السلام عليكم ورَحمة الله وبركاته,
We’re looking at the seven situations when a noun will be in the state of رَفْع (raf’), and this is the second one: the نائب الفاعِلِ (substitute for the doer). You’ll know what that means after we explain it…
بابُ المَفْعُوْلِ الَّذِيْ لَمْ يُسَمَّ فاعِلُهُ: وَهُوَ الاسْمُ الْمَرْفُوْعُ الَّذِيْ لَمْ يُذْكَرْ مَعَهُ فاعِلُهُ
The section on the “object whose doer is not named”, and it is the noun in raf’ whose doer is not mentioned with it.
Sometimes a sentence will have a verb, a doer and an object. In the examples below, you have a verb, followed by a doer in رَفْع (raf’), followed by an object in نَصْب (nasb). This is the normal way to have a verb in a sentence, and it’s called مَعْرُوْف (active), because the doer is mentioned.
- قَطَعَ مَحْمُوْدٌ الغُصْنَ (“Mahmood cut the branch”)
- حَفِظَ خَلِيْلٌ الدَرْسَ (“Khaleel memorized the lesson”)
- يَقْطَعُ إبراهِيْمُ الغُصْنَ (“Ibrahim is cutting the branch”)
- يَحْفَظُ عَلِيٌّ الدَرْسَ (“Ibrahim is memorizing the lesson”)
Other times, someone will leave out the doer, and he’ll just mention the verb and the object. When you leave out the doer this is called مَجُهُوْل (passive), and the verb and the object will have to change form. We’ll talk about how the verb will change in a little bit, but first let’s see how the object will change.
The object, which should normally be in nasb, will have to be put in raf’ and follow the same rules that the doer would follow. It’s going to step up and fulfill the rules that the doer was going to meet. We covered these rules in The فاعل (Doer), but I’ll repeat them here:
- It has to be a noun
- In the state of raf’
- Comes after the verb (doesn’t necessarily have to be immediately after)
That’s why “the object whose doer is not named” is also called “the substitute for the doer”, because if the doer isn’t there, something has to step up and assume its place. Now let’s see how the verb will change …
تَغْيِيْر الفِعْلِ بَعْدَ حَذْفِ الفاعِلِ (Changing the verb after dropping the doer)
فَإنْ كانَ الفِعْلُ ماضِياً ضُمَّ أَوَّلُهُ وَكُسِرَ مَا قَبْلَ آخِرِهِ, وَإنْ كانَ مُضارِعاً ضُمَّ أَوَّلُهُ وَفُتِحَ مَا قَبْلَ آخِرِهِ
If the verb was a maadh (past tense), then a dhammah is put on its beginning and a kasrah is on what is before its end. If it was mudhari’ (present tense) dhammah is put on the beginning and fathah is put on what’s before its end.
We saw how the object will change if we leave the doer out of the conversation. Now, we’re going to look at how the verb will change when we drop its doer. The changes only go as far as the letter before the end; the ending will stay the same.
- Past tense (maadh)
- ending stays the same
- first vowel is a dhammah
- the vowel before the end is a kasrah (this is the only kasrah before the end)
- any other vowels will be a dhammah
- Present tense (mudhari’)
- ending stays the same
- first vowel is a dhammah (this is the only dhammah before the end)
- the vowel before the end is a fathah
- any other vowels will be a fathah
Examples of changes when the doer is dropped
|Passive <– Active|
“The branch was cut”
|قَطَعَ مَحْمُوْدٌ الغُصْنَ
“Mahmood cut the branch”
“The lesson was memorized”
|حَفِظَ خَلِيْلٌ الدَرْسَ
“Khaleel memorized the lesson”
“The branch is being cut”
|يَقْطَعُ إبراهِيْمُ الغُصْنَ
“Ibrahim is cutting the branch”
“The lesson is being memorized”
|يَحْفَظُ عَلِيٌّ الدَرْسَ
“Ali is memorizing the lesson”
In these examples, note that:
- We’re not mentioning the doer anymore
- The verb in red is what happens when we apply the rules above when we’re not going to mention the doer. The ending stays the same; the other vowels can change.
