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Technical Terms in Arabic Grammatical Traditions
and Their Everyday Meanings

The Case of al-ḥāl al-muqaddara
Almog Kasher
p. 199-218

Résumés

On sait depuis longtemps que de nombreuses expressions utilisées par les grammairiens arabes recèlent une ambiguïté entre leur sens technique et les concepts extralinguistiques d’où elles tirent leur origine. Cet article a pour objet l’ambivalence des qualificatifs de ces termes, qui peuvent modifier soit leur sens technique soit leur sens commun. Dans un article récent sur le terme āl muqaddara, Levin soutient que l’adjectif muqaddara, dans le sens technique de « sous-jacent », qualifie le terme āl dans son sens technique de complément circonstanciel. Le présent article montre que la plupart des auteurs médiévaux comprenaient l’adjectif muqaddara, au sens commun de « attendu, envisagé, décrété, etc. », comme modifiant le sens commun du terme āl « état ». Cet article montre aussi l’importance des textes non-grammaticaux pour l’étude de la terminologie grammaticale médiévale.

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Texte intégral

A concise version of this article was read at WOCMES 5, Seville, July 18, 2018. I would like to thank Jean Druel for his helpful suggestions.

I. Introduction

  • 1 More accurately—the time of the so-called ʿāmil al-ḥāl, that is, the operator assigning it the acc (...)
  • 2 Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p. 169.
  • 3 In this article all short vowels are transcribed, including declension markers.
  • 4 Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”.
  • 5 On the term taqdīr and the concept of underlying levels in Arabic grammatical tradition, see esp. (...)

1As is well known, one of the subcategories of ḥāl in Arabic grammatical tradition designates a state whose time is subsequent to the time of the main verb,1 rather than simultaneous with it; this type of ḥāl is commonly termed ḥāl muqaddara. As stated by Levin,2 the grammarians’ standard example for this type of ḥāl is the sentence marartu bi-raǧulin3 maʿahu ṣaqrun (“I passed by a man with a hawk”) ṣāʾidan bihi ġadan; the ḥāl here is not simultaneous with the passing, but rather means: “… intending to hunt with [the hawk] tomorrow”. Recently, Levin dedicated an article to the meaning of the term ḥāl muqaddara in Arabic grammatical tradition.4 He correctly shows that the grammarians posit an underlying (taqdīr)5 structure for this type of ḥāl, since they understand ḥāl as basically designating a state that is simultaneous with the time of the main verb. Thus, for the sentence above, the grammarians posit the underlying structure: muqaddiran‑al-ṣayda bihi ġadan “intending to hunt with [the hawk] tomorrow”.

2Thus, muqaddiran is the simultaneous ḥāl, as the intention to hunt occurs simultaneously with the action of passing. This ḥāl, i.e. muqaddiran, is muqaddara, that is, underlying, and this, according to Levin, is the explanation of the term al-ḥāl al-muqaddara.

3Levin further maintains that the term ḥāl muqaddara makes its first appearance in the 10th/14th century, in the writings of the grammarian Abū Ḥayyān al-Ġarnāṭī al-Andalusī (d. 745/1344). This term, Levin states, is applied by the later grammarians to the surface ḥāl, however:

  • 6 Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p. 174.

It is evident that the later grammarians were aware of the fact that āʾidan in the above examples cannot be a āl muqaddara, because it explicitly occurs in the literal form of the sentence (laf). Hence, it is inferred that they called ʾidan a āl muqaddara, because they believed that in the speaker’s mind, the taqdīr construction of āʾidan, which is muqaddiran-i l-ayda bihi, contains the implicit form muqaddiran, which can be conceived of as a āl muqaddara.6

4He adds:

  • 7 Square brackets in the original.
  • 8 Ibid., p. 175.

It seems safe to assume that for the sake of convenience, the later grammarians preferred to ignore the exact concept of the early grammarians of this type of āl. Hence, they applied the principle which Ibn Yaʿīš called taqrīb wa-taysīr ʿalā l-mubtadiʾ ‘making [the understanding of a certain grammatical concept]7 easier and clearer to the beginner’, by using an inaccurate technical term, rather than a more accurate one, originating in a complex concept.8

  • 9 Several occurrences of the term in that book will be discussed below. The commentary should not be (...)
  • 10 See below. See also al-Naḥḥās, Maʿānī, VI, p. 498‒499.
  • 11 Al-Naḥḥās, Šarḥ, II, p. 76.
  • 12 Some of the term’s occurrences in such works will be discussed below.

5My aim in this article is twofold. The minor aim is to show that the term ḥāl muqaddara appears much earlier than the 10th/14th century. It occurs already in al-Zaǧǧāǧ’s (d. 311/923) Quranic commentary Maʿānī al-Qurʾān wa-iʿrābuhu.9 It also features in the Quranic commentaries composed by one of al-Zaǧǧāǧ’s students, al-Naḥḥās (d. 338/950),10 and in the latter’s commentary on the Muʿallaqāt.11 Later, it appears mainly in Quranic commentaries, as well as in some commentaries on poetry and hadith.12 Although the early provenance of this term is of a marginal importance, the fact that, as far as I could determine (see below), until a rather late period it was mainly used in commentaries of the Quran (and of other texts), rather than in grammars, has methodological implications on the study of the history of Arabic grammatical terminology.

