السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته,
We’ve learned about the 4 possible grammatical states of words, and the default indicators for those states. Last time, in Going high with رفع, Part 1: ضمة , we started looking at raf’ and the four situations where we will see it shown using its default indicator, the ضمة (dhammah).
Note: When we say something is the “default”, your ears (or eyes) should perk up, because that is a very subtle way of saying that there are exceptions! Arabic teachers love to do that on you. They give you a rule, then quietly break out some exceptions that just shatter your world to pieces. The only consolation you might get while you’re having your breakdown is, “Well, I said ‘most of the time’, didn’t I?”. Well, I learned it’s not their fault, because the only practical way to teach this stuff is to start from a default base rule and then mention the exceptions as they come. How did I come to know this? Because now I’m explaining it and am about to drop an exception on you (sorry!). Just don’t say I didn’t tell you 🙂
Now, going back to our main point, sometimes dhammah is not the sign that shows that a word is in raf’. Instead, we’ll see something that substitutes for it. Today’s post is on one of those substitutes, the letter و.
The substitution of و for ضمة
وَأَمَّا الوَاوُ فَتَكُوْنُ عَلامَةً لِلرَّفْعِ فِي مَوْضِعَيْنِ: فِيْ جَمْعِ المُذَكَّرِ السَّالِمِ, وَفِي الأسْماءِ الخَمْسَةِ: أبُوْكَ وَأخُوْكَ وَحَمُوْكَ وَفُوْكَ وَذُوْ مالٍ
As for the و, it is the sign of raf’ in two situations: the sound masculine plural and the “five nouns”, and they are أبُوك (your father), أخُوك (your brother), حَمُوك (your in-law), فُوك (your mouth), and ذُو مال (owner of wealth).
The و is a sign of raf’ in two situations:
- The sound masculine plural
- The “five nouns”
The sound masculine plural (جَمْعُ المُذَكَّرِ السالِمُ)
The sound masculine plural is an اسم that indicates the plural (more than 2 of the same thing) by an addition to the end of it, and it remains valid when this addition is stripped away. For example in the Quan:
- فَرِحَ المُخَلَفُوْنَ (the ones left behind rejoiced) [9:81]
- لكِن الراسِخُونَ في العلمِ مِنْهُمْ و المُؤمِنُونَ (but the ones firmly grounded in knowledge and the believers…) [4:162]
- وَ لَوْ كَرِهَ المُجْرِمُونَ (even if the criminals dislike it) [8:8]
- إنْ يَكُنَ مِنْكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صابِرُونَ (if there are from you 20 patient ones…) [8:65]
- و آخَرُونَ اعْتَرَفوا بِذُنُوْبِهِم (and others that acknowledge their faults) [9:102]
Each of the words المخلفون – الراسخون – المؤمنون – المجرمون – صابرون – آخرون is a sound masculine plural (meaning more than two), with an addition at the end (the ون).
If you take away the ون from the ending, it still remains a valid word. Taking the endings of these example words would give you
مُخلَّفٌ – راسِخٌ – مُؤمِنٌ – مُجْرِمٌ – صابِرٌ – آخَر, which are all valid.
Each of these words that occur in these verses is in the state of raf’, and what shows that is the و, instead of dhammah. The ن substitutes for the tanween in مُخَلَّفٌ and the others, just like how the و substitutes for the dhammah.
The “five nouns”
As for the “five nouns”, they are a special list of nouns and they are:
- أبُوْكَ (your father)
- أخُوْكَ (your brother)
- حَمُوْكَ (your in-law)
- فُوْكَ (your mouth)
- ذُوْ مالٍ (an owner of wealth)
- There is a sixth word, هَنُو (“thing”), but it’s so rarely used such that some don’t even consider it.
Like the sound masculine plural, they are also given raf’ using و instead of dhammah. Some examples:
- حَضَرَ أبُوكَ وَأخُوكَ وَحَمُوكَ وَنَطَقَ فُوْكَ وَذُو مالٍ (Your father, your brother and your in-law came, and your mouth and an owner of wealth spoke)
- هذا أبُوْكَ (This is your father)
- أبُوكَ رَجَلٌ صالِحٌ (“Your father is a righteous man”)
- أبُونا شَيْخٌ كَبِيْرٌ (“Our father is an old man”) [Quran 28:23]
- مِنْ حَيْثُ أمرَهُمْ أبُوهُمْ (“From where their father ordered them”) [Quran 12:68]
- وَإنَّهُ لَذُوْ عِلْمٍ (“and indeed he was a possessor of knowledge”) [Quran 12:68]
- إنِّيْ أنا أَخُوْكَ (“Indeed I am your brother”) [Quran 12:69]
Each of these special اسم’s from these examples is in raf’, and we know that because of the و instead of dhammah. Whatever is after the و, whether it’s a pronoun, the word مالٍ or the word عِلْمٍ is مُضافٌ إلَيه (Mudhaaf ilayhi).
