the University of Madinah after having learnt the subject under theguidance of the celebrated names of Qari Baqaullah and ‘Maulana’Ehtishamul Haq Thanwi in Karachi during my college days in the 1960s.In addition, the opportunity to socialize with the Bedouins was certainly agreat advantage since even today they frequently speak the Quraishdialect. Learning the dialect, by no means, amounts to absorbing theSaudi theology.Some of the well-known western scholars who learned Arabic bysocializing with the Bedouins:
In the 1810s - The Swiss Muslim traveler-explorer, Johann LudwigBurckhardt (Sheikh Ibrahim bin Abdullah 1784-1817).
1850s - The British Muslim Sir Richard F. Burton (1821-1890),adventurer-explorer-soldier-writer, famous for the first ever Englishtranslation of “The Arabian Nights”.
1860s - The German non-Muslim scholar-traveler-explorer, Heinrich vonMaltzan (1826-1874). Unfortunately, upon his return from Arabia, muchfuror was raised by his fellow men and the dejected von Maltzan went toItaly and committed suicide by throwing himself from the Tower of Pisa!
1920s - The Austrian Muslim Leopold Weiss (Muhammad Asad 1900-1992), traveler-explorer, journalist-author, exponent of the Qur’an.
1960s - The French, not widely announced, Muslim surgeon-scholar-author, Maurice Bucaille. (1920-?)The first ever commentaries of the Qur’an were written in the third andfourth centuries after the exalted messenger during the Abbasid Dynastywhen Zoroastrian influence held sway in Islamic politics, society andeven in the Arabic literature. The commentators of the Qur’an,historians,
(the Hadith/Tradition collectors) and
(‘Islamic’ Jurists) overwhelmingly originated from among the non-ArabPersians.The late Allama Ahmad Amin Al-Masri sums up the resulting chaos inhis excellent work
“Very certainly, the reader will agree with me that the Persian literaturegave an entirely alien complexion to the Arabic linguistics.”