The Basic Fundamentals of Learning Arabic

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Muslims throughout the world attempt to study the Arabic language but they don’t know specifically what studying this language entails. From Print to Practice presents this video to summarize for you the basic fundamentals the beginner student must study when learning Arabic. Knowing these basic fundamentals will help to smoothen the path for you upon this arduous journey. Therefore, listen closely and take notes.

Alhamdulillah, It’s the perfect time. The season has changed. The weather is just right. The soil is fertile. Everything is ready. All the thoughts have been processed; the ideas have materialized.  No, there’s no more talking. It is time for you to roll up your sleeves and dedicate yourself and commit your time and efforts to studying Arabic. And with the permission of Allah you will see the fruits of your labor and in due time you will reap the harvest of the seeds you sow today.

From Print to Practice is privileged to undertake the responsibility, not to only teach you Arabic with proficiency, but to also simplify this task for you, explain to you what it entails, and encourage you to be courageous and ambitious in pursuing your goal.

There once was a time in the history of Islam in which the spread of Arabic through the land was like the wind that pollinates the trees. It is essential that the Arabic language spreads among Muslims who do not speak it, wherever they may be in the world. That necessitates that we eliminate the obstacles that have prevented countless people from excelling in their pursuit of learning this blessed language. Additionally, we as Muslims must establish for ourselves a detailed course of study and a method of learning which entails literature and study habits which enable us to successfully learn Arabic. This is the purpose of this blog, From Print to Practice. Further, “The Beneficial Fundamentals in Learning the Arabic Language” is published and available online in paperback and eBook. We are teaching the book free of charge and the classes are posted online for the Muslims throughout the world to benefit by the permission of Allah.

However, there are some basic things concerning learning Arabic you need to know before you begin. First, may Allah aid you in your endeavor, do not be unconfident or reluctant in your pursuit of learning Arabic. Do not let anything intimidate you or discourage you from achieving your goal. If there are those who learned Arabic before you, then with Allah’s help you can do it better. My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, let it be known, there are no short cuts to learning Arabic proficiently.  There is no book of 200 verbs or 300 words that if you memorize it, you will understand the book of Allah. There is no category in the Arabic language called deen words or religious word, whereas if you concentrate on memorizing them it will suffice you. No, you must walk the extra mile.

Further, for those who teach Arabic, there is no need to exaggerate or embellish the importance of learning Arabic. Therefore, no one should believe that if he or she doesn’t understand Arabic then they cannot concentrate and have khushuu’ and humility in their salat or that their salat is deficient because they don’t understand Arabic. Our objective is not that every Muslim learns Arabic. Instead, we want to equip men and women from every Muslim people with the Arabic language. Thus, enabling them to study Islam with the scholars of Islam and gain a correct understanding of this religion.

Now that we have traversed some of the obstacles in learning Arabic, we want to gain an understanding of what studying Arabic entails.  Many of the books that teach Arabic do not name the chapters of the book according to the topic being studied. Instead, many books have chapters with names like The Post Office, or The Grocery Store. Thus, many students are not aware of the topic being taught nor when it is completed. Studying Arabic for beginners entails studying basic rules which are made clear in practical sentences with an abundance of vocabulary.

In this video, we want to briefly look at the first ten chapters of our book, “The Beneficial Fundamentals in Learning the Arabic language”. While we look at these chapters, we want to recognize the following factors which make this book distinguished from others.

  • Each chapter is titled with the lesson being taught.
  • The book teaches one topic thoroughly before starting another.
  • The chapters are arranged specifically to promote gradual development.
  • None of the vocabulary is void of content and sentence structure. Instead, all words are used in constructive sentences with multiple examples.
  • The book teaches by examples and comparisons and does not burden the student with rules of grammar.

The objective of looking at these chapters is for you to gain an understanding of what studying Arabic entails. Therefore, Let’s dive directly into the first two chapters. The first two chapters of this book are concerning pronouns.  That is because pronouns are on two categories. The first category are pronouns that are at the beginning of a sentences. For example. أنا – أنتَ – أنتِ   

أنا means I, أنت means you (masculine), and أنتِ means you (feminine). This lesson is taught on page 19 from our book. Therefore, let’s read together. Repeat each sentence after me. I will read each sentence twice, then explain it.

  1. Who are you?
  2. I am a new student.
  3. Where are you (m) from?
  4. Are you (f) from India?

There are twelve of these pronouns that are at the beginning of sentences. This lesson continues until page 41. There you will find the second category of pronouns which are attached to end of words to convey possession. For example,

كتاب means a book. These pronouns are also 12. Let’s look at the first 4 to get a brief understanding.  

كتابي my book, كتابنا  our book, كتابك your book (m), كتابكِ your book (f),

Also, on page 46 these 4 pronouns are taught with an important word expressing possession, عندwhich means to have

عندي I have, عندنا we have, عندك you have (m), عندك you have (f)

All these words are taught in practical sentences so the student can learn the meaning of the word and how to use it.

This lesson continues to page 60, where in which you will find lesson number 3. The topic is النكرة والمعرفة  indefinite and definite.

This lesson is taught by displaying constructive sentences in comparison to one another, so the student can clearly see the difference between indefinite and definite. Let’s read four sentences so you can get a brief understanding. Repeat after me.

  1. I have a garment – I have the garment.
  2. I have a new garment. – I have the new garment.
  3. Do you(m) have a pen? – Do you(m) have the pen?
  4. Do  you(m) have a black pen? Do you have the black pen?

Lesson number 4 is on page 67. It is concerning المذكر والمؤنث masculine and feminine. Examples of these two rules are displayed in sentences adjacent to each other so the student can easily distinguish between the two. Let’s look at a few of these sentences to grasp a basic understanding of this topic.

  1. I have a new book. – I have a new bag.
  2. In my village there is a new masjid. – In my village there is a new school.
  3. The mountain is tall. – The tree is tall.
  4. The boy is small. – The girl is small.
  5. The house is spacious. – The room is spacious.

That lesson continues for five pages until we reach lesson number 5 on page 72. This topic is a fundamental rule many students never perfect. المفرد والمثنى والجمع singular, dual, and plural, This is the sequence the sentences are displayed in this lesson. Repeat after me as we briefly look at this topic.

  1. I have a class. – I have two classes. – I have three classes.
  2. In my city, there is a masjid. – In my city there are two masjids. – In my city there are many masjids.
  3. O Hamza, do you have a pen? – O hamza, do have two pens? – O Hamza, do you have some pens.

Once again, we use constructive sentences, which are displayed in comparison to each other, to aid and simplify the learning process.

Lesson number 6 on page 79 is an important topic which helps to enhance sentences structure. It is called اسم الإشارة . Let me stop here and say, do not become intimidated or discouraged by terminologies. It is only a term. Once it is explained, it will be clear. اسم الإشارة are nouns used to point out  a person or an object that is either close or farther way. These nouns are either masculine or feminine.

  1. هذا – هذه means –  this (the first is masculine & the second is feminine)
  2. ذلك – تلك means – that (the first is masculine & the second is feminine)
  3. هؤلاء means – these
  4. أولئك means – those
  5. هنا means – here
  6. هناك means – there
  7. This is a man, and this is a woman.
  8. This is my house and that is my brother’s house.
  9. These clothes are for me, and those clothes are for you. (You can use feminine to indicate plural)

10. This pen is for me, and those pens are for you

       14. These are my daughters and those are my sister’s daughters

After this, is lesson # 7on page 85. The topic is the laam of possession with pronouns and nouns.

لي I have, لك you have (m), لك you have (f), له he has, لها she has, لهما the two of them have.

  1. I have two pens and you have one pen.
  2. This garment is for him and this dress is for her.
  3. This food and drink is for the two of them

4. Do you have a house in the village.

6. O Maimunah, do you have an over garment for the wedding.

Lesson # 8 on page 88 is very important. It teaches two ways to say one thing. One way is in a detailed manner, the other is in a summarized manner.

1. “This house belongs to Abdul-Hamid. – This is Abdul-Hamid’s house.

2. This pen belongs to Hafsa. – This is Hafsa’s pen.

4. This holiday is for the Muslims. – This is the holiday of the Muslims

5. This car belongs to us. – This is our car.

Lesson # 9 on page 92 teaches how to ask questions.

هل is/are,من  who, أين where, ما what.

Let’s read some sentences on page 95.

5. What is this in your hand?

6. Where is the big masjid?

7. Who is your father, O boy?

10. Are you from Sana’a

The first nine chapters of this book contain the basic fundamentals a student must know when learning Arabic. Each rule is taught with an abundance of practical sentences.  The students who complete these first nine chapters, which is one third of the book, are  familiar with sentence structure and have improved significantly in their articulation and comprehension. That is because, from the beginning of the book to the end of chapter nine there over 800 sentences with a wide variety of vocabulary. All of which prepares the students for the main topic of this book, which is the conjugation of verbs.

Thus, “The Beneficial Fundamentals in Learning the Arabic Language” has been meticulously designed to gradually equip and strengthen the student to become proficient in the Arabic language. This video is a mere overview of some of the topics studied in this book. So that you have an idea of what studying Arabic entails. Learning Arabic requires from you to constantly read numerous sentences given to you as examples to perfect the basic rules of Arabic. Therefore, it is requested from the student every day to read aloud fluently without stuttering. Accomplishing this with strong ambitions while striving for perfection has aided

many to gain a strong command of this beautiful language.  May Allah aid you in your endeavors.

About the Author

With over 20 years of experience in studying and teaching Islam and the Arabic language, Abu Rayhana Abdul-Hakim Kamil has authored the 5 part Arabic course entitled “The Beneficial Fundamentals in Learning The Arabic Language” with the goal of enabling students across the globe to become proficient in the Arabic language.

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