
would have taken had there been one. To understand this concept Iully take the word .,··,··. The
ahamma at its end signiIies that it is in the state oI -·, which is expected since .=|oI .··goes into the
grammatical state oI -·. However, the rest oI the sentence which constitutes the ~-oI .··has to go
into .=·, but how do you put a complete sentence (which itselI is composed oI two other sentences)
into .=· ? The answer is that we start analyzing the inner sentences and apply rules oI grammatical
states to them individually and the complete outer sentence is assumea to be in the state oI .=· . So let
us do exactly that and in the end we will recombine the inner sentences to complete the whole outer
sentence.
··¬- -··=v· .·: Here -··=v· is the .=·oI .·. As with .·, the .=·oI .·goes into .=·, thus the fatha on
-··=v·. Similarly, ··¬-is the ~-oI .·and thereIore it is in the state oI -·, as signiIied by the
ahamma at the end. Also recognize that the complete sentence is a -,r| -·<.
Now look at the verb =,-·: It needs a ¸-··(the doer) and a -· .,-«-(the one upon whom the verb is
done. Do remember, though, that there are other verbs which do not require a -· .,-«-). The ¸-··Ior
=,-·is implied since it is the Iirst coniugation (he recognize). Since the ¸-··is contained within the
verb, the rest oI the sentence, ··¬- -··=v· .· , has to be the -· .,-«-oI the verb =,-·(Revert back to
the previous paragraph and note that this -· .,-«-itselI is a -,r| -·<). Again, since we cannot put a
whole sentence into the state oI .=·, where a -· .,-«-is supposed to go, thereIore we assume that this
part oI the sentence is in the state oI .=·. Also, this sentence is a -.,.·-.· -·«.-since it starts with a
verb, =,-·.
So until now we have desiccated and analyzed this sentence into at least 2 maior parts: -,r| -·<and
-.,.·-.· -·«.-,and have seen how each word within these parts is Iollowing its particular rule Ior
grammatical states. Now let us move ahead and combine the whole sentence. Since the sentence starts
with .··, a verb, thereIore the complete sentence is a -.,.·-.· -·«.-, and the part starting Irom
=,-·up to the end is assumea to be in the state oI .=·, since it is the ~-oI .··. As I mentioned
beIore, .,··,··, being the .=|oI .··, goes into -·, and hence the ahamma at the end.
I hope that this example Iurther explains how the concept oI grammatical terms is used in Arabic
Language.
Nahw - The Anatomy of a Sentence - Part 3
In this post I will explain , Insha Allah, some points regarding the use oI the relative pronoun .=.|· in
the Arabic Language. We will use the Iollowing sentence as our example:
·=.|·,-.--,.¬.·,.,¬.·|,.,-=|=.|,¸,-·«=|.··
(Ismail was a small boy would run and go out with is Iather)
In English a relative pronoun is used to describe a noun whenever the noun is being described by a Iull
sentence rather than a single word. For example, in the sentence The pen. which I bought vesteraav. is
unique, the word which is connecting the pen with its adiective. The analogous word in Arabic is .=.|·
and it gives the meaning oI who .The technical term Ior it is .,.=,-.=· .
Note that we have translated the sentence given above into English using the word who even though
there is no .=.|· in it. To understand this apparent anomaly understand that |=.|, is an .=· being
described by the adiective |,.,-=(both oI them Iorm a =,.=,-and -«.=relationship, and thus
match each other in being inaefinite). Also, the word |=.|,is being described Iurther by the verbal
sentence which starts at .,¬.·and ends at ·=.|·,. In eIIect, the =,.=,-has two -«.=in the main
sentence. Plus, the second -«.=is a complete sentence in itselI as opposed to the Iirst one which is a
single word. So we have an instance where a noun is being described by a sentence. To be consistent
with the =,.=,- -«.= rules, whatever is describing |=.|,has to be inaefinite. In the Arabic
Language, as a rule, all sentences are considered inaefinite by deIault. Hence, there is no grammatical
problem when connecting |=.|, with its adiective (i.e. the verbal sentence) since both are indeIinite.
Now consider a case where the noun being described is aefinite and we have a sentence which is
describing it. This will cause a problem since we need to have a way oI converting the inaefinite
sentence into a aefinite sentence beIore letting it describe a aefinite noun. This Iunctionality is provided
by .=.|· which transIorm the value oI a sentence Irom inaefinite to aefinite . An example oI this can be
seen in Al-Hashr |22-24|:
*`.,-,|· `¸«-,|·, `··=.=|·,.,-|· `.·-, `··|| -||·|.=|· `-·|·, `·
.,·,=`· ·«--·|·¸¬,`= `,`,´·`«|· `·,¬|· `,·,-|·`¸«,.`«|· `¸-,`«|·`.·.|·`¸,=«|·`c·«|·,`··||-||· |.=|·`-·|·,`·
`.,´¬|· `,·,-|·, `·, ¸||·,=,«.|·¸· ·-`-| `¬`,.`· ¸·.`¬|· ··«=||· `-| ``,=`«|·`a·,|·`_·¬|·`-·|·,`·
Note that the Iirst two verses have .=.|· in it since the noun -·|·is being described by ,` ··||-||·| which
is a complete sentence. However, this is not the case with the Iinal verse where the noun -·|· is being
described by _·¬|· (and other adiectives) which is a aefinite noun (and single word, as well), so .=.|· is
not needed here.
I hope this will explain some basic points regarding the use oI .=.|· in the Arabic Language.
Nahw - Attached Pronouns: their Grammatical States
A pronoun is a substitute oI Ior a noun. Thus, you can say This is Zaias book or you can say This is his
book, the his being the pronoun. Similarly, you can say I gave the book to Zaia ana Amr as well as I
gave the book to them, the them being the pronoun here.
In Arabic we can have two Iorms oI a pronoun: attachea and aetachea. An example oI each is:
..|·.| ,.·He is a stuaent (detached pronoun)
=..·¬.- `-···His son is haraworking (attached pronoun)
In this post I will show, Insha Allah, how we can determine the grammatical state oI attached pronouns.
There are a total oI 14 attached pronouns, same number as the verb coniugations. However, the
attached pronouns Ior 3rd person dual masculine and dual Ieminine, as well as those Ior 2nd person
dual masculine and dual Ieminine, are the same. Thus, we are leIt with 14 - 2 ÷ 12 attached pronouns to
deal with. The table below shows the listings Ior attached pronouns:
3rd Person Masculine Singular ·
3rd Person Masculine dual ·«.·
3rd Person Masculine Plural ..·
3rd Person Feminine Singular ··
3rd Person Feminine dual ·«.·
3rd Person Feminine Plural ¸.·
2nd Person Masculine Singular .
2nd Person Masculine Dual ·«·
2nd Person Masculine Plural .·
2nd Person Feminine Singular .
2nd Person Feminine Dual ·«·
2nd Person Feminine Plural ¸·
1st Person Masculine/Feminine Singular ¸·
1st Person Masculine/Feminine
Dual/Plural
··
One point to note about 1st Person Masculine/Feminine Singular: The ¸·ending is onlv attached to
verbs. For .=·and =,-(preposition) the ending is a simple .. I will, Insha Allah, provide an
explanation Ior this shortly.
Grammatical States oI attached pronouns:
Why do we need to determine grammatical states Ior attached pronouns? The answer to this question is
that these attached pronouns lack enaings. For example, we can say =·and right away know that this
is a case oI -·because oI the ahamma at the end. However, the attached pronouns cannot have
ahamma, fatha,or kasra as their endings: ·«·will alwavs be ·«·and ··will alwavs be ··, Ior example.
We cannot stick a ahamma, fatha, or kasra at their end to reIlect grammatical states. Yet, we know that
attached pronouns do possess grammatical states, an example oI which is ....·.·,.=which means I
hit them. Clearly, I, the pronoun, is the subiect here and them is the obiect and thus has to have
grammatical states in Arabic. Other examples oI the same pronoun in the three grammatical states
would be:
1. ···,=(zarabna): we hit. Here ··is in -·since it is the subiect oI hitting
2. ···,=(zarabana): he hit us. Here ··is in .=·since it is the obiect oI hitting
3. ··.·..|¹(aalihatina): our goas. Here ··is in ,-since it is -,.|· =·=-.
Rule Ior determining Grammatical States oI attached pronouns
The pronoun will either be attached to a verb or a non-verb. II it is attached to a verb then it will either
be Irom the endings we learned in =,=or it won`t. II it is, then -·on the basis oI either ¸-··or .···
¸-··(deputy doer). II it isn`t, then .=·on the basis oI -· .,-«-
II it is attached to an .=·then its Grammatical State would be ,-on the basis oI -,.|· =·=-.
II it is attached to =,-then it could be attached to either a preposition or one oI the .|sisters. II it is
attached to a preposition then ,-because oI being the obiect oI that preposition. II it is attached to one
oI the .|sisters then its Grammatical State would be .=·on the basis oI .| `.=|
These rules are depicted diagrammatically in the Iollowing chart (click to enlarge):
Examples:
Pronoun attached to a verb:
Attached pronoun with the =,=table ending: ···,=(zarabna: we hit). Here ··is ¸-··because it is the
doer oI hitting. This is coniugation number 13 Irom the =,=table.
Attached pronoun with ending not Irom the =,=table: ..·,.·=.·( mentioning them). Here ..·is in
.=·because it is the -· .,-«-oI mentioning.The catch here is that the =,=tables only talks about we
and not about them: in other words, we do not have a coniugation in the =,=tables which translates to
anything relating to them. Thus, this is an example where we have a pronoun attached to a verb-ending
which cannot be Iound in the =,=tables.
Pronoun attached to a non-verb:
Attached to an .=·: e.g. .´`····(vour book). This is a possessive phrase so the attached pronoun
is in the state oI ,-
Attached to a =,-: This can have two instances:
Attached to a preposition: e.g. -,·(in it), ...·.-( for them). Here the attached pronoun is
in the state oI ,-because in and it are the obiects oI their respective prepositions
Attached to an .|sister: e.g. ..´.··(vou are). Here vou is .| `.=|, thus it is in the state oI .=·
Note on the use oI the ¸· ending in the 13
th
coniugation:
In Arabic iI we want to say mv book, we will say ¸····: however, iI we want to say I hit, we will say
¸··,=. Notice the extra .which is used when a verb is used with an attached pronoun in the 13th
coniugation. Recall that .=·can experience grammatical states in Arabic because oI governing agents.
For verbs, however, only the -·=-verb experiences grammatical state and that only oI -,-: it cannot
take the state oI -·or .=·or ,-. Yet, the 13
th
coniugation dictates that the verb takes a kasra, since
this coniugation ends in a .. It is to protect the verb Irom taking the kasra (and thus undergoing ,-,
which it cannot) that an extra .is inserted. This extra .does not have a meaning oI its own: it is simply
used as a means oI protecting the verb Irom undergoing a grammatical state which a verb is not
allowed to take.
Nahw - The Grammatical States playground: and
Recall Irom our earlier discussion that =·,-| is the name given to the process oI reIlecting grammatical
states on the last letters oI words by using ahamma, fatha, or kasra. To avoid Ialse grammatical
assumptions arising Irom vowel-less script (which is the case both in the writings oI Classical Arabic
and contemporary Arabic language) it is very important to know which words experience grammatical
states in Arabic and which do not. Without this knowledge a reader may attribute grammatical states
where they are not supposed to be attributed. In other words, by iust looking at a ahamma a reader
might assume the state oI -· whereas the word may very well be one which does not take any
grammatical states.
To go about clearing this conIusion the grammarians oI Arabic Language have deIined certain terms:
1. =,-- : These are the parts oI speech which do experience grammatical states and show these
states by using ahamma, fatha, and kasra
2. True _,-: These are the parts oI speech which do not experience any grammatical states
3. Resembling _,-: These are parts oI speech which do experience grammatical states but do not
show them at their ends Ior one reason or another
Below, I will explain in detail which part oI speech Ialls under which category.
=,-
··,·|_¬·.-=,-¸·
[Everv =,- is worthv of being _,-{
So says the author oI A Thousana Couplets. From amongst the parts oI speech in Arabic, none oI the
=,- experience any oI the grammatical state. Thus, we cannot say that ¸· or is in -· .=· , or
,- . It would be grammatically incorrect to say that. In Arabic Language, 100° oI the =,- are _,-.
¸-·
·,··¸=-,,-|¸-·
··,-.|·-·=-·,·,-|,
¸-,,=·,-=,·,·.,·¸-
;·¸-¸-~·=··|.,·
[The Amr verb ana past tense are mabnee
Ana thev (The Arabs) consiaerea the imperfect Murab if it is nakea
From the attachea nun of emphasis ana from the nun of femininitv
Like thev (group of females) scarea the one who was put in trial{
Moving on to ¸-· , we know by now that ¸-· can be subdivided into 4 broad categories, namely ¸=·-
-·=- ,-· , and ¸· .
The ¸· coniugations are nothing but a variation oI -·=- . II we remove the v all we are leIt with is
-·=- in the state oI -,- . For example, =,=·vbecomes =,=·which is a -·=- in the state oI -,- .
