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  • Do you know what your name means?

    By ArabicTree | December 9, 2012

    So your parents named you Farqandah, and your friends call you Farrah, while your co-workers call you Farqan. Do you ever wonder what they are calling you? Well this is a good article to start with.

    In Arabic, each word can be broken down into what root it comes from. What does this mean? It means, say your name is Sajid (ساجد)or Sajida(ساجدة). Just as the same root of a tree can lead to different branches, the same root word in Arabic gives different meanings based on structure of word.

    Here’s step by step instructions to determine the meaning:
    1. Identify the root letters.
    2. Find the meaning of the root word.
    3. Identify the structure of the word your analysing.
    4. Find the meaning of the structure word is on.
    5. Determine the meaning of the root word with respect to its structure.

    Lets go ahead and do them for the word ساجد Sajid.
    1. Root letters: seen jeem dal س ج د
    2. The meaning of root word, from sajada سَجَدَ. Can you guess what it is? What do we do in our salah? Sajada! You got it! :) Prostration.
    3. Word structure for ساجد: so, س ج د will be replaced by ف ع ل. Our word becomes from سَاجِد to فَاعِل.
    4. Meaning of the word structure: فَاعِل means the one that does the action.
    5. So from the root word meaning of prostration and our word structure meaning the one that does an action. Sajid translates to the one that prostrates.
    Bonus: try figuring out meanings of Sujud, Masjid, Masajid, Sajadah, Usjud from same root word.

    If the name ends with a ta marbuta (ة), which sounds like a “ah”, then most of the time, it’s a feminine name that’s qiyasi. Sajidah ساجدة is the feminine name derived from the same root and meaning as Sajid. Similar, other names: Abidah and Abid; Muminah and Muslim; Raheemah and Raheem, etc. More on this later inshallah :)

    For now, enjoy discovering what your name means, and what your family and friends are being called for their whole lives!

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    Verbal Sentences

    By ArabicTree | June 11, 2012

    Verbal sentences are known as jumla fi’liyah. All it really means is a sentence that begins with a verb (fi’l). Any sentence beginning with a noun (ism) is called a nominal sentence (Jumla ismiyyah).

    Getting back to the jumla fi’liyah. This is the usual format it will appear in.
    1. It begins with a verb (fi’l).
    2. the doer (faail) usually comes after fi’l in the sentence. [its state is marfoo]
    3. Lastly the object(mafool bihi) that it was done comes last. [its state is mansoob]

    Lets look at this example.
    Daraba Zaydun Qittan
    [fi'l] [ faail] [ mafool bihi]
    Zaid hit a cat

    Which translates to:

    Daraba: {he hit} : Ma’rifa This is the fi’l. Its state is raf‘ .

    - By default we assume all such words to be in raf’ state, if no other influencing factors are visible. Therefore, this too is marfo)
    -“he” refers to doer, in this case, Zayd. Since it follows after this fi’l and is in marfo’ state.
    -“he” is the hidden/attached pronoun.
    -In arabic, a pronoun in this form is known as dameer muttasil marfo.

    Zaydun : {Zayd}

    - note its in raf state indicated by the dumma at the end.
    (so Zayd is doing the action of hitting)

    Qittan: {a cat}

    - Note its in the nasb state (so a cat is the object being hit.)

    So it properly would translate to:

    Zayd hit a cat.

    How would this compare to saying:

    A cat is hit.

    This can be done to emphasis on the more important fact, i.e. the cat is being hit/hurt. So that the attention is naturally on help the cat, rather then get angry at Zayd :)

    In Arabic, this is why such sentences make sense. Eg: Water is running out. Especially in the Quran. When Allah wants to emphasize on whats happening, rather than who is doing. We see in the Quran:

    خَلَقَ اللَّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ

    and

     وَخُلِقَ الْإِنْسَانُ ضَعِيفًا

    So here is how you convert a regular sentence into such a sentence:

    1. You leave out the doer (i.e. faail, is not mentioned in the sentence. For the above intention of emphasis on whats happening to the object)

    2. We still start the verbal sentence with a verb (fi’l). however, its no longer in the structure of fa’ala rather it is fu’ila. And in this form its called “majhool”

    3. Then we still need to mention the object (maf’ool bihi) that is undergoing the action. So how to do that? Well the Arabs did so by converting the object into the ’substitute’ of the faail. So how does it work? Basically the object is no longer called maf’ool bihi, it becomes “nawaibul faail” which means a substitute of faail. And instead of being mansoob, it ‘acts’ like the faail by taking the form of Faail, marfo.

    So in summary, the object will be:

    1. the marfoo state.
    2. Instead of being mafool bihi, its now called nawaibul faail.

