تـمسك مقدار نصف الـجدار الأعلى

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by dgwp, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. dgwp Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Another puzzle from Ibn Jubayr, this time in his description of the interior of the Kaaba in Mecca (see "The Travels of Ibn Jubayr" - Wright and de Goeje, 1907, page 83) - full context given below. He talks about the upper half of the interior walls being covered with gilded silver, and writes (with my vowelling):

    وَهِيَ تَـحُفُّ بِٱلْـجَوَانِبِ ٱلْأَرْبَعَةِ وَتُـمْسِكُ مِقْدَارَ نِصْفِ ٱلْـجِدَارِ ٱلْأَعْلَى

    I am struggling to understand the use of the verb تُـمْسِكُ in this context, especially with the word مِقْدَارَ Assuming I have the right form/vowelling of the verb, it generally seems to mean "to retain, withhold", but that does not make much sense here. Any thoughts?


    Full passage:

    وَحِيطَانُهُ كُلُّهَا رُخَامٌ مُـجَزَّعٌ قَدْ قَامَ عَلَى ثَلَاثَةِ أَعْمِدَةٍ مِنَ ٱلسَّاجِ مُفْرِطَةِ ٱلطُّولِ وَبَيْـنَ كُلﱢ عَمُودٍ وَعَمُودٍ أَرْبَعُ خُطًا وَهِيَ عَلَى طُولِ ٱلْبَيْتِ ﻣُﺘَﻮَﺳﱢﻄَﺔٌ فِيهِ فَأَحَدُ ٱلْأَعْمِدَةِ وَهُوَ أَوَّلُـهَا يُقَابِلُ نِصْفَ ٱلصَّفْحِ ٱلَّذِي يَـحُفُّ بِهِ ٱلرُكْنَانِ ٱلْيَمَانِيَّانِ وَبَيْـنَهُ وَبَيْـنَ ٱلصَّفْحِ مِقْدَارُ ثَلَاثِ خُطًا وَٱلْعَمُودُ ٱلثَّالِثُ وَهُوَ آخِرُهَا يُقَابِلُ ٱلصَّفْحَ ٱلَّذِي يَـحُفُّ بِهِ ٱلرُكْنَانِ ٱلْعِرَاقِيُّ وَٱلشَّامِيُّ، وَدَائِرُ ٱلْبَيْتِ كُلُّهُ مِنْ نِصْفِهِ ٱلْأَعْلَى مَطْلِـيٌّ بِٱلْفِضَّةِ ٱلْمُذَهَّبَةِ ٱلثَّخِينَةِ يُـخَيَّلُ لِلنَّاظِرِ إِلَيْهَا أَنَّهَا صَفِيحَةُ ذَهَبٍ لِغِلَظِهَا وَهِيَ تَـحُفُّ بِٱلْـجَوَانِبِ ٱلْأَرْبَعَةِ وَتُـمْسِكُ مِقْدَارَ نِصْفِ ٱلْـجِدَارِ ٱلْأَعْلَى​
     
  2. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I think here it means "to cover": the gilded silver covers the upper half of the wall.
     
  3. dgwp Senior Member

    English (UK)
    I'm sure you are right. Does this meaning depend on the presence of مِقْدَارَ though, do you think?
     
  4. sun_shine 331995

    sun_shine 331995 Senior Member

    Arabic (mostly Egyptian)
    I don't think so.
    وَتُـمْسِكُ نِصْف ٱلْـجِدَارِ ٱلْأَعْلَى / وَتُـمْسِكُ مِقْدَارَ نِصْفِ ٱلْـجِدَارِ ٱلْأَعْلَى
    with or without مِقْدَارَ it's the same.
     
  5. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    No, I believe مقدار here means "almost" or "approximately".
     
  6. sun_shine 331995

    sun_shine 331995 Senior Member

    Arabic (mostly Egyptian)
    But this word doesn't change the meaning.
     
  7. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    London, UK
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I think it does.
    It could mean "approximately" but to me it seems to mean "the area of".

    مقدار in general means "the amount of" (depending on context of course); If you say for example: أضف كوبا من الطحين I would understand that I should fill a cup with flour and then add it. If you say: أضف مقدار كوب من الطحين then I would understand that I should add the amount of flour that would fill a cup, but not necessarily measure it with a cup. In the latter case I would estimate the amount as opposed to measuring it.

    In the sentence above, without مقدار I would understand that it covers the upper half of the wall completely. With مقدار it implies that there may be parts that are not covered in the upper half but they would be replaced by equally sized parts in the lower half that are covered.
     
  8. sun_shine 331995

    sun_shine 331995 Senior Member

    Arabic (mostly Egyptian)
    Thanks for your explanation.
    but I still see that both are almost the same
    كوب من الطحين/مقدار كوب من الطحين
    both are the same quantity.
     

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