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:
- Colours: such as abyadu, ahmeru, azraqu, etc. and also the feminine forms: baydaa’u, hamraa’u, zarqaa’u, etc.
- Makkah (مَكَّة)
- Common Names: such as ‘Uthmaan, Ahmed, Ishaaq, Ya’qoob, etc. (including the names of many prophets of Islam (عليهُم السَلام)
- Some countries: Pakistan (بَكِستان), and others.
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.