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NOW is the Time to Learn Arabic!

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Bismillah walhamdulillah was Salaatu was Salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillaah,

[Written by Amatullah, Jazaakum Allahu khayran to those who assisted me]236788_quran

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DISCLAIMER: “I know this article is super long, and I tried to condense it as much as possible so I’d like to mention here that this is a simple and basic road map for how someone in the west can BEGIN studying Arabic.

We need to remember that just because one knows grammar and has some vocab, doesn’t mean they can understand the Qur’an…There are many other factors involved, which is why I mention tafseer and literary research.

When studying the Qur’an, we have to travel back in time because it is an ancient language and we have to understand the CONTEXT of these words. An example of what I mean by context is the English word “site”. 60 yrs ago, “site” meant like a construction site or something of that nature. Nowadays, “site” most of the time refers to a website. When studying the Qur’an, a usage of classical texts is important because just as “site” meant something different 60 yrs ago, if we use a modern dictionary to look up a word from the Qur’an, most likely we won’t get the right meaning and context.
So studying the Qur’an is not just black and white, there are many intricate details that we have to factor in inshaAllah. The study of sarf for example is very important, and tafseer is also critical.

The article is meant to inshaAllah help those brothers and sisters who don’t know the language yet, and don’t know where to start. Learning Arabic is the gateway to understanding the Qur’an, but it is not the final step, rather it’s just the beginning. When we inshaAllah reach these more advanced levels that were mentioned, the resources will become available to us and you’ll know where to go from there bi’ithnillahi ta’ala.”

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“On the Day of Judgment, the Qur’an and its people who used to act by it in the world shall be brought, being led by Surat ul-Baqarah and Al-e-Imraan, which shall be arguing on behalf of their companions.” (Reported by Muslim)

We all strive to become a companion of the Qur’an, but who are its true companions? The companions of the Qur’an are those who studied it, memorized it, implemented it and lived by it. It is not possible, in the least bit, for one to become a companion of the Qur’an and not know Arabic. Learning the language is the starting point of a life long journey with the Qur’an. Allah ta’ala chose this blessed language, as He states 11 times throughout the Qur’an: “A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail as an Arabic Qur’an, for people who know.” (41:3), “An Arabic Qur’an, without any crookedness, so that they may have Taqwa.” (39:28), “We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that you may gain understanding.” (12:2).

For those who do not know the language of the Qur’an, they will be deprived of its true sweetness, of its blessings and most importantly, understanding the words of Allah ta’ala. It is a cause of much grief and sadness to know that the majority of our ummah has lost the connection with the Book of Allah because the language has been lost, as the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah raises up peoples by this Book, and puts down by it others.” (Saheeh Muslim) We have abandoned this book, and the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam will testify to Allah ta’ala on the day of judgment: “And the Messenger will say, O my Rabb, indeed my people deserted this Qur’an!” (25:30)

The righteous companions and scholars of the past have testified to the importance of learning this language and they themselves, who were native Arab speakers, were concerned with studying this language. Umar radi Allahu anhu said, “Learn Arabic for it is a part of your deen.” (Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 2/207) It is also reported that Ubay ibn Ka’b radi Allahu anhu said, “Learn Arabic just as you learn to memorize the Qur’an.” (Ibn Abî Shaybah, Al-Musannaf Vol.7 p150)

Many of us want to take the proper steps to learn Arabic, but do not know where to start. What is the solution? Where do we begin? The best option is to study overseas, however many of us do not have that option to learn Arabic, so inshaAllah we’ll cover in this article some easy steps one can take to begin the process of learning Qur’anic Arabic if they cannot travel to do so.

