Already : Qad + Madhi

When قد comes with a present tense ‘verb’ (فعل مضارع) , it gives the meaning of “might’, but when it comes with a past tense ‘verb’ (فعل ماضى) it gives the meaning of ‘already’. Ustaadh Adam showed us some examples in class where this happens in the Quran.

Instance 1:

Al Baqarah 2:60

2:60
Sahih International

And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people, so We said, “Strike with your staff the stone.” And there gushed forth from it twelve springs, and every people knew its watering place. “Eat and drink from the provision of Allah , and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.”

 Bani Israel was already divided into 12 tribes, indicated by the word أُنَاسٍ and by the use of قَدْ with the past tense form عَلِمَ, this قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ then means that before Musa a.s. was commanded to strike the stone with his staff, the people had already known their respective drinking/watering place. قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ means “Each tribe already knew their watering/drinking place.” So, the striking of the stone confirmed these places for them.
Instance 2:
Al An’aam 6:140
6:140
Sahih International

Those will have lost who killed their children in foolishness without knowledge and prohibited what Allah had provided for them, inventing untruth about Allah . They have gone astray and were not [rightly] guided.

 Here, Allah uses قَدْ in both parts of the ayah. The first one is translated in Sahih International as “Those will have lost who killed their children in foolishness without knowledge and prohibited what Allah had provided for them, inventing untruth about Allah .
Here, قَدْ occurs with a past tense ‘verb’ خَسِرَ , and based on the effect قَدْ has on a past tense ‘verb’, it means “Those who killed their children in foolishness without knowledge and prohibited what Allah had provided for them, inventing untruth about Allah already lost.” For sure they already are in loss.
For the second part of the ayah, قَدْ occurs with the past tense ‘verb’ ضَلُّوا. The translation says, “They have gone astray and were not [rightly] guided.” Based on the effect قَدْ has on a past tense ‘verb’, it means, “They have already gone astray and they were not [rightly] guided.” It adds to the level of certainty.
Instance 3:
Al Muminoon 23:1
23:1
Sahih International

Certainly will the believers have succeeded:

Here, قَدْ comes with the past tense ‘verb’ أَفْلَحَ and the ayah is translated as above. Based on the effect قَدْ has on a past tense verb, it means, “The believers have already succeeded.” Allah is guaranteeing the success by this.

What a difference just knowing the effect قَدْ has on a past tense ‘verb’ makes!

*’verb’ is not the most appropriate ‘translation’ for فعل because in Arabic, a فعل is not just a verb, it is a whole sentence in and of itself, which includes the doer and the action. In English, a verb is just the action. However, for simplicity’s sake, I use the term ‘verb’.

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