Islamic Studies

Imam al-Shatibi and the Arabic Language

“If it is established that a person is a beginner in his understanding of the Arabic language, then he is a beginner in understanding Shari’ah; if he is average in his understanding of Arabic, then he his average in his understanding of Shari’ah and if he attains mastery in his understanding of Arabic, then the same will hold true for his understanding of Shari’ah. Thus, [if he masters the language] his understanding of the Shari’ah and its objectives will be like the understanding of the Companions.”

Imam al-Shatibi al-Muwafatqat vol. 4 pg. 115

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • Mashallah, Dear Brother Imam Webb

    Studying the arabic language is some what difficult when you can’t find a teacher. My question is how to master the language in an American setting,what are the right methods to learning the arabic language? Since we dont have access to the arabic ulama.

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