Qur'an | Word by Word | Audio | Prayer Times
__ Sign In

Verse (5:1), Word 3 - Quranic Grammar


The third word of verse (5:1) is divided into 2 morphological segments. A verb and subject pronoun. The form IV perfect verb (فعل ماض) is third person masculine plural. The verb's triliteral root is hamza mīm nūn (أ م ن). The suffix (الواو) is an attached subject pronoun.

Chapter (5) sūrat l-māidah (The Table spread with Food)

V – 3rd person masculine plural (form IV) perfect verb
PRON – subject pronoun
فعل ماض والواو ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل

Verse (5:1)

The analysis above refers to the first verse of chapter 5 (sūrat l-māidah):

Sahih International: O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts. Lawful for you are the animals of grazing livestock except for that which is recited to you [in this Qur'an] - hunting not being permitted while you are in the state of iúram. Indeed, Allah ordains what He intends.

See Also

6 messages


19th January, 2010

Would it be better to say: 'Believed' instead of 'believe'? The verb you say is perfect (meaning the deed is done by the time it is reported) so they have already believed and they are not in a state of about to beleive the call only applied to them- hence a hefty call?

So 'O You who have believed...' ?


19th January, 2010


I am also in favour of "Believed", based on the Sahih International translation into English, available for this verse on this page linked here(http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=5&verse=1). I would be interested to know what other people think as well about this. So far, this project has followed the approach of not producing any new translation of the Quran, but using the existing trusted traditional translations into English.


19th January, 2010

Salaam Kais,

I hope that we can influence (in the long-run) some parts of translation because that way the non-Arabic speakers get a chance to get closer to the intended meaning. It is through the grammar that the meaning is brought closer- but with so much grammar to go through I think we can stick to the trusted translations we have right now. Wallahu a'alam! Thanks as usual.


19th January, 2010

wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatu

Yep this sounds quite good. Inshallah, I do think that the grammar is improving a fair bit on this website, and as things progress to even high levels of accuracy, I feel confident that correct grammar as well as contextual meaning can be a guide to help further understand the Quran as well as the translations inshallah.

Abdul Rahman

20th January, 2010

The problem with using the English present perfect tense to translate Arabic fi3l maaDh (as in "have believed") is that the tense is usually used to express activities or situations that occurred "before now", at some unspecified time in the past, but it does NOT necessarily mean that the activity or situation continues in the present. So "those who have believed" could also be understood by English speakers to mean that "they used to believe but they no longer believe". Hence the preference in the context to translating it into the English simple present tense "believe".

Muhammad Asad ("The Message of the Quran") translates it as "O you who have attained to faith". Unlike "to believe", the verb "to attain" implies a process over a period of time beginning in the past and, presumably, continuing to the present. Wallahu a3lam.


21st January, 2010


I was under the impression that 'O you who have believed' gave the meaning that the act of belief has been attained and they are still in that state until now, because of the addition 'have'? But if that presents the unintended meaning then- yes, I totally agree that perhaps the Muhammad Asad translation might be closer to the true meaning of the verb than what we have previously suggested. Of course we don't want the meaning to suggest that they no longer believe! Such cases shows the complexity of Arabic grammar the challenge it presents to linguists like us, I hope that we can read into this more (tense, aspect and mood papers/ books) and perhaps agree on a good way to explain these aspects. Wallahu a'alam


You can sign in to add a message if this information could be improved or requires discussion.

Language Research Group
University of Leeds