Introduction to the descriptive phrase


The descriptive phrase is a combination of two nouns wherein the second noun describes the first. In such cases, the second noun will be an adjective. The first noun is called:








the second noun, i.e., the adjective, is called:







The descriptive phrase characteristics




اَلْمَوْصُوفُ and اَلصِّفَةُ will be in full agreement with each other in term of:




Type: definite – اَلْمَعْرِفَةُ and indefinite النَّكِرَةُ



If the noun is definite, the adjective will also be definite. Similarly, if the noun is indefinite, then the adjective will also be indefinite.



Some examples of indefinite nouns are listed below:


وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

And for them is a great punishment. (2:7)




إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

 indeed, he is to you a clear enemy  (36:60)




 سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِّن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ

[And] “Peace,” a word from a Merciful Lord. (36:58)



وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ

And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful. (26:68)



اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

Guide us to the straight path  (1:6)



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Gender – جِنْسٌ – masculine or feminine


If the noun is masculine, then the adjective will also be masculine and vice versa.




النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ 

It is the piercing star  (86:3)




فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَابًا يَسِيرًا

He will be judged with an easy account (84:8)


A feminine noun will have the adjective feminized with ” ة ” called Ta Marbouta.


Some examples of feminine nouns:


فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ 

He will be in a pleasant life. (101:7)




نَاصِيَةٍ كَاذِبَةٍ خَاطِئَةٍ 

A lying, sinning forelock. (96:16)


Number – اَلْعَدَدُ – singular, dual or plural


If the noun is singular, the adjective will also be singular. Similar is the case for duals and plurals.




بَلْ هُوَ قُرْآنٌ مَّجِيدٌ

But this is an honored Qur’an (85:21)




بَلْ هُوَ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ فِي صُدُورِ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ

Rather, the Qur’an is distinct verses [preserved] within the breasts of those who have been given knowledge. (29:49)


Case ending – إِعْرابٌ


If the noun is in the nominative, accusative, or genitive case, the adjective will also be in the nominative, accusative, or genitive case, respectively:


  • nominative
  • Accusative
  • Genitive

Nominative case – حَالَةُ الرَّفَعِ


فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ 

As bounty from your Lord. That is what is the great attainment. (44:57)



Accusative case – حَالَةُ الَّصَبِ



جَزَاءً مِّن رَّبِّكَ عَطَاءً حِسَابًا

[As a] reward from your Lord, [a generous] gift [made due by] account, (78:36)



Genitive case – حَالَةُ الْجَرِّ


لِيَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ 

For a tremendous Day – (83:5)



If اَلْمَوْصُوفُ is a broken plural or a group of non-living things, then the اَلصِّفَةُ will be singular and feminine.




فِيهَا سُرُرٌ مَّرْفُوعَةٌ

Within it are couches raised high (88:13)



وَنَمَارِقُ مَصْفُوفَةٌ

And cushions lined up (88:15)



In a possessive phrase, the possessed اَلْمُضَافُ will be considered a proposer noun; therefore, its adjective will be made definite by adding the article اَلْ.


Example 1:


بَيتُ اللَّهِ الحَرامُ

The holy house of Allah


بَيْتٌ is a common noun. However, here it comes in the possessive case and acts as اَلْمُضَافُ and will thus because a proper noun. The definite article اَلْ is added to the adjective حَرَامٌ to bring it in agreement with the proper noun.


Example 2:


 تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ

These are the verses of the clear Book. (26:2)


المُبِين is the adjective of الْكِتابِ, and they agree with each other in terms of number, gender, etc.


بَيْتُ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيْمُ

The great house of Allah



بَيْتُ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيْمِ

The house of Allah, the Greatest



In the above sentences, it is clearly understood by the E’raab – إِعْراب which noun the adjective is describing.


This Arabic lesson is now finished. The next one will be insha’Allah about the simple nominal sentence in Arabic.


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