; An English Guide to Classic Qur'anic Arabic: 8.6 – Passive Voice Imperfect Verb


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8.6 – Passive Voice Imperfect Verb

Section 8.6 – Passive Voice Imperfect Verb فِعْلُ المُضَارِعِِ الْمَجْهُوْلِ feil-ul-mudaa-re-il-majhool


As described before for the past tense, the same rules apply for the imperfect tense فِعْلُ المُضَارِعِ feil-ul mudaa-ri-ee:


1) An Active Verb (feil-ullaa-zim) always requires an Actor/Subject فَاعِلٌ faa-il to complete a sentence.


2) These actors can be explicit Nouns or their pronouns, or implicit in the Verb itself.


For example, in يَضَرِبُ زَيْدٌyad-ri-buZai-dun meaning Zaid is hitting or will hit, زَيْدٌ is the Actor/Subject and is in Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un) state. Or, in أَضَرِبُ ad-ri-bu meaning I am hitting or will hit, the pronoun I is hidden in أ. If only يَضَرِبُ yad-ri-bu is used, it means he is hitting or will hit and the pronoun he is hidden in the Verb   يَضَرِبُyad-ri-bu.


3) In addition, some Verbs فِعْلُ اللَّاَزِمِ feil-ul laazim (intransitive) also require one or more objects مَفعُوْلٌ maf’ool. The Actor/Subject is always in a Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un) state and object is always in an Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) state. That is the way to understand the meaning of an Arabic sentence by looking for state of the Nouns.


Similar to past tense, sometimes, in the imperfect tense, the Actor/Subject is not mentioned for a number of reasons and this Verb is called a فِعْلُ المُضَارِعِِ الْمَجْهُوْلِ feil-ulmudaa-ri-il majhool passive voice imperfect Verb. In the above example, we can say Hamid was hit. Here there is no Actor/Subject and it is considered to be mahzoof (skipped/not mentioned). We can say يَضْرِبُ زَيْدٌ حَامِدًا yad-ri-bu Zai-dun Hami-dan which means Zaid is hitting or will hit Hamid. Now, if we wanted to say Hamid was hit, we would say يُضْرَبُ حَامِدٌ yud-ra-bu Hami-dun. Note that يَضْرِبُ yad-ri-bu active Verb (feil ma-roof) became يُضَرَبُ yud-ra-bupassive Verb (feil maj-hool) and حَامِدٌ haa-mi-dun is still in 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, it is called نَائِبُ الفَاعِلِ naai-bul faeli (surrogate actor).


Note again that passive Verb only comes from intransitive Verb مُتَعَدِّيُ (mu-ta-addi) since intransitive Verb requires a object مَفعُوْلٌ (maf’ool).  


For a past tense Active Verb (feilmaa-di ma’roof). it is easy to make a passive Verb (feil maa-di majhool).  This is done by changing the Verb from its active form (ma’roof) to a passive (majhool) die as in from فَعَلَ fa-ala to فُعِلَ fu-ila. Some examples follow:


Table 51 - Active مَعْرُوْفٌ (ma-roof) to مَجهُوُلٌ (maj-hool) Passive Imperfect Tense  فِعْلُ المُضَارِعِِ

feil-ul mudaa-ri-ee Examples


Active imperfect example meaning

Active imperfect example

Passive Imperfect example meaning

Passive imperfect


يَشَرِبَ الْوَلَدُ الْمَاءَ

Yash-ri-bul wala-dul- maa-a

The child is drinking or will drink water

يُشُرَبَ الْمَاءُ


Yush-ri-al maa-u

Water is consumed or will be consumed

يَضَرِبُ زَيْدٌ حَامِدًا


Yad-ri-bu Zaidun haa-mi-dan

Zaid is hitting or will hit Hamid

يُضُرَبُ حَامِدٌ


Yud-ri-bu ha-mi-dun

Hamid is hit or will be hit.

لَا يَنصُرُوْنَهُمُ اللهُ


Laa yan-sa-roo-na-hu-mul laha

Allah does not help them

لَا هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ


Laa hu-mul yu-sa-roon

They will not be helped

ثُمَّ لَتَسْأُلُنَّ اللهُ


Thum-ma la-tas-alun-nal la-hu

And Allah will most surely ask you

ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ


Thum-ma la-tus-alun-na

Then most surely you will be asked

فَافْعَلُوا مَا يَامُروْنَ اللهُ


Faf-aloo maa yamu-roo-nal lahu

So, do as Allah commands

فَافْعَلُوا مَا تُؤْمَرُونَ


Faf-aloo maa tu-ma-roona

So, do what you are commanded

تَحْشَرُونَ اللهُ اِلَيْهِمْ


Tah-sha-roo-nal lahu ilia-him

Allah will gather you unto Him

لَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُحْشَرُونَ


La-ilal-lahi tuh-sha-roon

Unto Allah you will be gathered.






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