12 Distinctive features of Arabic language

Language diversity is also one of the signs of Allah Almighty. Somebody speaks Arabic, somebody Urdu, somebody English and somebody some other language; so this chain of ‘language diversity and multiplicity’ goes on. Allah Almighty has stated in the Glorious Quran:

وَ مِنْ اٰیٰتِهٖ خَلْقُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِ وَ اخْتِلَافُ اَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَ اَلْوَانِكُمْؕ-اِنَّ فِیْ ذٰلِكَ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّلْعٰلِمِیْنَ(۲۲)

 And amongst His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the differences in your languages and colours; indeed in this are signs for people who know.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 21, Surah Ar-Rum, Ayah 22)

O devotees of Rasool! This is possible only through a language that a human being can express his thoughts, feelings and information easily and quickly. According to a research, almost 7000 languages are spoken across the world.

There is no other language that is enormously rich and holds such distinctive features that are possessed by the Arabic language.

12 distinctive features of Arabic language are as follows:

The first-ever language

When Sayyiduna Adam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام came to the earth, Arabic was his language. From this perspective, the Arabic language is the most ancient languages in the world. (Al-Mazhar-lis-Suyooti, vol. 1, pp. 30)

Language of the dwellers of Paradise

The Holy Book of Almighty Allah, blessed Ahadees of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and a big treasure of Islamic books are available in Arabic language. Similarly, Arabic will also be the language of the dwellers of Paradise. (Mustadrak lil-Hakim, vol. 5, pp. 117, Hadees 7081)

Universal language

As the light of Islam spread across the world, Arabic language became so much popular across the world that now it has become one of the ten most spoken international languages.

Religious language

Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has made ‘Arabic language’ an official language and the language of ‘Islam’. (Ruh-ul-Bayan, Taht-al-Ayah 2, vol. 4, pp. 208) Due to this reason, Arabic was the mother tongue of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Glorious Quran is also in Arabic language as well as majority of the blessed companions عَـلَيْهِمُ الرِّضْوَان were also  native Arabic speakers.

The same practice is also seen in temporary worldly kingdom that they have their own official language, in which they create their national constitution and each department is obliged to use the official language.

Beauty of the brevity in Arabic

In Arabic language, individual letters and sentences are used concisely as much as possible. It means that people prefer those words and sentences that contain least letters and words. For this purpose, metaphor, Idghaam[1], simile, omission of words etc., are widely used. This is why despite the matchless eloquence, smoothness and flow, Arabic content will look shorter than other languages if compared.

Large number of individual letters

Arabic language is very vast. Many different words are used for describing one expression. Imam Shaafi’i رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه has said: I don’t know anybody except for the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who is thoroughly well-versed in Arabic language. (Al-Mazhar-lis-Suyuti, vol. 1, pp. 65) One can understand through the following example:

In Urdu, there is only one word for describing a lion whereas those who have some knowhow about Arabic language are aware of the three words that are used for describing a lion: ‘ لَیْث، اَسَدandغَضَنْفَر ’. According to one source, there are 150 different words and according to another source there are 500 different words that are used to describe a lion. (Al-Mazhar-lis-Suyuti, vol. 1, pp. 325)


In Arabic language, Harkat that comes at the end of every word shows its worth or status. Harkat makes it easy to understand the meaning. Correct meaning will remain unknown if it is omitted or replaced, for example: مااحسن زید’, actual meaning of the mentioned Arabic phrase will remain ambiguous if Harakaat are not added. Check the meaning of the phrase after adding Harakaat mentioned below:

 مَا اَحْسَنَ زَیْدٌ: ‘Zaid did not carry out a virtuous act.’

مَا اَحْسَنَ زَیْداً’: ‘What a great pious person Zaid is.’

 ‘مَا اُحْسِنُ زَیْداً’: ‘I will not do good to Zaid’

مَا اُحْسِنَ زَیْدٌ: ‘Goodness was not done to Zaid.’

[1] Idghaam is assimilation of one letter into the other.




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