Qaum (Collective)

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Qaum is a noun for any collective, extracted from the verb ya-Qūm-u i.e. being resident within a space/state, in this case being the resident or member of a collective, either by personal volition or without.

مفردات ألفاظ القرآن. - للأصفهاني
كتاب القاف
-يقال: قام يقوم قياما، فهو قائم، وجمعه: قيام، وأقامه غيره. وأقام بالمكان إقامة، والقيام على أضرب: قيام بالشخص؛ إما بتسخير أو اختيار، وقيام للشيء هو المراعاة للشيء والحفظ له، وقيام هو على العزم على الشيء، فمن القيام بالتسخير

Qaum is gendered as both male and female; in male form is the entire collection as opposed to the female form which is a subset or particular subgroup.

لسان العرب  ابن منظور 
وقَوْمٌ: قيل هو اسم للجمع، وقيل: جمع.
 والقوم يذكر ويؤَنث،
 قال تعالى: وكذَّبَ به قومك، فذكَّر، وقال تعالى: كذَّبتْ قومُ نوح، فأَنَّث؛
 وإن ذكر وأُنث، فإنما تريد الجمع إذا ذكرت، وتريد الجماعة إذا أَنثت.

Sufis are a Qaum:

5:54. Therefore Allah Saufa (will) bring forth a Qaum (Collection) that Hu will love them and they love Hu

  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا مَنْ يَرْتَدَّ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ

When people turn away from Allah and when people forget Allah, Allah will bring forth the Qaum (Collective) of Sufis i.e. Sufis are always in future tense as the pre-fix Saufa forces an explicit sense of future attributed to this Qaum.

There are other categories of similar Qaums (Collectives) and with the exception of two, all are of the present tense form i.e. with the prefix of Ya (y sound in Arabic), indicating continuity and perpetuity:

2:118. And the cloud between the sky and earth (is) a sign for the Qaum (Collective) Ya-‘qilun (Use their intellects)

 قَدْ بَيَّنَّا الْآَيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ

2:230. And these (legal) boundaries is elucidated for the Qaum (Collective) Ya-‘lamun (who know knowledge)

 وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ يُبَيِّنُهَا لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

5:50. And what is better commandment than that of Allah for the Qaum (Collective) Yu-Qinun (Who have certitude)

 وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حُكْمًا لِقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ

6:99. Indeed in That for you (plural) are signs for the Qaum (Collective) Yu-‘minun (who believe)

 إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكُمْ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

6:126. For sure in great details there are signs for the Qaum (Collective) Ya-zzakkarun (Who remember Allah repeatedly)

 قَدْ فَصَّلْنَا الْآَيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

7:58. As such for You (Muhammad) We (Allah) distribute and deliver the signs for the Qaum (Collective) Ya-Shkurun (Who are thankful)

 كَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الْآَيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَشْكُرُونَ

10:6. And what Allah created in heaves and earth are signs for the Qaum (Collective) Ya-ttaqun (Who safeguard against Allah’s wrath)

وَمَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَّقُونَ

10:24. As such for You (Muhammad) in great details We elucidate the sings for the Qaum (Collective) Ya-Tafakkarun (Who thinks constantly)

كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآَيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

10:67. Indeed within That for You (Muhammad) are signs for the Qaum (Collective) Ya-sma’un (Who listen)

 إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ

In the remaining two usage of the word Qaum the Ism Fa’il (Doer Agent-Noun) form is used:

5:84. And we hope that our Lord might enter us with the Qaum (Collective) Al-Salihin (Good doers)

 وَنَطْمَعُ أَنْ يُدْخِلَنَا رَبُّنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الصَّالِحِينَ

21:106. Indeed in Za (this), Ha (be aware), for sure a proclamation for the Qaum (Collective) ‘Abidin (Servers, Worshipers)

 إِنَّ فِي هَذَا لَبَلَاغًا لِقَوْمٍ عَابِدِينَ

Q: What is the difference between the two categories of Qaum?
A: The ones with the present/future verb prefixed with Ya require actions of verbs (members have to do things), as opposed to the two with Ism Fa’il (Doer Agent-Noun) form which whether the person does something or not s/he is Salih or Abid! Or the membership of belong to the Qaum with the prefix Ya in present-future verb form requires continual actions, while the membership of the two Salih and Abid Qaum require attributes of being of some characteristic.

Remark: There are other negative usages of the word Qaum e.g. Qaum Al-Fasiqin (The Wrong-doers) but in this note focus was on the positive and spiritual usages of the word.

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