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So far Saqib Hussain has created 156 entries.

Decoding the Arabic Dictionary

Once you progress to using an Arabic-Arabic dictionary, the entry layout can be a little confusing. Here’s a key for the verb dhahaba taken from al-Mu’jam al-Wasit, and annotated to show what information is being given (click to see full size image):

Decoding the Arabic Dictionary

Quranic Arabic, Classical Arabic and MSA

The development of Arabic may roughly be divided into three periods: Classical Arabic, Post-classical Arabic and Modern Arabic. The classical period lasts until about the end of the first century AH, after which the enormous conversion rate to Islam amongst non-Arabs and the expansion of the Muslim empire all but wiped out the pristine […]

By |August 9th, 2014|Blog|2 Comments|

Lane’s Lexicon (E. Lane: Arabic-English Lexicon)

laneCommonly known as Lane’s Lexicon, this is the most meticulous and thorough Arabic-English dictionary ever produced. Because of its clarity and logical structure, it is even used extensively by serious modern Arab linguists.

The English scholar Edward Lane spent decades collating, translating and summarising material from […]

Arabic-English Dictionaries

Using Arabic-English dictionaries correctly is a finely honed art. Or science. Or… well the point is it takes some practice!

I’m sure you know the basics. Words are listed by their roots rather than the strict alphabetical order which we are accustomed to in English dictionaries.

So if you don’t know how the Arabic language is […]

J. G. Hava: Arabic-English Dictionary for Advanced Learners

havaUnlike the more popular Hans Wehr, Hava is a classical Arabic dictionary. Although it does have occasional mistakes, it generally sticks to and gives the correct classical meaning and usage of Arabic words. Where non-classical words are included, they are clearly […]

Hans Wehr: A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic

hansHans Wehr is undoubtedly the best know Arabic-English dictionary.

Now in its fourth edition, this is a comprehensive dictionary of modern Arabic, up to date and very well laid out. Any student, whatever his or her level, will find it sufficient if […]

Al-Qāmūs al-Muḥīṭ

al-qamus-al-muhitThe Arabic Dictionary Al-Qāmūs al-Muḥīṭ was compiled by Muḥammad b. Ya’qūb al-Fayrūzābādī (d. 817 AH).

Al-Fayrūzābādī relied primarily on Al-Muḥkam of Ibn Sīdah (d. 458 AH) and Al-Ubāb of Al-Ṣāghānī (d. 660 AH). He arranged his dictionary by order of the final letters in the roots, rather […]

Mukhtār al-Ṣiḥāḥ

mukhtar-al-sihahImām Muḥammad b. Abi Bakr al-Rāzī (d. 666 AH) compiled his Arabic dictionary Mukhtār al-Ṣiḥāḥ as an abridgement of Al-Ṣiḥāḥ by Al-Jawharī (d. 393 AH).

Al-Jawharī was one of the last of the classical lexicographers who spent time with Bedouin Arabs, checking the accuracy of what he […]

Al-Mu’jam al-Wasīṭ

al-mujam-al-wasitAl-Mu’jam al-Wasīṭ is an official Arabic dictionary of Arabic Language Academy (Majma’ al-Lughah al-‘Arabiyyah) in Egypt.

When the Academy was founded in Egypt in 1932, to revive and preserve classical Arabic, part of its mission statement was to produce the first Arabic dictionary which would employ the […]

Arabic-Arabic Dictionaries

Although it can be tempting to avoid using Arabic-Arabic dictionaries altogether, as there are so many Arabic-English dictionaries, many of them of very high quality, there are definite advantages to developing a habit of using them.

Most obviously, as you look up the new words you come across when reading […]

A. S. Tritton: Teach Yourself Arabic

teach_yourself_arabicThis Teach Yourself Arabic book was first published in 1943 by English Universities Press, and should not be confused with the modern Teach Yourself series.

As with Thatcher’s Arabic Grammar, this book was written for an audience better versed in English grammatical […]

W. Fischer: A Grammar of Classical Arabic

fischerFischer’s A Grammar of Classical Arabic is a reference work which may, in some respects, be considered a modernised Wright’s Grammar.

Fischer uses modern grammatical terminology, and the examples he uses are also more “practical” or day-to-day, as opposed to the emphasis […]

G. W. Thatcher: Arabic Grammar of the Written Language

G W Thatcher Arabic Grammar of the Written LanguageThatcher’s Arabic Grammar has largely been made redundant by the improvements and additions made to it by Haywood and Nahmad.

Thatcher may still be of some use to anyone who wants additional translation practice, particularly if you are keen […]

Wright’s Grammar

Wrights GrammarW. Wright’s A Grammar of the Arabic Language, commonly known simply as Wright’s Arabic Grammar or Wright’s Grammar, has been the most advanced reference work of Arabic grammar generally available in English since its publication in the mid 19th century.

This work gives English-speaking students of […]

Haywood and Nahmad: A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language

Haywood and Nahmad A New Arabic Grammar of the Written LanguageHaywood and Nahmad’s Arabic grammar textbook is an absolute must for anyone who accepts the proposition that the best way to learn or teach Arabic to an English-speaking student is through an Arabic textbook presented in […]

Arabic Textbooks

Most of the best-known Arabic Textbooks assume that you already know the Arabic script, or else they deal with the basics of the Arabic alphabet very briefly, before moving on to Arabic grammar. Therefore, if you are a complete beginner, we highly recommend that you go to the section Online […]

Ulama (Muslim Scholars)

Ḥabīb ‘Alī al-Jifrī

Ḥabīb ‘Alī is from the renowned ulama of Yemen, from the Ḥabā`ib family, which has produced great Muslim Scholars for centuries. The Durūs wa Khuṭab section of his website has hundreds of hours of Arabic audio lectures. His website can also be viewed in […]

Arabic Media

Arabic Media serves an important role in modern Arabic: it sets a common standard of educated or ‘correct’ Arabic across the Arab world. As such, it is important to be familiar and comfortable with it.

This can take some time, as Media Arabic, in common with the media of any language, […]

The Wonders of the Heart – Ihya Podcast 4

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The Wonders of the Heart – Ihya Podcast 3

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The Wonders of the Heart – Ihya Podcast 2

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The Wonders of the Heart – Ihya Podcast 1

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to arrive = wasala | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَصِلُ Verbal Noun وَصْل


فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَائِهِمْ فَلَا يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ And the share of their partners reacheth not God - Quran: 6:136

الصراع في سوريا وصل إلى طريق مسدود The conflict in Syria has reached a deadlock - BBC News, Arabic

Did you know...

