Thursday, 13 October 2011

Arabic Letter Sound Gem: To Cut Lengthways, or Width (Surah Yusuf 12:25)

Asalaamu alaykum waRahmatullah waBarakaatuh.

Arabic Sound Gem:
To Cut/tear
Width-ways, or Lengthways (Surah Yusuf 12:25)

Cutting (width and length):

QaT(a) [ قط ] - cut Width-wise

Qad(a) [ قد ] - cut Length-wise

Both; 'Taa'  [ ط ] and 'dal' [ د ] are Qalqala (echo sounded) letters in Tajweed/Qur'an Recital.

We know that the letter 'Ta' [ ط ] has a shorter echo in its Qalqala in comparison to the 'dal' [ د ].

This is why;

QaT(a) = cutting Width wise [has a shorter Qalqala echo sound] (because Width is usually shorter than length.)

Qad(a) = cutting Length wise [has a longer Qalqala echo sound] (because Length is usually longer than width.)

This is just one of the amazing depths of the sounds of the Arabic language.

Now if we see Surah Yusuf 12:25, we will see what way Prophet Yusuf's shirt was torn;

وَاسْتَبَقَا الْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيصَهُ مِن دُبُرٍ وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَى الْبَابِ ۚ قَالَتْ مَا جَزَاءُ مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوءًا إِلَّا أَن يُسْجَنَ أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
So they raced with one another to the door, and she tore [Qad] his shirt from the back...

 Can you guess whether his shirt was torn width-ways or length-ways*? Only the Arabic language can capture this meaning.

*Answer: Length-ways.


yazen said...

very interesting.

Anonymous said...

وَ قَطَّعْنَ comes up in Surah Yusuf 12:31, when the noble women of the city saw Yusuf(as) whilst they were cutting fruit, they were so shocked by his(as) handsomeness they cut their hands.

قَطَّعْنَ also comes up in this Surah Yusuf 12:50,when Yusuf(as) asks what is the case of the women who cut their hands after the interpretation of the kings dream.

smileischarity said...

This is interesting but it does not make sense.

I have checked with a tajweed teacher - first there is no difference in the length
of the qalqala for the two letters. Secondly in the word qadda there is a shadda on the letter d and hence there is no qalqala.

What is the source of the above gem?

salaf said...

asalaam alaykum waRahmatullah waBarakaatuh

I got the details about
the Qalqala of the dal and Ta, by a brother called Mohtanick Jamil (named: arabiclikeaboss on youtube). see here;

The brother is qualified in
teaching Arabic (he's studied Advanced
Tajweed) and I believe he's one of the brothers running the Shariah
programme in Canada.

In regard to the 'Ta' and 'dal' having a difference in qalqala, then as far as I am aware, there is no 'qalqala Length rule' apart from the echo sound produced. However we should agree that qalqala on a dal will naturally have a slightly longer echo in comparison to the Ta (due to Ta's naturally 'blunt sound' in comparison to a letter dal.)

This is what is being emphasised.

Even if someone was to disagree, linguistically the definitions for QaT (tearing width ways) and Qad (length ways) are correct.

But you are correct that I made an error in quoting a letter with a Shadda on it (since that does not emphasise the Qalqala). Although the meaning would still be correct.

wa Allahu a'lam.

bint sulaim said...

jazakallah khair. how can i sign to your newsletter?

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