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Sarf – The rules for تَعلِیل – A summary of اجوف and ناقِص

January 28, 2008

We already know that there are three letters in the Arabic alphabet which are called ﺣﹹﺮﹸﻭﻑﹺ ﻋﹻﻠﳲﺖ (or the weak letters), namelyand and . The presence of these letters within the base letters of a verb will cause certain changes to occur which can change the final form of the verb. In this post, Insha Allah, I will list down the rules which deal with ﺗﹷﻌﻠﹻﻴﻞ occurring at the  ﻻﻡ position and the  position of the verb. Most of these rules have already been encountered when we discussed the ﺃﺟﹿﻮﹶﻑ and the ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ verb (discussed here and here). Since there are quite a few of these rules,  and because we will see many of them in future ﺻﹷﺮﹾﻑ discussions, therefore it is beneficial to list these at one place for reference purposes.

Rules for ﺃﺟﻮﹶﻑ:

  1. Simple Change to Alif rule: Whenever there is a ﻣﹹﺘﹷﺤﹷﺮﱢﻙ weak letter i.e. a واو or a preceded by a ﻣﹷﻔﹿﺘﹹﻮﺡ letter, change the واو or to . See here for examples of this rule
  2. The ﻣﹻﻴﺰﺍﻥﹲ rule: Any واو which is ﺳﹷﺎﻛﹻﻦ and is preceded by a ﻛﹷﺴﹿﺮﹶﺓ will change to . See here for examples of this rule
  3. Whenever the position of a passive ﻣﺎﺿﻰ is a واو or remove the vowel from the letter before it and transfer the ﻛﹷﺴﹿﺮﹶﺓ to this letter. See here for examples of this rule
  4. Whenever there is a ﻣﹹﺘﹷﺤﹷﺮﱢﻙ weak letter i.e. a واو or a preceded by a ﺳﹹﻜﹹﻮﻥ , transfer the vowel from the weak letter to the letter before it. Now, if the vowel being transfered is a ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ then change this letter to an . See here for examples of this rule

Rules for ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ:

  1. The Edge Rule: It states that “any ﻻﻡ position (i.e. occurring at the edge of a word) preceded by a ﻛﹷﺴﹿﺮﹶﺓ will change to “. This is depicted by the first ﻣﺎﺿﻰ conjugation of ﺭﹶﺿﹻﻰﹶ which was originally ﺭﹶﺿﹻﻮﹶ. See here for examples of this rule
  2. Fourth Position or Beyond Rule: If a comes in the fourth position or later in a word and it is not preceded by a ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ or a ﺳﹷﺎﻛﹻﻦ ﻭ, it changes into a . See here for examples of this rule
  3. Whenever there is a ﻻﻡ position or preceded by a ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ or a ﻛﹷﺴﹿﺮﹶﺓ, make the or the as ﺳﹷﺎﻛﹻﻦ. Now, if the or is preceded by an appropriate short vowel and followed by an appropriate long vowel (see here for this discussion) then drop this or . The change of ﻳﹷﺪﹾﻋﹹﻮﹸﻭﹾﻥﹶ to ﻳﹷﺪﹾﻋﹹﻮﹾﻥﹶ is handled by this rule
  4. If there is a or or at the end of a verb then they are dropped in case of ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ. For example, ﻟﹷﻢﹾ ﻳﹷﺮﹾﻡﹺ which was originally ﻟﹷﻢﹾ ﻳﹷﺮﹾﻣﹻﻰ or ﻟﹷﻢﹾ ﻳﹷﺪﹾﻉﹸ which was originally ﻟﹷﻢﹾ ﻳﹷﺪﹾﻋﹹﻮﹾ

Hopefully this list will come in handy for the students of ﺻﹷﺮﹾﻑ when dealing with ﺃﺟﻮﹶﻑ and ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ verbs. Insha Allah, in the future, I will post about other هفتِ أقسام and their governing rules as well.

  1. Intriguing look into language.

  2. One reason why Arabic was selected as the language of Quran: you cannot go wrong when it comes to explanations and descriptions and commandments🙂

    Jazak Allah!

    • Farooque permalink

      The original text of “Quran” was without damma, kasra, fatah, shaddah,(short vowels) so all this grammarians were persians. so to rely on grammar for determining the perfect masdar for right understanding is standing on shaky ground.

  3. Mashallah, great so happy to see something new in NAHW AND SARF.

    I wish you are here in Sydney.
    We have completed al-Jrumiyah and we doing it again.

    We have started ibn 3qeel recently.


  4. … you have a very nice Site – Please visit my Webpage under Butzelnews Thanks and Greetings from Germany

  5. can you please be a blogger in and can you write comments everyday.

  6. Redwan,
    It depends what the content is about. If it is Arabic Grammar then I can try my best to help

    Jazak Allah!

  7. the content is about islam, arabic grammar and everything

  8. بصراحة شديدة
    لم أفهم ماذا يعنيه هذه التمازج بين العربية والانجليزية

  9. Alananay,
    If I understand you correctly, you are not in agreement of having a mixture of Arabic and English (for the purposes of learning, I guess). Well, the point here is to make sure that those people who understand English naturally can understand Classical Arabic in an easy manner. Before this blog, I was unable to find anything similar on the Net and that is why I started writing this blog

    Jazak Allah!

  10. LOL
    that doesn’t even make any sense!

  11. Freind permalink

    ho do you say in English:
    مبني على الفتح لا محل له من الإعراب

  12. assalamu’alaykum.

    a greet from indonesia, brother.

    nice writing.

  13. Zahra permalink


    As a person whose dream is to be a future sarf teacher, it is wonderful to see someone has done the hard work of putting this together. Yuwafaqak Allah!

  14. Khalil permalink

    assalamu alaikkum. some of these rules are subject to conditions. do you know what are those conditions?

  15. Waalikum Assalam Khalil,
    Unfortunately I am not aware of the rules you are mentioning. If you have some material to share then please do and I will share on the blog.

    Jazak Allah!

  16. DR SHAMSUDIN AB LATIF permalink

    Assalamualaikum Brother;

    Very useful. Please continue the great effort. May Allah swt bless you for your effort in putting all of these guidance and rules together.

    • Waalaikum Assalam Dr. Shamsuddin,

      I am glad you are finding the blog useful, although I have not been able to add any material here for quite a long time now.

      Please pray that I am able to start this effort again, Insha Allah.

  17. Amina sharafiya permalink

    Asalamu alaikum.. May Allah swt bless each of us🙂
    Kindly reply my message i need to know whether you have notes for riyadhul badi’aa book.. Since that book in arabic i need to learn in english .. Kindly help me

    • Salaam Amina,
      Unfortunately I do not have the notes from the mentioned book with me. This was not covered in the Shariah Program, at least when I was part of it.

      Jazak Allah

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