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Arabic Islamic Learners
The Importance Of Learning
The Arabic Language
Arabic and the
message of the Qur’an cannot be separated and translators throughout the ages have tried to convey to
the non-Arabic speaking people the beauty of the meaning of the Qur’an but have always called it ‘The translation of
the meaning of the Qur’an’, emphasising the fact that the Qur’an’s direct translation is not possible,
because so much of the potency and splendour of the words and their meanings which are inextricably linked to
the Arabic language are lost in English or any other language.
Indeed to even
appreciate the poetic beauty of the Qur’an one needs to have an understanding of Arabic.
Remember that for the Arabs in the time of the Prophet (SAW) who were masters of eloquence and poetry,
the words of the Qur’an itself were so unique compared to the poetry of the most eloquent of them
that many came to Islam recognising that the Qur’an could not be the handiwork of even the best human poet,
rather it could only come from Allah. The language itself was one of the miracles of the Qur’an. Allah challenges mankind:
"And if you are in doubt about what we have sent down to our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call
your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful. But if you do not do it, and you can never do it,
then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers”
(Surah Baqarah, aayaat 23-24)
The Preservation of the Arabic Language
Languages usually evolve. Just look at the difference between Shakespearean English and modern day English.
In many ways they seem like two totally different languages and a man from England in Shakespearean times
and a man from modern day England would find it extremely difficult to communicate! But the Arabic language
is not just ‘a language’.
This is why the Sahabah and the early generations of Muslims strove to preserve
the classical Arabic language.
It was Ali (radi allaahu ‘anhu) who noticed on the tongues of some of
the Arabs a slight change in dialect and ordered for the grammar rules of Arabic to be recorded
in a universal form. He knew that the preservation of the Arabic language was part of the preservation of Islam itself.
Arabic unified the Muslim countries as it spread to every land that embraced Islam. This is why it is seen that those
Muslim societies that are ignorant of Arabic are in general less knowledgeable about Islam.
This ignorance has in turn made them more prone to stray from the straight path.
Practical steps towards learning Arabic
Alhamdulillah with all the teaching aids and easy access to information
that we have, learning Arabic does not necessarily
mean travelling on arduous journeys to distant lands as it once used to.
With discipline and commitment, the student can study much in his own time
Here are some tips to help you along they way:
We should ask Allah to purify our intentions so that we truly learn Arabic for the better understanding of the Qur’an and deen:
Discipline yourself! Put a set amount of time aside every day or twice a week for your Arabic studies and stick to it.
Remember a little study regularly is better than hours of study once a month.
concentrating on improving your basic reading and writing is the first step in learning Arabic,
even if it is repetitive. Then you can build on that firm foundation.
available in most Muslim bookshops and on the Internet too! Arabic words are usually
arranged under their three letter roots. Get used to looking up words often and
compile your own personal vocabulary dictionary. Some good three-book sets you can start
working through are the three Madinah university books or the Kitaab-ul Asaasi books.
Enrol into a summer course: There are a few around every summer and they are a great way
to kick-start your learning. They can be quite intensive so remember to revise and keep up your study afterwards.
why not study a degree in Arabic or one with Arabic as part of it?
Study under an Arab friend or tutor: The importance of a good teacher cannot be stressed enough.
Although there is a lot of self-study involved, a friend who knows Arabic or an Arab brother or sister
who you could go to regularly for guidance would be very valuable.
You could even start going through your Arabic books with them.
This book (arabic in 10 minutes aday )
for more arabic books
to study Arabic too. Maybe you could get together and pay for a teacher to teach you Arabic
together at the local Masjid or in one of your homes. Studying with friends is a good way to stay motivated.
such as Egypt which really speed up your learning and can provide you with a nice experience.
People have found that a few months in an Arab country can be more beneficial than a year or more
of studying at home. Make sure you keep up your studying when you get back though!
visit Muslim countries, read some Arabic everyday, and maybe get
an Arab newspaper when you become more proficient.
being shy about making mistakes in speech and so not speaking at all. You must overcome
this shyness and use whatever you know whenever you can. This is how you will eventually
improve insha Allah. Maybe you could meet some Arab brothers or sisters who only speak Arabic.
This way you’ll be forced to speak what you know and they’ll be pleased that you’re making the effort.
to understand what you recite of the Qur’an especially in your salaah and other adhkaar.
Try to recognise Arabic words as you come across them in the Qur’an and apply your knowledge
in understanding the Qur’an. Ponder over and pay attention to the words in your salaah.
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