Consider this verse:

قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَقِيمُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ۚ كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ - 7:29

The last verb can be translated as:

you return
you will return

one is present, the other is future.

How do we distinguish verb tenses in Quran?


How do we distinguish verb tenses in Quran?

This can be done similarly as you would distinguish verb tenses outside the qur'an in any other language: this requires knowledge about the language itself, its grammar, its conjugation beside a good vocabulary and understanding (by practicing etc.) the language.

Here the verb is:


which means to return. Note that infinitive of verbs in Arabic is always the past form of the pronoun "he" and similarly would be presented the other tenses.

This verbs as in general all verbs in Arabic has three tenses:

  • عاد

which is past. And

  • يعود

in the present form.

  • عُدْ

which is the imperative form.

  • The future is only an addition to the present form:

سيعود or سَوْفَ يعود


itself means "it/you/he/etc. will ...". Which can be abbreviated by the single letter "س" at the beginning of the verb.

Now if you check the conjugation table you may find that:


Is a plural "you" (انتم) in present form, but the context and the meaning of the verb itself (as one may return now -immediately- and later -due to delay related to the corresponding change/act-, so the complete return might not yet be finished and needs some time -> future) allows an interpretation of future therefore both you return or you will return could be a correct interpretation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.