    Getting back to the jumla fi’liyah in this type its in the following format:

    1. It begins with a verb (fi’l) called majhool, in the form of “fu’ila”
    2. the doer is NO longer mentioned. Instead the object substitutes in its place (naaibul faail) and takes the form of marfoo

    Lets look at this example.

    Duriba Qittun
    [majhool] [Naaibul Fail]

    Which translates to:

    Duriba : {its hit}

    it refers to object being hit

    Qittun: {a cat}

    Note its in the marfo state (so a cat is the object being hit. But is taking form of faail. And is naaibul faail instead of mafool bihi.)

    So it properly would translate to:

    a cat is hit.

    Lets take an example from the quran, see if you can fill in the blanks! Answers are at the end of the article.

    Ayah (29:44:1)
    خَلَقَ اللَّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ

    Sentence type:_____________________________________________________
    Fi’l (verb) form and meaning: ________________ i’rab: ____________________
    Faail (doer): ______________________________ i’rab:____________________
    Object term in arabic, and meaning_______________________ i’rab:_________

    Verbal sentence missing Faail. (4:28:6 )

     وَخُلِقَ الْإِنْسَانُ ضَعِيفًا

    Sentence type:_____________________________________________________
    Fi’l (verb) form and meaning: ________________ i’rab: ____________________
    Faail (doer): ______________________________ i’rab:____________________
    Object term in arabic, and meaning_______________________ i’rab:_________

    Answers:

    Ayah (29:44:1): خَلَقَ اللَّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ Read the rest of this entry »

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    Lam Makes Mudaari’ Verbs Majzoom

    By ArabicTree | December 9, 2008

    First, what is majzoom? In Arabic grammar, there are four cases–marfoo’ (the default), which shows as damma; majruwr, which shows as kasra; and mansoob, which shows as fatha. (These are for the normal cases.) These three, you probably know; there’s a fourth case, called majzoom, which is when a word ends with sukoon.

    Incidentally, Mudaari’ verbs can be marfoo (the default), mansoob (with particles like lan), and majzoom (with particles like lam). Lam (not laam, but lam: لم) is one particle that makes mudaari’ verbs majzoom!

    The best and most well-known example of this is in Surah Al-Ikhlaas. Allah says:

    لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
    وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ

    [Surah Ikhlaas, verses 3-4]

    You’ll notice in these two verses:

    And what does Lam mean? Allahu ‘alim what exactly it means; it’s some sort of particle of negation.

    You can also see this in Surah Al-Kahf. Allah says:

    الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ الْكِتَابَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجَا

    Here, again, you see lam; and yaj’al is made majzoom because of lam!

    That’s it! Easy, right? Alhamdulillah, the Qur’an is easy to comprehend.

    Topics: Grammar, Intermediate | 2 Comments »

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    Negate Future Tense With “Lan”

    By ArabicTree | November 26, 2008

    There’s a particle you can use to negate future-tense, called lan: لَن. It’s a little hard to translate, but it’s a strong negation. You can translate it as “never.”

    For example, if you said:

    لا أشرُبُ الخَمرَ

    It means “I don’t drink alcohol.” If you used lan instead, like so:

    لَن أشرُبَ الخَمرَ

    It means “I will never drink alcohol!” So much stronger than the original!

    And notice that lan makes the mudaari’ verb mansoob–one of a few things that do so (like laam-ut-ta’leel).

    Or, if you wanted to say “I will never shave my beard,” you can say:

    لَن أحلَقَ لِحيَتِي

    “Lan ahlaqa lihyatiy,” I will never shave my beard.

    Incidentally, if you wanted to add even more emphasis, you can add abadan to the end, like so:

    لَن أحلَقَ لِحيَتِي ابَدً

    You can translate “abadan” as “ever” or “forever”–so this sentence would be “I will never shave my beard, ever!” Wow! What power!

    And that’s lan in a nutshell. Very strong, very useful; used in the Qur’an a fair bit (like abadan).

    May Allah, Al-Aleem, increase us in our knowledge of this great language. Ameen!

    Topics: Grammar, Intermediate | 3 Comments »

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    NOW is the Time to Learn Arabic!

    By ArabicTree | November 21, 2008

    The following is an article on Ilm Fruits that was cross-posted with the permission of the author. May Allah allow us all to achieve fleuncy in Arabic, ameen ya rabb!


    Bismillah walhamdulillah, was Salaatu was Salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillaah.

    “On the Day of Judgment, the Qur’an and its people who used to act by it in the world shall be brought, being lead by Surat ul-Baqarah and Al-e-Imraan, which shall be arguing on behalf of their companions.” (Reported by Muslim)

    We all strive to become a companion of the Qur’an, but who are its true companions? The companions of the Qur’an are those who studied it, memorized it, implemented it and lived by it. It is not possible, in the least bit, for one to become a companion of the Qur’an and not know Arabic. Learning the language is the starting point of a life long journey with the Qur’an. Allah ta’ala chose this blessed language, as He states 11 times throughout the Qur’an: “A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail as an Arabic Qur’an, for people who know.” (41:3), “An Arabic Qur’an, without any crookedness, so that they may have Taqwa.” (39:28), “We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that you may gain understanding.” (12:2).

