Arabic is an integral part of Islam. After all, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) revealed the Qur’an in Arabic, and all the ahadeeth of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم), not to mention the key works of early scholars, all are in Arabic.
Many of us embark down the path to learn Arabic. But what elements do you need to succeed–aside from patience, persistence, practise, and a pure intention to seek only the pleasure of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى)?
According to Dr. Idrees Zubair, there are three elements that are key:
- Reading: You must read Arabic, and read often–not large volumes, even small amounts are fine, so long as you do it consistently (for example, read from the Qur’an every day). When you read, focus on understanding the content. Pick out words and grammatical structures you recognize.
- Writing: You must write in Arabic. Writing itself differs greatly from reading–it’s no longer a case of picking out words and puzzling out meaning, but of generating new meaning from nothing, and figuring out how to express yourself given your current vocabulary and knowledge of grammar.
- Speaking: You must speak Arabic. Many new students feel shy about it. But it drastically improves your knowledge and understanding! If you know any Arabic speakers (those who studied Arabic work best), you can try them, or any classmates of yours in an Arabic class. Or even your teacher!
So if you’re engaged in the process of learning Arabic, and you’re not employing all three methods above, realize you can benefit from the process much more and learn more quickly if you use all of the above methods together.
And of course, practise, practise, practise! Without that, no amount of learning will help you. And ask Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) to help you, because He has knowledge over all things. O Allah, make it easy for us to regain this noble and eloquent language, ameen!