Before these steps are mentioned, a few points need to be raised:

  1. First and foremost, we have to purify our intentions for the sake of Allah ta’ala. We learned from Imam Suhaib in Sacred Scrolls that ibn Qayyim rahimahullah said the scholars and righteous of the past would always ask themselves two questions before doing a deed, one of them was “li ma?”, “for what/why?”. So ask yourself: why do you want to learn Arabic? Is it to be known by the people, to be called a student of knowledge, to speak Arabic in the masjid lobby, or is it for the sake of Allah, to understand His words and implement them? Remember that the first person thrown in hell-fire will be the scholar.
  2. Seek help from Allah ta’ala Alone. Not even the greatest Arabic book or teacher can help you if Allah ta’ala does not will it for you. The believers have been given the most powerful weapon of duaa, so use it and ask Allah for assistance. “When you ask, then ask Allah, and when you seek help, then seek help in Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
  3. You must remove from your mind the notion that learning Arabic is difficult…because guess what, if you think it’s difficult then it will be! Allah ta’ala states FOUR times in surah Qamar that He has made this Qur’an easy. Learning this language is indeed something great and tedious, and will need a lot of time and effort put into it, but do not set yourself up with having negative thoughts. Whenever we intend to do an action for the sake of Allah azza wa jal, we are immediately tested. Why? Because it is a purification process; fitnah literally means the act of purifying gold with fire. So these tests purify the fools gold from the real stuff. Do not get discouraged if you face difficulties, but rather remind yourself of how the gold will look after it is put through the burning flames: pure, clean and shining. Remind yourself of how sweet it will be to finally understand everything that is being recited in prayer, instead of counting how many patterns are on the masjid carpet. :)
  4. Understand your goal, and have a clear vision. Why do you want to learn Arabic? If your goal is just to learn Arabic to speak in a modern dialect, then the Qur’an will not assist you. But if your goal is to understand the Qur’an and increase in your attachment, then learning Arabic will greatly assist you inshaAllah. We have to realize that different intentions require different approaches. Our goal for this article is to focus on Qur’anic Arabic only. The best recommendation any teacher can give you is to limit yourself to the Qur’an first. By focusing on the Qur’an, you will be able to reinforce what you have learned during salah, memorization, reviewing and reading.
  5. Constantly make tawbah and refrain from sins. In the famous poem of Imam Shafi’i rahimahullah, we learn that knowledge is a light and Allah does not give this light to sinners. The Qur’an is a pure book and can only be carried in a pure container, so always purify yourself and refrain from sins so that you can retain this knowledge and increase in it.

Where do I start?

Everyone has different opinions on where to begin the journey of learning the language, so I will only mention what has helped myself and others I know and inshaAllah the discussion can continue in the comments. Learning Arabic has two main steps. Firstly, learning grammar and secondly, learning vocabulary. A student can either begin with grammar first, and then move on to vocabulary or study both at the same time.

Grammar in any language is a huge subject, and in Arabic, grammar is definitely the foundation, so it is best to study grammar with a teacher. Once a student receives a good hold of grammar, they can continue studying by themselves. If there is absolutely no way they can study with a teacher, inshaAllah I will be listing some books and resources that can be used instead. Many books that teach grammar use some hard core terminology that most of us have never even heard of, like transitive, superlative, or imperative, which can be hard for some beginner students to follow. On the bright side, once you have grammar down, everything else is easier. By learning grammar, one will be able to break down a sentence before understand what is being said…just by looking at it! This may seem odd for us English speakers, because we don’t have this in our language. Grammar, with dedication and effort, can take as little as a few months to really grasp.

Vocabulary on the other hand is long term and takes memorization, reading and researching. Realize this fact: no matter how much we study, we can never learn all the words of the Arabic language. It is next to impossible. Gaining vocabulary can be done in several ways, but the most helpful way is to read and study the Qur’an itself, and use some supplementary resources to guide you.

So now we know where to start: grammar and vocabulary.

How?

Grammar

If one is able to take local classes for grammar, then this would be the best. If not, alhamdulillah we have many resources that one can use for self-study. There is no excuse nowadays to NOT learn the Qur’an or Arabic. Even if you’re in Antarctica, if you have an internet connection, you can learn. So here are some online institutes that are available to students:

Foundation for Knolwedge and Development – Institute based in New York.

Shariah Program – Based out of Canada.

