Pronunciation with jarr vowel (arjulikum)

Pronunciation With jarr Vowel (arjulikum)

Anyone who has a minimum knowledge of Arabic language agrees that when “ارجلِكم” (your feet) is pronounced with jarr vowel, it is added to “رؤوس” (heads), and whatever rule is mentioned for “heads” is applicable to the feet. This is not in considerable difference with the case it had directly said, “امسحوا بارجلكم” (rub your feet). One may claim that although the statement apparently stipulates that “ارجلكم” (your feet) is added to ‘head’ and has the same rule as the head, external reasons(1) indicate that ‘feet’ do not have the same rule as of ‘head’ and they should be washed, not rubbed. Our answer is that, first, as it will be discussed later, there are no such valid and unquestionable reasons.(2)

Second; if we suppose that there are such reasons, their proof is not certain. On the other hand, the explicitness of the statement in the verse makes altering it very obscene, away from God’s Glorious Word, which is of the best degrees of eloquence. If ‘feet’ is not added to ‘heads,’ not having its rules, it should probably be added to ‘your hands’ and hence washed. But in this case too, pronouncing ‘your feet’ with jarr vowel would be unjustifiable. The only apparently justified argument posed by some people to justify the vowel jarr for ‘feet’ without being attached to ‘heads’ is jarr, because of an adjacent noun.

They say ‘your feet’ actually has nasb vowel, but since it is adjacent with ‘your heads,’ which has jarr vowel, it has become of similar feature. These people have cited instances of ‘jarr because of an adjacent noun’ mentioned in ancient Arab poems and proverbs. The counter argument for ‘jarr due to an adjacent noun’.The answer lies in Ibn Husham’s Mughni Al-Labib, the second rule of section eight, where he writes: Scholars believe that jarr due to adjacent noun is rarely used for description or emphasis; but jarr due to an adjacent noun cannot occur in case of nouns joined by conjunctions, since conjunctions do not allow vowels to be extended to the following noun.”(3) Sayrafi and Ibn Jinni have basically rejected jarr due to the adjacent noun. (4)

One may object to this explanation citing an ancient Arab poem as example; yet, Ibn Husham himself replied to such an objection in the Fourth Section of Mughni Al-Labib quoting some people as saying that in case of an agent or an adjective, normally with nasb vowel, it is basically allowed to add a noun with vowel jarr to them. They give evidence from an ancient Arab poem, too.(5) When an agent has a sense of past tense, it is only added to another noun, but it cannot affect the vowel of that noun. It is now clear that jarr due to adjacent noun is not a grounded possibility.

In general, we conclude that, first; some grammarians such as Sirafi and Ibn Jinni have basically rejected the rule of jarr due to an adjacent vowel. Second; if we accept this rule, the scholars (as to Ibn Husham) have said that there are very rare instances in cases of description and emphasis, but not in connection to a previous manner as in our case. Further, how can one interpret the Holy Quran with such a rare possibility? The Holy Quran is the most eloquent of the words which men and jinn are unable to replicate. Is it not imposing one’s own unjustified inclination to the Holy Quran?

Another instance of jarr due to an adjacent noun

Some people may say that the rule under discussion appears in verses other than the Ablution Verse, as in “وَحُورٍ عِينٍ” (56:22), in which “حور” is pronounced with jarr vowel, though lexically it cannot be added to “بأكْوابٍ” (with globes) since the verse does not mean that ‘the youths’ go round about with ‘beautiful ones.’ So, it should have jarr due to the adjacent “بِأكْوابٍ وَأبارِيقَ” and added to “وِلْدانٌ مُخَلَّدُونَ” which has nasb vowel. Also, in case of the honorable verse “يُرْسَلُ عَلَيْكُمَا شُوَاظٌ مِنْ نَارٍ وَنُحَاسٌ فَلَا تَنتَصِرَانِ”,(6) some people have pronounced “نحاس” with jarr, while it is added to “شواظ” which has nasb. They argue that grammarians and interpreters believe that justifying the jarr vowel due to its adjacent noun is only a possibility and not completely valid. About the phrase “حور عين”, Zamakhshari says: “If the two nouns are pronounced as having jarr vowel, there are two possibilities: first, that it is connected to “في جنات النعيم)).(7) Second, this phrase is connected to “أكْواب” (goblets) because the meaning of the verse supports so.

