Establishing the Principles: Arabic –Sarf – Book 1- Class 9

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Our teacher began with praising Allaah and sending salaat and salaam on the Messenger of Allaah, his house of kin, his companions and followers until the Day of Judgment, then began:



The scale consists of 3 letters that were chosen because it is  the least amount you can find a verb on and the least letters there are the more  a word is used because  it is lighter on the  tongue.  Whatever is lighter on the tongue is used more in the Arabic language because the Arabs seek lightness in speech.

Why  ف – ع- ل   ?  Because fa`ala (he did) is an alternative to any other verb.

Why Verbs since this topic covers both asmaa’ and af`aal (nouns and verbs)?  Because af`aal are the types of words that are subjected to change the most.  Originally, the verbs are the types of words that change into different forms and not the noun. The default state of the noun is that it doesn’t change and the default state of the verb is that it changes into different forms. The focus in the first levels of sarf is on the verbs because once the beginner masters the verb and how it changes, this will form a sound foundation for changing anything else into different forms.

What is the point of weighing the word?  To know the form of the word, because when you study a certain word you take it back to its root letters to know its meaning.  Some words share the same root letters but change in order.  Once you start know how to weigh words correctly and you start to master that, you will know how to identify the source of this word.   At least (if you are not able to) you will get to know the source of a word by reading the explanations of the scholars which they have compiled.  The scholars have left nothing unexplained- all the verses, ahadeeth, everything is explained. The scholars analyze the texts.  This analysis isn’t a waste of time – it is to clarify the meaning.

المَعنَى فَرعٌ عَن مَعرِفَةِ الإِعرَاب   – (Alma’naa far’un ‘an ma’rifatil i’raab) the meaning branches out from the grammatical analysis.

You want to know the meaning of a sentence so you get to the meaning by analyzing the sentence grammatically – knowing what word serves what purpose – you come to know it’s meaning in the sentence and what it means by itself, despite the sentence it is in.  So the meaning of the word –  the particular form that is  used and the role it plays in the sentence – both of these will qualify for you the exact meaning.  You will be able to do this by yourself.

When we look at a sentence we look at the words individually and analyze their meanings – this is what is  done in sarf.  You know what meaning each word gives.  Then when you know that, you look at the words in the whole sentence – the complex aspect of it – and this is where Nahw (grammar) comes in – the relationship between the words.

Knowing what meaning the word gives plus knowing the relationship between the words and the role each word plays in a sentence – this will give you the meaning.

Why do they go through the thorough breakdown of the sentence to get to the meaning?  To verify the meaning with proofs from the Arabic tongue, an interpretation based upon the principles and rulings.  The student of knowledge wants to build himself scientifically so that in the future he will have attained the tools to get to the meanings himself.  This analysis is appreciated by the student of knowledge because it grounds within him the tools for knowing Arabic, get deep into the meanings and being able to analyze the meanings.

*The cause of this analysis (morphological analysis- weighing the words )-  is getting to know the forms of the words and the order it followed to be able to target and pinpoint the original meaning the word was taken from.*


 On the faa’ of the scale we place the first of huruufun-asliyah  (the first original letter)

The letters that are not original are called huruufun-zaa’idah

The verb that is all original letters is called fi`lun mujarrad 

The verb that has extra letters is fi`lun mazeed.  The f`il which is mazeed has extras letters.   And those extra letters are of three types.

1.       An extra letter which is due to doubling a letter in the word weighed

قَتَلَ    (Qatala)   in the scale:  qaaf is  faaul kalimah   taa is aynul kalimah  and laam is laamul kalimah.

 قَتَّلَ   (Qattala) –  the taa is doubled –  and because it is merged in pronunciation they also merged them together in writing.  So they wrote it is one letter with a little “w” above the letter. The little “w” is called شَدَّة   (shaddah).  When you see a shaddah above the letter it tells you that the letter has been doubled and the first one is saakin. فَتَّلَ   (Qattala) means “he killed alot” i.e.”massacred” The shaddah means two identical letters: the first letter is silent and the second letter is mutaharrik meaning it has movement i.e. it makes vowel sound. The extra taa’ is not an original letter – it is an extra letter.

 شدّ  Shadd (without the taa marbootah)  means: pulled, fastened, strained.  And a single straining is called shaddah (with the taa added)   -a stress.

Since aynul kalimah was doubled we double the ayn in the scale. We add another ayn just as we have added another taa.

 The  taa has sukoon  so the ayn that we added to scale will get sukoon

قتّل على وزن فعّل   Qattala `alaa wazni fa“ala that is: “qattala” is on the scale of “fa“ala”

What is the difference between “qatala” and “qattala”?   “Qattala” gives an extreme meaning. “Qatala” means: “he killed”. “Qattala” means: “he killed many , killed a lot, excessively killed”, “massacred”.

EXAMPLE from Qur’aan: Allaah says about the son of Aadam (Habil) in Al-Maidah 5/30:

فَطَوَّعَتۡ لَهُ ۥ نَفۡسُهُ ۥ قَتۡلَ أَخِيهِ فَقَتَلَهُ ۥ فَأَصۡبَحَ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ

And Allaah says about Fir`awn in Al-Araaf 7/127:

قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبۡنَآءَهُمۡ


Notes transcribed by:  Umm Omar Al-Amreekiyyah


 Certain forms give certain meanings. The form “fa“ala” has different meanings:  severeness, multiplicity, making verb transitive.  We will come to know the meanings of the forms – with examples from the Quraan

 قَاتَلَ  Qaatala is another form of qatala (on the scaleof faa`ala)  it has another meaning –  fought against.

Aynul kalimah is not the only letter that is doubled

Age is not a factor when it comes to gaining knowledge

Shaddun is the act of straining   and shaddah is a single straining

Screen shots:


One thought on “Establishing the Principles: Arabic –Sarf – Book 1- Class 9

  1. zohraalfransiya February 19, 2013 at 6:18 am Reply

    Asalamou aleikoum
    barakAllahoufikoum my beloved sisters filah..

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