The Classical Bookshelf I

bookshelfal-Salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāh,

In response to a recent request, this post will provide a list of some of the main classical books specifically related to the Arabic language from which one may benefit, be it for the sake of research or general interest. The post will be divided into categories based on the most important areas of research. The books may either be wholly dedicated to their category, or simply contain enough information related to the category to merit mention.

I apologise in advance that this list will be of more specific benefit to those who already are able to read and understand a level of Arabic. In shaa’ Allaah, the regular posts will resume shortly.

Please note that this is not a complete list, but rather a general guide.

On Grammar (nahw):
1. al-Kitāb by Sībawayhi
2. Ma‘ānī al-Qur’ān by al-Farrā’
3. al-Muqtadab by al-Mubarrad
4. al-Usūl fi al-Nahw by Ibn al-Sarrāj
5. al-Mufassal by al-Zamakhsharī
6. al-Kāfiyah by Ibn al-Hājib
7. al-Alfiyyah by Ibn Mālik
8. Mughnī al-Labīb by Ibn Hishām

On Morphology (sarf):
1. al-Tasrīf by al-Māzinī
2. al-Tasrīf by Ibn Jinnī
3. Nuzhat al-Tarf fī ‘ilm al-Sarf by al-Maydānī
4. al-Mumti‘ fī al-Tasrīf by Ibn ‘Usfūr
5. al-Shāfiyah by Ibn al-Hājib

Dictionaries (Ma‘ājim al-Alfādh):

(Arranged according to articulation points)
1. al-‘Ayn by al-Khalīl ibn Ahmad
2. Tahdhīb al-Lughah by al-Azharī

(Arranged alphabetically – starting with first root letter)
1. al-Jīm by Abu ‘Umar al-Shaybānī
2. Jamharat al-Lughah by Ibn Durayd
3. Mu‘jam Maqāyīs al-Lughah by Ibn Fāris
4. Asās al-Balāghah by al-Zamakhsharī
5. al-Misbāh al-Munīr by al-Fayyūmī

(Arranged alphabetically – starting with last root letter)
1. Tāj al-Lughah by al-Jawharī
2. Lisān al-‘Arab by Ibn Mandhūr
3. al-Qāmūs al-Muhīt by al-Fayrūzābādī
4. Tāj al-‘Arūs by al-Zubaydī

Thesauri (Ma‘ājim al-Ma‘ānī):
1. al-Gharīb al-Musannaf by Ibn Salām
2. al-Alfādh by Ibn al-Sikkīt
3. al-Alfādh al-Kitābiyyah by al-Hamadānī
4. Jawāhir al-Alfādh by Qudāmah ibn Ja’far
5. Fiqh al-Lughah by al-Thālibī
6. al-Mukhassas by Ibn Sīdah

On Rare words in the Qur’ān (Gharīb al-Qur’ān):
1. Tafsīr Gharīb al-Qur’ān ibn Ibn Qutaybah
2. Mufradat alfādh al-Qur’ān by al-Isfahānī

On Rare words in the Hadīth (Gharīb al-Hadīth):
1. al-Fā’iq fī gharīb al-Hadīth wa al-Athar by al-Zamakhsharī
2. al-Nihāyah fī gharīb al-Hadīth wa al-Athar by Ibn al-Athīr

On Philology (Fiqh al-Lughah):
1. al-Khasā’is by Ibn Jinnī
2. al-Sāhibī by Ibn Fāris
3. Fiqh al-Lughah by al-Tha’ālibī
4. al-Muzhir by al-Suyūtī

On common solecisms and correct usages:
1. Mā talhanu fīhī al-‘Awām by al-Kisā’ī
2. Islāh al-Mantiq by Ibn al-Sikkīt
3. Adab al-Kātib by Ibn Qutaybah
4. al-Fasīh by Tha‘lab
5. Lahn al-‘Āmmah by al-Zubaydī
6. Tathqīf al-Lisān by Ibn Makkī al-Siqlī
7. Durrat al-Ghawāmid fī Awhām al-Khawāss by al-Harīrī

Allāhumma ‘allimnā mā yanfa’unā, wa infa’nā bi mā ‘allamtanā.
Oh Allāh, teach us what will benefit us, and benefit us with what You have taught us.


