Dr. Abdullah Abbas Nadwi, Assistant Professor of Arabic at King Abdul Aziz University (Makkah branch) undertook to write the present book in order to facilitate the learning of Arabic language for those who are not the native speakers of this language. In attempting to do so, he has drawn upon Qur'anic verses and Qur'anic passages in order to illustrate the rules of Arabic grammar.
This should help the non-Arabic-speaking students to practice Arabic grammar in the most adequate manner, to become familiar with its difficulties, and to develop command over the language for purposes of reading and writing.
The work of Dr. Nadwi accomplishes remarkably well the numerous spiritual, intellectual and educational purposes which he had set out to accomplish. He has also taken care to avoid verbal extravagance and dilettantism and has attempted to make the book as easy and simple as possible. He indeed deserves the gratitude of the world of learning for the great contribution he has made to the Arabic language.
Arabic, as the famous linguist A.L. Schlozer (d. 1781) has pointed out, belongs to the Semitic group of languages, more specifically, it is an off-shoot or the languages of south-west Arabia. While its origins lie buried in remote antiquity by the third century (C.E.), Arabic had developed into a full-fledged language.
In our time most of the Semitic languages have disappeared. In addition to Arabic, the only living semitic languages are modern Hebrew, Amharic and a dialect of Aramaic. As for Arabic, it remains not only a fully alive language but also enjoys a unique importance. It alone can serve as the source of knowledge of all Semitic languages whenever the grammarians of these languages are faced with intricate grammatical problems, they are forced to have recourse to consulting parallel grammatical rules in Arabic, particularly as they are exemplified in the Qur'an. Moreover enormous change has taken place in the vocabulary of all semitic languages let alone change in word-meaning-that the present versions of these languages have little resemblance with their original versions. The only exception is Arabic, the language of the Qur'an which retains its old grammar, syntax and vocabulary, making it the archetype of the entire family of Semitic languages.
Since the language of the Quran is Arabic, it is the main source of knowledge about Islam. About 800 million Muslims of the world recite the Qur'an in its original language regardless of whether they understand it or not, and a good number of them do cherish the desire to comprehend the Qur'an without the medium of translation. Moreover, there are a large number of people around the globe who wish to learn this language because of its political importance, for it is official language of no less than the twenty-one member states of the Arab league gradually the importance of Arabic has also been enhanced because of the overwhelming importance of the Arab countries in international commerce and finance. Thanks to these. a number of text books and grammars for learning Arabic have been appearing in the western countries and the volume of these publications is on the increase. The authors of these works have taken pains 10 make the learning of the language easy for beginners. The process of learning that on encounters in these works appears somewhat mechanical for many of these authors because they had little appreciation for the literary beauty of Arabic. In the case of someone might even suspect that their instinctive prejudice against Arabic had led them to the conviction that it could not be presented in an interesting, systematic and simple manner. This being the state of affairs, it is the duty of Muslim scholars to make concerted efforts to produce good readers that would facilitate and speed up the process of learning Arabic for native speakers of English and other International languages. Unfortunately, this challenging task has not been taken up by many scholars, and mine is thus one of the very efforts which have been to fill up the gap.
Professor Abdussalam Kidwai of India pioneered a method for teaching Arabic in 1942, His main idea was to make the Qur'an the prime source of teaching Arabic language. He compiled a book consisting of ten primary lessons for this purpose and it proved very useful the present work is an adaptation of the idea originated by professor Kidwai. His work was designated for Urdu- speaking adults of the Subcontinent who were acquainted with the Arabic alphabets, and with some Arabic vocabulary while attempting to present this language to English-speaking people, the present author was in a far less advantageous position since the potential readership will presumably have no or very meagre knowledge of Arabic alphabets and vocabulary. This made my task an exceedingly difficult one.
The lessons of this book have been arranged in simple grammatic classifications supported by verses of the Holy Qur'an as illustrations of the postulated rules in Phonology, Morphology and Syntax. It is an attempt to assist those who wish to acquire proficiency in this language for the sake of understanding the Qur'an. It is hoped that they will get used to the Qur'anic style and language and in the process also be able to develop a degree of familiarity with Arabic idiom as such.
The Holy Qur'an was revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on him) so as to become an immortal source of guidance and inspiration for man's conduct, both individual and collective; an indispensable guide for man in his quest for a way of life based on justice, truth, righteousness, benevolence and moral excellence. This Book has been an inexhaustible spring which has quenched the thirst of knowledge of different classes of scholars and thinkers who have been trying down the ages to grasp the miraculous nature of the Qur'an form the grammatical and literary points of view, and have been struggling to fathom the rich meaning and the profound truths about the universe and life that this book embodies. The Qur'an has overwhelmed people of different intellectual levels, and of diverse attitudes and temperaments who have lived in different ages and times and has truck them for its profound earnestness, its literary flourish and its unmistakably miraculous nature.
Arabic literature is full of works in the field of Qur'anic studies which have treated the above-mentioned subject. One of the subjects which have been a constant theme of our scholars is a study of the Holy Qur'an in order to deduce there form the correct grammatical rules for the Qur'an was revealed in clear Arabic speech. This has guaranteed immortality for the Arabic language. History witnesses that Muslims have never ceased to relish reciting the verses of the Qur'an and reflecting upon their meaning.
My friend, Dr. Abdullah Abbas Nadwi, Assistant Professor of Arabic at King Abdul Aziz University (Mecca branch) undertook to write the present book in order to facilitate the learning of Arabic language for those who are not the native speakers of this language. In attempting to do so, he has drawn upon Qur'anic verses and Quranic passages in order to illustrate the rules of Arabic grammar. I hope the readers will agree with me that he has eminently succeeded in this task. In his exposition and explanation of grammatical rules. the author has followed the arrangement found in the books written for teaching Arabic to the native speakers of the language. This should help the non-Arabic-speaking students to practice Arabic grammar in the most adequate manner, to become familiar with its difficulties, and to develop command over the language for purposes of reading and writing.
I have no doubt that recourse to the verses of the Qur'an in trying to explain grammatical rules will be highly useful for the non-Arabic Muslim learners of Arabic language. Having been born in an Islamic environment or having embraced it as a result of the attraction they found in it, they look upon Islam as the guiding principle of their life. It is this which developed in them the longing to learn the language of the Qur'an and to enjoy the lustrous beauty of the Qur'anic rhetoric, the candour and sharpness of its style and to grasp the profound wisdom of the Qur'anic teachings.
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