The Arabic word “`adda” (عَدَّ) occurs 57 times in the Quran in the following 11 derived forms and we know that an Arabic word may have a range of meanings depending on the context, which is a key concept to understand the message coded in the Arabic text of the Quran:
- Verb form (29 times)
- 7 times ʿadda (عَدَّ) as verb (form I)
- once ʿaddada (عَدَّدَ) as verb (form II)
- 20 times aʿadda (أَعَدَّ) as verb (form IV)
- once taʿtaddu (تَعْتَدُّ) as verb (form VIII)
- Noun form (20 times)
- Participle form (8 times)
Review of relevant verses
Below are the translations of the relevant verses where the word found may serve as a guide for us reflecting appropriate meaning depending on the context:
- Verb (form I) means to count
[14:34] And He gave you all what you have asked Him. And if you count (ta`uddoo) God’s favor, you will never take them into account (tu’soohaa). Indeed, the human being is certainly unjust, ungrateful.
[16:18] And if you count (ta`uddoo) God’s favor, you cannot take them into account (tu’soohaa) . Indeed, God is Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[19:84] So do not be in haste; definitely, we count (na`uddu) for them a number.
[19:94] Certainly, He has taken them into account (ahsaahum), and has counted them (wa-‘addahum) a counting.
[22:47] And they ask you to hasten with the retribution; and God will not break His promise. And indeed, a day with your Lord is like one thousand years of what you count (ta`uddoona).
[32:5] He controls every matter (al-amra) from the heaven to the earth, then it ascends to Him in a day (yawmin) which is a measure of one thousand years of what you count (ta`uddoona).
[38:62] And they will say: “Why do we not see a people we used to count them (na`udduhum) among the wicked?”
- Verb (form II) to count
[104:2] Who gathered wealth and counted it (wa-`addadahu).
- Verb (Form IV) means to prepare
[2:24] But if you cannot do; and you will never be able to do, then fear the Fire whose fuel is people and stones, has been prepared (u`iddat) for the disbelievers.
Note: Here is the challenge to indicate that Quran is a treasure of knowledge and infinite wisdom, which is impossible to incorporate in any of its fabrication.
[3:131] And fear the Fire which is prepared (u`iddat) for the disbelievers.
[3:133] And hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord, and a Paradise having its width of the heavens and the earth, has been prepared (`uddat) for the righteous.
[4:93] And whoever kills a believer intentionally, then his recompense is Hell to abide therein forever, and has fallen the wrath of God upon him, and He has cursed him and has prepared (wa-a`adda) a great retribution for him.
[4:102] And when you (Muhammad) are with them, then you lead the Contact Prayer (Salat) for them, then let stand a group of them with you, and let them hold their arms. Then when you have prostrated, then let them be from behind you, then let come the other group that has not prayed, then let them pray with you, and let them take their precautions and their arms. Those who disbelieved wish to see if you neglect your arms and your baggage, so they can assault upon you in a single attack. But there is no sin upon you if you are interrupted from rain, or you are ill, that you put down your arms, but take your precautions. Indeed, God has prepared (a`adda) a shameful retribution for the disbelievers.
[8:60] And prepare (wa-`uddoo) for them whatever you are able of force and of the tethered horses to terrify with it God’s enemy and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but God knows them. And whatever you spend from anything in the way of God it will be fully repaid to you and you will not be wronged.
[9:46] And if they had wished to go forth, they would certainly have prepared (la-a`addoo) for it a preparation (`uddatan), but God disliked them coming forth, so He made them lag behind, and they were told: “Sit with the sedentary.”
[9:89] God has prepared (a`adda) for them gardens, the rivers flow underneath of them to abide forever in them, That is the great success.
[9:100] And the foremost, the first of the emigrants, and the supporters, and those who followed them in righteousness; God is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. And He has prepared (wa-a`adda) for them gardens, the rivers flow underneath of them to abide forever in them, That is the great success.
[33:8] That He may ask the truthful about their truthfulness, and He has prepared (wa-a`adda) for the disbelievers a painful retribution.
[33:29] “But if you (the wives of prophet) wish for God and His messenger, and the abode of the Hereafter, then God has prepared (a`adda) for the righteous among you a great reward.”
[33:35] Indeed, the submitting men and the submitting women, the believing men and the believing women, the obedient men and the obedient women, the truthful men and the truthful women, the patient men and the patient women, the humble men and the humble women, the charitable men and the charitable women, the fasting men and the fasting women, the chaste men guard their chastity and the chaste women, and the men who commemorate God frequently and the commemorating women; God has prepared (a`adda) for them a forgiveness and a great reward.
[33:44] Their greeting the Day they meet Him is: “Peace” and He has prepared (wa-a`adda) for them an honorable reward.
[33:57] Indeed, those who annoy God and His messenger, God will curse them in this life and the Hereafter, and He has prepared (wa-a`adda) for them a shameful retribution.
[33:64] Indeed, God has cursed the disbelievers, and He Has prepared (wa-a`adda) for them Hell.
