Expression of Holy Quran
There are a number of expressions used in the Quran. Some are used to clarify, others used to draw an imagery.
In Surah Al bayyinah (96) verse 16, Allah SWT uses a hyperbole. A hyperbole is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, and is not meant to be taken literally1
نَاصِيَةٍ۬ كَـٰذِبَةٍ خَاطِئَةٍ۬ - translated as "The lying, sinful forelock"
If you look back at verse 13, there's a mention of a "kadhib" - a liar, someone who denies. From there on the verses describe the punishment of such a person. And verse under question declares the forelock as lying and sinful, as if to say, the person is so sinful, that every part of him is sinful.
This is an instance of a part of the body being attributed with the attribute of the whole. He is such a big liar that, it is as if every part of his body lies seperately. That's the stage of his sins - gives us an idea of the extreme2
Assalamu 'alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, Sisters

Masha Allah, you are doing sterling work. Just on the issue of "hyberbole" a possible Arabic equivalent might be "al-mubalaghah", which is one of the effects or functions of the particular figure of speech used in the verse, which could be that of metonymy (which includes substituting the part for whole). The instance of ناصية كاذبة خاطئة is referred to in Balaghah as majaz 'aqli which is to ascribe an action or attribute to other than its real agent. Here, the attributes / acts of الكذب and الخطأ are ascribed to other than their real agent, namely, the forelock, with the real agent being the owner of the forelock. So all-and-all the description given is spot-on I just thought of adding the bit on "majaz 'aqli".

Keep up the good work, Sisters, and I'm looking forward to the next post
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A simile is described as a comparison of two unlike things, typically marked by use of "like", "as", "than", or "resembles" 1


The Qur’an employs similes (amthal, singular mathal (مَثَلُ)) to explain certain truths or to drive home important points of the message. Similes are used by likening it to something well known or describing it in a pictorial, vivid manner. They are referred to the natural phenomena and existential situation the Arab was most familiar with, but one does not have to be an Arab to feel their force.

The particle كَ is used in the meaning of "like", "as", "than", or "resembles". It is also interesting to note that the كَ is a harfe Jar, therefore the word following it will be Majroor (in the state of Jar)


1. Jews who have the Torah but do not profit by it are compared to an ass loaded with books:

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا
THE PARABLE of those who were graced with the burden of the Torah, and thereafter failed to bear this burden, is that of an ass that carries a load of books [but cannot benefit from them] [62.5].

2. The works of unbelievers, from which they hope to benefit at the Judgement, are like ashes blown away by the wind [14.18], or like a mirage which appears to be water, but, when one comes to it, turns out to be nothing [24.39].

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّهِمْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ
the parable of those who are bent on denying their Sustainer: all their works are as ashes which the wind blows about fiercely on a stormy day [14.18]

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاء حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا
But as for those who are bent on denying the truth, their [good] deeds are like a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty supposes to be water - until, when he approaches it, he finds that it was nothing [24.39].

Assalamu ‘alakum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Masha Allah, Sister, the fact that “Arabic Learners” are touching on different points of Balaghah is very refreshing and is well appreciated. It is high time that Balaghah acquires the status that its bigger brothers, Nahw & Sarf, have acquired. I personally hope that this trend will develop later more seriously and be discussed more vigorously among Arabic learners in general in the new future. Maybe this is just the type of jump start that is needed.

To contribute to the discussion, I have the following brief comments to make.

(1) The topic under discussion is treated under the heading of “al-tashbih” (likening, equating, resembling) in Balaghah. Al-tashbih, though, is more general than simile (which to the best of my knowledge is a direct comparison with the comparative instruments / words such as (كـ، مثل) mentioned in the sentence. Traditionally, they have identified 4 components or elements of which a typical tashbih is composed: (1) the object compared, (2) the object compared to, (3) the instrument of comparison, and (4) the particular respect in which the two are compared. While the (3) and (4) are optional , (1) and (2) are essential for the expression to qualify as a tashbih. Should (1) or (2) be omitted then the expression becomes an isti‘arah (trope or metaphor). Also you can either liken one object to another or you can liken an object in a particular setting or going through a particular process to another object in a particular setting or going through a particular process. An example of the latter is the first comparison mentioned about the keepers of the Taurah who have been given the honour of carrying the burden of the Taurah, but fail to do, who are compared to a donkey in the process of carrying books. They call this tashbih “tashbih tamthili” because it is not merely likening one object to another but rather an object whilst being in a certain state to another being in a certain state.