  • 13 Modern Western studies tend to follow Wright (see Levin “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p (...)
  • 14 Perrson, “Circumstantial Clause”. See also e.g. Fleischer, Kleinere Schriften, I, p. 573‒574; Reck (...)

6The second, and more important, aim of this article pertains to Levin’s interpretation of the term, which (although this is not stated in his article) differs significantly from the way it is understood and translated by other modern scholars. It is not our intention here to survey the various translations suggested for this term; suffice it to say that they reflect an apprehension of the adjectival attribute muqaddar as describing the situation designated by the ḥāl. For instance, Persson translates ḥāl muqaddar13 as “implied ḥāl”, and explains that it applies “where the circumstance is ‘implied’ to hold at the completion of the event”.14 Most such translations are incidental, with no reference to any medieval texts. As far as I know, no scholar who suggested such a translation ever tried to back it up by adducing a medieval source.

7What I would like to show here is that this “traditional” rendition of the term is correct for the majority of medieval scholars. In support of this claim, I shall discuss, in chronological order, several medieval texts, followed by one text by the grammarian Ibn Bābašāḏ, who uses the adjective muqaddar as pertaining to the sentential constituent labelled ḥāl, yet, differently from what Levin suggests. But first, we should say a few words on the grammarians’ attitude to technical terms vis-à-vis their everyday meanings.

II. Technical vs. Everyday Meanings of Terms

  • 15 See esp. Mosel, Die syntaktische Terminologie bei Sibawaih, p. 9‒10, 258‒260 (on ḥāl); Versteegh, (...)
  • 16 See esp. Peled, “Aspects of the Use of Grammatical Terminology”.
  • 17 See ibid.

8It has long been recognized that many expressions used by Arab grammarians display an ambiguity between their technical sense and the extralinguistic concept from which they originate.15 It has also been shown in previous research that Arab grammarians themselves fully appreciated this distinction.16 Thus, ḥāl may be used as a purely technical term, referring to a certain sentential constituent (commonly translated as a “circumstantial qualifier”), or in its everyday meaning, in the sense of “state, situation, circumstance, etc.”; it may also be used—and this seems to be the rule, rather than the exception—as what Peled calls a “metagrammatical intuitive term”, that is, as an expression whose semantic scope covers both its meaning as a technical term and the everyday concept underlying it.17

  • 18 Needless to say, the very same problem also pertains to predicates.
  • 19 In fact, they can also modify the terms themselves, which is the case with al-mafʿūl al-muṭlaq. Se (...)
  • 20 In e.g. yā ʿabda Llāhi but also in e.g. yā Zaydu, whose final -u­ vowel is, according to the gramm (...)
  • 21 Ibn al-Anbārī, Asrār, p. 226‒227. On the problems of this type of underlying structure raises, see (...)

9The problem the term ḥāl muqaddara presents pertains to the status of adjectival attributes in metalanguage:18 these can either modify the technical meaning or the everyday meaning of their heads.19 This rather trivial point can be illustrated with the following two expressions, which are of direct relevance to our problem. Regarding the operator assigning the accusative to the vocative,20 Ibn al-Anbārī (d. 577/1181) states: fa-ḏahaba baʿḍuhum ilā anna al-ʿāmila fīhi al-naṣba fiʿlun muqaddarun, that is, according to a certain opinion, the operator is an underlying verb, the underlying structure being adʿū/unādī Zaydan.21 The adjective muqaddar has nothing to do with the everyday meaning of fiʿl, viz. “action”, rather, it modifies its technical sense, viz. “verb”, as it is the constituent which is said to be muqaddar. On the other hand, in the term ḥāl muqārina, the antonym of ḥāl muqaddara, the adjective muqārina modifies the everyday meaning of ḥāl, viz. “state”, designating that state as one which is simultaneous with the event denoted by the main verb. To the best of my knowledge, the first grammarian to use the expression ḥāl muqārina is al-ʿUkbarī (d. 616/1219); in his Quranic commentary al-Tibyān fī iʿrāb al-Qurʾān, he remarks that ṣaʿiqan, in the verse:

… wa-arra Mūsā aʿiqan” (Q VII, 143);

  • 22 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 161. The Quranic verses in the present article will be followed by Jones’ tr (...)

“... and Moses fell down thunderstruck”,22

  • 23 Al-ʿUkbarī, al-Tibyān, I, p. 594.
  • 24 The reason why al-ʿUkbarī felt the need to put forward this remark is probably the existence of Qu (...)

10is ḥāl muqārina,23 that is, the state of being thunderstruck took place simultaneously with the action of falling down.24

  • 25 For these meanings of qaddara, see Lane, An Arabic‑English Lexicon, VII, p. 2495. See also the exc (...)

11Levin interprets the adjectival attribute muqaddara as meaning that the sentential constituent parsed as ḥāl is posited in the underlying structure. That is, for him, muqaddara modifies the technical sense of ḥāl. According to the analysis suggested here (and reflected by most translations of the term), the word muqaddara describes the state in question, rather than the constituent. This passive participle corresponds to the active participle muqaddir, which we have seen above as posited in the underlying structure. Therefore, ḥāl muqaddara means “intended (or: decreed) state” or “supposed (i.e. expected, anticipated) state”.25 In the abovementioned sentence, ṣāʾidan is analyzed as ḥāl muqaddara since it designates an intended state.

  • 26 On the possibility to apply the passive participle of a transitive verb (or the corresponding acti (...)

