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Towards instruction of the Arabic language Towards instruction of the Arabic language Towards instruction of the Arabic language

ge Towards instruction of the Arabic language


to English speakers by adherence to the to English speakers by adherence to the to English speakers by adherence to the to English speakers by adherence to the
Ajrumiyyah Ajrumiyyah Ajrumiyyah Ajrumiyyah

, ' - '' , - '
' - - ' - - - , - =`
, - =' -' ' ''' - , , '= -`


Translation by Abu Amina AIdhal
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
2
Contents

Introduction2
Introduction to the Ajrumiyyah..4
The Types oI Speech..7
InIlection..14
The Insignia oI the Nominative18
The Insignia oI the Subjunctive/Accusative.23
The Insignia oI the Genitive.27
The Insignia oI the Jussive...29
The InIlected31
The Verbs.36
Conclusion...40

Bibliography.45


Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
3
Towards instruction of the Arabic language to English speakers by adherence to the
Ajrumiyyah text

Instruction oI the Arabic Language is Ior the vast majority oI students the Iirst step to
discovery oI the vast literatures and sciences oI the Arabs and others who wrote in Arabic. At
Iirst it may seem that this subject, aIter exhaustive research and practice is one that is Iully
developed and so new avenues are inevitably scarce. It is quite correct that many books exist
Ior the English speaker Irom which he may learn Arabic, some requiring a taught
methodology and many enabling the student to become selI-taught. One oI the earliest texts to
appear in the English language on the subject oI instruction oI Arabic was Wrights
translation oI Caspari, Irom the original German, this was in 1859, however the Arabs
themselves had long beIore initiated a Iormal and systematic methodology to teach Arabic
Grammar to their children. From the systems the Arabs employed one text in particular shines
Iar more clearly than any other, it has withstood the test oI time and is still aIter more than
seven hundred years since its authors death, being taught throughout the Arab world. It is
the text oI Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Daud as-Sinhaji, known as Ibn Ajrum. The text
itselI, although not named as such by the author, has become known as al-Ajrumiyyah.

It is my intent to examine to what extent the Ajrumiiyah is appropriate in the instruction oI
Arabic to English speakers. I shall begin by translating the text with reIerence to one oI the
most prominent commentaries on the Ajrumiyah, written by the late Muhammad Muhyu-Din
Abdul Hamid, Iormer Director oI the College oI Language at the University oI al-Azhar, it is
called At-Tuhfa As-Saniyya bi Sharhi al-Muqadima Al-Ajrumiya. This will be Iollowed by an
examination oI the structure oI the text and the methodology Ibn Ajrum employed in
presenting the various chapters and sub-chapters oI Arabic Grammar. In conclusion I shall
attempt to highlight the strengths and weaknesses oI this system.

Throughout this study the phrase He said indicates Ibn Ajrum, the phrase, He says
indicates Muhammad Muhyu-Din Abdul Hamid.








Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
4
- -- ,=' -='
Q-- Q--= -=~ - --=- '---~ _-- >~- >~- Q---'- = --=-

The Messenger oI Allah said, Learn the inIlections oI speech, in order that you may learn the
|correct| inIlection oI the Quran
1
It is reported that the Iamous grammarian, Sibawayh, only
undertook the study oI grammar aIter committing an error oI grammar during his study oI
Hadith
2
, al-AsmI held the view that whoever studied hadith without learning grammar was
to be categorised with those who Iorge hadith.
3
The importance oI proIiciency in the Iield oI
Arabic grammar has never been called into question, indeed the word, al-Irb, which we
translate as inIlection, also means clarity and eloquence
4
, Muslims acknowledge that the
Messenger oI Allah was the most eloquent oI people and as imitating him is seen as a virtue,
speaking his language with its rules and style became a religious virtue too. The Ajrumiyyah,
quite untypically, does not begin with any introductory praise oI Allah or even any salutations
upon the Prophet, except in the version used in the commentary, al-Kawkib al-Duriyyah,
where such additions may have been the work oI the commentator. Rather Ibn Ajrum begins
by discussing grammar immediately aIter the customary Basmala.
5

The Ajrumiyyah, aIter a brieI introduction, is divided into Iour main chapters and then
sudivided in to Iurther sub-chapters.
1. Introduction
2. InIlection
3. The Nominatives
4. The Subjunctives/Accusatives
5. The Genitives
The Ajrumiyyah, according to Carter, is the quintessence oI Arabic grammar, its status is
largely unchallenged as an excellent introduction to this Iirst Iield oI learning, which every
scholar must master beIore delving into other Arabic literature. hence, we Iind much attention
has been paid to it amongst Arab scholars over a considerable period oI time. The text, now
over seven centuries old, saw a major commentary compiled by ash-Shirbini, only two
centuries aIter, yet even as recently as Iour decades ago, the Director oI the College oI
Language at al-Azhar wrote his commentary.


1
Kanz al-Uml, Chapter 1, Hadith 607
2
Hadith Literature, p.85
3
Ibid
4
Irb al-Quran, p.6
5
The Basmala is the name oI the phrase, In the Name oI Allah, the Utterly MerciIul, the SpeciIically
MerciIul.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
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Other commentaries such as al-Kawkib adDuriyyah are still published and studied. It has
been composed into verse, in a poem called Ubaydu Rabih, and a commentary that discusses
the suIic, or mystical lessons to be drawn Irom it was written by Ibn jiba.

The structure oI Ibn Ajrms presentation oI Arabic grammar may be the main quality that
has led to such success, both in teaching terms and Ior students. The text begins with an
deIinition oI the subject matter itselI, grammar, by deIining what language is and what its
subdivisions, its constituent elements are. This is Iollowed by a deIinition oI inIlection and its
Iour subdivisions. Each subdivision is then discussed in detail, the method Ior discussing
these subdivisions begins with the identiIying oI each oI their signs, each sign then is taken as
a sub-chapter and a list oI the instances where it appears Iollows. AIter the systematic
completion oI every type oI inIlection possible, the author presents a chapter which may be
seen in two diIIerent ways, Iirstly, that it is a summary oI the chapter oI InIlection, and
secondly that it re-presents that whole oI InIlection but with a radically diIIerent approach.
Both notions are, however, correct, the notion that it is a summary is correct Ior the Iollowing
reasons;

1. Repitition oI the lists oI the signs oI each case is distinctly lacking
2. The author limits the contents to what has already been discussed
3. No new elements are presented

The notion that it is not a summary is also correct, however Ior rather a diIIerent reason. The
chapter presents InIlection in an entirely diIIerent method. Instead oI saying that InIlection
has Iour subdivisions, each subdivision has so many signs, each is a sign oI that subdivision
in the Iollowing cases etc etc, he approaches it by beginning with InIlected words are oI
two types, those which inIlect through vowels, and those which inIlect through consonants
This change in presentation shows that he is clearly attempting to present the same material,
but in such a way that, where the main chapter outlined the subject area much the same as the
vertical strands in weaving give us a clear idea oI the pattern, this chapter serves as the
horizantal strips oI the woven article, perhaps not adding to the pattern, but certainly giving it
a Iirmer binding within the mind oI the novice.

The subsequent chapter on the Verbs, is very brieI. In it, the author, outlines that verbs are oI
three types and the diIIerences between them. He then presents the twenty eight particles that
cause the imperIect verb to undergo inIlection, switching quite suddenly to the three chapters
listing and deIining the three diIIerent cases Ior nouns, discussing in some detail how and
why those nouns are in that particular state.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
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These chapters, however, do not, in my opinion, impinge on Ibn Ajrums presentation oI
grammar, quite simply due to their content. Each oI the chapters merely deIines the nature
and category oI the type oI word being discussed. Also, the behaviour oI words is not
discussed iI it does not correspomd with the category in question, this is Iurther conIounded
by the absence oI each type oI word possible that may Iit into that category, Ior example, the
only example given in the sub-chpater oI the Passive Participle is the singular noun, other
words which may serve as passive participles are completely neglected. Obviously, the
author, having discussed already, in much depth the details oI every possible inIlection saw
no need to repeat himselI, any student who had reached such a point in the text could not have
done so without having, Iirst, understood the previous chapters. The text concludes without
any concluding remarks.

