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Bibliography (Arabic Grammar)


A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Karin C. Ryding)
First published in 2005, this book focuses on modern standard Arabic but nearly all of it is applicable to classical Arabic as well. While the book is 700 pages long, it is still an easy to use reference grammar for the average learner, or the non-specialized linguist. The grammar framework used to explain the Arabic language is that of traditional Arabic grammar, with both English and traditional Arabic terminology used side by side. A recommended book for English speakers wanting to learn traditional Arabic grammar, even though the focus is modern standard Arabic. If you are looking for a single book then this is probably the one to get.

A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language (Haywood & Nahmad)
An older book than Ryding's with the second edition first published in 1965. Covers both classical Arabic and modern standard Arabic, although the preface states that the book is not a reference grammar but was intended to be used for teaching. Terminology from traditional Arabic grammar is used both in English and in Arabic.

A Grammar of the Arabic Language (William Wright)
First published in 1859, this is still considered by many to be the standard reference for classical Arabic grammar. The book uses both English and Arabic terminology to explain morphology and syntax. A detailed book, yet some of the terminology used may seem slightly archaic. Both volumes of the third edition are available online in PDF format.

Arabic Through the Quran (Alan Jones)
Focuses on the language of classical Quranic Arabic. The aim of the book is to allow English readers to learn enough Arabic to be able to read the Quran in its original language. A good book that contains some useful insights into Quranic Arabic, but does not go into as much detail as either Haywood & Nahmad, or Ryding.

A Grammar of Classical Arabic (Fischer and Rodgers)
Translated from German into English, this reference grammar goes into more detail than most other books, with an in-depth analysis of both the morphology and syntax of classical Arabic. A good book to have, but unfortunately the author does not use standard terms from traditional Arabic grammar when explaining Arabic syntax. Nevertheless, the book is still recommended given its focus on classical Arabic, and deep coverage as a reference grammar.

An Arabic Course for English Speaking Students (Dr Abdur Rahim)
Although this is a teaching course which starts out with the very basics of Arabic, the last third of the course covers the details of Arabic grammar, with grammar rules written out in concise way. Good teaching material with explanations in both English and Arabic. The course was originally devised and taught at the Islamic University of Madinah.

Basic Quranic Arabic Grammar (Jamal-un-Nisa bint Rafai)
A short grammar book that provides a concise overview of the Arabic grammar of the Quran using both English and Arabic terminology form traditional Arabic grammar. The book is useful because of its focus on the Quran, and can be used as a quick reference for the basic morphology and syntax of classical Quranic Arabic.

Learning the Language of the Quran (Haq Ansari)
Divided into 36 lessons, the book provides a wide coverage discussion of traditional Arabic grammar, with a focus on Quranic Arabic. The book is written in English, and uses Arabic terminology from traditional Arabic grammar. The end of each lesson contains a summary which concisely lists the grammar rules covered in that section.

Grammar and Semantics in Medieval Arabic (Adrian Gully)
Adapted from Gully's PhD thesis, this book is both a commentary and a review of the seminal work by ibn hishām on Arabic grammar. A particular focus of the work is the syntax and semantics of particles. Gully's book is a rare insight for English speakers into the work of historic Arabic grammarians.

Modern Standard Arabic Grammar: A Concise Guide (Azza Hassanein)
As the title suggests, this is a concise set of notes on Arabic grammar (107 pages). Clearly written, each chapter focuses on a key aspect of traditional grammar and lists the rules of inflection. An excellent source of information for learning traditional grammar with equivalent English and Arabic terminology. The book covers a surprisingly wide-ranging set of topics given its length.

English Translations of the Quran

The Quran: Arabic Text with Corresponding English Meanings (Sahih International)
Almunatada Alislami, Abul Qasim Publishing House (1997).

The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall)
Reprinted by Plume (1997). First published 1930.

The Holy Quran: Translation and Commentary (Yusuf Ali)
Reprinted by Islamic Vision (2001). First published 1934.

The Holy Quran Translated (M. H. Shakir)
Published by Tahrike Tarsile Quran (1999).

The Holy Quran: Arabic Text and English Translation (Muhammad Sarwar)
Published by Elmhurst (1981).

The Noble Quran in the English Language (Mohsin Khan)
King Fahd Printing Complex, Madinah, Saudi Arabia (1996).

The Koran Interpreted: A Translation (Arthur John Arberry)
Reprinted by Touchstone (1996). First published 1955.

A Word for Word Meaning of the Quran (Muhammad Mohar Ali)
In three volumes, this work provides a word by word translation of each verse of the Quran. Shown next to every two or three Arabic words is a contextual interlinear translation, together with a set of grammatical notes indicating the word's person, gender, number and verb form.

Dictionaries of the Quran

Vocabulary of the Holy Quran (Abdullah Abbas Nadwi)
Last published in 2006, this dictionary of the Quran shows each conjugated word-form in Arabic together with its corresponding English translation, based on reputed commentaries of the Quran. Grammatical notes are given for each conjugation. The dictionary is sorted by Arabic root (896 pages).

Dictionary of the Holy Quran (Abdul Omar)
This book contains an index for looking up words based on root. Each entry contains meanings from several classical Arabic lexicons, grammatical notes and a count of how many times the root occurs in the Quran.

A Concordance of the Quran (Hanna Kassis)
Contains a brief discussion of the language of the Quran, including verb forms and the basic parts-of-speech. A concordance of 1300 pages makes up the remainder of the book. For each Arabic root, the corresponding verbs, nouns, participles and adjectives are listed using English transliteration. Each occurance of a word is shown along with its verse reference, together with a contextual translation. The concordance excludes particles, prepositions and pronouns, as well as most uses of the verb kāna (كان).

Quranic Syntax

Detailed syntactic analysis of the Holy Quran
This is a set of 12 downloadable PDF books that provide a detailed syntactic analysis in Arabic for each verse of the Holy Quran. Annotators are recommended to compare their analysis with these volumes, as this is the primary reference for annotating the Quranic Arabic corpus. In this work the syntax of the Quran is explained through the traditional Arabic grammar of iʿrāb (إعراب). Each verse is covered in detail, and the work provides at least one paragraph of syntactic analysis for every 2 or 3 words in the Holy Quran.

Grammatical analysis of the Holy Quran
Another set of downloadable PDFs discussing the Arabic Grammar of the Holy Quran verse-by-verse, although some details of the syntax are assumed and are not always covered in depth.

Grammar of the Holy Quran at the Quran Complex
A website that provides a concise syntactic analysis for each verse of the Holy Quran in Arabic, hosted online at the complex which prints the Holy Quran in Madinah.

Syntax of the Holy Quran
Another Arabic website that provides a syntactic analysis for each verse of the Holy Quran.

Arabic Grammar Websites

Arabic grammar online
A website in English that provides a comprehensive explanation of traditional Arabic grammar.

sheepoo's blog
A blog that discusses both the language and meaning of the Holy Quran. The website also contains a comprehensive set of links to other Arabic language sites and has a good list of downloadable PDF files on Arabic grammar.

Language Research Group
University of Leeds