Monday, February 22, 2010

Lelaki Perempuan

I am finding myself more and more in love with arabic language.Tak pandai mana pun lagi. Tapi with knowledge smaller that a micro drop of water pun dah fall in love, cannot imagine kalau dah banyak.

So I thought of sharing a few things with you as what I have shared with some sisters here.

As most of you would have known already arabic language distinguished the difference between masculine (Mudzakar) and female (Muanath) names. Not only in the nouns but also in the verb.

For example you say a sentence, "Read Quran", you can't tell whether the one who reads it is female or male unless you put the word she or he. But in arabic, even the sentence "read Quran" can tell you whether the reader is female or male.

تقرأُُ القرآن
Female reading Quran

يقرأ القرآن
Male reading Quran

The difference is the letter "Ta" and "Ya" before the word read.

And also in general rule to tell whether a noun is feminine, it generally has the "Ta marbutah" - ة at the end.

So you see the word
جنّة Jannah
آية Ayah (Ayat)
بقرة Baqaroh (cow)

All these indicate feminine.

But there are exceptions. Because the word hamzah Also ends with Ta' marbutah. Muawiyyah and Umaiyah. All of them have ta' marbutah at the end, but are male names. So they are not feminine by default.

Also there are some words which do not end with ta' marbutah but are also feminine. I think at the moment, I don't want to dwell in it yet.

Quite some time ago, perhaps when i started learning arabic, I came to this ayah (verse) that struck me the most about this quran language. On how Allah has put wisdom in the people practicing this language and Allah has built this language so rich that when the Quran was sent down, it became a medium that was easy to understand and yet even better than the one they had.

Please refer to the verse in Surah An Naml 27:18

This verse is about the ant, who after realising the Prophet Sulaiman's a.s. troops were coming, called out to the other fellow ants to hide in their dwellings.


If you are like me, who would just read the quran because we can read it and read the tafseer, then we can only perceive from this verse that an ant called out some ants to run for seclusion.

But if we know the arabic word قالت نملة in the verse, we would immediately recognise that the word قالت would indicate that the one is speaking is female and the word نملة with a "ta' marbutah" at the end means a female ant. Essentially in this verse, it is saying that a female ant called out to the other ants. Not just any ant, but a female ant.

Among the different castes and working system of ants, the worker ants are sterile female ants. They are the majority of the colony. Among their jobs are to take care of mother ant and her babies - clean and feed them. they also build new corridors and galleries for the nests. They also guard their nest and would continually clean it. They are also responsible to search for food and store honeydew. Taken from The Miracle in the ant : Harun Yahya. And Allah knows best. You can download it HERE.

Simple read on summary of genders of ant castes HERE.
And Mr. Wiki HERE.

Subhanallah. This verse was sent down 1400 years ago to the unlettered prophet s.a.w.. I presume nobody would care to study about ants at those time to differentiate the gender of the different caste of ants. Wallahualam. And here Allah is telling you, merely by adding a letter ta' marbutah to the noun "Naml - ant", a scientific prove of life that Allah has ordained from the beginning can be seen.

I am at awe of this ayah and the fact that the quran language could easily point out that it was a female ant who called out - also a prove that ants do communicate. Subhanallah.

This also indicate to me that the true meaning of the quran verses is somewhat lost in the english or even malay translation. And it made me even more determine to know more. Oh do I have much time?

I used this verse as what I called "Pembakar semangat" for those who want to learn the language of Quran. But you probably have to hear me pot pet to feel the burn. hahahhaha.

But then this is only my own theory of limited knowledge of the arabic. Perhaps the singular form of the word ant would have the ta marbutah anyway while the plural form is mudzakar. Do correct me if I am wrong. Since Allah is the greatest of all planners, this is not mere coincident, I believe. Who can plan anything to this detail? To the nahu of the language?


أم الليث said...

heheh tumpang bersemangat

did u know shams is a muannath? and all paired body parts

talking about muawiyah, hanzalah, umaiyah and MAISARAH, they are male names as u said. i don't know how orang melayu thought maisarah was a woman. then went and named their girls maisarah! the arabs sure would laugh.

rad said...

Good for you to share with us, thx.

Dulu2 belajar kat sekolah tak menarik camni hehehe

Unknown said...

you surely catch me. i learned arabic for 5 years i school and i am good at it's nahu (grammar) but very bad at vocabulary. and also you make me remembers Hassan Al-Banna's wasiah, one of it is, learn arabic.

i think i need to use arabic now. :) thanks.

oh... i remember one thing. my arab friend said, the word used in explaining the change from day to night is very accurate as science proved that day doesn't change instantly to night but slowly blend it and replaced as the meaning of the word used. masyaAllah!!

btw, visit my blog as well. :)

Lollies said...

umm layth - tulah. I found out gak. tapi malas pulak nak elaborate kat blog entry for now. Eh tapi if you have any example in the quran verse regarding mudzakar and muanath share ya. boleh kita share share kat soma orang lagi. :D

rad - kalau ajar snapshot macam ni memanglah nampak menarik dan tertarik. bila i belajar pun kekadang menguap gak. syyy dont tell my teacher

abi - arabic language is so rich. there is description of every situation. i found out also that Al falq is not dawn as i thought the state of dawn but rather the break of dawn. apparently there is a little light to distinguish night and the coming dawn. and that is falaq. Allah knows best.

Lollies said...

what? Maisarah is male name? I didn't know that.

masdiana said...

Allahumma baarik! That is such an interesting tafseer of the ayah - jazakIllahu khayr... May Allah put the understanding of the language of His book + His Messenger to us that we may understand His book even more + try to emulate His Messenger - whose akhlaq was His book - as much as we possibly can insyaAllah. :-)
PS: I take it you've done the 'test' - I baru nak buat ari nih insyaAllah! :-)

masdiana said...

I tak tau gak yg Maisarah is a male name tp it means (lbh kurang la - my understanding) 1 who has enough money to repay his debt. Check ayat 280 of Al-Baqarah. BTW it's also interesting to note that the word before describing 1 who's in hard time to pay his debt is "'usratin" - also muannath. WAllahu'alam. :-)
Oh oh oh - baru check 'Study the noble Qur'an Word-4-word' - 'usrah means difficulty + maisarah menas ease. :-)

Ir. Hanafi Ali said...


Lollies said...

diana - Ameen. and Insya Allah with all our friends. Seronoknyaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! :D

err tak buat lagi. petang ni jugak kot, insya Allah. (ceh! kata seronok bila time homework aje slow)

interesting. jazakillahhu khayr. boleh jadi contoh2 sebagai lebih pembakar semangat ni.

hansac - nak kek lapis satu. :D

أم الليث said...

i just remembered another example. ardh (earth) is muannath. why? because it is fertile.

yuhyilardha ba'da mautiha

i think org melayu ingatkan maisarah is female because mai and sarah are common female names. hehehe. i dun hear any girls named hanzalah or usamah. :p