- Work through a series of classical texts to develop an innate familiarity with its style of writing and vocabulary usage.
- Test your grammatical understanding with thorough exercises 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
About the Course
Applied Arabic: Classical Texts – Part 3 is the third course of our Level Two Arabic program. Level two Arabic courses work to develop vocabulary acquisition, reading, and listening skills through closely working with classical texts. In this third course, students will cover a broad range of classical texts from the Islamic tradition.
Week 1: Biographies – Tarikh Baghdad by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi; Sakhawi’s al-Daw al-Lami; and a short modern biography of Imam al-Shafi’i
Week 2: Sira – How Sayyidina ‘Umar became Muslm from the Sira of Ibn Hisham and the modern al-Rahiq al-Makhtum
Week 3: History – Ibn Athir’s account of the Mongol Invasion and Ibn Khaldun’s description of the development and role of the police in Muslim empires
Week 4: Biographical fiction –Tantawi’s Little Muhammad
Week 5: Travel logs – Ibn Batuta in India
Week 6: Abbasid Literature – Hamadhani’s Maqama Hirziyya
Week 7: Abbasic Literature – Kalila wa Dimna
Week 8: Pre-Islamic Poetry – Lamiyyat al-Arab (sections and overview)
Week 9: Pre-Islamic Poetry – Lamiyyat al-Mutanabbi (sections and overview)
Week 10: Shamail – Sayyidina Ali’s description of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)
The course will consist of weekly live classes where attendance is mandatory, pre-recorded audio lessons, reading and listening exercises. The final grade is wholly dependent upon completion of the weekly assignments and classroom participation. Exercises will also be given from a textbook (see below).
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 required Arabic resource students is A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language by Haywood and Nahmad, published by Lund Humphries.
Students that have just finished ARB211/212 are all welcome candidates. Students must have sufficient background in grammar to be able to analyze 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.
What is the most interesting thing I’ll cover in this course?
For the budding student of knowledge, this course is not only a key to the classical works his teacher will teach him but also an introduction to something of what is between those multi-volume works.
Depending on one’s (developing) interests, different students will find different texts interesting; however, it would be hard to imagine that anyone could find the adventures of Ibn Batuta, the pain of Shanfara or the angst of Muhammad al-Saghir's parents little less than verdantly stimulating – let alone a dive into history with Ibn Khaldun or Imam Ali's description of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).
How shall 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 with a series of advanced texts of different styles, disciplines and levels is a very empowering experience and opens the door to an entire genre of Islamic texts. Students studying other 200-level courses, such as LAH211, LAS211 or BLF201 will find this course extremely useful when they come to the next level of their journey in 300-level courses.
What shall I know coming out of the course?
Upon completion of this course, students will have increased their vocabulary, increased their familiarity with the dictionary, strengthened their Arabic grammar and morphology; they will have a good idea of the style of many genres of Islamic literature, how to tackle them and benefit from them; they will have read a lot and increased their thirst for the Islamic sciences; and they will have, InshaAllah ta`ala, found the key they needed to the bab al-Abwab (Door of doors) of Islamic learning.