Hence, as is evident, Zamakhshari has not posed the issue of jarr due to an adjacent noun. The above-mentioned possibilities have been also mentioned in Mughni. The author of Kashf is quoted as saying, “Jarr due to an adjacent noun is a weak possibility or it is totally rejected, in case of the non-adjacent nouns.” Still other people have mentioned another reason for “ارجل” (the feet) taking a jarr vowel, in order not to accept rubbing for the feet. They have stated that the connection of “ارجل” (the feet) to “رأس” (the head) is not because of their identical rule of rubbing; rather since washing the feet may lead to wastage, ‘feet’ has been connected to ‘head,’ implying that in washing the feet, care must be taken not to waste water. This is so weak a statement, as is evident.

It thus became clear that in the honorable verse of ablution, the jarr vowel of “ارجل” (the feet) due to an adjacent noun is not true, and the only valid contribution is connecting it to “رؤسكم” (your heads), which proves the correctness of rubbing the feet.

Pronunciation with the nasb vowel (arjulakum)

In case “ارجلكم” (your feet) is pronounced with nasb vowel, it is understood by anyobe familiar with Arabic that it is connected to “رؤوس” (heads). In other words, it is connected to the position of it in the sentence, since “برؤوس” per se, is the object of the verb “امسحوا” in the sentence and its underlying vowel is nasb. Connecting a noun to another’s position in the sentence exists in books of Arabic grammar and there are so many evidences on it. If someone says that “ارجلكم” (your feet) is connected to “ايديكم” (your feet) in the previous sentence, our answer is that this is a rare possibility, because the first sentence is finished and nothing is expected to follow. The next sentence is started; and to connect “ارجل” to the first sentence at this place is away from eloquence.

Surprisingly, some people have claimed that unlike washing, the amount of rubbing is not limited in religion, and since “ارجلكم” (your feet) is limited (to the ankles), it should be connected to something whose rule is washing, i.e. “ايديكم” (your hands). This is so strange an argument, because it is a prerequisite. One who considers rubbing of “ارجل” as compulsory rather than washing it, will inevitably consider it limited. In this case, the two sentences become even more compatible; since in the first one there are two body parts to be washed (The face and the hands), one of which is limited (The hands) and the other unlimited (The face), and in the second sentence there are two body organs to be rubbed (the head and the feet) one unlimited (The head) and the other limited (The feet).

Further, the compatibility of the two pronunciations (jarr and nasb) is the best evidence that “ارجلكم” (your feet) cannot be connected to “ايدي” (hands), since in the first possibility, we clearly proved that pronouncing with jarr vowel, the honorable verse stipulates to the obligation of rubbing the feet. The claim that rubbing means washing or is rubbing in case of the head, but washing about the feet is a very ungrounded one. The reason is that in this verse and the like, ‘washing’ and ‘rubbing’ have been used in contrast to each other, as some people have said, In the Quran, rubbing is mentioned, but in tradition, washing is considered obligatory.” This sentence indicates that by rubbing, they mean ‘touching with the hand. In fact, they believe what is in tradition is washing and hence found Quran and tradition in apparent contrast.

Moreover, if we suppose rubbing as meaning washing; is there any evidence in Quran verse other than evidences outside it posed by some people? Is there any difference between “وامسحوا برؤسكم وارجلكم” in Ablution Verse and “فامسحوا بوجوهكم وايديكم منه” in the verse expounding the Tayammum (Dry Ablution)? This illuminates the invalidity of another justification.



1. That is religious reasons other than this honorable verse.

2. Section “Ablution in tradition.”

3. Mughni Al-Labib, Vol. 2, p. 895.

4. Ibid.

5. Mughni Al-Labib, Vol. 2, Part 4, ma aftariqu fihi ismul fa’il wa sifat al-mushabbaha, p. 600.

6. (The Quran: 55:35)

7. (The Quran: 56:12)