تغليب

HermanTheGerman

Senior Member
German
In many English posts that discuss surah 18:50 commentators refer to a so called Tagleeb rule. I've never heard about such a rule and assume that it's written تغليب. Is this the same rule that'd require the use of masculine verbs and pronouns for mixed groups?
Can anybody point me to a grammar reference with details about this rule?
 
  • HermanTheGerman

    Senior Member
    German
    Could you quote some examples? Or tell us which construction they are referring to?
    It's usually quoted by Muslims to explain the first part of the Surah al-Kahf 18:50:

    وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ


    One example of such a post would be this one. The commentator holds that إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ should not be interpreted as an indicator that Iblis was an angel.
    There are countless other posts quoting the very same explanation without going into details about the mysterious Tag(h)leeb rule. Nor do they provide other examples that use the same construction.
    I was wondering whether this mysterious rule actually exists, and whether there are other examples where an object excluded by إِلَّا does not necessary belong to the group that it's excluded from.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    If you go to the link which you have given, and then follow the link to al-Qazwīnī you will find a discussion of taghlīb. The idea seems to be that when God says “we said to the angels”, “angels” in fact means “angels and jinn” and does not imply that Iblīs was himself an angel.

    I am familiar with the use of “taghlīb” to describe the case where a pair of nouns can be expressed by the dual of one of them, e.g. qamarāni means “sun and moon”. This is discussed in Wright I p. 190.
     

    آمين

    Senior Member
    English
    It's usually quoted by Muslims to explain the first part of the Surah al-Kahf 18:50:

    وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ


    One example of such a post would be this one. The commentator holds that إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ should not be interpreted as an indicator that Iblis was an angel.
    There are countless other posts quoting the very same explanation without going into details about the mysterious Tag(h)leeb rule. Nor do they provide other examples that use the same construction.
    I was wondering whether this mysterious rule actually exists, and whether there are other examples where an object excluded by إِلَّا does not necessary belong to the group that it's excluded from.

    Taghleeb is more of general a concept rather than a specific rule employed in Grammar. Moreover it belongs to 'Balagha' (Science of rhetoric and eloquence). Also Taghleeb isn't limited to the example you quoted above - and has far wider implications.

    However. . .

    "I was wondering whether this mysterious rule actually exists, and whether there are other examples where an object excluded by إِلَّا does not necessary belong to the group that it's excluded from."

    This relates to the particle of exception الا and its is split into 2 categories مستثنى متصل where the excepted individual belongs to the genus of the class it is excepted from OR مستشنى منقطع where the excepted individual does not belongs to the genus of the class it is excepted from.

    Examples:

    جاءني القوم إلا زيدا The tribe came to me except Zayd.

    جاءني القوم إلا حمارا The tribe came to me except the donkey.
     

    HermanTheGerman

    Senior Member
    German
    Taghleeb is more of general a concept rather than a specific rule employed in Grammar.
    [...]


    Examples:

    جاءني القوم إلا زيدا The tribe came to me except Zayd.

    جاءني القوم إلا حمارا The tribe came to me except the donkey.

    Thanks for the examples. I found a similar sentence in Hermann Reckendorf’s “Die syntaktischen Verhältnisse des Arabischen.” Reckendorf gives the following example:

    ما جاء رجل إلا حمارا “nicht kam ein Mann, außer [=sondern] ein Esel” (not a man came, except for [=but] a donkey)

    I assume you interpret your second example in the same way I.e. Not a tribe came to me, but a donkey.

    However, this sentence structure is different from the Qur'an verse that I quoted. In your example a group is replaced with a non-member, while in the Qur'an verse the group performs an action and the non-member doesn't. This is rather rather rare for this sentence type. (At least it's the first time that I encountered it.)

    If you don't mind reading in Arabic, you can check here the wider range of تغليب in Arabic
    I had a look at it, but most of the explanations seemed to be either common sense explanations (e.g. even if only men are addressed, women are not excluded) or were Qur’an specific (i.e. verses were interpreted based on other verses and/or other commonly accepted tenets of Islam).
    (I was primarily looking for non-religious or grammar based explanation.)
     

