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the possessive phrase in Arabic

Possessive phrase in Arabic - اَلْمُرَّكَبُ الإِضافِي

Introduction

In Arabic, the possessive phrase represents a union of two nouns. The first noun signifies the object being owned, while the second noun denotes the possessor or owner. Together, they convey a relationship of ownership or affiliation.

 

Examples:

 

نَارُ اللَّهِ

 

Allah’s fire/fire of Allah

 

 

 

 

رَسُولُ اللَّهِ

 

Allah’s Prophet

 

 

 

 

نَصْرُ اللَّهِ

 

Allah’s help

 

 

 

 

حَدِيْثُ الجُنُودِ

 

The story of the armies

 

 

 

 

حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ

 

The group of satans

 

 

 

 

صَاحِبُ الْحُوْتِ

 

The companion of the fish

 

 

 

 

يَوْمُ الْفَصْلِ

 

The day of decision

 

 

 

 

 

1. Understanding Possession in Arabic Grammar

In English, possession is typically indicated by appending an apostrophe followed by an “S” or by employing the preposition “of,” as illustrated in the preceding examples.

 

Within a possessive phrase, the initial noun, signifying the item or entity being owned, is termed the “possessed” اَلْمُضَافُ and the second noun is called “possessor”: اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ.

 

In Arabic grammar, the term ‘al Mudaf’ or اَلْمُضَافُ always refers to an indefinite noun, and as such, it never carries the definite article ‘اَلْ’ preceding it.

 

In Arabic, اَلْمُضَافُ can be marked with any of the short vowel signs – dammah, fatha, or kasrah. However, it distinctly lacks the nunnation (tanween).

 

Conversely, the second noun, known as اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ, is most often a proper noun. If not inherently definite, it gains particularity by having the prefix ‘اَلْ’ attached to it.

2. اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ: The Possessor in the Arabic Possessive Phrase

Examples Showcasing اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ as an Indefinite Noun:

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ

 

[That] indeed, the Qur’an is the word of a noble Messenger. (69:40)

 

 

 

 

وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا

 

And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, (42:40)

 

 

 

 

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ 

 

So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it (99:7)

 

 

 

 

وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ

 

And from the evil of an envier when he envies.” (113:5)

 

 

 

 

In Arabic grammar, the final letter of اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ consistently carries a tanween kasrah or a single kasrah, marking it as genitive in case.

 

Additionally, while اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ can take the form of a pronoun, this pronoun variant does not have a kasrah affixed to it.

Quranic Illustrations of Possessive Phrases

 

 وَلِأُتِمَّ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ

 

and that you may be guided. (2:150)

 

 

 

 

مَا أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ 

 

His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained. (111:2)

 

 

 

 

وَاللَّـهُ وَلِيُّهُمَا ۗ وَعَلَى اللَّـهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

 

 but Allah was their ally, and upon Allah, the believers should rely. (3:122)

 

 

 

 

وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا

 

And if you are patient and fear Allah, their plot will not harm you at all (3:120)

 

 

 

 

فِي جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِّن مَّسَدٍ

 

Around her neck is a rope of [twisted] fiber. (111:5)

 

 

 

 

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ 

 

For you is your religion, and for me, is my religion.” (109:6)

 

 

 

 

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا

 

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. (3:103)

 

3. اَلْمُضَافُ: The Possessed Entity in Arabic Possessive Phrases

In Arabic grammar, when the اَلْمُضَافُ is in a dual or plural form, the ن (noon) from its ending is omitted in the context of possession. As a result:

 

  • The dual endings انَ (aan) transform to اَ (aa).
  • The plural endings وْنَ (oona) in the nominative and يْنَ (eena) in the genitive/accusative become وُ (oo) and يِ (ee), respectively.

Illustrative Examples of Possessive Phrases from the Noble Quran:

فَجَعَلْنَاهَا نَكَالًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا وَمَا خَلْفَهَا وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

 

And We made it a deterrent punishment for those who were present and those who succeeded [them] and a lesson for those who fear Allah. (2:66)

 

 

 

 

 

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ

 

O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon (2:40)

 

 

 

 

قَالَ إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُنكِحَكَ إِحْدَى ابْنَتَيَّ هَاتَيْنِ

 

He said, “Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters (28:27)

 

 

 

 

اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَـٰذَا

 

Take this, my shirt (12:93)

 

 

Conclusion

This lesson on Arabic nuances concludes here. Insha’Allah, our subsequent session will delve into the descriptive phrase in Arabic.

 

 

Al-dirassa Institute invites you on a linguistic journey with our expert teachers to master the Arabic language. Should you wish to further your studies, we welcome your inquiries.

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