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Words Beginning with “Fa”

September 10, 2008


Learning Arabic as a second language may be difficult for many, so I decided to share some tips that assist with learning the meanings of words and their structures.

Words that begin with ف usually will always mean something that breaks open, separates, or breaks apart. Check out these examples:

الفجر (Al-Fajr) from ف ج ر means the dawn, but it literally means when the daylight breaks/crack through the darkness. If you’ve ever seen the sky at Fajr time, you can see a thread of light near the horizon, while the rest of the sky is dark with the night. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) tells us in Surah Baqarah to stop eating suhoor when the “white thread” is distinguishable from the “black thread.”

Another word from this root is fajjara, with a shadda on the jeem, which means to break open and gush forth. Another word from this root is الفاجر (Al-Faajir), the fujjar (plural of faajir) cross the limits and breaks the rules.

الفرقان (Al-Furqaan) derives from ف ر ق, which means to break through, to distinguish. Al-Furqan, which is another name of the Qur’an, means the Criterion that distinguishes truth from falsehood.

الفريق (Al-Fareeq) also from ف ر ق means a party or a group. A group is one that breaks off from the majority.

الفاسقون (Al-Faasiqoon) from ف س ق and fisq, literally means when a flower breaks through the bud to bloom. The Fasiqoon are those who transgress the bounds of Allah, and go beyond them.

الفضة (Al-Fiddah) from ف ض ض, which means silver, but literally means to scatter. When you scatter something, the first thing you do is break it apart then you throw it all over the place. What does this have to do with silver? Silver is ‘scattered’ when zakah is paid on it and when someone spends it. And after someone dies, their silver is ‘scattered’ to the heirs.

فلاح  (falaah) from fa-laam-ha and it means a farmer, A farmer breaks open the earth and plants agriculture.

فاروق (farooq) the name given to Umar radi Allahu anhu, al-Farooq. Now Farooq also comes from the letters fa ra qaaf, but the way the word is shaped is known as “mubaalagah” in arabic. Mubaalagah (inshaAllah a post about this will be made in the future) is a hyperbole; basically taking a word and giving it steriods–it’s strengthened and has a stronger and more powerful meaning. So “Farooq” has the same meaning of seperating, but it means to seperate two things so greatly that it cannot in anyway shape or form be put back together. SubhanAllah, Umar radi Allahu anhu clearly seperated truth from falsehood that no one could confuse them, and this is how he received the name, Al-Farooq.

Indeed the arabic language is like a deep ocean, and we are only tasting a drop of it. Allah ta’ala says in Surah Yusuf that He made the Qur’an, an arabic Qur’an so that we can have AQL. And ‘aql literally means to tie a rope together, so by defintion having ‘aql means to be able to connect issues/topics/thoughts together and ponder. InshaAllah let’s ponder on this beautiful language and study it.

InshaAllah try and look through the Qur’an for words beginning with ف that follow this pattern and post them in the comments! (You may need a dictionary, such as this one.)

Wa lillahil hamd.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2008 2:14 pm


    SubhanaAllah, this was enlightening! Now i’m wondering at all the ف words in the Quran. The meaning of that one letter creates such distinct imagery.

    Btw, I didn’t understand the meaning of the word فلاح here. I thought it meant ‘salvation’ or ‘success’. So, it is ‘farmer’ & ‘salvation’?

  2. November 27, 2008 2:19 pm

    wa iyyaki!

    As for falaah, the connection between farmer and success is amazing ukhti 🙂

    It is from ف ل ح (fa-laam-ha) and it literally means to split something and cleave it. A falaah is a farmer. How does success connect to farming? Think about it: a farmer splits the earth, sows the seeds, waters it and takes care of his farm, tending it and watching over it everyday. A falaah is a person who puts in the work. A person who wants to achieve his goals breaks them down into tasks, with determination and consistency. The farmer cannot water his plants one week and leave them the next thinking they will still flourish properly, So a Muflih is one who bears difficulty and hardship and puts in his effort to achieve his aim and goal, effort is the key here. The farmer will go in the sun and heat, seven days a week and he will put in his maximum effort until his plants are harvested properly. Falaah is not just one who does a good deed once in a while, or here and there, but he does it until he reaches what he wants, consistently. Al-Muflihoon are the people who are successful, and not a partial success – a complete success: in this dunya and Aakhirah. And this success is not because of luck or good fortune, it didn’t just happen, but they became successful because they put in the work and effort to reach their goal (Jannah).

  3. November 27, 2008 3:15 pm

    Assalaamu Alaikum

    Very interesting post! Jazaakillaahu khairan for sharing.

    Let’s see…

    فرَّ (fa-raa’-raa’) is to run away from something – in a sense “separating”/”breaking away” from what you’re running away from! Such as in the aayah #34 from soorat Abasa:

    يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ

    “That Day shall a man flee from his brother,”

    Hope I followed the pattern correctly in shaa’ Allaah.

  4. Nidaa permalink
    November 28, 2008 9:21 am

    Hmm, “Falaah” is still not clear to me (even after reading the comments). They come from the same root, that’s why they are linked, as you explained, Amatullaah. But “farmer” is “Fallaah”, with a shaddah on the laam; and “success” is “Falaah”, without the shaddah. That’s what caused a question from Serendipitouslife I believe. Wallaahu A’lam.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong. Wassalaamu ‘Alaiki.