    آمين

    Senior Member
    English
    Herman - I fail to understand your objections. . . .

    "However, this sentence structure is different from the Qur'an verse that I quoted. In your example a group is replaced with a non-member, while in the Qur'an verse the group performs an action and the non-member doesn't. This is rather rather rare for this sentence type. (At least it's the first time that I encountered it.)"

    The sentence structure isn't different - it is simply a different example - and it follows the rule. The sentences I quoted are simply standard set of examples - that get used grammar book after grammar book - with little change (as your example is about the same) . . . however they have no impact on the extent of the grammar rule. The Quranic example too - follows the rule and there isn't anything rare about it - after all the primary function of a verb is to convey action!

    Using the rule - you can make any sentence you feel like - as long as they are grammatically correct in other aspects. For example

    قلت لطلاب خذوا هذه الكتب، فأخذواهم إلا كريم كان المساعد
    I said to the student "Take these books" and they took them - except Karim who was the assistant

    سنشاهد كل الأفلام إلا "النبوءة الاخيرة" لانه وثائقي
    We will watch all the films except "The last prophecy" because it is a documentary.

    فهمت كلامه الا الجزء الأخير كما كان في الفرنسية
    I understood his speech except the last part as it was in French.

    You can use the same pattern from the Quran with variance to create as many sentences you wish.

    - - -

    In the way I assume you imply, different sentence structures would be:


    1. (2:249) {فَشَرِبُوا۟ مِنْهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنْهُمْ}
    2. (4:66) {مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ مِّنْهُمْ}
    3. (11:81) {وَلَا يَلْتَفِتْ مِنكُمْ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا ٱمْرَأَتَكَ}
    4. (15:56) {وَمَن يَقْنَطُ مِن رَّحْمَةِ رَبِّهِۦٓ إِلَّا ٱلضَّآلُّونَ}
    5. (4:157) {مَا لَهُم بِهِۦ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا ٱتِّبَاعَ ٱلظَّنِّ} - Although this I think could be variant of the above.

    These are not the same types of sentences.

    - - -

    The example you quoted above was specific to explaining that there is no contradiction regarding Iblis not being an angel . . . hence the author probably used taghleeb and not the grammar rule - as it wasn't under dispute.

    - - -

    (I was primarily looking for non-religious or grammar based explanation.)

    What is it that you are really after? I get the feeling you have something in mind. . .
     

    HermanTheGerman

    Senior Member
    German
    Thank you آمين for your very detailed reply.

    Herman - I fail to understand your objections. . . .
    I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear enough. When I first studied constructions with إلا in all the textbook examples the part the was excluded stood in some relation to the group it was excluded from. That's why I was surprised when I encountered Surah al-Kahf 18:50, because I knew that according to tafsīr Iblīs is not an angel and therefore this sentence could not be interpreted in a way to suggest that Iblīs was a member of the group of angels.

    BTW, in the verses from the Qur'an that you linked to, this part-group relationship exists. Take for example the first one:

    (2:249) {فَشَرِبُوا۟ مِنْهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنْهُمْ}

    And they [all] drank of it [the water] except for a few of them.

    I.e. the few of them who didn't drink and the large number of them who did belonged to the same group--they were all soldiers.

    IMHO, the same relationsship applies to the next example:

    (4:66) {مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ مِّنْهُمْ}

    None of them would do it [kill themselves] except for a few of them.

    Here too the few who who'd kill themselves and the large number who wouldn't belong to the same group--they were all believers.

    However, the same part-group relationship doesn't exist in 18:50, because Iblīs is a jinn and not an angel. Hopefully, you can understand now that this might be confusing to someone who analyzes the sentence based on the grammar structure and prevalent usage alone.

    In the other non-Qur'an examples that you gave me only the first one clearly demonstrated that إلا can be used to exclude a non related person. So far I've seen in MSA only إلا constructions where there was some kind of part-group relationship. Therefore it's quite possible that my confusion might have simply been caused by a lack of exposure to a larger variety of Arabic texts.