Also, within the ,-· everything except the 2
nd
person active voice is nothing but -·=- in the state oI
-,- due to the presence oI -v with a kasra at the Iront. In addition to this, we have already said that the
2
nd
person active command oI ,-· has special coniugations, diIIerent Irom those oI 1
st
and 3
rd
person
active (and also the 1
st
, 2
nd
, and 3
rd
person passive voice) since a command is almost always directed
towards a second person. Thus, Ior the purpose oI Nahw we divide the ¸-· into 3 aifferent diIIerent
categories. Note, that we are iust shuIIling around the same categories oI ¸-· Ior the purpose oI
understanding the concept oI =,-- and _,-: no new categories are being deIined:
1. ¸=·-
2. -·=- (including all coniugations except the 2
nd
person active voice)
3. ,-· (including only the 2
nd
person active voice)
In the ensuing discussion, the terms ¸=·- -·=- , and ,-· are used as deIined above, and not in the
usual =,=terms
Out oI these, ¸=·- is all _,-so no governing agent will ever cause it to enter a grammatical state i.e.
alter its endings. The ,-· is also 100° _,-. The -·=-, however, is generallv =,-- : one indication oI
this is the change in endings which takes palce when we put a .or a ¸|in Iront oI a -·=- . Without a .
the -·=- has a ahamma whereas iI we put a ¸|in Iront oI it the ending changes to a fatha. Note that
these changes are not received by either the ¸=·- or the 2
nd
person active command. In addition to this
recall that the two Ieminine plurals which, iI you recall , do not change when we add .or a ¸|in Iront
oI the -·=- . For example, ¸·-«· remains ¸·-«· even iI we add a .or a ¸|in Iront oI the -·=- . Thus out
oI the total 14 coniugations the two Ieminine plurals are _,-. The other 12 coniugations will change, i.e.
they will be =,-- provided that the . oI emphasis is not there, which, iI it is there, will make these
coniugations _,-. It is important to note that the . oI emphasis is a separate word in the emphatic
coniugations and cannot receive the change to undergo a grammatical state. Thus, it causes the -·=- to
be _,-. It is now high time to re-read the verses Irom A Thousana Couplets given above Ior ¸-·
.=·
_,-,=,---·-.=v·
_=-=,,-·¸--,=|
····-¸r·J¸-=,|·-,=|··
···J,_-J.,·-'·,
[The Ism. from it are Murab ana Mabnee.
Due to a resemblance to the particles which araws close.
Like the coinage resemblance in the two Isms of ····- ,
Ana the meaning resemblance in the woras _- ana ··· {
II one notices, .=· and =,- are at the two ends oI the Arabic Language spectrum: An .=· is deIined
within itselI whereas a =,- requires additional inIormation to be deIined. Moreover, .=· are made up
oI a minimum oI 3 letters whereas =,- are composed usually oI two letters. There are, however,
certain .=· which resemble =,- in that they are also composed oI two letters. An example oI this
happens in ····- (vou came to us) which has two .=· in it: ·· (vou) and ·· (us). Thus, we say that such .=·
resemble =,- on the basis oI coinage i.e. in the way they are Iormed, and this resemblance causes the
.=· to get one chracteristic oI =,- i.e. become _,-.
Another part Irom the parts oI speech is demonstrative pronouns which is closer to =,- on the basis oI
meaning. For example, the word _- could stand Ior:
1. Interrogation e.g. .,|.=.`·· ·.·`=-,|····¸·- (when will this promise (be fulfillea) if vour are from
amongst the true)
2. Condition i.e. it conveys the meaning if e.g. when he comes. respect him: when I plav. vou
watch. which essentially can be conveyed in the Iorm: if he comes. respect him or if I plav. vou
watch
In both oI these meanings it resembles a =,- which can be explained by the Iact that Ior interrogation
in Arabic we already have the particle called the hamza oI interrogation, |, and Ior condition we have
the =,- called .·. Thus on the basis oI this meaning resemblance the _-.=· becomes _,- .
Lastly, to understand as to why ··· is an example oI an .=·which is _,- , consider the how the
Iollowing meanings are conveyed in Arabic using =,- :
Interrogation - |
Condition - .·
Negation - v.·-
Prohibition - v
Emphasis - -·,«·.
Elevation - ¸·-
Longing / Wishing - .,|
Anticipation - ···|
Containment - ¸·
Destination - ¸|·
Origin / Initiation - ¸-
Semblance - .··
ReIerence - ???
Now ··· is used Ior ··=· i.e. to refer to something. Every idea being conveyed in the above list has a
corresponding =,- in the Arabic Language, except ··· . Thus, the Arabic grammarians say: .·-«-·
=,-·.|-=,· (So. it was also worthv of having a particle coinea alongsiae it). In other words, ··=·
shoula also have a =,- coined Ior it and yet there is none. Thus, ··· is an .=· which is _,- due to the
resemblance to a =,- which should have existed but doesn`t.
This shows , at least, that there are certain categories oI .=· which are _,- due to one reason or another:
meaning, resemblance, aepenaancv etc. Below, I list these categories:
1. Personal Pronouns: He. him. she. thev. I. we etc.
2. Interrogative Pronouns: ¸- ·- ¸·- ¸·· (Who. what. when. where)
3. Relative Pronouns: .=|· ¸·|· (Who. what. which)
4. Demonstrative Pronouns: ·= = .|. ·· (this. here)
Finally, we are ready to put all this inIormation together in the Iollowing 3 points:
1. =,,-: All _,-
2. 80 ° oI .·-·| are _,-and 20° are =,--
3. 80° oI ··r|are =,--and 20° are _,-
Nahw - Methods of reflection of an
Up until now we have learned that an .=· which is =,-.- will show its grammatical states using a
-.«.= Ior -·, a -¬.·.·Ior .=·, or a ·,...·Ior ,- (or the corresponding ¸·,·.·). However, there
are situations in Arabic Language where it is not possible to show the grammatical states using either
oI these three methods. As an example take a look at :
1. ¸=,.-··.-Musa came
2. ¸=,.-.,··I saw Musa
3. ¸=,.«.·=,.-I passea bv Musa
In the Iirst sentence ¸=,.-is the subiect (i.e. in the state oI -·), in the second it is the obiect (i.e the
state oI .=·) , and in the third it is in the state oI ,-because oI the =,.-, i.e. .·, in Iront oI it. Yet,
in none oI the examples the grammatical states are shown using the usual signs oI a -.«.=, or a
-¬.·.·, or a ·,...·. This is because the noun ¸=,.-is incapable oI showing these signs. This leads
us to the Iact that variations can occur in the way grammatical states are reIlected on an .=·. For our
purposes we will divide .=·in 16 diIIerent categories and will see how each category will show its
grammatical state in its own unique way. These 16 categories and their corresponding methods oI
reIlection are listed in the table below and each category is then Iurther explained in detail with
examples. You can also click on any category to iump to its explanation:
# Type oI .=· -· .=· ,-
1 ¬,¬==,.=.·.-.,.«.- -.«.= -¬.·.· ·,...·
2 ¬,¬=-·.«-.··.|.,.«.- -.«.= -¬.·.· ·,...·
3 =,.=.·.-,..´.--.«.- -.«.= -¬.·.· ·,...·
4 ..|·.=..·,.--«.- -.«.= ·,...· ·,...·
5 =,.=.·.-,,.- -.«.= -¬.·.· -¬.·.·
6 6 Special Nouns , · .
7 ¸.·.·.«.|· · . .
8 ··.·.·,:.· · . .
9 .·.·.·.··,.·.·.·· · . .
10 ..|·.=,.·=.--«.- , . .
11
All exceptions which do not Iall in under the deIinition oI -«.-
..|·.=,.·=.- but are reIlected in the same manner
, . .
12 .,,.=.- to .,.-...· i.e. multiple oI 10 up to 90 , . .
13 ,.=.«.-.=· Assumed Assumed Assumed
14
Any .=· other than ..|·.=,.·=.--«.- which is =·=-
towards .
Assumed Assumed Assumed
15 ¸,.«.·.-.=· Assumed Explicit Assumed
16 ..|·.=,.·=.--«.- which is =·=- towards .
Assumed
,
Explicit . Explicit .
Category 1: (¬,¬==,.=.·.-.,.«.-) This category can be titled in English as Singular-Fullv
Declinable - No Weak Letters. This is the category which we had discussed earlier as the one which
shows its grammatical states in the usual manner. Examples:
=···.-(Zaia came)
·=·.,··(I saw Zaia)
=·,.·=,.-(I passea bv Zaia)
Category 2: (¬,¬=-·.«-.··.|.,.«.-) This category consists oI any .=·which ends in a ,or .
preceded by a .,.´.=, e.g. ,.|. (a bucket) or ¸.,.|(a aeer). Examples:
¸.,.|··.-(a aeer came)
¸.,.|.,··(I saw a aeer)
¸.,.=.·=,.-(I passea bv a aeer)
Category 3: (=,.=.·.-,..´.--.«.-) or the Fullv Declinable Broken Plural. As the name
implies, this category consists oI the declinable broken plural. Examples:
.·.-··.-(A man came)
v·.-.,··(I saw a man)
.·.-,.·=,.-(I passea bv a man)
Category 4: (..|·.=..·,.--«.-) or The Souna Feminine Plural. This has already been taken care
oI here. I will repeat the examples, though:
=·«.·..«|·=··-(The Muslim women came)
=·«.·..«|·.··(I saw the Muslim women )
=·«.·..«.|··=,.-(I passea bv the Muslim women)
Category 5: (=,.=.·.-,,.-). This is an .=·which contains either 2 oI the 9 causes oI change-
restriction or 1 powerIul cause which stands in the place oI 2 causes. Some oI the salient points
regarding this category are:
This category never gets a ¸·,·.· or a ·,...·
All Ieminine names Iall into this category
Most masculine names are not in this category, except those ending in a ·
Names rhyming with ¸.-.··Iall in this category
Adiectives rhyming with ¸.-.··(e.g. the colors) Iall in this category
Below, I list the 9 reasons, the presence oI which (either two reasons or one powerIul one) can cause an
.=·to become =,.=.·.-,,.-:
1. Transgression: A word leaves it original pattern and adopts a new one because oI excessive
usage. An example oI this is the name ,.«.- which used to be ,.-·.-but leIt its pattern to
become ,.«.-
2. Be an adiective: This is a property which needs to exist within the medium oI a body and cannot
exist without it. Thus, this has to be a quality like beautiful or lazv. Examples will include colors
like ,.«-· (rea) or .,.=·(black)
3. Be Ieminine: The Iollowing Iour reasons cause am .=·to be Ieminine:
iI there is a ·at the end. Note that even though -¬.·.| is a man`s name, yet the word is
Ieminine since it has a ·at its end
4. iI there is an ·,.=.«.-..|· i.e. Iinal ..|·not Iollowed by a · , Ior example: ¸·.,.-
(pregnant) or .,,.·(the small one). This is a powerIul reason so it alone will cause an .=·to
become =,.=.·.-,,.-
5. iI there is an ·.,=.«.-..|·i.e. Iinal ..|·Iollowed by a ·, Ior example: |.«.·.-(men of
knowleage) or |=.,.·(the white one). This is a powerIul reason so it alone will cause an .=·
to become =,.=.·.-,,.-
6. iI it is an understood Ieminine Ior example, ..··,which is the name oI a girl
7. Be a name
8. Be plural
9. Be oI Ioreign origin like .,.··,.·· or 3·.¬.=· or =,.«.-.·
10.Be compound (two words linking together to become a name) like =,.-,.=.- , which is a
place in Yemen, or -·,.,.=who was an Arabic grammarian
11.Be on the pattern oI a verb. For example, ,.,.·· or =.«.-·, both oI which are on the pattern
oI ¸.-.··
12.Extra · and . at the end. Examples are .·.«.·.-or .·.«.-.·. Thus, in Haaith literature we
will see ¸.··.·.«.·.-¸.- with a -¬.·.·on .·.«.·.- although there is a preposition, ¸.-
, in Iront oI it
Category 6: This category is composed oI 6 special nouns
1. =·(a father)
2. -·(a brother)
3. ..-(a father-in-law)
4. ..·(a mouth)
5. ¸.·(a thing)
6. ,.(a possessor). This is always Iollowed by a noun
These will show their grammatical states according to type 6 under the conditions that they have to be
singular (dual will be dealt with in category 7 and plural has already been dealt with in category 3) and
they cannot be =·=- towards .(which case will be dealt with in category 16).
Some examples are: =.-·.-,.-|..·. (Maiias brother went) or =.-·.-·.-|.,·· (I saw
Maiias brother) or =.-·.-¸-|-.-..,.·. (I went with Maiias brother). Examples using ,.
would be:.·.-,.··.-(a possessor of wealth came) or .·.-·..,·· (I saw a possessor of wealth)
or .·.-.=.·=,.- (I passea bv a possessor of wealth) or .,·.-..·.-..¸.·3,.·, (above
everv possessor of knowleage is the All Knowing)
Category 7: This deals with ¸.·.·.«.|·or the aual. This is an .=·to the end oI which is attached
either an ·and a .or a . and a .to indicate that with it is another like it. An example would be ..·.·
¸,.·|,.«.|·¸||¸,.·,.·.´.-.:.-,.|·(the two men wrote two letters to the two women)
There are some other words in the Arabic Language which are treated like duals e.g. .·,.·· meaning
father ana mother or .·,.«.| meaning moon ana sun (and two Iathers or two moons) which
Iollow the same method oI reIlection as this category
Category 8: This includes two words :.·and ··.·.· meaning both (masculine and Ieminine,
respectively). Examples are : ·«.·:.·.:.-··.-(both men came) or .,··
·.«...,·.·¸,.·.-(I saw both men) or ·.«...,·.·¸,.·.-,.·=,.-(I passea bv both men)
Category 9: This includes .·.·.··and .·.·.·.··which means two (masculine and Ieminine,
respectively). For example:.·.·.····.-(two [masculine obiects{ came) or ¸.,·.··.,··(I saw two
[masculine obiects{) or ¸.,·.··.·=,.-(I passea bv two [masculine obiects{)
Category 10: The Souna Masculine Plural or ..|·.=,.·=.--«.-has already been dealt with here. I
will give the usual examples, though: .,.«.·..«.|···-(The Muslim men came) or .··
¸,.«.·..«.|·(I saw the Muslim men) or ¸,.«.·..«.|··.·=,.-(I passea bv the Muslim men)
Category 11: This category consists oI those .=·which are reIlected the same way as Category 10 but
do not Iall under the ..|·.=,.·=.--«.-category. Examples oI such .=·are ,.|,·and its sisters.
