Arabic: Naseeha (Advice)

As Ibn Taymiyyah(rh) said, “Using a language has a profound effect on one’s thinking, behavior & religious commitment. It also affects one’s resemblance to the early generations of this Ummah, the Companions and the Tâbi³în. Trying to emulate them refines one’s thinking, religious commitment & behavior.”

And he said: “The Arabic Language is from the Religion, & the knowledge of it is an obligation. For surely the understanding of the Qurân and the Sunnah is an obligation, & these two are not understood except with the understanding of the Arabic Language, & whatever obligation is not fulfilled except by certain steps then those steps themselves become obligatory (to fulfill the initial obligation).” [The Necessity Of The Straight Path by Ibn Taymiyyah ( 1/470)]

There is report concerning ³Umar(ra) that he wrote to Abu Musa al-Ashâri(ra) and said, “Learn the Sunnah & learn Arabic; learn the Quran in Arabic for it is Arabic!”

Another statement from Umar(ra) quotes him saying, “Learn Arabic for it is part of your Religion…” [See Iqtidâus-Siraatil-Mustaqeem (2/207)]

“Indeed we have sent it down as an Arabic Qurân, in order that you may understand.” [Sûrah Yusuf: 2]

“And thus we have inspired to you an Arabic Qurân so that you may warn the mother of towns and all around it.” [Sûrah ash-Shura: 7]

“And truly this (the Qur`ân) is a revelation from the Lord of the ²âlamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists), which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibrîl) has brought down upon your heart (O Muhammad(sal Allâhu ³alayhi wa sallam) that you may be (one) of the warners, in the plain Arabic language” [Sûrah ash-Shura: 192-195]

“A Book whereof the verses are explained in detail, a Qurân in Arabic for people who know” [Sûrah Fussilat: 3]
Ubay ibn Kâ²b (radiAllâhu ³ânhu) said, “Teach Arabic like you teach the memorisation of the Qurân!” Abu Bakr (radiAllâhu ³ânhu) said, “That I recite and forget (a portion of the Qurân) is more beloved to me than to make a grammatical mistake!”

And ³Umar (radiAllâhu ³ânhu) once passed by a group of archers who missed their targets. He admonished them and they responded that they were only beginners, but in answering back they made a grammatical mistake in their wording. He told them, “Indeed, your mistakes in Arabic grammar are more difficult to bear than your mistakes in archery!”

Imâm ash-Shâfi³î said, “Therefore it is imperative that every Muslim should strive to learn Arabic as hard as he can, so that he can testify the shahada, and recite the Book of Allâh and say the invocations that are mandatory upon him, such as the takbîr, tasbîh, tashahud and other prayers. And the more he learns the language that Allâh Himself chose to be the language of him who sealed the prophets (sal Allâhu ³alayhi wa sallam), and to be the language of His final revelation, the better it is for him!”

1. Make Du³â
2. Discipline yourself!
3. Know your basics well
4. Invest in a good dictionary and Arabic books
5. Enrol into a summer course
6. Study Arabic as part of your full-time degree
7. Study under an Arab friend or tutor
8. Organise a class locally
9. Study abroad in an Arab country
10. Expose yourself to as much Arabic as you can
11. Speak Arabic whenever you can
12. Relate your knowledge back to the Qurân and other worships: Don’t forget that your aim is to understand what you recite of the Qurân especially in your salâh and other adhkâr. Try to recognise Arabic words as you come across them in the Qurân and apply your knowledge in understanding the Qurân. Ponder over and pay attention to the words in your salâh.

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