كان يعبد ءاباؤنا

sparack

Member
Urdu
Assalamu alaikum,

In the ayat below what is the subject of the defective verb كان?

قَالُوٓاْ أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ ٱللَّهَ وَحْدَهُۥ وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا ۖ فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّٰدِقِينَ

Jazakallahukhair
 
  • ammarsa25

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egyptian & MSA)
    It's ضمير مستتر a latent pronoun, supposed to be "هم" and refers to آباؤنا

    ما كان (هم) يعبد آباؤنا

    you can say it in another way as well
    ما كان آباؤنا يعبدون
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    If the اسم of كان is هم, shouldn't كان have turned into كانوا?

    ونذر ما كانوا يعبد آباؤنا
     

    ammarsa25

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egyptian & MSA)
    No, if you want to say كانوا, then اسم كان is the واو الجماعة

    And the sentence should be like that
    ونذر ما كانوا يعبدون
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    ammarsa25: But then what would you make of the following, which has the same construction?

    وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الْأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا ۖ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَىٰ عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا ۖ وَدَمَّرْنَا مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِرْعَوْنُ وَقَوْمُهُ وَمَا كَانُوا يَعْرِشُونَ

    الأعراف 137

    I don't think you can have the pronoun هم hidden anywhere. The moment you try to hide it, it appears as فعلوا or يفعلون.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    The pronoun هم could be hidden if the need arises, and it does in many cases. However, the pronoun is irrelevant to why كان is in the singular.

    كان is in the singular because اسم كان or what اسم كان refers to (in this case آباؤنا) is mentioned after الفعل الناقص.

    It agrees with number if اسم كان comes before كان or is not mentioned at all.

    If آباؤنا was not mentioned then you must say نذر ما كانوا يعبدون or if it’s said before as in آباؤنا كانوا يعبدون, but if it comes after, then the verb, including الفعل الناقص should be singular.

    The same applies to كانوا يستضعفون وكان يصنع فرعون وكانوا يعرشون. It also applies to gender: فَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ
    الْمُكَذِّبِينَ - آل عمران. Of course in gender it’s optional so كانت عاقبة المكذبين is also correct, but كانوا يعبد آباؤنا is incorrect.

    Another simpler example: وَإِنْ كَانَ أَصْحَابُ الْأَيْكَةِ لَظَالِمِينَ - سورة الحجر
     
    Last edited:

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Mahaodeh: I was taught that the only pronouns that are ever مستتر are:

    1. in the past tense: هو and هي, e.g. ذهب, ذهبت
    2. in the present-future tense: هو, هي, أنت, أنا, and نحن, e.g. يذهب, تذهب, تذهب, أذهب, and نذهب.

    Note that when أنت, أنا, and نحن are مستتر, they are مستتر وجوبًا. By contrast, هو and هي are مستتر جوازًا.

    I have never heard of any other pronoun being مستتر. Could you please give me an example?
     
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