وَصَلَ can also mean to join family ties or to connect.

problem = mushkilah | Word of the Day


Plural مَشَاكِل


بروكسل تناشد دول الاتحاد الأوروبي معالجة مشكلة التطرف Brussels calls on EU member states to address the problem of extremism – BBC News, Arabic

Did you know…

مُشْكِلَة is related to the word شَكْل a likeness, resemblance. It is from the 4th form […]

to become = saara | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَصِيْرُ
Verbal Noun صَيْرُورَة


أَلَا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الْأُمُورُ Behold (how) all affairs reach God! – Quran: 42:53

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: إِذَا صَارَ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَصَارَ أَهْلُ النَّارِ إِلَى النَّارِ أُتِيَ بِالْمَوْتِ […]

place = makaan | Word of the Day


Plural أَمْكِنَة


وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَرْيَمَ إِذِ انتَبَذَتْ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا مَكَانًا شَرْقِيًّا And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a place looking East – Quran: 19:16

بَدَأَ بِمُقَدَّمِ رَأْسِهِ, حَتَّى ذَهَبَ بِهِمَا إِلَى قَفَاهُ, ثُمَّ […]

to become = asbaha | Word of the Day



وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا And remember God’s favour unto you: How ye were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts so that ye became as brothers by His grace – Quran 3:103

وعن عبيد الله […]

since = mundhu | Word of the Day



عن عائشة، رضي الله عنها ، قالت‏:‏‏ ما شبع آل محمد، صلى الله عليه وسلم ، منذ قدم المدينة من طعام البر ثلاث ليال تباعاً حتى قبض‏ On the authority of Aishah, she said ‘Never did the family of Muhammad, God bless him and grant […]

child = tifl | Word of the Day


Plural أَطْفالٌ


نُقِرُّ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ مَا نَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ نُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلًا And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants – Quran: 22:5

عَنِ الْمُغِيرَةَ بْنَ شُعْبَةَ، قال […]

word = kalimah | Word of the Day


Plural كَلِمَاتٌ


إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him – Quran: 3:45

عن أبي هريرة، رضي الله عنه، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال‏:‏ ‏ […]

to begin – bada’a | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَبْدَأُ
Verbal Noun بَدْأً


فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ So he began with their baggage, before the baggage of his brother – Quran: 12:66

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، في صِفَةِ وُضُوءِ رَسُولِ اللهِ، بَدَأَ بِمُقَدَّمِ رَأْسِهِ، حَتَّى ذَهَبَ بِهِمَا إِلَى […]

face = wajh | Word of the Day


Plural وُجُوه


قَدْ نَرَىٰ تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ We have seen the turning of your face to heaven – Quran 2:144

عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنِ الضَّرْبِ فِي الْوَجْهِ وَعَنِ الْوَسْمِ فِي الْوَجْهِ On the authority of Jabir, that […]

role = dawr | Word of the Day


Plural أَدْوَار


كان عطاء يكره أن يقول : دور ، قل طواف Ataa’ used to dislike that (person say) “a round”, (rather he should) say “tawaf (a circuit)” – Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq

ما هو دور نساء الإخوان المسلمين بعد عزل مرسي What is the […]

situation = wad’ | Word of the Day


Plural أَوضَاع


الأمم المتحدة قلقة من وضع المحاصرين في سوريا United Nations concerned about the condition of the besieged in Syria – BBC News, Arabic

Did you know…

In Classical Arabic, وَضَعَ means to put, place, and so the verbal noun وَضْعٌ means placing, putting, […]

war = harb | Word of the Day


Plural حُرُوب


كُلّمَا أَوْقَدُوا نَارًا لّلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللّهُ Every time they kindle the fire of war, God doth extinguish it – Quran: 5:64

عن أبي سفيان بن حرب أن هرقل قال له : سألتك كيف كان قتالكم إياه ؟ ، فزعمت أن الحرب سجال […]

yes = iy | Word of the Day



وَيَسْتَنبِئُونَكَ أَحَقّ هُوَ قُلْ إِي وَرَبّي إِنّهُ لَحَقّ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ They seek to be informed by thee: “Is that true?” Say: “Aye! by my Lord! it is the very truth! and ye cannot frustrate it!” – Quran: 10:53

أرسل عمر إلى عائشة : […]

mum = umm | Word of the Day


Plural أُمَّهَات


وَإِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلْتَ لِلنّاسِ اتّخِذُونِي وَأُمّي إِلَٰهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ And behold! God will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, ‘Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of […]

Perfect and Imperfect Vowels – Language Learner Friday

There are six patterns of the simple Arabic verb – here’s how to avoid getting them mixed up!


Hello and welcome to another ‘Language Learner Friday. We are going to be looking at a mnemonic technique that I use to memorise the voweling in Arabic verbs. So, here we […]

The difference between AN and ANNA in Arabic – Language Learner Friday

There are two main words for that in Arabic: an and anna. So before you can make a sentence starting with I believe that, you need to know the difference between the two, and which one to use when.


Hello and welcome to another Language Learner Friday.  Today we are going […]

Learning Vocabulary: The Hard Way, or the Anki Way – Language Learner Friday

Organizing and regularly going over a large amount of vocabulary when learning a foreign language can be intensely time consuming, and intensely boring. Anki is a really neat program, that helps you spread out your learning, and focus on stuff that you keep getting wrong.

Hello […]

program = barnaamij | Word of the Day


Plural: بَرَامِج


برنامج التنصت “أحبط أكثر من 50 مخططا إرهابيا” Eavesdropping program “foiled more than 50 terrorist plots” – BBC News, Arabic

Did you know…

Just like the famous grammarian Sibawayhi called his seminal book on Arabic grammar simply الكِتَاب The Book, so one of the […]

rather = bal | Word of the Day



أُولَٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ These are as the cattle – nay, but they are worse – Quran 7:179

عن ابن عمر ، قال : قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لنا لما رجع من الأحزاب : ” لا يصلين أحد العصر إلا في […]

here = huna | Word of the Day



أَتُتْرَكُونَ فِي مَا هَاهُنَا آمِنِين Will you be left secure, in (the enjoyment of) all that ye have here? – Quran 26:146

عن أبي هريرة ، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ” هل ترون قبلتي ها هنا ، فوالله ما […]

month = shahr | Word of the Day


Plurals: أَشْهُرٌ ، شُهُور


شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لّلنّاسِ وَبَيّنَاتٍ مّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong) – Quran […]

state, condition = haal | Word of the Day


Plural: أَحْوَال


عن أبي هريرة ، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، قال : إذا عطس أحدكم فليقل الحمد لله على كل حال ، وليقل أخوه أو صاحبه يرحمك الله ، ويقول هو يهديكم الله ويصلح بالكم On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, that […]

proportion = nisbah | Word of the Day



وتسببت أعمال العنف في كراتشي في مقتل ألفي شخص خلال العام الماضي فقط، ويشكل هذا رقما قياسيا بالنسبة إلى السنوات العشرين الماضية. And violence in Karachi has resulted in the death of two thousand people last year alone, which is a record in comparison […]

to hear = sami’a | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَسْمَع
Verbal nouns سَمْع ، سَمَاع ، سَمَاعَة


قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا وَأُشْرِبُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْعِجْلَ بِكُفْرِهِم They said: “We hear, and we disobey;” And they had to drink into their hearts (of the taint) of the calf because of their Faithlessness – Quran 2:93

