السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Power of Arabic Letters
This section is dedicated to the powerful meanings of Letters in the Arabic language.
- How Words are Made
Meaning of Arabic Letters Book [Download How to Use:
Look at each letters original meaning, and then compile the meanings together. Sometimes it works. I’ll give you an example:
EXAMPLE #1: The word: Khalq ( خلق ) = Creation.
If we break the word down, it is made of 3 letters: Khaa, Laam, and Qaf.
( خ ) Khaa = Create/Compound
( ل ) Laam = For
( ق ) Qaf = Maintain/Erect/Uprightness/Standing.
( خلق ) Kha-L-Q = Created For Maintaining/Standing.
( صَاحِب ) SaaHib = Companion.
( صَا ) Saad = Constant
( حِب ) Hib from Hub = Love.
= Saa-Hib = a Constant Love = a Companion.
( عقل ) ‘AQL = the Intellect which helps you to ‘Restrain‘ yourself from wrong/stupid things.
Letter 3ayn ( ع ) = to See.
Qaf ( ق ) = Maintain.
Lam ( ل ) = ‘For’
This makes sense because a person ‘Sees‘ some things, and uses his Seeing to ‘Maintain‘ his mind ‘For‘ preventing himself from doing stupid things in the future of his life. = ( عقل) ‘AQL – the Intellect.
I will give more examples later inshaa’ Allah.
It will explain;
- Why there are many similar sounding letters in the Arabic language (anyone who has studied Tajweed has probably wondered this)
- How similar sounding words have different ‘touches‘ in meaning.
- How 1 letter can Control, Enhance, or ‘Power-up’ the entire meaning of a word or phrase.
and much more…
- Haa vs Khaa
1 – Same shape Letters:
HA ( ح ) – soft
KHA ( خ ) – harsh / stronger in strength due to its harsher pronunciation.
I.e. Stream and River:
NaDH ( نَضح ) = to Flow.
NaDKh ( نَضخ ) = to Gush strongly.
(when placed at end of 3 letter word.)
Allah tells us in Surah Rahman 55:66:
فِيهِمَا عَيْنَانِ نَضَّاخَتَانِ
(In them two [gardens in the higher levels of Paradise] are two springs – NaDDaaKhataan) – the Kha portrays the springs/rivers gushing.
- Khaa vs Qaf
2 – Chewing (biting into something):
(at beginning of 3 letter word)
Kha ( خ ) – soft (in comparison to Qaf)
Qaf ( ق ) – hard / tough
KhaDam ( خَضَم ) = bite into something juicy. (i.e. A watermelon.)
QaDam ( قَضَم ) = bite into something hard (i.e. a Nut).
We see that the ‘Kha’ is used because it sounds like biting into something soft.
The ‘Qaf’ is a hard letter when pronounced, like you are biting into something hard.
- Kaf vs Qaf
Kaf ( ك ) vs Qaf ( ق )Ever wonder why Arabic has many similar sounding letters, i.e. Kaf ( ك ) and Qaf ( ق ) ?Here’s an example of why:What is more heavier and firmer in preserving information; Speech or Writing?Writing obviously is because once written, it is more permanently stored, harder to distort or change.
The word for Speech is Kalaam ( كلام ) in arabic.
The word for the Pen is Qalam ( قلم ) in arabic.
Qaf is a heavier letter when pronounced, while Kaf is lighter sounding letter.
Kalaam (Speech) is much lighter and weaker in preserving information in comparison to the Qalam (Pen) which is more firmer in preserving information.
And this is why, the Qaf [a heavier letter] is used for the Qalam (Pen) in comparison to the letter Kaf describing Kalaam (Speech).
- Seen vs Saad
5 – Degrees of Connection:
sa3ida ( سَعِدَ ) – Morale rise. (to be Happy)
(seen, ayn, daal)
Sa3ida ( صَعِدَ ) – Physical rise. (physically i.e. Climbing a mountain.)
