Meanings of Kalla

The particle kalla كلاَّ, like most particles (ahruf) in Arabic, has multiple meanings and usages. Here insha’Allah I’ll translate 4 of them from alMaany‘s online dictionary.

  1. Particle that provides dissuasion, rebuke/reprimand, and and disapproval. It is permitted to stop on it or begin after it.
    {كَلاَّ سَنَكْتُبُ مَا يَقُولُ} “Nay! We will record what he says…” (Qur’an 19:79) A rebuke for whoever disbelieves.
    {قَالَ أَصْحَابُ مُوسَى إِنَّا لَمُدْرَكُونَ. قَالَ كَلاَّ إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ} “the companions of Moses said, ‘Indeed, we are to be overtaken!’ [Moses] said, ‘No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.’” (Qur’an 26:61-62) To desist from this speech.
  2. Particle that provides denial. Its opposite is بلى “indeed.” Ex: Didn’t you do such-and-such? He says yes (na’am) and I say no (kalla).
    “Kalla wa alfa kalla” (كلاَّ وألف كَلاَّ) meaning “no a thousand no” or “no no no!” Is categorical negation.
  3. Particle of responding with the meaning of حقَّا, affirming truthfulness. It provides tahqiq/affirmation, and it comes before an oath.
    {وَمَا هِيَ إلاَّ ذِكْرَى لِلْبَشَرِ. كَلاَّ وَالْقَمَرِ} “And it is only a reminder to humanity. Kalla (yes, truly), by the moon.” (Qur’an 74:31-32)
  4. Particle for rousing/excitation/alerting/exhortation and beginning/starting when it is not preceded in the speech by what demands reprimand or denial.
    {كَلاَّ إِنَّ الإِنْسَانَ لَيَطْغَى} “Most certainly man exceeds all bounds.” (Qur’an 96:6)
    {رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ. لَعَلِّي أَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ} “”My Lord, send me back, so as to make amends for the things I neglected.’ Never! This will not go beyond his words.” (Qur’an 23:99-100)
    {كَلاَّ إِنَّ كِتَابَ الأَبْرَارِ لَفِي عِلِّيِّينَ} “No! The record of deeds of the righteous is in ‘Illiyyūn.” (Qur’an 83:18)

1 – حرف يفيد الردع والزجر والاستنكار، يجوز الوقوف عليه، والابتداء بعده :- {كَلاَّ سَنَكْتُبُ مَا يَقُولُ}: زجر لمن كفر، – {قَالَ أَصْحَابُ مُوسَى إِنَّا لَمُدْرَكُونَ. قَالَ كَلاَّ إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ}: لتنتهوا عن هذا القول.
2 – حرف يفيد النفي، عكسه بلى :-هلاّ فعلت كذا؟ كلاّ، – يقول نعم وأقول كَلاّ:-
• كلاَّ وألف كَلاَّ: نفي باتٌّ.
3 – حرف جواب بمعنى حقًّا، يفيد التحقيق، ويكون قبل القسم :- {وَمَا هِيَ إلاَّ ذِكْرَى لِلْبَشَرِ. كَلاَّ وَالْقَمَرِ} .
4 – حرف للتنبيه والاستفتاح إذا لم يسبقه في القول ما يقتضي الزجر أو النفي :- {كَلاَّ إِنَّ الإِنْسَانَ لَيَطْغَى} – {رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ. لَعَلِّي أَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ} – {كَلاَّ إِنَّ كِتَابَ الأَبْرَارِ لَفِي عِلِّيِّينَ} .

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