At the onset oI this study, it had been my intention to translate the entire text, to evaluate its
system oI presenting Arabic grammar to English speakers, and to Iinally assess its suitability
as a Iirst text Ior non-Arabs. I decided to limit the translation to the chapters that deal
speciIically with grammar as a process, rather than the later chapters which do not. Also, in
order to discuss the suitability oI the method, it has been unnecessary to translate the later
chapters as they merely contain list oI deIinitions, it has been, almost entirely, in the Iirst halI
oI the text where the process oI grammar is discussed.

The suitability oI this text as the introductory text Ior English speakers to the grammar oI the
Arabic language, is an area where theory must become practice. With this in mind, the
experiment I have conducted has involved twenty students, all oI whom had no previous
knowledge oI Arabic, or oI its grammar, and in some cases oI any Iorm oI grammar in any
language. Teaching took place once a week Ior approximately one hour. Simultaneous
translation and explanantion oI the text itselI without commentary led to some understanding
oI the chapters oI InIlection, however, the general habit was Ior students to Iorget chapters
that were not constantly revised.
Even though the day by day, line by line approach where the text was studied in small
portions was successIul, the success was not enduring. One oI the principal shortcomings oI
the experiment, was, the students lack oI vocabulary Ior the purpose oI application oI the
grammatical patterns and rules. The abstract nature oI grammar became magniIied with this
problem. In North AIrican states, where the Ajrumiyyah, is a popular text, such as Morocco,
Libya, Mauritania and Algeria, the students oIten study its entire contents more than one,
some even as much as three times.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
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In the Iirst round, the student is required to memorise the text, is given a superIicial
introduction and is expected to have grasped the main structure and the general outline oI the
contents. The second round consolidates the students knowledge by adding to the examples
and by providing Iurther Iorms oI words such as the broken plural, e.g. in the Iirst round only
one or two examples are taught, yet in the second round all six are discussed, possibly with
the patterns and the diIIering reasons Ior the patterns.

The key to prevent memory lapse seems to be in the memorisation element. Because the text
is memorised the student has constant recourse to his skeleton oI bones, the oral or written
commentary which is not usually memorised serves as the Ilesh, resulting in the complete
body. The clearest example oI this may be drawn Irom the student who has memorised a
portion oI the Quran and the hears or reads its exegesis, will, inevitably retain more oI it than
the student who is hearing all the inIormation aIresh, and has no guide oI the skeleton to aid
him. The students in my experiment, were on the whole, not memorising and so had great
diIIiculty in retaining previous chapters.

The actual system oI presenting the grammar, where each chapter is a commentary on what
precedes it, the very logical and systematic approach to the process and subdivisions oI
InIlection, culminating, in the chapter which re-presents the entire chapter oI InIlection, is one
to be commended. The repetition in style throughout the text is, in English somewhat
cumbersome, however, Ior the the student, it is a system that does not distract the mind with
new vocabulary and ideas as a method oI catching the attention, it presents new ideas based
on already acquired patterns. This Iamiliarity with the pattern oI presentation leaves the
student with only the content to consider.

It is, thereIore my conclusion that the Ajrumiyyah is only suitable as a Iirst text Ior English
speakers who desire to learn Arabic grammar iI the Iollowing conditions are met,
i. The lessons should be short and Irequent, rather then lengthy and Iar apart
ii. A Iair amount oI vocabulary is vital Ior ease in grasping the processes oI
inIlection and noun and verbal derivation based upon roots
iii. Memorisation should be stressed, as an aid to comprehension, retention and
development
iv. Use oI original terminology, this has the advantage in that students who progess
as they will already have an undersatnding oI the Arabic technical terminology,
the drawback is that students who have already studied some Iorm oI grammar
would be assisted iI English translations oI the technical terms were used
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
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v. Constant evaluation and assessment would help keep in the students mind the
process oI grammatical analysis.

II the above conditions are met, the Ajrumiyyah, in my opinion, is a not a diIIicult text Ior
both students who have previous knowledge oI grammar and those who dont. It becomes,
increasingly diIIicult in a context where the traditional one to one teaching cannot take place,
where deIined syllabus dictates the speed oI progression through the text and not the ability oI
the students. It is beyond the scope oI this work to suggest some Iorm oI amalgamation
between classical and modern methods oI instruction, however, it would be in our beneIit to
re-evaluate the classical methods and incorporate that which will beneIit us into our current
methods.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
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Introduction

The author, Abu Abdillahi Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Daud As-Sinhaji, known as Ibn
Ajrum, was born in the year 672 AH and died in 723 AH, may Allah have mercy on him, he
began his monumental work,

He said : Speech is that which is words, composed, informative, by assignment.

He, the commentator, says, as Ior the word al-kalaam, it has two meanings. The Iirst is
semantic and the second, grammatical. As Ior the semantic meaning, this is that which is able
to deliver a message by any means as well as speech, such as writing, printing and gestures
such as nodding oI the head to indicate yes. As Ior the grammatical meaning, this entails the
IulIilling oI the Iollowing Iour conditions, Iirstly it is words, secondly it is composed, thirdly
it is inIormative and Iourthly it is by assignment.

1. As Ior the meaning oI words, this entails clearly pronounced sound originating in the
Alphabet, oI letters al-AliI to al-Ya, e.g. ~', .,, , . Gesture is not considered to be
al-Kalaam by Grammarians, due to the absence oI clear sound, Linguists call gestures
al-Kalaam due to the acquisition oI beneIit, obtained Ior example by a nod or a shake
oI the head.


2. As Ior the meaning oI composed, this entails the necessity oI composition oI two
words or more. For example, , -, Muhammad |is a|
6
traveller. Every construction
resembling this is called al-kalaam, even when other words are added on, .,- .
.,., Ior every hardworker |is his| reward. As or a lone word it is not considered al-
kalaam amongst the Grammarians except when there is clearly some vital element
missing Irom the spoken word that is normally missed out by convention. The
clearest example is in the reply to the question Who is your brother? The reply
Muhammad is a lone word but considered to be al-kalaam due to the hidden
meaning Muhammad is my brother, which is in Iact made up oI three words not
only one.



6
The verb to be does not maniIest in the Arabic language except in the past and Iuture tenses.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
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3. As Ior the meaning oI inIormative this entails the necessity oI satisIaction with the
listener who is not leIt in need oI any Iurther clariIication. So, iI one were to say, II
the teacher comes and stop there, these words are not considered to be al-kalaam,
even iI the composed utterance consists oI two words or more. The listener is leIt
waiting Ior some Iorm oI explanation, which would be Iound in the terminal part oI
the sentence. II one were to say, II the teacher comes the students will listen, then
this becomes al-kalaam, due to the acquisition oI sense.


4. As Ior the meaning oI by assignment, this entails that which is words used in speech
Irom the words that the Arabs have given meaning to. For example, ,.-, he attended,
this is a word to which the Arabs have ascribed a set meaning, that it is a perIect verb
meaning he attended, as Ior the word, -, Muhammad, it too has a set meaning, that
is it is the name oI a particular individual. So iI one were to say, - ,.-, Muhammad
attended, the words used would then be Irom what the Arabs recognise. And in
contrast iI one were to use words that are used by ,-, the Ajamis or non-Arabs such
as the Persians, the Turks or the Berbers, they would not be considered to be al-
kalaam even iI they are so considered in their respective languages.

The Types of Speech
He said: And its al-Kalaam] constituent parts are three: nouns, verbs and particles
7

that come with meaning.

He says: As Ior words they are that which the Arabs use in their speech, that which we have
received Irom them and so use in our discussions and lessons, we read them in our books and
write using them in letters to our Iamilies and Iriends. Not even one oI these words escape
Irom Ialling outside one oI the three categories oI nouns, verbs and particles.
As Ior the meaning oI noun, this is what indicates towards that which is named, and Ior
Grammarians it is that which has an innate meaning and so has no need to be qualiIied by
time, Ior example, Muhammad, Hassan, Ahmad, man, camel, river, apple.

7
Ibn Ajrum indicates by the word ,- both particles and prepositions. In the text when the word
particle is used I indicate here particles, however Ior - ,,- I shall use prepositions.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
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These are all in possession oI innate meanings without any need Ior connection to time or a
tense and so are called nouns.
As Ior the meaning oI verb, it is in language an event. For Grammarians it is a word that has
an innate meaning but is very Iirmly connected to time, to one oI the three tenses, the PerIect,
the ImperIect oI the present and the ImperIect oI the Iuture. For example, .., kataba, he
wrote, this word has a clear meaning and is connected to the past tense called the PerIect. As
Ior ..,, yaktubu, he is writing, this has the same meaning as kataba but is connected to the
present tense and so called ImperIect. As Ior .., uktub! Write! This carries identical
meaning to kataba and yaktubu except it is connected to the Iuture tense or Imperitive
8
, that is
aIter the time oI the speaker.

