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Does GOD have a Gender???? by Nayzak Does GOD have a Gender???? by Nayzak
Assalaamu alaikum [peace be to you],

Why do we quote Allah -Glory be to him- as - Him/His ?

:bulletred: ANSWER:

In Arabic linguistics, the gender of a noun may refer to semantic, morphemic or grammatical gender.

a- Semantic Gender
Semantic gender is determined by the meaning of a noun. For example, boys and girls, and men and women will have different biological gender.
b- Morphemic Gender
Morphemic gender (also known as illusory gender) specifies the form of the morpheme which is used to construct the word. for example, the word خليفة (Caliph) is morphemically feminine (feminine in form) although semantically masculine (masculine in meaning). The two possible values for morphemic gender are masculine or feminine.
c- Grammatical Gender
Grammatical gender is also known as functional gender, and determines how words such as nouns and adjectives function syntactically. The rules which determine gender agreement differ according morphological features such as part-of-speech, plurality and rationality.


All Arabic nouns carry grammatical gender whether they refer to animate or inanimate objects.
When they refer to animate objects, it is called حقيقي Haqeeqee (Real) Masculine/Feminine. and we use the pronoun Huwa (he) for them.
when they refer to inanimate objects, it is called مجازي Majaazee (Unreal) Masculine/femenine. and we use the pronoun Hiya (she) for them.

For living creatures, grammatical gender corresponds to biological gender, e.g. (Rajul رجل) “man” is semantically masculine and grammatically masculine, while (Imra'ah امرأة) “woman” is semantically feminine and grammatically feminine.

For inanimate objects, the relationship between grammatical gender and objects is arbitrary, e.g. (qamar قمر) “moon” is semantically neutral (genderless) and grammatically masculine (unreal masculine), while (shams شمس) “sun” is semantically neutral (genderless) and grammatically feminine (unreal femenine).
The femininity of shams or the masculinity of qamar is based purely on language convention. It is normal and expected, in other words, to refer to shams with hiya (she), and to qamar with huwa (he).

When learners of Arabic learn new words, it is important to know the gender associated with this word, e.g. (Qamar قمر) “moon” is masculine, while (Shams شمس) “sun” is feminine. Some learners write (m) next to masculine nouns and (f) next to feminine nouns to remember the gender.


The presence of the neuter gender in English and its absence in Arabic (or French) causes linguistic mismatch. A consequence of this mismatch is that in English, if one uses the masculine or feminine pronoun to refer to something that is without natural gender, one is representing the thing as a person, usually for powerful rhetorical effect. This rhetorical device is called personification, and is often used by poets.

The English language has got three genders; male, female and neutral. So if we translate the Arabic word "huwa" into English, it can be translated as "he" or 'it'. And the Arabic word "hiya" can be translated as 'she' or 'it'.
the God -Glory be to him- is unique. It is disrespectful to refer to him as 'it' in English.

Some people may argue that the Arabic word "huwa" and "hiya" both can be used for 'it' or neutral gender, then why Allah has used "huwa" and not "hiya" ?

By convention of the Arabic language, grammatical masculinity is the norm, and grammatical femininity is the exception. Since most words are grammatically masculine, the expected grammatical gender of the word Allah is masculinity unless the word Allah fits in one of the grammatical feminine cases.

To explain further, In Arabic grammar there are certain rules and criteria for feminine gender.
For example, if a word is semantically female, like the word mother (أم umm), it becomes grammatically feminine in gender. Allah is not a female. so he is not grammatically femenine.
Second, if a noun ends with ـة (ta marboota) like مروحة (fan), it becomes grammatically feminine. The Arabic word 'Allah' doesn't end with 'ta' so it cannot be feminine.
Third, if the noun ends with ا (Alif Mamdooda) or ى (Alif maqsoora), it becomes grammatically feminine. But the Arabic word 'Allah' doesn't end with 'Alif Mamdooda' or 'Alif maqsoora' so, it cannot be grammatically feminine...

Besides, in the Qur'an, the God refers to himself using the masculine pronoun "huwa" so the word "Allah" is grammatically masculine, not because Allah is naturally or semantically masculine. In English, using "He" for something without natural gender connotes personification, but not in Arabic. There is no implied anthropomorphism whatsoever.

So Feminist insecurities over the use of the pronoun "He" for Allah Most High stem from imagining that "huwa" in Arabic carries the same biological connotations that "he" does in English. Whereas the masculine pronoun carries definite biological connotations in English, it does not in Arabic because Arabic has no neuter grammatical gender, and all nouns are either grammatically masculine or feminine.

And The God knows the best.

from :
- Why does the Quran refer to Allah using the masculine pronoun? [link]
- Quranic Grammar - Gender (الجنس) [link]
- Is Allah Masculine in Gender [link]
- Gender in Arabic [link]

I hope this was beneficial.

The expression "Huwa-Allaah" (He is the God), written in Thuluth Script. Alhamdulillaah, I liked how this one came out.

If I am right, it is from the God. if I am wrong, it is from myself.
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Submitted on
December 19, 2012
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