26 responses to “The Classical Bookshelf I

  1. Ameen! I am happy to see that you are back, and have added your wise and welcome blog to my blogroll (which was started while you were away).

    Ya Haqq!

  2. Assalam ‘Alikum,

    I was so happy when I saw there was a new post by you. Jazakallah Khairan Katheeran for the books! This is very beneficial for everyone, I hope my Arabic can improve so I may fully benefit from these invaluable works on the language. Please Keep me in your du’aa.

    مع السلامة

  3. السلام عليكم
    Glad to see an update. Jazakallahu khayran.
    I am working through Qisas an nabiyyeen, and inshallah, after reading a few books without tashkeel, I will approach some of these.

    …unless any of them are easy reads? But somehow I doubt books like these will be printed with tashkeel.


  4. wa ‘alaykum al-Salam,

    Wa iyyaakum. The tashkeel depends on the publishers. Some of the dictionaries will have tashkeel on the main entries. I have also seen some versions of Lisan al-Arab with full tashkeel. It is best to go to a bookstore that stocks Arabic books (if you have any that are accessible and see what has tashkeel and what does not in shaa’ Allaah.

    You could attempt some of the books on Fiqh al-Lughah to see if you understand them, such as this one or this one

    May Allaah make your task an easy one. Ameen.

  5. السلام عليكم

    أخي الكريم إشتقنا الى حضرتكم و بعد طول الإنتظار عدت بما تقر بها عيننا و تطمءن بها قلوبنا فنعم العودة و نعم العمل الذي تقوم به و جزاكم الله خيرا لالقاءمة الجميلة أسأل الله تعالى أن ينفعنا بها

    أظن أنه كان أفضل إن رتبت الكتب من حيث التدرج أي تذكر الكتاب الذي يبتدئ المبتدئ به ثم بعد ذالك تذكر كتاب أعلى في مستواىه من متن الذي سبق لكن هو مجرد إقتراح و جهدكم مشكور

    و لاحظت أنك قدمت الصرف على النحو فهل من تفصيل لتقديمه؟
    أخيرا صححني إن أخطأت في كلامي لو سمحت

    بارك الله فيكم
    مع السلامة

  6. وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله،
    جزيت خيرا على كلامك اللطيف وشكرا لك على لملاحظاتك المفيدة القيمة. وبإذنك فإني سأجيب عليها باللغة الإنجليزية كي لا يحس قارئ ما بأن الموقع لمتكلمي العربية لا غيرهم.
    Thank you for your valuable suggestions. Due to the pressures of time and other commitments at the moment, the post was prepared regrettably with less dedication than it should have been, and the implementation of your suggestions would have undoubtedly added to the quality and benefit of the post. I hope in shaa’ Allaah to be able to rearrange it accordingly in due course. Also, due to connection problems, a lot of the remaining links to the books were not provided for fear that the post would be lost before it was published. I sincerely thank you for your comments and hope that they will continue to be provided for the benefit of the readers.

    wa al-Salaamu ‘alaykum

  7. Great to see you back…

    JazakAllah for all your helpful and insightful posts.

    Ramadan Mubarak.

  8. al-Salamu ‘alaykum,

    Ramadan Mubarak, wa iyyaakum.

  9. Jazakumallahu khayran for updating the post with links.

  10. al-Salaamu ‘alaykum,
    anonymous, jazaakum Allaahu khayran. I will update the post with that in shaa’ Allaah.
    If anyone knows where any of the other books are available please inform me here.
    mujahid7ia, wa iyyaakum

  11. Salaam


  12. and Ramadhan Mubarak.

  13. As-salaamu `alaykum

    Mashaa’Allaah great resources, jazaakillaahu khayran!

    What do you think of Qatru-Nada?

    Also, do you have any downloadable links to those books on Sarf you gave (namely both al-Tasreef books)? I currently don’t have many books on sarf and feel like I’m lacking a lot in that field.

  14. wa ‘alaykum al-Salaam,

    Wa iyyaaki.

