Mistakes in defining

  1. in Islam, a religious struggle against evil in yourself or in society.
  2. a holy war fought by Muslims against people who are a threat to Islam
  1. A definition should beجامع مانع or مطرد منعكس . Jami /mun’akis= all inclusive. مانع/مطرد =all exclusive. The second definition of jihad is too exclusive. So it’s مانع but not جامع. A good definition should be both. Put another way, a definition shouldn't be too broad أعم or too narrow أخص or different مباين .
  2. A definition should be clearer in meaning than the word being defined. Defining an odd number as ‘a number that’s one less than the even number’ is more a riddle than a definition. Defining in relative terms متضايفات is similarly wrong. e.g. defining a ‘dad’ as ‘father of son’.
  3. the definition (muarrif)shouldnt be the ‘same’ as the one defined (muarraf). Or it would be a synonym but not a definition, e.g. complacency is smugness. The definition should be different from the word being defined. which we usually do this by starting with a broad category and narrowing it down, referred to as الإجمال و التفصيل as in الحد التام (perfect definition). Or by distinguishing it from other similar words. e.g. ‘equity is more about fairness than equality’.
  4. Definition should be free from circular reasoning or ‘dawr’دور. This dawr could be explicit الدور المصرح as in one-layer circular reasoning or implicit as in multilayered circular reasoning. الدور المضمر .



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
H. Afridi

H. Afridi

Interested in everything good under (and above) the sun. Seeker of truth. Entrepreneur. Health, environment & grassroots sports enthusiast. Productivity freak