[48:6] And He will punish the hypocrite men and the hypocrite women, and the idolater men and the idolater women, who think evil thought about God. Their evil will come back to them, and God’s anger is upon them and He has cursed them and prepared (wa-a`adda) for them Hell, and is a miserable destiny.
[57:21] You shall race towards forgiveness of your Lord, and a Paradise whose width is like the width of the heaven and the earth has been prepared (u`iddat) for those who have believed in God and His messengers. That is God’s grace, He gives to whomever He wills. And God is the Possessor of the infinite grace.
[58:15] God has prepared (a`adda) for them a severe retribution. Indeed, their evil is what they used to do.
[65:10] God has prepared (a`adda) for them a severe retribution. So you shall fear God, O you who possess intelligence and those who have believed. Indeed, God has sent down to you a message.
[76:31] He admits whomever He wills into His mercy, and for the wicked, He has prepared (a`adda) for them a painful retribution.
- Verb (Form VIII) means to count
[33:49] O you who believed, when you marry the believing women, then you have divorced them before that you have touched them, then there is no waiting period for you on them you count for them (ta`taddoonahaa). So, you shall provide for them and shall release them a fair release.
[2:184] Specified days. But whoever is ill among you or on a journey, then the prescribed number (fa-`iddatun) in other days. And for those who can do it (but with hardship), there is a ransom of feeding a poor. But whoever volunteers good, then it is better for him. And if you fast, it is better for you if you knew.
[2:185] Ramadan which is a month, has been revealed in it the Quran as a guidance for the people, clear proofs of the guidance, and the statute book. So whoever among you has witnessed the month, then he should fast in it, and whoever has been ill or on a journey, then the prescribed number (fa-`iddatun) from other days. God wishes for you the ease and He does not wish for you the hardship, and that you may complete the prescribed number (al-`iddata), and that you may glorify God through which He has guided you and that you may appreciate.
Note: Here is the commandment of God for fasting in the entire month of Ramadan while to complete the prescribed number in other times if someone missed it to appreciate Him through which He has guided us.
[9:36] Indeed, the number (`iddata) of the months with God is twelve months in God’s law the day He created the heavens and the earth; four of them are sacred. That is the right religion; so do not wrong yourselves in them, and fight the idol worshippers all together as they fight you all together. And know that God is with the righteous.
[9:37] Indeed, the postponing (of the sacred months) is an increase in disbelief, by which those who disbelieve are led astray. They make it lawful one year and make it unlawful another year to adjust the number (`iddata), which God has made unlawful. Thus, making unlawful what Allah has made lawful is their evil works made fair seeming to them. And God does not guide the disbelieving people.
Note: Per God’s concern the number of months is twelve, out of which four is sacred. The postponing the sacred month is an indication of excessive disbelief.
[9:46] And if they had wished to go forth, they would certainly have prepared for it a preparation (`uddatan), but God disliked them coming forth, so He made them lag behind, and they were told: “Sit with the sedentary.”
[18:22] They will say: “Three, the fourth is their dog.” And they say: “Five, the sixth is their dog,” guessing at what they do not know. And they say: “Seven, and the eighth is their dog.” Say: “My Lord is fully aware of their number (bi`iddatihim), none knows them except for a few.” So do not debate in them except with proof, and do not seek information regarding them from anyone.
Note: Here is a part of the story of seven sleepers. He is fully aware of their number and also those who has given knowledge about it. He has warned us not to debate any matter accepting information from any source other than Him.
[19:84] So do not be in haste; definitely, we count for them a number (`iddata).
[19:94] Certainly, He has taken them into account (ahsaahum), and has counted them a counting (‘addan).
[33:49] O you who believed, when you marry the believing women, then you have divorced them before that you have touched them, then there is no waiting period (`iddatin) for you on them you count for them. So, you shall provide for them and shall release them a fair release.
[65:1] O prophet, when you divorce the women, then you shall divorce them bringing into account of their waiting period (li`iddatihinna) and count the waiting period (al-`iddata), and you shall fear God your Lord. You shall not evict the women from their homes, nor are they to leave from their end, except that they commit a proven adultery. These are God’s limits and whoever transgresses God’s limits, then he has certainly wronged himself. You never know; perhaps God may bring something (better) after that.
[65:4] And those who have reached menopause of your women, if you have any doubts, then their waiting period (fa-`iddatuhunna) shall be three months as well as those who do not menstruate, and those who are pregnant, their interim shall be until they deliver their burdens. And whoever fears God, He will make for him of his affair ease.
[74:31] And we have not made guardians of the Fire except angels, and we have not made their number (`iddatahum) except a warning for those who disbelieved, that may ascertain those who have been given the scripture (Jews and Christians) and may increase faith of those who have believed (Muslims), and may not doubt those who have been given the scripture (Jews and Christians) and the believers (Muslims). And that may say those in their hearts there is a disease (hypocrites) and the disbelievers, “What did God mean by this allegory?” Thus, God misguides whomever He wills and He guides whomever He wills. And none knows your Lord’s soldiers except He. And it (hiya) is not except a reminder (dhikraa) for the human race.
- Nominal (noun)
[10:5] He is the One who made the sun to radiate light, and the moon to reflect it, and He assigned phases to it that you may know the count (`adada) of the years and the calculation. God has not created that except in the truth. He explains the revelations for a people who know.
