the possessive phrase in Arabic

Introduction – the possessive phrase – اَلْمُرَّكَبُ الإِضافِي


The possessive phrase is a combination of two nouns in which the first noun is owned by or in possession of the second noun.




نَارُ اللَّهِ

Allah’s fire/fire of Allah



رَسُولُ اللَّهِ

Allah’s Prophet



نَصْرُ اللَّهِ

Allah’s help



حَدِيْثُ الجُنُودِ

The story of the armies



حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ

The group of satans



صَاحِبُ الْحُوْتِ

The companion of the fish



يَوْمُ الْفَصْلِ

The day of decision



In English, the possession can be denoted by apostrophe “S” or by using the word “of,” as displayed in the above examples.

In a possessive phrase, the first noun is called “possessed”:




and the second noun is called “possessor”:


اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ


al Mudaf – اَلْمُضَافُ will always be an indefinite (common) noun, and it will never have the article اَلْ with it.


اَلْمُضَافُ can have the dammah, fatha, or Kasrah on it, but it will never have nunnation (tanween).


The second noun, the اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ is generally (but not always) a proper noun or otherwise is particularized by prefixing اَلْ.


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اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ – the possessor of the possession phrase



Examples in which اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ is a common noun:



إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ

[That] indeed, the Qur’an is the word of a noble Messenger. (69:40)



وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا

And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, (42:40)



فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ 

So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it (99:7)



وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ

And from the evil of an envier when he envies.” (113:5)



The last letter of the اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ will always have tanween kasrah or kasrah, i.e., it will always be genitive.

اَلْمُضَافُ إِلَيْهِ can also be in the form of a pronoun. However, the pronoun will not bear kasrah on it.




Examples of possession phrase:


 وَلِأُتِمَّ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ

and that you may be guided. (2:150)



مَا أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ 

His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained. (111:2)



وَاللَّـهُ وَلِيُّهُمَا ۗ وَعَلَى اللَّـهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

 but Allah was their ally, and upon Allah, the believers should rely. (3:122)



وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا

And if you are patient and fear Allah, their plot will not harm you at all (3:120)



فِي جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِّن مَّسَدٍ

Around her neck is a rope of [twisted] fiber. (111:5)



لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ 

For you is your religion, and for me, is my religion.” (109:6)



وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. (3:103)

اَلْمُضَافُ – the possessed of the possession phrase


If the اَلْمُضَافُ is dual or plural, the ن will be dropped in possession. Thus:


ان -َ


become :


ا -َ and يْ -َ

وْنَ -ُ and يْنَ -ِ




و -ُ and يْ -ِ


respectively in the nominative.


Examples of possession phrase used in the Noble Quran:



فَجَعَلْنَاهَا نَكَالًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا وَمَا خَلْفَهَا وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

And We made it a deterrent punishment for those who were present and those who succeeded [them] and a lesson for those who fear Allah. (2:66)




يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ

O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon (2:40)


Note: The body parts which are in pairs will always be dual and considered feminine.

If the demonstrative noun comes in a possessive sentence, it will come after the possessive phrase.




قَالَ إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُنكِحَكَ إِحْدَى ابْنَتَيَّ هَاتَيْنِ

He said, “Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters (28:27)



اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَـٰذَا

Take this, my shirt (12:93)



This Arabic lesson is now finished. The next one will be insha’Allah about the descriptive phrase in Arabic.


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