esert is not necessarily an unknown lifeless place; the unknown may be a source not only of life but also of culture. Deep in the Middle East in the heart of the Arabian Desert, one of the oldest languages of the world and the most widespread came out of nowhere. The Arabic language is known by many people to be a nomadic language. But very few who searched in the depths of that anonymous culture to know more about this language. After putting it under the microscope, this is the most prominent ten facts you should know about the Arabic language
1- Arabic alphabet actually is not Arabic
although the Arabic language is too old , but the Arabic alphabet is considered fairly new compared to the spoken language .Arabic language which was spoken by the ancient Arabs was verbal language so there was no need to be written . Even that there were few Arabs who knew writing. Most researchers proved that the Arabic alphabet emanated from the Aramaic letters in Damascus which evolved from the Phoenician alphabet. The Arabs were in continuous contact with the Arameans in Syria due to the mutual trade between them. There, the Arabs knew the Aramaic letters and began to use them. Then it was transferred to them via the Nabataean Arabs who lived in what is now Jordan. And after it was moved to them, Arabic alphabet evolved to form the current related smooth characters in the early third century AD. They excelled in using their language even that they wrote their poems in a brilliant way. Great poets appeared in the Arabian society produced what is known as the golden poems which were named that for their greatness and their value to the Arabs who need to write those poems down. Arabs began to use the Aramaic- Arabic alphabet to write them on animal skins and dried clay tablets. Actually, this process continued in the era before Islam. And with the advent of Islam and revelation to Prophet Mohammad, the new Muslims were in great need to write the Qur'an .but there was a serious problem to them which was the shortage of writers. In the battle of BADR in 624 AD after he triumphed over his opponents, Prophet Mohammad forced some prisoners to teach Muslims how to write and read. He employed writers from his companions to write the Quran. So the Arabic writing had evolved so much because of the constant increase of educated Arabs. Also with the increase of writing process, Arabic fonts appeared. In the early Islamic era, the Arabs wrote the Holy Quran by using the Aramaic letters and devised a new Arabic font called" kufi script" which was used to write and print the Quran to be used by Muslims. The Muslims have realized the importance of writing the Quran in an accurate way to avoid falsification, so a new era began for prosperity of Arabic writing
2. Different Arabic dialect
- when in Rome, do as Romans do. Many who know some Arabic and have been in contact with some Arabs or dealing with people from different Arab countries have noticed much difference in their languages, and it's true. Arabic dialect is not unified in all Arabic countries from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf. On the contrary, who doesn't know Arabic will think that local dialects of Arabic peoples are different languages from each other. And that's actually kinda true Due to the large distance between each other and the diversity of living conditions of Arabic peoples. Different local dialect in pronunciation and even in vocabulary arose, so sometimes it is difficult for two different Arabic persons to understand each other's speech. For example, Syrian often don't understand the Moroccan dialect, Egyptian finds it difficult to understand the Gulf or Yemen dialect. And with little back to back, historians say that the situation was similar in the Arabian Peninsula. As it was full of Arabic tribes scattered throughout the Arabian lands, which had a different geographical location, different tribal way of life and spent their live in continuous traveling which produced a varied dialect for each tribe, but when two different persons from different tribes meet they spoke classical Arabic language which was understood by all parties. Just like today.
3- Are all Arabic-speakers real Arabs?
-what everybody knows is that the Arabic language was originated in the Arabian Peninsula and ancient Arabs spoke it among themselves, but the question is Why do the people of north Africa as an example speak the Arabic language ? And if they speak it only as a first language for what they are called Arabs! With the advent of Islam, the Arabic conquests started, in the beginning of the seventh century all territories from North Africa to Central Asia near China's borders fell under the rule of the Rashidun caliphate and then the Umayyad Caliphate. As a result, most of the people of those regions converted to Islam and adopted the Arabic language as a first language. What contributed to the Arabization process in those regions is that many Arabic tribes came out of the land of the Arabs in a series of migrations lasted for several centuries, the largest of them was in the 11th century in what is known as the migration of Beni Hilal. These tribes moved to live in open areas in the conquered countries such as Damascus and Egypt and Morocco. As a result, none- Arab people incorporated in Arab culture and Arab identity. So they became real Arabs with the passage of time. Today the Arabic language is spoken as an official language of more than 420 million Arab citizens.