عن […]

in front of = amaama | Word of the Day


Associated verb: to be ahead, lead (s) أَمّ


بَلْ يُرِيدُ الْإِنسَانُ لِيَفْجُرَ أَمَامَه But man wishes to do wrong (even) in the time in front of him – Quran 75:5

عن سالم ، عن أبيه ، قال : رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأبا […]

sound = sawt | Word of the Day


Plural: أَصْوَات


يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتّبِعُونَ الدّاعِيَ لَا عِوَجَ لَهُ وَخَشَعَتِ الْأَصْوَاتُ لِلرّحْمنِ فَلَا تَسْمَعُ إِلا هَمْسًا On that day they follow the summoner who deceiveth not, and voices are hushed for the Beneficent, and thou hearest but a faint murmur – Quran, […]

project = mashru | Word of the Day


Plural: مَشَارِيْع


بي بي سي تتخلى عن مشروع رقمي كلفها 100 مليون جنيه استرليني The BBC abandons a digital project which cost it 100 million pounds sterling – BBC News, Arabic

Did you know…

The verb […]

hand = yad | Word of the Day


Plural: أَيْدٍ


بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلّ شَيْءٍ قَدِير In Thy hand is all good. Verily, over all things Thou hast power. – Quran, 3:26

عن ابن عباس قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : يد الله […]

good, nice, pleasant = tayyib | Word of the Day


Associated verb: to be good, pleasant, nice طَاب


يَا أَيّهَا النّاسُ كُلُوا مِمّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيّبًا O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth – Quran, 2:168

عن أبي هريرة ، قال : قال رسول […]

also = aydan | Word of the Day



قال أبو عبد الله : وبين النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أن فرض الوضوء مرة مرة ، وتوضأ أيضا مرتين وثلاثا ، ولم يزد على ثلاث Abu Abdullah said, “The Prophet, God bless him and grant him peace, made clear that […]

I offered Arabic Lessons to Prince Charles


Prince Charles

A few weeks ago, I came across a some news reports that Prince Charles was trying to learn Arabic. Always up for a challenge, I decided I’d offer my services to His Royal Highness. I got out my finest writing pad […]

city = madinah | Word of the Day


Plural مُدُن


عن بريدة قال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ستكون بعدي بعوث كثيرة ، فكونوا في بعث خراسان ، ثم انزلوا مدينة مرو ؛ فإنه بناها ذو القرنين ، ودعا لها بالبركة ، […]

good = khayr | Word of the Day


Associated verb: to be good خار


وَمَا تُقَدّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ الله And whatever good you send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with God – Quran, 2:110

عن عبد الله بن عمرو رضي الله عنهما […]

to find = wajada | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَجِد
Verbal noun وُجُود


وَمَا تُقَدّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ الله And whatever good you send forth for your souls before you, you shall find it with God – Quran, 2:110

عن أبي ذر الغفاري رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى […]

to mean = ‘anaa | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَعْنِي
Verbal noun عِنَايَة


قال ابن عباس ، حدثني أبو سفيان ، في حديث هرقل ، فقال : يأمرنا يعني النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” بالصلاة والصدق والعفاف ” Ibn Abbas said, Abu […]

to do, work, make = ‘amila | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَعْمَل
Verbal noun عَمَل


وَبَشّرِ الّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصّالِحَاتِ أَنّ لَهُمْ جَنّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow – Quran, 2:25

عن عائشة […]

around = hawla | Word of the Day


Associated noun: adjacent, lateral part (of s) حَوْلٌ


قَالَ لِمَنْ حَوْلَهُ أَلَا تَسْتَمِعُونَ (Pharaoh) said unto those around him: Hear ye not? – Quran, 26:25

عن أنس رضي الله عنه ، قال : جعل المهاجرون والأنصار يحفرون الخندق حول المدينة ، […]

special = khass | Word of the Day


Associated verb to single out خَصّ


باب قول الله تعالى : { وصل عليهم } ومن خص أخاه بالدعاء دون نفسه Chapter concerning God Most High’s saying “And pray for them”, and whoever singles out his brother in […]

as for = ammaa | Word of the Day



يَا صَاحِبَيِ السّجْنِ أَمّا أَحَدُكُمَا فَيَسْقِي رَبّهُ خَمْرًا وَأَمّا الآخَرُ فَيُصْلَبُ فَتَأْكُلُ الطّيْرُ مِن رّأْسِهِ قُضِيَ الأَمْرُ الّذِي فِيهِ تَسْتَفْتِيَان “O two companions of the prison! As for one of you, he (as a servant) will pour out wine […]

operation, procedure = ‘amaliyyah | Word of the Day


Associated verb to do عَمِل


كيري يعود الى الشرق الاوسط لبحث عملية السلام والملف السوري Kerry returns to the Middle East to discuss the peace process and the Syrian case – BBC News, Arabic

Did you know…

form, likeness = shakl | Word of the Day


Plural أَشْكال


وَآخَرُ مِن شَكْلِهِ أَزْوَاج And other torments of similar kind, all together! – Quran, 38:58

كان أبو الدرداء رضي الله عنه ، إذا حدث بحديث عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : هذا : أو نحوه ، […]

eye = ‘ayn | Word of the Day


Plurals أَعْيُن ، عُيُون


ثُمّ لَتَرَوُنّهَا عَيْنَ الْيَقِين And again, you shall see it with certainty of sight! – Quran, 102:7

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ ، قال : قال رَسُولُ الله صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ : قالَ الله أَعْدَدْتُ […]

verily, indeed = inna | Word of the Day



إِنّ الّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُون Verily, those who disbelieve, it is the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe – Quran, 2:6

عَنْ عائِشَةَ […]

to want = araada | Word of the Day


Verbal noun إرادة


إِنّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُون Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” and it is! – Quran, 36:82

عَنْ عائِشَةَ ، قَالَتْ : كانَ […]

now = al-aana | Word of the Day


Associated noun a time, season آنٌ
Associated verb to be time (for) آن (يئِيْن) – أينا


وَأَنّا كُنّا نَقْعُدُ مِنْهَا مَقَاعِدَ لِلسّمْعِ فَمَن يَسْتَمِعِ الآنَ يَجِدْ لَهُ شِهَابًا رّصَدًا ‘And verily, we used to sit there in stations, to (steal) a hearing, but any who listens […]

to will = shaa’a | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَشَاء
Verbal noun مَشِيْئَة


قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبّكَ يُبَيّن لّنَا مَا هِيَ إِنّ الْبَقَرَ تَشَابَهَ عَلَيْنَا وَإِنّا إِن شَاءَ اللهُ لَمُهْتَدُون They said, “Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us what it is. Verily to us all cows […]

to return = ‘aada | Word of the Day


Imperfect يَعُود
Verbal noun عَودَة


وَالْقَمَرَ قَدّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتّى عَادَ كَالْعُرْجُونِ الْقَدِيم And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf. – Quran, 36:39