The reIlection oI this category is shown by the Iollowing examples:=·.,.|v·,.|,|..·(Thev are
people of intelligence) or =·.,.|v·¸.|,|=.·.-=·.,.|v·¸.|,|.,··(I saw the people of
intelligence bv the people of intelligence). Other words which Iall in this category are ¸.·· (people of)
and ¸,,.·.- (the highest places)
Category 12: This category constitutes multiples oI 10 starting Irom 20 and going up to 90 (.,,.=.-
to .,.-...·) and are reIlected using the same method as Categroy 10 and 11. Examples:··-
:.-.,,.=.- (twentv men came) or :.-¸·,.=.-.,·· (I saw twentv men) or =,.-
:.-¸·,.=.-.· (I passea bv twentv men)
Category 13: This category consists oI .=·oI the Iorm ¸=,.-or ¸.,.- i.e. an .=·having an ..|·
·,.=.«.- at its end. Such .=·are incapable oI showing any =·,.-| and thus they are categorized
as having assumea reflection. Examples are:
¸=,.-··.-(Musa came) or ¸=,.-.,··(I saw Musa) or ¸=,.«.·=,.-(I passea bv Musa).
Antoher set oI examples would be: ·=.-··.- (a staff came) or ·=.-.,·· (I saw a staff) or
·=.-.·=,.- (I passea bv a staff)
Category 14: This category consists oI .=·other than ..|·.=,.·=.--«.-i.e. sound masculine
plural, which is =·=- towards . oI Iirst person, Ior example, ¸.-:.- (mv servant) or ¸.·.,.·(mv
house). Examples in this categories will be:¸.-:.-··.- (mv servant came) or ¸.-:.-.,·· (I
saw mv servant) or ¸.-:.-.·=,.-(I passea bv mv servant)
Category 15: This category consists oI .=·which are called ¸,.«.·.-.=·i.e. they have a .
preceded by a ·,...·at their end. Only the state oI .=·is reIlected on them: the other two are
assumed. Examples are: ¸.=·.«.|···.- (The Juage came) or ¸.=·.«.|·.,·· (I saw the Juage) or
¸.=·.«.|·.·=,.- (I passea bv the Juage)
Category 16: This category consists oI .=·which are ..|·.=,.·=.--«.-ana are =·=- towards .
oI Iirst person. An example would be ¸.«.·...-(mv muslims). For the -·case this was originally
¸,«.·...-but the ,becomes ¸.··.= since it is appearing with a .. In the second step the ,is
changed to a .giving us ¸,.«.·...- and the -.«.= is changed to ·,...·( Ior pronunciation
reasons) to give us ¸.«.·...-. However, the originals Ior the .=·and ,-case were already
¸.«.·...-. The set oI examples in this category, then, would be:¸.«.·...-··.- (mv Muslims
came) or ¸.«.·...-.,·· (I saw mv Muslims) or ¸.«.·...«.·=,.-(I passea bv mv
Muslims)
I hope this detailed introduction to methods oI reIlection Ior an .=·will go a long way towards
understanding this key concept in Arabic Language, Insha Allah.

Nahw - Methods oI reIlection Ior the verb
We have already learned that an .=· can have three grammatical states which will determine whether it
is the subiect or obiect in a sentence or whether it exists in a possessive structure. At that time we had
also learned that the verb also experiences three grammatical states, the Iirst two being -· and .=·
and the third one being -,.-. Also, we know that it is only the -·=.- which experiences these
states, the ¸=·- being ¸·.,.- on either -¬.·.·or .,.´.=or -.«.=
Note the Iollowing Ior ¸=·- and ,.-· :
3
rd
coniugation oI ¸=·- is ¸·.,.-on -.«.= : the 4 ¸=·-coniugations (1,2,4, and 5) are ¸·.,.-
on -¬.·.·: and the rest are ¸·.,.- on .,.´.=
,.-· is ¸·.,.-on the sign oI -,.-
For singular coniugations this sign is .,.´.=e.g. ¸.-.·· (You ao')
For dual coniugations this sign is denoted by the omission oI . e.g. :.-.··(You [two
males{ ao')
It is interesting to note that a verb can never become subiect or obiect in a sentence: it describes the
actions being done by or upon an .=· but never does an action itselI and is never acted upon. Thus, the
concept oI grammatical states Ior a verb is quite diIIerent Irom that Ior an .=·. In this post, Insha Allah,
I will try to explain what exactly is meant by the grammatical states oI a verb and how this concept is
useIul in the Arabic Language.
As with .=·, the goal oI having grammatical states Ior verbs is to remove conIusion, but in a diIIerent
sense. For .=· conIusion will occur iI do not know which one is subiect and which one is obiect and
the process oI =·,.-|is used to remove this conIusion. For a verb the change in grammatical state will
change the aescription oI the action: in one state the action may be negated and restricted to Iuture
tense (as is the case with ¸| ): in another state the action will be negated and also rendered to the past
tense (as is the case with . ). Also, there is the case where the grammatical states will determine which
actions are allowed and which are not in sentences where two or more verbs come one aIter the other.
In such a situation, grammatical state oI a verb may turn the Iinal meaning oI the sentence into one
depicting :
¸..· Irom doing both actions
¸..· Irom doing Iirst action only
¸..· Irom gathering both actions wherein doing each action separately is permissible
As an example oI this, consider the Iollowing sentence:
c.«..|·¸.··.·,¸.,.|·=,.=.·v(Dont arink milk ana aont eat fish)
The Iirst and second verbs are both in the state oI -,.-because oI vand this sentence is an example
oI one which gives the not aoing both meaning i.e. Dont ever arink milk ana eat fish.
However, look at the same sentence with a slight variation:
c.«..|·¸.··.·,¸.,.|·=,.=.·v (Dont arink milk while eating fish).
Notice the change oI =·,.-|on ¸.··.·: The Iirst verb, =,.=.·, is still in the state oI -,.-,
whereas the second verb, ¸.··.·, is now in the state oI .=·, and the meaning changes entirely in this
case. The Iollowing table details out the diIIerent combinations Ior the scenario where two verbs occur
in the same sentence:
Grammatical state oI
Iirst verb
Grammatical state oI
second verb
Meaning
-,.- -,.- Prohibition Irom both actions i.e. don`t do either
-,.- -·
Prohibition Irom Iirst action but permission Ior
second action
-,.- .=·
Prohibition Irom Iirst action while the second
action is being done
AIter having established the importance oI grammatical states Ior the -·=.-verb we will now go
into more details and see how each grammatical state is reIlected on diIIerent coniugations.
Out oI the 14 coniugations Ior the -·=.-, the two Ieminine plurals are not considered since these are
¸·.,.-: their ending is . (i.e. . with a -¬.·.·) which is a pronoun and it never changes e.g.
¸.·.-.«.· or ¸.·.-.«.·..| or ¸.·.-.«.·¸.|
The rest oI the 12, which are =,--, are broken up into:
Group oI 5 verbs which look the same and all are singulars except one (coniugations 1, 4,7,13,
and 14). These 5 could have:
regular last letter e.g. ,.=.·.· or =,.=.· , in which case the verb is called .,.«.-
¬,¬=
a , as last letter e.g. ,.-=.· , in which case it is called .,·,¸.|·.·
a . as last letter e.g. ¸.-,.· , in which case it is called .··¸.|·.·
an · as last letter e.g. ¸=,.· , in which case it is called ¸«.|·¸.|·.·
Group oI 7 which have a .at its end (the 4 duals and coniugations 3, 9, and 10)
.:.-.«.·
.,.·.-.«.·
.:.-.«.· , which occurs 3 times
¸,.·.-.«.·
.,.·.-.«.·
The Iollowing table details out the method oI reIlection Ior these categories:
Type oI Verb -· .=· -,.-
¬,¬=.,.«.- -.«.= -¬.·.· .,.´.=
.,·,¸.|·.·or .··¸.|·.· Assumed -.«.= Real -¬.·.· Drop oI -v position
¸«.|·¸.|·.· Assumed -.«.= Assumed -¬.·.· Drop oI -v position
Group oI 7 Presence oI . Omission oI . Omission oI .
Examples oI ¬,¬=.,.«.- ·
1. ,.=.·.· (he helps) Ior -·
2. ,.=.·.·¸.|(he will never help) Ior .=·
3. ,.=.·.·..|(he aia not help) Ior -,.-
Examples oI .··¸.|·.· or .,·,¸.|·.· ·
¸.-,.·,,,.-.·(he fights ana he throws) Ior -·- Assumed -.«.=
¸.-,.·,,,.-.·¸.|(he will never fight ana never throw) Ior .=· - Real -¬.·.·
-,.·..|,,.-.·..| (he aia not fight ana he aia not throw) Ior -,.-- Drop oI -v position
Examples oI ¸«.|·¸.|·.· :
¸=,.· Ior -· - (Assumed -.«.=)
¸=,.·¸.|Ior .=· - (Assumed -¬.·.·)
¸,.·..| Ior -,.- - (Drop oI -v position)
Examples oI Group oI 7 with . :
.,.·.-.«.· .:.-.«.· ¸,.·.-.«.· Ior -·- (Presence oI . )
:.-.«.·¸.| (vou will never ao) Ior .=· - ( Omission oI . )
·,.·.-.«.·..|(vou aia not ao) Ior -,.-- ( Omission oI . )
HopeIully this brieI introduction to the grammatical states oI verbs in the Arabic Language will be
suIIicient Ior the students oI Nahw, Insha Allah.
Nahw - _naìl: ,.ao O«,> - Particles resembling Verbs
In this post I will, Insha Allah, try to explain how some =,,- (particles) in the Arabic Language,
namely .| and its sisters, resemble verbs and Iorm a category oI their own, in the same way as =,,-
,- (prepositions) do. There are 6 such particles and they are called ¸-«|··-.,=.-=,,- . They enter
upon a -.,.«=·-·«.- causing the ··=·,.- to become =,.=·- i.e. go into the state oI .=· . The name
oI the ··=·,.- changes to .|.=· and the ,,- becomes .|`~-, which goes in state oI -· e.g. =··.´|·.|
=·=- (Inaeea the book is new). There are three reasons why these particles resemble verbs:
1. Resemblance in rhyming
2. Resemblance in meaning
3. Resemblance in the way these particles aIIect the subiect and predicate oI a sentence
The table below lists all 6 members oI this group:
=,- Meaning
.| Inaeea
.| The fact that or that
.|· As if
¸.´| But or however
:·.| Perhaps
.,.| Woula that
and the Iollowng table give the corresponding rhyming verbs Ior these =,,-
=,- Rhyming Verb
.| ,.·
.| ,.·
.|· ¸-.=.|
¸.´| ···.··|
:·.| ¸-.=.|
.,.| ¸,.|
Now we will see how these particles also carry verb-like meanings. As an example take .| , which
means inaeea . In a sentence inaeea can be substituted by the phrase I verifv Ior which the word is
.«.«.- , showing us that the meaning oI verifving is hidden inside .| .The same also goes Ior .|.
Now, .|· means as if which means you are likening or comparing one thing to another Ior which the
word is ...,.= . Similarly, ¸.´| contains the meaning oI I rectifv which can be seen by the Iact that
a statement which has to be rectiIied/corrected must include but e.g. Zaia came but Amr never came.
The word Ior rectiIication is .·=.·=· . Moving Iorward, we see that :·.| means I hope or I
anticipate Ior which the word is .-.-,.· . Finally ,.,.| carries the meaning oI wishing and longing
Ior which the word is .,.·«.· (I wish).
Finally, the way these particles aIIect parts oI a sentence shows us that they can act as governing agents
iust like verbs do. To see this in more detail note that most verbs are Iollowed by two .=· : one oI them
would be in the state oI -· on the basis oI ¸.-·· and the other will be in the state oI .=· on the basis
oI -·.,-«- . Now, these 6 particles are also Iollowed by two .=· , one oI which is in the state oI .=·
based on being the subiect oI the particle and the other one is in the state oI -· based on the predicate.
Thus, this is another way these particles act in a similar manner to that oI verbs.
Nahw - Singular, Dual, and Plural Nouns in Arabic
Arabic nouns can either be singular( .,«.«.|·), dual( ¸.··.«|·), or plural( -.«.¬|·). This is depicted
diagrammatically in the Iollowing chart (click to enlarge), with Iurther subdivisions Ior the plural noun.
The Dual:
The dual can be constructed depending upon its grammatical state. Thus, the rule Ior constructing dual
in -·are diIIerent than the rules Ior constructing the dual in either .=·or ,- . Below, we analyze
these rules Ior constructing the dual oI a noun in Arabic.
When the noun is in -·the dual is constructed by adding the letters ·and .
e.g. .·,.|·.=|···.-(The two stuaents came) . In this structure the ·is basically the sign oI
-.«.=whereas the Iinal .and the corresponding ·,...·do not have a grammatical
signiIicance
When the noun is in either .=·or ,-, the dual is Iormed by adding a ¸.·to the singular e.g.