(2) There is also an interesting discussion on the significance of why the word "مثل" was used at the beginning of the second verse [14:18] and not used at the beginning of the third verse [24:39] .

(3) Obviously, delving into the depths of these comparisons to reveal their subtle meaning and fine implications is where the joy of it all lies. This is the activity called “al-Tafakkur” (reflection & contemplation) that the Qur’an urges us to engage in (وتلك الأمثال نضربها للناس لعلهم يتفكرون) “Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect” [59:21].

All-in-all, you’ve done a great job at reviving and inspiring discussion around topics that belong to the domain of Balaghah which is still very much in its infancy. Insha Allah, maybe the time of having simple Balaghah manuals in our midst is near – manuals similar to those of Nahw & Sarf , and simple systems or methods be devised for making their contents available

One question (and this may not correspond to the current post):
I will copy-paste some quranic ayats from Suran Luqman below:

1) لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَوتِ وَالْارْضِ انَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ
[31:26]

2)وَلَوْ انَّمَا فِي الْارْضِ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ اقْلَمٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ ابْحُرٍ مَا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمتُ اللَّهِ انَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
[31:27]

3) مَا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلَا بَعْثُكُمْ الَّا كَنَفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ انَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ
[31:28]

4) ذَلِكَ بِانَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَانَّ مَا يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ الْبَطِلُ وَانَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ
[31:30]

Note how verse 26 and verse 30 have a huwa in front of the attributes of Allah (Subhana wa Ta'ala) but none in the other two examples.
Does this effect the meaning in some way? What is the underlying rule here?

Assalamu 'alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

In Balaghah there is a phenomenon called القصر (al-qasr) which is to specify or limit an attribute to the essence described or to specify or limit the essence described to that attribute. The first part of such a construction is called the المقصور (the part that is specified) and the secomd part is called the المقصور عليه (the part for which it is specified) e.g. لا خالق إلا الله (here the attribute of creating is limited to Allah and Allah alone), ما قام إلا زيد (no one stood except for Zayd) i.e. standing is limited to Zayd only.

Now, there are 4 or 5 ways to produce القصر :
(1) ما + إلا
(2) إنما (innama)
(3) fronting what should normally come later in the sentence, e.g. إياك نعبد orig. نعبدك
(4)using لا , بل and لكن as conjunctions, e.g. زيد حاضر لا غائب
(5) using a definite khabar with a definite mubtada' e.g. القارئ زيد (the reciter is Zayd). Often to emphasise القصر and increase its effect huwa is inserted between the two definite nouns. This is what the verses with "huwa" are about. Both the mubtada' & khabar or Ism anna and khabar anna, and so on, are definite producing the effect of القصر with the addition of "huwa" there is an added element of القصر .

In Surah al-Hadid there is the verse which reads ومن يتول فإن الله هو الغني الحميد . However, Nafi' al-Madaniy reads as فإن الله الغني الحميد without the "هو" the difference the one being more emphatic in القصر than the other. The point here is that it is not a prerequisite to use huwa - which btw is referred to as ضمير فصل as it often separates between two definite nouns so as to avoid taking the construction to be that of a sifah-mawsuf one or something similar.