(Saad, ayn, daal)
Letter ‘Saad’ ( ص ) is a more firmer and established letter than the ‘Seen’ ( س ).
sa3ida ( سَعِدَ ) – is internal rising (happiness). The ‘seen‘ ( س ). is a lighter letter so it limits to this rising being ‘lighter’ (i.e. Rising only inside the emotions.)
Sa3ida ( صَعِدَ ) – is physical rising, and the ‘Saad’ has been used.
Scholars of Language describe the letter ‘Saad’ ( ص ) as being much;
– deeper and firmer
– more establishedthan the letter ‘Seen.’
So Sa3ida (( صَعِدَ )) [with letter 'Saad'] is used to emphasise this ‘firmer and more established’ and as a result – more physical = Rising.
4 – Degrees of Connection:
waseelah ( وَسِيلَه ) = a Means.
(waw, Seen, ya, lam, ta marbuta)
waSeelah ( وَصِيلَه ) = a Link. i.e. Crossroads.
(waw, Saad, ya, lam, ta marbuta)
Scholars of Language describe the letter ‘Saad’ ( ص ) as being much;
– deeper and firmer
– more established
than the letter ‘Seen.’ ( س )
This is why;
Waseelah ( وَسِيلَه ) = a Means.
(it does not have as strong of a connection as waSeelah.)
the word WaSeelah ( وَصِيلَه ) [with Saad] is used for describing something like;
two roads when they meet (they have a strong Link to each other). [i.e. Crossroads.]
So waSeelah is stronger in meaning and usage than waseelah – because of the stronger letter Saad being in its place.
6 – Dividing and Breaking
Qasm ( قَسم ) [qaf, Seen, meem]- to Divide (into parts) – you divide an object (and might be able to put it back together again.)
QaSm ( قَصم ) [qaf, Saad, meem] – to Shatter (with a death blow) – so that the object is broken and can never be fixed/put back together again.
The reason why QaSm [with Saad] is more violent and severe is because of the heavier letter Saad – portraying a more firmly established and stronger ‘divide’.
- Zaa vs Dhaa
Zaa ( ز ) vs Dhaa ( ظ )
Both these letters sound the same, except one is more ‘stronger’ than the other. This means that it has a more ‘powerful’ role when it is placed into a word in comparison to the other.
Let’s take a look;
( عَزم ) – ‘Azm = Firmness in intention/willpower and inner strength.
( عَظم )- ‘ADhm = something which is Physically Firm, i.e. the Bone is called ‘ADhm in the Arabic language..
We see that something which is ‘Physically firmer’ is naturally more ‘powerful’ in usage. So we can conclude that often in the Arabic language, the Dhaa ( ظ ) -when placed as a middle letter- is stronger and more Physically real -when used- than the Zaa ( ز ).
- Haa is for Hawl
ه - haa is for Hawl.
ه – haa = used for; Fear and Emergency.
Comparing it to the;
ال رحمان - al-RaHmaan = Abundantly Merciful. It has a soothing ending, and contains the Haa ( ح ) from the throat: Mercy (this has no ‘haa’ ( ه ), so no emergency or fear is shown through the ‘Haa’ ( ح ).)
ه ) – haa = is used for – Anger: abrupt ending: ( اعمالَ هم ) a’maala-hum! ([people will see on Judgment Day] – their Actions/deeds! [of this life]) [Fear: The – ه – is used to emphasise Fear, and this is shown through the way it sounds at the end of a word. I.e. haa: ( ال جَحيمَ صلُّوه ) Thumma al-Jaheema Saluwh (then throw him in the JaHeem [staring/pouncing/blazing fire.]
The letter ‘haa’ is a: Deep, Dark, Mysterious letter. (even by looking at its shape - ه).
When pronounced, it comes from the deepest inside of yourself (from deep inside your chest/heart area [Aqs al halak]). This is where the letters ‘haa’ and ‘hamza’ come from.
They are the most darkest and mysterious of letters because they are pronounced from the deep inside of the body.
