At A Glance
- Work consistently through a classical text to develop an innate familiarity with its style of writing and vocabulary usage.
- Test your grammatical understanding with thorough quizzes from the passages of the book
- Learn new concepts in grammar and morphology that help explain the text, presented in a practical not theoretical manner
- Learn to speak and listen to phrases that are commonly used in an Arabic-speaking classroom teaching Islamic studies
- Take exercises that develop all four language skills as you proceed through the text
About the Course
Applied Arabic: Classical Texts – Part 1 is the first course of our Level 2 Arabic program. Level 2 Arabic courses work to develop vocabulary acquisition, reading and listening skills through closely working with classical texts as well as developing classroom-Arabic communication skills. The first of these is through a study of the classical work on Islamic belief, the celebrated Aqida of Imam al Tahawi. It is a book that stands out not only for its authoritative coverage of Islamic belief but also for its beautiful use of Classical Arabic. In this course students will:
- Grammatically analyse the text through automated exercises that focus on consolidation of foundational grammatical concepts
- Learn new grammatical topics that are needed to understand the text, carefully chosen and presented to be practical and helpful
- Practice recognizing morphological patterns from the ten forms table
- Work with conjugating verbs with weak and doubled-up roots
- Develop listening skills through activities designed around listening to the text of the Aqida al Tahawiyya
- Learn useful phrases to facilitate study in a native Arab environment, with activities to utilize these phrases in listening and speaking.
The focus of this course is using Arabic and developing a natural ability in reading and understanding such texts where grammar is a tool, not the objective of one’s studies. Please note that this course does not make reference to sentence diagramming, or to constructions but rather to word roles. Support will be provided for students that need to adjust to this classical method of sentence analysis.
- Week 1: Introduction – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the ism mansib, the badl kill min kull, the ism mawsul, and tawkid.
- Week 2: God; God’s Creative Act – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the La li nafy al-jins, kana al-tamma, the istithna naqis, and hadhf al-mubtada, multiple khabars , conjugating kana, and ma zala.
- Week 3: Divine Omnipotence – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the ism manqus and tanwin al-`iwad, and conjugating rama.
- Week 4: The Prophet Muhammad (Upon Whom be Peace); The Qur’an – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the conditional sentence and Fa’ before the khabar, the extra Ba’ before khabar laysa and tanwin al-`iwad, and conjugating kana in the present tense.
- Week 5: Supernatural Events – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the conjugation rama in the present tense.
- Week 6: Divine Determination – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the al-Jumla al-Wahida, “al-hadhara kulla al-hadhar”, “nadharan”, “fikran” and “waswasatan”, dropping the alif from question nouns, and badal ba`d min al-kull, lam-juhud.
- Week 7: The Throne and the Stool; Prophets – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the extensive grammar and vocabulary exercises.
- Week 8: Belief; Major Sins; Government; The Next Life – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the extensive grammar and vocabulary exercises.
- Week 9: Human Responsibility; The Companions; The Righteous – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the extensive grammar and vocabulary exercises.
- Week 10: The Unseen; Summary – Explore the new vocabulary of the week along with the extensive grammar and vocabulary exercises.
The course will consist of weekly live classes where attendance is mandatory, pre-recorded audio lessons, quizzes, grammatical and listening exercises and a final exam. Ustadh Farid will hold weekly office hours where student can consult with him one-on-one. Students are highly encouraged to post their questions in the Forum over the course of the week, which are answered during the live class. Students will need functioning microphones for class participation. Writing exercises may be written on a word processor or by pen and then scanned and emailed to the instructor.
Weekly Time Commitment
Each week students will be expected to devote at least 2 hours to working with the text and completing exercises before attending live sessions in which student questions are answered and classroom-Arabic activities undertaken. Some weeks the course-load is heavier and can take up to 6 hours.
A recommended Arabic resource students should have is A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language by Haywood and Nahmad, published by Lund Humphries. As this is not an Aqida course, the theological concepts of the text will not be explained. Students that have not previously taken BLF101 are strongly encouraged to take the course alongside this course to get a good grasp of one of the most celebrated and widely-accepted texts in Islamic creed. The course mirrors the coverage of the text in the course BLF101: Introduction to Islamic Belief.
Students that have just finished ARB114 as well as those that have taken 200-level courses are all welcome candidates. Students must have sufficient background in grammar to be able to analyse word roles that are covered in a simple text in Arabic such as the Ajurrumiyya. Additionally students should also be familiar with the ten forms table and be able to use a root-based dictionary such as Hans Wehr.
How will I benefit from this course?
Level 2 Arabic courses cater to the needs of students of Arabic and Islamic Studies who have acquired the basic keys of understanding grammatical structures and dictionary usage and need the opportunity to apply this knowledge to Islamic texts to be able to practice and consolidate their knowledge of grammatical structures, acquire relevant vocabulary and develop communicative skills to be able to study such texts in an Arabic classroom environment. Working through a complete text as celebrated as the Aqida of Imam al-Tahawi from beginning to end is a very empowering experience and opens the door to an entire genre of Islamic texts, some of which will be explored in subsequent Level 2 Arabic courses.
What will I know coming out of the course?
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- Understand any passage in the Aqida of Imam al-Tahawi without the help of a dictionary both through reading and listening
- Memorize and be able to use key phrases in classroom Arabic
- Learn conjugating with weak and doubled-up verb roots
- Be able to grammatically analyze any passage in the Aqida al-Tahawiyya to the level of word identification of roles as covered in a basic text such as the Ajurrumiyya