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الْمَاعُوْنَ - Bare necessities

Qur'anic Word 30 - Ramadan 2021

Our final word of the series is the word مَاعُون - not a very common word in the Qur’an, and mentioned only once in the Sūra named al-Maʿūn. The Sūra is a good telling-off and an admonishment that starts with Allah asking us a question...

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الْغَفَّارُ - The Oft-Forgiving

Qur'anic Word 29 - Ramadan 2021

Our word on this penultimate night of the month of Ramadan is one that we are no strangers to, as it features many many times in the du’as we have been beseeching Allah with throughout this month.

The word غَفَّارٌ is one of Allah’s most beautiful names, from the root غَفَر, which means 'to forgive'. So what’s the difference between His names الْغَافِرُ ، الْغَفُوْرُ and الْغَفَّارُ ?

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مَقْتٌ - disgust, hatred, outrage

Qur'anic Word 28 - Ramadan 2021

Our Qur’anic Word today is quite a strong one in its meaning. The word مَقْتٌ only occurs around 6 times in the Qur’an, but is used in a very strong sense each time, to describe something abhorrent or disgusting in the sight of Allah. Originally the word مَقْتٌ was the term for...

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يَسَّرْنَا - we have made easy

Qur'anic Word 27 - Ramadan 2021

Our Qur’anic word today is also to do with the Qur’an, and you will have heard it recited in Sūra al-Qamar in today’s juz’. The word is يَسَّرْنَا - which we means: we have made easy, or we have facilitated. It’s also a very easy word to pronounce. It’s mentioned about 11 times in the Qur’an, and most of them are in Sūra al-Qamar.

So what exactly has Allah made easy?

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تَدَبُّرٌ - pondering, contemplation

Qur'anic Word 26 - Ramadan 2021

تَدَبُّرٌ - is translated as ؛pondering’ or ‘contemplating’, and features exclusively in reference to the Qur’an, when Allah asks rhetorically why people don’t ponder over the Qur’an, or whether there are locks on their hearts.

The word تَدَبُّرٌ is an interesting one. Its root د ب ر means ‘the end, behind or last of something’...

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قَدَرٌ - measure, portion, capacity

Qur'anic Word 25 - Ramadan 2021

Our Qur’anic Word today sounds very much like قَدْرٌ as in Laylat al-Qadr, but is slightly different - the word قَدَرٌ .

Occurring around 11 times in the Qur’an, it’s a very important word that means ‘measure, portion or capacity’. The root word قَدَرَ is so vast in its meaning and encompasses...

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يَبْسُطُ - He spreads

Qur'anic Word 24 - Ramadan 2021

Our Qur’anic Word today is the beautiful verb بَسَطَ - يَبْسُطُ which means to spread out, to extend, stretch or expand something.

In the Qur’an it’s used in many places, so Qabil, for example, stretched (بَسَطَ) his hand out to kill his brother, but Hābil said he wouldn’t extend his hand to kill him. There are also other mentions of hands stretching out to...

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الذِّكْرُ - reminder, remembrance, mention

Qur'anic Word 23 - Ramadan 2021

Our word today is again one that is very familiar to us all, and whose root is mentioned almost 300 times in the Qur’an.

It’s the word ذِكْرٌ which has been translated as ‘remembrance’, ‘reminder’, ‘mindfulness’ and ‘mention’ depending on the context as well as what we are being asked to be mindful of. The majority of the time in the Qur’an...

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يُصَلُّوْنَ - they pray; supplicate; send blessings; praise

Qur'anic Word 22 - Ramadan 2021

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ

Indeed Allah and His angels bless the Prophet...

Our word today is very closely related to one that we’re thoroughly familiar with. The word يُصَلُّوْنَ means ‘they pray’ and that’s where the word for prayer ṣalāt is derived from. So does that mean that Allah (swt) also performs the prayer?

Not at all, because the verb ṣallā has several meanings in the Qur’an...

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آيَةٌ - signpost, sign

Qur'anic Word 21 - Ramadan 2021

Our Qur’anic word today is آَيَة (āyah), whose plural is آيَات (āyāt) and features extensively in Sūra al-Rūm between ayāt 20 and 28 all starting with وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ... when Allah talks about his various signs.

The same word is also used by the Qur’an to refer to...

