Arabic from the Qur'an - Lesson 4
بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين
In the previous lesson, we studied the basic nominal sentence; it consists of two components, the مبتدأ which is the subject of the sentence and the خبر which is the predicate that provides extra information about the مبتدأ.
For example: محمدٌ رسولٌ (Muhammad is a messenger), here محمد is the مبتدأ. This is because it is the first noun of the sentence and fulfils all the necessary conditions of a مبتدأ. The first condition is that the مبتدأ is usually definite, here Muhammad is definite because it is a proper noun. Ah yes! we have just identified another way a noun can be definite; either by attaching the definite article ال to it or if the word itself is a proper noun, a name of a place or a person. The second condition is that the مبتدأ is always in the case of رفع, which is why it takes a dammah. The خبر on the other hand is رسول, it provides the extra information to the reader about the subject, in this case, Muhammad is a messenger. Now the conditions of the خبر is that it will be indefinite (which is why the word is devoid of the definite ال and is not a proper noun) and it will also be in the رفع case, which is why it also takes a dammah. That was a quick recap about the rules of a basic nominal sentence.
Now to address the question that all of you have been waiting for, where is the خبر of الحمد in the first verse of surah al-Fatihah?
Well… Brace yourselves for a complicated answer!
After الحمد is لِلّهِ, believe it or not these are two words: لِـ meaning ‘for,’ which is a one letter genitive preposition attached to the Exalted word الله, written together as لِلّهِ. Thus, الحمد لله means “All praises are for Allah”. Now, it is important to understand that ‘genitive prepositions’ are small words usually consisting of one or two letters that are neither nouns nor verbs, they are dependent on nouns to give a complete meaning. The genitive proposition is also a governing agent; what this means is that if it precedes a noun or is attached to a noun it will render that noun into the جر (genitive) case. This is the second grammatical case that we have studied so far. A noun that is rendered into the جر case will usually express itself with a kasrah or a kasratayn (double kasrah), and one of the ways a noun can be rendered into the جر case, is if it follows a genitive preposition.
Now comes the part of the خبر of الحمد, or at least I think so ;)
A genitive preposition and the following genitive noun together are known as جار ومجرور. The جار ومجرور are usually attributed to another noun. Here the جار ومجرور is لِلّهِ, and it is attributed to the خبر of الحمد. So where is the خبر of الحمد? Well it has been dropped!
Sorry, what!? (O my good I’m actually speaking to myself!!!)
Yes, the خبر has been dropped. Believe it or not this happens quite a lot. So, if a خبر is dropped, a suitable interpretation would be employed. In this case the interpretation would either be ثَابِت or وَاجِب; so, what you get is something like this: الحمدُ (واجبٌ/ثابتٌ) لله that All praise are (obligatory/established) for Allah.
Wow! I know right, it’s pretty cool huh!
So here, the جار ومجرور which is لله is attributed to the dropped خبر of الحمد which we can safely assume to be واجب or ثابت.
If its initially a lot to take in, read over this lesson a few times, think about it and let it sink in and then read it a couple more times. With the permission of Allah, it will soon make sense.
So, what have we learned this lesson:
1) A nominal sentence consists of two components:
i. The مبتدأ (subject) which is usually definite either because it is prefixed with the definite article ال or the word itself is a proper noun; and the مبتدأ is always in the grammatical state of رفع which is why it expresses itself with a dammah or a dammatayn (double dammah).
ii. The خبر (predicate) which is usually indefinite, therefore it will be devoid of the definite article ال and will not be a proper noun; and it will also be in the رفع case so it will express itself with a dammah or a dammatayn (double dammah).
2) A genitive preposition is a word that usually consists of one or two letters such as لِـ (for), مِنْ (from), فِيْ (in), عَلَى (on), بِـ (with) etc. These prepositions are governing agents that cause the following noun to be in the جر case, which is why that noun will take a kasrrah or a kasratayn (double kasrah).
3) Two grammatical cases:
i. A word in the رَفَع case is called مَرْفُوع and usually expresses itself with either a dammah or a dammatayn.
ii. A word in the جَرّ case is called مَجْرُور and usually expresses itself with either a kasrah or a kasratayn.
Hope that was beneficial.
May Allah the Exalted reward you and I both.
10/10/2022 07:55:43 pm
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3/1/2023 02:20:30 pm
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