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مالِكٍ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ ، عَنِ النّبِيّ صَلّى الله […]

people = sha’b | Word of the Day


Associated verb to collect, unite s. شَعَبَ (يَشْعَبُ) ه – شَعْبًا
Plural شُعُوب


يَا أَيّهَا النّاسُ إِنّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ الله أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنّ الله عَلِيمٌ خَبِير O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and […]

Arabic non-rational plurals are treated as feminine singular


Arabic Verb is always singular before its subject



Word of the Day, Issue #075 – “international = duwali”

international = (duwali) دُوَلِيّ

Associated noun: دَولة


قَالَ مُنَظّمُو مُؤْتَمَرٍ دُوَلِيّ يُرَوّجُ لِلنّشَاطِ فِي مَرْحَلَةِ الشّيْخُوخَةِ إِنّ الْمُسِنّيْنَ فِي السّبْعِينِيّاتِ مِنَ الْعُمَرِ يَجِبُ أَنْ يَتَشَجّعُوا على مُمارَسَةِ الرّيَاضَة Organizers of an international conference promoting activity in the aging say that older people in the seventies should be encouraged to exercise – BBC News, Arabic

Did you […]

Word of the Day, Issue #074 – “picture = surah”

picture = (surah) صُورَة

Associated verb: صَوّرَ ه to form, paint, picture s.
Plural: صُوَر


فِي أَيّ صُورَةٍ مّا شَاءَ رَكّبَك In whatever form He wills, does He put you together – Quran, 82:8

عَنْ جَابِرٍ قَال : نَهَى رَسُولُ الله صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ عَنِ الصّورَةِ فِي الْبَيْتِ ، وَنَهَى عَنْ أَنْ يُصْنَعَ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #073 – “number = ‘adad”

number = (‘adad) عَدَد

Associated verb: عَدّ (يَعُدّ) ه – عَدّا to count s.
Plural: أَعْدَاد


فَضَرَبْنَا عَلَى آذَانِهِمْ فِي الْكَهْفِ سِنِينَ عَدَدًا Then We sealed up their hearing in the Cave for a number of years – Quran, 18:11

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ ، أَنّ النّبِيّ صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ ، […]

Word Order in Arabic



Word of the Day, Issue #072 – “company, corporation = sharikah”

company, corporation = (sharikah) شَرِكَة

Associated verb: شَرِكَ (يَشْرَكُ) ه في – شِرْكَة to share with s. in s.
Plural: شَرِكَات


عَن مُحَمّد بْنِ سِيْرِين : أَنّ بِلالا أَخَذَهُ أَهْلُهُ فَمَطّوهُ وأَلْقَوا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْبَطْحاءِ وَجِلْدِ بَقَرَةٍ ، فَجَعَلُوا يَقُولُونَ : رَبّكَ اللاّتُ وَالْعُزّى ، وَيَقُولُ : أَحَدٌ أَحَدٌ ، قَالَ : فَأَتَى عَلَيْهِ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #071 – “cause, reason = sabab”

cause, reason = (sabab) سَبَبٌ

Associated verb: سَبّب ه to cause s
Plural: أَسْبَاب


أَمْ لَهُم مُلْكُ السّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَلْيَرْتَقُوا فِي الأَسْبَاب Or is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them theirs? Then let them ascend by ropes! – Quran, 38:10

عَنْ حَبِيبِ بْنِ حِمَازٍ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #070 – “ground, floor, the Earth = al-ard”

ground, floor, the Earth = (ard) الأَرْض

Associated verb: أَرُضَ (يَأْرُضُ) – أَرَاضَة to be thriving (said of land); to be humble, of a good disposition (said of a person)
Plurals: أَرَاضٍ ، أَرْضُوْنَ


الله الّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَمِنَ الْأَرْضِ مِثْلَهُنّ يَتَنَزّلُ الْأَمْرُ بَيْنَهُنّ لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنّ الله عَلَى كُلّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ وَأَنّ الله […]

Word of the Day, Issue #069 – “road, way = tareeq”

road, way = (tareeq) طَرِيْق

Associated verb: طَرَقَ (يَطْرُقُ) ه – طَرْقًا
Plural: طُرُق


قَالُوا يَا قَوْمَنَا إِنّا سَمِعْنَا كِتَابًا أُنزِلَ مِن بَعْدِ مُوسَى مُصَدّقًا لّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقّ وَإِلَى طَرِيقٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ They said: O our people! Lo! we have heard a scripture which hath been revealed after Moses, confirming that which […]

Word of the Day, Issue #068 – “people = naas”

people = (naas) نَاس

Singulars: إِنْسٌ ، إِنْسَانٌ


قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبّ النّاسِ. مَلِكِ النّاسِ. إِلَٰهِ النّاس Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind, The King of mankind, The god of mankind. – Quran, 114:1-3

عَنْ أُمّ سَلَمَةَ صَلّى النّبِيّ صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ رَكْعَتَيْنِ وَقَالَ : شَغَلَنِي نَاسٌ مِنْ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #067 – “to journey = raaha”

to journey = (raaha) رَاح (يَرُوح) – رَوَاحًا

Associated adjective: رَائِح


وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرّيحَ غُدُوّهَا شَهْرٌ وَرَوَاحُهَا شَهْر And unto Solomon (We gave) the wind, whereof the morning course was a month’s journey and the evening course a month’s journey; – Quran, 34:12

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ : أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلّى […]

Harry Potter in Arabic

Practice your spoken Arabic with Harry Potter : )

Word of the Day, Issue #066 – “heart = qalb”

heart = (qalb) قَلْب

Plural: قُلُوب
Associated verb: to invert, turn s. upside-down قَلَب (يَقْلِب) ه – قَلْبًا


مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُصِيبَةٍ إلا بِإِذْنِ الله وَمَن يُؤْمِن بالله يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ وَاللهُ بِكُلّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ No kind of calamity can occur, except by the leave of God: and if any one believes in […]

Word of the Day, Issue #065 – “politician = siyaasi”

politician = (siyaasi) سِيَاسِيّ

Plural: سَاسَة
Associated verb: to rule (a people), to manage (an affair) سَاسَ (يَسُوسُ) ه – سِيَاسَةً


عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطّابِ قَالَ : قَدْ عَلِمْتَ وَرَبّ الْكَعْبَةِ مَتَى تُهْلَكُ الْعَرَبُ إِذا سَاسَ أَمْرَهُمْ مَنْ لَمْ يَصْحَبِ الرّسُولَ وَلَمْ يُعَالِجْ أَمْرَ الْجَاهِلِيّة On the authority of Umar b. Khattab, […]

Word of the Day, Issue #064 – “without = duna”

without = (duna) دُون

Associated verb: to be low, vile دَانَ (يَدُونُ) – دَوْنًا


أَئِفْكًا آلِهَةً دُونَ الله تُرِيدُونَ Is it a falsehood – gods beside God – that ye desire? – Quran, 37:86

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيّ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ الله صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ : بَيْنَا أَنَا نَائِمٌ ، رَأَيْتُ النّاسَ […]

Tip for Arabic Vocab Memorisation

Watch the video below for a really useful Arabic vocabulary memorisation tip!

