dunia دنيا

  • Ander

    Senior Member
    France
    I heard that dunyaa is related to the root meaning something low, literally or figuratively.

    It has a religious meaning when it denotes the everyday world in which we live as compared to the next world the aakhira where we will live in paradise (I hope so) or some less appealing place.
     

    linguist786

    Senior Member
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Ander, that's how I see it too. "dunyaa" to me (since it's also used in Urdu/Gujarati) doesn't just mean "world" (as in the place itself), but more sort of ..the life in this world.

    I don't know whether the denotation is the same for Arabs for when they say "dunyaa"
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Ander, that's how I see it too. "dunyaa" to me (since it's also used in Urdu/Gujarati) doesn't just mean "world" (as in the place itself), but more sort of ..the life in this world.

    I don't know whether the denotation is the same for Arabs for when they say "dunyaa"
    Al-Hayat Al-Dunya ("The nearer life", as opposed to the afterlife). Nowadays it means the "universe", except in scientific contexts in which the word "Kawn" (literally "being") is preferred.
     

    Abu Bishr

    Senior Member
    Afrikaans, South Africa
    Hi All

    The word "dunyaa" (دنيا) is the feminine form of the comparative أدنى (adnaa) from the verb دنا يدنو (danaa - yadnuu) which means "to be close or near". The word "dunyaa" then is the feminine form meaning "nearest" or "closest" and is almost always used as an adjective. Now, it is commonly used as an adjective for two nouns (1) الحياة الدنيا (al-Hayaat al-dunyaa) meaning "the life closest or nearest" to us as opposed to الحياة الأخرى (al-Hayaat al-'ukhraa) meaning "the final or afterlife", and (2) السماء الدنيا (al-samaa' al-dunyaa) meaning "the heaven closest or nearest" to us, such that it becomes the lowest heaven, and so on.

    Now, it is also possible that "dunyaa" comes from the root "دَنِيَ - يَدْنَى" "daniya - yadnaa" which means "to be low, become base" and so on. Based on this root, "al-Hayaat al-dunyaa" is socalled because it is less, base and low compared to the everlasting afterlife from a religious perspective.

    So, in this sense "al-dunyaa" refers to this life or this world, as opposed to the afterlife or next world.

    The word العالَم (world) on the other hand, refers to the world in the sense of the universe or cosmos. So you find the very common Quranic verse "رب العالمين" (Lord and Cherisher of the worlds), meaning everything that exists in the universe including the universe. So, in my view, "al-dunyaa" means "the world" more in the sense of "this world" or "this life", and used often in a negative sense esp. when juxtaposed with the afterlife.

    ps. Other words used for the world or universe or creation are: الكون (al-kawn) , الخلق (al-khalq) , and المخلوقات (al-makhluuqaat), the latter being more like creatures, and so on.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Excellent post Abu Bishr :thumbsup: You spared me the time and effort to write, and you even did better than what I had the intention to write :)

    I only disagree with you on this :
    So, in my view, "al-dunyaa" means "the world" more in the sense of "this world" or "this life", and used often in a negative sense esp. when juxtaposed with the afterlife.
    It's negative only in religious or spiritual context. Otherwise it's a neutral synonym of "worl".
    Other words used for the world or universe or creation are: الكون (al-kawn) , الخلق (al-khalq) , and المخلوقات (al-makhluuqaat), the latter being more like creatures, and so on.
    Yes, al kawn is used as synonym for ad-dunya.
    But al-khalq often means (human being) and al makhluuqaat are all God's creatures.

    The other synonym for دنيا is al-3aalam العالم
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Is مخلوقات a synonym of كائنات?
    Yes. Makhluuqaat= creation (created beings), and kaa2inaat= beings.
    I've seen the latter in poetry and I think mabye the Qur'an too.
    No, مخلوقات is not in the Qur'an. But khalq is. And it has two meanings -as far as I know- : the creation, as in the created beings, and the process or act of creating them عملية/فعل الخَلْق
     

    Abu Bishr

    Senior Member
    Afrikaans, South Africa
    Hi All

    Another phrase or expression (not a single word) used in the Qur'an to refer to the Universe or Creation is (السماوات والأرض وما بينهما) (the heavens and the earth and what is in between). This expression is more expressive as it tends to explain what is meant by the Universe or Creation.

    Another expression that comes to mind that is also used in the Qur'an is (الغيب والشهادة) , the seen and unseen worlds. So, the world, universe or creation from a Quranic point of view encompasses more than just the physical universe. The point, though, is that whichever expression is used there is a difference in emphasis even though the referent might (but not necessarily) be the same.
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Hi All

    Another phrase or expression (not a single word) used in the Qur'an to refer to the Universe or Creation is (السماوات والأرض وما بينهما) (the heavens and the earth and what is in between). This expression is more expressive as it tends to explain what is meant by the Universe or Creation.

    Another expression that comes to mind that is also used in the Qur'an is (الغيب والشهادة) , the seen and unseen worlds. So, the world, universe or creation from a Quranic point of view encompasses more than just the physical universe. The point, though, is that whichever expression is used there is a difference in emphasis even though the referent might (but not necessarily) be the same.
    What about العالمين?
     
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