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The Importance of Knowing the Arabic Language


The Importance of Knowing the Arabic Language

Taken from
Shaykh 'Abdullah ibn Saalih al-Fawzaan’s (hafithahullah)
explanation to

(The Knowledge-Based Issues connected to al-‘Iraab)

Translated by
Aboo ‘Imraan al-Mekseekee

Knowledge of the Arabic language is of great importance, a magnificent

connection to the Book of Allah Most High and to the Sunnah of His Messenger-
may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him, in addition to being of great
importance, this science establishes the understanding of the text and the basis
for which its rulings are derived.

So no doubt, knowledge of the Arabic language, and by that I mean knowledge of

an-Nahw1, safeguards the tongue from committing errors in recitation of Allah’s
Book, in delivering sermons and in writing. In addition to this as I had stated
previously it is built upon understanding of the text and the extraction of its
rulings. And because of this Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah)
Arabic grammar and syntax

The Importance of Knowing the Arabic Language

mentioned in his valuable book Iqtidhaa-us-Siraatil-Mustaqeem that the Arabic

language is a part of the religion and learning it is obligatory because
understanding the text of the Book and the Sunnah is obligatory and it is not
complete except by knowledge of the language, and (this) obligation (of
understanding the Book and Sunnah) is not perfected except by it (by first
learning Arabic grammar) hence it being obligatory.

It has been mentioned in regards to the Arabic language that learning it is fardh
‘ayn (an individual duty), and from those who say learning it is fardh kifaayah (a
collective duty), and perhaps you already know what has been mentioned by the
Scholars of Usool concerning the areas of Ijtihaad (the independent ruling of a
qualified Muslim scholar) when they made mention that one of the conditions of
a mujtahid (the Muslim scholar who can perform Ijtihaad) is that he must be a
scholar of an-Nahw.

Yet despite this, regretfully- and I attach the preposition “alaa” with it because
this is what is correct, as for those who say “regretfully” and attach the
preposition “Laam” then this is incorrect, Allah Most High says:

{O what regret was cast upon Yusuf!2 }

So regretfully many students of knowledge abandon this science and detest it.
And their studies have become established against memorizing the principles of
grammar and constant revision of it, they are heedless of an important aspect, I
mean by that the practical application side and the grammatical syntax side (of
the language), and for this very reason deficiency in knowing an-Nahw is clearly
evident of many students of knowledge even from those who graduate from the

The student of knowledge cannot get around studying an-Nahw whether he

Soorah Yusuf: 84

The Importance of Knowing the Arabic Language

wants to or not, yet in my opinion it is necessary for the student of an-Nahw to

understand two fundamental issues for the sake of benefiting and mastering this

The first issue is being meticulous in the practical application side and the
grammatical syntax side (of the language), because al-‘Iraab3 is an issue that is
necessary to know and due to this the one who knows how to read the end case of
the words knows an-Nahw. So you must take interest in the subject matter of al-
‘Iraab, The study of ‘Iraab needs you to be precise in the basic principles of an-
Nahw from one direction and intense knowledge of the case endings of the words
from another direction. There is a saying that has been repeated by those who
say: Constant practice transforms the incapable into one possessing aptitude, just
look at the infant who first learns to stand and walk.

The second issue is for the one who desires the study of an-Nahw is to be
meticulous in the principles of an-Nahw, my brothers the principles of an-Nahw
are very important, in an-Nahw there are established principles that do not
change, these principles are necessary so that you benefit from the one who
teaches you an-Nahw.

So I advise all of you to be meticulous concerning these two issues and to benefit
from the one who teaches you regarding the study of an-Nahw, whether in this
study circle or in another. The one who knows an-Nahw the affair is easy and
gratifying, while the one who does not know it then the affair is heavy and
difficult, and there is not placed in front of the person whom Allah has honored
with insight and knowledge any difficult, especially knowledge of the Arabic

to change the ending part of the words based on those various particles that enter into the

The Importance of Knowing the Arabic Language