About the Arabic Language
New converts will surely take note of their seemingly sudden and frequent encounters with the Arabic language. After all, the Qur'ân is written in Arabic, the 5 daily prayers are recited in Arabic, and there seem to be endless Arabic terms when reading about Islam.
If you do not have a deep understanding of the Arabic language, then you must rely on translations of the Qur'ân to learn about Islam and to understand what is recited in the prayers. While the Arabic Qur'ân is perfectly preserved, each interpretation is different, and often the precision in the meaning may be slightly or significantly lost or limited upon translation. Therefore, it is imperative that convert work towards learning Arabic.
In addition to learning Arabic, emphasis is placed upon properly learning how to recite the Qur'ân in Arabic - this is known as tajweed. Visit this page for more information about tajweed. You should learn proper tajweed from a qualified teacher.
Details regarding the history and evolution of the Arabic Type can be found on this website. Below is information about learning the Arabic alphabet, common Arabic or Islamic phrases, and where one can learn the Arabic language.
Tip: Most Arabic courses are taught in the form of memorizing Arabic words & sentences and then teaching light grammar. It is rare to find a course teaches in-depth Arabic grammar from the onset (as few teachers deeply know Arabic grammar and even fewer can teach it to adults) to be able to answer the learning adult's questions of why Arabic sentences are formed certain ways. As a learning adult, you need to find which approach is better for you and seek out a course/teacher that can teach that method.
Free online guides for learning the Arabic alphabet
- Qasid's 26-part video tutorial course for the beginner on all the letters of the Arabic alphabet
- Shariah Program's overview of the Arabic alphabet, review of the alphabet letters and sounds
Free online guides for learning Arabic words & phrases
- Soft Arabic provides basic greetings with transliteration and audio clips
- Additional Arabic phrases via Linguanaut and Speak7
- Madinah Arabic's excellent lessons on basic Arabic words and sentence structure, practices
- Look Lex's lessons on basic sentences, how to write, and basic grammar
List of common Islamic terms
- View our page of common Islamic terms here.
Free in-person Arabic instruction in Chicagoland
- The Institute of Islamic Information and Education at 4390 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago offers one-on-one assistance in learning the Arabic alphabet and basic Arabic. For more information, call 773-725-9047 or 773-777-7443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Formal programs in Chicagoland for learning the Arabic language
- We highly recommend taking Arabic courses with Janaan Hashim at the American Islamic College ('AIC'). AIC also offers Arabic Immersion programs each summer at their Chicago campus.
- The Darul-Qasim Islamic Studies programin Glenn Ellyn is a three-year course in which the student becomes familiar with the Arabic language through studying the traditional grammar disciplines of Sarf (morphology) and Nahw (syntax), and acquires the requisite tools for understanding Fiqh (Islamic law), 'Aqidah (Islamic doctrine and theology), Hadith (Prophetic traditions), and Tafsir (Qur'ânic exegesis). For more information, visit their website http://www.darulqasim.org/Curriculum.aspx.
- In downtown Chicago, the University of Chicago Graham School of General Studies offers a 3-year Arabic Language and Cultures program with a certificate earned at the end of each year. This is one of the most comprehensive courses in the United States, and this one was of the few in-person avenues that teaches in-depth Arabic grammar first. For more information, visit https://grahamschool.uchicago.edu/php/arabiclanguageandcultures/.
Formal online Arabic language programs
- 'Arabic with Husna' through Bayyinah TV - Adorable recordings of Nouman Ali Khan teaching Arabic grammar to his daughter Husna. Very well thought out program with exercises. $112/year for full website access which includes a plethora of other valuable Islamic knowledge.
- Sharia Program - 2 year online course, either self-study or with live tutorials.
Textbooks for learning the Arabic language
- Book that most university Arabic classes use is 'Alif Baa' (with Multimedia/CD) by Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. ISBN #978-1-58901-506-7. The book provides endless written exercises and the CD provides audio quizzes and instructions on writing each letter.
- Another book used by universities is 'Elementary Modern Standard Arabic' (also known as 'EMSA' or 'Big Orange') by Peter F. Abboud & Ernest N. McCarus. ISBN-13: 978-0521272957, ISBN-10: 0521272955. This book is very outdated and horrible to read, but currently is the only one that does a deep-dive into grammar from the beginning.