Institute of the Language of the Qur’an – Institute based in Toronto (these videos are based on the first two books of the Madinah Arabic series, see next section)

Shaykh Jamaal Zarabozo’s Classes – based in California

Bayyinah Institute – Classes taught by Brother Nouman Ali Khan. MashaAllah Bayyinah is an awesome institute because brother Nouman will come to your community for 10 days and teach a crash course in 40 hours worth of basic grammar. Now, brother AbdulNasir will be taking over these classes inshaAllah.

Grammar Books and Resources

Books that are easy to follow that one can use for self study include (but are not limited too):

Qur’anic Language made Easy – Iffath Hasan.This book is amazingly easy to follow. It is the perfect book for everyone, especially someone who may not have a strong command in English, or for younger students. This book can definitely be used by someone who is engaging in self-study. I really love the exercises she uses because it teaches students how to use the Qur’an as their ultimate textbook. It is a great beginner book for someone who has no knowledge whatsoever of Arabic.

Access to Qur’anic Arabic – AbdulWahid Hamid. These books are used for the sister’s classes at my masjid and they are great for students of all ages. The best part is that it comes complete with audio tapes/CDs as well as workbooks.

Madinah Arabic Books – Dr. V Abdur Rahim. Personally, I have not studied from these books but I know many people who have and mashaAllah they’re very good. The only point about these books is that these books were not designed for self-study but to be taught with a teacher, so alhamdulillah the videos above are a great help to follow along with these books. There are many places where these books can be bought as well as downloaded.

Modern Standard Arabic – Peter Abboud. This is the book that is used throughout universities in America, and this is the book that Shaykh Jamaal Zarabozo uses as well. It comes in two volumes, and takes students through the ins and outs of grammar and has many exercises. However, this book has some seriously hard core vocabulary that can be difficult to follow, so a dictionary will come in handy if one decides to use these books.

A very nice website that breaks grammar down in simple terms is Arabic Tree, mashaAllah it’s awesome and is based on classes by a graduate of Madinah university.

Many students like to begin their Arabic studies with the classic texts of Arabic such as Ajarumiyyah, although they are great, they are too heavy for the modern beginner student who doesn’t have any knowledge of Arabic. InshaAllah when a student becomes more advanced in their studies, they can uses these classical texts to gain more understanding.

I would encourage students to check out these books listed above, and pick ONE that they would like to use and go through it thoroughly, instead of buying all of them and not being able to really focus. Each author/teacher has their own style of teaching, so find the style that caters to you the best and use it as your main source.

Vocabulary

Arabic vocabulary is very overwhelming, and it is important for us as students to change our mindset: instead of thinking ‘I’m going to master the whole language’, a better approach would be to have tunnel vision when it comes to vocab. Limit the amount of vocabulary you study and set realistic goals.

Remember: the Qur’an is our number one textbook, and the best one at that. Although we know there are about 2000 words in the Qur’an, the vocabulary of the Qur’an cannot be simplified –these words contain wisdom and gems that we can never enumerate or fully grasp. One of my teachers said that if someone said they completely understood the Qur’an, then they don’t know what they’re talking about. There is always something to learn from the Qur’an. This is a book full of Hikmah (wisdom), Allah says it is Al-Hakeem. Our goal is to become better students of the Qur’an, because we will never be able to derive total wisdom from it, only a few specs or drops. As br Nouman Khan mentioned: quality, when it comes to the Qur’anic vocabulary far outweighs quantity.

The best surah to gain understanding of vocabulary is Suratul Baqarah. You would think it would be logical to start with the shorter surahs of Juz ‘Amma, but actually, Juz ‘Amma is one of the hardest sections of the Qur’an, if not the hardest, when it comes to vocabulary and literary style. The first four ajzaa (plural of juz) in the Qur’an will be very helpful in gaining vocabulary.

So what are the resources needed for vocabulary?

Firstly: a good translation is needed. The best one out there is Saheeh International. You can purchase it here and read it online here. This translation is decent, it flows very nicely and is easy to follow and is recommended by many shuyookh and students of knowledge. A note about translations: for each ayah of the Qur’an, the translators have an equivalent amount of space to provide a translation. One English sentence cannot contain what one ayah of the Qur’an is delivering, which is why translations should only be used as a guide during the beginning studies of the language, but shouldn’t be totally relied upon.

