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prepositions in Arabic Language

Prepositions in Arabic - الْحُرُوفُ الجَرِّ

Prepositions are words that, when paired with nouns or pronouns, form meaningful phrases. These distinct linguistic elements not only possess their own inherent meanings but also influence the associated nouns and pronouns. Specifically, they can alter the vowel of the noun’s final letter, changing it from dammah or fatha to kasrah.

1. Prepositions that influence nouns

Illustrations of Prepositions

 

  عَلَى قُلُوْبٍ

 

on + hearts

 

 

 

 

= عَلَى + قُلُوْبٌ 

 

= on hearts

 

 

 

خَتَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ

 

Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil (2:7)

 

 

إِلَى + السَّماءُ

 

Towards + the heaven

 

 

 

 

= إِلَى السَّمَاءِ

 

 = towards  heaven

 

 

 

 

ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ

 

Then He directed Himself to heaven  (2:29)

 

 

 

 

الرَّبُّ+ بِ  

 

With + the people

 

 

 

= بِالرَّبِّ

 

with the people  

 

 

 

 

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ

 

say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of humankind (114:1)  

 

 

 

 

 

فِيْ + دِيْنٌ

 

In + religion  

 

 

 

 

   فِيْ دِيْنٍ

 

= in religion    

 

 

 

 

وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّـهِ أَفْوَاجًا

 

and you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes, (110:2)

 

 

 

وَ + تِيْنٌ  

 

Swear by + the fig

 

 

 

وَ التِّيْنِ

 

swear by the fig

 

 

 

وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُونِ

 

by the fig and the olive (95:1)

 

 

 

 

تَ + اَللَّهُ

 

Swear by + Allah

 

 

 

 

  تَاللَّهِ

 

swear by Allah

 

 

 

 

قَالُوا تَاللَّـهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُم

 

They said, “By Allah, you have certainly known (12:73)  

 

 

 

 

مِنْ + اَلْجوْعُ

 

In + hunger    

 

 

 

 

مِنَ الْجوْعِ

 

= in hunger

 

 

 

الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ 

 

who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear? (106:4)  

 

 

 

 

عَنْ + اَلْيَمِيْنُ

 

From + the right  

 

 

 

 

  عَنِ الْيَمِيْنِ

 

= From the right  

 

 

 

عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ عِزِينَ

 

    [To sit] on [your] right and [your] left in separate groups? (70:37)

 

 

 

 

كَ + عَصْفٌ

 

Like + Straw  

 

 

 

 

     كَعَصْفٍ

 

like straw  

 

 

 

 

فَجَعَلَهُمْ كَعَصْفٍ مَّأْكُولٍ

 

And He made them like eaten straw. (105:5)

 

 

 

 

لِ + اَللَّهُ

 

For + Allah  

 

 

 

 

   = لِلَّهِ  

 

= For Allah  

 

 

 

  لِّلَّـهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ

 

to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. (2:284)    

 

 

 

 

حَتَى + مَطْلَعٌ  

 

Until + break  

 

 

 

 

= حَتَى مَطْلَعٍ

 

= until break  

 

 

 

  سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

 

Peace it is until the emergence of dawn. (97:5)    

 

 

 

 

2. Pronouns that impact prepositions

The prepositions previously mentioned primarily influence the ending of nouns. Yet, only a select group comprising:

 

عَلَى, إِلَى, بِ, فِيْ

 

have a specific effect on the following pronouns:

 

هُ, هُمَا, هُمْ, هُنَّ

 

They introduce a kasrah to the opening letter of the given pronoun. Interestingly, these prepositions don’t exert the same influence on other pronouns.

