; An English Guide to Classic Qur'anic Arabic: 7.8-14 – Passive Voice Past Tense Verb ( مَاضِيْ مَجْهُوْلٌ)


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7.8-14 – Passive Voice Past Tense Verb ( مَاضِيْ مَجْهُوْلٌ)


Section 7.14 – Passive Voice Past Tense Verb

(مَجْهُوْلٌ مَاضِيْ)

maa-di maj-hoo-lun


As described elsewhere before, an active Verb فِعْلُ اللَّاَزِمِ (feil-ul laa-zimi) always requires an Actor/Subject فَاعِلٌ faa-ilun to complete a sentence. These actors can be explicit Nouns or their pronouns, or implicit in the Verb itself. For example, in ضَرَبَ زَيْدٌda-ra-baZaid-un meaning Zaid hit, زَيْدٌ Zai-dun is the Actor/Subject and is in Nominative رَفْعٌ(raf-un) state. Or, in ضَرَبْتُ da-rab-tu meaning I hit, the pronoun Iis hidden in تُ tu.


If only ضَرَبَ da-ra-ba is used, it means he hit and the pronoun “he” is hidden in the Verb ضَرَبَ da-ra-ba. Also, some intransitive Verbs فِعْلُ اللَّاَزِمِ feil-ul laa-zi-mi require one or more objects مَفعُوْلٌ maf’oolun. The Actor/Subject is always in a Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un) state and object is always in an Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) state. To understand the meaning of an Arabic sentence, we need to look for state of the Nouns.


In some sentences, the Actor/Subject is not mentioned for several reasons and this Verb is called a passive voice Verb مَجْهُوْلٌ مَاضِيْ

maa-di maj-hoo-lun. In the above example, we can say Hamid was hit. Here, there is no Actor/Subject mentioned and it is considered to be skipped or not mentioned مَحْذُوْفٌ (mah-zoo-fun).  We can say ضَرَبَ زَيْدٌ حَامِدًا da-ra-ba Zai-dun-haa-mi-dan which means Zaid hit Hamid. Now, if we wanted to say Hamid was hit, we would say ضُرِبَ حَامِدٌ. Note that ضَرَبَda-ra-baactive Verb (feilul ma-roofi) became ضُرِبَ du-ri-ba passive Verb (feilul maj-hooli) and حَامِدٌ haa-mi-dun is still in the nominative. Since Nominative رَفْعٌ(raf-un) state is given normally to the actor, and in a passive Verb object is also given Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un) state to the object, it is called nai-bul faa-ili (surrogate actor).


Note that passive Verb only comes from فِعْلُاللَّاَزِمِ intransitive Verb (feil-ul laa-zi-mi) since intransitive Verb requires an object (maf’ool). 


For a past tense active Verb (feil-ulmaa-di ma’roof). it is easy to make a passive Verb (feil-ulmaa-di majhool).  This is done by changing the Verb from its active form (ma’roof) to a passive (majhool) die as in from فَعَلَ to فُعِلَ. Some examples follow in Table 41:


Table 41 - Active (ma’roof) to Passive (majhool) Examples


Maa-di ma’roof

Maa-di ma’roof translation

Maa-di majhool

Maa-di majhool translation

شَرِبَ الْوَلَدُ الْمَاءَ


Sha-ri-bal wala-dul maa-aa

The child drank water

شُرِبَ الْمَاءُ


Shu-ri-bal maa-u

The water was drunk (consumed)

ضَرَبَ زَيْدٌ حَامِدًا


Dara-ba Zai-dun hami-dan

Zaid hit Hamid

ضُرِبَ حَامِدٌ


Du-ri-ba hami-dun

Hamid was hit


أَكَلَ زَيَدٌ تُفَّاحَةً


aa-ka-la Zai-dun tuf-fa-ha-tan

Zaid ate the apple


أُكِلَ تُفَّاحَةٌ


U-ki-la tuf-faa-ha-tun

Apple was eaten

قَرَأتْ فَاطِمَةُ الدَّرْسَهَا


Qara-at Fatima-tud-dar-sihaa

Fatima read her lesson

قُرِأَ الدَّرْسُ


Qu-ri-ad dar-su

lesson was read

نَفَخَهُ فِيْ الصُّوْرِ


Naf-kha-hu fis-su-ri

He blew the horn

نُفِخَ فِيْ الصُّوْرِ


Nufi-qa fis-suri

The horn will be blown

ضَرَبَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ


Da-rabal-lahu alai-him-udh dhil-lata

Allah put them under humiliation

ضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ


Du-ri-bat alai-him-udh dhil-latu

They have been put under humiliation






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