Also, I would highly recommend purchasing a word for word translation of the Qur’an. Alhamdulillah we have many variations of these translations available. The best two word for word resources would be Mohar Ali, a three set publication which can be purchased here, and even better are some free online pdfs available for download here which are also very nice, a translation of the work by Shaykh AbdulKarim Pareck. (There are even some duaas with word for word translations in this book here.)

Secondly: some good dictionaries. Alhamdulillah, there are many awesome sources available to us.

  • Al-Mawrid – by Roohi al-Ba’albaki. This dictionary is great for students who are used to the English way of using a dictionary.
  • The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic – This is said to be the best Arabic-English dictionary out there. The only “issue” is that the words are categorized by root words, which may be hard for a beginner to use if they have not studied it. A student will have come a long way once they grasp the root word system.
  • Vocabulary of the Holy Qur’an – Dr. Abdullah Abbas Nadawi, this book contains the words of the Qur’an in order of roots but is easy to follow and gives basic definitions. It is a very nice resource to have alongside reading the Qur’an.
  • Easy Dictionary of the Qur’an – This is a translation of the work by renowned Urdu speaking shaykh Abdul Karim Pareck. This book can also be purchased for about $10 or less, only $8 here.
  • Lane’s Lexicon – Awesome, probably the best lexicon in English. It was written by a non Muslim Arabic scholar back in the 1900s and it’s more than a dictionary because he discusses roots in detail and cites examples for each connotation. Some roots go on for pages. It is available online here, and can be purchased (it’s about 8 volumes). The language is quite ancient, which can be distracting at first, but you get used to it.
  • 80% of the words in the Qur’an – self-explanatory :) Student should memorize these word slowly, or at least use it to follow along while reading the Qur’an. It is a miracle of the Qur’an that the words repeat again and again, yet we do not tire or reading them or get bored.

I would recommend that students purchase hard copy of books versus solely relying on online books (unless you print them), because for one, it’s too much strain on the eyes to always learn from the computer and also with a hard copy, you can take your notes directly on the page as well as take it with you if you happen to travel. Not to mention you won’t be distracted by emails or IMs. Of course this is only my personal opinion, and you should do whatever suits you best inshaAllah.

The last point that needs to be mentioned is how to learn Arabic. This involves two steps:

  • Analyze. Analyzing means go over the texts thoroughly, use dictionaries to gain deeper meanings of words (literary research as br Nouman says) and making sure you have the proper understanding (tafseer) according to the scholars of Islam and not your own interpretation, and also studying a science of Arabic known as sarf (the science of morphology). A note about tafseer: studying tafseer is a lost science just as the Arabic language, because tafseer is an integral part of studying the Qur’an and is the crux of all the sciences of the Qur’an. Iyaas ibn Mu’awiyyah rahimahullah gave a beautiful parable, “The example of a people who recite the Qur’an and do not know its explanation is like a group of people who have a written message from their king that comes to them during the night, and they do not have a lamp. Therefore, they do not know what is in the message. The example of one who knows tafseer is like a person who comes to them with a lamp and reads to them what is in the message.”
  • Memorize. Simple! It is important for students to continue with memorizing the Qur’an during their studies if they haven’t already as it gives instant review of what they learned when they recite it. Furthermore, memorizing includes memorizing basic vocabulary words, grammar terms and rules.

MashaAllah, so there you have it, an easy guide to beginning the journey of learning Qur’anic Arabic inshaAllah! Just in case you’re lost or confused, here is a short summary:

  1. Work on getting a basic foundation of grammar, either through courses in your neighborhood or online classes or self-study.
  2. Begin building your vocabulary. Limit yourself to the Qur’an and focus on the first four juz of the Qur’an as a starting point.
  3. Analyze and memorize. Use dictionaries, works of tafseer, and other literally tools to analyze, and memorize words and terms you have learned.

