Article ☁ The Beauty of Classical Arabic ~ A Timeless Identity of Islām

Mindful Actionable Intentions™

 

THE BEAUTY OF CLASSICAL ARABIC

A TIMELESS IDENTITY OF ISLÂM

 

The Holy Quran

{الر ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ

إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ}

{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 Arabic language, distinctively classical Arabic, is one of the oldest and most unique languages of the world.

It’s a Semitic language luring and captivating in its aesthetic and literary allure and orally poignant, mellifluous and fluid, both a science and an art.

Once learned and adopted, its essence and clarity is truly appreciated and it becomes the gateway to understanding Islâm, The Holy Qur’ân, Sunnah, Islamic history and “culture”, and it becomes that much more rewarding.

 

ABRIDGED HISTORY

Arabic made a permanent stamp in the world during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the sixth century in which his Arabic and that of his tribe, Quraish, was the epitome of classical Arabic.

While Arabic existed long before the sixth century, – recorded historically to have made its appearance during the third century, although it dates back even earlier than that but was “under development” – it was widely spread with the revelation of Islâm and even more so in the seventh century after the hijra [1].

What’s termed as classical Arabic began to flow from one region to another leaving its riches in its path. It weaved itself into European languages and made (and is) an invaluable contribution in various fields: astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, mythology, philosophy, literature, and many more.

 

CLASSIFICATIONS

Putting aside the diverse dialects and accents – of which none come close to the eloquence of the language of The Holy Qur’ân – Arabic can be categorised into three classes:

Fusĥa [2]:

The utmost perfect and articulate Arabic from Allâh سُبْحانَهُ وَتَعالَى, the sacred language of The Holy Qur’ân (the ultimate sacred guide book), and its emulation is non-existent.

For this precise reason, some Arab linguists classify Arabic into three categories: prose, poetry and The Holy Qur’ân.

This was the Arabic spoken by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, in addition to some highly esteemed writers, poets and speakers.

Classical:

The everyday Arabic spoken by original tribes (Quraish for instance) and during the caliphate era, the Umayyad and Abbasid times between the 7th-9th centuries and one favoured by ingenious poets and edifying writers past and present.

Standard:

The simplified and formal version of classical Arabic devoid of any dialect or accent used in “modern” times throughout publications, educational institutions and so on. 

Granting that the sciences of Arabic can be somewhat challenging to learn, due to it being meticulously detailed, but once acquired, understanding becomes second nature owing to the logical flow in its grammatical rules – which is absent in many other languages.

Prolific in flawless and entrenched roots that characterise it as the perfect language, only illuminates it extensively with its intellectual connotations and denotations, and words and idioms that reveal expansive delineations.

No wonder linguists classify Arabic in a league of its own,

. . . 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. [3]

ITS MAGNITUDE

Grasping the sheer purity of classical Arabic, its words and derivatives, is essential for clarity and comprehension.

After all, Arabic is the language of Islâm and is incumbent upon Muslims to learn, fathom and soak in its beauty.

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

Revering the language in its entirety means making the effort to decipher and ascertain (at least) words and terminologies used frequently, subsequently, dispelling the miasma surrounding unnecessary misunderstandings, mistakes and misperceptions in Arabic, and Islamic lexicons and terminologies.

Maintaining a strong identity of classical Arabic is essential and one of the fundamentals and foundations of Islâm. What will then ensue is a resounding stability in the knowledge of Islâm that can’t be stirred, shaken, deterred or destroyed.

Breathing a new founding value of classical Arabic, the doors to conception open wide leading to other more vital ones two being: the appreciation of the (1) The Holy Qur’ân and (2) Sunnah as “intended” by Allâh سُبْحانَهُ وَتَعالَى.

Arabic words will be more fathomable and an enthralling journey into a sublime Islamic epistemological and etymological world will flourish.

Preserving classical Arabic in turn preserves a Muslim’s identity and, most importantly, brings Muslims closer to Allâh سُبْحانَهُ وَتَعالَى.

 


[1]   The migration of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Muslims from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE.

[2]   There’s no knowledge of any English equivalent for this word.

[3]   ‘The Poetic Language’: 3-4, by ‘Abbās Maĥmūd Al-Aqqād – a prominent Arab figure in culture and literature.


 

WRITTEN: Saturday, 30th June 2012

6 Comments

  1. I’ve always wanted to learn other languages. Arabic being one of them. This was yet again another great read, very insightful and wonderfully written. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Many people think there’s nothing to writing an article, but they are not pros. You appear to be a professional and intelligent writer as you have gathered and written valuable information in an original manner.

  3. This article confirms that there are prize-worthy-writers out there willing and able to take the time to research their articles and share them with others.

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. It is a wonderful post, and we love to have more about this subject.

    May Allah light your way to achieve the success in this life and hereafter.

    Jazake Allahu Khayran

Please share your (respectful & on-point) thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.