Rules of Engagement Rules of Engagement is an AlMaghrib Institute course taught by Muhammad ibn Faqih. The course teaches and emphasizes ethics, morality, rights, character attributes, and manners–everything from the rights of children before they’re born to the cause for the decline and destruction of socieities to the literally dozens of virtues one earns from sabr! The course focuses a lot on self-development, self-improvement, and dealing with others, as well as improving oneself.
- Arabic has specific grammar rules for ‘Aadad and Ma’duwd–the number and the counted. Note: These rules apply for numbers from three to ten. One and two are special-they count as adjectives, not numbers, because the form of the word implies the number. In English, we say “three cars”. Three is the number (‘adad), and cars is the counted (ma’duwd). What are the grammatical rules of ‘adad and ma’duwd? Similar to time modifiers, ‘adad and ma’duwd work like possessive case.
- The Arabic language contains “time modifiers”–words like “before” and “after”. In Arabic, these are called Duruwf Zamaan, and grammatically, they act like the possessive case. While there are tons of these in Arabic, there are two you run into pretty often in the Qur’an and ahadith: ba’da (after) and qabla (before). Grammatically, the modifier comes before the thing it modifies–the same as in English. And since the modifier acts like the possessor in the possessive case, the modified receives kasra.
- You’re already familiar with possessive case in English–when we show ownership of something. For example, we might say, “this is Amer’s book” or “this is the book of Amer.” The possessive case has two elements: The possessor, i.e. the one who owns the thing. In this case, Amer. The possessed, i.e. the thing being owned. In this example, the book. The possessive case in Arabic is the same. The possessed is called the mudaf, the possessor the mudaf ilayh.
- In English, we have words like “from”, “to”, “with”, etc. These are called prepositions. They exist in Arabic, too–“huruful jaar” (حُرُوقُ الجَرّ). Huruwful jarr modify the words immediately after them, which are called “majruwr” (مَجرُور). In Arabic Grammar, majurwr words always take kasra (either single or double). (The one exception is feminine names, which take fatha.) So for example, if we have a book (kitaabun), then we add the preposition with (bi), it becomes “bi kitaabin” (بِ كِتَابٍ).
- In Arabic grammar, the default harakaat that goes on all words is dumma (ُ or ٌ, the “oo” or “oon” sound). When you don’t know the vowel, apply dumma. Other harakaat are for other cases–for example, posessive case takes kasra (ِ or ٍ, the “ee” or “een” sound). Harakaat are two types–short (aa, ee, and oo) and long (aan, een, and oon). The second point to remember is definitivity. A definitive object means a specific object, not just any old object.
- Masculine and Feminine In Arabic, all words are one of two genders: masculine, or feminine. There is no “it”, no third, gender-neutral gender like English has. The main thing to remember is that when you don’t know the gender, the default is the masculine gender. You also use the masculine gender for mixed groups (eg. if you’re talking to a group of men and women). The main sign of a word being feminine (remember, if you don’t know, the default is masculine) is a specific form of the letter ta, called ta-marbuta (التَّأ المَربُوطَة), or “tied-up ta”, which looks like this:
- Arabic Grammar consists almost entirely of putting harakaat on letters. Arabic writing is typically written without the harakaat. How is it possible to read? One must learn slowly, piece by piece, and read with understanding. Arabic is not like English–you have to actively read and consciously think while you read about what it means. (At least, when you start out.) Why are harakaat important? Harakaat determine the meaning of words and sentences entirely.