¸.,.,.|·.=|·.··(I saw the two stuaents) or ¸.,.,.|·.=|·.·=,.-(I passea bv the two
stuaents). In this case, the .indicates both -¬.·.·and ·,...·and, as beIore, the Iinal .and
the corresponding ·,...·do not have a grammatical signiIicance
Note on the use oI Dual:
II the verb precedes the ¸.-··the verb must be singular, e.g. .·=.|,.|·..·.(The two bovs
went)
II the ¸.-··precedes the verb then the verb should also be dual, e.g. ·.,.·..·=.|,.|·
The Plural:
As can be seen Irom the above diagram, there are two types oI plurals in Arabic:
..|·..|·-.«.¬|·or the Souna Plural
,..´.«|·-.«.¬|· or the Broken Plural
The Iirst category can Iurther be divided into masculine or Ieminine genders.
The Sound Plural: This is Iormed Irom the singular by suIIixing additional letters to it while retaining
the original letters Irom the singular noun: thus the name Souna Plural. Below, we analyze rule Ior
constructing the Sound Plurals.
Sound Masculine Plural:
When the noun is in -·the plural is constructed by adding the letters ,and ., with the .having
a -¬.·.· on it. In this structure the ,is basically the sign oI -.«.=whereas the Iinal .and the
corresponding -¬.·.·do not have a grammatical signiIicance. For example, ··-
.,.«.·..«.|·(The Muslim men came)
When the noun is in either .=·or ,-, the plural is Iormed by adding a ¸.·, preceded by a
letter with a kasra, to the singular. For example, ¸,.«.·..«.|·.··(I saw the Muslim men)
or ¸,.«.·..«.|··.·=,.-(I passea bv the Muslim men)
Sound Feminine Plural:
When the noun is in -·the plural is constructed by adding the letters ·and =to the singular,
with a -.«.=on the = . For example, =·«.·..«|·=··-(The Muslim women came)
When the noun is in either .=·or ,-the plural is Iormed by adding the letters ·and =to the
singular, with a ·,...·on the = in both the cases. For example, =·«.·..«|·.··(I saw
the Muslim women ) or =·«.·..«.|··=,.-(I passea bv the Muslim women)
The Broken Plural:
This is called broken because it does not retain the structure oI the singular noun i.e. it is Iormed by
breaking up the singular noun. Thus, in this type oI plural the singular is altered by changing its vowel
or altering its letters. This is analogous to the English where we say Man-Men, Mouse-Mice, or Sheep-
Sheep.
The broken plural in Arabic is based on diIIerent patterns and there is no one rule which governs the
Iormation oI the broken plural. These are best learned by exposure. Below, I list some oI these patterns
or .·,·
.,|· Singular Plural Meaning
¸.-.·| ¸.«.· ¸.«·| SelI - Selves
.·-.·| ,...· ·..·| River - Rivers
-.·.-.·| .·,.= -.·.·.=| Question - Questions
¸.-.· =·.·.· ..·.· Book - Books
.,.-.· ..·.| =,.·.| Heart - Hearts
.·.-.· ¸.,..- .·.,.- Mountain - Mountains
·:.-.·| ¸,.,.· ··,.,.·| Messenger - Messengers
.:.-.· -:.- .·.«.·.- Boy - Boys
.·.-.· =.··.- =·.«.- Keeper -Keepers
·:.-.· ,,.«.· ··,.«.· Beggar - Beggars
¸.-·.·| -.·.«.·| ¸.-·.·| Fingertip - Fingertips
¸,.-·.·| _.·,.·| _··.·| Beaker-Beakers
¸.-·.«.- =.¬...- =.-·..- Mosque - Mosques
¸.,.-·.«.- -·.·.«.- ¬.,.··.«.- Key - Keys
I hope this introduction to the Singular-Dual-Plural system in Arabic will be a good starting point Ior
anyone trying to master this subiect.
Nahw - Let us count in Arabic - and get a headache!
Remember your kindergarten class and learning to count: One, Two, Three. Easy, wasn`t it? Not the
case in Arabic counting system . BeIore I even try to begin explaining the numbers and counting
system in Arabic I would like to come up with a short disclaimer: iI you get a headache aIter reading
this post please do not leave inIlammatory messages on my blog. I am but a poor student trying to learn
counting in Arabic .
Well, iokes aside, the Numbers in Arabic systems have complex rules regarding their usage and can be
learned only iI one memorizes these rules. Most oI the stuII Ior this post will come Irom Alan Jones`
book Arabic Through the Quran with notes Irom the Toronto Shariah Program class, oI course. I will
try to make it as easy as possible, Insha Allah, to learn the numbering system in the Arabic Language.
In English we say I saw three bovs or I saw three girls. Notice how three remains the same in both the
structures. In Arabic, however, the gender is also associated with numbers (with some exceptions), thus
we say -·.·| -·:.·(Three aavs) and =·.·¹ -...·(Seven verses) where we use the masculine Iorm
oI the number in the Iirst example and the Ieminine in the second. To make things more complicated,
we also have to consider which grammatical state each part oI the number goes in.
Let us try to make some sense out oI this. We start our discussion by listing the counting in Arabic.
Number
with Masculine
Noun
with Feminine Noun
One =.-| .=-|
Two .·.·.·· .··.·.··
Three -.·:.· =:.·
Four -.-.·| -.·|
Five -...«.- ¸.«.-
Six -.·.= ..=
Seven -.-.,.= -.,.=
Eight -.,.··.«.· .·.«.·
Nine -.-...· -...·
Ten ·,.=.- ,.=.-
Eleven ,.=.- =.-| ·,.=.- .=-|
Twelve ,.=.- ·.·.·· ·,.=.- ··.·.··
Thirteen ,.=.- -.·:.· ·,.=.- =:.·
Since 1 and 2 are straightIorward to handle we start at number 3 and divide the numbers in ranges Ior
easier handling
3-10 : From 3 until 10 the gender oI the number will be opposite to what is being counted (i.e. the
noun). Also, the noun being counted will be in the state oI ,-. Examples: =·,«.= -.,.=(seven
heavens) or |=...= -.-.·|(four witnesses)
11 : The noun and number will both match in gender and are ¸·.,.-on -¬.·.·. For example: .=-|
-.··=.- ·,.=.-(eleven cities) or ·.,.·,.· ,.=.- =.-|(eleven stars)
12 : For 12 the unit part is =,.-.-but the ten is not : it is ¸·.,.-on -¬.·.·and both numerals agree
in gender with the noun, thus:·,...= ,.=.- ·.·.··(twelve months) or ··.,.- ·,.=.- ··.·.··
(twelve springs) and \,,.«.· ,.=.- ¸.·.··(twelve chiefs) and -.··=.- ·,.=.- ¸·.·.··(twelve
cities). Note that the ·.·.·· ··.·.·· Iorm is the -·Iorm whereas the ¸.·.·· ¸·.·.·· Iorm is the
.=· ,- Iorm. These 4 Iorms occur only Ior the number 12.
13-19 : For this range the unit part goes into the opposite gender to that oI the noun whereas the ten
part matches it. Both the parts are ¸·.,.-on -¬.·.·. For Example: ¸.- ,.=.- -.·:.·(thirteen
men) or ··,.-| ·,.=.- =:.·(thirteen women)
Note the use oI ,.=.-Ior masculine and ·,.=.-Ior Ieminine nouns.
20-90 : These do not have a gender attached to them and Iollow the =·,-|rule Ior the Sound Masculine
Plural. For example: ·=.·.- ¸,.··.«.·(eightv lashes) or -.·.= ¸,.-.··(fortv vears) or .,.··.·
·,...=(thirtv months)
100, 200 / 1000, 2000 etc: The noun in this case is singular ,,.¬.-and there is no gender associated
with the noun. For example: -·.- -.··.-(one hunarea vears) or -.·.= ..||(one thousana vears).
I hope this introduction to Arabic numbers will make it easier Ior beginners to learn this complex topic,
Insha Allah. So read this post and let me know your Ieedback!
Nahw - Let us hit a hitting or rejoice a rejoicing - UunaoìI _lboìI
In the Arabic Language a verb may take its =.=.-to express:
1. Emphasis or magniIication oI action
2. Manner oI action
3. Number oI times the action occurred
Note: The =.=.-(also known as the verbal noun) is a word that indicates the occurrence oI an
action and is Iree oI tense e.g.,.=.·(to assist)
The =.=.-, when used as such, is known as _.·.=.«.|· .,.-.«.«.|·(or the absolute obiect)
and is always in the state oI .=·.
An example oI Iirst kind oI _.·.=.«.|· .,.-.«.«.|·is ·.- ¸v·..- ·.·(when the earth
will be shaken with a shaking) i.e. shaken violently. Here the verb shake is being emphasized. This
structure is also called =.,.··.·|·. For still greater emphasis the =.=.-may be reproduced a third
time e.g. \.·. \.·. ¸v·..·. ·.|(when the earth will be crushea a crushing. crushing)
The second kind oI _.·.=.«.|· .,.-.«.«.|·can be exempliIied by the sentence
.·.«.|· -...·.- ....·.-(I sat like a Qari woula sit) where the manner oI sitting is being
described. This structure is also called -,.·|·
Finally the third kind oI _.·.=.«.|· .,.-.«.«.|·can be depicted by the phrase -.-·..|·..|.
¸.,.·.|.(the clock struck to strikings) i.e. the clock struck twice. This structure is also called
=.,.«.·|·
Sometimes the adiective alone is expressed and the _.·.=.«.|· .,.-.«.«.|·is understood e.g.
·=.·=.= =,.=(he struck violentlv) which was actually
·=.·=.= \.·,.= =,.=.
Some very interesting usage oI the _.·.=.«.|· .,.-.«.«.|·can be seen in everyday phrases like
c.·=.-.=which was originally ¸.·.·.-.=· ==.-.=·(I am here to help) i.e. I am here to help
not one, but two times. Similarly, -.·|· .·.-.-was originally
-.·|· .·.-.- .,.-|(I seek the refuge of Allah) i.e. Allah Iorbid!. Another example oI this usage is
-=.«.- ,.,.-which was actually -=.«.- ,.,.- \.-,=.| ..-=.|(vou came a blessea coming)
i.e. Welcome!
Insha Allah this introduction to the concept oI _.·.=.«.|· .,.-.«.«.|·will go a long way in
helping the students oI Classical Arabic towards a better understanding oI Arabic Grammar.
Nahw - The concept of Ul> and Ul>ìI«o
The concept oI .·.-in ,.¬.· is used to answer the question 'How¨ or 'in what condition¨. Thus,
.·.- is the adiective which describes the state oI the ¸.-·· or .,-«- or both. It is always in the state oI
.=· . Additionally, the one being described by the condition is called .·.¬.|·,. .
Some examples oI this kind oI structure are:
·.,.··=.···.- (Zaia came riaing) Here ·.,.·· is .·.- Ior =.· which is the ¸.-··
·«.··.··=.·..·.- (I came to Zaia while he was sleeping). Here the word ·«.··.· is the
.·.- Ior the .,-«- , which is ·=.·
¸.,...|·-·=.·..«.·.· (I talkea to Zaia while we were both sitting). Here the word
¸.,...|·- is the .·.- Ior both the ¸.-·· and the .,-«-
Notes on the usage oI .·.- and .·.¬.|·,.
It is essential to have a connector between the .·.- and the .·.¬.|·,.. Sometimes this connector is
depicted by using a ,and at other times it is simply the ,,.«.= hidden within the verb. For example,
we can say c.¬.=.·=.···.- or
c.¬.=.·,.·,=.···.- . In both the cases it means Zaia came laughing. However, the Iirst
sentence is the case where the connector is the hidden ,.·inside the verb whereas in the second
sentence the connector is apparent.
.·.- has to be ·,.´.·, it cannot be -·,.--. On the other hand, even though .·.¬.|·,.
is usually -·,.-- but iI it has to come as ·,.´.· then the structure has to change and the .·.- has to
come beoIre the .·.¬.|·,.i.e.
¸.-·.,.··¸···.-(a man came to me riaing).
Also, .·.-can be a sentence as well: II it is a -.,.«=·-·«.- then a , is added to give the meaning oI
condition e.g.
.,´.=..·.··,·,·.=|··,.·,.«.·v(Do not come near the pravers when vou are intoxicatea): iI
it is a -.,.·.-.·-·«.- and the ¸.-.· is in ¸.=·.- then a =.|has to appear beIore the ¸.-.· e.g.
-.-:.--,.-=.|,=.···.-(Zaia came while his servant went)
HopeIully this very brieI introduction to the concept oI .·.-will be suIIicient Ior the students oI
Classical Arabic as a starting point, Insha Allah.
Nahw - The Followers - u.la.¡l
There are numerous Instances In ArabIc Ianguage where an .=· Is IoIIowed by
another .=·. The Idea Is to buIId sentences IIke "tcll boy", or "The student hcs c
book cnd c pen", or "Zcid cnd Amr both cre sick" etc. ¡n such cases the .=·whIch
comes Iater Is caIIed -.··.· (the jollower) and the one whIch It IoIIows Is caIIed
-,.,.·.-(the jollowed one). The =·,.-| oI -.··.· are In accordance wIth Its
-,.,.·.-
The -.··,.· are oI 5 kInds.
