Assalamu Aleikum wa rahmatu lilahi wa barakatuh
In chapter 42 (surah Ash Shura) on verses 30 and 34, I have noticed an important grammar as well as tajweed point that I will need to understand, inshallah.
In verse 30 it is written: "...wa ya' fuu 'an kathiir". The verb "'afaa" here is written and is read with a 2 vowel count despite the fact that the subject is Allah (who is singular and not plural).
Then in verse 34 it is written: "...wa y'afu 'an kathir". The verb "'afaa " is written and pronounced with a one vowel count with the subject being Allah (who is singular).
My question is why in verse 30 "y'afuu" is written with a 2 vowel count when the subject (Allah) is singular? Usually if the subject is plural then the verb should be written and pronounced with a 2 vowel count but verse 30 as a different grammar perspective. What are the reasons for this?
Wa salamu aleikum wa rahmatulilahi wa barakat
Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
It is good to see you studying the grammar and meaning of the Qur'an, as it is very necessary for the student of the Qur'an to be able to read, understand, and explain the Qur'an, including grammatical occurrences. May Allah increase you in knowledge of the Qur'an and the Arabic language. Ameen.
You are correct in assuming that it is a grammatical change. The root of the word, as you stated is , and please note that the last letter is an alif. When verbs have as part of the root one of the three “weak” letters, or , the alif, ’ or , these letters often change with the tense or with grammatical changes in the sentence structure, and the root letter that is one of often changes into another weak letter, or is dropped other times when a grammatical event happens that effects the verb.
In the first of the two aaayat mentioned in the question
There is a present tense singular male form of the verb , which is ; the alif of the past tense singular root has changed into a , and thus we have a two vowel count natural medd.
For the second aayah in the question (aayah 34), we need to look at the grammar starting at the aayah preceding it: (Ash-Shura 33-34)
The first part of aayah 33, has a conditional verb, , meaning, “If He wills..”. This conditional verb (notice the sukoon on the end of the verb) then affects the following verbs, which explain the condition, including the verb in question. “If He wills…” and then each of the verbs then are what is called in grammar , as what can happen if He wills is explained in aayah 32 and 33. In a single male present tense verb with a strong ending (not one of the three medd letters), the last letter of the verb part of the word will end with a sukoon when it is . In the case of a verb in the single form ending with one of the three weak letters and, the weak letter is dropped in writing and in pronunciation, and thus we have in this case. The verb then has remained in the singular male form, but the which is part of the basic make up of the verb has been dropped due to the grammatical .
Insha’ Allah this makes things clearer to you about the two different spellings of the same verb, due to grammar.
Wa iyyakum. Wa asslaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.