- The object after the red word now has a dhammah when it used to have a fathah, because it’s substituting for the missing doer that used to be in raf’
- If a verb has multiple objects, then only one of them will shift to raf’. The rest will stay in nasb
Divisions of the نائب الفاعِلِ
وَهُوَ عَلَى قِسْمَيْنِ: ظاهِر وَمُضْمَر. فَالظاهِرُ نَحْوُ قَوْلِكَ (ضُرِبَ زَيْدٌ) وَ(يَُضْرَبُ زَيْدٌ) وَ(أُكْرِمَ عَمْرٌو) وَ(يُكْرَمُ عَمْرٌو) وَالْمُضْمَرُ اثْنا عَشَرَ, نَحْوُ قَوْلِكَ (ضُرِبْتُ) وَ(ضُرِبْنا) وَ(ضُرِبْتَ) وَ(ضُرِبْتِ) وَ(ضُرِبْتُما) وَ(ضُرِبْتُمْ) وَ(ضُرِبْتُنَّ) وَ(ضُرِبَ) وَ(ضُرِبَتْ) وَ(ضُرِبا) وَ(ضُرِبُوْا) وَضُرِبْنَ
It (the substitute for the doer) is based on two divisions, apparent and obscure. The apparent is like your saying: ضُرِبَ زَيْدٌ (“Zaid was hit”), يَُضْرَبُ زَيْدٌ (“Zayd is hit”), أُكْرِمَ عَمْرٌو (“Amr was honored”), and يُكْرَمُ عَمْرٌو (“Amr is honored”). The obscure is 12, like your saying ضُرِبْتُ (“I was hit”), ضُرِبْنا (“We were hit”), رِبْتَ (“You were hit”), ضُرِبْتِ (“You[f.] were hit”), ضُرِبْتُما (“You both were hit”), ضُرِبْتُمْ (“You all were hit”), ضُرِبْتُنَّ (“You[f.] all were hit”), ضُرِبَ (“He was hit”), َضُرِبَتْ (“She was hit”), ضُرِبا (“They both were hit”), ضُرِبُوْا (“They all were hit”) and ضُرِبْنَ (“They[f.] all were hit”).
Just like with the doer, the substitute for the doer can also divide into the apparent and the obscure. The apparent and the obscure each divide into 12:
- First person (2) – “I” and “we”
- Second person (6) – “you”, “you[f.]”, “you both”, “you[f.] both”, “you all”, “you[f.] all”
- Third person (6) – “they”, “they[f.]”, “they both”, “they[f.] both”, “they all”, “they[f.] all”
We already covered this in detail when we looked at the doer, so simply go back to review that. I do want to repeat a little bit that of here, though.
If we see a verb built in passive mode using the pattern above, and we don’t see a noun in raf’ after the verb, then we have to assume that the substitute for the doer is built into the verb. This is just like how we go with the built-in doer of a active verb if we don’t see a doer after it.
Remember that when you switch between active and passive, the ending doesn’t change. Only the other vowels will. That means the conjugation for passive verbs and active verbs is the same, as discussed in Conjugating past tense verbs and Conjugating present tense verbs. I strongly advise taking some time to memorize them.
From the Quran
- حُقَّتْ and مُدَّتْ are past-tense and passive verbs. We can tell because they start with a dhammah, followed by a kasrah. We can’t see the kasrah so easily because for words that have a double letter, like ح-ق-ق and م-د-د, the second letter is merged into the third letter. حُقِقَ becomes خُقَّ and مُدِدَ becomes مُدَّ. This is related to morphology, so it needs its own discussion
- We don’t see any nouns in raf’ after them, so we know the نائب الفاعل (naaib al-faail) is inside them
- They have a تْ at the end, which means the substitute for the doer inside them is the pronoun هِيَ (“she”), which goes back to a feminine noun before it in the sentence.
