Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Arabic verbs and how it change forms

Arabic verbs is based on only three letters fa ain lam فَعَلَ. The unique thing is Arabic verb it is original form is masculine and past tense. For example he sat which is Ja la sa, I  was told that 95 percent of Arabic verbs have the same pattern and what pattern is that.
Alright Fa a’ la فَعَلَ notice all the letters have fataah as vowel sound. Virtually all Arabic verbs have only three letters, and the first and last letter is always and always fataah.
Some example are ka ta ba he wrote كَتَبَ, da kha la which means he enter دَخَلَ or sa ja da which means he prostrated سَجَدَ. If you notice that all of them have sound aaa in the beginning and in the end of the syllable. This is the wonder of Arabic, 95 percent of its verb has only 3 syllable and the first and last syllable has the same vowel sound.
One more thing is that the pronoun he in Arabic is huwa but when it come to verbs it disappear, so instead of saying  huwa sajada هُوَ سَجَدَ (he prostrated) you just  say sajada. The verb in its original form is understood to be male and singular.
The fun begins when the verb changes is form and sound by adding prefixes and suffixes to represent either plural ,singular, first person , second person, third person plural.
There are for letters that will change a verb that is alif, nun, ya, and ta but in this article we only deal with alif nun and ya.
Lets deal with Alif ا ن first, alif is added at the beginning of the word to signify that the speaker is talking about himself.
By adding alif the verb is change from its original form which is past tense and to present tense. For example if your teacher call you and ask you what you are doing. If you writing, so the verb is kataba كَتَبَ which means he wrote. He is third person and wrote is past tense.
  To change it into first person and present tense, you simply ad an alif ا at the beginning of kataba, when you do this two things happen. You ad Alif which is sounds aa to kataba. It becomes ak tu bu اَكْتُبُ. Which means I am writing.
That’s it you just ad an alif ا at the front change the fataah on the vowel sound on the first letter of the verb into sukun ْ and change the second and third vowel sound into dumma which is the sound uuu. So from kataba it becomes aktubu. The same rules apply when the speaker is male and female.
What about if the speaker is more than one person, like instead of I am writing you want to say we are writing. You just change the letter alif  into nun. So the kataba becomes nak tubu which means we are writing.
Now before you go on any further find ten Arabic verbs and change it from third person male singular  to first person singular ( I )  and first person plural (we)Third person male singular may sound a mouthful but it simply means he or Ali or Abu.
 Next we go to the letter Ya ي when we add it as prefix sometime we need to ad suffixes at the end of the verb. This may sound confusing but if you practice with just three verbs everyday and conjugate which is the process of adding other letters so as to change the verbs form and manner in just three months you will build a vast amount of vocabulary.
Now lets get back to the letter YA ي. It is use in for instances to refer to different category of people.
By adding a ي infront of a verb you will be change the time of the verb. As we know that Arabic verbs in its original form is singular masculine (he) and referring to and action done in the past.
Having a ي in the beginning of the verb, it still refer to singular masculine but the time has change, it is now referring to the present.
Lets take for example Ka ta ba which is understood as he wrote, if you ad the letter ya,in the beginning as the previous rule you have to change the vowel sign on the first letter from a fataah  َ into a sukun and change the vowel sound on the third and second letter into a dumma ُ. So the word kataba now becomes yaktubu  يَكْتُبُ which means he is writing. So from kataba which is he wrote when you add a ya three things happen the first letter of the verb received a sukun  ْ. The vowel signs which is on the second and third letter which is fataah change into a dumma ُ . So kataba becomes yaktubu يَكْتُبُ.
This is for third person singular and present tense.
Ya alif nun for 3rd person dual masculine (They (two people male)
What if there is more than one person, as we know that in Arabic there is singular, dual (two person or object) and plural (more than two person or object).
For example if you want to say Ali and Usman are writing. So what should be done is to add a يَ ya in the beginning of  kataba and ad an alif after the last letter and followed by nun. So the verb kataba will become yaktubaani. This is for masculine third person dual
What about the vowel sound on the verbs and the letter added. Alright يَ will have fataah on it , the first letter of the verb will have sukun, the second letter will have dumma and the third letter will remain with fataah but slightly prolonged when pronounce because there is an alif followed by it and the nun which is the last letter will have a kasrah as a vowel sign.  

So kataba will become yaktubaani  يَكْتُبَانِ. What if there is more than two then it becomes yaktubuuna (masculine third person plural) . Another instance when ya is used at the beginning is for female third person plural. Here there are three letters added ya in the beginning wau after the third letter and nun
Instead of saying yaktubuuna, you would say yaktubna, when it comes to female the last letter of the verb kataba which is ba the vowel sound will be drop and replace with a sukun. So it will become yaktub and add a nun with a fathah.
Here only two letters is added which is ya and nun. The rest is changes in the vowel sound
Now here is  ten Arabic verbs that you can play around with. Change it from its original form which is third person singular masculine (past tense) to
This is what I studied today with my ustaz. I notice one thing understanding Arabic is much easier than to explain it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Arabic alphabets where to learn them

Have this ever happen to you. What did you do?

There are basically two components in studying any language, first is of course speaking and then writing. Do you need to learn both writing and speaking or just speaking is enough?

This is of course depends on the purpose of studying Arabic, where you are. If you are like me, living in a land where Arabic is used only when praying and making supplication, then you will not get much chance to practice the language.

I am learning the language Alhamdulillah to understand and experience the miracle of the Quran and hopefully I have a chance to live in the Middle East.  Secondly, I frequently get mistaken for an Arab, and it is embarrassing when people come up to you and starting to speak in Arabic and you can’t respond. Usually it is the non Arab brothers who know Arabic. 

