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Learning Arabic: Your Intention Matters

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  • Learning Arabic: Your Intention Matters

    As-salamu 'alaikum


    Alhamdulillah there are people with desire to learn and understand Arabic, and they look or search for anything they can find of books, courses, and sometimes native speakers to help them.

    However at times, it seems their intention or direction is not thought-through well enough and sometimes what they might be spending their time, energy and/or money on may be a waste. Some people, due to inexperience or because they're not among those who are more experienced or don't have a teacher to guide them, don't realise that they need to be more clear and focused on what exactly they are trying to achieve.

    Meaning, if the intention is to understand Qur'an (and maybe Hadith depending on how far you want to understand Deen) - which is the primary reason why Muslims learn Arabic, then you MUST be specific in what kind of Arabic you learn. Some newcomers to Arabic don't realise that recognising this makes a big difference.

    If your intention is specifically to understand what Allah is saying to us in His Book, then there is no point in learning colloquial dialects or how native Arabs speak today, or things like how to say, "where is the restaurant", "I want to order chicken", "telephone", "internet", etc.

    Because that is utterly useless unless you're goal also involves conversing with Arabs of today.

    So the advice is: if your intention and desire is JUST to understand Qur'an (and maybe Hadith) then don't study just ANY Arabic book/course/material.

    Be specific. Spend time on Qur'anic and classical Arabic material/courses/teachers. In sha Allah, you'll reach your goal quicker, rather than spending time and effort learning things (eg. modern vocabulary) that you're not actually interested in, won't really use, have no plans to use, and does nothing for your actual intention and goal.

    Just thought I'd say this as I've come across people who want to learn, but don't really know what they're doing or where they're going with it. In sha Allah, it might help some Muslims learn Arabic with a clearer intention, direction, time/money-efficiently and with more benefit.

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