..«.= or the AdjectIve
..=.-or the ConjunctIon
=.,.··.·or £mphasIs
.=.· or the SubstItutIon
.·.,.·..=.- or the £xpIanatory Attachment
..«.= . ¡n ArabIc the ..«.= IoIIows Its =,.=,.- and agrees wIth It In
1. GrammatIcaI State
2. ÐeIInItIveness
3. Þumber
4. Gender
£xampIes oI thIs kInd oI structure are ..·,.·¸.- (c noble mcn), ¸·.-
..,.«.·...-|·,.= (upon the right pcth) or
¸.·=.,.«.-¸.,.··.·.·.·.·.··.|.·.,.|·.=|·(Two students cre recding two
benejicicl books)
..=.-or the Conjunction, as It Is caIIed In £ngIIsh, Is used to connect two .=·
whIch are In the same ruIIng. The .=· occurrIng beIore the ..=.- =,.-(I.e. the
-,.,.·.-) Is caIIed -,.·.- =,.=.-.-and the one IoIIowIng It (I.e. the -,.,.·.-) Is
caIIed =,.=.-.- . Some oI the commonIy used ..=.- =,,.-are.
, (cnd). ThIs Is used to joIn two Independent words or sentences
e.g.
.·.,.··.¬.= ¸.·.- , =.-.=(Sc'cd cnd Ali cre Schcbi). ¡I ,Is
connectIng two sentences and the second one Is a -.·.«.-
-.,.r· then ,takes on the meanIng oI while and such a
sentence Introduced by the ,Is caIIed -.,.|·.- -.·.«.-. Ior
exampIe, ¸.´.,.·,.· , =.· -·.|(Zcid stood up lwhile!
weeping)
· (cnd so, cnd then, cnd consequently). ThIs Is sometImes used to
joIn words but Is more generaIIy used to joIn sentences where It
IndIcates a deveIopment In the narratIve. Thus, when joInIng two
cIauses, It shows eIther that the Iatter Is ImmedIateIy subsequent
to the Iormer In tIme, or that It Is connected wIth It by some
InternaI IInk, IIke cause and eIIect. Ior exampIe,
.,.··.- ..=.-.· ....·.-.¬.· ¸,.¬.=¸.-··.¬.¬.·....,.-,.·
(Ccsting cgcinst them stones oj bcked clcy, So He rendered
them like strcw ecten up)
..·(then). ThIs conjunctIon Is used to ImpIy successIon at an
IntervaI. £.g.
¸·| ..· ·=.,.· -.«.¬.· .,.-,.· ¸.|,.·.·(Then Fhcrcoh
withdrew cnd concerted his plcn cnd then ccme to the plcce
oj cppointment)
,|(or). Ior exampIe.
,| ·-,.,.·.· ¸v· ¸.- ··.|,.¬.«.· ¸.·.- c.| ¸.-,.· ¸.| ,.|·| ,
-.·.- c.| .,.´.·(They scy, "We will not believe you unless
you ccuse c spring to gush out oj the ground or you hcve c
gcrden...)
-|(or). ThIs Is used In InterrogatIve structures, Ior exampIe.
,.·,|· ¸..· ·|,.· ..´.| -|(is there cn exemption jor you in the
scriptures?)
¸.·(rcther). Ior exampIe, ,.=| =·=.· ,.· ¸.·(rcther he is cn
insolent licr)
=.,.··.·ThIs cIass oI -.··,.· Is used Ior the purposes oI emphasIs eIther by usIng
certaIn specIIIc words or by empIoyIng repItItIon . ¡t Is subdIvIded In two sub-
cIasses.
1. .,.·.-.«.|·=.,.·,.·|·. There are certaIn words In the ArabIc Ianguage
that are used to strengthen the Idea oI totaIIty or seII aIready contaIned In
the -,.,.·.-. These are grouped together under the sub-cIass oI =.,.··.·
caIIed .,.·.-.«.|·=.,.·,.·|·I.e. corroboratIon In meanIng. Some exampIes
oI these words are ¸.· or -.,.«.- or ¸.«.·. Ior exampIe. ..··. ,.·,.|·
-...«.·(The minister himselj is going) or
.·.=.·,.- ·.«.·:.· ,.´.·, =.·(Zcid cnd Bckr both cre sick). Þote that,
to use .,.·.-.«.|·=.,.·,.·|·, you have to use the correspondIng pronoun
wIth the -.··.·
2. ¸.=.«.·|· =.,.·,.·|·. The other sub-cIass oI =.,.··.·Is caIIed =.,.·,.·|·
¸.=.«.·|·I.e. the verbaI corroboratIon, whIch consIsts oI repItItIon by
means oI words. Ior exampIe. -.··.· -.··.· ..·.-.|·(Knowledge is
benejicicl, benejicicl) or c.· c.· =,.-(l pcssed by you, by you)
.=.· Is the kInd oI -.··.·beIore whIch another .=·Is used mereIy to Introduce the
-.··.·. Ior exampIe.,.=·.- ¸...- =.· ,.-|(Zcid's brother, Hcsscn, is here).
Iere ¸...-, the -.··.·, Is caIIed .=.· and =.· ,.-|, the -,.,.·.-, Is caIIed
-.·.- .=.,.-. There are Iour kInds oI .=.· .
1. ¸.´.|· .=.·where both the .=.· and the -.·.- .=.,.-denote the same .=·.
Ior exampIe.
..·,\.«.-.= , ..·,¹,.,.· -.·.·=.«.|· -,.| ¸.·\.- (The people oj the city,
the grect cnd the smcll, ccme to me)
2. ¸.-.,.|· .=.·or the substItutIon oI the part Ior the whoIe. Ior exampIe.
-.=| ·=.· ..·,.=(l hit Zcid, on his hecd) or -.·.·.· ..,.-,|·..·.·|(l
cte the locj, the third pcrt oj it)
3. .·.«.·.=v·.=.·where the .=.· Is not part oI the -.·.- .=.,.-but Is rather
reIated to It. Ior exampIe,
-.«.·.- =.· ¸.·.,.¬.-|(Zcid, his lecrning jilled me with surprise) or ¸.·
-.·:.- =·.·.´.|· ..|·.=.|· =.·(The student hcs the book cover in his hcnd)
4. =.·.-.|· .=.·Is the .=.· whIch Is mentIoned aIter an error. Ior exampIe,
··.«.- ·.=,.· ..·,.·.=|(l bought c horse - no, c donkey)
Þote that In both ¸.-.,.|· .=.·and .·.«.·.=v·.=.·a pronoun has to be brought
In wIth the -.·.- .=.,.-
.·.,.·..=.- Is the -.··.·whIch Is used to more cIearIy deIIne Its -,.,.·.-. Ior
exampIe,
-·,.¬.|· ..,.,.|· -.,.-.· -.·|· ¸.-.-(Allch hcs ordcined Kc'bc - the Sccred
House - cs scnctijied) or
-.·,.·.· -.··.,.- ·,.¬.= ¸.- =.|,.·(lwhich! is lighted lwith oil oj! c blessed
tree, cn olive)
ThIs wraps up our dIscussIon oI -.··,.·. IopeIuIIy, thIs post wIII be heIpIuI Ior
those pIannIng to deIve a IIttIe deep Into the technIcaIItIes oI CIassIcaI ArabIc
Grammar, ¡nsha AIIah.
Sarf
Sarf is the science of Classical Arabic which deals with:
1. patterns of vowelization which indicate tense of a verb
2. designated endings which reflect the gender, plurality, and person of the Subject (the one doing
the verb)
Gender: There are two genders in Arabic: Masculine and Feminine. Unlike English, there is no neutral
gender in Arabic. All nouns are masculine unless they are defined feminine, either by general
agreement e.g. Umm (Mother), shams (Sun), or by the the ending which is called ta marbuta.
Plurality :In Arabic there are three ways of describing the number of nouns: single, dual, and plural
(more than 2).
Person: Similar to English, there are three persons in Arabic: 1
st
, 2
nd
, and
3rd
According to the above scheme the Subject of a verb can cause 18 (2 x 3 x 3) changes to the patterns of
vowelization and designated endings of that verb. These are listed below:
3rd person Masculine Singular/Dual/Plural 3
3rd person Feminine Singular/Dual/Plural 3
2
nd
person Masculine Singular/Dual/Plural 3
2
nd
person Feminine Singular/Dual/Plural 3
1
st
person Masculine Singular/Dual/Plural 3
1
st
person Feminine Singular/Dual/Plural 3
However, the 1
st
person Masculine Singular/Dual and 1
st
person Feminine Singular/Dual are condensed
as one; thus, the total is reduced by 4, bringing it to 14. A complete listing of these is given in the table
below (note: this is taken from page 20 of Hussain Abdul Sattar’s Book, Fundamentals of Classical
Arabic, available here).
Sarf - Variations of the Past Tense
Until now we have seen how to conjugate verbs using the simple past tense e.g. he ate, he helped, he
did etc. Now we will see how we can couple some words to the past tense verb and make it either
present perfect e.g. he has helped or past perfect e.g. he had helped.
Sticking the word =| in front of a past tense verb makes it present perfect. Thus, =| denotes actions
which have just been completed e.g. he has helped, he has done, he has read etc. Note that =| is a =,-
(i.e. a particle) so it does not change its form with the changing form of the verb. As an example, ,=·
means he helped and ,=· =| means he has helped. The significance of this will become clear when we
deal with the next section about making past perfect tense. One more thing to note is that you cannot
attach a ·- in front of =| to negate it: this construction is not allowed in Arabic.
If we add .··in front of a past tense verb the verb becomes past perfect. Thus, .·· denotes actions
which have been completed in distant past. However, .·· is a verb, just like ¸- · , so it will also change
its form when coupled with the past tense verb. The following table shows how this is done:
,=· .··
He had helped
·, = · ····
They (2 males) had helped
·,,=· ·,···
They (many males) had helped
=,=· .···
She had helped
··,=· ·····
They (2 females) had helped
.,=· ¸·
They (many females) had helped
=, = · .··
You (1 male)had helped
·«`·,=· ·«···
You (2 males) had helped
.`·,=· .···
You (many males) had helped
=, = · .··
You (1 female) had helped
·«`·,=· ·«···
You (2 females) had helped
¸` ·,=· ¸···
You (many females) had helped
`=,=· .··
I had helped
··,=· ···
We had helped
The negation of this conjugation is constructed simply by adding a ·- in front of it. Also, the passive
voice for this conjugation is constructed the same way as before: dhamma on the first letter, kasra on
the second last letter.
Sarf - -·='· - The Present and Future Tense
-·=`-is the tense in Arabic which conveys the meaning of both present (simple and continuous) and
future tenses. The context and situation of the usage will determine which of the above three are meant
to be conveyed. It is what is called the Imperfect tense in English i.e. the action is either going on or is
still to start.
Unlike the ¸=·-, the -·=`-is peculiar in its nature because it is characterized by the presence of one of
the 4 letters, namely ·
·
. . . . = . (hamza, taa, ya’a, nun) at the start of a word . Thus a -·=`-verb will
have one of these 4 letters as a prefix. Plus, unlike the ¸=·-, the endings of -·=`-verbs do not follow a
set pattern but are rather based on loose groupings. Mentioned below are the prefix and suffix rules for
the 14 conjugations:
Prefix Rules:
1. Conjugation 1,2,3, and 6 will have .as prefix
2. Conjugations 4,5,7,8,9,10,11,12 will have = as a prefix
3. Conjugation 13 will have ·
·
as a prefix
4. Conjugation 14 will have . as a prefix
Suffix Rules:
1. 5 conjugations will have no suffix at all i.e. the last letter of the word will be the base letter of
the verb. These are conjugations 1,4,7, 13, and 14
2. 9 conjugations are further subdivided into 4 groups:
The 4 duals ( 3
rd
person Dual Masculine/Feminine, 2
nd
person Dual
Masculine/Feminine) will have an ending consisting of an .|· followed by a . with a
kasra e.g. .:-«· . .These are conjugations 2,5,8, and 11
The 2 Masculine Plural Conjugations, number 3 and 9, will end in .,i.e. ,preceded by
a dhamma and succeeded by a .with a fatha e.g. .,·- «·
The 2 Feminine Plural Conjugations, number 6 and 12, will end with a sukun on the
laam position of the verb followed by a . with a fatha
The 2
nd
person Singular Feminine, conjugation number 10, has the suffix ¸ ·i.e. a yaa
saakin plus a . with a fathae.g.¸ ,·-« ·
The Table below lists all these
_na : He does
_OVna: They (Dual, Male) do
Oul na : They (Plural, Male) do
_na : She does
_OVna: They (Dual, Female) do
_lna : They (Plural, Female) do
_ na : You (Singular, Male) do
_OVna: You (Dual, Male) do
Oul na: You (Plural, Male) do
_.l na: You (Singular, Female) do
_OVna: You (Dual, Female) do
_lna : You (Plural, Female) do
_n ßÌ I do
_na : We do
The passive voice for the -·=`-is constructed by:
1. Putting a fatha on the second last letter (if not already a fatha)
2. Adding a dhamma to the prefix
Thus, `,=· · becomes `,=· ·(he is helped, he is being helped, or he will be helped).
Adding v in front of both active and passive voice of the -·=`-will negate it
Sarf - Variations of ¿,læoìI
Welcome back to =,=, finally! After a long haul with ,- we are back in the domain of =,=. Insha
Allah I will explain some of the variations which can occur with -·='· (the present and future tense
verb) and how the grammatical structure and meaning of the verb will change with these variations.
There are two =,- (particles) which will combine with the -·='· to change it to a negative verb: ¸|
and .. Each of these imparts a slightly different meaning to the resulting verb and each of them will
cause the original verb to have different endings as well.
