The Belfast Summer School online class in Old English proved very successful, and I'm delighted to branch out even further this term! With the help of top Cambridge graduate, Yaseen Caratela, H.M. Classics Academy is offering Classical Arabic for Beginners.
Classical Arabic dates from the 6th century onwards. As the language of the Qur’ān, its grammar is little changed in its descendant Modern Literary Arabic. The beginners course is 10 weeks in length and will be an introduction to both forms of Arabic.
The language is usually taught in a traditional setting under a teacher with a sanad (a chain of transmission of the subject) as two distinct subjects: nahw (syntax) and sarf (morphology). These two subjects have been combined into a single grammar by Haywood and Nahmed entitled A new Arabic grammar of the written language. Yaseen will use this grammar as the foundation of the course, whilst also introducing chapters from classical works of nahw and sarf.
Knowledge of Classical Arabic will enable study of the Islamic intellectual tradition, including the Ghazālian corpus, the rhetorical treatises of al-Taftazāni, the travels of ibn Battuta, the legal handbooks of the four schools, the history of al-Ṭabarī. There is an inexhaustible list of masterly works on every subject to be explored.
Yaseen recently graduated with a degree in Classics from Trinity College, University of Cambridge. He is also classically trained in the Islamic sciences, having studied the Dars Nizami course in Islamic scholarship for the last ten years under Mufti Shakir Misbahi. He now continues study of the Qur’ān and Fiqh (Islamic Law) privately with teachers from Cairo. He has been authorised by his teacher to teach Classical Arabic. Yaseen has former experience teaching Arabic at traditional institutions and privately.