IMPORTANT: If you don’t know the concept of mudhaaf and mudhaaf ilayhi (i.e. possessive phrases) do NOT go further until you read this!
So again, in the examples given for the “five nouns”, whatever is after the و in them is mudhaaf ilayhi and is in jarr, whether it’s explicitly or implicitly. أبُوْكَ means “your father”. If you break it down, أبو (“father”) is the mudhaaf and كَ (“you”) is the mudhaaf ilayhi, so it literally means “father of you”. We don’t talk like that in English (at least I don’t!), so we translate it as “your father”.
Pronouns like كَ are fixed, so no matter what state they are in, they look the same. That’s why you don’t see a kasrah on it when it’s in jarr.
The “five nouns” will have و in the state of raf’, ا in the state of نَصب (nasb) and ي in the state of jarr.
Now, there are some conditions for these five nouns to take status this way. Some of them apply to all five, and some apply only to some of them:
Conditions that apply to all of the “five nouns”
- That they be single, and not dual or plural
- They be in the “magnified” form and not the diminutive one
- They be mudhaaf (added to another word)
- That they not be added to the ي of the first person (i.e. “me/I”)
Condition 1 excludes duals and plurals, whether sound or broken. If they were broken plurals, they would be given status using vowels, just like any other broken plural. One would say:
- الآباءُ يُرَبُّوْنَ أبْناءَهم (the parents raise their children)
- إخْوانُكَ يَدُكَ التِى تَبْطِشُ بِها (your brothers are your hand that you strike with)
- آباءُكُمْ وَأبْناءُكُمْ (your fathers and your sons)
- إنَما المُؤمِنُونَ إخْوَةٌ (The believers are but brothers) [Quran 49:10]
- فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إخْواناً (So you became, by His favor, brothers)
If they had been duals, they would be given status differently, using ا in the state of raf’ and ي in the states of nasb and جر. We will talk more about dual nouns later. One would say:
- َأبَواكَ ربَّيَاك (“Your parents raised you”) – In the state of raf’
- تأدَّبْ فِي حَضرَةِ أبَوَيْكَ (“Observe manners in the presence of your parents”) – In the state of jarr because it is the second word of a possessive phrase. (Scroll up to that section if you forget what this is)
- Allah, the Exalted, said وَرَفَعَ أبَوَيْهِ عَلى العَرشِ (“and he raised his parents on the throne”) – In the state of nasb because it’s the object of “raised”
If they had been sound masculine plurals, they would be given raf’ using the و like how we’ve seen, and would have ي in other two states. We will also see later how ي can substitute for فتحة as the indicator of nasb and for kasrah as an indicator of jarr. One would say:
- هَؤلاءِ أبُونَ وَأخُوْنَ (“These are fathers and brothers“) – In the status of raf’
- رَأيْتُ أبِيْنَ وَأخِيْنَ (“I saw fathers and brothers“) – In the status of nasb as the object of the verb “I saw”
- مَرَرْتُ بِأبِيْنَ وَأخِينَ (“I passed by fathers and brothers“) – In jarr because of the preposition بِ .
Note: Out of the “five nouns”, only the words أب (“father”) and أخ (“brother”) can be made into a sound masculine plural ending in ون.
What’s meant by being in the “magnified” form is that it can’t be in the form of فُعَيل (fu’ayl), which is a special pattern used to give a dimunitive meaning to a word. It comes for various purposes, such as smallness of size, nearness in time and place, fewness in number, scorn and intimacy. Names like Zubayr, Ubayd and Umayr are examples of this form. If one of these “five nouns” comes in this form, then it takes status using the vowels, just like any other singular noun (i.e using the dhammah, fathah and kasrah).
- هذا أُبَيٌّ وَأُخَيٌّ – ً”This is a little father and a little brother”. What was originally أبٌ (father) and أخٌ (brother) اhas been made smaller.