[17:12] And we made the night and the day two signs. When we removed the sign of night and we made the sign of the day brightened that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the count (`adada) of the years and the calculation. And we have explained everything in detail.
Note: The night and day are two signs, which are basis to count the years and calculation.
[23:112] He said: “How many a number (`adada) of years have you remained in the earth?”
[72:24] Until they see what they are promised, then they will know who is weaker helper and is fewer in number (`adadan).
[72:28] And that He knows that indeed, they have conveyed messages of their Lord, and He has encompassed of what has been with them and He has counted number of all things (`adadan).
Note: God knows that who have delivered His messages and has counted number of all things.
- Nominal (adjective)
[18:11] So we sealed their ears in the cave for a number (`adadan) of years.
- Active participle
[23:113] They said: “We have remained for a day or a part of a day. So ask those who have counted (al-`aadeena.”
- Passive participle
[11:104] And we do not delay it except for a term specified (ma`duudin).
- Passive participle (adjective)
[2:80] And they said: “The Fire will not touch us except for specified (ma`duudatan) days.” Say: “Have you taken a pledge from God that God will not break His pledge? Or do you say about God what you do not know?”
Note: God has not pledged in the Quran that the Hell will touch us except for a few days. We should not say something about God from our own opinions to make Him a liar.
[2:184] Specified (ma`duudaatin) days. But whoever is ill among you or on a journey, then the prescribed number in other days. And for those who can do it (but with hardship), there is a ransom of feeding a poor. But whoever volunteers good, then it is better for him. And if you fast, it is better for you if you knew.
[2:203] And remember God in specified (ma`duudaatin) days. But whoever hastens in two days, then there is no sin upon him and whoever delays, then there is no sin upon him for the one who is righteous. And fear God and know that you will be gathered to Him.
Note: Here is the commandment of a ritual for the pilgrims to stay in Mina for at least couple of days to commemorate God including the acts of animal sacrifice and symbolic stoning of the Satan.
[3:24] That is because they said: “The Fire will not touch us except for specified (ma`duudaatin) days,” and they deceived them in their religion what they invented.
[12:20] And they sold him (Joseph) for a low price, a few (ma`duudaatin) Dirhams, and they were in no need of him.
Note: Joseph was taken to Egypt and was sold for a cheap price, only with a few dirhams.
[11:8] And if we delay the retribution from them for a time period (strong>ma`duudatin), they will certainly say: “What detains it?” No doubt, the day it comes to them, cannot be turned away from them, and will surround them what they used to mock at it.
God has not only created all things but He has also counted all things that are confirmed in the Quran. The Arabic word in discussion in the contexts of both counting and preparation can be summarized as follows to better understand the message coded in the relevant verses as well as to avoid any misinterpretation to lead a righteous life:
- God has given us all what we need and His favor is so extensive, which cannot be taken into account.
- The disbelievers should not haste for the retribution (the end of the world). There is a definite term for it and will surround them what they used to mock.
- A day with God is a measure of one thousand years in a day that we count.
- The disbelievers will not see the people who they counted them among the wicked.
- The waiting period of the divorced women should be counted and the waiting period is three months but there is no waiting period if the marriage is not consumed.
- It is a ritual for the pilgrims to stay in Mina for a number of days but nothing is wrong to stay a couple of days or more than that keeping in mind that they will be gathered to Him.
- Ramadan fasting is decreed for a specified days but to complete the prescribed number in other times if someone missed it to be grateful to God for guiding us with the Quran revealed in the month of Ramadan.
- We may have a concern about the number of years we stay on the earth, which may be equivalent to a day or a half day.
- The disbelievers claimed that the Fire will not touch them except for a number of days while the retribution in Hell is eternal. Such they have deceived themselves in the religion.
- The sun and the moon are to be used to count number of years.
- God has sealed the ears of the dwellers of the cave for a number of years. He is fully aware of their number and also those who has given knowledge about it. He has warned us not to accept any information from any source other than Him.
- Per God’s concern the count of the number of months is twelve, and four of them are sacred. The postponing the sacred month is an indication of excessive disbelief.
- God has made the angels to be guardians of Hell and has assigned their number but none knows His soldiers except He.
- The night and the day are two God given signs, and are made basis of counting of the years and the calculation.
- Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold with only a few Dhirhams.
- Those who had wished to go forth would have prepared for it (for participation in fighting for the cause of God) a preparation but God disliked them for coming forth, and they were with the sedentary.
- God has prepared for the righteous a honorable reward, who will be greeted while He has prepared for the disbelievers and the hypocrites a severe retribution, who will be cursed when they meet Him.
- He has prepared for the righteous gardens while He has prepared for the disbelievers and the hypocrites Hell.
- Whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell wherein he will abide forever. God’s wrath has fallen on him, and He has cursed him and has prepared for him a great retribution.
In conclusion, if we carefully review the instances of “`adda” in the Quran in different contexts reflecting to its different grammatical forms, we may have the opportunity to better understand the message coded in the relevant verses as well as to avoid any misinterpretation to lead a righteous life.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.