Before beginning word analysis of the Qur’an, we have to go over a few basic Arabic words which will be used over and over.
Just as a preface to that, Arabic words are usually made up of 3 letter roots, which are seperated when written. The roots explain the deeper meaning behind the word and allow the reader to analyze why that word was used and not another. Once we begin inshaAllah, this will all make sense. Let us begin, bi’idnillah. PS – the Arabic is always read right to left.
القرءان – Al Qur’an. One of the roots of this word is ق ر ء or qaf, ra, hamza. ‘Qaraa’ ‘ means to recite, to read. Another root is ق ر ن or qaf, ra, noon, which means to join, to combine. Put that together and you get the Qur’an –> ‘that which is recited a lot, which has joined ayaat (words) and surahs (chapters).
سورة – Surah (Chapter). This word never ceases to amaze me! Its root is س و ر or seen, wow, ra, which means to enclose/fence in something. A ‘soor’ is a wall. So a surah, is a chapter in the Qur’an which encloses ayaat (verses), themes, ideas, sentences. Also, like a wall, it divides/seperates a set of verses from the other. Another meaning for surah is something which is elevated, higher, or raised up. Hence, no other speech is as high as the speech in the Qur’an. Ibn Kathir, rahimAllah said that as a person recites a Surah, his rank is elevated. SubhanAllah.
Another word that comes from the same root is ‘siwaar’ which means a braclet. Bracelets are usually made up of jewels and used to adorn a person. So, a surah is like many gems and jewels strung together, adorning the person who recites them.
ءاية – Ayah (Sentence). This word doesn’t necessarily have a root (we were told we’ll learn more in the future inshaAllah). It has many meanings: sign, miracle, lesson, sentence. All are relvant. A sentence has a beginning and an end. It is a miracle because it can’t be imitated. It has many lessons in it for the people to take.
لفظ – Lafz (Word). Its root comes from ل ف ظ or la, fa, zha. This means to spit or thow out, basically to pronounce. Why? Words, when pronounced, are spit/thrown out of the mouth.
حرف – Huroof (Letter). It comes from the root ح ر ف or ha, ra, fa which means an edge/coast/brink, the end or turning point. Once you read one letter, you have to turn your tongue to say the next letter.
Alright, that is it for now inshaAllah. We are on a roll alhamdulillah!
Please correct me if I made any mistakes inshaAllah. As always, Allahu ta’ala ‘alim.