1. ¸| : Adding ¸| to -·='· will negate it and will restrict it to the future tense. Remember here that
we had earlier said that -·='· covers both present and future. So now we know how to talk
about just about the future! Finally, when ¸| negates the -·='· an element of emphasis is added
to the negation. Thus, ,.=.·.· ¸| means he will never help and ,.=.·.· ¸| means he will
never be helped.
2. . : Adding .to -·='· will negate it and will remove all notions of present and future tense from
the verb, thus rendering it back into past! This might seem a little odd since we already have the
¸=·'· (past tense) with us and we have already seen that we can negate it by using ·-. So why
exactly do we need to stick . in front of -·='· to construct what we already have? The
difference here is rather subtle: If your listeners have no previous knowledge of an event
occurring and you want to say that the event did not happen (meaning you are simply informing
them of the action not occurring) then you would use ·- ; on the other hand if you are speaking
to someone who has incorrect knowledge of the event and believes that the event did occur
whereas the evenet did not occur then you would use .. So ,=· ·- is simple negation whereas .
,=·· has the element of rejection in it. One way of putting this is to say that . is used when
arguing with someone.
Rules for Conjugating -·='· ¸| :
1. The 5 conjugations which ended in dhamma will now end in fatha
2. Out of the remaining 9 all except the two feminine plurals will lose their final .
3. The two feminine plurals will not undergo any change
He will never do
¸- «· ¸|
They (2 males) will never do
:- «· ¸|
They (group of males) will never do
·,·-« · ¸ |
She will never do
¸- «· ¸|
She (2 females) will never do
:- «· ¸|
She (group of females) will never do
¸ ·-« · ¸ |
You (male) will never do
¸- «· ¸|
You (2 males) will never do
:- «· ¸|
You (group of males) will never do
·, ·-« · ¸ |
You (female) will never do
¸·- «· ¸|
You (2 females) will never do
:- «· ¸|
You (group of females) will never do
¸ ·-« · ¸ |
I will never do
¸-· | ¸ |
We will never do
¸- «· ¸|
Rules for Conjugating -·='· . :
1. The 5 conjugations which ended in dhamma will now end in sukun
2. Out of the remaining 9 all except the two feminine plurals will lose their final .
3. The two feminine plurals will not undergo any change
He did not do
¸- «· .|
They (2 males) did not do
:-« · .|
They (group of males) did not do
·,·-« · .|
She did not do
¸- «· .|
She (2 females) did not do
:-« · .|
She (group of females) did not do
¸·-« · .|
You (male) did not do
¸- «· .|
You (2 males) did not do
:-« · .|
You (group of males) did not do
·,·-« · .|
You (female) did not do
¸·- «· .|
You (2 females) did not do
:-« · .|
You (group of females) did not do
¸·-« · .|
I did not do
¸- ·| .|
We did not do
¸- «· .|
Two final points:
1. The passive of the ¸ |construct is built by switching the fatha on the first letter to a dhamma e.g.
¸-« · ¸ | becomes ¸-«` · ¸ | , and so on
2. The passive of the oì construct is built by switching the fatha on the first letter to a dhamma
e.g. ¸-« · .| becomes ¸- «`· .| , and so on
Sarf - More variations of
Here we go! We are now back dealing with -·='· . In this post we will deal with some more variations
of the future tense. In a previous post I had explained how -·='· , which encompasses both present and
future tense in Arabic, can be limited to future tense only. However, recall that at that time we had done
this by negating the verb. In this post, Insha Allah, I will show how to do the same without negating the
verb i.e. how to say he will help, she will help etc. Secondly, I will also talk about the imperative for
-·='· i.e. how to say verily he will help, verily you will help etc.
Simple Future Tense: This is built by simply adding a ¸ or =,= in front of each conjugation of -·='·
verb; this will restrict the tense to future. Thus,¸.-«.·becomes ¸.-«,.=( or ¸.-«.· =,= ) and so
on. That’s it! There is nothing more to building a simple future tense verb in Arabic, so we will move
onto our next variation.
Emphatic Future Tense: This one is not going to be as easy as the three-liner above. To build the
emphatic for -·= '· not only do we have add a . in front of it (with a fatha), but the endings of the verb
change as well. More specifically, a . is added at the end of the verb. It is interesting to note that this .
can be in a .==`- (i.e. with a shadda on it) form or in the ¸··= (i.e. with a sukun on it) form. The former
is called -·,«· . and the latter is called -«,«- . , literally meaning heavy nun and light nun, respectively.
In terms of meaning the two endings do not differ, except in their tone. Thus one may be picked up over
the other to satisfy complex poetry rules or when giving sermons. Meaning wise, there is no difference
between the two conjugations, be they are formed from -·,«· . or -«,«- . . Let us now see how these
conjugations are formed:
1. The five singulars will have there ending dhamma changed to a fatha and the final . , either
.==`- or ¸··= ,will added. Thus,¸.-«.·becomes ¸·- «, |. Please see table below for full listing of
conjugations. Also note that there is a fatha on . (just before the final -·,«· . . The reason for this
will become obvious as I explain the conjugation change for the two plural masculines (see
bullet #3 below)
2. The four duals, which already have a . at the end, will have this . dropped so that we do not end
up having three . when we attach a -·,«· . or -«,«- . to the end of the conjugations. Moreover,
the final . will have a kasra on it
3. The two masculine plurals ( .,· - « · and .,· -« · ) and the second person feminine singular ( ¸,·- «· )
will have their , and . dropped and either -·,«· . or -«,«- . will be added with a kasra on it.
Now imagine what would have happened had we not changed the dhamma on ¸.-«.· to a fatha
when forming the emphatic conjugation: the final form then would have been ¸· - « , | . But this is
also the form which we get when we transform the third person masculine plural to the emphatic
conjugation! Therefore, to avoid confusion, the dhamma on the third person masculine singular
¸.-«.· is changed to a fatha when forming the future emphatic. Conversely, the dhamma on the
two masculine plurals which remains there in the emphatic conjugation is an indication of the
dropped , . Similarly, the kasra on the second person feminine singular future emphatic form is
an indication of the dropped .
4. Nothing will drop from the two plural feminines. However, to ease pronunciation, an .|· is
inserted between the original final . and the emphatic-forming -·,«· . or -«,«- .
Verily he will do
¸·- «, |
Verily they (2 males) will do
.:-« ,|
Verily they (group of males) will do
¸· - « , |
Verily she will do
¸·- «· |
Verily they (2 females) will do
.:-« ·|
Verily they (group of females) will do
.···- «, |
Verily You (male) will do
¸·- «· |
Verily you (2 males) will do
.:-« ·|
Verily you (group of males) will do
¸· - « · |
Verily you (females) will do
¸·- «· |
Verily you (2 females) will do
.:-« ·|
Verily you (group of females) will do
.···- «· |
Verily I will do
¸·-·v
Verily we will do
¸·- «· |
Notes:
1. An example of -«,«- . conjugation is:¸·-« ,|
2. There are 6 less conjugation in the -«,«-tables than there are in the -·,«· tables. This is because
the -«,«- . is not attached to those conjugations which end in an .|· (the four duals and the two
feminine plurals). Thus, rules 2 and 4 do not apply to the -«,«- tables
Sarf - The Command Verb: constructing the
The command verb, or the ,-· , is diIIerent Irom other verb coniugations previously covered in the
sense that a command is usually directed towaras a second person e.g eat' or stop': thus, the
construction oI 2
nd
person command verb in Arabic is diIIerent Irom that oI other coniugations oI the
same. Also, at Iirst, it seems rather odd that we can even have a command verb in 1
st
or 3
rd
person
coniugations. However, examples like He must eat' and Thev must abstain' do give us good examples
oI command verbs in persons other than second.
Based on the above inIormation we see that the 2
nd
person active command verb requires special
attention. In Iact, it`s construction rules are a bit diIIerent than those oI 1
st
& 3
rd
person active
command verb. Below I give the general rules which govern the construction oI active voice command
verbs in Arabic:
1. 2
nd
Person Active Command verb - constructed using active verb oI the -·=- and applying 3
speciIic steps
2. 1
st
& 3
rd
person active & passive and 2
nd
person passive - constructed using the endings oI the .
table and attaching -v oI ,-·in Iront oI each coniugation
Insha Allah we will see now how these rules are applied in practice.
As a Iirst step we divide the . table into two sections - 2
nd
person (leIt side) and 3
rd
& 1
st
persons (right
side):
You (male) did not do ¸-«·.|
You (2 males) did not do :-«·.|
You (group oI males) did not do ·,·-«·.|
You (Iemale) did not do ¸·-«·.|
You (2 Iemales) did not do :-«·.|
You (group oI Iemales) did not do ¸·-«·.|
He did not do ¸-«·.|
They (2 males) did not do :-«·.|
They (group oI males) did not do ·,·-«·.|
She did not do ¸-«·.|
She (2 Iemales) did not do :-«·.|
She (group oI Iemales) did not do ¸·-«·.|
I did not do ¸-·|.|
We did not do ¸-«·.|
Constructing the 1
st
Person / 3
rd
Person Active command verb :
1. Attach a -v with a kasra in Iront oI each coniugation and keep the endings exactly as those in
the . table. This rule also applies to the passive construction. Here I will only give examples oI
the active voice:
He must do! ¸-« ,|
They (2 males) must do! :-« ,|
They (group oI males) must do! ·,·-«,|
She must do! ¸-« ·|
She (2 Iemales) must do! :-« ·|
She (group oI Iemales) must
do!
¸·-«,|
I must do! ¸-·v
We must do! ¸-« ·|
Constructing the 2
nd
Person Active command verb :
These coniugations are constructed Irom the -·=- verb as outlined below:
1. Remove the sign oI -·=- i.e. = Irom the verb
2. AIter removing the sign oI -·=- iI the next letter (i.e. the = position) has a vowel on it then
simply make the last letter oI the remaining word sakin and use the endings Irom the . table .
An example oI this kind would be ¸,«·· . Since the second letter already has a fathah on it
thereIore the command verb would be ¸,«· .
3. AIter removing the sign oI -·=- iI the next letter is sakin then it cannot be pronounced since
words need to start with a vowel (ahamma. fatha. kasra). In this case, we add a hamza (··) in
Iront oI the word to aid pronunciation, and then look at the - position oI the word: iI this letter
has a ahamma then we put a ahamma on the hamza which is at the Iront oI the word. However,
iI this letter has either a fathah or a kasra we put a kasrah on the hamza. Examples oI this
construction are:
,`=··which changes to ,`=·|
4. =,=·which changes to =,=|
5. -«.·which changes to -r|
A complete listing oI the 2
nd
Person Active command verb is given below. Note that the endings
remain that oI the . table:
You (male) do! ¸- ·|
You (2 males) do! :- ·|
You (group oI males) do! ·,·-·|
You (Iemale) do! ¸·- ·|
You (2 Iemales) do! :- ·|
You (group oI Iemales)
do!
¸·-·|
The Emphatic Command :
In addition to saying He must ao' we can also give an emphatic command: Verilv. he must ao', which
is the addition oI emphasis to the command verb. Since we know that emphasis in Arabic can be
achieved either by using -·,«·. or -«,«-., thereIore we can have command verb coniugations in the
emphatic Iorm. The table below lists these coniugations Ior the active voice. Notice that the endings are
exactly those oI the emphatic table and that the -v oI ,-·(with a kasra) replaces the -v with a fatha at
the start in the 3
rd
and 1
st
person coniugations (and also in 1
st
, 2
nd
, and 3
rd
person passive
coniugations). Plus, the 2
nd
person active coniugations still start with =·
-·,«·. coniugations Ior the command verb:
Verily |You (male)| do! ¸·-· ·
Verily |you (2 males)| do! .:-· ·
Verily |you (group oI males)| do! ¸·-· ·
Verily |you (Iemale)| do! ¸·-· ·
Verily |you (2 Iemales)| do! .:-· ·
Verily |you (group oI Iemales)|
do!
.···-··
Verily he must do! ¸.·.-.«.,.|
Verily they (2 males) must do! .:.-.«.,.|
Verily they (group oI males) must do! ¸.·.-.«.,.|
Verily she must do! ¸·-«·|
Verily they (2 Iemales) must do! .:-«·|
Verily they (group oI Iemales) must
do!
.·.·.·.-.«.,.|
Verily I must do! ¸·-··|
Verily we must do! ¸·-«·|
-«,«-. coniugations Ior the command verb:
Verily |You (male)| do! ¸·-· ·
Verily |you (2 males)| do!
Verily |you (group oI males)| do! ¸·-· ·
Verily |you (Iemale)| do! ¸·-· ·
Verily |you (2 Iemales)| do!
Verily |you (group oI Iemales)| do!
Verily he must do! ¸·.-.«.,.|
Verily they (2 males) must do!
Verily they (group oI males) must do! ¸.·.-.«.,.|
Verily she must do! ¸·-« ·|
Verily they (2 Iemales) must do!
Verily they (group oI Iemales) must do!
Verily I must do! ¸·-·v
Verily we must do! ¸·-« ·|
Sarf - UlnßVI uIu:I - Introduction to Verb Groupings
Up until now we have been dealing with iust one type oI the base verb i.e. ¸.-.· . However, this is
not the only way a base verb can occur in Arabic. In Iact, the ¸=·- verb (and consequently the
-·=.-verb) can occur in several diIIerent patterns depending upon the vowelling and number oI
letters in the base verb. In this post, I will, Insha Allah, explain about diIIerent patterns oI Arabic verbs
along with some oI their examples.
