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What does the word mean?


Assalamu Aalykum

Surah Yusuf verse number 3 is the Arabic word * Nahanu * but it means *WE* and Allah is one.

Kindly clarify


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

However, God is One and whenever he indicates regarding His actions, the singular form has been used. This can be seen in many places in the Holy Qur’an. But in Arabic language and sometimes in other languages as well, the speaker uses the plural instead of the singular for various reasons, some of which are:

  1. To remind the audience of its greatness.
  2. To show the greatness of what he has done.
  3. To pay attention to the cause he has put to work.

Some of the verses where plural “Nahnu” has been used are the beginnings of Surah Fath, Surah Qadr, Surah Kawthar.

Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi’s answer regarding “Why Allah Has Used Plural Pronouns For Himself?”

Question: When the Almighty Allah is One, unique and peerless, and knows about His oneness, then why in the Holy Qur’an he uses the plural pronoun (We) for Himself?

Answer: The use of first person plural noun (We) is the sign of greatness and magnificence of the person (entity) who is speaking and this use is most appropriate and befitting to Allah. Arabs say that the reason for the use of first person plural noun is considered as proof of greatness that great people generally are not alone. The servants, attendants and other people are always around them to fulfill their needs. That is why they always used the pronoun We and the use of this word is a metaphor for greatness.

In this respect, wherever in the words of Allah plural noun is used it reminds us about His greatness and magnificence and we start thinking about those apparent and hidden powers of the universe, which are subordinate to Him. In this way our belief in Tawhid become stronger and our attention towards the sanctified self becomes more.


Syed Haider