Part 1: Introduction of course
Why Study Arabic ?
Arabic is spoken as a mother tongue by between 250 and 400 million people across 25 countries. Over a
billion people can read the script even if they can’t understand the language. And Arabic happens to be
one of the official languages of the United Nations. Therefore, many people learn the language for
At about 1,500 years old, Arabic also happens to be a very old language. It was the language of
scholarship throughout the rule of the Islamic empires – a period of well over 1,000 years from the 7th
century right down to the 19th and even 20th.
The greatest books of medicine, geology, law, philosophy, and basically any subject you can imagine were all written in the finest Arabic. Therefore, many of the most advanced people in their fields of study learn Arabic for scientific and anthropological reasons.
Arabic is also the language of the Quran (the Islamic holy book). It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are,
the Qur’an is unequivocally, undeniably and undoubtedly the greatest form of Arabic literature, and
indeed the greatest form of literature, period.
The beauty of this piece of literature is, in fact, quite literally, miraculous. Therefore, tens of millions of people learn this language to witness firsthand the beauty and miracle that is The Qur’an… religious reasons.
In fact, emphasis has been placed on studying the Arabic language by the Prophet (PBUH) himself when
he said to the effect: learn the Arabic language as you learn the Islamic obligations and practices. His
companions, who, remember, were Arabs, used to learn Arabic despite the fact that it was their mother
They used to say: teach your children Arabic. They used to correct each other’s grammar. They would consider it unacceptable to make a grammatical mistake. And the scholars that followed them in
later centuries all emphasized learning Arabic. Imam Abu Hanifa said to the effect: I would’ve made
learning this language compulsory had I not deemed it difficult on the people.
That is because :
1. in order to truly understand the message of God as it was revealed, one must understand it in
the very language it was revealed, and
2. the Qur’an is a literary miracle – really, a full blown miracle – and in order to witness it, you
need to simply learn the language and you will witness a miracle with your very own eyes
When the tribe of Qureish in ancient Arabia sent their most infamous debater to the Prophet (PBUH),
the debater barked and barked and barked.
He was enthusiastic and completely vicious. His mission was to completely overtake the Prophet (PBUH) and he was relentless. But when he finished, the Prophet (PBUH) recited a few verses of the Qur’an, upon which tears started to flow from the debater’s eyes and he had to cover the Prophet’s (PBUH) mouth because he couldn’t take any more. Would you like to taste
the same beauty that made that debater cry?
How To Study Arabic ?
How you study the language depends largely on why you’re studying it. If you’re studying the language
to be able to communicate informally with friends, for example, then the best place to start for this
purpose is to enrol in a short term class (about 6 months to 1 year) where you will be taught a colloquial
dialect of Arabic. There are many dialects, but the Egyptian is most popular and most widely recognized.
Whether the course is in person or online doesn’t make a difference in our opinion. But the course must
have a live teacher of native Arabic descent, offer plenty of conversational practice and place high
emphasis on out-of-class work. These are courses that get their students to watch subtitled movies, pair
them with native speakers for practice and even offer exchange and immersion programs.
If you are studying the language for formal purposes, on the other hand, you will need a more formal
regiment. You will be relying more on books and placing more attention on grammar rather than your
ability to speak fluently. The ability to speak casually and fluently will come later. And the studies will
last longer than a year or two; perhaps as much as 4 years.
You will cover at least 5 different subjects just on the Classical Arabic language:
1. Grammar –phrases and sentences
2. Morphology and Etymology – verbs and conjugation
3. Cantillation – pronunciation
4. Literature – practice, exposure to different styles of writing, idioms
5. Logic – a prerequisite for further studies
6. Rhetoric – literary devices and beautifying speech
7. Poetry – an understanding of Arabic poetry and culture.
Where To Study Arabic ?
As mentioned, the wrong thing to do is to try and study on your own. You need to join a class. If you
study informal or formal Arabic, a university or college course is usually the safest bet. Find a college
near you and read up on their Arabic programs.
There are a few good online courses out there, but they are a bit dodgy and not necessarily as well established.
If you are studying Classical Arabic, you probably have only two choices:
1) join a full time program that
will require you to take a few years off of work and pause your life, or
2) take a part-time course online.
You may be thinking of attending a college or university course part time or learning from a native
speaker for Classical Arabic. But don’t be fooled. Although Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic
are very similar, understanding the Qur’an and the depths of Classical Arabic cannot be done so easily;
universities are not equipped to deal with this and native Arabs don’t necessarily understand the
language at this level.
You need the absolute best education by the absolute best teachers in the most advanced manner.
Regular courses can’t give that to you and native Arabs speak the language but they don’t necessarily
understand its most intricate details… you need a proper method.
What You Need Before You Start ?
Most courses and books assume you already know the alphabet and can read and write Arabic. And to a
large extent, this is a valid assumption because most students have been reading the Qur’an since
But not all students are Muslim and have been reading since childhood. Moreover, when learning the
Qur’an as a child, most Muslim children were not taught in a correct manner. It is vitally important to
learn reading and writing skills even if you already read the Qur’an.
Here we have given you just a basic crash course on the Arabic alphabet and reading/writing to get you
started. You are highly encouraged to take a course on Arabic script.
Remember, even if you read the Quran or even if you are an Arab, if your goal is to understand the Quran then you need the most advanced Arabic. And reading, writing and the alphabet are no exception… you need to relearn these things the right way.
Look at :