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مُضْطَرٌّ - distressed

Qur'anic Word 20 - Ramadan 2021

أَمَّن يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ
Who is it that answers the distressed when they call upon Him? And Who removes their suffering?
Today’s word comes from an āya in juz' 20: āya 62 of Sūra al-Naml, which is at the tip of our tongues when anyone is in distress or hardship, or when someone is ill. We usually recite it a few times...

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خَلِيْلٌ - friend

Qur'anic Word 19 - Ramadan 2021

Our Qur’anic Arabic word today is the word خَلِيْل khalīl, which you may already know means friend, as Allah took Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) as a khalīl: a friend. But the Qur’an mentions 8-10 different types of friends in the Qur’an, so what kind of friend is a khalīl?

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رَجَعَ - to return

Qur'anic Word 18 - Ramadan 2021

Our word today is intrinsically linked to yesterday’s word: mawt. It’s the verb رَجَعَ , which means ‘to return, to go back’. Words from this root occur around 104 times in the Qur’an in various forms, for example, the word رَاجِعُوْن , which is a plural: we or they are going back, returning. That’s why when someone passes away or we’re afflicted with a tribulation, we say...

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مَوْتٌ - death

Qur'anic Word 17 - Ramadan 2021

Our word today is one that needs no introduction to anyone. It’s as certain as the day we were born. Mentioned 50 times in the Qur’an in various contexts, and is probably the second most word to have more quotes penned about it, after ‘love’. It’s been called ‘the great equalizer’, ‘the only guaranteed thing to happen in our lives’ and yet its ‘when’ is the greatest uncertainty of all...

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هَيِّنٌ - insignificant, too easy

Qur'anic Word 16 - Ramadan 2021

The word هَيِّنٌ is mentioned twice in Sūra Maryam, both of them in the stories of the miraculous conceptions of Prophet Yahya and Prophet Isa. When Prophet Zakariyya questions how on earth he’s going to have a son when he’s old and his wife is barren, Allah says...

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الْعَاجِلَةُ - instant, immediate

Qur'anic Word 15 - Ramadan 2021

Our word today is the adjective ʿājila, which means ‘instant, quick, immediate’ and only occurs in the feminine in the Qur’an, used to describe only one thing - the dunya - this worldly life, and often contrasted with al-ākhira ‘the next life’. It comes from the root عَجِلَ ‘to be ready, immediate, instant’ and would usually be used to describe goods...

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رِيَاحٌ - winds

Qur'anic Word 14 - Ramadan 2021

Our word today is رِيَاحٌ ‘winds’ mentioned 10 times in the Qur’an as a plural and 19 times in its singular form رِيْحٌ ‘wind’. In this juz’, in ayah 22 of Surah al-Hijr, Allah says: وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ فَأَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءًا فَأَسْقَيْنَاكُمُوْهُ؛ We send the winds to fertilize, and We bring down water from the sky for you to drink Before even going into the subtle differences between رِيْحٌ and رِيَاحٌ it’s worth pausing to...

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حَافِظٌ - protector

Qur'anic Word 13 - Ramadan 2021

Qur'anic Word 13 is حَافِظٌ from the root حَفِظَ ‘to protect, preserve or keep something safe’. That’s why someone who memorises the Qur’an is called a خَافِظ - because he is keeping it safe in his memory, preserving it and guarding it like a treasure. You’ll have noticed while reading this juz’, of which Sūra Yūsuf is a main part, that the word حَافِظ comes up quite a bit in there...

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رِزْقٌ - divine provision

Qur'anic Word 12 - Ramadan 2021

Our word today is from Surah al-Hud, ayah 6, which today’s juz’ starts with: وَمَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ فِيْ الْأَرْضِ إلَّا عَلَى اللهِ رِزْقُهَا And there is no moving creature on the earth but that its sustenance is upon Allah. The word رِزْق is divine provision that Allah has guaranteed for everyone. He mentions in the Qur’an how He spreads His sustenance, or straitens it, how He grants it in abundance to whoever He wishes. We know that the tiniest of creatures crawling on land as well as on the bottom of the pitch black ocean floor are granted their sustenance. But what about all the poor ‘people’ on this earth?

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صَدَقَةٌ - charity

Qur'anic Word 11 - Ramadan 2021

In Sura al-Tawba, Allah mentions specifically what the function of charity is. But Ṣadaqa in the Qur’an is not the same as Zakāt. Zakāt is a tax that we owe, but Ṣadaqa is charity that is highly encouraged as it purifies us and wards off tribulations. But how is ‘charity’ linked to the root meaning (صدق) of ‘being honest and sincere’ ?