- أُوْتِيَ (“was given”) is the passive form of آتى (“gave”). We don’t see a noun after it in raf’, so we use the built-in substitute. When we see nothing attached to the end of a past tense verb, we know the pronoun inside is هُوَ (“he”).
- We do see another word (كِتابَ) after it in nasb, so we know that this verb has two objects (who was given something, and what they were given). If the doer had been mentioned, then we would have two objects in nasb, but instead we have one object that takes raf’ and substitutes for the doer and the other stays in nasb
- يُحاسَبُ (“is taken to account”) is the passive of يُحاسِبُ. Like أُوْتِىَ, it has the built-in pronoun of هُوَ (“he”) and has an extra object (حِسابًا) after it in nasb
- قُرِأَ (“was recited) is the passive of قَرَأَ. We do see a noun القُرءانُ after it in raf’ (with a dhammah), so we know that’s our substitute for the doer. The meaning becomes “when the Quran is recited to them”
Train your brain
Two examples to help train your thinking when looking at a sentence:
ُيُحْتَرَمُ العالِم (“The scholar is respected”)
- يُحْتَرَمُ (“is respected”)
- We can recognize that it’s a passively voiced present tense verb because the first vowel is a dhammah, and all the other vowels before the end are fathahs. To show you the difference, between active and passive, it was originally يَحْتَرِمُ (with a fathah on the ي and kasrah on the ر)
- It’s in raf’ because there is no nasb-izer or jazm-izer to flip its state, and we can see it with the dhammah at the end
- العالِمُ (the scholar) – It’d normally be the object of the verb and in nasb with a fathah at the end (he’s the one getting respected), but because we left out the doer (the one who is giving the respect), we’d say this word is the substitute for the doer. It’s in raf’ with a dhammah
أُهِيْنَ الجَاهِلُ (“The ignorant one was humiliated”)
- أُهِيْنَ (“was humiliated”)
- This is a passively voiced past tense verb (the first vowel is a dhammah, the vowel before the end is a kasrah). Compare this to the active, أَهانَ.
- Past-tense verbs don’t have state and are mabni (fixed) on fathah. You can see it on the end.
- الجاهِلُ (“the ignorant one”) – This is the substitute for the doer (we left out who is doing the humiliation). It’s in raf’ with a dhammah
In each of these sentences, see if you can convert the verb to passive mode, drop the doer and change the object to substitute for the doer. I’m doing the first one for you.
- قَطَعَ مَحْمُوْدٌ زَهْرَةً (“Mahmood cut a flower”) –> قُطِعَ زَهْرَةٌ (“A flower was cut”)
- اشْتَرَى أخِيْ كِتاباً (“My brother bought a book”) – hint: the passive is اُشْتُرِيَ
- قَرَأَ إبراهِيْمُ دَرْسَهُ (“Ibrahim read his lesson”) – hint: the object here is درس. The pronoun ه will drop because it refers to the doer that we’re dropping
- يُعْطِيْ أبِيْ الْفُقَراءَ (“My father gave to the poor”) – hint: the final ي in يعطي will become an ى when you passivate it
- يُكْرِمُ الأستادُ المُجْتَهِدَ (“The teacher respects the one who strives”)
- يتَعَلَّمُ ابنِيْ الرِمايةَ (“My son is learning archery”)
- يَسْتَغْفِرُ التائِبُ رَبَّنا (“The repenter seeks forgiveness from our Lord”) – Keep the pronoun نا (“our”) on the end of ربّ
- What is the نائب الفاعِلِ (substitute for the doer)?
- Do you know another name for it?
- What changes do you make in a verb when you drop the doer?
- What do you do with the object, when you put it in the doer’s place?
Next up, إن شاء الله, we look at the mubtada’ (beginning) and khabar (information) of a noun sentence.
Until next time, السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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