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Lesson 82 – الدَّرْسُ الثَّاني والثَّمانون

The vocative  -  الـنِّــدَاءُ

Some call styles The asking for help and lamentation – بعض أساليب النداء (الاِسْتِغاثَةُ – النُّدْبَة)

  • Asking for help (الاِسْتِغَاثَة):
  • The asking for help and the lamentation are two Arabic styles which are used with the vocative particle.
  • The style of asking for help is used to call someone who can help in the critical situations. This call is supposed to be from the weak to the powerful using the vocative particle. Therefore the style of asking help consists of three components as follows:

The helped

The helping person

The vocative particle


يا لَلَّهِ لِلضُّعَفاءِ


Oh for Allah to the weak people

English meaning

  • In the above mentioned example we notice that the style o asking for help consists of three things:
  • The vocative particle (يا), and this particle is not allowed to be eliminated.
  • The helping, i.e. the one whose help is requested. This also is not allowed to be eliminated. In the example above the help is asked from Allah.
  • The helped, i.e. the one for whom the help is requested. This part can be eliminated. In the sentence above the helped is (الضُّعَفاء).
  • More examples:



Oh for Khalid to the army

يا لَخالِدٍ لِلْجَيْشِ

Oh for the Emir to the victims of injustice

يا لَلأَمِيرِ لِلْمَظْلُومِينَ

Oh for mother to the children

يا لَلأُمِّ لِلأَطْفالِ

Oh for Allah’s mercy to the disobedient people

يَا لَرَحْمَةِ اللهِ لِلْعاصِينَ

Oh for scientists to the ignorant people

يا لَلْعُلَماءِ لِلْجاهِلِينَ

The lamented

The vocative particle (wa)

Style components




Oh sister

English meaning

  • From the above mentioned example you may notice that the lamented noun is ended with (alif) and (hā’). Both of the alif and hā’ are optional. Therefore the lamented noun can be ended with the alif only (وا أُخْتا), with the alif and the hā’ of silence (وَا أختاهْ), or without any of them (وَا أختُ).
  • The hā’ in this structure is called hā’ of silence(هَاءُ السَّكْتِ), i.e. it is pronounced with sukūn when we stop on it, and pronounced with other vowel (here đammah) when connected.
  • The lamented person is not allowed to be an indefinite noun; it is not possible to mourn for unknown person, i.e. it is mistaken to say: (وا رَجُلاه - وا طالباه).
  • The lamented can be indefinite only when we lament the cause of pain, as in the following examples: