; An English Guide to Classic Qur'anic Arabic: 8.9 - Strong Imperfect Tense Continued


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8.9 - Strong Imperfect Tense Continued


a) لَمْ lum: When this Particle enters in front of فِعلُ الْمُضَارِعِ feil-ulmu-daa-ri-ee, it creates a strong negative emphasis and also it associates the Verb to future only. By itself, لَمْ lum does not mean anything. Using the فَعَلَ fa-a-ladie, its imperfect tense is يَفْعَلُ yaf-a-lu which means he does/he is doing/he will do. When used with لَمْ lum, this becomes يَفْعَلْ لَمْ lumyaf-al which now means he did not do it at all. Note that يَفْعَلُ yaf-a-lubecame yaf-al يَفْعَلْ.


Some Qur’anic examples would be:


1) Al-Ikhlaas - Verse 4

 وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

Wa lum ya-kul la-hu kuf-wan ahad

Nor is there to Him any equivalent


2) Al-Ikhlaas - Verse 3

 لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ

Lumya-lid wa lum yu-lad

He neither begets nor is born


3) Al-Fil - Verse 1

 أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصْحَابِ الْفِيلِ

a-lumtara kaifa fa-a-la raab-bu-ka bi-as-haabil-feel

Have you not considered, [O Muhammad], how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant?


4) Al-Bayyina - Verse 1

 لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا

 Lum ya-kunil-ladhee-naka-fa-roo

يَكُنِ was actually يَكُنْbut in reading, the next word is joined with a kasrah


Those who disbelieved


b) لَمَّا lum-ma (when, have not yet)


1) As-Saff - Verse 5

 مَّا زَاغُوا أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ

Falum-maa zaa-ghu azaa-ghal-laa-hu qu-loo-ba-hum

And when they deviated, Allah caused their hearts to deviate


2) Al-Jumu'a - Verse 3

وَآخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ

Waaa-kha-ree-na min-hum lum-ma yal-haqoo be-him

And [to] others of them who have not yet joined them.


c) اِنْ In (If/whether): This Particle is used when an if/then, if/until conditional statement is written. As in “if you go, then I will go”. When this Particle is used before the imperfect tense, it causes the Verb to go into the Hidden form اَخَفْakhafwhich means the last alphabet goes through the changes discussed before. Also, the response Verb goes through the same changes. Simple examples would be:


1) If you go, then I will go اِنْ تَذْهَبْ اَذْهَبْ in-tazhab-azhab


2) If you show mercy, mercy will be shown to you اِنْ تَرْحَمْ يَرْحَمْ in-tar-ham yar-ham


اِنْ sometimes is written with an alphabet ل added to it and it becomes لَئِنْ with the same meaning and extra emphasis.


اِنْ is used a few times in al-Qur’an. Some Examples from the Holy book are:


1) Muhammad - Verse 7

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ

Yaaayyu-hal ladhee-na aa-ma-nu in-tan-sool-laha yan-sur-kum wa yu-sab-bit aq-daa-ma-kum

O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.


2) Al-Baqara - Verse 196

فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ

Fa-inah-sir-tum fa mas tai-sara minalhad-yee

But if you are prevented, then [offer] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals.


3) Al-Kahf - Verse 70

قَالَ فَإِنِ اتَّبَعْتَنِي فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِي عَن شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰأُحْدِثَ لَكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْرًا

Qaa-lafa-init-taba-tani fa-laa tas-al-nee un shai-in hat-ta ah-di-sala-ka min-hu dhik-ran

He said, "Then if you follow me, do not ask me about anything until I tell you about it.”


4) Al-Baqara - Verse 284

وَإِنْ تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللَّهُ

Wain-tub-doo maa fi an-fu-si-kum aw tuq-foo-hu yu-haa-sib-kumbihil-lah

Whetheryou show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it


5) Al-Israa - Verse 54

إِنْ يَشَأْ يَرْحَمْكُمْ أَوْ إِن يَشَأ

Inya-shaa ayar-ham-kum aw in yasha-aa

IfHe wills, He will have mercy upon you; or if He wills, He will punish you


There are other Nouns also that enter as conditional statement which require a response. These are:


مَنْ             mun                who/whoever

مَا              maa                 what/whatever

اَيْنَ             ay-na               where

اَنَّ             anna                because

مَتٰى            ma-taa             when

اَىٌّ             ayyu                which


1) مَنْ أَرْحَمْ يَرْحَمْ mun ar-hamyar-ham Whoever shows mercy will be shown mercy

2) مَاتَشْرَبْ أَشْرَبْ maa tash-rab ash-rab

Whatever you drink, I will drink

3) اَيْنَ تَزْهَبْ أَذْهَبْ ay-na taz-habaz-hab

Wherever you go, I will go

4) مَتٰى تَصُمْ أَصُمْ ma-taata-sum asum

When you fast, I will fast


d) لِ li (for, used for desire) also called لَامُ الْاَمْرِ lam-ul amri


This Particle when added to an imperfect tense makes it اَخَفْ akhafalso and gives the meaning of a desire as in, لِيَفْعَلْ lee-yaf-al meaning he should do it or it is desirable that he does it.


When an alphabet وَ or فَ is added with a lam ul amr, then its sign changes to a jaz-mun also. The above word for example becomes وَلْيَفْعَلْ wal-yaf-al meaning you should do it.


Some examples from al-Qur’an are given below:


1) Aal-Imran - Verse 104

وَلْتَكُنْ مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ

Wal-ta-kummin-kum um-ma-tun

And let there be [arising] from you a nation

2) Al-Hashr - Verse 18

 وَلْتَنْظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ

Wal-tan-zurnaf-sun maa qad-da-mat li-ghad

And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow

3) Quraish - Verse 3

فَلْيَعْبُدُوا رَبَّ هَٰذَا الْبَيْتِ

Fal-ya-bu-doorabba haa-zal baiti

Let them (they shuld) worship the Lord of this House

4) Al-A'raaf - Verse 194

فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Fal-yasta-jee-bula-kum in kun-tum saa-di-qeen

and let them respond to you, if you should be truthful






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