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See also: سنہ



Etymology 1Edit

From Proto-Semitic *šan-.



سَنَة (sanaf (plural سَنَوَات(sanawāt) or سِنُون(sinūn) or سِنِين(sinīn))

  1. year

Usage notesEdit

According to Ibn Manzur, some speakers decline the nūn in سِنين, treating it as an irregular plural. Accordingly, the yā' does not change to wāw whence using this form.

Etymology 2Edit

Cognate with Hebrew שֵׁנָה(šēnā, sleep, slumber) and Mehri شنيت(sleep, slumber).



سِنَة (sinaf

  1. drowsiness
    Synonym: نُعَاس(nuʿās)
  2. slumber; nap
    Synonym: قَيْلُولَة(qaylūla)



Etymology 3Edit

From the root س ن ن(s-n-n); compare سَنَّ(sanna, to establish (a law, custom, etc.)).



سُنَّة (sunnaf (plural سُنَن(sunan))

  1. image, face, form, appearance, look
    • أما العليق فمعروف وأما الورد الجبلي وورد الكلب وهو المعروف عند أهل الطب بالنسرين قال أبو حنيفة الورد الجبلي يشبه الورد ويشبه ذلك بعض سنة العليق وثمره شبيه العنب الدليك وهو أحمر يشبه البسر إلا أن طرفه محدود وفي داخله شبه الصوف ونواره نوار الورد أبيض يشوبه حمرة
      In what concerns the bramble, it is well known, and in what concerns the mountain-rose and the dog-rose, it is well-known with the physicians as nisrīn; Abū Ḥanīfa said the mountain-rose resembles the rose and this resembles a bit the image of the bramble, and the fruit is similar to the dust-vine, it is red and resembles the unripe date, except that its tip is pointed, and in its inner there is a kind of wool, and its blossom is a white rose blossom with an admixture of red.
  2. custom; norm; tradition; standard or habitual practice
    • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 33:62:
      سُنَّةَ اللهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللهِ تَبْدِيلًا
      sunnata llāhi fī allaḏīna ḵalaw min qablu walan tajida lisunnati llāhi tabdīlan
      This is the Sunna of God for those of the past, and you will find no alternative for the Sunna of God.
  3. (Islam) a recommended practice; a deed for which there is otherworldly reward, but for whose omission there is no otherworldly punishment
    أَسُنَّةٌ الْخِتانُ أَمْ فَرْضٌ فِي مَذْهَبِنَا؟‎‎
    ʾasunnatun al-ḵitānu ʾam farḍun fī maḏhabinā?
    Is circumcision a recommended practice or an obligation in our school of law?
  4. (Islam, usually definite) the Sunna: the entirety of the normative teachings and practices of Muhammad and his righteous companions, as recorded in the hadiths; in theory the second source of law after the Quran, but in practice the most important
    لَا يُوجَدُ فِي السُّنّةِ الصَّحِيحَةِ مَا يُثَبِّتُ قُدْرَةَ الْجِنِّ عَلَى سُكُونِ جَسَدِ الْإنْسان.‎‎
    lā yūjadu fī s-sunnati ṣ-ṣaḥīḥati mā yuṯabbitu qudrata l-jinni ʿalā sukūni jasadi l-ʾinsān.
    There is nothing in the authentic Sunna which might prove that demons are capable of dwelling in the human body.
  5. (Islam, definite) Sunnism; the Sunni sect
    مَا أَبْرَزُ الِاخْتِلَافَاتِ الْفِقْهِيَّةِ بَيْنَ السُّنَّةِ وَبَيْنَ الشِّيعَة؟‎‎
    mā ʾabrazu l-iḵtilāfāti l-fiqhiyyati bayna s-sunnati wa-bayna š-šīʿa?
    What are the major jurisprudential differences between Sunnis and Shiites?
Usage notesEdit
  • Senses 3 to 5 must be well distinguished. So while سنة is used to refer to both “normative teachings recorded in hadiths” (sense 4) and “recommended practices” (sense 3), this does not mean that hadiths never establish hard obligations. (In fact, they do so very often, including such fundamental ones as the number of daily obligatory prayers.) In the same way, the fact that سنة also refers to the “Sunni sect” (sense 5) does not mean that other sects do not have a Sunna.
Derived termsEdit
  • Wehr, Hans (1979), “سن”, in J. Milton Cowan, editor, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 4th edition, Ithaca, NY: Spoken Language Services, →ISBN

Egyptian ArabicEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Arabic سَنَة(sana, year).


سنة (sánaf, pl سنين‎ (sínīn) سنوات‎ (sánawāt)

  1. year


Derived termsEdit


  • Spiro, Socrates (1895). An Arabic-English vocabulary of the colloquial Arabic of Egypt, containing the vernacular idioms and expressions, slang phrases, etc., etc., used by the native Egyptians Cairo: Al-Mokattam Printing Office.
  • Hinds, Martin; Badawi, El-Said (1986). A Dictionary of Egyptian Arabic Beirut: Librairie du Liban.