    What is it that you are really after? I get the feeling you have something in mind. . .
    Let me assure you that I have no ulterior motives; I'm just sometimes puzzled by the intricacies of Arabic grammar.
     

    آمين

    Senior Member
    English
    I might not have made it clear - but the examples below - were different to the example of where the excepted individual does not belong to the same genus as the group it is excepted from.


    1. (2:249) {فَشَرِبُوا۟ مِنْهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنْهُمْ}
    2. (4:66) {مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ مِّنْهُمْ}
    3. (11:81) {وَلَا يَلْتَفِتْ مِنكُمْ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا ٱمْرَأَتَكَ}
    4. (15:56) {وَمَن يَقْنَطُ مِن رَّحْمَةِ رَبِّهِۦٓ إِلَّا ٱلضَّآلُّونَ}
    5. (4:157) {مَا لَهُم بِهِۦ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا ٱتِّبَاعَ ٱلظَّنِّ} - Although this I think could be variant of the above.



    - - -

    In the other non-Qur'an examples that you gave me only the first one clearly demonstrated that إلا can be used to exclude a non related person.

    Yes . . .but the genus can be of different levels, implied or explicit - it might not be obvious - but the difference is there in these 2 examples as well.

    سنشاهد كل الأفلام إلا "النبوءة الاخيرة" لانه وثائقي

    Here the difference of group is that of Films and Documentaries - they do belong to different class - but still have a relationship as to being video films


    فهمت كلامه الا الجزء الأخير كما كان في الفرنسية

    Again
    here the original language isn't mentioned but the implied sense is still there - that of 2 different languages. However both share a relationship of being languages. At one level they are the same genus - at another level they aren't. Hierarchical.

    - - -

    In the original example:


    وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ

    Both the Jinn and Angel
    s are creations - both were 'beloved'* creations - hence why they were grouped in the first place. There has to be some kind of relationship there in the first place else there isn't much sense in totally random exceptions. In being intelligent creation both are the same genus . . . but of different type - as the Jinns have the capability to exercise free will. Also notice that structure is used to provide extra clarifications.

    *or dutiful and etc . . . couldn't think of an apt word.

    - - -

    I hope my amateurish explanations make some sense and aren't a further confusion.

    - - -

    Let me assure you that I have no ulterior motives; I'm just sometimes puzzled by the intricacies of Arabic grammar.

    OK . . . it is just the link that you gave was somewhat controversial.
     

    إسكندراني

    Senior Member
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    I have no idea if these are all examples of تغليب, but I have some light corrections:
    قلت لطلاب خذوا هذه الكتب، فأخذوها إلا كريم كان المساعد
    I said to_students "Take these books" and they took them - except Karim who was the assistant

    سنشاهد كل الأفلام إلا "النبوءة الاخيرة" لأنه وثائقي
    We will watch all the films except "The last prophecy" because it is a documentary.

    فهمت كلامه إلا الجزء الأخير لأنّه كان بالفرنسية
    I understood his speech except the last part as it was in French.
     
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    آمين

    Senior Member
    English
    I have no idea if these are all examples of تغليب, but I have some light corrections:

    These examples weren't showing Taghleeb - but exception where the genus of the excepted individual is different from the group of things excepted from [the grammar rule above]. Variants of the Quranic Verse quoted.

    Thanks for the corrections esp. فأخذواها

    - - -

    فهمت كلامه إلا الجزء الأخير لأنّه كان بالفرنسية

    This however I dispute because to me my original isn't grammatically invalid:

    فهمت كلامه الا الجزء الأخير كما كان في الفرنسية

    But if you think it is - please point out the actual fault. I have come across both في and ب being used with كان - also كما is its usage wrong? In English the sense would be correct.



     
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    آمين

    Senior Member
    English
    Actually it's فأخذوها
    The problem with your suggestion is as follows:
    كما كان it was also
    في inside
    hence the sentence means nothing.

