The noun of place and time - اِسْمُ الْمَكَانِ و الزَّمَانِ
Nouns Denoting Place and Time in Arabic: A Deeper Look
In Arabic grammar, nouns that express the place or time of an action rooted in a verb are a crucial component. These nouns are traditionally constructed following specific patterns:
- مَفْعِلٌ Pattern:
- Example: مَجْلِسٌ (Gathering), where the action is “sitting” derived from the verb جلس.
- Example: مَشْرِقٌ (East), where the sun “rises”, stemming from the verb شرق.
- مَفْعَلٌ Pattern:
- Example: مَذْهَبٌ (Religion or creed), linking to the verb ذهب meaning to go.
- Example: مَقْتَلٌ (Battlefield), which connects with قتل, signifying killing.
- مَفْعَلَةٌ Pattern:
- Example: مَقْبَرَةٌ (Tomb) or burial site, which comes from the verb قبر, to bury.
Guidelines to Determine Patterns:
If the imperfect form of the verb has a second radical with a dammah (يَفْعُلُ), the noun typically follows the مَفْعَلٌ pattern. For instance, the verb يَقْتُلُ leads to مَقْتَلٌ (Battlefield).
Conversely, when the imperfect form bears a kasrah (يَفْعِلُ), the مَفْعِلٌ pattern is generally used. An example being يَجْلِسُ, which yields مَجْلِسٌ (Gathering).
There are exceptions. For instance, even when the imperfect verb form is يَسْجُدُ, the noun derived is مَسْجِدٌ (Mosque), using the مَفْعِلٌ pattern.
The plural form for both the masculine and feminine nouns usually follows the مَفَاعِلُ pattern. For instance, مَسْجِدٌ (Mosque) becomes مَسَاجِدُ (Mosques).
Passive Participles as Nouns of Place/Time:
Some passive participles, or مَفْعُولٌ, from derived verbs can act as nouns of place and time. For instance, from the verb أَدْخَلَ (to enter), we get مُدْخَلٌ, which means “entrance.”
This exploration showcases the rich morphology and structure of Arabic nouns, specifically ones denoting place and time, offering insights into the depth and versatility of the Arabic language.
Quranic Illustrations: Nouns Denoting Place and Time in Arabic
وَلَقَدْ بَوَّأْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مُبَوَّأَ صِدْقٍ
And We settled the Children of Israel in a position of honour (10:93)
وَنُدْخِلْكُمْ مُدْخَلًا كَرِيمًا
and admit you by a Gate of Honor. (4:31)
لِكُلِّ نَبَإٍ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ
For every happening is a finality, and you will surely know. (6:67)
then a repository, then a depository (6:98)
يُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ مُدْخَلًا يَرْضَوْنَهُ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ
He will admit them an admittance that will please them. God is Knowing and Clement. (22:59)
قُلْ إِنِّي لَنْ يُجِيرَنِي مِنَ اللَّهِ أَحَدٌ وَلَنْ أَجِدَ مِنْ دُونِهِ
Say, “No one can protect me from God, and I will not find any refuge except with Him. (72:22)
وَلَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ
On earth, you will have residence and livelihood for a while.” (7:24)
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ مَنَعَ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ يُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ
Who is more unjust than him who forbids the remembrance of God’s name in places of worship (2:114)
This lesson on Arabic nuances concludes here. Insha’Allah, our subsequent session will delve into the noun of the instrument in Arabic.
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