Word ‘maa’

In Arabic, the word “maa ” (in green) has many meanings and can be used in many ways:

In Arabic, the letter “maa ما ” ) has many meanings and can be used in many ways:


a – It could also be used as a maa masdariyyah [which signifies Amazement and Astonishment] how remarkable…


b – It could be used as an ism al-Istifhaam (interrogative particle) such as in the sentence: Maa haadhaa? – What is this?

c – Another way it could be used is as an ism al-mawsoolah for example: what being made these? What kind of power must He be?


d – It could also be a harf al-Nafi (negation) as in: Maa katabtuhu – I did not write it.

[The word maa usually always implies a negation, i.e. What? i don’t, Really?!.. etc.]


Now the amazing thing here is that all the above ways of using the word “maa” can be accommodated in this one ayah. It is possible that the maa in the ayah could be a maa masdariyyah, an ism al-mawsoolah, a nafi and an istifhaam.


A – So if it is taken as a maa masdariyyah then the meaning would be as it is the translation above. “While Allah has created you and what you make!”

b – If it is an Istifhaam then it would be translated as: “But Allah has created you and what have you done?”


C – If it is an ism al-mawsoolah: what Being created these amazing actions [which you are able to achieve].

d – And finally, if it is a nafi then it would be: “But Allah has created you and you have not done (that which you claim).”


So in this one small ayah all these various interpretations are possible and the differences stem from just one word/letter: maa ( مَا.)