And so the PerIect is that which took place beIore the time in which the speaker is speaking.
The ImperIect is that which is taking place whilst the speaker is speaking or perhaps aIter
that. The Imperitive is that which is sought to be done aIter the time in which the speaker is
speaking.

As Ior the meaning oI particle, it is called in language a small piece. As Ior the Grammarians
it is a technical term reIerring to that category oI words which do not in themselves have set
meanings but rely on the presence oI other words to provide that meaning. For example, .
Irom, does not have a meaning on its own, it is only when we place it in a sentence such as,
I went Irom the house, it can be said to have a meaning.


The Insignia of Nouns

He said: As for the noun it is recognised by the genitive case, nunation, the acceptance of
the particle of definition ,, the Prepositions which are from, towards, away from, upon,
in, perhaps, the letter al-Ba, the letter al-Kaf, the letter al-Lam and the particles of
Oath which are the letters al-Waw, al-Ba and al-Ta.


8
There seems to some conIusion in the commentary, at Iirst it seems that its author is reIerring to the
Iuture tense oI the ImperIect, using the preIix or , , however it transpires that he intends to say
imperitive in which case he should have deIined the third type oI verb as ,. the Imperitive and not
' the Future.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
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He says: The noun has characteristics that it does not share with its brothers, the verb and the
particle. He, may Allah have mercy on him, mentioned Iour characteristics oI the noun, and
they are the genitive case, the nunation, the acceptance oI and the acceptance oI
prepositions.

As Ior the genitive it is in language the opposite oI elevation, however Ior the Grammarians it
is a technical term reIerring to the presence oI a kasra
9
, or that which comes in place oI it
10
.
For example, in the statement, ,., ._,., I passed by Bakr, the kasra with nunation appears
suIIixed to Bakr.

As Ior nunation, it is in language to give something a voice, as Ior the Grammarians it is a
technical term deIining the placing oI the nun sound at the terminal portion oI a word without
the letter al-Nun. For example as in ` .- Muhammad, it is pronounced Muhammadun. Any
word that is Iound to have nunation in its terminal portion must be a noun.
As Ior the acceptance oI the particle , the letters al-AliI and al-Lam, it too, is a characteristic
oI nouns by preIixing to the nouns as in .-, , the man. Any word which carries in its
beginning is a noun and deIinite
11
.
As Ior the acceptance oI one oI the prepostions, Ior example, . - ., _, _' , I went Irom
the house to the school, both words Iollowing the two prepositions and , Irom and to, are
nouns. Any word, thereIore that may succeed a preposition must be a noun.

The preopositions vary in meaning:
., - , I travelled from Cairo, Irom shows beginning.
., _, ,_ I travelled to Alexandria, to shows ending.
,, .,_ - , I Iired the arrow from the bow, Irom here shows relinquishing.
.. _- - I climbed upon the mountain,

9
Al-Kasra, this is one oI the three vowels which have sound. It is orthographically represented by an
angled dash underneath the letter which carries it, its sound is i as in win.
10
The genitive is represented by other than the kasra, this is discussed Iully in the chapter oI the
Genitive.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
13
.' _, The water is in the jug, in denotes clear spacial positioning
=_ _, <, -_ Many a generous man I have encountered,
._, .,|, I passed by the valley
_, _=,| Laila is like the Iull moon, like is used here to show similarity.
' == The money is Muhammds, this al-Lam is used Ior possession.
. _=| The door belongs to the house, here the al-Lam is used to show speciIication.

- _.- The mat belongs to the house,
.- = The Praise is for God, and here the al-Lam is used to show worthiness or exclusive
rights.

Also Irom the Prepositions are the Particles oI Oaths. They are three in number, ,, . . the
letters al-Waw, al-Ba and at-Ta
12
. The meaning oI all three is to swear an oath by whatever is
suIIixed. The letter al-Waw does not preIix except to a clear noun, Ior example, =, ( .,
.,,,,) translated as , By God and (By the Fig and by the Olive) The latter al-Ba preIixes
to both nouns and pronouns, =,, ,. ,,.. :, , By You (I swear) to beat the lazy one. And
the letter at-Ta does not preIix except to the Divine Name, ( ,..' .,. =,) (By God I will
outwit your statues).



The Insignia of Verbs


11
Nouns in Arabic are indeIinte unless they are proper nouns, common nouns are made deIinite by
several methods oI which one is the preIixing oI .
12
Arabic letters are divided into two phonetic groupings called al-HuruI ul-Qamariyya and al-HuruI
ush-Shamsiyya, the Moon Letters and the Sun Letters. The Moon letters when suIIixed to the particle
do not cause the assimilation oI the Iirst character into the particle, this lack oI assimilation results in
the pronunciation oI the al-Lam, whereas the Sun letters cause the al-Lam to phonetically disappear,
though orthographically remain, and so assimilation occurrs. E.g. al-Qamariyya and ash-Shamsiyya.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
14
He said: The Verb is recognised by the presence of the particles] =| , _..|, =,.=, qad,
letter as-Sin and saufa, and the terminal letter] at-Ta of the Feminine form which
carries as-Sukun
13
.

He says: The verb has Iour characteristics peculiar to it alone, not sharing them with its
brothers the noun and the particle, so whenever one oI them is present on a word it indicates
that that word is a verb.
The Iirst is the particle ` , qad.
The second is the letter as-Sin.
The third is the particle ,, sauIa.
The Iourth is the letter at-Ta whilst it carries a sukun, representing the Ieminine.




As Ior the qad, it enters upon two types oI verbs, the perIect and the imperIect. II it enters
upon the perIect it denotes one oI two meanings: and they are conIirmation or approximation.
An example oI the conIirmation may be Iound in His words, the Most High, ( .,.,' _.' )
(Verily the Believers succeeded) and in our words - ,.- , verily Muhammad attended.
An example oI approximation may be Iound in the words oI the one about to pray, . . ,
the prayer is about to begin
14
, also in the words .,, , the sun is about to set.
15

II qad entered upon an imperIect verb, then the meaning is one oI two: scarcity and
abundance. , _-, is translated as The dim-witted occasionally succeeds, and ,- ,
,, is translated as The hard worker always attains his aim.

As Ior the preIixing oI the letter as-Sin and the particle sauIa ,. , both only preIix to the
imperIect verb, denoting Iuture tense. The diIIerence lies in the proximity oI the execution oI
the particular verb which is suIIixed to one or the other. As-Sin denotes a relative shorter time
between the time oI the speech and the execution oI the action, in the near Iuture. And sauIa

13
As-Sukun is one oI the vowels in Arabic, however it reIlects the absence oI sound, a glottal stop,
identical to the sound oI the letter n in the word identical, and in the letter p when one orders Stop!
14
Despite the presence oI the perIect verb, the imperIect is intended, hence the use oI the qad oI
approximation.
15
II this statement is made beIore the sun sets then the meaning is oI approximation but iI the statement
is made aIter the night has begun then the meaning is oI conIirmation.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
15
thereIore denotes distant Iuture. For example, .- ,,., is translated as Khalid will learn,
whereas - ,, , is translated as Khalid will learn in the distant Iuture
16
.

As Ior . ..,' .. the Ta oI the Feminine which carries sukun, it only enters upon the
perIect verb, denoting a clear connection to a Ieminine participle, whether it is active or
passive. ,' ' ` . , translates as, Aisha, Mother oI the Believers, said, and .,.,' ` .-
,., the doors
17
oI the Palace were opened.
The joining oI the two sukuns by a kasrah does not nulliIy the Ta oI the Feminine as what is
intended is its original disposition, as in, (,, _,- .) (She said, Go out to them.), where
the terminal ta oI the verb carries a kasrah.

The insignia oI the verb that the author has thus Iar described point towards three categories.
A type that only enters upon the perIect verb, and that is the Ta oI the Feminine which carries
sukun. A type that only enters upon the imperIect verb and that is letter As-Sin and the
particle sauIa. And a type that is shared by both the perIect and the imperIect, and that is the
particle, qad.

