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Introduction To Nahw Rules On Arabic Grammar

Unlike English, Arabic has two foundation of grammar. These are called Nahw (or Nahu) and Sarf.

English grammar is complicated and not as comprehensive as we think. Schooling tells us that good sentence structure, correct meanings and correct use of words in a sentence is basic good grammar.

But these rules are often broken in the English language, whether written or spoken. There are variations depending on how the language evolves regionally and there are thousands of cultural influences which make English grammar muddled.

Arabic grammar in comparison, has set rules, comprehensive grouping of word types and a cause-and-effect relationship between words so that like maths, the result should be universally accurate.

Interestingly it's to be noted that Allah Himself is the Creator of languages therefore each language has high respect, value and meaning. Arabic however, is deemed the Heavenly language, spoken in Paradise by all, the chosen language for the Quran revelations and it historically binds all the prophets together.

Allah alone has transformed Arabic so we find in the Quran there are incredible examples of Arabic grammar rules being broken but with precision, accuracy and stupendous meanings. And Allah does not make mistakes.

  • Nahw means syntax; the sentence structure rules applied in Arabic. 
  • Sarf means morphology or 'verbology'. The transformation of verbs in sentences

In a traditional Darse'Nizami (`Aalim course), these subjects are studied religiously and need to be memorised down to the letter, literally. Unlike your average school topics, an `Aalim or grammar course is part of Islamic education and taken with spiritual goals and admiration. Failing is not failure, trying is success.

My sister noted that her Nahw textbook wasn't really 'user' friendly as it needed condensing so she made revision sheets for herself on her computer for every lesson. These images above are my sister's introduction of the classes she took. An introduction to the introduction, if you will.

We hope it helps you in your studies, insha-Allah.

More like this:
- The Beauty of Arabic Language
Language Styles of the Qur'an
- Antonyms in Arabic are a Strange Phenomenon

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