Without ANY Justification Versus Without [the] Justification

I can only imagine how awesome it must be for the huffaadh who are doing Dream to be learning all this grammar stuff, because it tremendously helps with the similar looking/sounding ayaat (mutashaabihaat). Yesterday, I asked Ustaadh Nouman one of my ‘sticker tabbed’ Quran questions that involve mutashaabihaat ayaat that  have been puzzling me for a while now.

My question was:  Why is it بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ in Al Baqarah 61 and بِغَيْرِ حَقِّ in Aali Imran 112? Why does one have alif lam and the other doesn’t?

From what I understood of what Ustaadh Nouman said, when it comes with an alif lam, it’s not as strong, and when it comes without an alif lam, it’s stronger. It helps to look at each ayat and the context they come with.

Al Baqarah 2:61



Sahih International

And [recall] when you said, “O Moses, we can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.” [Moses] said, “Would you exchange what is better for what is less? Go into [any] settlement and indeed, you will have what you have asked.” And they were covered with humiliation and poverty and returned with anger from Allah [upon them]. That was because they [repeatedly] disbelieved in the signs of Allah and killed the prophets without right.[ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ] That was because they disobeyed and were [habitually] transgressing.

In this ayat, Allah is talking about Bani Israel’s early history. This was when they were wandering in the desert while Allah provided them with daily prepared meals of manna and salwa from the heavens, and yet they were complaining and then asking Musa a.s. for more variety. It’s also important to note here that when Allah mentions their crimes of killing prophets, Allah uses النَّبِيِّينَ  for ‘prophets’ which is the normal plural of the word النَّبِى . There are basically two kinds of plural; normal and broken plural. When a word is in its normal plural, it’s the lesser plural form (جمع قلّة), and when a word is in its broken plural form, it’s the larger plural (جمع كثرة). So here, there is an indication that the number of prophets they killed is relatively less in comparison to what we will see in the other ayat (Aali Imran 112). Because this is early on in Bani Israel’s history, their crimes are still relatively less, that even the number of prophets they had killed were ‘less’ compared to later on in their later history. So the use of alif lam in  بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ indicates that they killed the prophets without justification. It’s more specific here and is not as strong as we will see in the other ayat.

Aali Imran 3:112

Sahih International

They have been put under humiliation [by Allah ] wherever they are overtaken, except for a covenant from Allah and a rope from the Muslims. And they have drawn upon themselves anger from Allah and have been put under destitution. That is because they disbelieved in the verses of Allah and killed the prophets without right  [وَيَقْتُلُونَ الْأَنبِيَاءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ]. That is because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.

In this ayat, Bani Israel’s later history is referred to. In the beginning of this ayat, it was said, “They have been put under humiliation [by Allah ] wherever they are overtaken“, and this hints that this is also stronger because their crimes have also accumulated by this time. Since this is later history, they have killed more prophets by this time, and so the word for prophets used here is the broken plural [الْأَنبِيَاءَ], which is the greater plural form (indicating a larger number). The part ‘without justification/right] here doesn’t have an alif lam [بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ], and this has a stronger effect. In meaning, it’s like saying, “They were killing the prophets[relatively larger number] without ANY justification whatsoever!” whereas in the ayat in Al Baqarah, it’s like saying, “They were killing the prophets[relatively lesser number] without justification.
ألىس هذا رائعا؟ (Isn’t this awesome?) [even if it takes me donkey years to type the Arabic….]

3 thoughts on “Without ANY Justification Versus Without [the] Justification

  1. Aslmalkm,
    Jazakillah khair for these eyeopeners..i have no access to programs such as dream and your experience sounds just so beautiful..i’m also memorizing the qur’an alhamdulillah and i can relate to the points you’re raising.mashaAllah,keep them coming pls

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