    For those who do not know the language of the Qur’an, they will be deprived of its true sweetness, of its blessings and most importantly, understanding the words of Allah ta’ala. It is a cause of much grief and sadness to know that the majority of our ummah has lost the connection with the Book of Allah because the language has been lost, as the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah raises up peoples by this Book, and puts down by it others.” (Saheeh Muslim) We have abandoned this book, and the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam will testify to Allah ta’ala on the day of judgment: “And the Messenger will say, O my Rabb, indeed my people deserted this Qur’an!” (25:30)

    The righteous companions and scholars of the past have testified to the importance of learning this language and they themselves, who were native Arab speakers, were concerned with studying this language. Umar radi Allahu anhu said, “Learn Arabic for it is a part of your deen.” (Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 2/207) It is also reported that Ubay ibn Ka’b radi Allahu anhu said, “Learn Arabic just as you learn to memorize the Qur’an.” (Ibn Abî Shaybah, Al-Musannaf Vol.7 p150)

    Many of us want to take the proper steps to learn Arabic, but do not know where to start. What is the solution? Where do we begin? The best option is to study overseas, however many of us do not have that option to learn Arabic, so inshaAllah we’ll cover in this article some easy steps one can take to begin the process of learning Qur’anic Arabic if they cannot travel to do so.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    Three Meanings of Maa

    By ArabicTree | November 12, 2008

    By now, midway through the second book of the Medinah Arabic books, we’ve come across three meanings of the word “maa” (ما). These three meanings are:

    1. Ismul Istifhaam: Also known as “the maa of asking.” This is the easiest, and probably the first thing to learn–as in:
      ما هاذا؟

      Which means “what is this?” (The maa is the part that makes it a question.)

    2. Maa-u-Nahiy: Also known as “the maa of negating.” This is what you use to negate maadi verbs; for example, if you wanted to say “I didn’t go to the masjid,” you would say:
      ما ذَهَبتُ ألى المَسجِدِ

      Which means “I didn’t go to the masjid.” The maa here is a negation; without it, the sentence means “I went to the masjid.”

    3. The Maa of Alladhiy: This maa has virtually the same meaning as “alladhiy,” which means “that” or “which” or “the one that/which.” For example, the sentence:
      رَأيتُ ما فَعَلتَ

      Means “I saw what you did.” Notice here the maa means “what” or “the thing that.” And also notice, you could’ve replaced it with alladhiy, and it would still carry the exact same meaning.

    And those are the three maas! In fact, Arabic has over 15 different meanings of “maa”–so don’t think you know it all! But of course, a gradual process of learning the meanings one by one will eventually lead to you knowing them all, what they mean, where and how to use them, and how to decipher which maa you’re looking at when you’re reading.

    May Allah increase us in knowledge of this great language and help us use it for His sake, ameen yaa Rabbi!

    Topics: Grammar, Intermediate, Vocabulary | 4 Comments »

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    Mamnoo’ Min As-Sarf

    By ArabicTree | October 29, 2008

    In Arabic, nouns have a lot of “default” qualities–they take damma by default; they take tanween by default; and, more importantly to our discussion, they show the marfoo’ case with damma, the majruwr case with kasra, and the mansoob case with fatha.

    Enter Mamnoo’ Min As-Sarf (مَمنُوعٌ مِن السَرفِ). Literally, it means something like “not on the pattern.” It refers to a certain class of nouns that deviate from this norm–they show majruwr case with fatha instead of kasra.

    Let’s look at an example. If you wanted to say “I got this from Muhammad,” you’d say: أخَدتُ هاذا مِن مُحَمَّدٍ

    But, if you wanted to say “I got this from ‘Uthmaan,” you’d say: أخَدتُ هاذا مِن عُثمانَ!

    Min is harf-ul-jarr; ‘Uthmaan is majruwr; but since it’s mamnoo’ min as-sarf, it shows it with fatha instead of kasra!

    Similarly, if you wanted to say “this is Zaynab’s book,” you would say: هاذا كِتابُ زَينَبَ (notice it’s Zaynaba, not Zaynabi). Again, Zaynab is a word that’s mamnoo min as-sarf.

    Some common words and names you might know that are mamnoo’ min as-sarf include:

    This post is just an introduction to this topic. Insha’Allah in the near future, we’ll discuss why these particular words, and not others, are mamnoo’ min as-sarf–and what classes or categories of words are mamnoo’ min as-sarf.