1 – Download the Studydroid app here.
2 – Download the Sketch n Draw app here.
3 – Create a vocab pack in Studydroid for the book you’re reading (you […]

Word of the Day, Issue #063 – “house = bayt”

house = (bayt) بَيْت

Plurals: بُيُوْت
Associated verb: to spend the night in the company of بَاتَ (يَبِيْتُ) بِ – بَيْتُوْتَة


إِنَّ أَوّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنّاسِ لَلّذِي بِبَكّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: […]

Word of the Day, Issue #062 – “government, rule = hukumah”

government, rule = (hukumah) حُكُوْمَة

Plural: حُكُوْمَات
Associated verb: to rule over s. (e.g. a country) حَكَمَ (يَحْكُمُ) ه – حُكْمًا


عَنِ الْقاسِمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرّحْمنِ ، عَنْ أَبِيْهِ ، أَنّ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ قَالَ : لا تَأْخُذْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ مِنْ حُكُومَةِ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ أَجْرًا On the authority of Qasim b. Abd al-Rahman, […]

Word of the Day, Issue #061 – “to stand, rise = qaama”

to stand, rise = (qaama) قَامَ (يَقُوْمُ) – قِيَامًا

Associated adjective: standing قَائِم


إِنّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يُخَادِعُونَ الله وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ وَإِذَا قَامُوا إِلَى الصّلاةِ قَامُوا كُسَالَى يُرَاءُونَ النّاسَ وَلَا يَذْكُرُونَ الله إلا قَلِيلًا Lo! the hypocrites seek to beguile God, but it is He Who beguileth them. When they stand up to worship they perform […]

Word of the Day, Issue #060 – “council, an assembly = majlis”

council, an assembly = (majlis) مَجْلِس

Plural: مَجَالِس
Associated verb: to sit جَلَسَ (يَجْلِسُ) – جُلُوْسًا


يَا أَيّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسّحُوا فِي الْمَجَالِسِ فَافْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ O ye who believe! When ye are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room: (ample) room will God […]

Word of the Day, Issue #059 – “city, country = balad”

city, country = (balad) بَلَد

Plural: بُلْدَان
Associated verb: to remain, stay in (a town, country) بَلَد (يَبْلِد) ب – بُلُوْدًا


لا أُقْسِمُ بِهذَا الْبَلَدِ I swear by this city – Quran, 90:1

عَنِ أَنَسِ بْنِ مالِكٍ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ ، عَنِ النّبِيّ صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ ، قال : لَيْسَ مِنْ بَلَدٍ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #058 – “time = waqt”

time = (waqt) وَقْت

Plural: أَوْقَات
Associated verb: to set, determine a time for s. وَقَت (يَقِتُ) ه – وقْتًا


إِلَى يَوْمِ الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ Till the Day of the Time appointed – Quran, 15:38

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مالِكٍ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ ، قال : كانَ النّبِيّ صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ إِذا ارْتَحَلَ قَبْلَ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #057 – “minister = wazeer”

minister, vizier = (wazeer) وَزِيْر

Plural: وُزَرَاء
Associated verb: to to become the minister for وَزَرَ (يزِرُ) لِ – وَزَارَة


وَاجْعَل لِي وَزِيرًا مِنْ أَهْلِي And appoint for me a minister from my family – Quran, 20:29

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ : قَالَ رَسُولُ الله صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ : إِذَا أَرادَ الله بِالأَمِيْرِ خَيْرًا […]

Word of the Day, Issue #056 – “subject = mawdu'”

subject = (mawdu’) مَوْضُوْع

Plural: مَوَاضِيْع
Associated verb: to put, place s. وَضَعَ (يَضَعُ) ه – وَضْعًا


فِيفَا يَبْحَثُ قَرِيْبًا مَوْضُوعَ السّمَاحِ بِإِجْرَاءِ الْمُبارَياتِ الدّوْلِيّةِ فِي الْعِرَاقFIFA will soon look into the subject of allowing international matches in Iraq – BBC Sport, Arabic

Did you know…

مَوضُوْع is the passive participle from the verb وَضَع to […]

Word of the Day, Issue #055 – “life = hayah”

life = (hayah) حَيَاة

Associated verb: to be alive حَيّ (يَحْيَا) – حَيَاة
Associated adjective: alive | PL حَيّ | أَحْيَاء


وَلَتَجِدَنّهُمْ أَحْرَصَ النّاسِ عَلَى حَيَاةٍ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا And thou wilt find them greediest of mankind for life and (greedier) than the idolaters. – Quran, 2:96

عَنْ أَبِي بُرْدَةَ بْنِ […]

How to Study Arabic Grammar – Part 1: Syntax (Nahw)

I’ve discussed how and when an Arabic student should formally begin to study Classical Arabic Syntax, as developed and codified by the medieval Arabic grammarians, (known as Nahw), in the article How to Learn Arabic.  Below is an annotated translation from Shawkani’s Adab al-Talab, in which he discusses how to go about studying the various […]

Word of the Day, Issue #054 – “world = ‘aalam”

world = (‘aalam) عَالَم

Plurals: عَالَمُوْنَ ، عَوَالِم
Associated verb: to know s. عَلِمَ (يَعْلَمُ) ه -عِلْمًا


الْحَمْدُ لله رَبّ الْعَالَمِين Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds,. – Quran, 1:2

عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللهِ بْنِ أَبِيْ جَعْفَرَ قَالَ : قِيْلَ لِعِيْسى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ صَلَوَاتُ الله عَلَيْهِ : يا رُوحَ اللهِ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #053 – “to be possible = amkana”

to be possible = (amkana) أَمْكَنَ

Active participle: possible مُمْكِنٌ


وَإِن يُرِيدُوا خِيَانَتَكَ فَقَدْ خَانُوا الله مِن قَبْلُ فَأَمْكَنَ مِنْهُمْ وَالله عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ And if they would betray thee, they betrayed God before, and He gave (thee) power over them. God is Knower, Wise. – Quran, 8:71

وَأَمَّا مَالِكٌ : …فَكَانَ يُقَامُ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #052 – “general, common, public = ‘aamm”

general, common, public = (‘aamm) عَامّ

Associated verbs: to be universal, general عَمّ (يَعُمّ) – عُمُوْمًا , to include, encompass s. عَمّ (يَعُمّ) – عَمّا


عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الله ، أَنّ النّبِيّ صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ قَالَ : أَمْسِكُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيْكُمْ فِي الْبُيُوتِ عِنْدَ فَوْرَةِ الْعِشَاءِ الأُولَى ، فَإِنّ فِيْها […]

Why study modern Arabic if you’re interested only in Classical Arabic?

