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Quranic Grammar - Conditional Expressions (شرط)

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Conditional sentences are composed of two clauses, the condition and the result, also known as the protasis and the apodosis respectively. The pseudo-syntax for a conditional sentence is:

if <condition> then <result>

In formal logic the condition corresponds to the consequent and the result to the antecedent. In traditional Arabic grammar these two clauses are known as sharṭ (شرط) and jawāb sharṭ (جواب شرط).

Temporal Conditions

In the Quran, the word idhā (إذا) is frequently used as a conditional particle and is usually translated as "when". The pseudo-syntax for this type of temporal conditional sentence is:

when <condition> then <result>

An example may be found in verse (83:30) shown below. The word idhā (إذا) is tagged as a time adverb ẓarf zamān (ظرف زمان) since it is a conditional particle used in a temporal sense:

 (83:30:4)
yataghāmazūna
they winked at one another.
 (83:30:3)
bihim
by them,
 (83:30:2)
marrū
they passed
 (83:30:1)
wa-idhā
And when

Fig 1. A temporal conditional sentence in verse (83:30).

See Also

Language Research Group
University of Leeds
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