Moroccan Arabic Lesson: Ramadan's Importance

Today's clip is from the Moroccan web series "Wake up!" featuring Sheikh Sar Ilyas. Sheikh Sar is a rapper and rising star among young, religiously conscious Moroccans. This clip is taken from the introductory episode of his web series which aired this past Ramadan. It features a nice discussion of the importance of Ramadan.

Sheikh Sar speaks clearly, and uses an accent and cadence that is typical to young Moroccans. Try listening to the video multiple times and repeat each sentence after him to try to pick up the rhythm of Moroccan speech.

Be sure to check out all of our Moroccan Arabic video tutorials and review lessons! Click here for a complete list.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم و الصلات و السلام على رسول الله
bismillah al-rahman al-rahim, w salaat w salaam 3la rasoul allah. 

In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. Prayers and Peace be on God's Messenger.

خوتي، السلام عليكم. رمضان مبارك سعيد و الله يدخّله عليكم بالصحة و السلامة.
khoti, al-salaam 3laikom! Ramadan mubarak sa3eed, w allah ydkhl 3laikom b l-si7a w l-salaama.

Brothers and Sisters, salaam alaikom! Happy and Blessed Ramadan, and may God give you Health and Security.

مرحبابكم في المقدّمة ديال برنماجكم صحا. برنماج للي غادي يرافقكم طيلة شهر رمضان
marhbabikom fi muqaddima dial barnamajkom s7a. barnamaj lli ghadi yrafaqkom tilat shahr Ramadan.

Welcome to the Introduction of your show "Wake up!", a program that will be broadcast [to you] throughout the month of Ramadan.

تلاتين حلقة. كل يوم من مر صلاة التراويح غادي تكون حلقة جديدة
talatin 7alqa, kull yom mn murra salat tarawi7 ghadi tkon 7alqa jdida

30 episodes, everyday after Tarawih Prayers, there will be a new episode

 حلقة جديدة للي غنهضرو فيها على موضوع محدّد إن شاء الله باش نغيّرو نظرة ديالنا ليه، و إن شاء يزيد في إيمان ديالنا
7alqa jdida lli ghanhdro fiha 3la modo3 mu7addid inshallah bash nghayyaro nadhra dialna lih, w inshallah yzid fi iman dialna.

A new episode during which we'll talk about a particular topic, inshallah, so we can change our point of view towards it, and, inshallah, increase our faith.

علاش سميناه صحا؟
3lash sminah s7a? 

[So], why did we name (the show), "Wake up"?

بحال أي واحد مبوّق، إما كامي الحشيش أو شرّاب الشراب، باش يفيق من ديك التبويقة دياله، كنقولو له: صحا، صحا
b7al ay wa7id mbuwwaq, ima kami l7ashish o shrrab al-shrab, bash yfiq mn dik tbwiqa dialho, kangolo laho s7a. s7a.

Just like anyone who is intoxicated, either he smokes hashish or drinks alcohol, so that he get's up from his intoxication, we say to him, "Wake up!". [So], wake up!

و حنا كاملين بوّقاتنا الدنيا. نسّاتنا، داتنا في عالم أخر، و نسّاتنا في الأهم، نسّاتنا في اليسرى
w 7na kamilin bwwaqatna ldunya. nssatna, datna f 3alam akhr, w nssatna f laham, nssatna f lyoussra

This worldly life has made us drunk. It's made us forget, it's put us on a different planet, making us forget what's most important, it's made us forget about what is truly right.

نسّاتنا فاش عايّشين في هاد الدنيا و القيمة ديالها، و نسّاتنا بلي غادي نموتو، و غادي نتحسبو 
 nssatna fash 3yyishin f had ldunya w qima dialha, w nssatna belli ghadi nmoto, w ghadi nt7sabo 

It's made us forget that we're living for this world and it's [true] value. It's made us forget that we'll all die and will be held accountable for our actions.

غادي نرجعو الله سبحان و تعالى، و كاين الجنّة أو النار 
ghadi nrj3o allah sub7ana w ta3ala, w kain ljanna o la lnar. 

We're going to return to God Almighty, and that there's either Heaven or Hell.

يعني هاد النسيان للي نسينا تبويقة. خصنا نفيقو منها. صحا
ya3ni, had lnisyan lli nsina tbwiqa. khassna nfiqo mnha. s7a.

In other words, our forgetfulness is like an intoxication. We need to get up from it. [So], wake up!

