The Quran

An Introduction To The Arabic Of The Quran (Koran)

The Arabic in the Quran is actually not too different from Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Someone with a good understanding of MSA can read Classical Arabic texts such as the Quran with relative ease. Nevertheless, reading the Quran can be difficult, because in wide parts it’s style is poetic rather than prosaic. One easy way to approach the Quran is to decipher it word-by-word. Here is the first chapter (or sura) of the Quran – al-faatiHa word-by-word:

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
in-name the-god the-merciful the-compassionate
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
the-praise the-god master the-worlds
الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
the-merciful the-compassionate
مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
owner day the-religion
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ و إِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
to-you we-worship and to-you we-seek-help
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
lead-us path the-straight
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ
path of-those you-bestowed on-them
غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ
not the-hated on-them
وَ لَا الضَّالِّينَ
and not the-lost

Of course, this word-by-word translation is merely a tool for gaining a better understanding of the meaning and grammar of the Quran. It does not replace more elegant translations. Here is a common English translation of the first chapter of the Quran:


In the name of God, the Lord of the Worlds.
The Beneficent, the Merciful.
Master of the Day of Judgment.
Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
Keep us on the right path.
The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.


I will add more chapters of the Quran in the near future.

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