    Wallahu ta’ala ‘alim.

    Topics: Beginner, Grammar | 2 Comments »

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    Verbs with More Than One Maf’ool

    By ArabicTree | October 28, 2008

    Recall that all verbs in Arabic are intransitive or transitive. Intransitive means they don’t take a maf’ool (recipient of the verb), such as kharaja. Transitive means they take a maf’ool, such as akala or shariba.

    But can a verb take more than one maf’ool?

    The answer is yes. Although it’s rare in Arabic, there are some verbs that take more than one maf’ool (recipient of the verb). An example of this is the verb ‘allama (عَلَّمَ). ‘Allama, which means “to teach,” takes two maf’ool bihi–a who and a what.

    Allah (SWT) says in Surah Baqarah, verse 31:

    وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الأَسْمَاء كُلَّهَا

    Translation: And He (Allah) taught Adam the names of all things … [Surah Baqarah, verse 31]

    Here, we see this verb in action. Who is the faa’il? It’s a dameer mustateer, a hidden huwa. What are the two maf’ool bihi? One is Adam (which is mansoob), and one is asmaa’a (which is also mansoob). Kullahaa is just a description of asmaa’a.

    Notice, there’s nothing unusual here. The faa’il is a regular faa’il; the maf’ools here are normal, albeit there are two of them. Both are mansoob, both show it with fatha, as you would expect.

    What are some other verbs that take two (or more!) maf’ools? Share them insha’Allah in the comments!

    Topics: Analysis, Grammar, Intermediate | 2 Comments »

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    Arabic Alphabet Nasheed

    By ArabicTree | October 25, 2008

    Many of us don’t know the Arabic alphabet. But we should! Why? Because if you’re ever looking through a dictionary, you need to know. In fact, without knowing, you’re helpless–though dictionaries are a topic of their own.

    In any case, one easy way to learn is to listen to this nasheed. Just listen to it a few times (maybe 20+) until you memorize it. The rest is easy :) Alhamdulillah, the pronounciation is clear, and perfect (no accented mistakes).

    The alphabet order is: Alif, baa, taa, thaa, jeem, 7aa, khaa; daal, dhal raa, zaa, seen, sheen, saad; daad, taw, thaw, ‘ayn, ghayn, faa; qaaf, kaaf, laam, meem, noon, ha, waw, yaa.

    The good thing about the nasheed is the way it breaks it up, it makes it easier to memorize. Also, note the following general rules:

    1. If there are two letters that are the same, except one has a dot, and one doesn’t, the non-dotted version is first.
    2. Dots below the letter come before dots in the middle, which come before dots on top
    3. Less dots come before more dots

    And don’t be confused by haa, noon, kaaf, faa, and meem–these come late in the Arabic alphabet, but early in the English one.

    Wallahu ‘alim.

    Topics: Vocabulary | 2 Comments »

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    Laam-ut-Ta’leel

    By ArabicTree | October 21, 2008

    As we learned earlier, mudaari’ verbs are marfoo’. The sign of marfoo’ is damma (on the last letter of most conjugations), or noon (with the plural forms, as well as the duals and anti).

    How can these verbs change their case? Enter laam-ut-ta’leel, the Laam of Explaining. When you apply laam-ut-ta’leel, it changes the verb to mansoob.

    For example, if you’re asked the question:

    ينَ خَرَجتَ يا أخِي؟

    Say you went to get a drink of water. How do you express this? You can reply with:

    خَرَجتُ لِأشرَبَ المَاءَ

    You replied with: I went to drink water. That laam that’s applied to the verb ashrabu is laam-ut-ta’leel–it changes the verb from ashrabu to ashraba.

    And this is not the same as the harf-ul-jarr “li”–not at all. That’s a harf (particle) that causes a NOUN to become MAJROOR; laam-ut-ta’leel causes a VERB to become MANSOOB. Big difference. Don’t get confused!

    Or say you went to recite some Qur’an. You can say:

    خَرَجتُ لِأقرَأ القَرانَ

    Which you can translate as “I went to recite Qur’an.”

    Some of you might notice the translation is a bit imprecise; in fact, it’s almost like saying (for the first example):

    خَرَجتُ لِأشَربِ المَاءِ

    Which is the masdar–”I went for the drinking of water.” Well, you can actually say that. Why? The grammarians say that laam-ut-ta’leel actually has a hidden particle “an” (أن), and THIS is what’s causing the verb to be mansoob–the same particle that’s used with raada/yureedu (and other verbs)!

    What’s more, they say it’s wajib to keep this particle hidden (grammatically speaking)! Subhanallah!

    And that is laam-ut-ta’leel–the laam of explaining. It makes mudaari’ verbs mansoob (because of the hidden particle “in”), and can be replaced with the masdar.

    Wallahu ‘alim.

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