    I believe Qatr al-Nada to be a fantastic book of grammar and no one can deny the genius of Ibn Hisham. It is not too advanced, and I would recommend it to someone who has gone through a more basic text, such as the Sharh of Ajrumiyyah. It includes the most important topics of grammar in a [comparatively] concise manner, without getting into all the differences of opinion among the grammarians. Of course, the Sharh too of Qatr al-Nada is also needed; I personally prefer the sharh done by Barakat Yufus Habbood as he goes into slightly more detail and explanation in his footnotes, especially in the i’raab.

    I was unable to find links to those books on sarf, if anyone else knows where they are available then please point it out in shaa’ Allaah. It is worth seeing the other books on sarf available though (and any others you may find; it is not necessary to limit yourself to those on the list above) such as Nuzhat al-Tarf which is a commentary on the book Binaa’ alal-Af’aal, one of the stangard books of sarf.

    Bi al-tawfeeq in shaa’ Allaah.

  15. Assalamauilaiakum

    I can read and write arabic. I would like to learn to speak arabic.

    I have completed my basics in Arabic Grammar under a Shiekh and I would like to proceed to intermediate level.

    I want to buy grammar books on Arabic. Here is a list I am looking into. Can you recommend which ones should I buy. Money is not a problem.

    1).A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Reference Grammars) – Karin C. Ryding

    2). Arabic Grammar (Dover Books on Language) – W. Wright

    3). A Grammar of Classical Arabic: Third Revised Edition – Wolfdietrich Fischer

    4). A Complete Guide to Arabic Grammar: Volume I: The Fundamental Theory – Agus Shohib Khoironi

    5). An Introduction to Modern Literary Arabic – David Cowan

    I have all of the above in my Shopping Cart.

  16. assalamu alaykum

    you can download wright’s book here:

  17. I actually have the pdf book.

    I need to buy books.

    I need some recommendation on which book is good.

  18. Wa ‘alaykum al-Salaam

    AjnabiZ, I am unfamiliar with nos 1, 3 and 4.

    No 2 is extremely detailed and is more of a reference book, and I do not much like no. 5.

    I personally like the books ‘Arabic for English Speaking Students’ by Muhammad Abdul-Rauf, and ‘Mastering Arabic’ by Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar. But I would advise you look for books that you feel you yourself are able to learn from, as everyone has different styles and different books cater for these different styles.

  19. Grammar Learner?

    assalaamualaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

    Jazakum Allahu khayrun for the wonderful website. I am looking for a particular book and am wondering if anyone can help. I need a book that simply has lots of sentences with i’raab of the words used.

    I think in the subcontinent they use a formula called tarkib. I really like the explanatory nature of the methodology but cannot find stuff in Arabic.

    Jazakum Allahu khayraa.

  20. Wa ‘alaykum al-Salaam wa rahmat Allah wa barakaatuhu,

    Wa iyyaakum. There are a number of books that have a lot of i’raab in them, but I am not too sure what you mean about tarkib.

    A number of Arabic grammar books, such as the ta’leeqaat on Ibn ‘Uthaymeen’s sharh of Ajrumiyyah have alot of examples of i’raab, as do copies of Qatr al-Nada, Shudhoor al-Dhahab, al-Alfiyyah etc. There are also works on the full i’raab of the Quran, one called I’rab al-Qur’an by al-Darwish (9 vols), and another called al-Jadwal fee i’raab al-Quran wa sarfihi wa bayaanihi by Mahmood Safi (16 vols). There are also some single volume Arabic grammar books (in Arabic) that have alot of examples of i’raab in them.

  21. السلام عليكم

    I’m a student from Armenia. Studing in the Yerevan State University at the faculty of Oriental Studies, the department of Arabic studies. Please help me to find easy books about arabic grammar.

    Shuqran Jazillan!

    مع السلامة

  22. تونسي from tuinisia
    مدرّس جامعي من تونس مستعد للمساعدةعلى تعلم اللغة العربية لمن يطلب ذلك ، أنا أتكلم العربية والعبرية والفرنسية والأنجليزية وقليلا من الألمانية
    tunisian university teacher( i teach linguistics) i am volonteer to teach arabic , we can communicate by email or msn :

  23. I have a thead on this web site about PDF books

  24. Excellent work…

    May allah reward you for this

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