Every word in the Quran will fall either be Ism (noun), fi’il (verb) or harf (particle). That is every single word from cover to cover. When it comes to nouns, which play a very significant role in the Quran, it can be further breakdown into three.
As a general rule, nouns are present in every sentence and like actors on a stage, they perform different roles. If you watch a TV serial let’s say Dirilis Ertugrul for example. They will be the main actor which is Ertugrul, supporting role Turgut and of course they will be extras to complete the show.
But how do you know if a particular actor in a show is the lead actor? There is usually an obvious sign. They always remain at the center of the storyline meaning the story revolves around the central character he or she is always doing something. The supporting role always connected to the lead role and the other roles add color to the story.
Similarly, when you look at an Ism in the Quran there can be one of three roles that an Ism could be playing at one time.. It could be like a lead character (doer) known as rafa’ or supporting role known as ‘nasb’ or any other roles than the lead role or supporting role which is known as jarr. These are the 3 roles that a noun plays in the Quran. Often times all 3 are present in a single sentence.
Allah created the earth
Let’s demonstrate each one of these roles with a sentence.
Alright, let’s start with an Ism that performs the main role (Rafa’) in the sentence above. The first thing we must do is ask what is the action in the sentence. The word that represents an action is ‘created’.
Then you ask the fundamental question of who did the act of teaching. In this case, the word ‘Allah’ did the act of creating. So the word Allah in that sentence is Rafa’ that played the main role.
How about the word earth? What question does it answer?
Well, it answers the question of what was created? It gives the details of the act. When a noun performs a supporting role and provides details of the act it is called nasb.
The third roles played by a noun is jarr, a noun becomes jarr when it comes after the word ‘of’ or after such as in a sentence like ‘The house of Allah’. The word Allah in that sentence is jarr because it comes after the word ’of’.
Jarr also include anything that show belonging like ‘his book. The word his is jarr because it indicates belonging. Techically it is also ‘after of’ because ‘his book’ really means the book of his;
Here is the key takeaway from this lesson every noun in the Quran can be divided into 3 roles that they played and that is Rafa’ nasb’ and jarr on a stage called sentence. Rafa’ perform the lead role while nasb perform the supporting role and jarr is every other role which is not nasb or jarr.
Farah Ishak is a Content Writer at Halalop. She grew up in the United Kingdom where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Management. Later, she completed her MBA and held senior-level positions in Malaysian based MNC. She left the corporate world to be with her young kids. She is passionate about issues concerning Muslim women, Startups and Muslim businesses in general.