Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by sooorad, Feb 9, 2019.
What does “العين” in the term “حور العين” mean exactly? Can anyone please elaborate.
Can you provide the context, please?
Sure, the حور العين is one way of referring to Houries. They’re referenced frequently, including in this article.
I think it means have large beautiful eyes
The phrase is حُوْرٌ عِيْنٌ, a noun modified by an adjective, not an iDaafa, عِيْنٌ being the plural form of أَعْيَنُ. You can check the relevant verses in the Qur'an.
Yes, it's the same structure like طويلات الشَّعر، ممشوقات القوام، قصيرات القامة
and 7uur is the plural of 7awraa2حوراء, meaning a woman who has dark black eyes/iris in a clear white "white of the eyes?". This contrast is/was a sign of beauty in Arabic culture.
These are different analyses. Which one is it?
عين is an adjective of حور as ghabi said:
I checked الطبري والقرطبي وابن كثير, and it was as I suspected. عين is not the plural of أعين, it's the plural of عيناء that means 'a woman with large eyes', the masculine form being أعْيَن similar to أحوَر حوراء (according to the Lisaan).
True, but if you check dictionaries you will find that it also means 'a white woman'.
The three explained it as 'white woman with big eyes'. القرطبي also mentioned the meaning of dark black eyes with clear white around them. However, it seems to me that the first one is more logical because the إعراب is one, عين صفة لحور. This would not make sense semantically if the meaning of حور was woman with dark black eyes and clear white and عين is the plural of أعين, it would make more semantic sense if it were عين حور because حور would be a description of the eye and the adjective should follow the noun, which in this case would be عين. Or, if it were إضافة without tanween on حور, which is not the case.
On the other hand, if as the above scholars seem to believe, حور means 'white women' and عين is the plural of عيناء then it would make perfect sense semantically as it would mean 'big-eyed white-women' as حور would be the noun and عين would be the adjective describing the noun.
Note: I checked only one instance where it was mentioned وزوجناهم بحور عين - سورة الدخان آية 54; I just assumed the same would apply to the other instances.
Sorry for the confusion, I was commenting on the structure in the title حور العين which is the plural of حوراء العين where حوراء/حور describes the eye.
But the structure حورٌ عينٌ is the plural of حوراءُ عَيْناء, two consecutive adjective describing a person.
And, Maha, I understand your point, and I'm no one to know better than scholars, but I don't see any semantic problem with both adjectives حوراء، عيناء referring to the eye: A person's eye can be both dark black and big, two attributes related to beauty.
My point is not that, my point is that if we say: حوراء عيناء while considering حوراء to be الموصوف and عيناء to be الصفة then we do have a semantic problem because black eyes do not have eyes of their own, be they large or small. I'm basing this on the إعراب discussed earlier, but if we consider حور عين to both be adjectives for an omitted noun (maybe نساء), or we consider عين to be بدل من حور then we don't have a semantic problem whichever meaning we choose for حور. This was my point: we can't consider حور to be the adjective because it comes before عين and in most readings it can't be iDafa because they both have tanween (I think there is a reading where حور does not have a tanween, but I'm not sure).
Of course this is all about حور عين not حور العين which is an obvious iDafa.
I think the word حور includes the meaning of women in it.
حور : women who have black eyes and white sclera.
عين is the plural of both masculine أعين (the "citation form/dictionary form") and feminine عيناء, just as بيض is the plural of both masculine أبيض and feminine بيضاء. The af3alu/fa3laa2u adjectives share the same plural form fu3l (changed to fi3l due to assimilation when the 3 is a y).
And why would we do that?
Maybe some are confused because the two words refer to the eyes (one about the color, and the other about the shape/size). How about we replace 7awraa2 with another adjective to make things easier?
شقراء هيفاء عيناء would be a blonde tall woman with big eyes. All nouns, referring to a woman, so they're not technically adjectives نعت (though they do describe the person).
So, back to حوراء عيناء (I prefer working on the singular form, but this doesn't change the meaning) عيناء is not the adjective of حوراء but they both refer to a person who has black big eyes. No semantic or grammatical issue, as far as I can see.
There is a possibility that we implicitly mean a woman, but if one of them means a woman then the other should too, shouldn't it? Hence one is not the adjective of the other.
Technically though, it does not mean a woman. The form itself refers to something feminine, but not necessarily a woman, if you say: فرس شقراء or خيل شقر then it doesn't refer to a woman/women, does it? It's simply an adjective in the feminine form.
My bad. I read أعين in this post:
with a Dhamma, being the جمع قلة of عين. I know you have the fat7a right there, but to be frank on my screen it's pretty small and I have to stick my face to the screen to see it so I just went on babbling based on an unfounded assumption. sorry!
OK, so now I get the confusion. My comment to your post was the first line only, the rest was commenting on the post right before mine: this one:
I suppose that I should have quoted sun-shine's post to make things clear. I was objecting to considering عين to be the adjective of حور.
Agreed, that's why I said:
Personally, my instinct tells me it's the first one (both adjectives to an omitted noun), but I don't know how specialists have said the إعراب should be.
I was under the impression that حور is the plural of both أحوَر (masculine) and حوراء (feminine), just like سُود is the plural of أسود and سوداء. This then implies that حور plural is composed of both masculine and feminine beings.
Nouns and adjectives can be interchangeable in Arabic. For example أسود is an adjective (black) as well as a noun, "a black male".
Hence حُوْرٌ عِيْنٌ according to link below is "fair ones (with) large eyes. In other words "large eyed fair ones".
The Quranic Arabic Corpus - Word by Word Grammar, Syntax and Morphology of the Holy Quran
From a technical point of view, this is correct. From a religious point of view, there are different scholars that say different things. From a popular point of view (I mean, what most people believe regardless of how true it is, and I'm one of the 'most people' since I'm no religious scholar), they are exclusively female.
But I see your point. It's worth thinking about because in the three places it is mentioned in the Quran, there is no reason to believe that they refer to feminine beings.
Separate names with a comma.