4. Rules system
- - What distinguishes the Arabic Language from the rest of languages is its very difficult rules system. The Arabic language was spoken by the ancient Arabs without the need to record the rules since all of them were proficient in using it perfectly without fallacy in pronunciation. They were very proud of their language as they enjoyed a great deal of eloquence, they excelled in reading poetry even that they gathered to read poetry with each other in their festivals. So they considered mistaking in grammar while talking as an unforgivable fault. But the expansion of Islamic conquests had its negative effect too, talking with other non-Arab neighboring people made lots of Arabs make mistakes in grammar while talking. Actually, this phenomenon crept towards reading theQuran, which came down in classical Arabic, as some new non-Arab Muslims began to read the Quran in a manner contrary to the rules of Arabic. And this is unacceptable in Islam, as it is considered as a perversion of words of God! This made Muslim Scholars such as Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali, Sibawayh, and Faraaheedi to begin recording the Arabic grammar in books considered as a reference for all rules of the language so far. In Arabic grammar, a special system of phrases analysis was set to express the word's functionality in the Arabic sentence. They divided all speech into subject, verb and object and so on to show the way which the word should be punctuated. For example, when pronouncing a word in the beginning of a sentence, the mouth should pronounce letter O in the last of the word to express its function in the sentence. While when pronouncing an object word mouth should pronounce letter A and so on in a series of rules considered as the toughest in the world!
In 750 AD the Abbasid caliphate was established. The new Islamic empire has seen a huge variety of ethnic groups and religions; this made a great job in the enrichment of science and art. The new empire enjoyed stability, prosperity, and the tendency for creativity. Actually, all these factors stimulated the artistic sense of the Arabs. They breathed new life into arts, seems good! Doesn’t it? …Be that as it may, not all arts! As sculpting and portraying are forbidden in Islam! So the Arabian artists turned to another kind of art which has its special charm! Calligraphy is the art of writing and organizing Arabic alphabet letters. The Arabic alphabet has its own shape that facilitates it's acquired of different geometric forms like circularity and interlocking and overlapping. This kind of art figured out as a result of the interest of Arabs in their own language. This art strongly spread in all Arab countries after paper transferred from china to Baghdad, which led to the proliferation of paper mills. All artists in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt competed in the development of this art, calligraphers worked brilliantly in drawing and writing the beautiful Arabian sentences and making calligraphy artworks that were used in decorations of their homes and their mosques. The art of calligraphy branched into many kinds of scripts as Kufi script (the oldest one) which appeared in Arabian Peninsula during early ages of Islam, Ruqʿah script actually was invented by Turks in the middle if the 19th century, and was widely used in Governmental institutions in the modern eras. Naskh and Diwani scripts were widely used too, as Naskh script was used in printing Quran verses, Diwani script was used by the ottoman caliphate in his sultanic messages. Finally, (thuluth) script had a special position; thuluth script is considered the finest, the most difficult of them at all. The Arabian artist wasn’t considered an artist until being proficient in writing this script. Thuluth script was used to write the headings of Qur'an chapters. In fact, this kind of arts shows how far ahead of their time the Arab was.
6. Holly language
- the Arabic language has a great sacredness for all Muslims and Arabs in general, as it's the revelation language on Prophet Mohammad, and the language of the Quran, which is the holiest books at all, Quran can only be written by Arabic language and no permissible to change any letter of the Quran in which many verses indicate to the importance of Arabic Language (Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur'an that you might understand.)
(Zukhruf verse: 3). and there is even more, in chapter (Ash-Shu'araa- the poets) the Quran says clearly :( And lo! It is a revelation of the Lord of the Worlds, Which the True Spirit hath brought down, upon thy heart, that thou mayest be (one) of the warners, in plain Arabic speech. )
Also, the Islamic acts of worship such as prayer can't be done except by using the Arabic Language … Today, there are more than one billion Muslims around the world who pray five times a day
Using Arabic. Reading the Quran is obligatory on every Muslim. As neglecting Quran or leaving it for days without reading it is prohibited for all Muslims. So Arabs were proud of their own language so much. Because of the sacredness gained by the Arabic Language, non-Arab Muslims learned Arabic to master the exercise of religious rites, which contributed to increasing the number of Arabic speakers in a big way
7- The number of vocabularies
- Researchers agree that the Arabic Language is one of the oldest Semitic languages still exists. The isolation of the Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula greatly affected the development of their native Arabic language with time, resulting in the current form of the language, and subdividing it into several dialects and accents for each tribe depending on geographical region. So the Arabic Language is not standardized, it's divided into a southern and northern Arabic. And all of them branched into other minor languages as Sabean and Nabatiyeh and Himyarite. Add to that the diversity of the current local dialects of the Arab people, which gives you an idea of how the linguistic richness and breadth that Arabic is characteristic of. In fact, no Arabian knows most of the Arabic Language words. As many Arabic words may seem to him as strange words from another language! And this is due to its huge number of vocabulary. Arabs tongue Lexicon is one of the largest Arabic Language Dictionaries contains 80,000 items, While Samuel Johnson English dictionary contains 42000 items only. Not only this, you can find one Word in Arabic that has tens and hundreds of names and meanings. As an example, the word” sword” in Arabic has 300 names. Amazing!!
