السلام عليكم and welcome back!
We’re doing the second of the 15 types of nouns in نَصْب, which is the مَصْدَر (infinitive) when it comes as the مَفْعُوْل مُطْلَق (the absolute object) of a verb. Read on for more!
المَصْدَرُ هُوَ: الاسْمُ، المَنْصُوْبُ، الّذِيْ يَجِيْءُ ثالِثاً فِيْ تَصْرِيْفِ الْفِعْلِ، نَحْوُ: ضَرَبَ يَضربُ ضَرْباً
The masdar (infinitive) is the noun in nasb that comes third in the conjugation of the verb, like ضَرَبَ (“he hit”), يَضْرِبُ (“he hits”), ضَرْبًا (“hitting”)
What’s meant by the masdar being “third in the conjugation” is that if someone tells you to conjugate the verb ضَرَبَ (“he hit”), you would first give the past tense as ضَرَبَ (“he hit”), followed by the present tense as يَضْرِبُ (“he hits”), then the masdar as ضَرْبًا (“hitting”). It kind of makes sense to translate the masdar as the “infinitive” because it is a noun and is not tied to a finite period of time (past, present or future) like verbs are.
This conjugation (past/present/infinitive) is something that should be memorized for any new verb you encounter, but I won’t go further into that because that’s a morphology issue and this series is focusing on grammar.
When we’re discussing the masdar as one of the nouns that will be in nasb, we actually mean when the masdar is working as a مَفْعُوْل مُطْلَق (absolute object). The absolute object is defined as ما لَيْسَ خَبَرًا مِمّا دَلَّ عَلى تَوْكِيْدِ عامِلِهِ أو نَوْعِهِ أو عَدَدِهِ (“Whatever is not a khabar from what indicates emphasis, type or number of its influence”).
“Whatever is not a khabar…” excludes when a masdar is working as khabar. We saw earlier that one of the reasons why a noun will be in raf’ is when it’s a khabar of a nominal sentence, so we have to exclude that scenario. In the sentence فَهْمُكَ فَهْمٌ دَقِيْقٌ (“Your understanding is a precise understanding”), the word فَهْمُ (“understanding”) is the infinitive of فَهِمَ (“he understood”), but it’s in raf’ because it’s the khabar of فَهْمُكَ (“Your understanding”).
“… from what indicates emphasis, type or number of its influence” means that there are three scenarios when the masdar will work as an an absolute object (and thus be in nasb):
- Emphasis that the action occurred – In حَفِظْتُ الدَّرْسَ حِفْظًا (“I memorized the lesson a memorization” i.e. “I memorized the lesson definitely”), the word حِفْظًا (“memorization”) was added to emphasize that the lesson was memorized
- Type of the action – In أحْبَبْتُ أسْتاذِيْ حُبَّ الْوَلَدِ أباهُ (“I loved my teacher the way a child loves his father”), حُبَّ الْوَلَدِ أباهُ (“the love of a child for his father”) has been added to qualify what kind of love it was
- Number of the action – In ضَرَبْتُ الْكَسُوْلَ ضَرْبَتَيْنِ (“I hit the lazy one twice”) and ضَرَبْتُهُ ثَلاثَ ضَرْباتٍ (“I hit him thrice”), you add ضَرْبَتَيْنِ (“two hits”) or ثَلاثَ ضَرْباتٍ (“three hits”) to indicate how many times the action was done.
Kinds of the absolute object
وَهُوَ قِسْمانِ: لَفْظِيٌّ وَمَعْنَوِيٌ فَإنْ وَافَقَ لَفْظُهُ لَفْظَ فِعْلِهِ فَهُوَ لَفْظِيٌّ، نَحْوُ: قَتَلْتُهُ قَتْلاً وَإنْ وَافَقَ مَعْنَى فِعْلِهِ دُوْنَ لَفْظِهِ فَهُوَ مَعْنَوِيٌّ، نَحْوُ: جَلَسْتُ قُعُوْداً، وَقُمْتُ وُقُوْفاً، وَمَا أشْبَهَ ذَلِكَ
And it (the infinitive) is two kinds, لَفْظِيّ (by way of pronunciation) or مَعْنَوِيّ (by way of meaning).
If it matches its verb in pronunciation, then it is لَفْظِيّ, like قَتَلْتُهُ قَتْلًا (“I killed him a killing” i.e. “I killed him definitely”).
If it matches its verb in meaning and not in pronunciation then it is مَعْنَوِيّ, like جَلَسْتُ قُعُوْدً (“I sat a sitting” i.e. “I sat definitely”) and قُمْتُ وُقُوْفًا (“I stood a standing” i.e. “I stood definitely”) and whatever resembles that.
There are two kinds of masdars that come as absolute objects in nasb:
- لَفْظِيّ (by way of pronunciation) – Agrees with the verb that it’s associated with in pronunciation (it contains its letters) and in meaning, as in قَعَدْتُ قُعُوْدًا (“I sat definitely”), ضَرَبْتُهُ ضَرْبًا (“I hit him definitely”), ذَهَبْتُ ذَهابًا (“I went definitely”) and so on
- مَعْنَوِيٌ (by way of meaning) – Agrees with the verb that it’s associated with in meaning, but not in pronunciation. The letters in the masdar are not the letters used in the verb, as in: جَلَسْتُ قُعُوْدًا (“I sat definitely”), فَرْحْتُ جَذَلًا (“I rejoiced definitely”) and قُمْتُ وُقُوْفًا (“I stood definitely”) and so on. In all of these the masdar and the verb have a similar meaning, but do not have the same letters.
From the Quran
- Emphasis – إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُّبِينًا (Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear conquest) – 48:1
- Emphasis – وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا (and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation) – 73:4
- Number of times – فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُم مَّيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً (so they could come down upon you in one [single] attack) – 4:102
- How the action is done – يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ (O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims) – 3:102
- What is the مَصْدَر (infinite)?
- How many purposes can the absolute object be used for?
- How many kinds of absolute objects are there with respect to matching up with the verb?
Until next time, السلام عليكم
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