One of the features of the Quranic language which blows my mind… the use of past tense.
Arabic students always have this question.
- Student: “Why are you translating this past tense word as future tense?”
- Teacher: “Because it has to do with the Day of Judgement.”
- Student: “But it’s past tense?!”
*Here we go*
In the Quran, we find that sometimes Allah uses ‘past tense’ verbs to describe the Day of Judgement.
“The command of Allah (Day of Judgement) has come” [16:1]
أتى أمر الله
Allah uses the past tense to describe the future. Why?
1) What’s the difference between the past and the future? We are certain of the past- it has happened already. If I moved from Texas to Seattle… There’s no doubt because it has already happened. If I tell you tomorrow I will move to Antarctica… you will have doubts about my ability to do so because it’s in the future and there is uncertainty. So the past is certain, the future is uncertain. Allah compares the Day of Judgement to a past even to show how certain it is.
2) Allah created time. To Him it is all the same. Past. Present. Future.
Allah especially uses the past tense when talking about something in the future that is inevitable. Also especially when talking about the events that seem really wondrous and out of this world.
Now that’s deep.
What do you think? Share your reflections below!
Want to be able to read and understand the Quran without translations?
Thank you, Imam Adam, that is profound.
According to Quran: The ink of The book “Lohe Mahfouz “ has already dried. To indicate that He is Almighty and Creator left hints in Quran for those who can think and understand.
We all think in four dimensions X,Y,Z and Time. We the created are bound by these dimensions, Allah on the other hand is free of it being the creator of dimensions. For Him our past and future is like a script which He can read from where He wants. What we will do in our future is in front of Him, He wrote it in The book
Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!
Jazak Allah khayr!!!
I yearn to learn the arabic!
Salaam! Wa’iyyakum 🙂 If you’d like to learn Arabic, you can check out our courses here: https://courses.getquranic.com
I did not know this. I am speechless.
Very deep, indeed. And extremely humbling.
Jazak Allah Khairan
Ma sha Allah . Good reply.satisfied.
It’s really amazing. Never thought these small things matter. How creative is Quran which has hidden meanings which we can’t even imagine.