How to Identify Nouns in the Quran

After reading this article you can immediately identify nouns in the Quran simply by looking at a page in the Quran. But why should you even care? How can knowing nouns feed your family and makes your life easier? 

You need to put food on the table, pay your mortgages, personal loans and other oppressive financial instruments that are thought to make your life better. Why should you worry about Arabic nouns?

Knowing more nouns can make you richer. Our superiority in this world is because we can put a name to things. It is explained in Surah Al Baqarah ayah 231, “God taught Adam the names, all of them”.

وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا

Still not convinced?

You will after you read this:

In the 1950s, research discovered a link between a person’s vocabulary and his or her intelligence. So much so it was incorporated by the US Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) as an entrance requirement and job allocation. In a 1999 study by Christopher Winship and Sanders Korenman, a gain of one standard deviation on the AFQT raises one’s annual income by nearly $10,000 (in 2012 dollars).

So there is a clear correlation between intelligence, income and vocabulary. What is vocabulary actually? Nouns make a large part of the vocabulary and in Arabic, nouns form a larger part of the vocabulary.  

So now let’s get back to our topic of discussion. How do you identify nouns in the Quran and please do it with the correct intention not because you want to increase your income? 

When you open the Quran you can immediately identify a noun visually without even knowing the meaning. There are 3 obvious signs that give a noun away. 

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Ending Sound

The first sign is that every word that ends with a tanween is a noun. A tanween is the double vowel sound which are ‘aan’  ـً  . ‘iin’ ـٍ  ‘oon’ ـٌ   

Tanween always appears at the end of a word and it shows that word is indefinite meaning it is referring to a general noun like ‘A boy’ instead of the boy.  

Alif Lam

Secondly whenever you see there is the letter Alif ا and lam ل the word would most probably be a  noun. Alif lam or  ال AL appears at the beginning of the word and it is meant to show that the word is definite. It is referring to a noun which are specific and not general in nature such as the boy instead of a boy. Whenever a word begins with Alif lam it the ending cannot have a tanween. 

After a preposition

Any word that appears after a preposition is a noun. What is Arabic preposition in Arabic it is called harf jarr. Prepositions that occur approximately 5,000 times in the Quran are min من ( from) إلى ila (for), an and ma’a  مع (with). Any word that comes after these words mentioned earlier is a noun. What if you can’t remember all Arabic prepositions. That is really simple, any word that comes after a preposition most of the time end with a kasrah sign. 

Lets recap you can visually tell whether a word is a noun or not with 3 simple signs. A noun is any word that ends with a tanween, any word that begins with Alif lam and any word that is after a preposition or has a kasrah sign

Image credit: Ersan Urganci

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