So the ‘haa’ can show;
- Extreme Actions
- Anger (of the one speaking)
They cover all these meanings because of the letters’ secretive and deep nature of pronunciation from deep within the body.
haa is for Fear:
Quran Ma’aarij 70:11 (baneeh = his children);
يُبَصَّرُونَهُمْ ۚ يَوَدُّ الْمُجْرِمُ لَوْ يَفْتَدِي مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِئِذٍ بِبَنِيهِ
They will be shown each other. The criminal will wish that he could be ransomed from the punishment of that Day by his children [70:11].
This ayah has an Emphasis of:
1 – Fear
2 – Extremity
on Judgment Day.
If we look at surah Haqqah (69:30-32) describing Hellfire, we see the letter ‘haa‘ being used repeatedly to emphasise Extreme Fear, and extreme Punishment.
ثُمَّ الْجَحِيمَ صَلُّوهُ
ثُمَّ فِي سِلْسِلَةٍ ذَرْعُهَا سَبْعُونَ ذِرَاعًا فَاسْلُكُوهُ
“Seize him and shackle him.
khudhoohu fa ghul-looh
Then into Hellfire drive him.
Thumma al jaheema sal-looh
Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits insert him.”
Thumma fee silsilatin dhar’uhaa sab’oona dhiraa’an fa-aslukooh
The ayah is depicting the person right next to the edge of the hellfire, and about to be thrown in, and the letter ‘haa’ in pronunciation emphasizes the power and fear in this imagery.
Another Example is in Surah al Qaari’ah [101: 1-3];
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْقَارِعَةُ
al Qaari’ah. maa-al Qaari’ah, wa maa adraaka maa-al Qaari’ah!
The Striking Calamity, What is the Striking Calamity? And what can make you know what is the Striking Calamity?
The ‘haa’ represents;
The English translation cannot fully capture this meaning, but reciting it in Arabic has a strong Deep sound from deep within your body when you recite it; Qaari’ah!
Haa for Extreme:
I.e. Calling someone out loud;
(Zayd is a boy or man’s name.)
1 – Yaa Zaydu – (calling: O Zayd!)
2 – Yaa La Zayd (calling Zayd for emergency)
3 – Waa Zayd (when Lamenting/crying out for Zayd))
4 – Waa Zaydaa (when Lamenting/crying out for Zayd in even more desperation.)
5 – Waa Zaydaah! (at the most exaggerated/hyperbola extreme; when Lamenting/crying out for Zayd in extreme fear and emergency.))
Summarized: This letter ‘haa’ ( ه ) is pronounced and;
- Comes from the deepest part of our body (chest/heart).
– the Deepest
– most Mysterious
= depicts and shows extreme Emergency and fear when said.
What do words Beginning with a Specific Letter mean?:
Note: These rules do not apply to all words and are just observations. We are aware there are exceptions to the rule.
( ث ) – Thaa: – When a word begins with the letter Thaa, it usually has an implication of Firmness/heaviness.
- Thabt ( ثَبت ) = Firmness.
- Thiql ( ثقل ) = Heavy Weight.
- Thawaab ( ثَوَاب ) = Reward (which is established and firm)
ف - Faa.
Nouman Ali Khan mentioned in his Tafseer that when a word begins with the letter Faa, it usually has an implication of ‘Separation/Division’.
-Farq ( فرق ) – (separating between two things) |
-Fajr ( فَجر ) – to Tear through something (i.e. Fajr is the sunrise – when the light of the sun tears through the dark night sky & a Faajir (sinner) is someone who tears through the sanctuaries Allah has set.)
-Farj ( فَرج ) – commonly refers to a gap between two things (i.e. a hole in a building, or the private parts of humans etc.)
-FaSl ( فَصل ) – separating two things apart (i.e. separating the good crops from the bad).
What do words Containing a Specific Letter mean?
The letter ح is for Life, anything in relation with Life.
If we then look at the word as an example given earlier: NaDH ( نَضح ) = (a River) which Flows. We see that such a flowing River contains Life.
anything in relation with Creation/compounded.