They muster their courage to speak Arabic to me thinking they got a chance to practice their Arabic.  I can bear to see the disappointment in their faces when I told them I am not an Arab and the only Arabic I know is what I read in my prayers.

Since I do not get the chance to practice, Arabic, I have to start to learn in from square one. I do know how to read Arabic but not fluently. So I figured I start from square one with Arabic writing, I would suggest anyone who wants to learn Arabic to consider learning Arabic writing. 

But if you have an urgent need to communicate in Arabic I would suggest, a book which come with CDs which can be very helpful. You can get it at Amazon, or at ttp://www.kalamullah.com/Books/Thackston_Arabic.pdf.

The benefits of studying Arabic writing is not just so you can read Arabic, but because of the nature of the language it self, in Arabic a word may change pronunciation depending on its location in a sentence and its role.  This may sound daunting but the wonderful thing about Arabic is it is scientifically precise, it is more accurate than science actually. 

Arabic Alphabet 

The Arabic Alphabet consist of 29 letters, and there are few alphabet that sound similar, you need to know what they are, and their correct sound. Because if you mispronounce it, may give different meaning.  For example tin and thin sounds very similar but one means clay while the other means clay.

The good thing about Arabic is it only has three vowel sounds which makes thing a lot easier compared to English. You must master the Arabic Alphabet preferable under an Arabic speaker. Yet this is easier said than done. 

Especially if you live in a country where Arabic is considered a foreign language. Alhamdullilah, there is a lot of resources online with audio which is free. 

I would recommend one good site and their program for Arabic, it is program developed by Madinah International University.  It is one of their teaching tools for online Arabic program. but the only problem is it can only be open with internet explorer. I tried with other browser, it didn't work.

You can go to the website and there is several link in the middle look the one that says learn arabic
once you click on that link, it will take you to the e mahaad. The main page contain all the subjects, you can browse through it.

Once you click on a subject it will take you to the lesson page. Each lesson has, translation and audio. If you want to learn the sound of Arabic alphabets go to lesson 1 page 11. The pages are at the bottom of the page you can hover on it. But you must open it with internet explorer otherwise you get a please wait massage and it will not load. This is the direct link to the alphabets page copy it and paste it in the Internet Explorer address bar http://iqra.mediu.edu.my/eBooks/nIndex.htm?en|1|1|Level1|ta|m1

This program by International University is available for everybody, you do not have to enter your e-mail address or fill any forms or enroll for the course.  The only problem is you can only open it with Internet Explorer but not other browser.

May Allah bless those people in MEDIU for their efforts

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What so great about the Quran?

Muslim says that the Quran is the greatest miracle ever happened. But honestly a lot of Muslim fail to see what is so miraculous about the Quran? This is because the miracle of the Quran is not to be SEEN but it is to be HEARD.

In other words the Quran is not a visual miracle but it is an audio miracle. With all God's great prophet they are equip with a miracle so that they may convince sceptic. Here there is a lesson to be learnt, when you perform God's work he will supply you with the necessary tools to get the job done. Musa can turn his stick into a snake and part ocean with it.

Isa can bring the dead to life and cure incurable illnesses.  Some might say it is not fair all the other prophet got these cool stuff and all Muhammad gets is just a book. Well it is not just any book, it is the book that contain a linguistic miracle.

 It also come with a challange and the challenge is still open. In the Quran God challenge the best mind in the world from the time of prophet Muhammad till now and the end of time to just make one similar surah in the Quran. Then it was reduced to the shortest surah in the Quran which only contain three sentences.

Many people who are against Islam change their minds when they read the Quran. You do not have to go to the early days of Islam where its enemies embrace Islam in droves after listening to the Quran. Remember the Minaret ban in Switzerland. The politician who is behind it, Daniel Streich embraces Islam after he bought  a Quran with the intention to find weakness in it and attack Islam.

Many have taken the challlenge, but none from the time of Muhamad till this very day. All the great minds in this world from the year 300 century till now can't even match three sentences of the Quran. So what is so great about the quran? Brother Nouman Khan explains it in a simplistic manner.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is Arabic hard to Master?

If you are a Muslim and Arabic is not your mother tongue, at one point in your life you have wished or will wished that you understand Arabic. It is the language of the Quran, and you will never feel that you are a complete Muslim unless you understand the language. 

The problem is that the act of learning Arabic has been infected with undeserving negative publicity. So much so that the impression that non-Arab have about learning the language is like climbing mount Everest, many have tried only few have conquered it. 

This is not a fact but merely the opinion of those who have tried and failed, and some teachers who think that just because they have a hard time learning it, their students should endure the same fate. The truth is Arabic is not easier than you think,  it is much much ,much easier than you think.

Arabic is a scientific language, it is a lot like mathematics, once you understand the formula, you can do the calculation with your eyes closed. 

If you are not convinced, lets compare Arabic and English, I am just going to give you two example for now.
One is in Arabic there is no COPULA VERBS as in English. This takes a lot of confusion, copula verbs are; words like IS, ARE, WAS, WERE, and AM..

Secondly unlike in English where speech can be divided into 8 category; Noun, Pronoun,  Verb, Adverb, Preposition , Interjection, Adjectives and Conjunction. You now how many there in Arabic. Amazingly only 3; Noun Verb and Particle.

I will throw in another one if that does not convince you, in Arabic the is only 3 vowel sound instead of five in English, A,E,I,O,U .

Learning Arabic is fun and fascinating, if you do it for the love of the Quran, than Insyaallah Allah will make it easy for you.