Qawa’idul I’lal: Arabic Morphophonology Book ala Pesantren

A few months ago pesantren communities were given entertainment from someone who was considered ulema by some people because of his mistake in pronouncing the lafadz Kafaro. This also inevitably reaped a lot of comments from santri circles, and also netizens who understand the mistakes of this ‘ulema’ in his poor pronounciation.

When we study in pesantren (Islamic boarding school), we are definitely required to memorize the Amtsilat Tashrifiyyah book, not only to memorize the changes in the form of the words but also the patterns. Santri (students) are also required to master and memorize nazam; learn the patterns of nahwu and sharf (syntax and morphology of Arabic); memorize the tarikh (history) of the prophet; Jurisprudence and Tawheed; and many others.

One of the books that must be memorized is Qawa’idul I’lal Fissharfi. It is one of the reference books and lessons in various Islamic boarding schools and madrasas in Indonesia. This book is still classified as discussing the science of sharf or changes in Arabic words. That is why behind the name of this book is the appendix of Fissharfi. Its existence is a reinforcement material for the lessons of nahwu and Amtsilat Tashrifiyyah.

Quoting from the nahdlatululama.id article entitled “Kitab Qowa’id I’ Lal – Karangan Syekh Mundzir Nadzir,Qawa’idul I’ lal Fissharfi is a book written by Sheikh Mundzir Nadzir, an archipelago cleric. Mundzir Nadzir’s real name is Munhamir. But he also mentioned that his real name was Ibn Mundzir. While his father was named Haji Muhammad Nadzir.

He was born in the village of Sekaran, Keludan, Kertosono, Kediri. His biography is not so reviewed in this article, but if you see the cover of the book, you will find a word that refers to the hamlet of his birth. There are several opinions of ulema sharf who define this study of Qawa’idul I’lal:

(الإعلال هو تغيير حرف العلة للتخفيف بقلبه أو إسكانه أو حذفه (إسماعيل (158:2000

I’lal is a change in forms of illat letter (wau, alif, ya ‘) so that it is easier in pronunciation by replacing, muting, and discarding (Ismail, 2000).

Whereas in the Rifa’i notes (2012) the definition is as follows:

(الإعلال هو أن يحذف حرف العلة وأن يحل حرف العلة محل حرف آخر في الكلمة (رفاعي 163:2012

I’lal is changing illat letters or replacing them to other illat letters in a letter (Rifa’i, 2012).

 

From above opinion and my experience when studying the book of Qawa’idul I ‘lal Fissharfi, it seems that the definition of Ishmael is closer to suitable and easy to understand for santri and students studying Arabic. Even so, we must not deny the existence of other opinions.

Meanwhile if we refer to linguistic studies in general (not limited to Arabic), the study in the book of Qawa’idul I ‘lal Fissharfi, according to me, is closer to the study of morphophonology. There are several opinions that underlie my inclusion of Qawa’idul I ‘lal Fissharfi in the morphophonology study.

First, Asrori (2004), morphology is a branch of linguistics that studies linguistic aspects and its parts. In my opinion this definition is closer to the study of sharf.

Second, Irawati (2013), phonology is a linguistic field that studies, analyzes, and talks about the sequence of sounds of language. This definition is closer to the study of ashwat (the study of sound in Arabic).

Third, according to Pateda (in Asrori, 2004) morphophonology or commonly referred to as morphophonemic is the study of sound changes as a result of meeting morphemes with morphemes that produce words, or meeting words with words that produce phrases.

This third opinion is my basis in classifying this Qawa’idul I ‘lal Fissharfi in morphophonology studies. This study does not only talk about morphemes, but also the origin of sounds from the Arabic kalimah (word) containing the letters illat (wau, alif, ya ‘).

Academic scientific terms such as this are indeed not yet taught in Islamic boarding schools and madrasah for santri. Theoretically, santri might find such terms are foreign, but santris are superior in their scientific practice traditions than Arabic literary students studying in college. I hope that there will be many students who can continue to higher education to deepen matters of scientific academic nature.

Regardless of these academic terms, I think my memories with Qawa’idul I ‘lal Fissharfi when I was in Islamic boarding schools and madrasah diniyah were all very pleasant and memorable.

In order to remind this memory, I will wirte one of practices in the first chapter which could eb the most famous and most familiar to the students, which if written roughly like this;

َإذَا تَحَرَّكَتِ الْوَاوُ وَالْيَاءُ بَعْدَ فَتْحَةٍ مُتَّصِلَةٍ فِيْ كَلِمَتَيْهِمَا أُبْدِلَتَا آلِفًا مِثْلُ صَانَ وَبَاعَ أَصْلُهما صَوَنَ وبَيَعَ 

If there is a wau or ya in a harakat form after the fathah in one sentence, then the wau or the ya has to be changed like صَانَ  which originated from صَوَن َ, and بَاعَ  which originated from بَيَعَ.

Hopefully, spirit of learning when we were in pesantren is always imprinted in us, so that we are able to practice the knowledge that we have, and be wise and not grumpy in attitude; and we can change the pattern of remembrance, patterns of thinking, and patterns of our attitude towards a better direction. 

Aamiin.

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