The ( نَضخ ) NaDKh (Gushing spring of water) example given earlier contains the letter ‘Khaa‘ – signifying the ‘Creation‘ or ‘bursting out’ of water.
Other words containing the letter ‘Khaa’:
( خلق) Khalq = Creation.
3 Root Letters Shifted for related Meanings
- Baa-Raa-Jeem = Strength & Power
In his book al-Khasaa’is, Ibn Jinni elucidated on this phenomenon, providing detailed descrptions and examples. To continue with the same root mentioned above,
Ibn Jinni says that these three ( ب , ج , ر ) letters combined connote the meaning of Strength and Power, as in:
1. From the root ج-ب-ر:
- jabartu al-faqeer جبرت الفقير to mean ‘I restored a man from a state of poverty to wealth.’
- A King is referred to as the jabar جبر due to the strength and power he holds.
2. From the root ج-ر-ب:
- One says about a man that he is mujarrab مُجَرَّب if he has gone through a trial, and strengthened by his experiences.
- A jiraab جِراب refers to a case that protects something else (e.g. travelling provisions, or a sword) because when something is protected it is strengthened.
3. From the root ب-ج-ر:
- A bujr بحر affair/matter is one which is extremely terrible or momentous.
- The adjective bajeer بجير is used to refer to something in abundant, copious amounts.
4. From the root ب-ر-ج:
- A burj بُرج refers to a tower or fortress, due to being self-sufficient in its provisions, and power to protect those inside and within.
- Baraj بَرَج is used to describe an eye in which the black and white parts are extremely strong and pure in their colour.
5. From the root ر-ج-ب:
- One says rajibtu al-rajula رجِبتُ الرجلَ if they revere a man, honour him, venerate him, and regard him with awe.
- The seventh month of the Islamic calendar is known as Rajab رجب because the Arabs held this month in such strong esteem that they forbade fighting in this month.
6. From the root ر-ب-ج:
- The rubaajee رُباجيُّ is a man who is proud and boastful of his actions more than they deserve.
 While Ibn Jinni referred to this phenomenon as al-Ishtiqaaq al-Akbar (in the superlative form), it is usually known as al-Ishtiqaaq al-Kabeer (in the elative form).
 Note that they acknowledged it could not and would not apply to every root, just as the regular ishtiqaaq would not apply to every root.
Names in Qur’an and their Meanings
See how Arabic is a Divinely inspired language by seeing how Names of people in the Qur’an has a strong relation to their personality in real life.
- al Waduwd: the Excessively Intensively Loving
al Waduwd ( الودود ) – the ‘Loving‘
There are lots of words for ‘Love’ in arabic;
Hubb, ‘Ishq, Wadd.
Wadd is the strongest of them all = Intense Love..
The ‘waw‘ after the 2nd root letter = Excessive.
So Allah being Waduwd = Intensively, Excessively Loving.
To go one step further, Allah is AL-Waduwd, so the AL implies that He is THE greatest, the most expert, advanced in that field. He is THE One who does that best. Which is another emphasis.
So this implies that Allah, al Waduwd is;
[AL] THE MOST Intensive, Excessive, Loving.
- Adam: Created from the Earth, and an object of Imitation
Adam ( آدم ) -
The root letters for Adam are Alif, dal, and miim. If we look at Lanes Lexicon, this is what those root letters when put together mean:
Alif-Dal-Miim = seasoned (e.g. food), to mix/associate/unite/mingle together, a means of access, pattern/exemplar, object of imitation, tanned skin/hide, leather, the surface of the earth/ground, Adam, Children of Adam, human beings.
adam n. Quran; 2:31, 2:33, 2:34, 2:35, 2:37, 3:33, 3:59, 5:27, 7:11, 7:19, 7:26, 7:27, 7:31, 7:35, 7:172, 17:61, 17:70, 18:50, 19:58, 20:115, 20:116, 20:117, 20:120, 20:121, 36:60
Now if we relate the bolded meanings to Prophet Adam’s name and his history, we see that -according to Qur’an and Sunnah- he (Adam) was;
1 – Mixed/mingled and united (created) from Dust.