ملي كيدخل رمضان، أشياء كتيرة كتتبدل، الكون كامل كيتبدل
mlli kaydakhul ramadan, ashia katira kattabdl, al-kawn kamil kaytabdl. 

When Ramadan arrives, a lot of things change, the whole world changes.

الرسول الصلاة و السلام تيقول: إذا جاء رمضان، فُتحت، و غُلقت أبواب النار و سُلسلت أو صُفدت الشياطين
Al-rasoul salaa w salaam taygoul: Idha ja' ramadan, futi7at abwab al-janna, w ghuliqat abwab al-nar, w sulsilat o sufidat al-Shayatin.

The Prophet, Peace and Blessings be Upon HimWhen the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained (or shackled)

تخيّل، تخيّل معيّ الجنة كتفتح الباب ديالها، و النار كتسد الباب ديالها، صافي هاد الشهر حتى شي واحد غادي يدخل النار
Tkhayyal, tkhayyal ma3ya al-Janna katfta7 al-bab dialha, w al-Nar katsdd al-bab dialha, safi had al-shahr 7ta shi wa7id ghadi ydakhul al-Nar.

Imagine, imagine with me: Heaven opens its door and Hell closes its door. That's right, this month not a single person is going to Hell.

و الشياطين مسلسلة، يعني إلا ديرتي شي خطأ في رمضان هادا، المشكل فيك ماشي في الشياطين، الشياطين راهم مسلسلين
w al-Shayatin mslsila ya3ni ila dirti shi khata' fi ramadan hada, al-mushkil fiik mashi fi shayatin, shayatin rahom mslsilin.

And the devils are chained, so if you do something wrong, that's your problem, the devils didn't do it, they're in chains.

خصنا نفيقو، خصنا نسحَو أ خوتي.
khassna nfiqo, khassna ns7aw a khoti.

We need to get up, we need to wake up, brothers and sisters.

هادا ماشي شهر عادي، هادا شهر رمضان، تلاتين يوم، ايام معدودات كتدوز بالزربة.
hada mashi shahr 3adi, hada shahr ramadan, tlatin yom, ayam ma3dudat, katduz b zerba.

This isn't any other month, this is Ramadan, 30 days, a limited number of days that go by quickly.

اليوما هادا قريب رمضان، الغدا غادي نقولو صافي تسالى رمضان، كيدوز بالزربة. تايقو بيّ، صحا
al-yoma hada qrib ramadan, al-ghada ghadi ngolo safi tsala ramadan, kaydoz b zerba, tayyaqo biyya. s7a

Today it's almost Ramadan, and by tomorrow we'll be saying, "That's it, Ramadan's finished." [Ramadan] goes by quickly, trust me. Wake up!

Vocabulary review:

bismillah al-rahman al-rahim, w salaat w salaam 3la rasoul allah - بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم و الصلات و السلام على رسول الله - "In the name of God the Merciful and the Compassionate, and Peace and Blessings upon God's Messenger". This is the customary invocation that devout Muslims make when beginning a task.

khoti - خوتي - "my brothers". The word for brother in Moroccan Arabic is kho خو and the plural is khot خوت.

Ramadan mubarak sa3eed - رمضان مبارك سعيد - "Happy and Blessed Ramadan!" This is one of the customary Ramadan greetings among Muslims, equivalent to "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah".

marhbabikom - مرحبابكم - "welcome" or "hello to you". Moroccans use the word marhaba in the same way the Arabs in the Middle East use ahlan. Strictly speaking, marhaba means "welcome", but it is used more broadly in Morocco. Notice how the pronunciation changes when an object pronoun is added.

7alqa - حلقة - "episode" of a television program.

s7a - صحا - "wake up". As Sheikh Sar defines, this is said to drunk or high people so that they wake and sober up.

murra - مرّ - "after" or "behind". 

salat al-tarawi7 - صلاة التراويح - "Tarawih Prayers". Tarawih Prayers are special, additional prayers performed by Muslims during Ramadan at night, after the completion of the last of their daily prayers.

bash - باش - "so that" or "in order to". This is the equivalent of 3shan or 7ta as used in other Arabic Dialects  or لكي in FusHa.

