Do Arabic roots have meanings IN THEMSELVES, or do only the derived words have meanings?

I ask because I'm thinking to have 10 roots engraved inside my ring. They are meant as an artistic motif, each root symbolising various words

(eg. The root ء م ن‏  symbolises,آمِين َ امین , أَمُنَ‏ , أَمِنَ‏ , أَمِين ,الْأَمِين, ایمان etc).

It is meant to be understood by me personally, not read by others.

There's a great lecture by Hamza Yusuf about the Arabic language on YouTube. So do roots carry meaning IN AND OF THEMSELVES? Or would they just be three Arabic letters with no meaning? Is this question answered in Islamic scholarship or even in the Qur'an or Hadith?

(I asked this on an Arabic language forum but a moderator shut it down because it was not a question about language according to her. It is a question about the nature of language, and I know the Arabic language has a special place in the Islamic tradition, both in Qur'an and Hadith)

  • Any arabic speakers know about this matter? – Johan88 Oct 12 '17 at 13:13
  • An example of Arabic's special status would be Allah’s statement according to the hadith qudsi, “I am al-Raḥmān and created the rahm (womb) – And I named it after Me.” - Related by the Messenger through ‘Abdur Raḥmān ibn ‘Auf. (Ahmad, who deemed its chain sound, and others)” – Johan88 Oct 12 '17 at 13:44
  • Yes, dear brother. The roots themselves give you a general meaning. A-B-C can carry a general meaning to "study". X-Y-Z can carry a general meaning to "write". From these, you can derive about 10-15 different words along the lines of study or writing, etc. – Muslimah Oct 12 '17 at 20:22
  • @Insightياربالعالمين Thank you so much for your comment brother. I found a scholarly work dealing with the issue, which says that there were two schools of thought concerning the origin of language: tawqīf and istilāh, the first one that Allah created language (championed by the Ashari) and the second that man created language (argued by the Muʿtazilites, the ahl al-nazar, the “exponents of speculative theology”). I definitely think it's a matter of tawfiq, but certainly think that language SUFFERED istilāh thereafter. – Johan88 Oct 14 '17 at 2:19

Searching myself I discovered this gem:

Classical Islamic Discourse on the Origins of Language

I left with the conclusion that yes, roots do have meaning in themselves, and language was created and given meaning by Allah Himself. But I take it as a matter of opinion, not creed.

I highly recommend the scholarly treatise for anyone that is interested in the matter.

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