12Differently put, in the underlying structure of ṣāʾidan, viz. muqaddiran-i al-ṣayda, the constituent al-ṣaydwhich refers to the state of huntingis the direct object of the active participle muqaddiran, from which it ensues that the corresponding passive participle muqaddar “intended” can be applied to it.26

  • 27 See Carter, Arab Linguistics, p. 99.

13It should be stressed that this interpretation by no means implies that the expression ḥāl muqaddara cannot be used as a technical term. That is, when applied to a certain constituent, it is not merely used in order to indicate that the state it designates is intended, expected, etc.; rather, ḥāl muqaddara also constitutes a subcategory of the ḥāl. In this respect, it can be analogized to the term al-fiʿl al-māḍī, in which the adjectival attribute al-māḍī “having elapsed”27 modifies the everyday meaning of the term fiʿl, to wit, “action”; yet, al-fiʿl al-māḍī is also a subcategory of fiʿl “verb”. Thus, the term ḥāl muqaddara is occasionally used as a label of a syntactic function, which dictates that the noun assuming it take the accusative. For instance, al-Naḥḥās (d. 338/950), commenting on the verse:

Inna al-insāna uliqa halūʿan” (Q LXX, 19);

  • 28 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 536.

“Man was created anxious”,28

  • 29 Al-Naḥḥās, Iʿrāb, V, p. 31.

14says: “wa-nuṣibat halūʿan ʿalā al-ḥāli al-muqaddarati.”29 That is, ḥāl muqaddara, as a subcategory of ḥāl, is a label of a syntactic function dictating the noun’s case.

III. Evidence from Medieval Texts

1. Al-Zaǧǧāǧ’s Maʿānī al-Qurʾān wa-iʿrābuhu

15Consider, first, al-Zaǧǧāǧ’s (d. 311/923) commentary on the following Quranic verse:

Innā arsalnāka šāhidan wa-mubašširan wa-naīran” (Q XLVIII, 8);

  • 30 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 471.

“We have sent you as a witness and a bearer of good tidings and a warner”.30

  • 31 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ, Maʿānī, V, p. 21.
  • 32 This verse is interpreted twice, the interpretation presented here being the second thereof. Addit (...)

16After stating that šāhidan is ḥāl muqaddara, as it pertains to the Day of Resurrection, al-Zaǧǧāǧ asserts that the bearing of good tidings (bišāra) and the warning (inḏār) are a state, ḥāl, in which Muḥammad is involved (mulābis) in this world, with respect to those who met him, while they are ḥāl muqaddara with respect to those who would live after him.31 The use of ḥāl in this text is striking, as it is designed to contrast two states, one of which is described as muqaddara.32

17Our next illustration shows that grammarians also use other adjectives besides muqaddara, in the sense of “intended, expected etc.”, to modify the term ḥāl. Note that this does not prove our interpretation of the meaning of ḥāl muqaddara; yet, the fact that other near-synonymous adjectives (according to the interpretation presented here) are used by the grammarians in the very same fashion should be taken into consideration.

18In his commentary on the Quranic verse:

Wa-alqi mā fī yamīnika talqaf mā anaʿū ” (Q XX, 69);

  • 33 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 292.

“Throw what is in your right hand, and it will swallow what they have made …”,33

  • 34 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ does not sanction this reading. Cf., nevertheless, the reading talaqqafu (← tatalaqqafu, (...)

19al-Zaǧǧāǧ discusses a hypothetical34 possibility for the verb talqaf to take the indicative mood, in the sense of ḥāl, thus meaning: alqihā mutalaqqifatan. His explanation here is significant: “ʿalā ḥālin mutawaqqaʿatin”; “as an expected state”. That this expression is synonymous with ḥāl muqaddara is made clear by al-Zaǧǧāǧ himself, in his commentary on the next verse:

Fa-ulqiya al-saaratu suǧǧadan …” (Q XX, 70);

  • 35 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 292.

“The sorcerers were all flung down prostrate…”.35

  • 36 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ, Maʿānī, III, p. 367.

20On suǧǧadan al-Zaǧǧāǧ states that it is also a ḥāl muqaddara, explaining that when the sorcerers fell down they were not yet prostrate; rather, they fell down intending to prostrate themselves (ḫarrū muqaddirīna al-suǧūda).36 This explanation is virtually identical to the one furnished for a previous verse:

Iā tutlā ʿalayhim āyātu al-ramāni arrū suǧǧadan wa-bukiyyan” (Q XIX, 58);

  • 37 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 286.

“… When the signs of the Merciful are recited to them, they fall down, prostrating themselves and weeping”.37

  • 38 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ, Maʿānī, III, p. 335.

21For al-Zaǧǧāǧ, suǧǧadan is ḥāl muqaddara: they fell down intending to prostrate themselves (ḫarrū muqaddirīna al-suǧūda), since at a time of falling down, one is not (yet) prostrate.38

22Al-Zaǧǧāǧ thus uses the expression ḥāl mutawaqqaʿa as a synonym of ḥāl muqaddara, in the same context. It is used on another occasion as well, this time without any mention of the term ḥāl muqaddara:

Lā tamnun tastakiru” (Q LXXIV, 6);

  • 39 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 544.

“Do not show favours, seeking gains”.39

  • 40 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ, Maʿānī, V, p. 245‒246. The expression ḥāl mutawaqqaʿa is also used by later scholars, s (...)

