Different meanings of Arabic preposition 'Fee'
Fatwa No: 340549

  • Fatwa Date:28-2-2017 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 2, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I was just wondering; does the arabic word Fee always mean 'in', or can it mean 'among' or other words as well? And can you give some verses with the word Fee in deferent contexts.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The Arabic word 'Fee' في is a preposition, and it has ten different meanings, we cannot list all of them here. However, we will mention, Allah willing, examples from the verses of the Quran which included 'Fee' with different meanings.

Ibn Hishaam said in his book Mughni Al-Labeeb:

"'Fee' is a preposition that has ten different meanings:

- Adverbial clause, relating to place or time, and it is mentioned in the following verse with both of these uses (place and time): Allah says (what means): {Alif, Laam, Meem. The Byzantines have been defeated. In (Fee) the nearest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome. In (Fee) three to nine years... } [Quran 30:1-4] 'Fee' can also be used in a figurative sense, such as in the saying of Allah (which means) {And there is for you in (Fee) legal retribution [saving of] life...} [Quran 2:179]

- Concomitance; such as in the verse (which means): {Enter among (Fee) nations...} [Quran 7:38]; meaning enter with them... It is the same in the following verse: {So he came out before his people in (Fee) his adornment.} [Quran 28:79]

- Justification; such as in the verse (which means): {That is the one about (Fee) whom you blamed me.} [Quran 12:32] Another verse reads: {…a great torment would have touched you for (Fee) that whereof you had spoken.} [Quran 24:14] Also, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, 'A woman entered Hellfire because of (Fee) a cat that she kept in captivity until it died...' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

- To mean 'on'; Allah says (what means): {... and I will crucify you on (Fee) the trunks of palm trees.} [Quran 20:71]

- A synonym of towards or to; such as in the verse (which means): {…but they returned their hands to (Fee) their mouths.} [Quran 14:9]" [Mughni al-Labeeb - abridged]

Ibn Hishaam mentioned other meanings of 'Fee' in Mughni Al-Labeeb.

Allah knows best.

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