The history of a language and how it spreads throughout cultures and regions is closely linked to the history of religion in that same region. Thus, we can say that both Arabic’s past and Islam’s past are closely linked together. In fact, the one thing that Arab regions, their people and their cultures had in common was language. As a result, the modern Arab world is a product of varied customs, language and faith. Indeed, Arab languages and religion overlap so much that to talk about one means making mention of the other. Therefore, today, let’s look at how Arabic and Arab religion beliefs have interacted over time. Try to think of it as roundabout way of looking at it as a religious history of Arabic language.
Early forms of written Arabic were poems. In fact, in the religion in pre-Islamic Arabia, the poet was much like a pop star of today. In fact, to compare even further, they even had as much sway as pop stars today. This was all because of the way they were able to choose and use their words. Thus, when Mohammad first arrived in Mecca, he had to state his message exactly as he received it. After all, the people expected a high language. And since poetry and recitation are almost alike, the importance of Arabic on Islam was clear from the start.
Though the language of today is Modern Standard Arabic, to understand the Quran, one must fully understand Classical Arabic. Classical Arabic (or fusha) is the highest form of Arabic prose. In fact, it had great influence over cultures, beliefs and languages when it was first introduced into the Middle East region. Surely, a message written in such a language so high must have come from a higher place. Even so, the high language of the Quran didn’t convert everyone who read it. In fact, there were still many who scoffed at the message of the Prophet and his few followers.
Muhammad’s followers didn’t write down the words Gabriel delivered to the Prophet of Islam until years after the Prophet’s death. As a result, the Prophet taught them to his followers through speaking the words of Gabriel to them. Muhammad’s followers, in turn, learned them by rote. Thus, they recited them to others, passing them and passed them down word for word from generation to generation. Indeed, Muslim still follow this practice today. As a result, readers should take in the full meaning of the Quran’s words. (By the way, this is one reason why your language skills in Arabic can improve by reading the Quran.)
Words are the way in which we can connect and understand spiritual ideas in religion. Indeed, Muslims use words for both worship and prayer. They also often help us go beyond reading doctrine to truly understanding the concept of what the words are really supposed to mean. As a result, if you comprehend the words in the Quran, you’ll understand the Arabic language better. You’ll learn its syntax and grammar and glean true meanings that words intend to convey.
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