A profound substitute

As-salaamu ‘alaykum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh,


In the arabic language, not a stone is left unturned. The language is so rich that even a concept like tanween has more to it than simply being a nunation attached to nouns. The arabs have divided tanween into four types. One type is known as Tanweenul ‘Iwad and its purpose is to subsititute the tanween for a letter, a word, a sentence or even an attribute!

For example, Allaah (exalted and glorified be he) says:

فَلَوْلَا إِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْحُلْقُومَ

Then why do you not (intervene) when (the soul of the dying person) reaches the throat? [1]

And he (exalted and glorified be he) continues to say:

وَأَنتُمْ حِينَئِذٍ تَنظُرُونَ

And you at the moment are looking on [2].

And instead of repeating part of the previous ayah, the tanween attached to 7eena is a substitute for ‘idha balaghatil hulqoom’ so the ayah actually means ‘You at that moment, [when (the soul of the dying person) reaches the throat] you’re looking”

In another ayah Allaah (exalted and glorified be he) says:

وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ

…thunder and lightning…[3]

The tanween on ra’d and barq are omitted for “…Ra’dun qassifun wa barqun khatifun…” (Crashing thunder and flashing lightning).

And in another ayah Allaah (exalted and glorified be he) says:

يَوْمَئِذٍ تُحَدِّثُ أَخْبَارَهَا

That day it will declare its information [4].

And so when this ayah was revealed, the Messenger of Allaah (sallaallaahu ‘alayhi wa salam) said:

فَإِنَّ أَخْبَارَهَا أَنْ تَشْهَدَ عَلَى كُلِّ عَبْدٍ وَأَمَةٍ بِمَا عَمِلَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا أَنْ تَقُولَ: عَمِلَ كَذَا وَكَذَا يَوْمَ كَذَا وَكَذَا، فَهَذِهِ أَخْبَارُهَا

Verily, its information is that it will testify against every male and female servant, about what they did upon its surface. It will say that he did such and such on such and such day. So this is its information.” [5]

Subhanallaah, May Allaah grant us understanding of the Qur’aan, ameen.


[1] Al-Waqi’ah:83

[2] Al-Waqi’ah:84

[3] Al-Baqarah:19

[4] Az-Zalzalah:4

[5] Tafseer Ibn Katheer


Comments on: "A profound substitute" (7)

  1. Wa `alaykumus Salaam W. W.

    Alhamdulillah, Now that you have given insight that the arabs have divided tanween into four types, please do not deprive us of the other 3!

    Jazakillah kayr!

    There seems to be a “q” missing in ‘idha balaghatil huloom’

  2. it’s been too long – update!

  3. Wa ‘alaykum salaam warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh,

    The other types of tanween are tamkeen [the established tanween which is found attached to nouns such as zaydun, baabun, kitaabun etc], tankeer [this type is found attached to words that are non arabic origin such as sibaweyh] and muqaabalah [this tanween appears in place of another, it is not like the ‘Iwad, for example muslimeena wal-muslimaatun.]


    Wa iyyak, thank you for the correction, editing has never been my cup of tea!

    bint Husayn, lol I thought I was updating fast enough :p

  4. Umm Khawla said:

    Beautiful masha’Allaah. Can’t wait to read more on your blog ❤

  5. Thanks much for this useful piece of text.

  6. Bill Bartmann said:

    Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..

  7. Excellent site, keep up the good work

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