23Al-Zaǧǧāǧ explains: “ay lā tuʿṭi šayʾan muqaddiran an taʾḫuḏa badalahu mā huwa akṯaru minhu”; “that is, do not give something in the expectation of receiving more in exchange for it”. Here tastakṯiru is analyzed as ḥāl mutawaqqaʿa.40

2. Makkī b. Abī Ṭālib’s Muškil iʿrāb al-Qurʾān

24A striking explanation of the term ḥāl muqaddara is furnished by Makkī b. Abī Ṭālib (437/1045), commenting on the following verse:

Wa-Huwa allaī anšaʾa ǧannātin maʿrūšātin wa-ġayra maʿrūšātin wa-l-nala wa-l-zarʿa mutalifan ukuluhu ” (Q VI, 141);

  • 41 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 142.

“It is He who produced gardens, both trellised and untrellised, and date-palms and crops of different produce…”.41

  • 42 It is unclear what is, in Makkī’s mind, the antecedent of the pronoun in ukuluhu. Although it is p (...)
  • 43 For another text where muntaẓar is used as a (near) synonym of muqaddar, see below.
  • 44 The word muqaddara is missing in one of the manuscripts.
  • 45 See in what follows.
  • 46 One manuscript reads taqdīruhu, and one—muqaddarun. In these cases, the doer of the taqdīr is not (...)
  • 47 Makkī b. Abī Ṭālib, Muškil, I, p. 274.

25Makkī explains that muḫtalifan is ḥāl muqaddara, since there is no ukul in it42 when it grows out of the ground. “Difference in produce” can only be said of a later stage, after the crops ripened. In contrast with ḥāl wāqiʿa ġayr muntaẓara43 (i.e. a state which occurs [simultaneously with the occurrence of the main verb], not one that is anticipated to occur at a subsequent time), in e.g. raʾaytu Zaydan qāʾiman “I saw Zayd standing”, the ḥāl in e.g. ḫalaqa Allāhu al-naḫla muḫtalifan ukuluhu (cf. the abovementioned verse) is ḥāl muntaẓara muqaddara.44 Similarly, Makkī continues, in raʾaytu Zaydan musāfiran ġadan “I saw Zayd, expected/intending45 to travel tomorrow”, the speaker does not see Zayd in the state of traveling (fī ḥāli al-safari); rather, innamā huwa amrun tuqaddiruhu46 an yakūna ġadan, that is, it is assumed that the state will take place tomorrow. The verb (+ subject and object) tuqaddiruhu is most probably used here in order to explain the meaning of the element muqaddara in the term ḥāl muqaddara. Makkī wraps up his discussion by mentioning (according to the version of half of the manuscripts) the contrast between al-ḥāl al-wāqiʿa and al-ḥāl al-muqaddara al-muntaẓara.47 Here muqaddara and muntaẓara are used as (near‑)synonyms.

3. Al-ʿUkbari’s al-Lubāb fī ʿilal al-bināʾ wa-l-iʿrāb

  • 48 See above.
  • 49 See above.
  • 50 Al-ʿUkbarī, al-Lubāb, I, p. 293.
  • 51 Ibid., I, p. 294‒295
  • 52 cf. e.g. the contrast al-māḍī vs. al-muḍāriʿ.

26After first making a distinction between two types of ḥāl, muqārina48 and muntaẓara49 (he calls the latter al-ḥāl al-muqaddara),50 al-ʿUkbarī (d. 616/1219) further divides ḥāl into four types, based on, inter alia, whether or not it is muqārina. A ḥāl that is not muqārina is, again, termed muntaẓara, exemplified with the sentence marartu bi-raǧulin maʿahu ṣaqrun ṣāʾidan bihi ġadan. Al-ʿUkbarī explains that in this sentence the hunting (ṣayd) does not occur simultaneously (muqārin) with the passing, but is muqaddar,51 a word which here cannot be interpreted as pertaining to the underlying structure. Note that it is not the contrast itself between muqaddara and muqārina that proves that these two terms modify the term ḥāl from the very same aspect;52 rather, it is al-ʿUkbarī’s use of the term muqaddar as describing the action designated by the ḥāl, in contradistinction to muqārin, that constitutes evidence for our argument.

4. Al-Tilimsānī’s al-Iqtiḍāb fī ġarīb al-Muwaṭṭaʾ wa-iʿrābihi ʿalā al-abwāb

  • 53 Al-Tilimsānī does not quote the text itself. See Mālik b. Anas, al-Muwaṭṭaʾ, I, p. 155‒156.
  • 54 Al-Tilimsānī, al-Iqtiḍāb, I, p. 182.

27A direct explanation of the term ḥāl muqaddara is found in this commentary on Mālik b. Anas’ (d. 179/795) al-Muwaṭṭaʾ. On the sentence “fa-arsaltu al-atāna tartaʿu”53 “and I let the she-ass loose to pasture”, al-Tilimsānī (d. 625/1228) remarks that the ḥāl(-clause) is named ḥāl muqaddara here li-annahu lā yursiluhā fī ḥāli rutūʿihā innamā arsalahā qablahu, that is, because the action of letting loose did not take place in a state (ḥāl) of the she-ass’ pasturing, but rather prior to it.54 The term ḥāl muqaddara is here explained by referring to the time of the ḥāl in the sense of “state”, not in the technical sense. Needless to say, the explanation does not contain any mention of an underlying structure.

