إِنَّ هٰذَا لَأَمْرٌ هُوَ كَائِنٌ فَٱنْظُرُوا مَا هُوَ

dgwp

Senior Member
English (UK)
I have encountered the following sentence in the "As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah" (Life of the Prophet) by Ibn Hisham, in the section where the familiar spirit of a soothsayer makes a statement and the Quraysh try to interpret it:

إِنَّ هٰذَا لَأَمْرٌ هُوَ كَائِنٌ فَٱنْظُرُوا مَا هُوَ

I'm struggling to understand specifically the meaning/structure of لَأَمْرٌ هُوَ كَائِنٌ and the use of the imperative(?) ٱنْظُرُوا

Here is the whole passage for context:

قَالَ ٱبْنُ إِسْحَاقَ: وَحَدَثَنِـي بَعْضُ أَهْلِ ٱلْعِلْمِ: إِنَّ ٱمْرَأَةً مِنْ بَنِـي سَهْمٍ، يُقَالُ لَـهَا ٱلْغَيْطَلَةُ، كَانَتْ كَاهِنَةً فِـي ٱلْـجَاهِلِيَّةِ، جَاءَهَا صَاحِبُهَا لَيْلَةً مِنَ ٱللَّيَالِـي، فَٱنْقَضَّ تَـحْتَهَا، ثُـمَّ قَالَ: أَدْرِ مَا أَدْرِ، يَوْمَ عَقْرٍ وَنَـحْرِ. فَقَالَتْ قُرَيْشٌ حِيـنَ بَلَغَهَا ذٰلِكَ: مَا يُرِيدُ؟ ثُـمَّ جَاءَهَا لَيْلَةً أُخْرَى، فَٱنْقَضَّ تَـحْتَهَا، ثُـمَّ قَالَ: شُعُوبٌ مَا شُعُوبْ؟ تُصْرَعُ فِيهِ كَعْبٌ لِـجُنُوبْ. فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ ذَلِكَ قُرَيْشًا قَالُوا: مَاذَا يُرِيدُ؟ إِنَّ هٰذَا لَأَمْرٌ هُوَ كَائِنٌ فَٱنْظُرُوا مَا هُوَ؟ فَمَا عَرَفُوهُ حَتَّـى كَانَتْ وَقْعَةُ بَدْرٍ وَأُحُدٍ بِالشِّعْبِ فَعَرَفُوا أَنَّهُ كَانَ الَّذِي جَاءَ بِهِ إِلَـى صَاحِبَتِهِ.

This link may also be of help:

Link to text in Google Books
 
  • sun_shine 331995

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    كائن is the active participle of كان which means حَدَثَ here.
    لأمر هو كائن means: something will happen.
    (انظروا (ما هو ؟ : look for / search/ figure out (what is it?).
     

    dgwp

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Thank you! So, if I have understood the grammar of the first part correctly, أَمْرٌ is the predicate of هٰذَا , and هُوَ كَائِنٌ is a relative clause modifying the indefinite noun أَمْرٌ ? (Literally: "This is a matter, which it will happen")
     

    dgwp

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    In the second part, I assume that the imperative represents the Quraysh telling themselves to wait and see what happens, so could perhaps best be translated as "Let us watch to see what happens"? Would it have been possible/appropriate to use the jussive here though? It just seems a bit odd to have a group of people commanding themselves to do something.

    Also, is it possible for the pronoun ما to be relative rather than interrogative? The latter seems to be indicated by the presence of the question mark however.
     

    sun_shine 331995

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    In the second part, I assume that the imperative represents the Quraysh telling themselves to wait and see what happens, so could perhaps best be translated as "Let us watch to see what happens"?
    I don't think so.
    It means figure out / look for / search .
    Would it have been possible/appropriate to use the jussive here though?
    What do you mean?
    It just seems a bit odd to have a group of people commanding themselves to do something.
    It's like a person (or more) commands a group of people (the rest of the group) to do something.
    Also, is it possible for the pronoun ما to be relative rather than interrogative? The latter seems to be indicated by the presence of the question mark however.
    It's interrogative not relative pronoun.
     
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