He neglected to mention the insignia oI the Imperitive. ProoI oI the imperitive nature oI the
verb lies in its ability to accept the letter al-Ya oI the second person Ieminine singular or the
letter an-Nun oI stress. For example, ` ,= , ` . , ` , ` , , Stand up! Sit down! Write! and Look!
These Iour words all indicate orders that seek standing, sitting, writing and looking, as does
the acceptance oI the letter al-Ya oI the second person Ieminine singular in, , or with
the addition oI the Nun oI stress, :, .,= , Write! Look to that which beneIits you!


The Particle

He said: The Particle is that upon which the insignia of the noun nor the insignia of the
verb are acceptable.


16
Note that as-Sin is attached to the verb whereas sauIa is written as a separate word.
17
All plurals oI inanimate objects are treated as Ieminine.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
16
He says, the particle stands out Irom its brothers the noun and the verb because it does not
accept any oI the insignia oI nouns or any oI the insignia oI verbs. For example the words, , ,
. , . , cannot precede a particle, the particle cannot also have preIixed the particle oI
deIinition, , nor nunation. Similarly the letter as-Sin or the particle sauIa do not precede a
particle, nor does qad, all oI which are insignia that indicate verbs.




Inflection

He said: Inflection is the alteration of the terminal portion of the word, differing with
respect to the agents, whether they are apparent or hidden.

He says: InIlection has two meanings, the Iirst oI which is semantical and the second is
technical. As Ior the semantic meaning, it is disclosure and exposition. As you may say: .,,'
I disclosed that which was inside oI me, iI you announced it and disclosed it.
As Ior the technical meaning, this is as the author has mentioned, the alteration oI the
terminal portion oI the word



As Ior what is intended by the phrase, the alteration oI the terminal portion oI the word this
is the alteration in the state oI the terminal portion oI the word, not that the actual terminal
portion should alter but rather it is the grammmatical state which alters Irom nominative to
accusative or subjunctive or genitive, actually or only under the rule. And this change is due
to the change in agent, Irom an agent which demands the nominative case due to its active
nature or the like to one which demands accusativeness or subjunctiveness due to its passive
nature or the like, and so on.

For example, iI one were to say, ` - ,.-, Muhammad came, then Muhammad is nominative.
This is because it is subject to an agent which requires it to be so due to its active nature. II
one were to say, _ - .,' , I saw Muhammad, then Muhammad is accusative. This is because it
is subject to a diIIerent agent, one that requires it to be accusative due to its passive nature. II
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
17
one were to say, - .,=-, I beat
18
Muhammad, then Muhammad is genitive due to the agent
al-Ba which requires it to be so.

Upon reIlection it must be clear now that the terminal portion oI the word Muhammad is the
letter ad-Dal which does not change, but it is the state oI the terminal portion which changes.
Hence it is seen to be nominative in the Iirst example, accusative in the second and genitive in
the third.

This change Irom the nominative state to the accusative and then to genitive is, according to
the author and whosoever adheres to his school, inIlection. The three cases, nominative,
accusative and genitive are the insignia and indicators oI inIlection.

Similar to the noun is the imperIect verb, iI one were to say, ,,,, ` ,,, Ibrahim is travelling
19
,
then the verb is nominative, due to the absence oI any agent that may cause the subjunctive or
the oblique case. II one were to say, ,,,, ,, ` , Ibrahim will not travel, the verb is in the
subjunctive case due to the presence oI an agent requiring it to be so, which in this example is
the particle . II one were to say, ,,,, ` ,, ,, Ibrahim did not travel, then the verb is in the
oblique case due to the change in the agent which now requires the oblique case, in this
example it is the particle ,.




So know that this change is divided into two types, phonetical and implied
20
. As Ior the
phonetical this is that which may be aurally detected as was seen in the terminal letters oI
Muhammad and the verb ,, . As Ior the implied, it is that in which the terminal portion oI
the word has phonetic singularity despite the change in grammatical case. This lack oI change
is due to the impossibility oI realisation, phonetical inconvenience or appropriation. For
example, , ., ,, , The boy, the Judge and my servant are calling.


18
From the root meaning to win, not strike.
19
Distinction between is and will be in the imperIect verb is usually acquired through context,
hence the translation, Muhammad will be travelling may also be accurate.
20
The translation Ior ,,, according to Hans Wehr is implication oI a missing syntactical part.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
18
The verb, ,, , is in the nominative case due to the lack oI any agent causing subjunction or
obliqueness. The noun, , is also nominative as it is the active participle oI the verb. The
two nouns, , . , are also nominative as they are coordinated with a nominative noun.
The vowel ad-Dhamma is not seen anywhere on the terminal portions oI these words, due to
the impossibility oI realisation in , due to the phonetical inconvenience in ,, and . ,
and due to appropriation by the al-Ya personal pronoun oI the Iirst person in . The vowel
ad-Dhamma is thereIore, implied, with respect to the terminal portions oI these words due to
reasons oI impossibility oI realisation, phonetical inconveneience or appropriation.
For example, , ., , ._, , ., ., . , , ., _.,, , iI the terminal
letter is an aliI then all oI the possibilities in phonetical change are stiIled due to the
impossibilty oI realisation, this terminal letter aliI is called _,. .. , the Disjointed AliI, as
in, , . , _-- , _-, , ., . iI the terminal letter is a Ya then the vowels ad-Dhamma and
al-Kasra are stiIled due to phonetical inconvenience. This Ya is called ., ., , the DeIicient
Ya, the al-Fatha is not stiIled due to phonetical ease, as in, . , , _ , , _. ,
,. II the word Iorms a part oI the possessive construct with the possessor being the al-Ya oI
the Iirst person then all possibilities oI phonetical variance are stiIled due to appropriation, Ior
example, , _ , ,. , _, , ' .

It is here the InIlection encounters . , al-Bina
21
, Invariability. The author negelcted to
elaborate on Invariability, and so we shall clariIy it in the same manner we clariIied
InIlection.


Invariability has two meanings, semantical and technical. As Ior the semantical meaning it is
that which places something on something else with the view to seeking stasis and
permanence. As Ior the technical meaning it is that which is the permanence oI the terminal
portion oI the word, always in the same state with no eIIect Irom agents or deIectivenenss. As
in the permanence oI the as-Sukun in ` , , ` , the permanence oI the al-Kasra in .., , - , '
, the permanence oI the ad-Dhamma in , .,- , and the permanence oI the al-Fatha in ,' ,

21
The origins oI the word lie in the verb to build, i.e. to construct an immovable object like a house,
unlike a tent which may be moved. Hence words whose terminal portions may not be moved are
reIerred to as _ , invariable and not indeclinable which reIers to ,., . ,. Carter translates al-Bina as
Invariability.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
19
., . The Iour endings possible in Invariablitiy are as-Sukun, al-Kasra, ad-Dhamma and al-
Fatha.
AIter the elaboration oI what has preceded, knowledge oI the declinable and invariable should
now present no diIIiculty. The declinable is that which may undergo change in its terminal
portion phonetically or by implication due to a change in the agent. The invariable is that
which may not undergo any change it its terminal portion, permanently Iixed in its ending
despite any change in the agent or |the presence oI| any deIectiveness.

He said : And it Inflection] has four subdivisions;
Nominative, Subjunctive/Accusative
22
, Genitive and 1ussive
23


He says: The subdivisons oI InIlection that occurr in the noun and the verb are Iour, the Iirst
is the Nominative, the second is the Accusative/Subjunctive, the third is the Genitive and the
Iourth is the Jussive. Each and every one oI these terms has a meaning both in language and a
meaning in the technical terminology oI Grammar.
As Ior the Nominative it is that which in language means highness and elevation. Its technical
meaning is that which has variation exclusively limited to the ad-Dhamma and what may be
placed instead oI it. The insignia oI the nominative will be explained shortly in the
Iorthcoming chapter, iI God wills. Nomination occurrs in both nouns and verbs, Ior example,
_., , ,, , Ali is standing up, the nightingale is singing.

As Ior the Subjunctive/Accusative it is that which in language means settling and straightness.
Its technical meaning is that which has variation exclusively limited to al-Fatha and what may
be placed instead oI it. Subjunctiveness/Accusativeness occurs in both nouns and verbs, Ior
example, ` .-' , I will never love laziness.



As Ior the Genitive it is that which in language means abasement. Its technical meaning is that
which has variation exclusively limited to al-Kasra and what may be placed instead oI it. It
does not occurr except in the noun. For example, , ` . ' , I was distressed Irom laziness.


