5.9 - Emphasis in Nominative Sentence



Section 5.9 - Emphasis in a Nominal Sentence
التَّاكِيدُ فِي جُمْلَةِ الْاِسمِيَّةِ


Emphasis is one of the most important features of the Arabic language as related to the study of Al-Qur’an. There are several Particles حُرُوْفٌ (huroo-fun) that are used to add emphasis and sometimes multiple Particles are used in Al-Qur’an to increase the emphasis to the degree that sometimes translation into another language becomes nearly impossible. This is the beauty of the language and Allah Subhaa-nahu wa Taa’la uses various commands and states with varying degrees of emphasis in the Holy Qur’an. Emphasis is also achieved by positioning the words in a certain manner. For example, using اَلْخَبَرُ al-kha-ba-ru predicate before اَلمُبْتَدَاءُ al-mub-tadau is one way.


In the following, we will describe both of these methods:


1) Emphasis by use of specific Particles (huroof).

2) Emphasis by adding a pronoun between al-mub-tadaau and al-kha-ba-ru predicate.

3) Emphasis by moving pronouns/Jar-Majroor etc. ahead of predicate


A. Emphasis by Using Specific Particles


To create emphasis in Arabic, two commonly used Particles are inna (اِنَّ in-na) and alphabet lam with a fathah (لَ la) called lam-ut-takeedi (لَامُ التَّاكِيْدِ).


Inna (اِنَّ):


When Inna is added before a nominative sentence, it causes the al-mubtadato go into the accusative state (نَصْبٌ nas-bun) and its predicate (الْخَبْرُ al-kha-baru) into a Nominative state (رَفْعٌraf-un).

For example, take the sentence رَحيْمٌ اللّٰهُ غَفُّورٌ (Allahu ghaf-foor-un Rahee-mun) Allah is forgiving, merciful. If we want to say, indeed Allah is forgiving, merciful, we add inna (اِنَّ) in front of the sentence which becomes اِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَفُّورٌ رَحيْمٌ (innal-laha ghaf-foor-un Rahee-mun).  Note that اللهَAlla-ha is now Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) with a fathah on it and its predicate غَفُّورٌ ghaf-foo-run and رَحيْمٌ rahee-mun are in nominative with a double dammahor tanween).


Laa-mut takeedi (لَامُ التَّاكِيْدِ)


Often, the emphasis is also created by addinga lam (لَ) defined before. Adding this (لَ) does not change the states of the Nouns.

For example, the sentence ذِكْرُ اللّٰهِ اكْبَرُ (zik-rul-lahi Akbar) meaning “remembrance of Allah is greatest”. This sentence is used in Al-Qur’an with an emphasis as وَلَذِكْرُ اللّٰهِ اكْبَرُ (wa-la-zik-rul-lahiAkbar) meaning “and surely the remembrance of Allah is the greatest”.


Inna (اِنَّ) and lam-ut-Takeed (لَ) combined


Sometimes, both huroof are used together to create further emphasis. For example, the sentence الشِّرْكُ ظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ (ash-shirku zul-mun azeem) meaning “making partners with Allah is the greatest injustice”. To add emphasis, Allah (SWT) uses in Al-Qur’an, the phrase اِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ (in-na-sh shirka la-zul-mun azeem) in Surah Luqman meaning “indeed making partners is definitely a great injustice”. Note that (اِنَّ in-na) is applied in the beginning but (لَ la) is always applied to the predicate (الْخَبَرُ al-kha-ba-ru).


B. Emphasis and Specificity (حَصَرٌ/تَخْصِيْصٌ ha-sar/taq-sees) by adding a pronoun


In a nominative sentence, if action is specific to an al-mubtada, then a Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un) pronoun (with same four Noun properties as (al-mubtada) is introduced between al-mubtadaand predicate.

For example, the sentence اُوْلٰئِكَ الْمُهتَدُوْنَ (oolai-kaalmuh-ta-doon) meaning “they are the guided ones” is modified as اُوْلٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهتَدُوْنَ oolai-ka hum-ul muh-ta-doon which now means “they are the only guided ones”.


C. Emphasis by moving ضَمِيْرٌ da-mee-run pronouns and جَارٌ/مَجْرُوْرٌ Jar-Majroor ahead of predicate


Emphasis is also achieved by moving part of a nominative sentence ahead of the predicate. For example, take the sentence:


اُوْلٰئِكَ صَلَوَاتٌ عَليْهِمْ (Oolai-kasala-waa-tum alai-him) meaning “They are the ones with blessings on them”. This when changed toاُوْلٰئِكَ  عَليْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ (Oolai-ka alai-him sala-waa-tum) means “They are the only ones on whom are the blessings”


D. Emphasis by Adding a Preposition


For example, take the simple sentence

 مَا اللّٰهُ غَافِلًا (mal-laa-hughaa-fi-lan) meaning Allah (SWT) is not unaware. To add emphasis, preposition (بِ) is added and the sentence becomes مَا اللّٰهُ بِغَافِلٍ (mal-laa-hubi-ghaa-fi-lin)

Meaning “Allah (SWT) is definitely not unaware”.


E. Emphasis with لَا laa, مَا maa andلَيْسَ lai-sa with اِلَّا illaa


لَا, مَا,and لَيْسَ are often used in combination with اِلَّا as shown in examples below:


1) مَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ (maa Moham-madunillaa rasoo-lun) meaning Mohammad (SAW) is none but a messenger.

2) لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ (laa-ilaaha illa-lah) meaning There is no god (of any kind) except Allah (SWT)

3) اِنْ هٰذَا اِلَّا مَلَكٌ كَرِيْمٌ (in haaza illaa mala-kun karee-mun) meaning This is none but a noble angel.