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Arabic Grammar and Qur'an

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بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرّحيْمِ

الْحَمدُ لِلّٰهِ وَ كَفٰى وَ سَلَامٌ عَلٰى عِبادِهِ الّذِيِنَ اصْطَفٰى

Al-Qur'an is a book of knowledge and wisdom. This is where our creator is telling us how to live our lives.We recite parts of it in our salah. Understanding what we are reciting in our salah is critical. We need to learn enough Arabic to understand what our Creator is saying and to practice it. We don't have to be an Arabic or Qur'an scholar but need to know enough to understand the only connection we have with Allah SWT.

Imaam Shaafa'i raziallahu anhu said that knowledge is what is important, not what you memorize. Messenger of Allah, Peace be upon him said: Learn Arabic for three reasons. It is his language, it is the language of Qur'an and it is the language of people of jannah. Allah Ta'ala chose Arabic for His final Revelation.

Learning Arabic will also help you understand the traditions (ahadiths) which is the second most important part of our faith after Qur'an. Messenger of Allah alaihi assalatu wassalam also said: I am leaving you two things which if you hold on to, you will never be defeated and destroyed, the Qur'an and my traditions.


Visit my blog IbnQutb.com for Arabic Grammar for Beginners. It's free.

Mohammed Sajid Khan ibn Qutb


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Contrary to popular belief, Arabic Grammar in my opinion is not difficult to learn. There are two steps for learning Arabic. First is word Morphology (Ilm us Sarf) and second is Sentence Construction (ilm un Nahw). We have books on both subjects and then there are other books on analyzing and understanding the Qur'an, available now and coming in future insha-Allah.

About Sarf


In the name of Allah, the most beneficent and merciful and peace and blessings be upon His noble messenger Mohammed sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Ilm-us-sarf or word morphology is the first step in learning Arabic. It is the science of word origins. The word Sarf has many meanings but as applied to Arabic grammar, is defined as changing of a root word into different forms to create an intended meaning. As you will learn, 99% of Arabic words start from a three-alphabet root word, which is then changed into different forms to create different meanings. These rotations of the root word are called تَصْريْفٌ tas-reef or inflections.

It is a well-known fact in the Arab culture that city-dwellers do not speak as good Arabic as the nomads (who are known as Bedouins اَلْبَدْوُ al-bad’u. It is said that “the best speakers of Arabic are those who live deepest in the wilderness/desert.”

According to traditions, prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) was sent as an infant into the wilderness where he grew up with bedouins from the tribe of بَنُوْ سَعْدٍ (ba-nu sa’d) who lived around Taif. From those Bedouins he acquired “clarity of tongue and purity of language” صَفَاْءُ اَلْلِّسَاْنِ وَنَقَاْءُ اَلْلُّغَةِ (sa-faa’ul li-saa-ni wa na-qaa’ul lu-gha-ti). From my perspective, Arabic lends itself in presenting spiritual thoughts very well and the traditions of Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam are succinct and precise. It is hoped that this book will help in understanding these traditions also.

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In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and Most Merciful and peace and blessings be upon His noble messenger Mohammed sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah 54 Al-Qamar, Ayah 32:

﴿وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْاٰنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِنْۢ مُّدَّكِرٍ﴾

meaning “And certainly we have made easy the Quran for remembrance, so is there anyone who will receive admonition?” And then rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wa sallam said (Bukhari 4027):

خَيْرُكُمْ مَّنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ وَ عَلَّمَهٗ

meaning “The best amongst you are those who learn the Quran and teach it”.

Nahw Meer is an authoritative book and we have an English Translation of it. Why this book? First, Allama Jurjani, the author of Nahw Meer, needs no introduction. His masterful book has been studied for centuries, including today in many schools in the Indian subcontinent and other parts of the world. Its original language is Persian and there are several translations in Arabic and Urdu, but very few in modern English. This book has been faithfully translated into modern English with some re-organization and brief additional explanation.

What is Nahw? Ilm un Nahw is the science that teaches us how to join Nouns, Verbs, and Particles to form complete sentences and what the vowel of the last letter of each word should be.

This science started from the time of Omar bin al-Khattab RA when one of the Bedouins read part of the Ayah 3 of Surah At-Tauba:

﴿أَنَّ اللهَ بَرِئٌ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِيْنَ وَرَسُوْلُهُ﴾

with a Kasrah at the end as in رَسُوْلِهِ instead of Dammah as in رَسُوْلُهُ. This changed the meaning from “that Allah and His prophet are free from (dissolve) obligations to the polytheists” to “that Allah is free from (dissolve) obligations to the polytheists and His prophet”. The Bedouin said if Allah dissolves His obligations to His prophet, so do I. After this incident, Omar RA ordered that the rules of Nahw be created.

Translation from one language to another is a task full of pitfalls. This is especially the case with Quranic Arabic which has words and sentences with deep meaning which may change depending upon the context and background of the revelation.The author tried to make the translation as simple as possible with details of all harakahs which are lacking in books written by classical and Arabic speaking authors. For non-Arabic speakers, this is an important point. Nahw is all about harakahs and other signs which determine the e’raab (vowels) and this is recognized by looking at the last alphabet of a word.

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