Finally, here are two tips for every student of Arabic, at any level:

1- Motivation. If you lose your motivation to learn this language, then you will get nowhere. Period. It is very easy to become de-motivated when learning, so what’s the remedy? Turn to the Qur’an as your source of motivation.

2- Tunnel Vision. Arabic is a massive language which can be overwhelming and there is always something to learn. So as a student of this language, do NOT look at what you still need to learn, but focus on your lesson at the moment. Br Nouman gave the example of a student memorizing the Qur’an: if he is only on page 5 of Suratul Baqarah, and then he starts flipping through the other 600 and some pages left in the mushaf…how will he feel? Motivation will disappear, and he thinks he can’t do it. So steer clear of these thoughts, don’t worry about what you don’t know, worry about what you do know. Everything else will come in due time inshaAllahu ta’ala.

InshaAllah with the help of Allah, by taking these steps, you can begin understanding the words of your Rabb and you’ll never want to go back! If you follow these steps NOW, inshaAllah by next Ramadaan you will be tasting the sweetness of the Qur’an and will be crying with the imaam, instead of wondering what he’s crying about.

As a last and final reminder for myself and you, I would like to mention the ayah that is repeated four times in surah Qamar–FOUR times:

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِنْ مُدَّكِرٍ

We have indeed facilitated this Qur’an for remembrance, so there is any to remember? (54:17)

The Qur’an has been facilitated for us, Allah ta’ala has prepared it, will you take the reminder?

Please forgive me for anything wrong I have said, and all good is from Allah and for Him is all thanks and praise.

I ask Allah ta’ala to make us companions of the Qur’an, and to return us to learning its language, and not make us among those who abandon it. Ameen.

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Amatullah is a student of the Qur'an and its language. She completed the 2007 Ta'leem program at Al-Huda Institute in Canada and studied Qur'an, Tajwid (science of recitation) and Arabic in Cairo. Through her writings, she hopes to share the practical guidance taught to us by Allah and His Messenger and how to make spirituality an active part of our lives. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and will be completing the Masters program in 2014 inshaAllah. Her experience includes working with immigrant seniors, refugee settlement and accessibility for people with disabilities.

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    February 3, 2009 at 2:54 AM

    Madinah books(1-3) video lessons
    http://lqtoronto.com/videodl.html

  2. Ayesha Fatima

    February 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    Jazakumallahu khairaa sister ..

  3. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    February 3, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    bismillah. study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! study Arabic! comprehend more of the Qur’an! draw closer to Allah! :)

  4. shams

    February 3, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    ASA
    well written and very helpful for students of quranic arabic language who are struggling in to further in their quest
    in adddition to the websites listed i felt http://www.understandquran.com is also very helpful to try as a beginner
    jazakumullah khair
    shams

  5. Sami

    February 3, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    Random Question, sort of unrelated to the post:

    If we say “brother Sami” or “sister Fatima”, should the “b” in “brother” and the s in “sister” be capitalized :-D

    I always wondered…lol

    Thanks!

  6. LearningArabic

    February 3, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    Jazakillahu Khair for the excellent article.

    Regarding motivation, it might be a good idea to surround yourself with other dedicated students. That way, you can consistently encourage one another and help each other out whenever someone gets discouraged.

    Also, one can try establishing monthly goals (or weekly goals) with a road map on how you will achieve that goal. For example, one can set a goal to learn the charts for past tense verbs or learn a certain rule pertaining to grammar by a certain date. That way, one can monitor their studies and actually see how much they are progressing.

  7. MM Associates

    February 3, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    Sami: lol completely unrelated…Does it matter? I just write “br”. I don’t think there is a rule though : ) Allahu a’lam.

    Jazaakum Allahu khayran for the comments, and Shams and Anonymous for sharing those links! Learning Arabic: righteous friends are essential as well, and I like the goal planning. Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef says that if you don’t have a plan, you won’t go anywhere. wa iyyakum.

