; An English Guide to Classic Qur'anic Arabic: 1.0 - Introduction


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1.0 - Introduction


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

Bismillahir Rehmanir Raheem




In the name of Allah, the most beneficent and merciful and peace and blessings be upon His noble messenger Mohammed sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Ilm-us-sarfor word morphology is the first step in learning Arabic. It is the science of word origins. The word Sarf has many meanings but as applied to Arabic grammar, is defined as changing of a root word into different forms to create an intended meaning. As you will learn in this book, 99% of Arabic words start from a three-alphabet root word, which is then changed into different forms to create different meanings. These rotations of the root word are called ( تَصْريْفٌ ) tas-reefor inflections.


It is a well-known fact in the Arab culture that city-dwellers do not speak as good Arabic as the nomads (who are known as Bedouins اَلْبَدْوُ al-bad’u. It is said that “the best speakers of Arabic are those who live deepest in the wilderness/desert.”


According to traditions, prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) was sent as an infant into the wilderness where he grew up with bedouins from the tribe of ( بَنُوْ سَعْدٍ) ba-nu sa’d who lived around Taif. From those Bedouins he acquired clarity and purity of language. From my perspective, Arabic lends itself in presenting spiritual thoughts very well and the traditions of Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam are succinct and precise. It is hoped that this book will help in understanding these traditions also.


When I did the translation of Nahw Meer, the famous book on ilm-un-nahwby Meer Syed Sharif Abul Hasan Ali Bin Mohammed Al-Jurjaani, the feedback was that an Arabic grammar book which is more basic in simple English is needed on the topic of ilm-us-sarfor Arabic word morphology. This is an attempt to fill that need. There are many books written on this subject and this is an attempt to further simplify and bring together some basic concepts.


As Dr. Asrar Ahmed said in one of his lectures, every Muslim should learn enough Arabic so he understands the Qur’an, not necessarily to become an Aa’lim, but enough to understand the message and what Allah Subhaa-na-hu wa Ta’ala is telling us. This has been a tragedy especially in the sub-continent and other non-Arabic speaking countries, where people would memorize Qur’an many times without understanding the meaning. I pray to Al-mighty for His Help and Guidance in learning the language of His revelation and understanding His message.


If you get through this book, I would highly recommend following up with two books: 1) Nahw Meer: An English Guide to Arabic Sentences and 2) Darsi Tafseer English Condensed in that order. The first book is an authoritative book on the subject of Nahw by Meer Syed Jurjani, and the next book is the grammatical analysis of the third Juzz of the Quran.


Prophet Sallal-lahu Alaihi Wa Sallam asked his Ummah to learn Arabic because it is the language of the Qur’an, it is his language and it is the language of the people of Jannah. Also, from the words of Imam Shaa-fai, knowledge is what is useful, not what is memorized.


I would like to acknowledge all my teachers and those from whom I have benefited in whatever I have learnt. May Allah SWT reward them  here and in the hereafter. Also, thanks to my wife Kishwar Khan who gave up our time together so I could concentrate on doing this work.


I ask the Almighty to accept this very humble effort and make it of some use to those who end up using it for learning Arabic.


I also ask Allah SWT to give us guidance, piety, chastity, and contentment and accept our efforts in His path.


Mohammed Sajid Khan (Ibn Qutb)





In loving memory of my late mother

Mahmooda Fatima




To  my life companion Kishwar,


my three beautiful children Sabeen, Saif and Saba


All my Duas! 











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