3lash - علاش - "why?" 

mbuwwaq - مبوّق - "high" as in intoxicated. mbuwwaq is typically associated with drug use and not drinking.

kami - كامي - "smoker". This is the active participle of the verb kmi كمي which means "to smoke", as in cigarettes.

al-7ashish - الحشيش - "hash", cannabis resin. 7ashish is a drug made from marijuana. Morocco is one of the world's largest producers of marijuana, most of which is consumed and exported as 7ashish. While marijuana consumption is illegal in Morocco, drug laws are enforced selectively, and marijuana use remains very common, especially among lower class and rural populations.

shrrab - شرّاب - "drinker". This is the active participle of the verb shrb, "to drink". While shrb is neutral, and is used to describe drinking of all kinds, shrrab is particularly associated with drinking alcohol, which is forbidden by Islam and very much looked down upon in Morocco society.

al-shrab - الشرب - "alcohol". Literally this word means "the drink", but it is used only to refer to alcohol.

yfiq - يفيق - "he wakes up". The verb fiq means "to wake up" or "to be conscious" or "to realize".

7na kamilin - حنا كاملين - "all of us". In Moroccan Arabic the adjective kamil is used to mean "all" of something. kull, which also means "all", is also used, but kamil is more emphatic, implying the complete number of a thing. jami3 is also used to mean "all". Notice how here kamil is conjugated in the plural because it modifies 7na, "we".

bwwaqatna - بوّقاتنا - "[it] has made us intoxicated". Verbs with doubled middle root letters convey causing its object to enter a specific state of being. So this construction means: "this world has made us intoxicated". Here, we have bwwaqat which is in the past tense feminine form. It's subject is al-dunya, which is feminine. Attached to bwwaqat is the object pronoun na which means "us". Verbs like this, with double middle root letters, are very common in Moroccan Arabic and many are derived from adjectives that describe state of being. So this construction means: "this world has made us intoxicated".

nssatna - نسّاتنا - "[it] has made us forget". This verb is the same as bwwaqat above: it conveys causing its object to enter a specific state of being. nssat is derived from the verb nsa, which means "to forget". So here it means "to make forget". It is also in the past tense feminine form, with al-dunya as its subject and its object, again, is na or "us". So this construction means: "this world has made us forget". 

al-youssra - اليسرى - "Heaven" or "good works" Literally, it means "the left", hand or thing, or "the easiest" thing. Al-youssra is mentioned in the Quran and can be translated as either Heaven, good works, or Islam itself. In the video above, Sheikh Sar most likely means all of these things, implying "what is truly right."

al-tbwiqa - التبويقة - "high" or "intoxication". This is the noun of the verb tbuwwaq which means "to get high". You will notice that it is related to the other words for getting high and intoxicated that we've mentioned in this post.

kattabdl - كتتبدل - "[things] change". In Moroccan Arabic, tabdl means "to be changed" or "to change. It also implies the act of exchange of one thing for another. 

tkhayyal ma3ya - تخيّل معيّ - "imagine with me". tkhayyal means "to imagine". Here Sheikh Sar is asking his viewers to imagine with him. ma3ya is a contraction of the prepostion ma3, or "with", and ya, the object pronoun ending for "my". 

katsdd - كتسد - "[it] closes]". sadd means "to close" in Moroccan Arabic.

safi - صافي - "enough" or "alright". safi is an especially Moroccan word that is used like both 3shan and khalas as found in other Arabic Dialects. Typically, safi means "enough", but, as we see here, can also be used as an exclamation similar to "alright!" or "that's right!". There is a lot of debate about the origins of safi, whether it's an Arabic word, derived from the verb sfa and meaning "pure", or if it's a Moroccanization of the French phrase c'est fait, "it's done".

7ta shi wa7id - حتى شي واحد - "no one" or "nobody". Here we see 7ta in a new role, showing complete negation. This is an emphatic way of saying nobody.

mslsila - مسلسلة - "chained". This is the past participle of the verb slsla which is mentioned in the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad that is quoted in the video.

al-mushkil fiik - المشكل فيك - "it's your problem".

katduz b zerba - كتدوز بالزربة - "[it] goes by quickly". zerba means "quickness".

tsala - تسالى - "to be finished". tsala is the reflexive form of sala "to finished". In Moroccan Arabic, you would said salit mn al-imti7anat, "I'm done with exams", or you would say, al-imti7anat tsalat, "Exams are over".

tayaqqo biyya - تيّقو بيّ - "believe me". This is the plural command of tiq b "to believe something or someone"

Want more? Click here for a list of our Moroccan Arabic lessons.


  1. Awesome Work Done by Sheikh Sar Ilyas:)

    These Things evaluate the importance of the Ramadan


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