5. Al-Fākihī’s Šarḥ Kitāb al-ḥudūd fī al-naḥw

  • 55 Al-Fākihī, Šarḥ, p. 228. See also ibid., p. 230.
  • 56 For another case where mustaqbala is used as an explanation for ḥāl muqaddara, see Ibn Hišām (d. 7 (...)
  • 57 On ʿāmil al-ḥāl see above.

28In a similar vein, al-Fākihī (d. 972/1564) defines the term ḥāl muqaddara as follows: ay mustaqbalatun fa-wuǧūduhā mutaʾaḫḫirun ʿan wuǧūdi ʿāmilihā.55 That is, al-Fākihī explains muqaddara as meaning mustaqbala,56 elucidating that its (i.e. the ḥāl in the sense of “state”) occurrence is posterior to the occurrence designated by its operator.57

6. Ibn Bābašāḏ’s Šarḥ al-Muqaddima al-muḥsiba

  • 58 See Carter, Arab Linguistics, p. 373.
  • 59 Note that in contrast with other grammarians, for Ibn Bābašāḏ muntaqil implies simultaneity. Cf. e (...)
  • 60 Ibn Bābašāḏ, Šarḥ, p. 311.
  • 61 Ibid., p. 310; Ibn Bābašāḏ, al-Muqaddima, 358. I am grateful to Dr Avigail Noy for sending me this (...)

29One grammarian who uses the term muqaddar in reference to the sentential constituent labelled ḥāl (that is, to the circumstantial qualifier), rather than to the state it designates, is Ibn Bābašāḏ (d. 469/1077), although in a way that differs from the one suggested by Levin. First, Ibn Bābašāḏ explains the distinction between ṣifa (here in the sense of adjectival attribute) in e.g. ǧāʾa Zaydun al-ḍāḥiku “Zayd the laugher (or: who laughs, the laughing [one]) arrived”, and ḥāl, in e.g. ǧāʾa Zaydun ḍāḥikan “Zayd arrived laughing”, by indicating that the latter, in contrast with the former, is muntaqila “mobile”, i.e. transient,58 in the sense that the occurrence of the laughter is simultaneous with the occurrence of the arrival.59 Ibn Bābašāḏ states that ḥāl can also be muqaddaratan bi-l-muntaqili, e.g. hāḏā Zaydun ṣāʾidan ġadan “this/here is Zayd, intending to hunt tomorrow”; underlying this type of ḥāl is a muntaqil (waǧaba an yuqaddara bi-mā yantaqilu), such as muqaddiran (or nāwiyan or muʿtaqidan), thus hāḏā zaydun muqaddiran‑i al-ṣayda ġadan, this being the true ḥāl.60 This text is a commentary on the matn of the same grammarian’s al-Muqaddima, in which this type of ḥāl is termed muqaddaran according to one version, muqaddaran bi-l-muntaqili according to another.61 Even if one adopts the latter version, it is highly plausible that, since the term ḥāl muqaddara was already in circulation in Ibn Bābašāḏ’s time, muqaddaran bi-l-muntaqili is this grammarian’s interpretation of the meaning of this term. At any rate, this expression needs some elucidation.

  • 62 Ibn Bābašāḏ, Šarḥ, p. 312. See ibid., p. 313‒314 for Ibn Bābašāḏ’s Commentary.

30When the verb qaddara (as a technical term), or one of its derivatives, takes the preposition bi‑, the latter’s object designates the underlying constituent. An example for such a usage is found later in the same text, when Ibn Bābašāḏ says (in the matn of his al-Muqaddima) that the ḥāl should be muqaddaratan bi-fī,62 that is, it takes the preposition in the underlying structure. In other words, whereas “X is muqaddar” means that X is what is posited in the underlying structure, “X is muqaddar bi-Y” means that Y is what is posited in the underlying structure (for X). Therefore, the adjective muqaddara in the expression muqaddaratan bi-l-muntaqili does not mean that the ḥāl in question belongs to the underlying structure, but rather that in the underlying structure it is provided with an expression, which is characterized as muntaqil.

31As for the version muqaddaran (without bi-l-muntaqili) in the matn of al-Muqaddima, it is most probably used as a shortened form for muqaddaran bi-, the latter being its explanation in the commentary authored by our grammarian.

IV. Conclusion

  • 63 One may even draw an argumentum ex silentio from the fact that no known grammarian regards the com (...)

32According to the explanation given by the majority of the scholars discussed here, the adjectival attribute muqaddara in the term ḥāl muqaddara modifies the everyday meaning of the term ḥāl, describing it as intended, expected etc. This explanation spares us the need to take recourse to the idea that the grammarians’ application of the term ḥāl muqaddara to the surface ḥāl was inaccurate, being a case of taqrīb.63 The term muqaddara is a (near-)synonym of e.g. muntaẓara and mutawaqqaʿa, and an antonym of e.g. muqārina and wāqiʿa.

33As for Ibn Bābašāḏ, although muqaddar pertains for him to the underlying level, the term is also (accurately) applied to the surface ḥāl, taking the form of muqaddar bi- discussed above.

  • 64 Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p. 169‒172.
  • 65 Carter, “Writing the History of Arabic Grammar”, p. 389.

