بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
8) In order to learn Arabic, you need to learn grammar and vocabulary.
[Okay, I mean in order to learn simple Arabic. You need to learn much more than just grammar and vocabulary to go deep into the Arabic language!]
By grammar, I mean two things: sarf and nahu.
To use an example I heard, sarf involves word construction and nahu involves sentence construction.
Studying sarf is what really broke open the code of Arabic for me.
What is sarf exactly? Well, it is sort of like verb conjugation but it’s more than that. I think it would be pointless of me to explain because you won’t understand until you start studying it.
Arabic verb conjugation is something that will amaze you due to its simplicity – unlike in French where some verbs drive you crazy (devoir, pouvoir and vouloir, I’m talking to YOU).
For a quick way to learn some Sarf before Ramadan, I would suggest:
That’s basically learning about nouns, prepositions, etc. There’s no point in explaining this either because you need to study a bit of nahu before you understand how wonderful it is.
Both sarf and nahu can be tough in the beginning (especially if you are monolingual) but be patient and you’ll reap the rewards, insha-Allah.
A good place to start learning nahu would be the Madinah books. There are two websites where this book is explained:
2) LQ Toronto
The second site has basic to advanced nahu lessons. However, a little warning: In the Madina series videos, the instructor mentions the names of some deviant speakers and recommends their lectures (according to what I read on a website). If so, then please be careful.
Okay, what about the vocabulary?
Well, actually when you learn sarf, you’ll learn new vocabulary faster. See, each word in the Arabic language has some “root letters” so when you know the meaning of a set of root letters, you can figure out the meanings of all the words that are derived from it.
Let me give you an example from English (all these come from Latin):
Trans means “across, through, over, beyond, to or on the other side of, outside of”.
So, based on the above, can you guess what the following words mean?
Transform, transfer, transatlantic, translate, transition, etc.
Yes, to some degree, you’d have a general idea of what they meant.
Circum means “around, about, surrounding, on all sides”.
So, based on the above, can you guess what the following words mean?
Circumvent, circumference, circumstance, etc.
Now, you might have known what these words meant already but knowing the meaning of “circum” might have given you a deeper look into these words, thereby leading you to understanding their meanings better.
9) There are different vocabulary sets depending on what you want to understand.
If you want to understand the Quran, that’s one vocabulary set. The ahadeeth have another vocabulary set. Islamic literature has another vocabulary set (and each subject matter has it’s own vocabulary set).
If you want to study something else in Arabic, like IT or cooking, that has another vocabulary set altogether.
Of course, the above all refers to the standard Arabic. Each colloquial dialect have their own vocabulary sets as well.
Scared? Why? Isn’t this the case in every language? Think about it.
Generally speaking, sarf will help you with most of them (not the colloquial though). However, you would also need to start learning the vocabulary separately for each subject.
The first thing that you should focus on is the vocabulary of the Quran. The rest of them can come later, insha-Allah.
How can you improve on this?
Well, I can suggest three short ways before Ramadan:
– The Understand Quran courses also teach Quranic vocabulary.
– Using the dictionary of the Quran on the Understand Quran website which gives the translations of each new word, juz by juz.
– Reading the Word-to-Word translation of the Quran on a daily basis. I would recommend the Darussalam version due to its authenticity. However, the others are acceptable as well.
10) So, what will your Arabic schedule look like before Ramadan?
Well, assuming that you know how to read the Arabic letters, do not understand any Arabic at all and have not registered for any course, I would suggest:
a) Starting with the Understand Quran Short Course.
Dedicate 15 minutes in the morning to doing the course and another 15 minutes in the night to reviewing it.
b) Read at least one page of the Word-to-Word translation every day.
Write down all the new vocabulary that you’ve learnt in a notebook and keep reviewing them.
c) You could also keep listening to the Quranic recitation along with its meaning.
Here’s one with Shaikh Abdullah Basfar’s recitation (excellent tajweed).
d) After you finish all the Understand Quran lessons, you can then move on to the Madinah Arabic lessons.
Again, I should point out, that these are all suggestions. It’s okay if you don’t follow all of them. I’m just try to give you an idea of what you can start with.
Remember: The more you push yourself, the more Quran you will be able to understand in Ramadan and the more khushoo (humility) you’ll feel in the taraweeh prayers (and all the other prayers for that matter).
To be continued…
Ustadh Fahad Al-Tahiri, the teacher who is giving the Arabic classes, is also going to be offering other classes, insha-Allah.
As I mentioned before (all times are in UAE time):
1) Sarf Level 1 is from 6:30-7:30am every day.
2) Sarf Level 2 is from 8-9pm every day.
As for the other classes which start from Sunday, insha-Allah:
1) Tawheed (Four Fundamental Principles, Three Fundamental Principles, Ten Acts Revoking Islam, Book of Monotheism) is from 6:15-7:15 pm every day.
2) Principle and Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge is from 7:30-8:30am every day.
[As far as I know, these intensive courses will only be for about 2-3 weeks. I’ll reconfirm, insha-Allah.]
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Study tawheed and you’ll see the difference it makes in your life.
Also, I would really recommend this teacher because:
1) He knows what he is talking about.
2) He is very humble, masha-Allah. He doesn’t talk about what he is unsure of.
3) He always quotes references from the Quran, ahadeeth and the scholars’ statements.
4) He explains everything in a simple way.
What do you need to do?
1) Go to WIZIQ and register for a free account.
2) Search for Fahad Al-Tahiri.
3) You’ll see his future (public) classes at the bottom of his profile and his past classes below that.
4) Click on the class name and then join the class.
5) When the time for class comes, simply go to the class and launch it.
6) If you cannot attend the class, then you can always download the recording (which is some WIZIQ like thingy) later (about 2-4 hours after the class).
I’d still advise you to try to attend because then you can always ask him questions during the class.
Again, this is an ideal opportunity, especially for those in the UAE.
Please forward this to all those who might be interested (and also to all those who might not be interested).
Here’s the direct link for the first Arabic class:
Note: If you are unable to take the class, you should be able to download a recording after the class, insha-Allah.
Again, I would really, really, really recommend that all of you take these classes, even if you have studied sarf before.
I’ve studied sarf before as well but there were so many gems that I came across in Ustadh Fahad’s classes, masha-Allah.
I mentioned here that the classes would start tomorrow (Wednesday).
However, the teacher just sent out a message stating that it would start on Thursday morning, insha-Allah.
Level 1 is at about 6:20 am everyday for a few weeks.
Level 2 is at 8pm.
For all those who work or study in the UAE, this is an IDEAL opportunity for you. The classes are after Fajr and BEFORE you leave for work or university (for most people anyway).
We can keep saying “We really want to learn Arabic” but the proof is in the pudding.
If we don’t take advantage of such a fantastic opportunity then I think it means that we really weren’t serious about learning Arabic.
Please take these classes (you can even do it as a family!) and stick with them until they end, insha-Allah.
And please tell everyone about these classes.
[Update: It’s going to start on Wednesday and not Monday as originally stated. The teacher said he would send us a detailed schedule. When he does, Ill post it here, insha-Allah.]
Isn’t that what everybody’s been waiting for?
Well, it’s here.
A sister (may Allah reward her greatly) has put up all the details here.
Some random points:
1) Sarf = Verb conjugation. Studying sarf was what really opened up the Arabic language for me.
2) The teacher is really excellent, may Allah preserve him and reward him greatly. He’s very patient and explains things in depth.
3) He’s from the UAE which means:
a) He’s one of our own! [Sorry but Dorothy was right. There’s no place like home.]
b) All the times mentioned are UAE time, which means I and my fellow denizens of the UAE don’t have to beat our heads trying to figure out all the EST/AST/GMT business.
4) The classes start Wednesday at 6:15 am.
To all those who are truly interested in learning the Arabic language: Do NOT miss this opportunity. You might never get such a great chance again.
Just think of how it’ll feel to understand the Quran next Ramadan….