I got very nice email from a sister who requested that, if possible, the Word of the Day emails be focused more or less solely on Classical Arabic, as that was what she was primarily interested in. I’m sharing the answer I gave her below (a little edited) for others who have similar queries:

Thank […]

Word of the Day, Issue #051 – “like, similar (to) = mithl”

like, similar (to) = (mithl) مِثْل

Plural أَمْثَالٌ
Associated verb: to resemble, imitate s. مَثَلَ (يَمْثُلُ) ه – مُثُوْلا


وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا قَالُوا قَدْ سَمِعْنَا لَوْ نَشَاءُ لَقُلْنَا مِثْلَ هَٰذَا إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوّلِينَ And when Our revelations are recited unto them they say: We have heard. If we wish we can […]

Word of the Day, Issue #050 – “truth = haqq”

truth, reality; right = (haqq) حَقّ

Plurals حُقُوْقٌ ، حِقَاقٌ
Associated verb: to be true, established, necessary حَقّ (يَحُقّ ، يَحِقّ) – حَقّة ، حَقّا ، حُقُوْقًا


إِنّ ذلِكَ لَحَقّ تَخَاصُمُ أَهْلِ النّارِ Indeed, that is truth – the quarrelling of the people of the Fire. – Quran, 38:64

عَنْ أَبِيْ هُرَيْرَةَ ، […]

Word of the Day, Issue #049 – “region, zone = mintaqah”

region, territory, zone = (mintaqah) مِنْطَقَةٌ

Plural مَنَاطِقُ
Associated verb: to gird o.s., put on a belt تَنَطّقَ


السُّودانُ يَقْبَلُ إِقامَةَ مِنْطَقَةٍ مَنْزُوْعَةِ السّلاحِ Sudan accepts the establishment of a demilitarized zone – Al-Jazeera

أَزْمَةُ الدّيُونِ فِي مِنْطَقَةِ الْيُورُو تَتَصَدّرُ أَوْلَوِيّاتِ قِمَةِ مَجْمُوعَةِ الثّمَانِيْ The debt crisis in the Euro zone tops […]

Word of the Day, Issue #048 – “all = jamee'”

all = (jamee’) جَمِيعٌ

Associated verb: to gather s. جَمَعَ (يَجْمَعُ) ه – جَمْعًا


إِنْ كَانَتْ إِلاّ صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ جَمِيعٌ لَدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ
It is but one Shout, and behold all of them are brought together before Us! – Quran, 36:53

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ، عَنِ النّبِيّ صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ ، قالَ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #047 – “father = ab”

father = (ab) أَب

Plural آبَاءٌ
Associated verb: to become a father to s., bring up s. أَبَا (يَأْبُوْ) ه – أُبُوّةً


قَالُوا يَا أَيّهَا الْعَزِيزُ إِنّ لَهُ أَبًا شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا فَخُذْ أَحَدَنَا مَكَانَهُ إِنَا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ They said: O ruler of the land! Lo! he hath a very aged father, […]

The 11 Stages of Love in Arabic

1 – الْهَوَى (hawa) = Attraction
This is the beginning of love. The root verb هَوَى is used to describe wind, meaning to blow, suggesting that this love can arise suddenly, but is transient, not yet firm in the heart. The verb also means both to rise and to fall, indicating the unstable nature […]

Word of the Day, Issue #046 – “to see = ra’aa”

to see = (ra’aa) رَأَى

Imperfect يَرَى
Verbal nouns رُؤْيَةً ، رِيّةً ، رَآءَةً ، رَايَةً ، رِئْيَانًا


فَلَمّا جَنّ عَلَيْهِ اللّيْلُ رَأَىٰ كَوْكَبًا قَالَ هذَا رَبّي فَلَمّا أَفَلَ قَالَ لا أُحِبّ الآفِلِينَ When the night grew dark upon him he saw a star. He said: This is my Lord. But […]

Word of the Day, Issue #045 – “moment, occasion = marrah”

moment, occasion = (marrah) مَرّة

Plurals مَرّاتٌ ، مِرَارٌ ، مِرَرٌ ، مَرّ
Associated adverb: once مَرّةً
Associated verb: to pass [time, an affair, a person] مَرّ (يَمُرّ) – مُرُوْرًا ، مَمَرّا


أَوَلا يَرَوْنَ أَنّهُمْ يُفْتَنُونَ فِي كُلّ عَامٍ مَرّةً أَوْ مَرّتَيْنِ ثُمّ لا يَتُوبُونَ وَلَا هُمْ يَذّكّرُونَ See they not […]

Word of the Day, Issue #044 – “power, strength, force = quwwah”

power, strength, force = (quwwah) قُوّة

Plural قُوًى
Associated verb: to be strong قَوِيَ (يَقْوَى) – قُوّةً


قَالَ لَوْ أَنّ لِي بِكُمْ قُوّةً أَوْ آوِي إِلَىٰ رُكْنٍ شَدِيدٍ He said: Would that I had strength to resist you or had some strong support (among you)! – Quran, 11:80

عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ ، […]

Word of the Day, Issue #043 – “matter, affair, issue = amr”

matter, issue, affair = (amr) أَمْر

Plural أُمُوْر


وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِنَ الأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ – الآية And if any matter concerning safety or fear come unto them, they noise it abroad – Quran, 4:83

عَن حُمَيْدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرّحْمنِ قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ مُعاوِيَةَ خَطِيْبًا يَقُولُ : سَمِعْتُ النّبِيّ صَلّى […]

Word of the Day, Issue #042 – “brother = akh”

brother = (akh) أَخ

Plurals إِخْوَةٌ ، إِخْوَانٌ
Associated verb: to be a brother, companion to s. أَخَا (يَأْخُو) ه – أُخُوّة


قَالُوا إِن يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَهُ مِن قَبْلُThey said, “If he steals – a brother of his has stolen before.” – Quran, 12:77

عَنْ أَنَسٍ قال : كانَ النّبِيّ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #041 – “man = rajul”

man = (rajul) رَجُلٌ

Plural رِجَالٌ


وَجَاءَ مِنْ أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَسْعَىٰ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اتّبِعُوا الْمُرْسَلِينَ And there came from the uttermost part of the city a man running. He cried: O my people! Follow those who have been sent! – Quran, 36:20

عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الله قَالَ : مَرّ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #040 – “year = ‘aam”

year = (‘aam) عَام

Plural أَعْوَام
Associated verb: to swim; to course along (stars, a ship, a caravan) عَامَ (يَعُوْمُ) – عَوْمًا


ثُمّ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ عَامٌ فِيهِ يُغَاثُ النّاسُ وَفِيهِ يَعْصِرُونَ Then, after that, will come a year when the people will have plenteous crops and when they will press […]

Word of the Day, Issue #039 – “new = jadeed”

new = (jadeed) جَدِيْد

Plurals أَجِدّة ، جُدَدٌ ، جُدُدٌ
Associated verb: to be new جَدّ (يَجِدّ) – جِدّةً


إِنْ يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ وَيَأْتِ بِخَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ If He will, He can be rid of you and bring (instead of you) some new creation – Quran, 35:16