8. Languages are written alphabet Arab
In fact, a lot of languages in various regions of the world and often in the Middle East and Eastern, Central Asia used Arabic alphabet. With the beginning of the Abbasid era in the ninth century AD, many peoples entered in Islam, they integrated into the Islamic civilization. So they have realized the importance of Arabic Language. They were affected by it too much. Although some people stuck in their own language, but they acquired many vocabularies of the Arabic language. They also realized that the Arabic alphabet is softer and expresses acoustics more clearly
And it's more beautiful in terms of form. so they replaced their alphabet with the Arabic alphabet. This situation still exists in Persian and Pashtu languages, Urdu, Kurdish, Uyghur and Malayan writing. The Arabic alphabet was the alphabet used in the Turkish language in the Ottoman period before Gamal Ataturk replaced it with Latin alphabet in 1928 after he canceled the caliphate. Sicilia language between the ninth and fourteenth centuries was considered as an Arabic dialect, they used Arabic writing after the Arabs conquered it in 652. But now it is considered as an extinct language just like the ottoman alphabet. After Emperor Frederick II derived out the last remaining Arabs in Sicily in the middle of the thirteenth-century, Arabic alphabet was canceled and Arabic dialect gradually become extinct in that region. All those languages used Arabic alphabet in early times to the arrival of Islam to those areas and its accession to the scope of the Islamic civilization. Arabic alphabet is also considered one of the National writings in both China and India, which shows the spread of Arabian culture
9. The Golden Age
- in the era extended from the middle of the eighth century until the fourteenth century, the Islamic civilization reached a level of cultural , intellectual and scientific progress making it the world's first language in that time, with the spread of Islamic conquests and the collision of the Arab peoples with their non-Arab neighboring people they discovered that They're on the cusp of a large cultural revolution, as the descent of the Quran allowed the Arabs to delve in their linguistic rhetoric and interpretation of the Quran , and the collision with other Nations opened their eyes on a great discoveries of natural sciences such as philosophy, mathematics, medicine, and astronomy. They had one of the biggest translation movements in the history to translate foreign books to their native Arabic.in the reign of Harun al-Rashid (786-809), they set up libraries and universities to save books. In the reign of his son caliphate Al-Ma'mun (813-833)
, large amounts of Greek and Persian books were translated into Arabic so Muslims can read. In addition to that, scholars spread all over the Islamic state , paper mills, and books factories were present in large numbers , On the other hand, the Umayyad caliphate stepped up in Spain, separated from the Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad, to establish a civilization still so far have a profound impact on the various types of science. Arab civilization in Andalusia reached the highest degree of progress and prosperity in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Making Arabic literature moves to all parts of Europe. Students from all over European continent came to be educated in the University of Cordoba. Other nations embarked in learning Arab language to learn natural sciences Making Arabic the language of science, culture, and Urbanization. Actually, this period was known as the golden age of Arabic language .this amount of literature and researches in all fields of sciences in the Arab language had enriched the Renaissance in Europe after that.
10. It is in great danger
- Everything comes to an end, the Islamic Caliphate was exposed to many economic and military crises as Mongols attacks and the fall of Baghdad in 1250, and the Portuguese discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, and the fall of Andalusia in 1492 after Fernando and Isabella conquered the last Muslim emirate in Granada. The Islamic civilization declined, the caliphate was moved to the Ottoman Turks in 1517 who did not realize the importance of Arabic Language. The Arabic language became between a rock and a hard place.The Ottoman Turkish language had a big role in the impairment of Arabic Language which declined for several centuries too. The Arab countries were almost in complete isolation from the whole world. So the development of their language stopped .With the beginning of the twentieth century, nearly all the Muslim world was occupied. The colonizers worked to rid them of their native tongues and try to change their culture and their own language with other western ones; in addition to that, Arab people neglected the classical Arabic language grammar and used local dialects instead. All these factors led to the decline of Arabic Language now. Nowadays, the Arabic Language is facing a great danger. As Arabs no longer speak classical Arabic, also a lot of foreign words overcame their language. The spread of technology and the Internet caused young people to use Franco- Arabic language" Arabic speech written by Latin letters" in writing. So risk ratios that threaten the Arabic Language continue to grow. It looked like the Arab was back to the drawing boards. But the ball still in our court, we must carry the ball forward and recover this magnificent culture again, the world is better with this beautiful cultural mixture.
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