Siblings Of Ilm
Sarf Siblings Of Ilm 1

Examples of etymology in Arabic language

Arabic, like all Semitic languages, is characterised by the use of certain morphological patterns (patterns of word formation) to derive words from abstract roots that represent general semantic notions or meanings. However, the etymology found within Arabic is unique, following are some examples of this:

Only in Arabic is ‘proximity’ (قرب) etymologically inseparable to ‘God’ (رب). Our souls draweth ever nigh (قرب) unto the grave (قبر). Al-Qarīb: draw high unto the Ever Nigh. Practising murāqaba entails understanding that lightning (برق) strikes unexpectedly like the imminent arrival of death (قرب القبر).


Wholesome companionship (صحب) is rooted in love (حب). True love (حب) begins with Basmala B (ب). Mutual companionship (صحب) entails pouring (صب) the self out, the fruit of which is a well-cultivated receptivity.


Being Muhammadan (محمد) entails engendering warmth (حم), extending a hand (مد), and establishing boundaries (حد).


Unvoweled, Arabic for love ( ّالحُب ) also represents the imperative to tread out a path and forge ahead ( ْاِلْحَب ). Your love ( ّحب ), improperly expressed, is but a violent blow ( ّهب ). Often the most intensely passionate love (عشق) ends up ripping (شق) and tearing (عق) lovers apart. Wholesome companionship (صحب) is rooted in love (حب). Join the faction (حزب) that puts love (حب) into action.

al-Wadud: Because the rope (حبل) of God was made of and from love (حب). God’s name (الودود) is love spelled twice. The heart (فؤاد) is the seat of love (ود).


Good sermons (خطب) are like medicine (طب).


Shukr entails repeatedly (تكرار) expressing acts of gratitude. Arabic for complaining (شكا) and thanksgiving (شكر) are uncoincidentally etymologically related. Sincere thanksgiving is oft-recurring (كر) and penetrates (شك) the spirit.

al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī: Shukr (شكر) is but an etymological transposition of kashr (كشر) i.e. to unveil and/or reveal (كشف).

Taken from BookofBeats (via Twitter)

Siblings of 'ilm

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