Article

Arabic Language and Islam

Mustafa Shah

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0009
Arabic Language and Islam

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The Arabic language, which is the mother tongue of over 250 million people across the Middle East and North Africa, serves not only as a powerful symbol of Arab national identity, but is also the sacrosanct language of the scripture of Islam. Its fortunes have been decisively influenced by its close association with the faith. Indeed, the attempts to explicate and preserve scripture ultimately engendered the sciences of learning that became synonymous with the tradition of Arabic linguistic thought; and, for many centuries, Arabic served as the linguistic vehicle through which many of Islamic civilization’s religious, cultural, and intellectual achievements were articulated and refined. This bibliography will introduce some of the key critical surveys of the language and its historical development, covering early, medieval, and modern periods, while also listing those studies which have focused on the various theoretical and historical features of the Arabic linguistic sciences within the context of the traditional Arabic grammarians’ approach to the study of language. Special attention will be directed toward research which has sought to accentuate the pivotal role that linguistic thought played in the synthesis of theological, legal, rhetorical, and exegetical constructs, allowing insight into the somewhat intricate interplay which informs the conceptual compasses of faith and language in the Islamic context.

Article.  11132 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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