22
The Arabic term .,. is applied to both verbs and nouns, in English it is translated as subjunctive
Ior verbs and accusative Ior nouns. Carter translates it as dependant.
23
Carter translates these subdivisons as Independence, Dependence, Obliqueness and Apocopation, as
does Hans Wehr, I have opted to use the translation oI Raymond Schiendlin in his 201 Arabic Verbs.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
20
As Ior the Jussive it is that which in language means severing. Its technical meaning is that
which has variation exclusively limited to as-Sukun and what may be placed instead oI it. It
does not occurr except in the imperIect verb. For example, ` ,, , , the idle one did not
succeed.

It has thus been clariIied that the various types oI inIlection are three in number : Iirstly that
which is applies to both nouns and verbs, and this is the Nominative and the
Subjunctive/Accusative. Secondly that which applies only to nouns and this is the Genitive,
and thirdly that which applies only to verbs and this is the Jussive.


The Insignia of the Nominative

He said : The Nominative case has four signs, the vowell ad-Dhamma, the letters al-Alif,
al-Waw and an-Nun.

He said : The ad-Dhamma is a sign oI Nomination iI Iour instances: in the singular noun, the
broken plural, the sound Ieminine plural and the imperIect verb iI nothing is suIIixed to it.

He says : The ad-Dhamma is a sign oI nominative case in words in Iour instances. The Iirst is
the singular noun, the second is the broken plural, the third is the sound Ieminine plural and
the Iourth is the imperIect verb when the aliI oI duality is not attached to it, nor the waw oI
plurality, nor the ya oI the second person Iemeine singular, nor the nun oI corroboration, be it
the light nun or the heavy nun
24
, nor the Iemine nun.




As Ior the singular noun, what is intended is that which is not dual, nor plural, nor attached to
them, and nor Irom the Five Names. It must be masculine, Ior example, Muhammad, Ali,
Hamza, or it must be Ieminine, Ior example, Ftimah, isha, Zainab. It must carry an explicit
dhamma as in, ., ~ , ` - ,.- , Muhammad attended, Fatima travelled, or it must have an
implicit dhamma as in, -', . ,.-, The Judge and my brother attended. The nouns
Muhammad and Fatima are thus both nominative, their sign oI nomintiveness is the explicit
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
21
dhamma, the nouns al-Qdhi and akh are also nominative, their sign oI nominativeness is the
implicit dhamma, hidden due to phonetical inconvenience and appropriation respectively.

As Ior the broken plural, what is intended is that which is greater than two, whilst adopting a
diIIerent Iorm Irom its singular.
There are six Iorms oI broken plural;
i. that which undergoes change in its vowelling not in its consonantal Iorm, e.g.
` ` ' , ` ' , lion, lions, where the consonants in the singular and plural are identical.
The diIIerence resting in the voweling oI the consonants
ii. that which undergoes change through consonantal loss, e.g. ` , -` , -` , indigestion,
indigestions, where the loss oI a consonant occurs, in this case, the letter at-Ta. In
this Iorm the remaining consonants retain their original vowelling in the plural, as
was in the singular
iii. that which undergoes change has consonantal addition without aIIecting the
consonantal order as was in its singular Iorm, e.g. . ,` . , ` ,` . , twin, twins
iv. that which undergoes change in vowelling and consonantal loss, e.g. ` _` ,` , ` ,, , ,
bed, beds
v. that which undergoes change in vowelling and has consonantal addition, e.g. ` . ` '
, ` . , reason, reasons, ` ,` ` , ` ` , Hind, Hinds, . ` -` , ` _ - , hero, heroes
vi. that which undergoes change in its vowelling, has both consonantal loss and
addition, e.g. . , , , , generous one, generous ones, .` , . , writer, writers.

These Iorms oI the broken plural are nominative with an explicit dhamma, even in the case oI
the masculine broken plural as in, -_, men, and in the Ieminine broken plural as in, , ,
Hinds. whether the dhamma is explicit or implicit as in, _ , drunks, which is oI course
nominative with implicit dhamma, hidden due to the impossibility oI realisation.



As Ior the sound Ieminine plural, what is intended is that which is greater than two, with the
plural Iorm having the letters, al-AliI and at-Ta, suIIixed, to the singular Iorm, hence sound
plural, e.g. .~ , Fatimas. The dhamma is always explicit on the sound Iemine plural, unless,

24
The nun oI corroboration is oI two types, the heavy and the light, the heavy carries tashdid,
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
22
oI course, there is appropriation by the al-Ya oI the Iirst person, e.g. _,,, my cows. II the
letter at-Ta is present as the terminal letter in the singual Iorm as in, ,,' . , .,, , house, houses,
then the plural is not a sound Iemine plural but rather a broken plural.

As Ior the imperIect verb, such as, ` ., , ` .,., , he is hitting, he is writing, both are
nominative, and their sign oI nomintiveness is an explicit dhamma. In the examples oI, _.,, ,
,, , he prays, he is pleased, both are nominative, their sign oI nominativeness is an implicit
dhamma, hidden due to phonetical inconvenience and impossibility oI realisation
respectively.

As Ior our phrase, when the aliI oI duality is not attached to it, nor the waw oI plurality, nor
the ya oI the second person Ieminine singular as in , .,, , .,, , ., , they |dual| are
writing, they |plural| are writing, you |plural| are writing, you |Ieminine singular| are writing,
this indicates to imperIect verbs which are nominative with the sign oI nominitiveness being
the letter an-Nun. A Iull chapter dealing with this Iollows shortly. As Ior our phrase, nor the
nun oI corroboration, be it the light nun or the heavy nun, nor the Ieminine nun, as in, ( ` -,
,,. ` ,,,) (.,, .,,), where the imperIect verb becomes invariable with the Iatha and
sukun, respectively.

He said : The waw is a sign oI nominativeness in two instances; in the sound masculine plural
and the Five Nouns, which are, , , , , ,~ , ,-' , ,,' , your Iather, your brother, your
|Iemale| male relative through marriage
25
, your mouth, possessor oI wealth.
He says : The waw is a sign oI nominativeness in two instances; the sound masculine plural
and the Five Nouns.






pronounced anna, and the light carries sukun, as in the Quranic verse, (,,. ` ,, , ` -,)
25
In Kawakib ad-Duriya, the author, despite modern translations, categorically states that ,~ must be
suIIixed by Iemine pronouns, it being impossible with masculine pronouns, this, he says, is due the
meaning which is a male relative oI a woman through her husband, i.e. through marriage. The husbands
equivalent through marriage is called -.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
23
As Ior the sound masculine plural, it is that which indicates towards greater than two, by
receiving additional consonants in its terminal portion, namely, the letters al-waw and an-
Nun, e.g. .,', the Muslims, where the singular Iorm is leIt intact within the plural, the
nouns is nominative, its sign oI nominativeness being the waw, substituting the dhamma, as
Ior the terminal nun, it is in Iact a substitute Ior the nunation.

As Ior the Five Nouns, , , , , ,~ , ,-' , ,,' , your Iather, your brother, your |Iemale| male
relative through marriage, your mouth, possessor oI wealth, they are all nominative, their sign
oI nominativeness being the letter waw, substituting the dhamma. That which succeeds them,
Iorming a genitive construction, as in possessor oI wealth, must take the genitive case, e.g. ,
, ,, ,,' .
Be aware that these Five Nouns do not undergo inIlection in this way unless certain
conditions are met which are Iour;
i. that it |the noun| is singular. For iI it were plural, either broken or sound, it would
inIlect according to the rules oI the broken and sound plurals, and iI it were dual
it would inIlect according to the rules oI the dual
ii. that it is not a dimunitive, in which case it would inIlect according the rule oI the
diminutive
iii. that it is in a genitive construction. II it were Iree oI the construction it would then
inIlect as per a singular noun.
iv. that the genitive construction is not with the Ya oI the Iirst person.


He said : The letter al-AliI is a sign oI nominativeness in the dual oI the noun, exclusively.

He says : The letter al-AliI is a sign oI nominativeness in only one instance, the dual oI the
noun, e.g. .,. , the two Iriends. as-Sadqni is nominative, its sign oI nomination is the
letter aliI substituting the dhamma, and the letter nun substitutes the nunation Iound in the
singular, ` ,..

He said : The letter an-Nun is a sign oI nominativeness in the imperIect verb, iI attached to it
is the pronoun oI the dual, or oI the plural, or oI the second person Ieminine.



Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
24

He says : The letter nun is a sign oI nominativeness in only one instance, the imperIect verb,
iI attached to it is the pronoun oI the dual, whether it is masculine or Ieminine, second or third
person, e.g. ., , .,, , they |dual| are travelling, you |dual| are travelling
26
. Both verbs are
in the nominative, their sign oI nominativeness being the letter nun substituting the dhamma.
The letter aliI oI the dual is the active participle, invariable with sukun, in the state oI being
nominative. And as Ior the attaching oI the pronoun oI the plural, this is the letter waw Ior the
plural oI the masculine Iorm, e.g. .,, , .,,, , they are standing, you are standing. The verb
is in the nominative, its sign oI nominativeness is the nun substituting the dhamma. The letter
waw is the active particple Ior the plural, it is invariable with sukun, in the state oI being
nominative. The pronoun oI the second person Ieminine singular is the letter ya, e.g. , ,
you know, the verb is in the nominative, its sign oI nominativeness being the nun substituting
the dhamma. The ya oI the second person Ieminine singular is the active particple, in a state
oI being nominative.
This group oI verbs, which have the letter nun as their sign oI being nominative are called the
Five Verbs.

Insignia of the Subjunctive/Accusative

He said : The Subjunctive/Accusative has five signs; the vowel al-Fatha, the letter al-
Alif, the vowel al-Kasra, the letter al-Ya and elision of the letter an-Nun.

He said : The vowel al-fatha is a sign of Subjunctive/Accusative case in three instances;
in the singular noun, the broken plural and the imperfect verb when nothing has been
suffixed to it.

He says : The Iatha is a sign oI Subjunctive/Accusative case in three instances; the Iirst is the
singular noun, the second is the broken plural and the third is the imperIect verb that has been
preceeded by an agent causing Subjunctiveness, whilst it is without any suIIixes, such as the
aliI oI the dual, or the waw oI the plural, or the ya oI the second person Ieminine singular, or
the nun oI corroboration or the nun oI the Ieminine.



Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
25

As Ior the singular noun, and we have already discussed its nature, it takes a Iatha when it is
accusative, e.g. ., , , ., , I met Ali, I met Hind, both nouns, Ali and Hind, are singular
nouns, both are accusative, their sign oI accusativeness being the explicit Iatha, even whilst
the Iirst is masculine and the second is Ieminine. The Iatha may also be an implicit one, e.g.
. ., , _., .., , I met Layla, I met the youth, where the nouns youth and Layla are both
singular nouns, both are accusative, their sign oI accusativeness being an implicit Iatha,
hidden due to the impossibility oI realisation.

As Ior the broken plural, and its nature too has already been discussed, it takes a Iatha when it
is accusative, e.g. , .,'_ , .-, .,'_ , I saw the Hinds, I saw the men, where both nouns are
broken plurals, both are accusative, their sign oI accusativeness being the explicit Iatha, even
whilst the Iirst is masculine and the second is Ieminine. The Iatha may also be an implicit one,
e.g. (_,. ,-',) ( , _ ) both nouns are accusative, their sign oI accusativeness being
an implicit Iatha, hidden due to the impossibility oI realisation.

As Ior the imperIect verb, e.g. ( . ., __. ` ), (We will not cease being its worshippers)
where the verb to cease is subjunctive due to the presence oI the particle . , its sign oI
subjunctiveness being the explicit Iatha. The Iatha may also be an implicit one, e.g. _..,, ` .
.. , the teacher will not be pleased, where the verb to be pleased is subjunctive due to the
presence oI the particle , the sign oI subjunctiveness being an implicit Iatha.

II one oI the pronouns, such as oI the dual, plural or second person Iemine singular, suIIixes
to the imperIect verb, which subsequently undergoes subjunctive inIlection, the sign oI
subjunctiveness is the elision oI the letter an-Nun. A Iull chapter dealing with this Iollows
shortly.

II the nun oI corrorboration, whether it is the heavy or the light one, suIIixes to the imperIect
verb, e.g. ` =, , ` . . =, , By God, you will certainly not be going, By God, you will
most certainly not be going, then the imperIect verb is invariable with al-Iath whilst being in a
state oI subjunctive case.


26
Conjugation Ior the third person Ieminine dual Iorm oI the imperIect verb is identical to the second
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
26
II the nun oI the Ieminine suIIixes to the imperIect verb, e.g. -' .' , , the Muslim
women are going to the Mosque, then the imperIect verb is invariable with sukun whilst being
in the subjunctive case.

He said : The letter al-Alif is a sign of the subjunctive case in the Five Nouns, e.g. =,| .,|_
=-| , I saw your father and your brother.
He says : It has already been discussed that the Five Nouns have the letter waw as their sign
oI the nominativeness, the letter aliI as their sign oI subjunctiveness and the letter ya as their
sign oI genitiveness, as have the conditions pertaining to their inIlection. In the Iollowing
examples, all the Five Nouns are accusative, their sign oI accusativeness being the aliI
substituting the Iatha, . , ., .~, .-', ,' .,'_ , and all are the Iirst halI oI a genitive
construction, except Ior , which is the second halI oI one.

He said : The vowel al-Kasra is a sign of subjunctive case in the sound femine plural.

He says : The nature oI the sound Ieminine plural has already been discussed. The sound
Ieminine plural has the vowel kasra as its sign oI accusativeness, e.g. .' .,'_ , ., = -
_., , I saw the Muslim women, God created the Heavens and the Earth. The nouns, al-
muslimt and as-Samawt, are both sound Ieminine plurals, and are both accusative. Their
sign oI accusativeness is the kasra substituting the Iatha. The noun, al-Ardh, has been
included to show clearly the diIIerence between the singular noun and the sound Ieminine
plural, whilst both are in the accusative state.

He said : The letter al-Ya is a sign of accusativeness in the dual and the plural of the
noun].

He says : The natures oI the dual oI the noun and the sound masculine plural have already
been discussed. Whilst in a state oI accusativeness, both take ya, e.g. ` , ' .,'_ , ` , ' .,'_ , I
saw the two Muslims, I saw the Muslims |plura|, where the diIIernce lies between the dual
and the plural, not in the consonants but in the vowels. The ya oI the dual is preceeded
immediately by a Iatha, and succeeded immediately by a kasra, whereas the ya oI the plural is
preceeded by a kasra and succeeded by a Iatha. Both nouns are accusative, their sign oI

person. There is no gender diIIerence in conjugation oI the dual Iorm in imperIect verb,
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
27
accusativeness being the ya substituting the Iatha. The nun substitutes the nunation Iound in
the singular, ` ,.

He said : The elision of the nun is a sign of the subjunctive in the Five Verbs, which
show nominativeness by the suffixing of a nun.



He says : The nature oI the Five Verbs had already been discussed. It is possible to detect the
eIIect oI subjunctive inIlection when the nun that is normally suIIixed to the Five Verbs has
been elided, e.g. ,,., ` , ,,. ` , ,,,., ` , ,,,. ` , _,. ` , they |dual masculine| will not strike,
you |dual masculine| will not strike, they |plural masculine| will not strike, you |plural
masculine| will not strike, you |Ieminine singular| will not strike, the verbs here are all
subjunctive, their sign oI subjunctiveness being the elision oI the nun substituting the
dhamma.

The Insignia of the Genitive

He said : The genitive has three signs; the vowel al-Kasra, the letter al-Y, the vowel al-
Fatha.

He said : The kasra ia sign of the genitive in three instances; the fully declinable singular
noun, the fully declinable broken plural and the sound feminine plural.

He says : The nature oI the singular noun has already been discussed. As Ior the meaning oI
Iully declinable, this is that which accepts all three Iorms oI inIlection in its terminal
portion, it must also accept nunation, e.g. ` - .- , - .,'_ , .- ._, , the noun, Muhammad
accepts all three Iorms oI inIlection, hence it is called Iully declinable, the noun is genitive
due to the presence oI preposition, its sign oI genitiveness being the explicit kasra.
The nature oI the broken plural has already been discussed, as has the nature oI the meaning
oI Iully declinable. Much the same as the Iully declinable singular noun, the Iully declinable
broken plural must also accept nunation, and inIlection in all three Iorms, e.g. -, .- , ..,'_
, - , -,, ._, , the men came, I saw the men, I met the men. The noun in the third example
iI genitive due to the presence oI the preposition, its sign oI genitiveness being the explicit
kasra.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
28
The nature oI the sound Ieminine plural has already been discussed, it takes as its sign oI
genitiveness the vowel kasra, e.g. ..', ._,. , I met the Muslim women, where the word,
muslimt is genitive due to the presence oI the preposition.