34This article stresses the importance of sources outside grammars per se for our understanding of medieval grammatical terminology. Regarding its near absence in almost all early extant grammars, it should be kept in mind that, as Levin shows, some early grammarians who discuss this distinction do not mention the term ḥāl muqaddara (or any similar term).64 Since we have at our disposal “only a fraction of the number of known titles”65 of grammatical texts, it is, unfortunately, impossible to assess the extent of interest in naḥw, generally and diachronically, in the semantic distinction between ḥāl muqaddara and ḥāl muqārina.

35The relative popularity of the term ḥāl muqaddara (as well as its synonyms and antonyms) in Quranic commentaries (as well as commentaries on other texts) can be readily explained by the need in commentaries for compact labels conveying this important semantic distinction. One may also raise the possibility of the existence of grammatical terminological trends in such genres, a possibility which deserves further study.

Excursus: Muqaddaran, muqaddiran and the Identity of the muqaddir

36The participle MQDR in the abovementioned underlying structure of the sentence marartu bi-raǧulin maʿahu ṣaqrun ṣāʾidan bihi ġadan was read as an active participle, i.e. muqaddiran‑i l-ṣayda bihi. The doer of the action of taqdīr is thus the referent of the ḥāl’s antecedent (the so-called ṣāḥib al-ḥāl), here raǧul “man”. In certain cases, however, it must be read as a passive participle, for instance, in Tafsīr al-Ǧalālayn on ḫālidīna fīhā in the following verses:

Inna llaīna āmanū wa-ʿamilū l-āliāti lahum ǧannātu l-naʿīmi. ālidīna fīhā …” (Q XXXI, 8-9);

  • 66 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 376

“Those who believe and do righteous deeds will have the gardens of bliss, In which they will stay for ever … ”.66

  • 67 Al-Maḥallī (d. 864/1459) & al-Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505), Tafsīr al-Ǧalālayn, p. 411.
  • 68 This structure is termed ḥāl sababiyya. See e.g. al-Suyūṭī, Hamʿ al-hawāmiʿ, III, p. 240, where th (...)

37The Tafsīr reads: ḥālun muqaddaratun ay muqaddaran ḫulūduhum fīhā iḏā daḫalūhā,67 that is, when they enter the gardens, their staying in them forever is decreed.68 Note that the term ḥāl muqaddara in such cases is more transparent than it is in cases where the active participle is posited in the underlying structure: here the ḥāl, viz. state, which is the staying forever (ḫulūd), is said to be muqaddar.

38This issue leads us to a related question, which is whether the doer of the action of taqdīr, viz. the muqaddir, must be identical with the referent of the ḥāl’s antecedent (the so-called ṣāḥib al-ḥāl). An answer in the affirmative is expressed by Ibn Hišām (d. 761/1360), in his discussion, in Muġnī al-labīb, of the following verses:

Wa-ifan min kulli šayānin māridin. Lā yassammaʿūna ilā al-malaʾi al-aʿlā …” (Q XXXVII, 7-8);

  • 69 Square brackets in the original.
  • 70 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 408.

“And [we have placed them]69 as a protection against every rebellious devil. They cannot listen to the highest host… ”.70

  • 71 Ibn Hišām, Muġnī, II, p. 85‒86.
  • 72 Ibid., V, p. 43‒45.

39Ibn Hišām raises the question of whether or not it is possible to parse yassammaʿūna as ḥāl muqaddara, in the sense of wa-ḥifẓan min kulli šayṭānin māridin muqaddaran ʿadamu samāʿihi, ay baʿda al-ḥifẓi, namely, in a state in which the lack of hearing by every rebellious devil is muqaddar, i.e. subsequent to the occurrence of the protection. Ibn Hišām rejects this possibility, on the ground that the muqaddir is identical with the referent of the ḥāl’s antecedent (allaḏī yuqaddiru wuǧūda maʿnā al-ḥāli huwa ṣāḥibuhā). Whereas in marartu bi-raǧulin maʿahu ṣaqrun ṣāʾidan bihi ġadan the man is said to be muqaddiran (elsewhere71 Ibn Hišām expresses his preference that murīdan “willing” be posited in the underlying structure), the devils are not so: wa-l-šayāṭīnu lā yuqaddirūna ʿadama al-samāʿi wa-lā yurīdūnahu.72

  • 73 The text reads muqaddaran ʿadamu al-ṣaydi bihi; al-Šumunnī (d. 872/1468) (al-Munṣif, II, p. 120) r (...)
  • 74 Q XVI, 29 reads: fa-dḫulū
  • 75 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 427. Or: “Enter the gates of Jahannam, in which you will remain for everˮ, i (...)
  • 76 Al-Damāmīnī, Tuḥfa, I/1, p. 84. See al-Šumunnī, al-Munṣif, II, p. 120 for a defence of Ibn Hišām’s (...)

