In this lesson on Balagha, we are going to learn about using a past tense verb for a future event.

Referring to a future event with a past tense verb in Arabic


Let’s take an example. Allah says: 

Quranic Example of Past in place of Future in Arabic

Here Allah is talking about a future event; the blowing of the horn. Yet the word that Allah uses is فزع which is a past tense verb. Allah has used a past tense verb to represent a future event. 

Why does this happen? 

Some events, although they haven’t happened yet are going to occur so assuredly that it is as if they have already occurred. In other words, there is no question about whether it is going to happen or not. We are so sure of it that it might as well have happened already. In such a situation, we express our assuredness by using a past tense verb, even though it is a future event.