Identifying Singular and Plural In The Quran

You see one of the things that make Quran Arabic really really really cool is the table below which is about ending sounds and ending combinations. The ending sounds are in the first column from the right. 

In that column, you have Muslimun, Musliman and Muslimin which immediately tells us that it is singular. You know this because whenever you see a word that ends with ‘un’ ‘an’ or ‘in’ it can only be singular.

Why is there 3 version of it? As you can see that Muslimun is rafa’ Musliman is nasb’ and Muslimin is Jarr.

If you don’t know what rafa’ nasb’ or jarr is you can read about roles of nouns.

How To Spot A Twin

In Quran Arabic, there is such a thing called dual when a word is referring to more than one noun. It is neither singular or plural. It is a category of it’s own known as dual. 

The second column consist of aani , ayni and ayni which indicate dual. You probably notice something aani is for rafa’ but  ayni is applicable for both nasb and jarr. So both nasb and jarr use the same ending combinations. All you have to know right now is when you see ayni is it is dual and it could be nasb or it could be jar. 

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Plural in the Quran

In the third column which is for plural meaning, there is more than 2 of something and this case it is Muslim. We know that Muslimoona means there is at least 3 Muslims and it is in the rafa’ status. While nasb and jarr both has ‘eena’ as ending combination. It would be really helpful if you can remember that whenever  you hear ‘oona’ or ‘eena’ that it is plural because it comes quite often in the Quran. The sounds ‘oona‘ refers to noun which is  Rafa; while both Nasb and Jarr has the same ending combination whcih is ‘eena’. 

Key Takeaways

So lets recap, Arabic nouns has ending sounds and ending combinations. You should look for an ending combination first. There are only four ending combinations which is ‘aani’ and ‘ayni’. 

 When a noun refers to two of something. And then there is ‘oona’ and ‘eena’ when the noun is plural. One thing to remember is both nasb and jarr for dual and plural look and sound the same.

Image credit: Elbara

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