40This argument was criticized by al-Damāmīnī (d. 827/1424), in his commentary on Muġnī al-labīb. First, he maintains that identity between the muqaddir and the referent of the antecedent of the ḥāl is not necessary, allowing one to posit the underlying muqaddaran in marartu bi-raǧulin maʿahu ṣaqrun ṣāʾidan bihi ġadan, i.e. muqaddaran-i al-ṣaydu bihi,73 whether or not the muqaddir is the man. However, even if one adopts Ibn Hišām’s view that the muqaddir is identical with the referent of the antecedent of the ḥāl, the devils can nevertheless be regarded as the muqaddirūn, because it is possible that they anticipate (yuqaddirūna) not hearing, subsequently to the action of the protection. This, however, does not tally with Ibn Hišām’s identification between muqaddir and murīd, which is rejected by al-Damāmīnī, by adducing the sentence: udḫul‑i al-siǧna ḫālidan fī ʿaḏābihi “enter jail, expecting to remain in its torment for ever” (for which it makes no sense to posit an underlying murīdan). Interestingly, al-Damāmīnī explains that he did not adduce the Quranic udḫulū abwāba ǧahannama ḫālidīna fīhā (Q XXXIX, 72; XL, 76)74 “Enter the gates of Jahannam, to dwell in it for ever”,75 as one may argue that by dint of their sin of kufr, they were counted as muridūn.76

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Notes

1 More accurately—the time of the so-called ʿāmil al-ḥāl, that is, the operator assigning it the accusative case, which may be a finite verb or a verbal expression, either overt or covert.

2 Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p. 169.

3 In this article all short vowels are transcribed, including declension markers.

4 Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”.

5 On the term taqdīr and the concept of underlying levels in Arabic grammatical tradition, see esp. Ayoub, “De ce qui “ne se dit pas””; Carter, “Elision”; Peled, “Cataphora and taqdīr”; Versteegh, “The Notion of ‘Underlying Levels’”; Levin, “The Theory of al-taqdīr”; Versteegh, “Taqdīr”; Kasher, “Two Types of taqdīr?” (and the references in these articles). The everyday meaning of the term taqdīr, from which the technical meaning originates, is a matter of dispute.

6 Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p. 174.

7 Square brackets in the original.

8 Ibid., p. 175.

9 Several occurrences of the term in that book will be discussed below. The commentary should not be confused with a different work, entitled Iʿrāb al-Qurʾān, (probably mistakenly) attributed to al-Zaǧǧāǧ.

10 See below. See also al-Naḥḥās, Maʿānī, VI, p. 498‒499.

11 Al-Naḥḥās, Šarḥ, II, p. 76.

12 Some of the term’s occurrences in such works will be discussed below.

13 Modern Western studies tend to follow Wright (see Levin “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p. 167, n. 1) by using the term ḥāl muqaddar rather than ḥāl muqaddara, although the latter is much more frequently used by medieval scholars.

14 Perrson, “Circumstantial Clause”. See also e.g. Fleischer, Kleinere Schriften, I, p. 573‒574; Reckendorf, Arabische Syntax, p. 450.

15 See esp. Mosel, Die syntaktische Terminologie bei Sibawaih, p. 9‒10, 258‒260 (on ḥāl); Versteegh, Arabic Grammar and Qurʾānic Exegesis, p. 1, 3; Carter, “Writing the History of Arabic Grammar”, p. 400‒401; Peled, “Aspects of the Use of Grammatical Terminology”.

16 See esp. Peled, “Aspects of the Use of Grammatical Terminology”.

17 See ibid.

18 Needless to say, the very same problem also pertains to predicates.

19 In fact, they can also modify the terms themselves, which is the case with al-mafʿūl al-muṭlaq. See Levin “What is Meant by al‑mafʿūl al‑muṭlaq?”; Larcher, “Les mafʿûl mut'laq”; Kasher “How to Parse Effective Objects”.

20 In e.g. yā ʿabda Llāhi but also in e.g. yā Zaydu, whose final -u­ vowel is, according to the grammarians, not a case marker, but a special type of bināʾ, termed bināʾ ʿāriḍ (see Baalbaki, “Bināʾ”).

21 Ibn al-Anbārī, Asrār, p. 226‒227. On the problems of this type of underlying structure raises, see Larcher, “Khabar/inshāʾ”; Kasher, “The Vocative”.

22 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 161. The Quranic verses in the present article will be followed by Jones’ translation, which should not be taken as necessarily reflecting every aspect of how the verses were understood by the scholars interpreting them.

23 Al-ʿUkbarī, al-Tibyān, I, p. 594.

24 The reason why al-ʿUkbarī felt the need to put forward this remark is probably the existence of Quranic verses in which the verb ḫarra takes a ḥāl muqaddara, on which see below.

25 For these meanings of qaddara, see Lane, An Arabic‑English Lexicon, VII, p. 2495. See also the excursus below.

26 On the possibility to apply the passive participle of a transitive verb (or the corresponding active participle) to its direct object (e.g. ḍarabtu Zaydan “I hit Zaydˮ → maḍrūb can be applied to Zayd), see Kasher, “The Term mafʿūl”; idem, “How to Parse Effective Objects”.
On the possibility to posit a passive participle, i.e. muqaddaran, in the underlying structure of at least some constructions, see the excursus below.

27 See Carter, Arab Linguistics, p. 99.

28 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 536.

29 Al-Naḥḥās, Iʿrāb, V, p. 31.

30 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 471.

31 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ, Maʿānī, V, p. 21.

32 This verse is interpreted twice, the interpretation presented here being the second thereof. Additionally, the text incorporates what seems to be an interpolation (yaʿnī bi-qawlihi …) commenting on al-Zaǧǧāǧ’s use of the term muqaddara.

33 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 292.

34 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ does not sanction this reading. Cf., nevertheless, the reading talaqqafu (← tatalaqqafu, by haplology), recorded in ʿUmar & Makram, Muʿǧam al‑qirāʾāt al‑Qurʾāniyya, IV, p. 93.

35 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 292.

36 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ, Maʿānī, III, p. 367.

