The Koran is central to the lives of observant Muslims. It is the primary source of Islamic law, and is recited regularly during prayers and optional worship. Muslims read the Koran for comfort and guidance. Traditionally, Muslim families have children learn Koran by rote, but if you are a new Muslim or want to learn more of the Koran on your own, learning to read the Koran is considered a meritorious act. The classical Arabic of the Koran is considered unusual and beautiful, and being able to read the Koran for yourself will help you understand Islam.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Written copy of the Koran
- Translation of the Koran
- Arabic dictionary
- Arabic grammar guide
- Recording of the Koran
Consult a guide to the Arabic alphabet, which you can find at the beginning of Arabic dictionaries and websites such as Omniglot. Familiarise yourself with the sounds and shapes of the letters; some letters change shape according to their position in the word.
Attempt to sound out the words in a section of the Koran. Look up the meaning of the word in your Arabic dictionary. Check the Arabic grammar guide to determine the function of the word in the sentence.
Check to make sure your sounding out of the words is accurate by listening to a recording of that section of the Koran. Check the accuracy of the terms in the dictionary and grammar guide against a professional translation. Your results should differ less as you become more experienced.
Tips and warnings
- The Qur'anic Arabic Corpus has a word-by-word translation with analysis of Qur'anic sentence structure.
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- Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic: Hans Wehr
- Edward William Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon
- Quraan Transliteration
- Omniglot: Arabic alphabet, pronunciation and language
- University of Northern Iowa: Best Arabic Websites
- Arabic Grammar Made Easy: Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips