The key to understanding the Arabic language Quran – Islamic online media


When we open a good translation of the Quran, we all feel the touch. We think deeply and marvel at the beauty of the words and meanings involved. But in reality we can see that the Qur’an is a real valuable resource only at a glance.

Imagine how you would feel if you understood the word of God exactly as it was revealed and did not rely on English translation. That functionality will be really strange! The Qur’an is the word of God. A direct message from God to His servants. God has chosen Arabic as the language of His message. In order to fully understand the message of God Almighty, one must understand its language. God says, إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُوْنَ- “We have sent it down as a Quran in Arabic, so that you may understand” (Yusuf 12/2). He added: وَكَذَلِكَ وْحَيْنَا الَلْكَ كُرْآنْا عَرَبِيًّا لِتُنْذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا

“Thus have We revealed to you the Quran in Arabic, that you may warn of Mecca and its people, and warn of the Day of Resurrection” (Shura 42/7).

The Arabic language and the words of the Qur’an can never be separated. Throughout the ages, translators have tried to convey the beauty of the meaning of the Qur’an to non-Muslims. And this is called ‘translation of the meaning of the Qur’an’, emphasizing that it is not possible to translate the Qur’an directly. Because the functionality and excellence of words and meanings are so closely related to Arabic that it can be lost in English or any other language. Even to appreciate the poetic beauty of the Qur’an, one needs to have knowledge of Arabic.

Remember, the language of the Qur’an was so unique that it could not be compared with the most rhetorical poems of those who were scholars of poetry and eloquence or rhetoric in Arabia in the time of Rasulullah (sm). Many who have come to Islam have realized that the Qur’an is so great that it cannot be created by any human poet. Moreover, it has been sent down only from Allah. One of the miracles of the Qur’an is its language. God has challenged mankind,

وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِيْ رَيْبٍ مِمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوْا بِسُورَةٍ مِنْ مِثْلِهِ وَادْعُوْا شُدَنِكْمْمْمْمْمْمْمْم

And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to Our servant, then bring a similar surah. And call upon all who are with you besides Allah, if you are truthful ‘(Baqarah 2/23).

Arabic language preservation:

Usually the development of language occurs. Just look at the differences between Shakespeare’s style of writing and modern English. In many ways these two seem to be different languages, and a man in Shakespeare’s England and a man in modern times would have a hard time communicating with each other. But this Arabic language is not just a language. For this reason, the Sahabis and the early Muslims eagerly sought to preserve the classic Arabic language. Ali (R) noticed a slight change in the provincial language of the Arabs and ordered that the rules of Arabic grammar be written in a universal structure. He knew that preserving the Arabic language was part of preserving Islam itself.

The Arabic language coordinated between the Muslim countries. Because it spread in the country of those who embraced Islam. This is why Muslim societies that are ignorant of Arabic are generally less aware of Islam. This ignorance has gradually led them astray to deviate from the straight path.

Knowing this, the enemies of Islam have worked hard to separate Muslims from the Arabic language and the Qur’an. When Algeria was under French rule, the French government was advised, “We will not be able to subdue Algeria as long as they read the Qur’an and speak Arabic.” So we have to remove the Arabic Quran from them and take the Arabic language out of their mouths.

Turkish secular leader Kemal Atatুrk, who abolished the Islamic caliphate, did so unfortunately. He ordered that the Qur’an should be recited in Turkish, even in salat. And the Turkish language that was written in Arabic was changed to Latin.

Today you will see that although Arabs unfortunately use different regional languages ​​like the rest of the world, they still teach Classic Arabic in their formal education centers and the standard for writing every newspaper and book is Classic Arabic. So it has been preserved by Allah. As he promised in the Qur’an, نَا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ ‘Surely We have sent down the Quran, We are its guardians’ (Hijr 15/9).

A precedent for all of us:

Scholars have encouraged the ummah to learn Arabic. As Imam Shafi’i (R) said,

عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ ْنْ يَتَعَلَّمَ مِنْ لِسَانِ الْعَرَبِ مَا بَلَغَهُ جُهْدُهُ فِي َدَاءِ فَرْضِهِ كَّمَا عَّلَيْهْ

‘Like learning salat and doa-daroods, every Muslim must learn Arabic as much as possible, so that he can perform his duties properly’ (Mawardi, Al-Habi fi fiqhish shafe: 18/120).

The famous 8th century scholar Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (R) said so much that The same Arabic language is part of the religion, and knowing it is an obligation ‘The Arabic language is part of the religion itself and it is very important to learn it’ (Iktiyaush Chiratil Mustaqeem, p. 206).

Unfortunately we are only comfortable relying on translation and spending all our time and effort on learning other things (even other languages) which will be of no use to us in the hereafter. We have forgotten that the language of the Qur’an is very easy and that it is our duty or responsibility to read and understand it.

If you knew that a letter had come to you personally from God, would you not really want to understand it? Think about it. We have the last revelation of mankind, the only means of communication from our Lord and Master, which has been properly preserved and despite being over seventy years old we do not pay much attention to it. We need to realize that God has honored us with the Qur’an and chosen the best language for us. And to pay attention to the Arabic language is to pay attention to the Book of Allah. So it should be taught with priority.

I remember talking at the time, when I was first engaged in learning Arabic, I felt the sweetness of the word of Allah in salat. I was just reading the same verses of the Qur’an over and over again and tasting the words and feeling a deep emotion in my heart, which I had never felt before. Although I have read the same verse many times before learning Arabic. It seemed then that it lit an island for me and all of a sudden I discovered a new part of the house. The house I lived in for years. One particular benefit of learning Arabic is that it helps in salat khushu or enlightenment and helps us to improve all our religious activities.

Some practical steps in learning Arabic:

With all the educational aids and easy access to information that we have, learning Arabic does not necessarily mean going on a difficult expedition to a distant land, as it once meant. Through discipline and determination a student can study in his own time. Here are some tips that will help you.

1. Doa: Since we want to move forward with everything, we should doa to Allah to help us, so that our learning is easy. We should pray to Allah to purify our intentions, so that we can really learn Arabic to better understand the Qur’an and the religion.

2. Regular Hen: Set a time to learn Arabic at least twice a day or every week and stick to it. Remember, reading a little every day is better than reading an hour once a month.

3. Know your qualifications well: Gradually progressing is the best way to become proficient in any language. Coordinating to improve basic reading and learning methods is the first step in learning Arabic, although it is repetitive. Then you can build a strong foundation.

4. Invest in good dictionaries and Arabic books: Hans Ware or Al-Mawrid is a dictionary available in most Muslim stores, even on the Internet. Arabic words are usually arranged under three letters. Find words often and compose your own personal dictionary. You can start working with three books from the University of Madinah or the book ‘Kitabul Asasi’.

5. Register for a Summer Course: There are some courses every summer, which will be a great help in your studies. These can be quite intense. So keep reading and remembering and continue your studies uninterrupted.

. Study Arabic as your full-time degree: If you want to take a degree, then take a degree in Arabic or Arabic as part of the degree, why not?

. Read under an Arab friend or teacher: The importance of a good teacher cannot be overemphasized. Although a lot of self-study is involved. It would be very valuable to go to a friend who knows Arabic or a brother or sister in Arabia for daily guidance. You can even start visiting them with your Arabic books.

. Arrange a class locally: Muslim brothers in your area who are interested in learning Arabic can come together and hire a teacher to teach Arabic in a local mosque or at someone’s home. Studying with friends is a great way to stay motivated.

9. Study in an Arab country: There are various good courses offered in Arab countries, such as Egypt. Which will really speed up your learning and give you the gift of a very beautiful experience. People have found that studying in a few months in an Arab country can be more rewarding than studying at home for a year or more. When you return to the country, be determined to continue your studies!

10. Speak Arabic as much as you can: You can listen to Arabic lecture tapes, travel to Muslim countries. You can read some Arabic every day and keep an Arabic newspaper when you become more proficient.

11. Speak in Arabic whenever you can: The shame of making a mistake is one of the biggest obstacles to speaking in Arabic and it is not possible to speak at all. You must overcome it. And whenever you can, use what you know. In this way you will be able to excel InshaAllah. You will meet some brothers or sisters in Arabia who only speak Arabic. In the process you will be forced to say what you know and they will be happy that you are trying.

12. Combine your knowledge with the Qur’an and other acts of worship: Do not forget that your purpose is to understand what you read in the Qur’an, especially in salat and other dhikr-e-azkar. Try to recognize the Arabic word, when you find it in the Quran. Apply your knowledge to understand the Qur’an. Think deeply and pay attention to the words in the salat.

May Allah help us all to become proficient in the language of the Qur’an and spread it throughout the Ummah – Amen!

Original (English): Fatema Barkatullah

Translation: Fatima bint Azad

Sirajdikhan, Munshiganj.

[ঈষৎ সংক্ষেপায়িত]

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