To start with, we may be tempted to assume that any two verbs which have the same voice, same tense,
and the same coniugation number will look alike and will rhyme with one another. However, this is not
the case as can bee seen by looking at the Iollowing 3 examples:
1. ,.=.·
2. -.«.=
3. -,.·.
The Iirst verb, ,.=.· (to help), rhymes with ¸.-.· and has the same number oI letters as ¸.-.· .
The second verb, -.«.= (to hear), although having the same number oI letters as ¸.-.· , does not
rhyme with it due to a kasra on the middle letter. Finally, the last verb, -,.·. (to roll), does not
rhyme with ¸.-.· , and also has 4 letters in it, rather than 3. As a rule oI thumb, diIIerences in Arabic
verbs can occur due to one oI 6 reasons:
3 oI these reasons relate to number oI letters in the base verb and its vowelling pattern
3 oI these reasons relate to irregularities. These have nothing to do with number oI base letters
or the vowelling pattern oI the verb. Rather, these diIIerence in verbs are introduced by the
presence oI certain letters e.g. , . ·
In this post I will deal with the Iirst 3 rules which can be stated into the Iollowing expanded categories:
1. DiIIerence in number oI base letters oI a verb
2. DiIIerence in the way the verb is enhanced
3. DiIIerence in the - position vowelling oI a verb
The minimum number oI letters in a base verb is 3 and the maximum is 4. Each one oI these two sets oI
verbs may comprise oI only base letters (i.e. without any enhancement) or they may have addition oI
non-base, or extra, letters (i.e. enhanced), which provides us with 4 distinct verb groupings:
1. Verbs with 3 base letters which are not enhanced, called .,¬.-¸···.· e.g. ,.=.·
2. Verbs with 3 base letters which are enhanced, called -,·=·,-¸···.· e.g. -,.··
3. Verbs with 4 base letters which are not enhanced, called .,¬.-¸-·· e.g. -,.·.
4. Verbs with 4 base letters which are enhanced, called -,·=·,-¸-··e.g. ¸.-.«.|·
On top oI this, verbs can diIIer in the way the vowel appears on the - position. Using the .,¬.-¸···.·
Iorm oI ¸=·- and switching the vowel on the - position, we get 3 distinct patterns:
1. ¸.-.·
2. ¸.-.·
3. ¸.-.·
For each oI these patterns oI a .,¬.-¸···.· verb, there will exist 3 corresponding -·=.- patterns
with their own vowelling patterns, giving us 9 patterns in total which are listed in the table below:
# -·=.- ¸=·-
1 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
2 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
3 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
4 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
5 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
6 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
7 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
8 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
9 ¸.-.«.· ¸.-.·
The patterns 6, 7, and 8 ao not exist in the Arabic Language, which means that you will never Iind a
.,¬.-¸···.·verb based on this pattern oI vowelling. As Ior the remaining 6, each pattern is called a
=·· (aoor) and can be deIined as an etvmological grouping which arises aue to a aifference in number
of letters or the - position vowelling in ¸=·-ana -·=.-patterns of a verb. Every .,¬.-¸···.·
verb in Arabic will Iollow exactlv one oI these patterns. To ease memorization oI these =·,·· the
scholars oI =,= have picked up the most widely used example Irom each oI them and have named the
=·· aIter it. These are listed in the Iollowing table in their order oI popularity:
# -·=.- ¸=·-
1 ,.=.·.· ,.=.·
2 `=,=· =,=
3 `-«.· -«=
4 ¬.·.«.· ¬.·.·
5 `-`,´· -`,·
6 `..¬· ..-
I post here another way oI remembering these =·,··, courtesy oI IANT
The =·,··-,·=·,-¸···.·:
Enhancement to verbs can be done in various ways: duplication oI the - position e.g. ..·.-
..·.- ( to know -~ to teach), or adding a hamzah, called ¸=,|··,¹ (or the enabling hamza, which is
added to ease pronunciation), at the Iront oI the verb. This can be noticed with the -,·=·,-¸···.·which
has 14 =·,··, out oI which 5 do not have the enabling hamzah in Iront oI them and all oI these 5 are
popular. The rest oI the 9 have the enabling hamza in Iront oI them and only 3 are popular Irom among
theses nine. The 5 =·,··oI -,·=·,-¸···.· without the ¸=,|··,¹ are given in the table below:
# -·=.- ¸=·-
1 `-,´`· -,·|
2 =,.=.· =,.=
3 ¸··«`· ¸··|
4 ¸,«·· ¸,«·
5 ¸··«·· ¸··«·
I hope that this very brieI introduction to .·-·v·=·,·· will be a good starting point Ior Iurther learning oI
this vast Iield oI =,= . Insha Allah, I will write more about this topic once we go through it in the
course.
Sarf - Categories of Irregular Verbs - _uaÐ olaßÌ
We have already seen how variations in verb patterns in the Arabic Language can take place due to 6
reasons, 3 oI which deal with a diIIerence in the number oI base letters and the vowelling pattern oI the
verb. In this post I will give a listing oI the other 3 reasons with an example oI each, Insha Allah.
These 3 are related to irregularities i.e the presence oI certain letters within the verb. Following is a list
oI these irregularities :
The presence oI a ·,¹
The presence oI a weak letter i.e. a ,·, or a ···
The last two base-letters being the same letter i.e. a doubled letter (.==-=,-)
Based on the presence or absence oI one oI these reasons the scholars oI have divided the Arabic
verbs in 7 categories, or to give the Persian term Ior it, in -·.||.«·
Type name Characteristic Example
¬,¬=
No weak letters:no duplication oI
letters
,.=.· -,.·
,.«.- | anywhere in the base verb |,| .|= ¸.·|
.··.- ,·,or ··· at the Iront =.-, ,...·
=,-| ,·,or ··· at the - position .,.| -.,.·
¸.|·· ,·,or ··· at the . position ¸- ,.-.
.,«.| Two weak letters in the verbs ¸|, ¸,.|
..-·=.- Second and third letter same ,.- ,.·
Category 3, 4, 5, and 6 all involve a ,·, or a ···and verbs Ialling under these categories are collectively
called ¸·-- .
This brieI introduction is a prelude to the vast part oI which deals with irregularities in Arabic
verbs. I will, Insha Allah, post more detail about each oI these categories in the near Iuture.
Sarf - The Irregular Verb -
In the last post we learned about the 7 categories into which Arabic verbs can be grouped and then we
saw how introduction of weak letters can cause verbs to become irregular i.e. cause their conjugations
to differ from the normal conjugations of regular verbs. Now we will, Insha Allah, start going into
details of each of the verb categories which deal with irregular verbs. Our first post deals with =,-|
which, as you may recall, is a verb having ,·, or ··· at the - position.
=,-| verbs in Arabic Language come from either one of the 3 baabs: ,.=.· =,.= , or -.«.= .
Thus , .·.|comes from the ,.=.·baab, -·.·comes from =,.=baab, and =·.- comes from
-.«.= baab. The very first thing when dealing with irregular verbs is to find the actual base letters in
it. Remember, irregular verbs are called irregular since one or more of their base letters have either
changed to some other letter or have dropped altogether due, mainly, to pronunciation issues. We will
now see how we can find the base letters in =,-| verbs and during this exercise we will come up with a
rule to form irregular verbs in this category starting from their base letter.
The base letter in an irregular verb can be found by:
1. Looking at nouns formed from these verbs
2. Looking at the -·=.-of the irregular verb
Exposure to Arabic Language leads us to the fact that the 3 nouns formed from .·.|and ,.=.·, and
-·.· are .,|(a saying), -,·(a transaction or a sale), and =,-(fear), respectively. Also, as we will learn
shortly, the -·=.-of the three verbs also contain ,·,
in its middle. Thus, we can now derive the original verbs using this fact and the knowledge of baab
from which each verb comes.
Original Form Final Form
.,.| .·.|
-.,.· -·.·
=,.- =·.-
Now we are ready to state our rule for dealing with active voice of the ¸=·-of =,-| .
Simple Change to Alif rule (Active ¸=·-) :
Whenever there is a =`,.¬.·.-weak letter i.e. a ,·,or a ··· preceded by a -,.·.«.-letter, change
the ,·,or ··· to alif.
As you can see that this rule completely covers the conjugation given in the table above.
Now I will list the ¸=·-table for .·.|which will throw up some more light on the treatment of =,-|
.·.|
He said
v·.|
They (two males) said
,.|·.|
They (more than two males)said
..|·.|
She said
··.|·.|
They (two females) said
¸.·.|
They (more than two females)said
..·.|
You (male) said
·«.·.·.|
You (two males) said
..·.·.|
You (more than 2 males) said
..·.|
You (female) said
·«.·.·.|
You(2 females) said
¸.·.·.|
You(more than 2 females) said
..·.|
I said
··.·.|
We said
Note the loss of alif from 6
th
conjugation onwards. Also, note the change from fatha to dhamma. The
alif is dropped because it is not easy to pronounce an alif followed by a ¸.··.=letter because of the
introduction of an unnecessary =.-. The dhamma is introduced as a trace for the fact that it was a ,·,
which dropped from the verb. Similarly for -.,.·the 6
th
conjugation would be .-.·, with the first
letter having a kasra (and onwards to the last conjugation) signifying that the dropped letter was a ··· .
For =·.- , however, this simple rule does not apply in totality. The 6
th
conjugation here is ¸.«.-
rather than ¸.«.-, which one would expect. This is explained by the fact that in the case of ¸.«.-
the kasra signifies that the verb is ;.-.|· ,..´.- (has a kasra on the - position) because =·.-
originates from the -.«.= baab, therefore its middle letter has to have a kasra on it. In this case we do
get a hint as to which letter was dropped.
To deal with the passive voice we recognize that the following are the starting points for the above
mentioned 3 verbs:
Original Form Final Form
.,.| ¸,.|
-.,.· -,.·
=,.- .,.-
Using the above table we can state the following rule for the passive ¸=·-of the =,-| type:
Whenever the -position of a passive ¸=·-is a ,·, or ···remove the vowel from the letter before it and
transfer the kasra to this letter. Now, if the -position is a ,·, change it to a ··· in accordance with the
.·,,.-rule, which states that any ,·,which is ¸.··.=and is preceded by a kasra will change to ···
Note: 6
th
conjugation onwards the conjugations are same for both active and passive voice for the =,-|
type
The -·=.- for the =,-| type:
These come from the ¬,¬= counterparts of the corresponding verb which means that the originals will
rhyme with the corresponding baabs. The following table list the -·=.- for the =,-|.
=·· -·=.- for the =,-|
,.=.·.· .,.«.·
=,.=.· -.,.,.·
-.«...· =,.¬.·
As is the case with the ¸=·-of the =,-| , changes occur in the final forms of these verbs due to
presence of weak letters. These changes are given below:
Original Form Final Form
.,.«.· .,.«.·
-.,.,.· -,.,.·
=,.¬.· =·¬.·
These changes are governed by the following rule:
Whenever there is a =`,.¬.·.-weak letter i.e. a ,·,or a ··· preceded by a .,.´.= , transfer the
vowel from the weak letter to the letter before it. Now, if vowel being transfered is a fatha then change
this letter to an alif.
This rule can conveniently be called:
Transfer the vowel - in case of fatha change to alif Rule
Below, I give the full conjugations for the -·=.- for the =,-|using .,.«.· as an example:
., «·
He says
.v, «·
They (two males) say
., |,« ·
They (more than two males) say
., «·
She says
.v, «·
They (two females) say
¸·« ·
They (more than two females) say
., «·
You (male) say
.v, «·
You (two males) say
., |,« ·
You (more than 2 males) say
;|,« ·
You (female) say
.v, «·
You(2 females) say
¸·« ·
You(more than 2 females) say
.,||
I say
., «·
We say
Hopefully this brief introduction to =,-|will be a good starting point for understanding irregularities
in Arabic verbs, Insha Allah.
Sarf - The Irregular Verb - - Part 1
Disclaimer: This post is due to a maior contribution Irom Humairah (blogging here). Any mistakes, oI
course, are mine.
As we have already learned, ¸.|·.· verb is one which has , or . at its -v position. For the purpose oI
illustration we will take three examples oI a ¸.|·.·verb: ·.-. (he callea) , which comes Irom
,.=.· baab , ¸- (he threw), which comes Irom =,.= baab, and ¸.= (he was pleasea), which
comes Irom -.«.= baab. In this post I will, Insha Allah, deal with the ¸=·-coniugations oI the
¸.|·.·verb.
¸=·- oI ¸.|·.·:
Below, I will list the ¸=·-coniugations Ior both ·.-. and ¸-. Note that the ¸,.·-.· only occurs in the
Iirst 5 coniugations oI both these verbs. I will Insha Allah also explain why the ¸,.·-.· occurs in each
case. We will deal with ¸.=separately later in this post, Insha Allah.
1 ·.-. ¸-
2 ·,.-. ·.,.-
3 ·,.-. ·,.-
4 ..-. ..-
5 ·.·.-. ·.·.-
6 .,.-. ¸.,.-
7 =,.-. ..,.-
8 ·.«.·,.-. ·.«.·,.-
9 ..·,.-. ..·,.-
10 =,.-. ..,.-
11 ·.«.·,.-. ·.«.·.,.-
12 ¸.·,.-. ¸.·,.-
13 =,.-. ..,.-
14 ·.·,.-. ·.·.,.-
In the Arabic Language certain pronunciation issues arise when weak letters are preceded by
inappropriate vowels. For example, it is diIIicult to pronounce a ,which is =,.¬.·.-and is preceded
by a -.«.=or a .which is =,.¬.·.-and is preceded by a -¬.·.·. In such cases we implement
rules which change these weak letters to other, pronounceable, letters coupled with a shiIt in the vowel
itselI Irom one letter to another. Thus, Ior ¸,.·-.·to occur the , or . need to be =,.¬.·.-and need
to be preceded by inappropriate vowels.
