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A lot of us want to learn Arabic. If you’re like me, you actually have tried learning but never went really far. I intend to make a renewed effort to learn the language. Below are several resources I have used in the past and will use again.

Please note the courses require the user to have the ability to read Arabic i.e. recognise all 28 letters and each vowel sound. Contact your local Imam to cover the basics or use Islamic Online University’s free Arabic course (referenced below). All sources have been hyperlinked for easy access.
 

1.  Institute of the Language of the Qur’an

This Toronto-based institute has video lessons for the complete set of the famous “Madina books,” (the books used in the Islamic University of Madinah to teach Arabic as a foreign language) on its website. Because each lesson is two hours long, I’d suggest dividing a lesson into four and doing it over the course of a week. The link above directs you to the Institute’s official website where all the files are available for download (video, audio, and ebook.) However, I would advise using learnarabic.info to download the files. The lessons are ordered and labelled better and are available for individual download.

Pros:

  • Easy to follow
  • Well-taught
Cons:
  • Entire series is a whopping 192 hours. Equivalent to watching 128 football matches or two World Cups. Extreme diligence is required.
  • Video sizes are large. All 96 lessons in standard video quality will take up 52GB of your hard-drive space or 11 DVD discs. A fast (and unlimited) internet connection is needed to download the videos.*

*If you are in Nairobi and want the dvds free of charge, let me know in the comments section.
 

2.  Understand Qur'an and Salah

This course is specifically designed to make you understand the words in the Qur’an and in Salah. The course works by teaching you the root words behind the words in the Qur’an. In Arabic, every word has a root form (typically three letters) that it is derived from. For example: al-salam, Islam, Saleem, Muslim, Salma, and Saalim are all derived from “sa-la-ma.” The course teaches you the root words and how to recognise them in their derivative forms.It also teaches basic grammar.

There a several courses available on the site that promise to teach you varying amounts of the Qur’an, (Understand 50%, Understand 70%, Understand 100%) but only the 50% course is still free. The lessons are engaging and taught with a revolutionary system that uses your hand movements and fingers you hold up as an integral part of the learning process.

Pros:

  • Entire 50% course is only 9 hours. This makes completion and repetition easy.
  • Provides a good platform for learning Arabic further.

Cons:

  • Only the 50% version is free*
  • The course focuses on understanding Arabic when listened to and when read. Speaking and writing Arabic is not practiced.

*Update: at the time this article was conceptualised, the 50% version was free. It appears that there is no free course offered anymore. A YouTube playlist of the 50% course is still online, so have a go at it before it's removed too.

 

3.  Islamic Online University

As the most comprehensive course on this entry, the IOU's "Arabic Reading and Writing Made Easy" course is “designed to teach Arabic to non-Arabs of varying backgrounds without any intermediary language.” By the end of the course, expect to be able to understand written and spoken Arabic. The course also uses the “Madinah Books”. A certificate is offered upon completion. Complete a further 23 courses (all free) and you will receive an internationally recognised Diploma in Islamic Studies.

Pros:

  • Offers Arabic at an entry level
  • Course is part of a globally recognised Diploma
  • Flexible in its study hours
Cons:
  • None  

 

4.  A 24-hour teacher

If I lost a kilogram for every time I was told, usually by older married men with smirks on their faces, that the best way to learn a language is to get a “24-hour teacher” I’d be as light as a feather. Yes: the last resource on this list is to marry someone who only speaks Arabic. I don’t know whether it actually works or should even be considered “free”, and I have not tried it (and probably never will) but I felt it deserved a mention because, well, older married men with smirks on their faces are known for their wisdom.

Pros:

  • You get married.

Cons:

  • You get married.


Know any resources you can almost vouch for? Let us know below!


photo credits:
Featured Image: Arabic lesson CC
Cover Image: 
DSC01689 CC
 



Comments

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Ibrahim

March 7, 2015

Jazaka Allah khairan

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Ahmed Rashid

March 7, 2015

No 4, bro. No4. Great article. May Allah make it easy for non Arab speakers to learn this beautiful language.

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Aisha Kibwana

March 7, 2015

Number 4 makes me laugh every single time.

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Mwanasha

March 8, 2015

Great read. Now to look for an Arabic speaking husband.

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Gakweli

March 9, 2015

Jazaka Allah khairan bwana Karagania, a real kick starter to non arabic speakers...including myself

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Ismail

March 9, 2015

Praise Allah! Well written and straight to the point article. I would also consider point No. 4! :)

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Shamim Nassar

March 9, 2015

Assalamu alaykum bro. JazakAllahu kheir for the brief and informative piece. I'd like those CD's in option 1 and I don't mind paying a fee then someone else can benefit from the free option, in shaa Allah. I think the CDs can work better for me.

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March 10, 2015

Jazakumullah khair, glad you all enjoyed it :)

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March 10, 2015

Shamim, I shot you an email on the next steps.

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Nabeela Moorad

March 12, 2015

Loved the last option!

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March 14, 2015

Nabeela! Glad you could make it. Gladder you enjoyed it!

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Sudais Abubakar

March 16, 2015

assalam aleikum,im in nairobi andi would like to get the dvds

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Bro Maroka

April 7, 2015

Great Articles. I would like to add a "resource" number 5... {Read Qur'an}
Once, while chatting with my wife (in Arabic) she laughed over a sentence wrongly spelled and asked me.."How did you master this Arabic language".
"From the first time I started speaking Arabic" You know how?
When I became a Muslim, I once interacted with a group of friends who in the midst of our conversation they changed to their mother tongue. I felt embarrassed. With was a Muslim friend and immedietly, we cracked a deal. IWe started to communicate using Qur'an. Astaghfiru Allah... I started to recite verse one of chapter An-Naas as he responds with chapter two... and like that til we complicated the chapter and to the next chapter. This in a conversational manner. Though, currently it sounds like a joke, but then it was a great achievement to me and my friend. I was new to Islam.
Reading Qur'an daily is a great booster in understanding Arabic. That is my secret to date...

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Adnan Kashogi

May 10, 2015

great article bro and # 4 is just interesting hehehe.... believe its vice versa . IOU is great doing semester 5 and its really made a difference in my quest for this beautiful language , the language of ahl jannah but also extra effort is needed from your end .....they say when u want master you hve to love what you do!

JZK.

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Omar

May 31, 2015

Assalam aleykum Akhi?jazakAllahu khayra for the gud work u r doing.And secondly i would like to get the videos in sha Allah....feel free to get in touch thru my email.Shukran

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Nasra

May 31, 2015

Asalamu aleikum i would like to get the dvds jazakallahu kheir

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