بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين
In the previous lesson we studied that the word الحمد is a noun. We know this because it has been prefixed with an ال.
Now usually an indefinite (generic) noun will end with a tanween.
[If your wondering what a tanween is, don't fret, it's either a double fathah
( ً ) or a double kasrah ( ٍ ) or a double dammah ( ٌ )]
Now if you were to add an ال to a noun, then the tanween will be dropped and the last letter of that noun will retain a single diacritic (harkah). Hence the word ٌحَمْد will
be written as ُالحَمْد.
Thus do we learn another sign of a noun. Yes I know what your thinking. Tanween! Indeed the tanween is also a sign of a noun. So both tanween and the prefix ال are both signs of a noun.
Now the question that arises is why does the word ُالحمد end with a dammah, why not a kasrah or a fathah. I suppose the easy answer is; that is how Allah (swt) revealed the Quran. Of course! But we are looking at an Arabic word from the linguistic perspective. So what I've just done is alluded to the fact that Arabic words can indeed end with different diacritics.
I suppose this is one of the very first hurdles new students struggle to conceptualise. This is because this phenomenon is unique to Semitic languages, and yes Arabic is a Semitic language. This concept can loosely be called إعراب (I'raab).
Different words, especially nouns, in Arabic will accept different diacritics on their last letters depending on the grammatical position that a word is in. A grammatical position is usually determined by a governing agent which renders it into a particular 'state'. And this state will be identified by a particular diacritic.
Now let's make sense of all this with an example: the word الحمد has accepted a dammah on the last letter. We need to investigate why!
Firstly this word is a noun in the beginning of a sentence, thus this is a 'nominal sentence'. Secondly; because of being the first noun of a nominal sentence, this word will be rndered into the grammatical position of مبتدأ (mubtda') i.e. the subject of the sentence. Thirdly, the مبتدأ will always be in the رفع (rafa') state, i.e. the accusative state. Fourthly, the رفع state is always signified with a dammah. Note the governing agent rendering the word into a مبتدأ is the mere fact that the word is in the beginning of the sentence.
[Further rules pretaining to nominal sentences, grammatical states and positions will be discussed in future lessons].
So what have we learnt: if a sentence begins with a noun, then that noun will be in the grammatical position of مبتدأ. We also learnt our very first 'grammatical state,' the state of رفع. We then found, that the مباتدأ will always be in the رفع state. And finally the رفع state will be signified with a dammah.
Hence, ُالحمد, is the مبتدأ (subject) of a nominal sentence, and is in the grammatical case of رفع, which is why it ends with a dammah: All praise are...
I hope that was beneficial.
We shall explore more interesting facts in the next lesson.
May Allah reward you and I both.