    The primary meaning of كما is "as" and NOT "also" . . . the only time it does mean also is when linking two similar Verbs together. Hence I am translating كما كان = As it was

    في doesn't just mean 'inside' it means 'in' - I have seen it used with languages . . . as دروس في الانجليزية - سؤال في الفرنسية - في اي اللغة and etc.

    - - -

    Sentence as example:

    صعب أن يعود الحب كما كان بعد الفراق


    I don't think kama means - also here

    - - -

    كما كان يجب على الشيخ الوزير محمد عبدالله المبارك أن يعاجل بالرد على شتم ضاحي خلفان لأهل الكويت كما أحسن بالرد على الشيخ عبدالله بن زايد

    This is a tweet:

    https://twitter.com/faisalalmuslem/status/238021751857090561

    It appears that in the above sentence, كما is used to mean "because" - similar usage as in English - where 'as' is often synonymous to 'because'. I don't think كما here means 'also'
     
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    إسكندراني

    Senior Member
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    We've strayed off topic, but to clarify:
    كما it means 'like' or 'as well as', not 'because'.
    As for في, the sentence سؤال في الفرنسية means a question on French, i.e. 'on the topic of, in the field of'.
    If you're not convinced, we can carry on our discussion in separate threads.

    On this thread's topic, is this technique known as تغليب because of something like يأخذ الاستثناء طبع الغالبية? It seemed a very odd term at first, but maybe that's the kind of meaning behind the word?
     

    dkarjala

    Senior Member
    English - America
    The primary meaning of كما is "as" and NOT "also" . . . the only time it does mean also is when linking two similar Verbs together. Hence I am translating كما كان = As it was

    I understand where you're coming from - but from a purely logical standpoint, just because one of the translations is "as" doesn't mean that the word كما has the same scope and usage in Arabic. The as in "Do as I do" (as = like) and "I stopped talking as there was no more point" (as = since) are different and Iskanderani is saying that only the first meaning is equivalent to Arabic كما.

    The tweet you sent, notice, has two instances of كما. I would translate them as "just as" and "equally" and not "because/since" at all. If it means "because" here, then where is the independent clause?

    Sorry this is off topic!
     

    HermanTheGerman

    Senior Member
    German
    Both the Jinn and Angels are creations - both were 'beloved'* creations - hence why they were grouped in the first place. There has to be some kind of relationship there in the first place else there isn't much sense in totally random exceptions. In being intelligent creation both are the same genus . . . but of different type - as the Jinns have the capability to exercise free will. Also notice that structure is used to provide extra clarifications.

    *or dutiful and etc . . . couldn't think of an apt word.

    I hope my amateurish explanations make some sense and aren't a further confusion.
    Thanks for your explanations. I hadn't considered the concept that, though different, both jinns and angels are creations.

    Thanks also to إسكندراني for his corrections. I have to say that his versions make more sense to me.
     

    آمين

    Senior Member
    English
    I understand where you're coming from - but from a purely logical standpoint, just because one of the translations is "as" doesn't mean that the word كما has the same scope and usage in Arabic. The as in "Do as I do" (as = like) and "I stopped talking as there was no more point" (as = since) are different and Iskanderani is saying that only the first meaning is equivalent to Arabic كما.

    The tweet you sent, notice, has two instances of كما. I would translate them as "just as" and "equally" and not "because/since" at all. If it means "because" here, then where is the independent clause?

    Sorry this is off topic!

    A point well made - can I just point out that it wasn't my tweet! - more importantly, when you say. . . .

    I would translate them as "just as" and "equally" and not "because/since" at all.

    But your 'just as' is synonymous to 'because of' - in the sense of "For the reason". Also you did not relate back to the original sentence under question - why is it wrong.

    Even in this example of yours:

    "I stopped talking as there was no more point"

    Your 'as' equals 'because of'!


    - - -

    Sorry! I am not one bit convinced that my sentence is wrong - unless adequately proven - I have started a new thread:


    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2489263&p=12531286#post12531286
     
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