Sarf ~ Etymology

November 20, 2014

Sarf, i.e., etymology, a branch of grammar, which

helps in knowing the root words and conjugations.

The meaning of a word changes with the change in

the root and with a change in its conjugation.

Ibn Faris (Rahmatullah alaih) says, “One who loses the

knowledge of etymology loses a ‘great deal”

‘Allamah Zamakhshari (Rahmatullah alaih) mentions that, when a certain person set to translate the ayat- ‘

 يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ ۖ



“On the day that We shall call each and every people

after their leader,”

he ignorantly rendered it thus: “On the day that We shall call each people after their mothers;” He supposed that the singular Arabic word ‘imam’ (leader) was the plural of the Arabic word ‘umm’ (mother). If he had been conversant with etymology, he would have known that the plural of ‘umm: is not ‘imam’.


Three persons are not blessed with complete understanding of the Qur’an:

It is stated in ‘Keemiyaa-e-Sa’aada’t’ that three persons are not blessed with complete understanding of the Qur’an.

First, one who is not well versed in Arabic, secondly, one who persists in committing a major sin or indulges in act of religious innovation, because these actions, blacken his
heart, which in turn prevents him from understanding the Qur’an. Thirdly, one who is a rationalist, even in the matter quranof faith, and feels embarrassed when he reads an ayat of the
Qur’an which he is not able to fully rationalize.

اللهم احفظنا منهم

May Allah azza wajal protect us from all such sins and evils, give us the Tawfeeq and Istaqaamat to understand Qur’an and implement on it. ِAameen.