عَنْ يَزِيْدِ بِنْ ثابِتٍ : خَرَجْنا مَعَ النّبِيّ صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ ، […]

Word of the Day, Issue #038 – “to gulp”

to gulp = جَرِضَ

جَرِضَ (jarida) (imperfect يَجْرَضُ , verbal noun جَرَضٌ ) means to gulp, when occasioned by a state of anxiety or grief. It is usually followed up immediately by بِرِيْقِهِ with his spittle. Someone who does this is referred to as جَرِيْض (jareed). Like many verbs of the form فَعِلَ , […]

Word of the Day, Issue #037 – “to follow”

to follow = تَبِعَ

There are a number of derived verbs from the roots letters ت ب ع , which all roughly mean to follow, but each with its own nuance. So تَبِعَ (tabi’a) (imperfect: يَتْبَعُ , verbal noun تَبَعًا ) means to follow, in the sense of walking with someone or behind someone, […]

Word of the Day, Issue #036 – “at all”

at all = اَلْبَتّةَ

The verb بَتَّ (batta) means to cut off, sever something. The verbal noun from this is بَتٌّ . In negative sentences, this verbal noun is used with an الْ attached to it, and also a ة (which is being used here, as in many other Arabic words, for emphasis, e.g. […]

Word of the Day, Issue #035 – “mirage”

mirage = سَرَابٌ

سَرَابٌ (saraab) is a mirage. It’s from the verb سَرِبَ (imperfect: يَسْرَبُ , verbal noun: سَرَبٌ ) to flow on the surface of the ground (said of water). The Arabs have a saying: أَخْدَعُ مِنَ السَّرَابِ more deceitful than a mirage. This is often contrasted with the word آلٌ (aal); although […]

Word of the Day, Issue #034 – “high”

high = عَالٍ

عَالٍ is the active participle of the verb عَلا (imperfect: يَعْلُو , verbal noun: عُلُوٌّ ), meaning to be high, lofty; as it is from a defective verb, the active participle عَالٍ is a defective noun (i.e. اِسْمٌ مَنْقُوصٌ ), meaning high, lofty. It has the same meaning as عَلِيٌّ , […]

Word of the Day, Issue #033 – “sheep”

sheep = غَنَم

غَنَم (plural أَغْنَام ) is a collective noun meaning sheep and goats. It is an اِسمُ جَمْع , which means that it is the type of collective for which there is no singular from the same root (like إِبِل camels). So we cannot add a ة and form غَنَمَة to mean […]

Word of the Day, Issue #032 – “to send”

to send = بَعَث

بَعَث is to send. When the object is a person, the verb is transitive, so we would say بَعَثَ الْمَلِكُ رَسُولاً إِلَيْهِم the king sent a messenger to them. However, where the object is inanimate, the verb is used intransitively, with the prepositional complement ب , e.g. بَعَثَ الْمَلِكُ بِرِسالَةٍ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #031 – “Arabs”

Arabs = اَلْعَرَبُ

There are two categories of Arabs: اَلْعَرَبُ الْعَارِبَةُ (al-‘arab al-‘aribah), (literally the Arabic Arabs), which refers to the ancient “genuine” Arabs, which consisted primarily of a number of tribes extinct by the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sws), such as ‘Aad and Thamud; it can also be used to refer to […]

Word of the Day, Issue #030 – “attribute”

attribute = نَعْت

نَعْت (plural نُعُوت ) and وَصْف (plural: أَوْصَاف ) both mean quality, attribute. The difference between them is that the former is only used in reference to good qualities or attributes, whereas the latter is used for both good and bad. As such, لَهُ نُعُوْتٌ كَثِيْرَة would mean he has many […]

Word of the Day, Issue #029 – “to die”

to die = مَات

The verb to die in Arabic is مَات . The imperfect can be يَمُوت or يَمات . Hollow verbs which retain an ا in their imperfect, such as خَاف (imperfect: يَخَاف ) to fear, take a kasrah on their first radical in those perfect verb conjugates for which the third […]

Word of the Day, Issue #028 – “especially”

especially = لا سِيَّمَا

لا سِيَّمَا (laa siyyamaa) means especially, and is comprised of three elements: (i) the لا which denies the whole genus, or the لا that denies absolutely, which is followed by an indefinite accusative but without the tanween, such as in لا إلهَ إِلاّ الله there is no god but God, […]

Word of the Day, Issue #027 – “to speak”

to speak = كَلَّم

كَلَّم (kallama) is to speak. It is transitive, so we would say, for example, كَلَّمْتُه I spoke to him, and we wouldn’t use a preposition like إِلَى to ل to translate to, but instead have a direct object. The classical Arabic equivalent of the phrase I spoke to him face […]

Word of the Day, Issue #026 – “beautiful”

beautiful = جَمِيْل

جَمِيْل (jameel) means beautiful, when referring to someone’s physical appearance or their character. It can also mean melted fat, as the root verb from which it is derived is جَمَل (jamala) (imperfect: يَجْمُل , verbal noun: جَمْل ), meaning to melt fat. It has been suggested that the two words are from […]

Word of the Day, Issue #025 – “clouds”

clouds = سَحَاب

سَحَاب (sahab) is a singularisable collective noun (i.e. what is known in Arabic grammar as an اِسْمُ جِنْسٍ جَمْعِيّ , literally a collective generic noun), meaning clouds. Because it is singularisable, we can add a ة to the end of it, and we thus form the singular سَحَابَة cloud. If we […]

Word of the Day, Issue #024 – “big”

big = كَبِيْر

كَبِيْر (kabir) can mean old or great or big. The associated verbs with these meanings are كَبِرَ (kabira) (imperfect: يَكْبَر , verbal noun كِبَرًا ) to become older, and كَبُرَ (kabura) (imperfect: يَكْبُر , verbal nouns كِبَرًا and كُبْرًا ) to be great or to be big. The latter verb can […]

Word of the Day, Issue #023 – “so and so”

so and so = فُلان

فُلان (fulan) without an ال attached to it means so-and-so, or such a person, i.e. as a substitute for an unnamed and unspecified person. It is a triptote noun, but its feminine فُلانَة (fulanah) is a diptote; e.g. قَالَ إِنَّهُ رَأَى فُلانًا وفُلانَة he said he saw such-and-such a […]

Word of the Day, Issue #022 – “to plant”

to plant = زَرَعَ

زَرَعَ (zara’a) (imperfect يَزْرَع , verbal noun زِرَاعَة ) means to plant, sow. Its object can be either what was sown or where it was sown, and it is usually used with reference seeds (rather than trees), e.g. زَرَعَ الْحَبَّ he sowed the seeds, and زَرَعَ أَرْضَهُ he planted (seeds […]

Word of the Day, Issue #021 – “a period of time”

a period of time = بُرْهَةٌ

بُرْهَةٌ or بَرْهَةٌ (burhah/barhah) is similar in meaning to مُدَّةٌ (muddah), i.e. a period of time, and many considered the two identical in meaning. The former however is usually used to indicate a relatively long period of time, and is often followed by the phrase مِنَ الدَّهْرِ of […]