 

Examples:

Prepositions - عَلى

 

هُ

 

Him

 

عَلَيْهِ

 

On him

 

 

هُمَا

 

Them both

 

عَلَيْهِما

 

On them both

 

 

هُمْ

 

Them all (M)

 

عَلَيْهِمْ

 

On them all (M)

 

 

هُنَّ

 

Them all (F)

 

عَلَيْهِنَّ

 

On them all (F)

 

 

 

Prepositions - إِلى

 

هُ

 

Him

 

إِلَيْهِ

 

Towards him

 

 

هُمَا

 

Them both

 

إِلَيْهِمَا

 

Towards them both

 

 

هُمْ

 

Them all (M)

 

إِلَيْهِمْ

 

Towards them all (M)

 

 

هُنَّ

 

Them all (F)

 

إِلَيْهِنَّ

 

Towards them all (F)

 

 

 

Prepositions - بِ

هُ

 

Him

 

بِهِ

 

With him

 

 

هُمَا

 

Them both

 

بِهِمَا

 

With them both

 

 

هُمْ

 

Them all (M)

 

بِهِمْ

 

With them all (M)

 

هُنَّ

 

Them all (F)

 

بِهِنَّ

 

With them all (F)

 

 

 

 

Prepositions - فِيْ

هُ

 

Him

 

فِيْهِ

 

In him

 

 

 

هُمَا

 

Them both

 

فِيْهِما

 

In them both

 

 

هُمْ

 

Them all (M)

 

فِيْهِمْ

 

In them all (M)

 

 

هُنَّ

 

Them all (F)

 

فِيْهِنَّ

 

In them all -(F)

 

 

Examples of these prepositions as found in the Noble Quran:

 

فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ

 

 

so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself  (2:197)

 

 

 

 

 

 

فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

 

 

there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (2:38)

 

 

 

 

يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ 

 

 

He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient, (2:26)

 

 

 

 

 

Unaffected Pronouns: Illustrative Examples of Preposition Exemptions

As previously noted, these prepositions don’t affect other pronouns. Below are examples illustrating this point.

 

 

 

عَلى + كَ  = عَلَيْكَ

 

No action of على on كَ

 

 

مَنْ + هُ = مِنْهُ

 

No action of مِنْ on هُ

 

 

Examples:

 

 

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ

 

 

Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, (4:23)

 

 

 

 

وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

 

 

and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous. (6:153)

 

 

 

 

 

وَوَضَعْنَا عَنكَ وِزْرَكَ

 

And We removed from you your burden (94:2)

 

 

Exception:

In Surah 48:10 of the Holy Qur’an, the preposition على does not influence هُ, resulting in the reading:

 

 

عَلَيْهُ

 

Allah says,

 

 

وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّـهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

 

 

And he who fulfills that which he has promised Allah – He will give him a great reward. (48:10)

 

 

 

preposition - لِ

In the lesson “pronouns,” we observe that the proposition :

 

 

The preposition لِ typically prefixes pronouns, resulting in the form: لَ.However, an exception is observed with the first person pronoun: ىَ.

Masculine 3rd person

لَهُ

 

For Him

 

لَهُمَا

 

For them both

 

لَهُمْ

 

For them all

 

 

Masculine 2nd person

لَكَ

 

 For you

 

لَكُمَا

 

 For you both

 

لَكُمْ

 

For you all

 

 

 

Masculine 1st person

Illustrations of Preposition لِ

لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ

 

To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs [all] praise, (64:1)

 

 

 

أَخْرَجْنَا لَهُمْ دَابَّةً مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ

 

We will bring forth for them a creature from the earth speaking to them (27:82)

 

 

 

أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ

 

Did We not expand for you, [O Muhammad], your breast? (94:1)

 

Feminine 3rd person

لَهَا

 

For her

 

لَهُمَا

 

For them both

 

لَهُنَّ

 

For them all

Feminine 2nd person

لَكِ

 

For you

 

لَكُمَا

 

For you both

 

لَكُنَّ

 

For you all

Feminine 1st person

لِيْ

 

For me

 

لَنَا

 

For us all

Examples of the prepositions لِ from the Noble Quran:

لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ 

 

It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. (2:286)

 

 

 

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

 

 

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

 

 

 

Conclusion

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

 

 

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