    Amatullah

  8. Reem

    February 3, 2009 at 1:44 PM

    I took Arabic classes online with a teacher from Egypt on any messenger and it really worked out:

    http://arabicinegypt.com

    -Reem

  9. Abd- Allah

    February 3, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    Brother Sami, if the word “brother” or “sister” comes in the beginning of the sentence, then you capitalize it, but if not, then you do not.

  10. Nuruddeen Lewis

    February 4, 2009 at 12:56 AM

    Assalaamu alaykum,

    May Allah reward you for writing this article. I have a few comments (it turned out to be more than a few):

    1. If I memorize the Qur’an, but don’t understand it, will I not be blessed for that? Would I not be considered a companion of the Qur’an?

    2. I disagree with the notion that beginners should start with grammar. I think it is better to start with vocabulary. Why, because grammar is generally boring, and when student’s are confronted with it, they usually get overwhelmed. Not only this, but the reward is not instant…you still won’t be able to understand the words.

    However, by learning vocabulary, the reward is instantaneous. If you understand all the words in a sentence, but have no clue about the grammar, you can usually figure out what the meaning of the sentence is. This will be better facilitated by students who have spent time reading translations of the meanings of the Qur’an. Furthermore, as proposed by understandquran.com, learning vocabulary first is the natural way. It’s the way we all learned our natural language.

    Personally, I’ve found the most benefit (in the shortest amount of time) by using the word-for-word translations at emuslim.com. They are now posted in an Urdu script, but they were initially available in the Uthmani script. I have pdf files from the Uthmani script, so if anyone wants them, just let me know. Because most words are repeated throughout the Qur’an, you begin to solidify the meaning of the words very quickly if you read on a regular basis.

    There is no doubt that this method is not perfect. If you follow this, your understanding of the meanings of the words will be based on the translation. Some words may be translated wrong. You’ll only learn a very small part of the meaning of most words. But the benefit, insha’Allah, will be awesome. You’ll stand behind the Imam during salatul isha and be amazed at how many words you’ll have picked up. After a while, you’ll start understanding the sentences. This will definitely boost your motivation even more. You’ll definitely have to learn some grammar as you go along, but by studying the word-for-word translations, you’ll be accustomed to sentence structure and things like that.

    May Allah help bring the Ummah back to the Qur’an and to study and understand it as it deserves.

  11. Nuruddeen Lewis

    February 4, 2009 at 1:19 AM

    Here is a link to an article which supports learning the vocabulary before grammar. It is written by the same woman, Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, who played a major role in making the word for word translations that are available on emuslim.com.

  12. Amatullah

    February 4, 2009 at 1:34 AM

    br Nuruddeen: I mentioned that this is the means I took, and alhamdulilah, learning the Qur’an has been facilitated for us so go for whatever works best for you!

    Qur’anic vocabulary is not as easy to grasp as general vocabulary. The language of the Qur’an is so rich that a simple dictionary definition of a word cannot give you a proper meaning.

    Here’s an example:

    I was just going over my notes for suratul Kahf, and I came upon the ayah where Allah ta’ala says “wa kaana Allahu ‘alaa kuli shayyin Muqtadira” and Allah is over all things Muqtadir. Interesting how this ayah has Muqtadir (from qudrah) and we usually read Qadeer (also from qudrah), meaning All Able and Powerful.

    So what does Muqtadir mean? It means One who has iqtidaar: ability and authority that is perfect and supreme. Allah is not just Able, but He had Perfect Ability. This ayah gives the example of the life of this world; beautiful but soon to be gone…When the rain falls into the earth, causing lush and beautiful vegetation, but soon enough this greenery will become dry and brittle; being carried by the winds. By Muqtadir being used, it shows us that we will never be able to stop the rain or bring it, cause vegetation or make winds, neither can we take life or bring it. We cannot extend this life even if we tried. Everything is in His Power; and thus we should submit to Him Alone.

    SubhanAllah this is just ONE word of the Qur’an, and I’ve summarized it terribly. The Qur’anic vocabulary has this intensity and depth, which is why the article mentions to work on grammar first, so then you can spend your time studying and analyzing these words inshaAllah. Grammar really, you can finish studying rather quickly…but Qur’anic vocabulary and tafseer is a lifetime of study.

