An-Nahw Al-Wadih… A Solution?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Some students I’ve come across crave to learn definitions of grammatical terminology and principles in Arabic. Yet this hard using their Madinah Books, which only really outline principles and rules (qawâ`id) in the appendix/key, in English. This is normal of course, it’s usually up to the teacher to provide more than just the Arabic terminology that all students need to know. It’s his or her choice to supply students with Arabic definitions, which a student can memorise or learn, and use as a base for their understanding of a given principle.
Sometimes, and I have witnessed this, a teacher does provide Arabic definitions but in the rush of jotting down notes vis-à-vis the difficulty some students face, the definitions still get written down in English. Perhaps you might see an incomplete Arabic definition in the pages of your classmates and again, this is perfectly normal for the most part. Wallâhu A`lam.
I’ve have encountered some students that have faced the barriers of studying in English and want more! I’ve met others who study in Arabic but are looking for organised, documented grammar principles, the type not found in their textbooks. There is one thing I usually recommend them (please note, I’m a beginner like them)… To get hold of a set of books called An-Nahw Al-Wâdih. The books were worth every penny (qirsh more like it) to me. So precious that I would worry when I lent them out, for just over a day! And of all the cargo I brought back with me from Cairo, I cared about their safety more than anything.
The set comprises of two volumes: a beginners, elementary book and an advanced, college/university level book. There is also what I describe as the ‘third’ book of the series, which is written by the same authors and is called Al-Balâghah Al-Wâdihah, which you wouldn’t really need to pay attention to unless you’re studying Balâghah. The books are structured nicely; a topic is introduced with example sentances, followed by an explanation of what’s going on in them. Then come the principles, which basically extract and define the key grammatical rulings of the topic at hand. These are followed up with an abundant number of exercises for the student to give a try.
The topics are well organised well too. I haven’t faced any problems in finding what I need and they’ve helped me at times of desperation. They’ve also served me well for my grammar revision and exam preparation. I would often consult them to fill in any gaps in my understanding of some aspect of grammar and to clarify any doubts.
They’re fairly easy to understand as the explanations and principles are defined in a rather simple manner. What’s funny is that I would struggle more on two-word sentences used in the examples, as oppose to the grammar side of it. So I’d understand the text of a topic, but not the actual meanings of the words being used as examples to demonstrate the topic! I found that there’s a tonne of new vocabulary in the examples and excercises (those I’ve asked agree with me on this), enough to keep you busy in shâ’ Allaah.
You can download the first volume and Al-Balâghah Al-Wâdihah from the links below. Remember that the volumes are in fact independant books of varying difficulties, so nothing’s really missing if you have one and not the other(s). Also, Al-Balâghah Al-Wâdihah as I said, is of a much higher level. It is actually a literary book and not a grammar one. However, students of Fajr Centre (Cairo) may benefit from this as they learn Balâghah at an early stage (Level 6 onwards). Plus, the course textbooks they have won’t touch upon the topic. Anyway, here they are…