  5. Nidaa permalink
    November 28, 2008 9:27 am

    Hmm, this “Falaah” is still not clear to me (even after reading the comments). “Farmer” and “success” have the same roots, that’s why they’re linked… understood that, jazaakillaah for the explanation, Amatullaah. But “farmer” is “Fallaah”, with a shaddah on the laam, and “success” is “Falaah”, without the shaddah. I believe that’s what caused a question from Serendipitouslife. Wallaahu A’lam. Correct me if I’m wrong. Wassalaamu ‘Alaiki.

  6. November 28, 2008 9:35 am

    wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

    Ukhti Nidaa, the explanation is a meaning of the ROOT WORD, which does not change even though some words will have vowels and others don’t. It s like the relationship between Hikmah and Muhkim, root is ha-kaaf-meem and contains several meanings. There are also some words that have root meanings that don’t seem to have a connection with the literal meaning, but with some pondering and thought, the meanings can be connected. So for falaah, the literal meaning implies farming, and success is more of deeper meaning.
    This is the connection I learned between success and farming from the scholars of Arabic themselves, all I did was share it 🙂 Indeed Allah is Most Knowing.

    Ukhti Thikraa, wa iyyaki, very nice example mashaAllah! Also fa-firoo il Allah comes to mind.

  7. November 28, 2008 1:23 pm

    Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh

    Putting aside the farming – if it’s too confusing – I guess another way of looking at fa-la-ha i.e. attaining success/reaching your goal etc. is to think of it as “breaking through” the difficulties (or whatever may be in your way) in order to reach the goal and succeed.

    Sis Amatullaah…jazaakillaahu khairan for your input.

    Fa firroo ilallaah is an interesting example – I didn’t think of it yesterday. I guess it’s because I was thinking of examples where you run away from things (يوم يفر المرء من أخيه) or (قل إن الموت الذي تفرون منه فإنه ملاقيكم) etc. In the example (ففروا إلى الله) the you’re running to (ilaa) rather than from (min) something. Here…we run TO Allaah…breaking away from kufr, shirk, and anything else that would distance us from Him and earn us His anger. It’s as the du’aa before going to sleep states…

    لا ملجأ ولا منجى منك إلا إليك

    “Verily there is no refuge nor safe haven from You except with You. ”

    Baarakallaahu feeki wa jazaaki khairal jazaa’.

  8. November 28, 2008 1:29 pm

    wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu ukhti,

    Jazaki Allahu khayran for your input always. wa feeki barak Allah.

    Yes subhanAllah fa-firroo il Allah, I was thinking in the sense that you are freeing yourself and breaking away from disobedience, kufr, shirk and like you said anything else that distances us from Allah azza wa jal TO Him ta’ala. I appreciate all of your reflections ukhti, it’s amazing the capabilities of our intellects when we do tafakkur, la ilaha il Allah!

  9. Nidaa permalink
    November 28, 2008 4:13 pm

    Uhh, so “Falaah” is actually farmer, but implies success in the deeper sense; and “Fallaah” (with shaddah) is what?… just “farmer”?
    I’m kind of slow, ukhtee. : (

  10. November 28, 2008 5:10 pm

    The shadda implies mubaalaghah from what I understand, that the action is done over and over. Usually the professions in Arabic are mubaalaghah such as a baker, teacher etc, because that action is their job. So a fallaah means a farmer. I’m pretty sure this is correct, Allahu ta’ala a’lam.

    You’re not slow ukhti, asking questions doesn’t mean you are slow 🙂 It means you are trying to understand, walhamdulillah.

  11. November 28, 2008 5:21 pm

    The word falaah, in Arabic putting aside all roots and connections, refers to success and attaining what you’re going after. It never refers to farming.

    The word filaahah فِلاحة is farming/tilling/sowing/cultivation of land. It doesn’t refer to success.

    The word fallaah means farmer, as sister Amatullaah stated in the previous comment.

    I guess the confusion just came from the ROOT word…fa la ha فلح which happens to be the root of all the above words. It can mean “to sow/till the land” etc. or “to succeed”. And this is where the connection between farming (the lessons we learn from it) and success comes in place, as was laid out by sister Amatullaah, may Allaah reward her and you all. Aameen.

    That being said, and Allaah ta’aalaa knows best. Hope this helps a lil. : )

  12. November 29, 2008 12:15 am

    Jazaki Allahu khayran ukhti, mashaAllah awesome job explaining!

    Sister Nidaa, I hope you understand now inshaAllah?

  13. November 29, 2008 4:54 am

    JazakAllahkhair sis Amatullah & Thikraa for the clarification. It wasn’t clear to me too initially, but it is now. Alhumdullilah.

  14. Nidaa permalink
    November 29, 2008 12:32 pm

    Ah, right! Jazaakumallaah, ukhtaan! NOW I get it, Alhamdulillaah. So “Falaah” means “success” and “Fallaah” means “farmer” (just what I thought previously), whereas the ROOT word “falaha” carries both the meanings of success and farming.
    Thanks for the encouragement, Amatullaah. I just thought I’d be bothering you with too many comments. But I know you enjoy your job… after all, carries loads of reward.

  15. October 22, 2012 5:13 pm

    Reblogged this on Quran and Sunnah.

  16. Umm-Musab permalink
    December 6, 2014 12:49 pm

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته يا أختي، بارك الله فيك و عليك و جزاك الله. I read some of your posts and I liked them. Especially those about the arabic language! I like to read more and more. Please share your knowledge with us،أختي الكريمة!
    I love the Quran and the language of the Quran.
    لقد أنعم الله سبحان و تعالى علينا في القرآن
    القرآن نور و من قرأ هذا الكتاب العزيز جعل الله له نور في حياته

    أسأل الله أن يتقبل منك يا أختي و يجزيك الخير


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