Why roots are super-awesome

This is a rant. This post is angry. If you’re a happy unicorn folk, go away. Shoo!

Why are roots of the Arabic/Quranic language so super-awesome? Simply because they are the foundation of that language we’re supposed to know about in order to understand the Quran. I’m not saying you need to know Arabic to read Quran, but I’m saying you need the REAL Arabic to read Quran, whether you can actually read/speak Classical Arabic language or not.

Actually, the “Qurano-Arabic” language is dead easy and 100% consistent. We just don’t see it that way because it hasn’t been fully documented although many scholars and researchers wrote so much about the Quranic language. Now, now, don’t turn your back! If you want to read the Quran, you’ll need logic, a clean heart, and yes, you will need to know what words mean.

You want to trust the words in translations? Well, these words were transformed into other meanings thanks to HADITH, your biggest enemy yet again. (Wow, it keeps striking back like in a Comic! Darn!)

No, you don’t need to take Arabic lessons. I know so many who study the Quran without being able to speak Arabic, but rather to speak “Quran-ic”, this is because Arabic itself does not even fit in the Quran.

So before you mock our need to re-evaluate the “Qurano-Arabic” language, please go get a life and then maybe re-consider your decision. We’re not trying to ruin the Quran, we’re trying to reestablish a sane method of reading it. Now, is that so bad?

You can go whore for your translators all you want. It will never be REAL Arabic, just fake, hadith-based sad and pathetic Arabic.

Again, we, oh so humbly, apologize for trying to understand the Quran in an alternative way. Oh, so sorry! But we’re not going to stop, so get over it and buy a puppy or something.

Is Qaryah the same root as Quran???

Check out this word:    قَرْيَةً (qaryah)

It’s root is said to be Q-R-Y

The root of قُرْآنٍ  (quran) is ‘q-r-a’. A very interesting research was given by Imraan Goondiwala in his FB group, QuranRoots:

…This root describes a process through which constituent parts are brought together within a protected environment where they can develop from stage to stage and come together in the manner it is meant to and once this development has been completed, it is brought forth as a productive whole that can function as it was meant to.


Just had a thought that 22:17 wal-majūsa could be from root jws.

I’m wondering who l-majusa are along with wal-naṣārā, wal-ṣābiīna and wa-alladhīna hādū also from 22:17

I’m also wondering if l-yahūdu is the same as alladhina hādū.

7:156  “hud’nā” seems to be an odd occurence.

and I’m wondering why (11:58:5) hūdan and (2:111:8) hūdan are the exact same word in Arabic but not in English.

more occurences here on corpus

Two Kinds of Seals

Just discovered another word for seal :

طَبَعَ  (Th-Ba-3a) and you can see its occurences here. I wonder how this compare with the one I’ve known all this time, which is خَتَمَ (Kh-T-M) and you can see those occurences here.


I have been thinking about why some people are averse to undertaking a deeper study of the Quranic Arabic. After all, it would seem to me that a better understanding of the language in which a text you are studying would be something to aspire to. There seem to be various reasons for this, and I can understand why some people may be intimidated by the notion of having to learn a new language, but I am at a loss as to why there is at times such a strong push against pursuing any kind of in depth study of Arabic roots.

I would be very interested to know from those who marginalise the study of Arabic and its roots when studying the Quran, why they feel it is not an important part of such study.

There are those out there who would like to study Arabic roots but feel it is beyond them, and this is what I would like to address here. The most concise way that I can address this is by saying: “Don’t shy away from studying the Arabic of the Quran because you feel that it is difficult or you don’t have the credentials”. It is much easier than you may think.

We sometimes see people discussing things (any subject), and feel out of our depth, forgetting that they started somewhere, at a beginning and developed stage by stage as much as they put in to it.

I am not an Arab, nor do I have no formal tertiary Arabic training, but I think that it is important to learn the Arabic of the Quran and would like to create a friendly, easy environment for those who want learn some of the basics of studying Arabic roots. For this, I have started a facebook group called QuranRoots. It hasn’t been active because I have been trying to figure the best way to move forward with it. I’ve finally decided how I would like to approach this.

The discussion group will utilise the chat function in a kind of class environment at a set time, when any members interested can join the “class”. This group will be focussed on QuranRoots and will not put too much emphasis on the grammar aspects. It will require volunteers who are willing to share their methodologies for studying Arabic root words. These volunteers would “lead” the class by taking people through the process of examining a particular root, which could extend over a few sessions. Once the root has been explored this way, further discussions on the root can take place on the forum.

Would anyone be interested in this, especially volunteering to share your methodologies for exploring the roots? Once we have a few volunteers I will post it on Quranology group and others.

