20 September 2016

Arabic Particles : Arabic Preposition إِلَىٰ ila

Meaning shades and usage of the Arabic Particles : The Arabic Preposition إِلَىٰ ila
See Arabic Particles Meanings series for other particles and related words.
Also see Arabic Particles Quick Study Tool .

Last edited on : 5 December 2016 

1 (w)(l)(n) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is used to indicate
Motion to or towards a place / thing / person
or direction / inclination / turning to or towards 
a place / thing / person / quality / state . 

[ to , towards , as far as ] ( inclined, directed, turned: to or towards ) 

جَآءَ إِلَى ٱلْمَدِينَةِ he came to the city
نَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ he looked towards him
مَالَ إِلَيْهِ he or it inclined towards him or it
Since in some contexts inclination or direction is implied, when translating, we may add words like inclined or directed as in below example.
لَبُّهُ إِلَى ٱلْحُمْقِ his heart is inclined towards foolishness

2 (w)(l) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is used to indicate
The point in time till, until or to which something lasts

[ till , until , to ]

ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا ٱلصِّيَامَ إِلَى ٱللَّيْلِ then complete the fast to / till / until the night 

3 (w) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is
used in the opposite role to the Arabic preposition مِنْ in statements. 

[ to ] 

مِنَ ٱلْمَهْدِ إِلَى ٱللَّحْدِ from the cradle to the grave. (i.e. from the time of being in the cradle to the time of being in the grave, for the entire worldly life) .

4 (w) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is also  
sometimes used in the opposite role to the Arabic preposition عَنْ as in below examples

[ to ] 

اِنْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ he became cut off from him, he severed himself from him vs اِنْقَطَعَ إِلَيْهِ he became cut off to him, he severed himself to him (i.e. he became cut off or severed himself from remaining things to him exclusively) .

إِلَيْكَ عَنِّي (keep) to yourself off me. To your self away from me. Stand off!  

5 (w) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is also
used with قَرِيب near and similar words which convey the idea of approach or approximation.

[ to ]

e.g. usage of قَرِيبٌ إِلَىٰ near to vs بَعِيدٌ عَنْ far from
إِلَىٰ جَانِبِهِ to his side

6 (w)(l) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is also used in phrases like

[ to ]

إِلَى غَيْرِ ذَٰلِكَ to other than that
إِلَى ٱلْآخِرِهِ to the end of it 

7 (l)(h)(w) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is used to indicate
the limit of the act or the ending of extent in place or time , temporal or local and governs in the genitive case the last part or ending point or time. The starting limit mentioned after مِنْ and the ending limit mentioned after إِلَىٰ are usually not included but in some contexts the limits are also included.

[ to , till , up to ] 

قَرَأْتُ ٱلْقُرْآنَ مِنْ أَوَّلِهِ إِلَىٰ آخِرِهِ I recited The Qur'an from its beginning to / till its end. In this context, beginning and end are included.

The 2 options can be further explained as:
i. You reached some place but didn't enter it e.g. you reached the city but did not enter in it.
ii. You entered some place, and its range includes the beginning of the limit and the farthest part thereof, but not beyond it e.g. you entered a city, now once you are in the city you can be at the beginning, somewhere in between or at the extreme in the city, in all these cases you are in the city.
خَرَجَ مِنَ ٱلْكُوفَةِ إِلَى ٱلشَّامِ he went forth from Koofah to Shaam. Now there are 2 options, he reached Shaam but did not enter it, or he entered Shaam.

8 (m)(l) . According to some

[ to , up to , till , until ] 

When that which comes after إِلَىٰ happens to be of the same kind or general nature or genus as that which comes before it, the preposition usually has an inclusive signification.
فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ then wash your faces and your hands to / up to the elbows.
When that which comes after إِلَىٰ happens to be of a different kind or class or genus to that which comes before it, the preposition usually has an exclusive signification.
ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا ٱلصِّيَامَ إِلَى ٱللَّيْلِ then you complete the fast to / till / until the night

9 (l)(h) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is also used 
to show the grammatical agency of the noun governed by it
after a verb of wonder or after a noun of surpassing importing love or hatred.

[ to ]

مَا أَحَبَّهُ إِلَيَّ how beloved is it to me! (Literally: what has caused it to be beloved to me!)
مَا أَبْغَضَهُ إِلَيَّ how hateful is it to me! (Literally: what has caused it to be hateful to me!)
ذَٰلِكَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ that is more beloved to me
ذَٰلِكَ أَبْغَضُ إِلَيَّ that is more hateful to me 

10 (w)(n) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ is sometimes used to indicate that
one thing is added / joined / augmented / attached to another. When we say this to that and the context indicates addition or joining or augmentation or attachment etc. instead of movement to, or inclination to etc., then to clarify in translation we may add words like in addition to , instead of just translating with to. Sometimes in such cases, some verb indicating addition, augmentation or joining like زَادَ or ضَمَّ is used and sometimes these verbs are not used and context is enough to indicate that إِلَىٰ has been used in this sense. Though we may retain this in translation also with just the to and let the context itself clarify the sense in which this to has been used or we may translate with in addition to etc.  

[ to , in addition to ]

ضُمَّ هٰذَا إِلَىٰ ذَٰلِكَ add this to that
زَادُوا حِكْمَةً إِلَىٰ حِكْمَتِهِمْ they have added wisdom to their wisdom. 
لَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلَىٰ أَمْوَالِكُمْ Don't eat their wealth in addition to your wealth. (Translating like this indicates keeping the 2 wealth sets separate but also consuming from their wealth by eating their wealth also.)
Don't eat their wealth to your wealth. (Translating like this indicates putting their wealth into your wealth by eating their wealth into your wealth)

11 (w)(n)(l) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ sometimes signifies
up to (reaching up to, entrusted to etc.) , belonging to, referable to. 

[ up to , to ] ( belonging to, entrusted to, referable to ) 

ذَٰلِكَ إِلَيْهِ that is up to him. That is entrusted to him.
وَ هُوَ إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَآئِيلَ and he belonged to the children of Israil.
وَٱلْأَمْرُ إِلَيْكِ and the command is referable to you.

12 (l) . The Arabic preposition ila إِلَىٰ sometimes signifies
comparison

[ to , compared to ]

عِلْمِي إِلَىٰ عِلْمِهِ كَٱلْقَطْرَةِ فِى ٱلْبَحْرِ My knowledge to or compared to his knowledge is like a drop in the sea.

13 (l) . The original letters in إِلَىٰ are ا ل و  .

14 . To study this particle further in many other books read the pages for this particle in
Arabic Particles Tool . Also to see other posts in Arabic Particles Meanings series.

15 . The book دراسات لأسلوب القرآن الكريم available for quick study on Arabic Particles Tool books has also been used in investigating the alleged usage of إِلَىٰ in other prepositions' meaning shades along with my own research.  

References: When multiple references mentioned for a point, it means material selected from all quoted references more from some and less from others and all quoted references do not necessarily agree on everything. Material is not exactly copied but based on the reference quoted and I have made additions, editions & changes where required :
w = Wright Arabic Grammar English
h = Howell Arabic Grammar English
l = Lane's Lexicon
n = New indication by me
a = Arabic Almanac books
p = Arabic Particles Tool books
m = Sharh of Miatu Amil .

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