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THE BEAUTY OF

CLASSICAL ARABIC
A TIMELESS IDENTITY
OF ISLÂM

RABAB MAHER

‫♡ الر ۚ ِت ْلكَ آ َياتُ ا ْل ِكتَابِ ا ْل ُم ِبي ِن‬

♡ ‫إِنَّا أ َ ْن َز ْلنَاهُ ُق ْرآنًا ع ََربِيًّا َلعَلَّ ُك ْم ت َ ْع ِقلُو َن‬

{These are the signs of a perspicuous

Book. We have sent down as an

Arabic Qur'ân that ye may learn

wisdom.}

(12:1-2)

The Holy Qur’ân. although it dates back even earlier than that but was “under development” – it was widely spread . Islamic history and “culture”. Once learned and adopted. was the epitome of classical Arabic. Sunnah. distinctively classical Arabic. is one of the oldest and most unique languages of the world. ABRIDGED HISTORY Arabic made a permanent stamp in the world during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad ‫ ﷺ‬in the sixth century in which his Arabic and that of his tribe. its essence and clarity is truly appreciated and it becomes the gateway to understanding Islâm. – recorded historically to have made its appearance during the third century. mellifluous and fluid.The Arabic language. It’s a Semitic language luring and captivating in its aesthetic and literary allure and orally poignant. and it becomes that much more rewarding. While Arabic existed long before the sixth century. both a science and an art. Quraish.

chemistry. For this precise reason.with the revelation of Islâm and even more so in the seventh century after the hijra [1]. philosophy. mathematics. ‫س ْبحا َن ُه َو َتعالَى‬ the sacred language of The Holy Qur’ân. CLASSIFICATIONS Putting aside the diverse dialects and accents – of which none come close to the eloquence of the language of the Qur’ân – Arabic can be categorised into three classes: Fusĥa [2]: The utmost perfect and articulate Arabic from Allâh ُ . It weaved itself into European languages and made (and is) an invaluable contribution in various fields: astronomy. . and many more. some Arab linguists classify Arabic into three categories: prose. What is termed as classical Arabic began to flow from one region to another leaving its riches in its path. and its emulation is non-existent. literature. mythology. poetry and The Holy Qur’ân.

Classical: The everyday Arabic spoken by original tribes (Quraish for instance) and during the caliphate era. educational institutions and so on. only illuminates it extensively . due to it being meticulously detailed. in addition to some highly esteemed writers. This was the Arabic spoken by Prophet Muhammad ‫ﷺ‬. Standard: The simplified and formal version of classical Arabic devoid of any dialect or accent used in “modern” times throughout publications. Prolific in flawless and entrenched roots that characterise it as the perfect language. poets and speakers. understanding becomes second nature owing to the logical flow in its grammatical rules – which is absent in many other languages. but once acquired. the Umayyad and Abbasid times between the 7th- 9th centuries and one favoured by ingenious poets and edifying writers past and present. Granting that the sciences of Arabic can be somewhat challenging to learn.

is essential for clarity and comprehension. fathom and soak in its beauty. . [3] ITS MAGNITUDE Grasping the sheer purity of classical Arabic. No wonder linguists classify Arabic in a league of its own. Arabic is the language of Islâm and is incumbent upon Muslims to learn. modern studies have separated between the merits of languages only the speakers of which brag about and the scientific merits of any given language which relate to the agreed upon standards of articulation and expression in linguistics. .with its intellectual connotations and denotations. and words and idioms that reveal expansive delineations. . . After all. its words and derivatives.

Revering the language in its entirety means making the effort to decipher and ascertain (at least) words and terminologies used frequently. subsequently.The root of all Arabic words play an important role to better identify with their meanings because the “stemmed” word will initially have the same meaning but with a slight difference or twist – an intelligent play on words. deterred or destroyed. and Islamic lexicons and terminologies. Maintaining a strong identity of classical Arabic is essential and one of the fundamentals and foundations of Islâm. dispelling the miasma surrounding unnecessary misunderstandings. the doors to conception open wide leading to other more vital ones two being: the appreciation of the (1) Qur’ân and (2) Sunnah as “intended” by Allâh ‫ ُسبْحانَ ُه َو َتعالَى‬. mistakes and misperceptions in Arabic. Breathing a new founding value of classical Arabic. What will then ensue is a resounding stability in the knowledge of Islâm that can’t be stirred. shaken. .

Arabic words will be more fathomable and an enthralling journey into a sublime Islamic epistemological and etymological world will flourish. brings Muslims closer to Allâh ‫ ُسبْحا َن ُه َوتَعالَى‬. SATURDAY. [2] There’s no knowledge of any English equiv alent for this word. by ‘Abbās Maĥmūd Al-Aqqād (a prominent Arab figure in culture and literature). most importantly. [1] This is the migration of Prophet Muhammad ‫ ﷺ‬and Muslims from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. Preserving classical Arabic in turn preserves a Muslim’s identity and. 30TH JUNE 2012 . [3] The Poetic Language: 3-4.