Dear Believer Series: The Power of Arabic

Dear Believer,

I was in Arabic class today as we covered the initial chapter in the science of Balāghah or what is also known as Arabic rhetoric. We discussed the definition of rhetoric and the different subjects that comprise it. And how they all come together to create beautiful prose. Now as a writer you can imagine how excited I was in today’s class. It’s not that I haven’t covered this subject before, I have, but not with the foundation that I now have gained over the years.

It’s been nearly three years studying the Arabic language, and today is the first day that I can earnestly say that I’ve read poetry. Not only was it a special day for me as a writer, it was also a special day for me as a student. To feel the culmination of my studies coming to a place that finally intersects with my passions of reading, writing, and Islam.

What I wanted to share with you though was the definition of Arabic rhetoric that we used (and my rough translation of it). “That which leads to a splendid meaning, using words that are in agreement with the established rules of classical Arabic and is considerate of the one who is being spoken to and the setting.”

Long story short, it is when language is used in its purest and most perfect form. The Arabs considered the one who mastered the Arabic language to be an Arab, and they were proud of their prose and proficiency of the language. They hung poetry inside the holiest sanctuary in the world, the Kaa’ba. It was during that resplendent time that the Quran, the speech of the Divine was revealed and left them all astounded. They couldn’t rival it, they couldn’t unravel its heavenliness. When they heard its prose, imagery, metaphors and how it never needed to break the rules of language to maintain its profundity, they fell awestruck.

This is the power of language. I encourage you to take the time out and begin to learn the language of the Quran. But don’t stop there, learn the power of your own language. The English language is beautiful as well, as is Urdu, Mandarin, Spanish and others. Unlock the secrets of speech and watch as you fall more in love with the blessings of God.


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