Arabic is known to be one of the deepest, most eloquent, and beautiful languages. This is especially true for Quranic Arabic. There is a word for every instance, situation, and experience. For example: love. There are various words for love in the Arabic language, but they are all slightly different based on the type of love. One of the most amazing aspects of Quranic Arabic is how a single word can be used in different contexts and, therefore, change the meaning.
In verse 6 of Surah al-Nisaa, Allah discusses the inheritance of orphans, which is to be given to them once they reach the age of maturity. Orphans were considered the poorest of society. This meant that some individuals who benefited from the orphans or their inheritance would try and withhold the money for as long as possible. Allah uses the word aanastum in the verse, which means to detect.
“If you detect any maturity, give them their inheritance.”
The interesting thing about this word is that the Arabs would use it for a gazelle whose ears perked up when it detected something, such as a predator. So that the rights of the orphan were fulfilled, Allah used this word as though to say that the second one detected any ounce of maturity in the orphan, they should receive their inheritance.
In verse 175 of Surah al-A’raaf, Allah describes a person who receives guidance from Him, but then detaches himself from that same guidance.
“And recite to them, [O Muhammad], the news of him to whom We gave [knowledge of] Our signs, but he detached himself from them; so Satan pursued him, and he became of the deviators.” [7:175]
The word fansalakha is used in this verse, which means to detach. This same word was used by the Arabs initially to describe taking off one’s clothes. Just like clothing protects us from the cold, guidance protects us from Shaytan and his schemes. If we detach ourselves from guidance, it’s as though we are removing our clothing that protects us. We’re naked and lost without His guidance, and easily susceptible to the whispers of Shaytan.
These are only two examples of the complexity of Arabic, and Quranic Arabic in particular. There are countless more. If you’d like to learn more, join our Quranic Arabic flagship course. Make 2022 the year you grasp the complexity of Quranic Arabic!
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