2 – Created from the dust of the Earth (surface) of the ground.
3 – He is a Pattern/exemplar, object of imitation for all his children. (i.e. he committed a mistake, but repented and continued to be a good person till death.) The second meaning could be that; we -children of Adam- are imitations of him (because we look like him.)
- Muhammad: Praised Repeatedly and Revered from the Heart
Muhammad ( مُحَمَّد ) – one who is repeatedly Praised (hamd)
Hamd is more powerful than maD-H, and Thanaa, and Shukr.
Comparing Madh’, Hamd, and Thanaa’
Madh’مَدح : Praise + Mention of noteworthy qualities and actions attributed to someone or something.
Hamdحَمد raise + Acknowledgement of noteworthy qualities and actions done out of genuine love, veneration, reverence, gratitude and appreciation.
Mad-h can be made for the living as well as the non-living, for beings of intellect (humans, angels, jinn) and animals.
Hamd is exclusively directed at the living & intellectual الحي العاقل .
Madh is possible before a noble deed or after (as a result of it). It is therefore possible to make Madh of a person who may not have done anything good and no good deed may ever have been attributed towards him/her.
Hamd can only be made after a noble/ praiseworthy contribution of some sort.
Thanaa’ is a more eloquent, more impressive, more flattering type of Mad-H.
Conclusion: By using Hamd instead of Madh or Thanaa’ for Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam);
a. we recognize his attributes and decisions as Hamd worthy
b. There is an element of sincerity in our praise of him stemming from love and reverence.
c. we not only praise his incredible being, attributes & works, we appreciate them as favors for which we are grateful.
Comparing Hamd with Shukr
Shukr (thanks) is a consequence of whatever good comes to a person from someone else.
Hamd is a consequence of good that whose effects go beyond an individual favor.
Shukr is exclusively related with favors and doesn’t include appreciation or praise of any noteworthy attributes. For instance you don’t thank someone for being smart or wise or athletic.
Hamd is made because of favors and also over noteworthy attributes even if they don’t benefit oneself directly. (i.e. Allah’s Messenger did not gain the worldly benefit the rest of the Ummah did after he passed away.)
a. Madh is too wide in scope and using it wouldn’t be precise enough.
b. Shukr is too narrow in scope and using it wouldn’t be comprehensive enough.
c. Hamd as opposed to Shukr & Madh also implies a genuine motive.
Hammad = Fa33al form = HaMMad repeatedly/intensively) repeatedly/intensively praised by Muslims and non muslims alike. The ‘Mu‘ is attached at the front to show it is a being being praised.
Prophet Muhammad has this honorable name given to him (some ahadeeth suggest angels ; because he is a person who is Praised;
1 – Repeatedly and Intensively by Muslims and non Muslims.
2 – He is praised Genuinely from the heart.
3 – We praise him because of the great benefits he came with for mankind.
4 – we praise him because of our great respect, reverence and love for him.
- Yahya: He was given Life.
I’m not sure if this one is valid linguistically.
If it is correct:
Ya-Hya ( يَحْيَىٰ ) = he is given Life (hayaa).
And he was given it miraculously since both his parents [father: Zakariyyah (see Other Names:
- Iblees - Shaytaan's name - Despairing & Giving up Hope
Iblees ( إبليس ) (shaytaans name) -
= Ba-Lam-Siin = despair, give up hope, become broken (in spirit), mournful, become silent/confounded/perplexed unable to see right way or course, repent/grieve.
ablasa vb. (4)
impf. act. 30:12
pcple. act. 6:44, 23:77, 30:49, 43:75
iblis n. 2:34, 7:11, 15:31, 15:32, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116, 26:95, 34:20, 38:74, 38:75
LL, V1, p: 285
If we look at the description of the Root letters of Iblees’s name, we see that these Descriptions (in red) fit him extremely accurately.
- Iblees - Shaytaan's name - Despairing & Giving up Hope