    And Allah azza wa jal knows best.

  13. MuslimMum

    February 6, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Jazakallah kheir for this article. I am currently overseas learning Arabic with a private tutor, we are focusing on grammar atm and each day I realise more and more how important it is to build my vocabulary. The resources in your article are a great starting point, jazakallah kheir again.

  14. Leanna

    February 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    as salaamu alaikum,

    Masha’Allah, I think this is a very good article. As to which is better to learn first, I’m not sure. I think it’s difficult to learn and memorize vocabulary in isolation; it’s better to learn them in context, i.e. the Qur’an. I think without understanding grammar, it will be difficult to understand how & why words change based on the position in a sentence, Allahu Alim.

    Again, jazakumAllah kheiran for the article. May Allah wa ta’ala reward your efforts and bless your intentions. Ameen.

  15. Maqluuk

    February 17, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    I highly recommend

    WWW. UNDERSTANDQURAN.COM

    which really helps me.

    Ma Salam

    Maqluuk

  16. h

    May 18, 2009 at 1:52 AM

    As a student of Shariah Program – Toronto/ Online, I can vouch for it. Alhamdulillah, it changed the way I looked at Quran. Jazak Allahu Khairan.

    http://cli.gs/Z726YT

  17. Fatima

    June 17, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum – great article mashaAllah.

    Please check out http://thefiks.org/ it’s a terrific resource for learning Arabic.

  18. Max

    October 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    Wow! That’s a very good and comprehensive selection of Arabic learning resources. Might I add that a good way to learn the Arabic script is through the use of mnemonics (memory aids)? This way the students will be able to read and write Arabic much faster than with conventional methods (i.e. rote learning). You can see the method here: Arabic alphabet. I hope you will find this useful.

  19. averagestudent01

    October 23, 2009 at 1:58 AM

    Effective teaching, instant gratification plus an instructor who graduated from Umm al Qura university, with affordable classes available onsite or online, if you have any other excuse let them know, they will do their best to knock ’em out so YOU can learn arabic, the beautiful language of the Quran, of Islam, of Jannah!
    http://www.knowledgeofislam..com, 718-721-3523

    • Abd- Allah

      October 23, 2009 at 4:44 AM

      “learn arabic, the beautiful language of the Quran, of Islam, of Jannah!”

      Just a clarification, there is no mention in the Quran or the authentic Sunnah that the language of the people of Jannah will be Arabic. This is only mentioned in a FABRICATED hadith, and there is no authentic evidence that states which language is spoken by the people of Jannah. But, Muslims should still learn Arabic because it is the language of the Quran.

      Allah knows best.

  20. UmmAbdullaah

    April 6, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Assalaamu 3Alaykum

    Jazakillaahu khayr sister Amatullaah. very beneficial article.

    Some sisters have set up a website, providing access to different Arabic levels, including
    A book for extreme beginners.
    Reading & writing skills
    Qur’aanic Arabic (learning grammar from Qur’aan)
    & lessons for Advance students

    http://www.quranicarabic.wordpress.com

    Masha’Allaah, the good thing is, the lessons have exercises at the end
    with the answers provided in the next lesson (to check your ability).

    wassalaam
    UmmAbdullaah

  21. quranicarabic

    June 28, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    Jazakillaahu Khairan Sister UmmAbdullaah for mentioning us
    We ask Allaah to accept from all of us
    Brothers and sisters
    We are always ready in our site
    http://www.quranicarabic.wordpress.com

    to answer your questions about Qur’aan language or any grammar rule you need
    we are trying to put rules in the easiest way and all our programs were taught for long time and by Allaah’s Tawfeeq many sisters benefited from them
    If you need any help or exercises or … we are ready
    please help us to improve and give us a push to continue and remember us in your Du3aa’