37 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 286.

38 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ, Maʿānī, III, p. 335.

39 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 544.

40 Al-Zaǧǧāǧ, Maʿānī, V, p. 245‒246. The expression ḥāl mutawaqqaʿa is also used by later scholars, see e.g. Ibn Ǧinnī (d. 392/1002), al-Muḥtasab, II, p. 37‒38.

41 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 142.

42 It is unclear what is, in Makkī’s mind, the antecedent of the pronoun in ukuluhu. Although it is prima facie zarʿ, Makkī consistently uses the feminine pronoun in this discussion (li-annahā, ḫurūǧihā, fīhā, fa-tūṣafa, fīhā and iṭʿāmihā). Moreover, in one of his illustrations (see in what follows) he uses the same construction, but this time with al-naḫl as the antecedent of the pronoun. Cf. the discussion in al-Bayḍāwī (d. late 7th or early 8th century/late 13th or early 14th century), Anwār, II, p. 185, where three options are suggested for the antecedent of the pronoun.

43 For another text where muntaẓar is used as a (near) synonym of muqaddar, see below.

44 The word muqaddara is missing in one of the manuscripts.

45 See in what follows.

46 One manuscript reads taqdīruhu, and one—muqaddarun. In these cases, the doer of the taqdīr is not explicit. For a discussion on the identity of the doer of the taqdīr, see the excursus below.

47 Makkī b. Abī Ṭālib, Muškil, I, p. 274.

48 See above.

49 See above.

50 Al-ʿUkbarī, al-Lubāb, I, p. 293.

51 Ibid., I, p. 294‒295

52 cf. e.g. the contrast al-māḍī vs. al-muḍāriʿ.

53 Al-Tilimsānī does not quote the text itself. See Mālik b. Anas, al-Muwaṭṭaʾ, I, p. 155‒156.

54 Al-Tilimsānī, al-Iqtiḍāb, I, p. 182.

55 Al-Fākihī, Šarḥ, p. 228. See also ibid., p. 230.

56 For another case where mustaqbala is used as an explanation for ḥāl muqaddara, see Ibn Hišām (d. 761/1360), Muġnī, V, p. 428.

57 On ʿāmil al-ḥāl see above.

58 See Carter, Arab Linguistics, p. 373.

59 Note that in contrast with other grammarians, for Ibn Bābašāḏ muntaqil implies simultaneity. Cf. e.g. al-ʿUkbarī, al-Lubāb, I, p. 294‒295.

60 Ibn Bābašāḏ, Šarḥ, p. 311.

61 Ibid., p. 310; Ibn Bābašāḏ, al-Muqaddima, 358. I am grateful to Dr Avigail Noy for sending me this edition. Another version is found in a manuscript of the Muqaddima (which is, however, replete with mistakes): … muntaqilan aw muqaddaran aw muwaṭṭiʾan bi-l-muntaqilu [sic] … (University Library, Cambridge University, ff.5.10, 23r).

62 Ibn Bābašāḏ, Šarḥ, p. 312. See ibid., p. 313‒314 for Ibn Bābašāḏ’s Commentary.

63 One may even draw an argumentum ex silentio from the fact that no known grammarian regards the common usage of ḥāl muqaddara as inaccurate or as a taqrīb, as grammarians do in such cases (see e.g. Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p. 175; Kasher, “Early Pedagogical Grammars”).

64 Levin, “What is Meant by al-ḥāl al-muqaddara?”, p. 169‒172.

65 Carter, “Writing the History of Arabic Grammar”, p. 389.

66 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 376

67 Al-Maḥallī (d. 864/1459) & al-Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505), Tafsīr al-Ǧalālayn, p. 411.

68 This structure is termed ḥāl sababiyya. See e.g. al-Suyūṭī, Hamʿ al-hawāmiʿ, III, p. 240, where this term is applied to the ḥāl in the sentence ǧāʾa Zaydun ṭāliʿatan-i al-šamsu ʿinda maǧīʾihi “Zayd arrived while the sun was rising (lit.: at the time of his arrival)ˮ.

69 Square brackets in the original.

70 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 408.

71 Ibn Hišām, Muġnī, II, p. 85‒86.

72 Ibid., V, p. 43‒45.

73 The text reads muqaddaran ʿadamu al-ṣaydi bihi; al-Šumunnī (d. 872/1468) (al-Munṣif, II, p. 120) regards it as a slip of the pen. This error is probably due to the occurrence of ʿadam in the underlying structure of the abovementioned verse.

74 Q XVI, 29 reads: fa-dḫulū

75 Jones, The Qurʾān, p. 427. Or: “Enter the gates of Jahannam, in which you will remain for everˮ, id., p. 435.

76 Al-Damāmīnī, Tuḥfa, I/1, p. 84. See al-Šumunnī, al-Munṣif, II, p. 120 for a defence of Ibn Hišām’s view against al-Damāmīnī’s criticism.

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Almog Kasher, « Technical Terms in Arabic Grammatical Traditions
and Their Everyday Meanings », MIDÉO, 34 | 2019, 199-218.

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Almog Kasher, « Technical Terms in Arabic Grammatical Traditions
and Their Everyday Meanings », MIDÉO [En ligne], 34 | 2019, mis en ligne le 10 juin 2019, consulté le 13 novembre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/mideo/2919

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Almog Kasher

Bar-Ilan University

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Institut Dominicain d'Études Orientales

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