Primary Usage of Words in Quran

The following is something I wrote in response to a claim that we must accept the literal meanings of words first, even though it can have other meanings:

I would like to also comment on the statement regarding looking for inner meanings and extensions to the understanding of words in the Quran, while ignoring the literal meanings. The statement is fine as long as we don’t make false assumptions in terms of which understanding commands the primary usage within the Quranic text and which understanding constitutes an extension of such primary usage. Let’s demonstrate this with an example.

It is commonly thought that the primary understanding of SJD and its derivatives in the Quran is physical prostration and that the understanding of acceptance of whatever is in context is an extension of that meaning.

Let’s examine the occurrences and see whether or not this is true. The following is a listing of SJD and its derivatives from Quran. They are divided into four categories.

1. Occurrences where prostration cannot be understood in the context:

2:34, 7:11, 15:30, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116, 38:73, 7:12, 13:15, 15:33, 16:49, 17:61, 22:18, 38:75, 41:37, 55:6, 2:34, 7:11, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116, 41:37, 2:58, 4:154, 7:11, 7:161, 12:4, 15:29, 15:31, 15:32, 16:48, 38:72.

2. Occurrences where prostration is a weak inference in the context:

3:43, 68:42, 68:43, 7:120, 12:100, 20:70, 26:46

3. Occurrences where prostration is a possible understanding in the context:

4:102, 3:113, 7:206, 25:60, 27:24, 27:25, 84:21, 22:77, 25:60, 53:62, 76:26, 96:19, 48:29, 50:40, 2:125, 9:112, 15:98, 17:107, 19:58, 22:26, 25:64, 26:219, 32:15, 39:9, 48:29

4. Occurrences of the root as masjid:

2:114, 2:144, 2:149, 2:150, 2:187, 2:191, 2:196, 2:217, 5:2, 7:29, 7:31, 8:34, 9:7, 9:17, 9:18, 9:19, 9:28, 9:107, 9:108, 17:1, 17:1, 17:7, 18:21, 22:25, 22:40, 48:25, 48:27, 72:18

The analysis was conservative on the side of the “physical prostration” understanding and many of the occurrences that appear in the third group are debatable as to which of the two understandings to take.

There are 64 occurrences of the root excluding its use as masjid, which is excluded because whatever one takes the root to mean, in the case of masjid, it will be the place, time or state of the performance of the root verb. The 28 occurrences of masjid can therefore be seen in both contexts.

Half of the remaining occurrences (32/64) are clearly not referring to a physical prostration.

When one considers the occurrences where it is unlikely that it refers to a physical prostration, we find that a further 7 occurrences (39/64) will not support physical prostration.

25 occurrences can have a possibility of meaning prostration.

It must also be noted that when one reverses the analysis, understanding SJD and its derivatives as an acceptance of whatever appears in the various contexts; such an understanding fits all occurrences.

Since both meanings finds credence in the lexicons, we must consider both. However, in such a situation, considering the physical prostration as the primary meaning does not hold water as it is clear that within the Quranic context, the understanding of acceptance fits everywhere, whereas the understanding of physical prostration is limited to half the occurrences at best. Therefore the assumption that the primary meaning of SJD in the Quran is physical prostration is fallacious.

So like I stated in the beginning, there is no problem as long as our initial assumption of what constitutes primary usage in Quran is accurate.

It would be great to get some input on what you all think of this.


Today I got to notice that ARD (earth) is very close in meaning to RDY (be pleased):

ARD = Alif-Ra-Dad = To rotate, bring forth herbs abundantly. Land abundant, fruitful, productive, luxuriant with herbage. Place for alighting or abiding. To tarry, await, expect, be patient. “Earth, as opposed to heaven: and the ground, as meaning the surface of the earth, on which we tread, and sit, and lie”. Good land. Remain, fixed, tarry in expectation [on the ground]. Heavy, slow, sluggish, inclining, or propending to the ground. Submissive. A carpet, anything that is spread. A tremor, vertigo arising from a relaxed state. Wood-fretter, termite.

RDY= Ra-Dal-Ya = to perish, fall down, he tumbled down into a deep hollow or cavity or pit, break, knock, exceed a thing, to beat in order to break, blandish, destroy, he went away. arda (vb. 4) – to bring to destruction/ruin. tradda – to fall. mutarddiyatun – that which falls, which is slain by a fall.

Now I have a problem with fitting God into the concept of RDY, where it is to be humble. However, I seem to be able to relate God being “pleased” much more with ARD.

Sahih International: 9:100 – And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.

Could it be possible that Allah turned “fruitful” and “productive” to them as they turned to Him? Because I can’t imagine Allah “humbling”. The ‘anhum’ also scares me a little bit.