Arabic Grammar Lesson One: Preposition في (Fee)

Today’s post is about preposition في which is the most frequently used harf in Arabic Language.

Gradual dosage of grammar rules, vocabulary lists and examples from the book Fiqh ul Quloob will soon enable you to better understand this book and any other text that you wish to read inshaAllah.
Motivation and patience is required from you to keep you going through this journey of learning. May Allah keep you and I steadfast, and accept our efforts. Ameen.

في

Meaning:

We can translate fee in English as “in” however it may change its meaning in various contexts, e.g., to; at; near; by; within; during; among; in the company of; with; about; concerning; regarding; for the sake of; on behalf of; according to; in proportion to.

The term used to refer to preposition in Arabic is حرف جر (harfu jarr).

In order to understand the effect of fee let’s take few examples of nouns from the book.

Nouns               Meanings
النَّار (an-naar)           the fire
بَيتٌ (baytun)             a house

The Indefinite Article:

The indefinite article “a” in English is not written as a separate word in Arabic, but instead is indicated by doubling the last vowel written as ٌ. The doubled final vowel is called تنوين tanween (nunation). In the case of plurals “a” is not used in English, but in Arabic tanween also indicates indefiniteness in plurals as in بيوتٌ buyootun (houses/homes).

The Definite Article:

The definite article “the” is indicated by the addition of the prefix ال al to a noun and deletion of تنوين from its last vowel. Thus, بَيتٌ becomes البَيتُ (the house).

Note: When ال is added to a noun تنوين tanween must be dropped. They both cannot be on the same word because the noun can either be definite or indefinite. As we cannot say in English “The a house” similarly it is incorrect to say البَيتٌ in Arabic.

Genitive Case:

When the preposition في fee precedes a noun, it causes the noun to be in the genitive case مجرور (Majroor). It is indicated by the changing of the final vowel from a dammah to a kasrah.

Example:

في بيتٍ = بيتٌ + في

Let’s practice from the book..

فإنَّ خَيْـرَ الْـحَدِيثِ كِتَابُ الله وَخَيْـرَ الْـهُدَى هُدَى مُـحَـمَّدٍ  صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وَشَرَّ الأمُورِ مُـحْدَثَاتُـهَا، وكلَّ محدثةٍ بدعة، وَكُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلالَةٌ، وكلَّ ضَلالَةٍ فِي النَّارِ.

وكل نقصٍ خارجي في العملِ سببه نقصُ الإيمانِ داخل القلب، لذلك فالذي لا يسلم نفسه لله داخل الصلاة، لا يستطيع أن يسلمها لله خارج الصلاة.

[Page 6, second paragraph]

والذوق يولد الشوق، فمن ذاق طعم الإيمان اشتاق إلى تكميل الإيمان والأعمال الصالحة، وتلذذ بعبادة الله، وظهرت شعب الإيمان في حياتِه، وتعلقت روحه بحياة الملأ الأعلى، فأحبه الله، وأحبه من في السماءِ، وجعل الله له القبول في الارضِ..

[Page 6, fourth paragraph]

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6 comments on “Arabic Grammar Lesson One: Preposition في (Fee)

  1. You lost me here though:

    //When the preposition في fee precedes a noun, it causes the noun to be in the genitive case مجرور (Majroor). It is indicated by the changing of the final vowel from a dammah to a kasrah.//

    Can I please get a bit more explanation on this? Dammah? Kasrah?

    • Dammah is what we call ‘paish’ in Urdu. And Kasrah is ‘zair’.
      Usually nouns have dammah on their last letters. For example, بَيتٌ (has a double dammah / tanween).
      But when ‘fee’ precedes a noun, it causes the vowel (harakah) on its last letter to change into a kasrah. Example:
      في بيتٍ = بيتٌ + في

      We say ‘baytin’ is in genitive case because of ‘fee’.

  2. in arabic every word ends with a peesh,on the last herf.like alhumdu,almuslimo,alkafiro,alkazibo etc.but with the effect of few words or situations the last peesh changes into zeer,or zuber like alkafiri,or alkafira,almuslimi,or almuslima but that does not change the meaning of the word.like wise when ever few prepositions come before a noun the pesh called dummah changes into the zeer called kasrah in arabic grammer.as written above alartho,change into fi alarthi, pesh into zeer.see all other examples,i hope u r not more confused if i could write arabic over here ????????????

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