He said : The letter al-Y is a sign of the genitive in three instances; the Five Nouns, the
dual of the noun and the plural of the noun.



He says : As Ior the Five Nouns, their nature and the conditions by which they undergo
inIlection have already been discussed. They take the letter ya as their sign in the genitive,
e.g. :,,', ._, , . , ._, , I met your Iather, I met the possessor oI wealth, both nouns, abk
and dh-ml, are genitive due to the presence oI the preposition, their sign oI genitiveness
being the letter ya substituting the kasra.
The ya is also the sign Ior genitiveness Ior the dual oI the noun and the sound masculine
plural, e.g. -,., ._, , .', ._,. , I met the two men, I met the Muslims, the diIIerence
being in the vowelling, which is identical to that in the accusative. Both nouns are genitive
due to the presence oI the preposition, their sign oI genitiveness being the ya substituting the
kasra.

He said : The vowel al-Fatha is a sign of the genitive in the semi-declinable noun.

He says : As Ior the meaning oI semi-declinable, this indicates that which is not Iully
declinable, it does not have nunation, it resembles a verb and Ialls into one oI the Iollowing
eleven categories;
i. it Iollows the extended plural pattern, e.g. - ._,, I passed by mosques,
ii. it carries one oI the two broken aliIs, the stretched as in, .,-.., Sahara, or the
shortened as in, _-, pregnant,
iii. it Iorms Irom the combination oI a proper noun and compund as in, ` .,,.,
mad-karibu,
iv. the Ieminine oI the proper noun, e.g. , ~ , ishah, Ftimah,
v. Ioreign words such as Ibrhm and YsuI,
vi. proper nouns based on a verbal pattern such as, ~' , .,, , , Ahmad, Yathrib,
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
29
vii. the suIIixing oI the letters aliI and nun in the proper singular noun, e.g. . , .,,
, Uthmn, Marwn,
viii. the proper noun when it has an anomaly as in, ` , , Umar,
ix. epithets when there is an anomaly, , . , in twos, in threes,
x. proper nouns based on the elative pattern as in, .' , most virtuous,
xi. the combination oI an adjective with the suIIixing oI aliI and nun as in, .,. ,
intoxicated.
All plurals oI where there is, aIter the addition oI an aliI, two or more consonants are also
semi-declinable nouns, e.g. - , .' , _, , _. .



The Insignia of the 1ussive

He said : The jussive has two signs, the sukun and elision. The sukn is a sign of the
jussive in the imperfect verb which has a sound ending.

He says : The sukun indicates only one thing, the jussive case oI the imperIect verb which has
a sound ending. As Ior the meaning oI sound ending, this reIers to the terminal radical oI the
verb, the lam oI the verb
27
, to be other than one oI the weak letters, which are the aliI, the
waw and the ya.
The imperIect verb oI sound ending, e.g. ., , ` .,.., , ` _-., , he is doing, he is striking, he is
succeeding, when preceeded by a particle which causes jussiveness takes on the sukun as its
sign oI the jussive case, e.g. , , , ` .,., , , ` _-., , , he did not do, he did not strike, he did not
succeed, each oI the verbs is in the jussive case due to the presence oI a particle which causes
subjugation, their sign oI jussiveness being the sukun.

He said : Elision is the sign for jussiveness in the imperfect verb which has a weak
ending, and in the Five Verbs which shown nominativeness by the suffixing of a nun.


27
All Arabic verbs are based on three or Iour root consonants, called radicals, e.g. the root oI , is
., the letter kaI is called the Ia oI the verb, the ta is called the ain oI the verb and the ba is called the
lam oI the verb, the origin oI this comes Irom the root oI the verb to do, _ , upon which all verb
paradigms are based.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
30
He says : Elision is a sign oI jussiveness in two instances; in the imperIect verb which has a
weak ending and in the Five Verbs.

As Ior the meaning oI which has a weak ending, this reIers to the lam oI the verb being an
aliI or a waw or a ya, e.g. _ .,, , ,.` -,, , .., , he is pleased, he is hoping, he is judging, when
preceeded by a particle which causes jussiveness undergoes elision oI the terminal weak
letter, e.g. ,, , , ` _,, , , ., , , he was not pleased, he did not hope, he did not judge, each oI
the verbs is in the jussive case due to the presence oI a particle which causes jussiveness, their
sign oI jussiveness being the elision oI the terminal weak letter, in these examples, the aliI,
waw and ya respectively,




The Five Verbs undergo inIlection oI the jussive case when preceeded by a particle which
causes jussiveness, e.g. ,,., , , ,,. , , ,,,., , , ,,,. , , _,.. , , they |dual| did not strike, you
|dual| did not strike, they |plural| did not stike, you |plural| did not stirke, you |Ieminine
singular| did not strike, each oI the verbs is in the jussive case due to the presence oI a particle
which causes jussiveness, their sign oI jussiveness being the elision oI the nun.


The Inflected

He said : The inflected are of two types; those which undergo inflection through change
in the vowels and those which undergo inflection through change in the consonants.

He says : The author, may God have mercy upon him, desired to Iurther clariIy inIlection in
this summarising chapter. He has chosen to present the sub-chapters oI inIlection as being oI
eight categories;
i. the singular noun
ii. the broken plural
iii. the sound Ieminine plural
iv. the imperIect verb which has no suIIixes
v. the dual oI the noun
vi. the sound masculine plural
vii. the Five Nouns
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
31
viii. the Five Verbs,
all oI which Iall into two main categories; those which undergo inIlection through change in
the vowels and those which undergo inIlection through change in the consonants.

He said : Those which undergo inflection through change in the vowles are of four types;
the singular noun, the broken plural, the sound feminine plural and the imperfect verb
which has no suffixes.







He says : The vowels are three, the dhamma, the Iatha and the kasra, the sukun is annexed to
the vowels as it shows vowel-lessness.

i. the singular noun, e.g. , , , ` - . , Muhammad wrote the letter with his own
hand. In this example it is clear how a singular noun may undergo inIlection Irom
the nominative with its sign a dhamma, to the accusative with its sign a Iatha, to
the genitive with its sign a kasra, where the word Muhammad is nominative, ar-
Risalah is accusative and yadih is genitive.
ii. the broken plural, e.g. .. . ,_ ` .= - , the students learnt their lessons
Irom the books. In this example it is clear how a broken plural may undergo
inIlection with identical signs to the singular noun, where at-tulb is nomitive, ad-
durs is accusative and al-kutub is genitive.
iii. the sound Ieminine plural, e.g. .,.. ` ..,' _.- , the believing women had
humilty in the prayers. In this example it is clear how a sound Ieminine plural
may undergo inIlection, where al-mumint is nominative, and as-salawt is
genitive.
iv. the imperIect verb which has no suIIixes, e.g. ` ., , ., ` , ` .., , , he is going,
he will not be going, he did not go. In this example it is clear that the imperIect
verb which has no suIIixes may undergo inIlection, where yadhabu is nominative,
yadhaba is accusative and yadhab is jussive, with the dhamma, Iatha and sukun as
their signs respectively.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
32

He said : All of the above show nominativeness by the dhamma, show
subjunctiveness/accusativeness by the fatha, show genitiveness by the kasra and show
jussiveness by the sukun, except for the sound feminine plural which shows
accusativeness with a kasra, and semi-declinable noun which shows genitiveness with a
fatha and the imperfect verb which has a weak ending shows jussiveness by the elision of
its terminal weak letter.