Word of the Day, Issue #020 – “shade”

shade = ظِلّ

ظِلّ (zill) is shade. The other well known word for shade in Arabic is فَيْء (fay’). There are a number of opinions regarding the relationship between these two words: (i) they are synonymous; (ii) shade from the morning to midday (when the sun begins to decline) is called ظِلّ , and […]

Word of the Day, Issue #019 – “outstanding”

outstanding = بَارِع

بَرُع (baru’a) (imperfect يَبْرُع , verbal noun بَرَاعَة ) means to excel in some quality (e.g. in knowledge or bravery). The active participle بَارِع (baari’)therefore means excelling, outstanding etc., e.g. هُوَ بَارِعٌ فِي عِلْمِ النَّحْو he is outstanding in the science of grammar. The related verb بَرَع (bara’a), which has a […]

Word of the Day, Issue #018 – “to teach and to inform”

to teach = عَلَّم

Forms 2 and 4 are both causative in Arabic. So whereas the root verb عَلِم (‘alima) means to know, the Form 2 verb عَلَّم (‘allama) and the Form 4 verb أَعْلَم (‘a’lama) both mean to cause someone to know. However, Form 2 is used for actions which are done repeatedly, […]

Word of the Day, Issue #017 – “to repel and to expel”

to repel = طَرَد

طَرَد (tarada) means to repel, drive away, e.g. طَرَدَ الذّبَابَ عَنِ الشَّرَاب he repelled the flies from the drink. It is used when the repelling is being done physically, such as with the hand or with some instrument. The fourth form of this verb is أَطْرَد (atrada), which means to […]

Word of the Day, Issue #016 – “to be expert”

to be expert = مَهَرَ

مَهَرَ (imperfect يَمْهُرُ , verbal noun مَهَارَةً ) means to be expert, or skilled in something. It can be used transitively (so would resemble the English verb to master something), or can be followed by فِيْ or بِ , e.g. مَهَرَ النَّحْوَ / فِي النَّحْوِ / بِالنَّحْوِ he mastered, […]

Word of the Day, Issue #015 – “a people”

a people = شَعْبٌ

The word for a people in Arabic is شَعْبٌ (plural شُعُوْبٌ). This was considered the highest of a six-tiered genealogical hierarchy; the شَعْبٌ is a collection of قَبَائِلُ (singular: قَبِيْلَةٌ tribe), which in turn is a collection of عَمَائِرُ (singular عِمَارَةٌ) , which is a collection of بُطٌوْنٌ (singular بَطْنٌ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #014 – “to produce a result”

to produce a result = أَنْتَجَ

In Classical Arabic, the primary meaning of نَتَجَ (imperfect: يَنْتُجُ ) was as in the phrase, نَتَخَ النَّاقَةَ وَلدًا he assisted the she-camel in giving birth. Note that the subject here is the person doing the assisting. Hence, it was used by Ibn Muqaffa’ in Kalīlah wa Dimnah […]

Word of the Day, Issue #013 – “Harm”

Harm = ضُرٌّ

ضُرٌّ in Arabic means harm. As a substantive noun, it is synonymous with ضَرٌّ and ضَرَرٌ , though some claimed that ضُرٌّ is properly only used for harm which afflicts the body. However, when it is contrasted with its opposite نَفْعٌ benefit, we would have to use ضَرٌّ , e.g. الضَّرُّ […]

Word of the Day, Issue #012 – “Early Forenoon”

Early Forenoon = ضُحًى

ضُحًى  is the early forenoon. It may be masculine or feminine. It is often compared to ضَحْوَةٌ , which most lexicographers said was a synonym, but some say that ضُحًى is after the ضَحْوَةٌ time, the latter beginning when the sun has risen, and the former when it begins to […]

Word of the Week, Issue #011 – “Pregnant”

Pregnant = حَامِلٌ

The word for “pregnant” in Arabic is حَامِلٌ (haamil). It is the active participle from the verb حَمَلَ , which means to carry. Although this is the masculine form, we can use it as an adjective for a female, so we can say both  

Word of the Week, Issue #010 – “Immigrant”

Immigrant = طَارِئٌ

The word for “immigrant” in Arabic is طَارِئٌ (taari’). It comes from the root verb طَرَأَ عَلَى , which means to come to someone (from some distant place). Note that its prepositional phrase complement, which we translate using

Word of the Week, Issue #009 – “Revolution”

Revolution = ثَوْرَةٌ

The word for “revolution” in Arabic is ثَوْرَةٌ (thawrah). It comes from the root verb ثَارَ , which has the meanings to become roused, provoked; to be stirred up, spread (dust); to flow, gush forth (water). As such, the […]

Ayyuha al-Walad 1

The first in (insha’Allah!) a series of podcasts covering the text of Imam Ghazali’s Ayyuha al-Walad (O Youth!), which he wrote as advice to a young student of his.

Word of the Week, Issue #007 – “Bride”

Bride = عَرُوْسٌ

The word for “bride” in Arabic is عَرُوْسٌ (‘aroos). However, it can also mean bridegroom. In modern Arabic the word for bride is عَرُوْسَةٌ , and so is made distinct from bridegroom by the addition of the

Word of the Week, Issue #006 – “Beauty”

Beauty = جَمَالٌ

The word for “beauty” in Arabic is جَمَالٌ (jamaal). It indicates both physical beauty and beauty in character. The difference between this and حُسْنٌ is that the latter, when it is used for physical beauty, refers to the beauty of the […]

Word of the Week, Issue #005 – “To See”

To See = رَأَى

The word for “to see” in Arabic is رَأَى (ra’aa). It can also be used to mean “to consider“. In the former case, where it is used to mean “to see”, it is singly transitive (for example
رَأَيْتُ الْقَمَرَ […]

Arabic Intensive, Bury, UK

This is the last week to register for the double-weekend Arabic intensive in Bury, UK!

Arabic Intensive

Word of the Week, Issue #004 – “Repentance”

Repentance = التَوْبَةُ

There are a number of words in Arabic for “repentance“, the best known being التَوْبَةُ (al-tawbah). In […]

Word of the Week, Issue #003 – “Last Night”

Last Night = اَلْبَارِحَةَ and اَللَيْلَةَ

The word for “last night” in Arabic is اَلْبَارِحَةَ (al-baarihah). Before

Word of the Week, Issue #002 – “Family”

Family = أَهْلٌ and آلٌ

There are two commonly used words in classical Arabic for “family“, namely أَهْلٌ (ahl), and […]

Word of the Week, Issue #001 – “Name”

Name = اِسْمٌ

The word for “name in Arabic is اِسْمٌ (ism), plural أَسْمَاءٌ . You […]

Hello world!

bi ismi ‘llahi al-rahman al-rahim.

Welcome to the blog! You should find here the Word of the Week archive, and random musings on Arabic literature and language. I hope you enjoy reading it!