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الضياء ذاتي و النور عرضي

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by آمين, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. آمين

    آمين Senior Member

    I am trying to understand the meanings of عرضي and ذاتي

    {النُّور، بالضمّ: الضَّوْءُ أيَّاً كَانَ، أَو شُعاعُه وسُطوعُه، كَذَا فِي المُحكَم، وَقَالَ الزَّمَخْشَرِيّ: الضياءُ أشدّ من النُّور، قَالَ تَعَالَى: جَعَلَ الشمسَ ضِياءً والقمرَ نُوراً} وَقيل: الضِّياءُ ذاتِيٌّ،! والنُّورُ عَرَضِيٌّ، كَمَا حقَّقه

    It is is a dictionary entry from Lisan al Arab. I have highlighted the portion I am interested in. When it says "الضياءُ أشدّ من النُّور" what exactly is it implying? The physical nature of light being intensive . . . or the word being intensive?
  2. AndyRoo Senior Member

    It's talking about the nature of the light itself. It quotes the Qur'an, comparing the light of the sun (ضياء) and the light of the moon (نور).

    ذاتي I suppose means "self-generated". Perhaps you could use "radiant".
    عرضي Perhaps= "reflective".
  3. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    It is most probably talking about the physical nature of light, not the grammatical categorization of the words. الضياءُ refers to a more intense/brighter/stronger form of light than does النُّور.

    In modern usage, though, I wonder if that distinction is still made. It seems to me that they are used somewhat interchangeably. The only difference I note is that الضوء seems to be a little more elevated and used in more formal or scientific contexts.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  4. آمين

    آمين Senior Member

    But the context provided for the distinction between the two is:

    الضِّياءُ ذاتِيٌّ،! والنُّورُ عَرَضِيٌّ

    Which leads me to think that:

    Is not what it means.
  5. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Actually, the context supports what I said. I will explain why.

    But first, I wanted to mention that the Lisan al-Arab is a compiled dictionary, in that it takes many different quotes and explanations from different sources and compiles them into one source.

    The two phrases:

    وَقَالَ الزَّمَخْشَرِيّ: الضياءُ أشدّ من النُّور
    قيل: الضِّياءُ ذاتِيٌّ،! والنُّورُ عَرَضِيٌّ

    ...came from two different sources. They should be viewed as separate, but complementary -- in terms of explaining what النور means, or the difference between النُّورُ and الضِّياءُ , particularly in light of the Quranic verse. Each relates a different aspect of النُّورُ and الضِّياءُ.

    The first sentence, I might translate as:

    "Al-Zamakhshari said that الضِّياءُ is (light that is) more intense than النُّورُ."

    That is a statement/claim by Al-Zamakhshari. The complier of the Lisan, Ibn Manzour, is using the the Quranic verse to support the claim made by Al-Zamakhshari. The verse is saying that God made (light from) the sun to be الضياءُ, and (light from) the moon to be النُّور.

    What we know about the sun and the moon is that the former is much brighter and more intense than the latter. That is a self-evident fact; a fact that is واضحة وضوح الشمس, as it were.:)

    So, based on what we know about the brightness of sunlight and moonlight, if we consider the words in the context of the Quranic verse, then we can assume الضِّياءُ is light that is more intense/brighter/stronger than النُّورُ.

    As for the second statement, it also appears that the Quranic verse is being used to support it, since I believe it was known even in antiquity and medieval times that the moon does not generate its own light.

    Based on that context I agree with AndyRoo in that is appears to be saying that الضِّياءُ is self-generated light, while النُّورُ is not.

    I might translate it as:

    "...and so it is said that الضِّياءُ is essential, while النُّورُ is incidental. " --> That is, الضِّياءُ is light as an essential property, whereas النُّورُ is light as an incidental (non-essential) property.

    Or, in other words, an object that is described as emitting الضِّياءُ has light as part of its essence (i.e. self-generated light), whereas an object described as having النُّورُ has light as an incidental or secondary property (i.e. light is not a part of its essence; it does not generate its own light).
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  6. Crimson-Sky

    Crimson-Sky Senior Member

    بلاد بابل - Babylonia
    Hello :)
    عَرَضِيٌّ comes from the verb عَرَضَ (also عَرِضَ) which (in this context) means to become visible and manifest but only for a period of time.
    ذاتِيٌّ comes from ذَات which means self -but the word ذاتِيٌّ means to be dependent on the self only.
    الشمس=الضياء~الشمس جسم مُضِيء why ? -The sun generates* its own "light"*(
    القمر=النور~القمر جسم مُنير why ? -The moon doesn't generate* its light ; it only reflects the "light"* coming from the sun. Hence you can't see a part of the moon reflecting light all the time
    (عَرَضِيٌّ). (we experience the same thing on our planet).


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