So the next question is why use القصر in verses 26 & 30? The answer is that only Allah in the real sense possesses those qualities and onoe else such that they are limited only to Him. As for the other attributes, I suppose, you can find them in created beings as well.
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The following islamic expressions are freuquently used by muslims all over the world. Muslims' daily expressions seem to be closely related to religion, from simple greetings to future planning. The table below contains some of the most used expressions in Islam, I hope this will help you be familiar with various phrases in Islam.Inshallah.
Pronunciation in English Expression in Arabic scrip Meaning and what is it’s used for.
Alhamdulillah. الحمد لله Praise to Allah, used usually to express satisfaction, or after having finished eating… or if someone asks you how you were and you want to express that you’re satisfied.
Ashokrulillah. الشكر لله Thanks to Allah, used almost the same way as the one above.
Alhamdulillah w AShokrulillah. الحمد لله و الشكر لله Praise and Thanks to Allah, used to express a Full satisfaction for something. Accomplishing something, or your well-being or simply for having a very good meal.
Subhanallah. سبحان الله Glory to Allah, can be used in many places, for example if you heard something amazing and you want to express your amazement.
Mashallah. ما شاء الله What Allah wishes, used to express amazement almost like Subhanallah except that Mashallah is mainly for positive amazement, like if someone tells you “I have a daughter and she is 9” you can simply reply “mashallah” then add something if you want.
La ilaha illa Allah. لا إله إلا الله There is no god but Allah. Can be said any time.
Mohammadun Rasulu Allah. محمد رسول الله Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Usually comes after La ilaha illa Allah.
Allahu Akbar. الله أكبر Allah is great (greater), also can be used in a wide variety of places, often to show excitement.
La hawla wala quwata illa billah. لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله There is no change/ transformation nor power/ strength except through Allah, used in unfavorable situations beyond ones control, also to express dissatisfaction.
Bismillah. بسم الله In the name of Allah. Used to start something, whatever a Muslim wants to start (driving, eating, walking, reading …)
Bismillah Awaluhu wa Akhiruhu. بسم الله أوله و أخره “In the name of Allah, at its beginning and at its end” used mainly when someone forgets to say Bismillah before starting a meal and remembers that in the middle of the meal.
Bismillah Arrahman Arraheem. بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم In the name of Allah, the most gracious the most merciful. A full equivalent to “bismillah”, many Muslims use it before reciting the Qur’an.
Inshallah. إن شاء الله If Allah wills. Usually used to refer to planning to do a future action, I will do this … if Allah wills it.
Rahimakallah. رحمك الله May Allah have mercy on you, or May Allah bless you, the equivalent of “bless you” when you sneeze, it is said after someone sneezes.
Yarhamuka Allah. يرحمك الله May Allah have mercy on you “bless you”, same as the one above, and used in the same situations.
Yahdikumu Allah wa Yuslihu balakum. يهديكم الله و يصلح بالكم May Allah guide you and set your affairs right. This is used usually as an answer to someone who said “Rahimakallah” or “Yarhamuka Allah” to you after you sneezed.
Enna lillah wa enna elaihe Rajioun. إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون To Allah we belong, and to him we will return. Usually used when you hear someone died, or if you had a terrible lost (financial or personal).
Astaghfiru lillah. أستغفر الله I seek forgiveness from Allah. Commonly used when you think you did something wrong (a sin, cursed …).
Allahumma salli ala Muhammad. اللهم صلي على محمد Oh Allah bestow your mercy on Mohammed. A way to praise the prophet (PBUH).
Assalamu Alaikom. السلام عليكم Peace be upon you. A way of greetings used more widely and can be the equivalent of “hi, hello, good morning/ afternoon/ evening, good-bye, bye …) so it’s basically a way to greet and could be used in farewells.
Assalamu Alaikom warahmatu Allahi wa barakatuhu. السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings. This is a full equivalent of the above mentioned greeting “Assalamu Alaikom”. If is considered to be more polite and more rewarding to use it.
Ash-hadu An laa Elaha Ella Allah wa Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulu Allah. أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله I bear witness that there is no other God but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of the Allah. This one is called “shahadah”, it’s one of the 5 main pillars of Islam, and that’s the first step to converting to Islam. Also used by Muslims to refresh their belief, it’s recommended to use it daily.
A-ozu billahi mena shaitaan Arrajeem أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Satan “shaitan”. Used mainly when feeling unsafe or before entering unsafe places, or when scared by something (a bad dream …).
Baraka Allahu fika بارك الله فيك May Allah bestow his blessings on you. Used to wish someone blessings from Allah especially in return to a favor done by that person, the equivalent to “thank you very much”.
Tawakkalna ala Allah توكلنا على الله I place my “absolute” trust on Allah. Used before doing something, just like “bismillah”, they can even be used together. Used often when driving.
Ya Allah! يا ألله Oh Allah! Usually to ask Allah something. Sometimes used while doing something, like when lifting something heavy you say it to ask Allah for power, or if you’re in pain and you ask Allah to give you strength to bear that pain.
Ya Rab! يا رب Oh Allah! Used the same way as the one above “Ya Allah”. No difference at all.
Allahu A’lam الله أعلم Allah knows best. Said when not sure about something, or simply don’t know, could be the equivalent of “I don’t know.” “is it going to rain tomorrow?” – Allahu A’lam!
Jazaka Allahu Khairan جزاك الله خيرا May Allah reward you with all good. When someone does something good to you (gives you something, helps you with something …)