- رأيتُ أبَيّاً وَأُخَيّاً – “I saw a little father and a little brother”
- مَرَرْتُ بِأُبَيٍ وَأُخَيٍّ – “I passed by a little father and a little brother”
The word has to be mudhaaf (added to another word). We’ve already discussed what mudhaaf is earlier in this post, so no need to repeat that here. If the word is not a mudhaaf, then it takes status using vowels like any other singular noun.
- هذا أبٌ – “This is a father“
- رأيتُ أباً – “I saw a father“
- مَرَرْتُ بِأُبٍ – “I passed by a father“
- وَلَهُ أَخٌ أوَأُختٌ – “but he has a brother or sister” [Quran 4:12]
- قالُوْ إنْ يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ – “They said, ‘If he steals, a brother of his has stolen before.'” [Quran 12:77]
- قالَ ائْتُوْنِيْ بِأَخٍ لَكُمْ مِنْ أبِيْكُمْ – “He said ‘Bring me a brother of yours from your father'” [Quran 12:59]
- إنَ لَهُ أَباً شَيْخاً – “Indeed he has a father who is an old man” [Quran 12:78]
In these examples, we see أب instead of ابُو because it’s not part of a possessive phrase. It shows its status using the vowels, like any other singular noun. The same holds true for the rest of the “five nouns”.
Not only does the word have to be mudhaaf, the word that it’s added to (the مُضاف إليه) cannot be the ي used for the first person (i.e. “my”). If it is, then it takes its status using implied vowels on the letter before the ي, because this letter is already occupied by kasrah.
- حَضَرَ أبِيْ و أَخِيْ – “My father and brother arrived”. أب is in raf’ because it’s the doer of “arrived”. The sign of that is an implied dhammah on the ب, because it already has a kasrah on it. Same idea for أخي
- احْتَرَمْتُ أبِيْ وَأخِي الأكْبَرَ – “I showed respect to my father and elder brother“. Both words are nasb, and the sign is an implied fathah on the letter before the ي
- أنا لا أَتَكَلَّمُ فِيْ حَضْرَةِ أبِيْ وَأَخِيْ الأكْبَرَ – “I don’t speak in the presence of my father and elder brother”. أب is in the state of خفص because it is مُضاف إليه (the word حضرة was added to it). أخ is in jarr because it is joined to أب using the connector و (“and”). The kasrah is implied for both of them on the letter before the ي.
- Note: When words are joined together using و or some other connector, they will have the same status. We’ll cover this in more detail later إن شاء الله
- أنا يُوْسُفُ وَهَذا أَخِيْ – “I am Yusuf and this is my brother” [Quran 12:90]
- فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِ أَبِي – “Cast it over the face of my father” [Quran 12:93]
Additional conditions that apply only to some of the “five nouns”
- فُو – The word فَمْ is used for “mouth”, but in order for it to take status this way it has to come without the م. With the م, it would be like other nouns, and “your mouth” would be فَمُكَ, with a dhammah before the pronoun. Without the م, it would be فُوْكَ (with a و before the pronoun).
- ذُوْ – In order for ذو to take status this way:
- It has to come with the meaning of صاحب (“possessor/owner/associate, etc.”), instead of ” the one who…”
- The word that it’s added to (the mudhaaf ilayh) is not a pronoun (e.g. ه/his or ك/your) or proper noun (e.g. أحمد – Ahmad), or descriptive noun (e.g. كريم – noble). The following are incorrect, even if they make sense for the rest of the “five nouns”
- ذُوْ أحْمَد
- ذُوْ الكَرِيْم
From the Quran
This is Surah 23:1-17. All the highlighted words are sound masculine plurals. They are in raf’, and we know that because of the و in all of them.
Note: the last word of this page is a sound masculine plural too, but it has a ي and not a و because it’s in nasb.
- In how many situations is و the sign of raf’?
- What’s meant by “the sound masculine plural”? Try to give an example
- What the “five nouns”?
- What are the conditions for و to replace dhammah as the sign of raf’ in them?
- How do the 5 Nouns take status if they come as broken plurals?
- What about if they came as dual nouns?
- What if they come in the dimunitive form?
- What if they are attached to the ي used for the 1st person?
- What are special conditions for ذُو and فُوْكَ?
Until next time, السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Like this post? Simply enter your e-mail and click “Yes, include me!” for updates