He says : Nomitiveness always takes as its sign the dhamma, e.g. ` ..,', ...., ` .- ` ,, ,
Muhammad is travelling, as the Iriends and the believing women, where each word is
nominative, its sign oI nominativeness being the dhamma.
Subjuntiveness/accusativeness always takes as its sign the Iatha, e.g. .,', ..., - .-' `
, I will not oppose Muhammad, nor the Iriends, nor the believing women, the verb is
subjunctive and each noun is accusative, showing the sign oI Iatha, except Ior the sound
Ieminine plural, which shows a kasra when it is accusative.
Genitiveness always takes as its sign kasra, e.g. .~', ..,', .-,, .- ` ._, , I passed be
Muhammad and the men and the believing women, each oI the nouns is genitive showing its
sign oI genitiveness, the kasra, except Ior the semi-declinable noun which shows genitiveness
by the Iatha.
Jussiveness only applies to the imperIect verb, which, iI it has no suIIixes and has a sound
ending, when jussive takes as its sign the sukun, e.g. ` - ` ,, , , Khalid did not travel, the verb
is jussive due to the presence oI a particle which causes jussiveness, its sign being the sukun.
II the verb has a weak ending, then it sign oI jussiveness is the elision oI its terminal weak
letter, e.g. ,, , , ` _,., , , ., , , he was not pleased, he did not hope, he did not judge, each
verb is jussive, its sign oI jussiveness being the elision oI its terminal weak consonant,
indictaed by the presence oI the vowel at the end oI the verb, the Iatha showing the Iormer
presence oI an aliI, the dhamma showing the Iormer presence oI a waw and the kasra showing
the Iormer presence oI a ya.

He said : Those which undergo inflection through consonantal change are four types;
the dual of the noun, the sound masculine plural, the Five Nouns and the Five Vebs,
which are, .:-, , .:- , .,-, , .,- , _- .

He says : The second category oI inlection is that which undergoes inIlection through a
change in its consonants, the letters which are signs oI inIlection are Iour, the aliI, the waw,
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
33
the ya and the nun. The types oI words which undergo inIlection with these letters as their
signs oI inIlection are Iour;
i. the dual oI the noun, e.g. .-, , ., , the two men, two books,
ii. the sound masculine plura, e.g. .,' , .,,- , the Muslims, the hard workers,
iii. the Five Nouns, e.g. ,,' , ,-' , ,~ , ,. , . , , your Iather, your brother, your
|Iemale| male relative through marriage, your mouth, possessor oI wealth,
iv. the Five Verbs, e.g. ., , . , .,., , .,. , . ,they |dual| are doing, you
|dual| are doing, they |plural| are doing, you |plural| are doing, you |Ieminine
singular| are doing.

He said : The dual of the noun shows nominativeness with an alif, and shows
accusativeness and gentiivenss with a ya.





He says : The Iirst oI the words which undergo inIlection through a change in the consonants
is the dual oI the noun. It shows an aliI substituting a dhamma whilst in the nominative, it
shows a ya substituting a Iatha or a karsa in the accusative and genitive respectively. The
terminal nun, which substitutes the nunation Iound in the singular, is not elided except iI it
Iorms the Iirst halI oI genitive construct. The dual oI the noun thereIore changes Irom, .-_,
two men, in the nominative to, ` , -_, in both the accusative and genitive.

He said : The sound masculine plural shows the waw as its sign of nominativeness, and
the ya as its sign of subjunctiveness and genitiveness.

He says : The second oI the words which undergo inIlection through a change in the
consonants is the sound masculine plural. It shows a waw in the nominative, and a ya in both
the accusative and genitive, e.g. .,` ' , the Muslims changes to .' , Irom the nominative
to the accusative or gentiive. The nun, again, is not elided excpet iI the sound masculine
plural Iorms the Iirst halI oI a genitive construct.

He said : The Five Nouns show the waw as their sign of nominativeness, the alif as their
sign of accusativeness and the ya as their sign of genitiveness.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
34

He says : The third type oI word which undergoes inIlection through a change in the
consonants is any oI the Five Nouns. All oI the Five Nouns have the waw as their sign in the
nominative, the aliI in the accusative and the ya in the genitive, e.g. , -' ,,' _=' ,
your Iather gave the letter Irom the possessor oI wealth to your brother. The waw substitutes
the dhamma, the aliI substitutes the Iatha and the ya substitutes the kasra.

He said : The Five Verbs show as their sign of nominativeness the suffixing of the nun,
and its elision in the subjunctive and jussive.

He says : The Iourth type oI word which undergoes inIlection through a change in the
consonants is any oI the Five Verbs. All oI them are suIIixed by a nun whilst in the
nominative, the nun is elided in the subjunctive and jussive, e.g. ., , . , .,, , ., ,
, become, , , , , , ,, , , , ` , ` , where the Iirst three examples are jussive, their
sign oI jussiveness being the elision oI the nun substituting the sukun, the latter two are
subjunctive, their sign oI subjunctiveness being the elision oI the nun substituting the Iatha.


The Verbs

He said : The verbs are of three types; perfect, imperfect and imperitive, e.g. = = , = = ,
= = , he struck, he is striking, and strike!

He says : Verbs are divided into three categories;
i. the perIect, which denotes an action having occured beIore the time oI its being
mentioned, meaning in the past, e.g. .,.. , ,.. , _. , he struck, he helped, he
opened.
ii. the imperIect, which denotes an action occurring whilst it is being mentioned or
aIter its mentioning, e.g. .,.., , ,.., , _., , he is striking, he is helping, he is
opening, in all cases the meaning may also be he will be striking, he will be
helping, he will be opening.
iii. the imperitive, which denotes an action occurring aIter the time oI its being
mentioned, e.g. ` .,. , ` ,. , ` _ , strike! help! open!

Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
35
The Rules governing the Verb

He said : The perfect verb always terminates with a fatha, the imperitive always
terminates with a sign of jussiveness, and the imperfect verb is that which begins with
one of the four letters that are gathered in the acronym, ..,| , alif, nun, ya and ta, it is
always nominative until a particle of subjunctiveness or jussiveness causes it to undergo
inflection.

He says : AIter explaining the categories oI verbs, the author, has explained the rules
governing each oI them.

He has declared the perIect verb to be invariable, with a Iatha as its terminal vowel, which
may be explicit or implicit.
As Ior the explicit Iatha, this is seen in the verb which has a strong ending, e.g. .,. , ,. , _ ,
also in verbs which end in a waw or a ya, e.g. ,, , ._ .





As Ior the implicit Iatha, this is oI three types;
i. implicit due to the impossibilty oI realisation, this is in the case oI all verbs
ending with the letter aliI, e.g. , _ , where the aliI is substituting the Iatha,
ii. implicit due to the suIIixing oI the waw oI the plural, e.g. , , ,,,.. , where the
waw prevents the ending having Iatha,
iii. implicit due to the suIIixing oI any oI the pronouns, e.g. ` . , . , . , ,
, I wrote, you |masculine singular|wrote, you |Ieminine singular| wrote, they
|Ieminine plural|wrote, we wrote, where the suIIixed pronouns prevent the
endings having Iatha.
The imperitive is invariable, upon the jussive Iorm oI its imperIect. II its imperIect was oI
sound ending, then the lam oI the verb has an explicit sukun, e.g. ` .,. , ` ,.. , ` _. , or in the
case oI the suIIixing oI the nun oI corroraboration to the Iemine plural, an implicit sukun, e.g.
` , ,.` . , ` .` . II the imperitive was oI weak ending, then the elision oI the terminal weak
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
36
consonant occurs, e.g. ` _` , . II its imperIect was oI the Five Verbs, then the elision oI the
nun occurs, e.g. ` , ,` ` , ` .

The imperIect verb is recognised by the preIixing oI the one oI the Iour letters, aliI, ta, ya or
nun. The aliI with hamza denotes the Iirst person, e.g. ` ,.,', the ta denotes the second person
and the third person Ieminine singular, the ya denotes the third person, and nun denotes the
Iirst person seeking selI-magniIication or when speaking on behalI oI one with him other than
himselI, e.g.
Iirst person singular ' AliI
second person masculine singular
third person Ieminine singular
second person Ieminine singular
second person dual
third person Ieminine dual
second person masculine plural
second person Ieminine plural



.
.
.,

Ta
second person masculine singular
second person masculine dual
second person masculine plural
second person Ieminine plural
,
. ,
., ,
,
Ya
Iirst person plural Nun

II any oI these augmented letters correspond with the initial letter oI the verb such as in, ,
. , then it must be noted such verbs do not have the augmented letter preIixed and are
thereIore perIect verbs, not imperIect verbs.
The imperIect verb is able to undergo inIlection provided that it is not suIIixed by the nun oI
corroboration or the nun oI the Ieminine, e.g. ( ` -, ,,. ` ,, , ) ( ` .` ,` , ` . ,,).
II, then it is able to undergo inIlection, it is always nominative, unless it is preceeded by a
particle causing subjunctiveness or jussiveness, e.g. ` , , , , is nominative, , , , ` , is subjunctive
and, ` , , , , , is jussive.
Translation by Abu Amina Afdhal
37
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