What is Quranic Arabic?
The Arabic language in which the Quran is written is referred to as Quranic Arabic. It is also known as “classical Arabic” since it was the first version of the language used in the Middle East by early Arab tribes in the sixth century A.D.
Alt-text: Old Quranic Arabic Manuscript
Arabic consists of 28 alphabets. The Arabic alphabet is called “abjad” rather than “alphabet.” Abjad is a system in which every letter in the language represents a consonant rather than a vowel, necessitating the language’s user to incorporate vowels using vowel markers.
Vowel markers (Tashkeel) are one of the unique things about Arabic. It’s used in the Quran to demonstrate how words are pronounced. Due to how important it is, Muslims learn Tajweed in order to be able to pronounce words correctly.
The Arabic language has around 12.3 million words. These are counted based on the number of words in the dictionary “Mo’jam.” This is equivalent to 20 times the amount of words in English!
Arabic, being a rich language, inspired lots of languages used around the world. For example, it’s an important source of vocabulary for languages such as Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Bengali, Turkish, Turkmen, Urdu, Berber, Bosnian, Chechen, Croatian, Dagestani, English, German, Gujarati, Hausa, Hindi, Kazakh, Kurdish, Malay (Malaysian and Indonesian), and Romance languages (French, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Sicilian, Spanish, etc.)
Classical Arabic is commonly used in literature in the form of poems, novels, and historical books. It’s less commonly used as a spoken language, instead, another type is used; the standard Arabic.
What is Modern Standard Arabic?
Standard Arabic is used more than classical one because it’s easier. It is used in practically every kind of media, including television, movies, newspapers, and radio broadcasts. Politicians use it in debates and speeches, instructors use it in classrooms, and some literature even uses it in publishing.
Standard Arabic is the most widely used Arabic in Arabic-speaking countries with different dialects. It has up to 30 different dialects spoken by 313 million people around the world. It has new phrases and words that didn’t exist back then in the Quran.
Which One Should I Learn: Quranic Arabic Or Standard Arabic?
You should ask yourself before picking which one to learn: why do you want to learn Arabic in the first place? If you want to learn to read, write, or have a deeper knowledge of the Quran, Quranic Arabic is an excellent place to start.
If, on the other hand, you intend to go to an Arabic-speaking country or become proficient in Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is the best option. Because the two variants of Arabic are so similar, after you’ve mastered one, you’ll be able to quickly learn the other.
How to Learn Quranic Arabic?
Many people ask, is Quranic Arabic hard to learn? In fact, yes, Quranic Arabic is hard to learn. Understanding its rules and regulations in speech and grammar requires time and effort. However, you can start by taking small steps. Here is our advice on how you can start learning Quranic Arabic:
- Start With The Verbs
Verbs take about 16% of the whole Quranic text. By learning verbs and how to use them in different tenses, you can easily understand most of the Quranic Arabic texts.
- Learn The Common Vocabulary In Quran
It’s important to define your goals. Since you’re learning Quranic Arabic to understand and recite the Quran, you should focus on the vocabulary mentioned in the Quran. Why buy a beginners’ book to learn Arabic by memorizing the words for seashells, medical terms, or news jargon? You can go straight ahead to learning the words actually used in the Quran.
As a very interesting fact, 70 definite words make up more than 50% of the Quranic text. By mastering those 70 words, you get to easily understand most of what you read in the Quran.
- Listen To Quran Recitation
The Quran is recited by lots of Shaykhs that do it in the most flawless way. Listening to these audio materials will help you get a glimpse of how Quranic Arabic is pronounced, and how the rhythm works in the Quran.
You can check this playlist on Youtube Al-Quran with Tajweed by Mishary Al-Afasy and listen to the whole Quran recited correctly and clearly, with the addition of English translation and transliteration ayah by ayah.
- Sign Up For An Quranic Arabic Course
Online Arabic courses teach Quranic Arabic in the easiest, most convenient way. Since it’s not enough to learn vocabulary and verbs, you have to learn how to make sense of these in their right context.
You get to learn grammar fundamentals that enable you to make sense of what you read. The good news is Arabic grammar is not hard to learn, once you get the basics, the process is 90% easier for you.
Keep in mind that this will help you understand the Quran and any other classical text you read. So, from the start, take this step very seriously.
- Practice Every Day
In order to notice improvements in your level, you have to practice what you learn regularly. Listen, read, and recite the Quran out loud every day as much as you can.
Practicing doesn’t have to include reciting the Quran if that’s still too hard for you. You can simply use the Arabic words and verbs you learned in a sentence. It’d be great if you can have a conversation with someone who can understand Arabic, you’ll reflect on what you learned and be able to spot your mistakes.
If you don’t have any Arabic friends, don’t worry! You can find an online Arabic tutor on Studio Arabiya to help you in improving your speaking skills, as well as recommending helpful methods of practice to follow.
Reading something that interests you in Arabic can also help you grasp the essence of the language more quickly. Even if it is written in Modern Standard Arabic rather than Quranic Arabic, you will be able to understand it just as much as you understand the Quranic one.
If you still want help with learning Quranic Arabic, don’t miss the UnlockQuran program that has everything you need to master Quranic Arabic with professional tutors who will make this journey much easier for you!