How to identify الاسم (Noun) in the Quran?

This article is part of a series called 5 minutes Quran, in this second installment the article cover nouns in the Quran  

Before we learn how to identify a noun in the Quran, there is an interesting fact that I want to share. Have you wondered what makes us humans superior to other creatures? This is an age-old question that has been asked for centuries.  Yet this question has been answered in the Quran 1400 years ago. It is our ability to name things that make use superior to other creatures. This fact is also backed by research although it is 1300 years late.

Research since the 1930s has shown that there is a correlation between vocabulary and income. Vocabulary mainly consists of nouns. Nouns are words that identify things but they are more than just that. In fact, our mastery of nouns is what makes humans different and superior to any other creation.

Why human are superior according to the Quran

This is explained in Surah Al Baqarah Ayah 30- 32 where Adam is accepted is superior by other creations because he knows the names of things. The name of things in grammar is known as nouns or Ism اسم . 

 Ism or noun can be divided into at least these 6 things, there are more but this 6 category of a noun is enough for now. It consists of person, place, things, ideas adjective and adverb.

The first three I think is very straightforward and no explanation is needed. But the next three can use with some clarification.

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is basically words which is intangible that you can’t touch, in English, it usually ends with the letter  ‘ion’ like education, implementation, fraction and etc. But it is not limited to words with ion ending. Peace, War, and ideology is also an idea


ِAdjective is words that describe something, say a car it can be a fast big ugly car. These are words that enhance the meaning of another word. Any word which describes another word is an adjective. In the Quran, you’ll see words like great success, luminous book and etc. Great and Luminous are words that describe things.


Person place thing ideas (ion concept adjective word that describe something) Adverb words that end with ly like quickly, slowly and angrily.  In Arabic, all these words including the above belong to the Ism family. At this point you don’t have to remember anything, simply understand this concept of words and their role in the sentence. Simply by reading this, it would have registered in your brain.

Key takeaways

That’s for now, InsyaAllah in the next article we will go over the last part of speech in Arabic which Fi’il.  Right now I would like to leave you with something that if you open the Quran and look at a page you can immediately identify Ism. By default every noun must end with the sound ‘oo’ or ‘oon’represented by a dammah  ( و ) or dammatain (double dammah) sign. These signs changes the sound of the word to end with either  the o sound as in University or oon sound as in goon sound. Both of these sound generally implies that the word is a noun.

Timeless & Independent

There is a difference between nouns and verbs, noun is timeless and independent. It is not like a verb that needs some other word to exist. A verb needs a doer, that performs the verb, like the word eat alone is not much of message but he eats tells you who is doing the eating. A Noun, however, does not need a doer. It is independent!

Let’s recap what we learn so far, Ism is an important part of the Quran and it consists of at least 6 category o words. Second, an Ism is independent it does not need any other word to make sense. Every word in the Quran that ends with a dammah or dammahtain .


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