On the other hand, a ,which is ¸.··.=and is preceded by a -.«.= is very normal: similarly a .
which is ¸.··.=and is preceded by a ·,...· is very normal. Moreover, a , or . preceded by a
-¬.·.·is also considered normal Ior pronunciation. Now, iI you note that in the above table there is no
¸,.·-.·Irom the 6th coniugation downwards because in there the , or . is ¸.··.= and is preceded by
a normal vowel i.e. a -¬.·.·.
First coniugation: Recall that whenever a , or . is preceded by a letter with a -¬.·.·on it the , or . is
changed to ·: thus, the Iirst coniugation was actually ,.-. which changed into ·.-.due to the simple
change to alif rule. The same is true Ior ¸-which was initially ¸.-
Second coniugation: This should actually be ·,.-. rhyming with :.-.· . However, the simple
change to alif rule will cause it to become ··.-. which is diIIicult to pronounce and thus the Iinal alif
will drop leaving us with ·.-.. Note that this is exactly the same as the Iirst coniugation so there is
actually no ¸,.·-.·allowed here. Thus the Iinal Iorm remains ·,.-.
Third coniugation: Rhyming with ·,.·.-.· this should be ·,,.-. . The Iirst , changes to ·due to the
simple change to alif rule, leaving us with ·,·.-. . This Iorm, however, has two ¸.··.=letters
coming together in it thereIore we drop the Iirst ·leaving us with ·,.-.
Fourth Coniugation: This was originally =,.-. rhyming with ..·.-.· . The , changed to ·causing
it to become =·.-.. Because oI the gathering oI ¸.··.=letters the ·is dropped leaving us with
..-.
FiIth Coniugation: This was originally ·.·,.-. rhyming with ·.·.·.-.· . The , changed to ·giving
us ·.··.-.. It is important to note here that in this last Iorm the = is actually ¸.··.=but has to carry a
-¬.·.·because oI the Iinal ·which is the pronoun oI duality. Thus the ·in the middle will drop
because oI gathering oI two ¸.··.=letters leaving us with ·.·.-.
All the above rules can be equally applied to the Iirst Iive coniugation oI the ¸-table.
As Ior ¸.= the only maior ¸,.·-.·is in the 3
rd
coniugation, all other rhyming with the
corresponding coniugations oI -.«.=
1 ¸.=
2 ·.,.=
3 ·,.=
4 ..,.=
5 ·.·.,.=
6 ¸,.=
7 ..,.=
8 ·«.·.,.=
9 ..·.,.=
10 ..,.=
11 ·.«.·.,.=
12 ¸.·.,.=
13 ..,.=
14 ·.·.,.=
First coniugation: It was actually ,.= but changed its Iorm due a rule which is called the .
It states that 'anv -v position , (i.e. occurring at the eage of a wora) preceaea bv a ·,...·will
change to . . This rule deals with the concept oI small ¸,.·-.· whereby one letter changes to
another but the Iorm oI the verb is not disIigured: ¸.=still rhymes with -.«.=.
Note: this `small ¸,.·-.·happens in all 14 coniugations Ior ¸.=
Third coniugation: The 3
rd
coniugation was originally ·,.,.= (rhyming with ·,.-.«.=) which is
hard Ior pronunciation since the .is preceded by a -.«.=. Moreover, this .here is then Iollowed by
a ,which makes it even harder on the tongue. In this case, the -.«.=moved Irom .to ¸, which lost
it ·,...·. The .is then dropped because it is leIt with a ,which is ¸.··.=. The ,cannot be
dropped since it is a pronoun (denoting they, group oI males`).
This concludes our discussion oI introducing the ¸=·- Ior the ¸.|·.·verb. The next post, Insha Allah,
will deal with the -·.=.- oI the ¸.|·.·verb.
Sarf - The Irregular Verb - - Part 2
Disclaimer: This post is due to a maior contribution Irom Humairah (blogging here). Any mistakes, oI
course, are mine.
We have already discussed the ¸=·- oI the ¸|··verb. In this post, Insha Allah, I will discuss the
-·=.- patterns Ior the same and we will see how some coniugations undergo ¸,.·-.· .
In the -·=.- oI the ¸|··verb, 6 coniugations do not have ¸,.·-.· since they rhyme with their ¬,¬=
counterparts. These are coniugations number 2,5,6,8,11, and 12 i.e. the 4 duals and the 2 plural
Ieminines. For example, the set oI these 6 coniugations Irom the ¸.-,.·table will rhyme with
=,.=.·whereas the set oI these 6 coniugations in the ¸=,.· table will rhyme with -.«...·.
Below, I will give the complete listing oI the -·=.- Ior 3 ¸|··verbs:
1 ,.-=.· ¸.-,.· ¸=,.·
2 .·,.-=.· .·.,.-,.· .·.,.=,.·
3 .,.-=.· .,.-,.· .,.=,.·
4 ,.-=.· ¸.-,.· ¸=,.·
5 .·,.-=.· .·.,.-,.· .·.,.=,.·
6 .,.-=.· ¸.,.-,.· ¸.,.=,.·
7 ,.-=.· ¸.-,.· ¸=,.·
8 .·,.-=.· .·.,.-,.· .·.,.=,.·
9 .,.-=.· .,.-,.· .,.=,.·
10 ¸.,.-=.· ¸.,.-,.· ¸.,.=,.·
11 .·,.-=.· .·.,.-,.· .·.,.=,.·
12 .,.-=.· ¸.,.-,.· ¸.,.=,.·
13 ,.-.| ¸.-| ¸=·
14 ,.-=.· ¸.-,.· ¸=,.·
Only the 5 singulars (1,4,7,13,14) and 3,9, and 10 have ¸,.·-.· in them. Note that we include
coniugation 14 in the singular group since it looks like a singular
II you remember, the edge rule Ior a ¸|·· verb states that 'anv -v position , (i.e. occurring at the eage
of a wora) preceaea bv a ·,...·will change to . . However, look at the cases oI .·.,.=,.·or
.·.,.=,.·or ¸.,.=,.· . They all have ,at the -v position since we know that the base letters in
the ¸=,.·table are ¸and ,. Thus the Iirst example should have been .·,.=,.·because the ,is
preceded by a ·,...·. However, it is changing to a .. On top oI this, we have also stated that
that there is no ¸,.·-.· in this coniugation. To address this anomaly we say that since the Iinal Iorm oI
the verb is still rhyming with its ¬,¬= counter part i.e. .:.-.«.· , thereIore there has only been a
change oI a letter rather than a Iull blown ¸,.·-.· . To explain the change oI the letter (i.e. ,to .) we
state a rule which deals with a ,or .occurring beyond the third position in a ¸|·· verb. This rule can
be named 'Fourth position or beyond rule¨ and states that:
If a ,comes in the fourth position or later in a wora ana it is not preceaea bv a -.«.= or a ¸.··.=
,. it changes into a . .
Having noted this aspect, we now move on to deal with those coniugations which have Iull ¸,.·-.·in
them.
First coniugation : In the case oI ,.-=.·it was actually ,.-=.· rhyming with ,.=.·.· . The Iinal
-.«.= was awkward on , and was dropped. In the case oI ¸.-,.·this was actually ¸.-,.·. Again,
the -.«.= was dropped since it was awkward on the . . For the case oI ¸=,.·the original was
,.=,.·. The , is at the Iourth position so change it to . according to the 'Fourth position or beyond
rule¨. This leave us with ¸.=,.·which has a . which is =,.¬.·.- and is preceded by a -¬.·.· so
this is changed to · according to the Simple Change to Alif rule , giving us ¸=,.·
Third Coniugation: Here .,.-=.·was originally .,,.-=.·. The -.«.= on the , was dropped
which leaves us with two , which are ¸.··.= . Thus, one oI these , is dropped giving us .,.-=.·
The above process can actually be encompassed in a two step rule which states that: 'Whenever there
is a -v position ,or .preceded by a -.«.=or a ·,...·, make the ,or the .as ¸.··.=. Now, iI
the ,or .is preceded by an appropriate short vowel and Iollowed by an appropriate long vowel (see
here Ior this discussion) then drop this ,or ..¨ This rule also takes care oI the 9th coniugation oI
,.-=.·as well as the 10th coniugation oI ¸.-,.·.
For the ¸=,.·table, the third coniugation was originally .,,.=,.· rhyming with .,.-.«...·.
The ,was changed (according to the Fourth position rule) to .since it is preceded by a -¬.·.· giving
us .,.,.=,.·. Now we have a .which is =,.¬.·.- and is preceded by a -¬.·.·so we change it
to an · using the Simple Change to Alif rule , the introduction oI which results in gathering oI two
¸.··.=letters. Thus, the ·is dropped, leaving us with .,.=,.·
10th Coniugation : The starting point Ior this coniugation was ¸.·,.-=.· rhyming with ¸·,.=.·.·.
The ·,...·is inappropriate beIore the ,so the ·,...·was moved to the letter beIore it. This
resulted in gathering oI two ¸.··.=letters. The ,was dropped, leaving us with ¸.,.-=.·. This
transIormation is governed by the Iollowing general rule: 'II a ,is preceded by a -.«.=and Iollowed
by a . , the preceding letter is made ¸.··.=and the vowel on ,is transIerred to the preceding letter.
Then the ,changes into a .and Ialls oII due to gathering to two ¸.··.=letters¨
In the case oI ¸.,.-,.· this was originally ¸.,.,.-,.·rhyming with ¸.·,.=.·. The ·,...·
was inappropriate on the .so the ·,...·was dropped, leaving us with two ¸.··.=letters. Thus,
one oI the .is dropped giving us ¸.,.-,.·.
The 10th coniugation in the ¸=,.·table was originally ¸.·,.=,.· rhyming with ¸.,.-.«...·.
The ,is changed to .according to the Fourth position or beyond rule. This leaves us with
¸.,.,.=,.·. Again, one oI the .is dropped due to the gathering oI two ¸.··.=letters giving us
¸.,.=,.·
Almost oI these rules can also be applied when constructing the passive coniugations Ior the -·=.-
oI the ¸|·· verb. In some Iuture post I will Insha Allah try to list all the rules governing ¸,.·-.·. Until
then, hopeIully, this introduction will come in handy Ior the students oI Classical Arabic.
Sarf - The rules for _._ln: - A summary of Ou>I and __ßl:
We already know that there are three letters in the Arabic alphabet which are called ..·.- =,,.-
(or the letters), namely ,and ·and .. The presence oI these letters within the base letters oI a
verb will cause certain changes to occur which can change the Iinal Iorm oI the verb. In this post, Insha
Allah, I will list down the rules which deal with ¸,.·-.·occurring at the -vposition and the -
position oI the verb. Most oI these rules have already been encountered when we discussed the =,.-|
and the ¸.|·.·verb (discussed here and here). Since there are quite a Iew oI these rules, and because
we will see many oI them in Iuture =,.=discussions, thereIore it is beneIicial to list these at one
place Ior reIerence purposes.
Rules Ior =,-|:
1. Simple Change to AliI rule: Whenever there is a =,.¬.·.-weak letter i.e. a ,·,or a .
preceded by a -,.·.«.-letter, change the ,·,or .to ·. See here Ior examples oI this rule
2. The .·,,.-rule: Any ,·,which is ¸.··.=and is preceded by a ·,...·will change to .. See
here Ior examples oI this rule
3. Whenever the -position oI a passive ¸=·-is a ,·,or .remove the vowel Irom the letter beIore
it and transIer the ·,...·to this letter. See here Ior examples oI this rule
4. Whenever there is a =,.¬.·.-weak letter i.e. a ,·,or a .preceded by a .,.´.=, transIer
the vowel Irom the weak letter to the letter beIore it. Now, iI the vowel being transIered is a
-¬.·.·then change this letter to an ·. See here Ior examples oI this rule
Rules Ior ¸.|·.·:
1. The Edge Rule: It states that 'any -vposition ,(i.e. occurring at the oI a word) preceded
by a ·,...·will change to .. This is depicted by the Iirst ¸=·-coniugation oI ¸.=
which was originally ,.=. See here Ior examples oI this rule
2. Fourth Position or Beyond Rule: II a ,comes in the Iourth position or later in a word and it is
not preceded by a -.«.=or a , ¸.··.=, it changes into a .. See here Ior examples oI this rule
3. Whenever there is a -vposition ,or .preceded by a -.«.=or a ·,...·, make the ,or the .
as ¸.··.=. Now, iI the ,or .is preceded by an appropriate short vowel and Iollowed by an
appropriate long vowel (see here Ior this discussion) then drop this ,or .. The change oI
.,,.-=.·to .,.-=.·is handled by this rule
4. II there is a ,or ·or .at the end oI a verb then they are dropped in case oI -,.-. For example,
-,.· ..|which was originally ¸.-,.· ..|or -=.· ..|which was originally ,.-=.· ..|
HopeIully this list will come in handy Ior the students oI =,.=when dealing with =,-|and ¸.|·.·
verb. Insha Allah, in the Iuture, I will post about other -·.|| .«·and their governing rules as well.
This book is the combined version of the lecture notes
available on:
http://sheepoo.wordpress.com/pdf-files/

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