Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Arabic Grammar: General Reference

Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah


The reference for this simple lesson is from the Taysīr al-Nawu or Concise Grammar for Arabic Speakers. For first lessons, I would just include the reference for grammatical method in Arabic which has been simplified. Basically I am using simple English as the medium because it would be easier for non-Arabs to understand them...

One has to remember that Arabic is an ancient language which survives as a spoken language. The Quranic Arabic which we use in our daily liturgy and rituals is the Arabic of Classical Period based from the Quraysh tribe speeches since our noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w is a member of the particular tribe. The Arabic dialects spoken in various Arabic speaking countries are the variants of Arabic which often mixed with other sister languages such as Aramaic and other languages as according to the regions. There is also Modern Standard Arabic which is used for standard communication in modern world.

Just like speakers of other languages, the Arabic speakers developed various sciences to study and analyze the speeches. The applied ones are the nawuarf, uslūb, balaghah, and so on. They are usually connected with other advanced sciences such as the Quranic ones namely the tafsīr, tajwīd, tarannum and many others. Most Arab descents (of Arab fathers) living abroad were encouraged or "forced" to speak in Classical Arabic so they had lost their regional dialects.

I think our generation is the last one survives as locally educated Arabs and the formal Arabic education was abolished to give way for national ones. Some of locally established Arabic schools were converted into Folk Religious ones. We are so much doomed as compared to Tamil or Chinese compatriots. Arabic stream has no defenders even of its own people or despite of our association with local sultanates. Nobody defend our cultural rights or education in Arabic. Younger generations have lost their sense of identity including the spoken language, religious observances, customs and awareness about clans. We are facing the identity conflicts despite the new-coming Arabs flooding our country as immigrants, expatriates, refugees or as tourists. We choose to speak in national language or in English just like those in Indian sub-continent choose Urdu or regional languages as their spoken languages.

Let us begin with the lesson....    

The Word

A singular pronunciation which shows the meaning and it is not suitable for a complete communication. Example of the word are, book, exercise book or pen. 

Complete Sentence

Consists of two words thus it is being broken to parts thus giving the meaning out of the silence of no meaning. E.g in English such as Ali is a brave man or a beneficial book.

Parts of Words
  • Noun
Whatever thing pronounced among the human-being, animals, plants or inanimate matters or anything. E.g such as Ali, Fatima, tree, buffalo, book or chair. 
  • Verb
Whatever thing which shows the product of a deed in a certain time. E.g he wrote, writes, wrote, writing, write.
  • Alphabets
In Arabic, the prepositions are signified with the alphabets. The same thing goes to other Semitic languages for e.g Akkadian, Assyrian, Hebrew or Ethiopian. They are referred in Arabic grammar as; any pronunciation which shows no manifestation of complete meaning when it is alone except that when it is paired with others.

  • Past Tense
Refers to any deed which has been conducted in the past. I think here comes example in Arabic....

 قرأ التلميذ الكتاب
The student read the book.  
  • Present Tense
Refers to any deed which is conducted right now or in the future. Arabic concludes the future in the present tense. Example which I could think of right now for this:

يلعب الأولادُ
The children are playing
  • Imperative
It refers to any verb which is used to order the performer to do something. When we give order to someone, then it is imperative. 

إقرأ كتابَك
Read your book!


It is a noun who brings about the deed and it refers to the doer of the deed. In Arabic, we call this person as الفاعل. E.g of the actor is in this following sentence:

دخل المدرس الفصل
The teacher entered the classroom.
A noun which is the victim of the actor. In Arabic, the term is المفعول به. E.g:

حفظ التلاميذ الدروس
The students memorized lessons.


The term in Arabic is Mobtada' which is the noun located in the beginning of a sentence. E.g:

الشمس طالعة، القمر مضئ
The sun rises, the moon shines. 


It is known as Khabar in Arabic. It refers to the noun at the end of the sentence. E.g:

أنتم أذكياء، ونحن مخلصين
You guys are smart, but we are sincere.

Nominal Sentence

The sentence comprised of the subject and the predicate. E.g:

محمد تلميذ مجتهد
Muhammad is a hardworking student.

Verbal Sentence

The sentence consists of the verb and actor. I am not sure whether this is equivalent to phrasal verb in English. Maybe I should check it again...

يجتهد الطلاب فى دروسهم
Students put on efforts in their studies.
Closing Section

Normal Arabic speakers actually do not really pay attention for grammatical order of the speeches. They just speak and write in it. However, some people do emphasize on the correct speeches such as the late Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal or Sharia jurists because it is important for them in providing the guidelines for public. If your jurist speak rustic language, then do not listen to him. His jurisdiction might be flawed and barbaric! I wish this simple lesson would be a quick reference and helpful for those who are interested in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies.

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

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