Book Spotlight: Al-Sarf Al-Jilani

Our first book was a primer on the science of arabic etymology [ṣarf] which was a huge success. Our aim and objective was to make the learning of the foundation of arabic language simple and easy to digest. We learnt a great deal from this process and made a lot of changes to our workflow for our coming books. Some of the details will be detailed in the blog post below.

Before any project is undertaken, preparation is key. In the same way if the foundations of Arabic (i.e. ṣarf and naḥw) are weak then what is built atop will be prone to errors. In fact, this is why in the introduction of our book we mention that the study of ṣarf is paramount in order to protect one from making mistakes whilst forming and modifying words.’ Although this is the purpose of learning the science of ṣarf, in a more general sense we can align the objective of learning the Arabic language at the heart of a person’s intention.

In a time filled with heart breaking trials and tribulations it is incumbent upon the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamāʿah to withhold and tackle such trials effectively. For such purposes people of knowledge are required, despite their shortness amongst us. Knowledge is the only way forward and the only way to overcome these adversities. It is obligatory upon us to educate ourselves and our children for the better.

Just like all profitable things, knowledge is one that does not come easily. Dedication, consistency and passion is required to acquire knowledge. The famous saying “Knowledge is Power” is true in every sense. Knowledge is what provides you with the cognisance of your Lord, knowledge is what creates distinction between right and wrong and knowledge is what will save you from the hell fire.

The status of the people of knowledge (ʿUlama) is such that Allah places the legitimacy of their testimony besides the testimony of the Angels, He makes them a witness for his Oneness alongside the angels and most importantly he states that it is only the knowledgeable who fear Allah from his servants. This lofty status cannot be obtained, but through knowledge.

Subsequently, our youth need to be inspired and exhilarated towards seeking knowledge. The traditional way in the Indian sub-continent of acquiring a sufficient amount of knowledge to guide not just ourselves but others, is by completing the “Dars e Nizami” syllabus. This consists of various assorted branches of knowledge.

Seeing as knowledge of the Arabic language is required, a few branches of knowledge which conform the Arabic language are taught to ensure a firm and concentrated understanding of it.The first science which is taught is Sarf (Etymology). This is a science which deals with verbs and their formation.

In the present time, The Ahl al-Sunnah has lacked in terms of literature, not only in this science but in the majority. Literature in the English language is required for the new generation; therefore, it is our duty to provide them with it. Other sects have set literature as their prime focus and this is the reason for their “success” and higher number of graduates/students.

We see that a lot of the English literature present relating to the Dars e Nizami syllabus contains difficult language and in most cases rather than making the acquaintance of knowledge easy, ironically it has made it harder. Therefore, after seeing such a state it was deemed a need for a book which complies with its purpose and does so in an efficient manner.

This book aims to make the acquaintance of the science of Sarf accessible and straightforward for the new generation.

The following few points are what makes this book unique:

  • Easy, widely understood language has been used.
  • Majority of the Arabic/Persian terminology has been kept to not complicate understanding and to revive the tradition of our predecessors.
  • A variety of classical books have been referred to, to provide the easiest and simplest way of explanation.
  • Sufficient amount of detail has been provided, courtesy of the beginners.
  • Difficult topics have been omitted and left for the higher-level books.
  • Extensive footnotes have been included to help the students. 

All praise is for Allah, this book is now out of stock at the time of writing and work is underway on a brand-new revised edition to be printed in hardback.

"Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)