  22. Sophiyya

    November 23, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Salaam aleykum sister Amatullah. This is wonderful article. My sister is planing to relocate to Egypt and we were wondering if there were boarding schools where she could study Arabic and Islamic studies in Egypt? Boarding I mean, where she could live and study for a year or more but get holidays off? I really pray that you see this question. I know the article is few months old. Jazaakallahu kheyr

    • Amatullah

      November 23, 2010 at 2:37 PM

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullah Sophiyya,

      I haven’t heard of any boarding schools in Egypt for islamic studies. There are a lot of schools in Egypt for Qur’an and Arabic, but none of them have room and board for students. Also there are a few places a sister can learn Islamic studies but a lot of times those institutes teach in Amiyyah (local dialect) and not in classical Arabic (fusha).

      From personal experience, I would not recommend that sisters go to Egypt on their own. I went with family (alhamdulillah) and it made a huge difference in my experience. If your sister can go with her mahram or siblings that would be a lot better than going on her own.

      Allah knows best.

      I hope this helps.

      wa iyyaki

  23. Sophiya

    November 23, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Oh you have answered. May Allah reward you sister. My sister would be travelling with my mom. Quran and Fusha Arabic would be great however it is a shame that none of them have room and board for students. Those schools you mentioned, do they have websites? How can one get all these information? Sorry to bombard you with questions sister. If you arent sure, dont worry sister.

  24. anonymous

    November 24, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    for anyone who wants to study full-time for a few months shariah program is having its 6 month intensive in january which covers almost the same stuff as their online two year course.

  25. Pingback: 5 reasons why every Muslim needs to learn Arabic « Outstanding Muslimah

  26. Brent

    April 16, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    بارك الله فيك يا أختي

    http://kalamullah.com/Books/arabia1.pdf

  27. Aisha

    December 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Salaams,
    I have learnt a good amount of Arabic in my home country: UK. This summer insh’Allah, I hope to go to Egypt to further my studies in Arabic and improve my conversation skills.
    Could you recommend the best places to learn Arabic?

  28. Faadiel

    December 3, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    Asalamu Alaykum

    I know this is a old article, but I came accross ig via google just now. There is one caution to look out for. One should not be using modern arabic dictionaries for a classical arabic text, but rather use a classical arabic dictionary of which none is listed above. Some classical arabic dictionaries:

    – The earliest Classical Arabic Dictionary: Kitab al Ayn

    – Lisān al-ʿarab (The tongue of the Arabs) by Ibn Manzūr

    – Al-qāmūs al-muḥīṭ (The surrounding ocean) by al-Firuzabadi

    – al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran by al-Raghib al-Asfahani

    – Lisan al Arab, al Qaamuus al Muheet, Maqaayees Allugha, al Sahaah fil lugha and al AAbaab al Zaakhir
    . there is others, but most of these dictionaries is in arabic. Even a bilingual dictionary like Al- Mawrid and Hans-Wehr is not much different from a quranic translation. However, if you a beginner, it does help improve your arabic, but the classical dictionaries is more closer and truer the meaning of words to there times.

    Jazakalllah Khayran

  29. maryamrafiq

    February 6, 2016 at 5:17 AM

    Assalamualekum I want to be a part of Arabic with husna to learn Quran in order to please Allah.

  30. Arbab

    May 2, 2016 at 5:53 AM

    Assalamualikum akhi
    I have completed all three madinah
    so should I have to learn more grammar or that will be enough for me ?
    my aim to learn Arabic is to understand Quran and to be able to read islamic text
    should I first restrict myself to Quran only ?
    Regarding tafsir works I have Urdu sharah of tafsir jalalain in which the arabic tafseer is written with harakat and its urdu translation as well so should I use that tafsir for increasing my vocabulary or just word to word translation. waiting for your reply soon

  31. Best Online Quran Academy

    February 20, 2017 at 4:20 PM

    JazakAllah Your All Posts and Information are extremely great.
    May Allah give you more Knowledge Ameen!

  32. Arabic_Learner

    September 29, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Check out: http://www.arabicdiaries.com

    You can learn common arabic phrases and vocabulary through beautiful visuals, and they also post regular motivational articles to keep you going in learning Arabic.

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