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نِعْمَةٌ - blessing, favour

Qur'anic Word 10 - Ramadan 2021

Today's word is one that you may already be familiar with. It’s the word for ‘blessing’ or ‘favour’: نِعْمَةٌ. It’s mentioned over 50 times in the Qur’an in various different contexts where God reminds people of the different bounties He has blessed them with, the most notable and greatest of which is...

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اِسْتَعِيْنُوْا - seek help!

Qur'anic Word 9 - Ramadan 2021

Our Qur'anic Word of the day today is part of some beautiful words that Prophet Musa uses to reassure his people when Fir’awn announces that he is going to kill all of the men and boys of the Bani Isra’il. It’s also a word that we recite in our prayers at least 10 times a day. The verb اِسْتَعَانَ – يَسْتَعِيْنُ: which means ‘to seek help’. We say: إيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِيْنُ – It is You we worship, and it is You we seek help from. So when the Bani Isra’il are terrified of such persecution, he says...

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يَخْرُصُوْنَ - they guess the truth and spread fake news

Qur'anic Word 8 - Ramadan 2021

The verb يَخْرُصُوْنَ is not a very common one in the Qur’an – mentioned only 4 times, but wherever it is mentioned Allah is very chiding of the people who behave in such a way. يَخْرُصُوْنَ from the verb: خَرَصَ means ‘they express opinions based on guesswork and assumptions, and spread lies’, basically what we call ‘spreading fake news’ in today’s language. Originally the verb was used to refer to farmers...

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طَيِّبٌ - pure, wholesome, good

Qur'anic Word 7 - Ramadan 2021

طَيِّبٌ is a lovely adjective which means 'pure, wholesome, good’ and which Allah uses to describe good fertile land, pure people of good character, good speech and good children. The opposite is the word خَبِيْث meaning filthy and impure. In Sūra al-Mā’ida, Allah outlines many dietary laws...

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مِيْثَاقٌ - Covenant

Qur'anic Word 6 - Ramadan 2021

The word مِيْثَاقٌ is one you will have heard being recited numerous times as it is concentrated in Surah al-Baqara, Aal Imran and al-Ma’ida, especially when Allah mentions the Bani Isra’il. From the root وَثِقَ which means a firm trust or something strong and unbreakable, مِيْثَاق is translated as a covenant, treaty or alliance, and has a real air of seriousness about it as it’s a pact...

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الْجَارُ - The Neighbour

Qur'anic Word 5 - Ramadan 2021

Our 5th Qur’anic Arabic word is الْجَارُ : neighbour, which comes from the root جَاوَرَ: to be neighbourly, to protect, and give refuge. It occurs 3 times in the Qur’an, two of which are in aya 36 of Sūra al-Nisāʾ where Allah lists the categories of people we have to be extra kind to...

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بِرٌّ - Righteousness

Qur'anic Word 4 - Ramadan 2021

The 4th Word in our Qur’anic Arabic Word Series for this month is بِرٌّ which means ‘righteousness, goodness, integrity’ especially towards our parents, and Allah makes the attainment of بِرّ conditional upon...

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أنْفَقَ - Spending

Qur'anic Word 3 - Ramadan 2021

Qur’anic Arabic Word no. 3 is the verb أَنْفَقَ , which occurs around 69 times in the Qur’an in various forms. Of these mentions, they’re especially concentrated in this Juz’ occurring in almost every ayah from ayah 254 to 274 of Sura al-Baqara. Allah puts so much emphasis on ‘spending’...

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قَرْضًا حَسَنًا - A Good Loan

Qur'anic Word 2 - Ramadan 2021

Our 2nd Qur’anic Arabic Word of the series is actually a phrase that God repeats several times: قَرْضًا حَسَنًا which means ‘a good, or beautiful loan’. It comes from the root qa-ra-ḍa or the verb aqraḍa, which means to lend someone a loan...

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يَتِيْمٌ - Orphan

Qur'anic Word 1 - Ramadan 2021

Our first Qur’anic Arabic Word of the series on this first night of the holy month of Ramadan 1442 from the 1st Juz’ of the Qur’an is يَتِيْمٌ which means ‘orphan’. Derived from the root ي ت م , it’s mentioned a total of 23 times in the Qur’an, where the Qur’an encourages.....