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Ṣila

(1,831 words)

Author(s): Zeinab Ahmed Taha
Derivatives of the root w-ṣ-l are used in Arabic grammatical theory to express the general idea of ‘connecting’ two linguistic units. Two terms derived from this root, waṣl and ṣila, are used as technical terms, along with mawṣūl as the correlate of ṣila, and the verbs waṣala, ʾawṣala, and ittaṣala. The use of ṣila as a technical term goes back to the earliest Qurʾānic commentaries. Here, the term is used for redundant elements whose only function is to come between two linguistic units. Examples are found in Muḥammad al-Kalbī's (d. 146/763) commentary, for instance when he uses the term ṣila…
Date: 2018-04-01

Mafʿūl

(4,360 words)

Author(s): Zeinab Ahmed Taha
1. Definition The word mafʿūl is derived from the Arabic root f-ʿ-l ‘to do, make’ and refers to something done or made. In the Qurʾān, the word mafʿūl occurs twice: “that Allah might conclude a thing that must be done” (Q. 8/42, 44; translation Pickthall 1938:262–263). In grammatical terminology, mafʿūl refers to the accusative noun/pronoun on which the act of the verb ‘falls’. This covers all the nominal complements of the verb, in particular the object, which was also called mafʿūl bihi. Both terms are usually translated with ‘object’, although a better equivalent for mafʿūl is ‘ patient’…
Date: 2018-04-01

Taʿaddin

(4,466 words)

Author(s): Zeinab Ahmed Taha
1. Definition The Arabic verb taʿaddā and its derivatives mutaʿaddin and taʿdiya express the lexical concept of something going beyond something else. These terms are used by Arabic grammarians to refer to the concept of transitivity (for a general treatment of transitivity in Arabic grammar, see Owens 1988:167–172; Taha 1995). In the linguistic sense, the verb is said to go beyond its agent (fāʿil) to an object (mafʿūl). Verbs whose action goes beyond their agents to their direct objects are called transitive ( mutaʿaddin); verbs whose action does not go beyond the agent to a…
Date: 2018-04-01