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In the Name of God بسم الله

Even a single mother of seven can learn Arabic

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In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful.

I have been on a journey to learn arabic for a number of years, and it has been full of ups and downs. A times, life gets in the way, and learning stops and months pass - and even years. I have perhaps had to go over the first book [of 3] many times, and the one i am one again. I have learned a lot of lessons i wish to share which can allow anyone,e ven a single mother of seven who undoubtedly is extremely busy, to break down the learning and to be able to in time, learn this language. If we could have even 10% of current shiachat users on this path, this website could be a fortress [we would be better placed to defend our madhab] and it would have a chain reaction on everyone around you.

Everyone is welcome on here to share tips, resources, and their own personal thoughts. If you are struggling in the Madina Series , i could help where i can and refer you to another place if i qm struggling. I am half way through book 2, though i am going through it again. [Note to moderators, the content of this thread is new, please kindly do not merge it with another thread] If you wish to , PM me so i can put forth my case].

Why learn arabic?

1. While the Quran can be understood by translation and Tafseer, often phrases, modes of expression, magnitude of certain words, beauty in the form of the Quran, can only be appreciated if you can understand the language.

2. Imagine reading dua's, your salah, and ofcourse the Quran whilst understanding what you are saying directly? It would be like a veil lifted, and open an entirely new world for you. Even the dua's recited before Khutbah's, to dua's recited after salah, would be accessible for you.

3. Rich treasures will be open to you. From our books of ahadith, best tafsirs, excellent books not translated yet into english. Your ability to defend the madhab of the Ahlulbayt asws will be multiplied - it is a game changer.

There are many more benefits, but for a muslim, your motivation to learn this and the incentives are above what anyone could possibly need to motivate them to learn a language.

Mistakes i made

1. I would try to learn it quickly, hitting three or four chapters a day. This led to being saturated with learning and i could not keep up this intensity. I would end up dropping off, and then a day and week went  by and i would feel guilty to start learning again, as i felt i had to not only do the four i had previously done, but remind myself of everything at once, as i had instilled an all-or-nothing mentality.

2. There was no consistency in doing little by little. It felt like driving ten meters at a time, and i continued to try to 'translate' arabic works to myself which made me demotivated as i was no way near.

3. I placed quantity over quality, not spending enough time doing every exercise in each chapter as well as learning the vocabularly as i went along.

Therefore, when life brought struggles, i was not able to adapt and keep learning arabic in those periods. I could not train myself to spare half an hour a day. I would then try to learn in bursts when things were more settled, which resulted in much being learned of lower quality and then being dropped and mostly forgotten when things got stressful.

How anyone can learn arabic for free online

There are a number of free resources you can use online which are pretty comprehensive. Owing to the motivation of many muslims and even non-muslims to learn this language, a lot of resources have therefore been created. Here is the method i use - and one even a busy single mother of seven could use. You only need to spare twenty or thirty minutes a day. Maybe when you get tired after an incredibly long day and have twenty minutes or thirty , you could employ the following technique:

1.  Use the Madina Series Books. On lqtoronto.com, there are three madina series books - 1,2,3. The first is for someone starting out, the second is intermediate, and the last is a higher level. Each book has an english key [save the third] and questions after each activity. You can go through them on your own or use the leccture's recorded for each and every lesson on the website.  On youtube, you can access the 'speed' setting and make the video's play at 1.5 -2.0 times quicker, as the teacher talks in a slow pace. In addition to this, you have the grammar notes in two parts, which are an essential companion.  What i do is go through a lesson or half a lesson a day, and spend some time doing some of the questions and checking them with the answers. I then dedicate time during the week to also go throught the special grammar documents to reinforce that basic understanding. In this way, i get through half or one lesson a day [i usually aim for one, but busy people could aim for half or even a third].

You don't need to travel to a centre to learn [no getting ready, travel, and long lesson times] Lessons are clear and easily laid out.

With regards to vocabularly,  i use https://apps.ankiweb.net/

This is an excellent way to learn vocabulary, as it contains all of the words in all three madina sries books. It uses a psychology of learning to enable cards to repeat themselves in varied ways to work in tandem with how your memory works best. [You grade each card in terms of how difficult it was to memorise].

All Madina series resources can be found here: http://www.lqtoronto.com/downloads.html

If you wish to find dictionaries, or other books free of charge , here is a great place [though check with your marji' if you can access booksand what copyright laws are if someone else has copied a religious book online]: https://www.kalamullah.com/arabic-books.html

My new method of learning Arabic:

1. Be motivated by goals but do not occupy myself with the end-goals. This will stop me feeling as though i must rush towards that goal. In addition, i do not feel  deficient and as though i am getting nowhere.

2. By extension of the above, fall in love with the process of learning it, step by step, little by little.Do not occupy yourself with finishing a book and moving onto the next.

3. Do little, but be consistent. If you spend twenty minutes a day which you have only just managed to squeeze in, but do so daily for months and over  year or two, will be better than only learning for hours on end on some days you feel free.

4. Be patient, it will take time. But one year from now, you will have wished you started today!

5. Be part of a community of people learning, and shiachat is an excellent place for this.

6. Motivate yourself by watching video's of lecturers talking about the beauty and importance of learning Arabic.

EVERYONE has time. It just depends on what you prioritise and what you regard to be important for you. And above all we ask Allah[azwj] to make it easy for us and help us in his way.


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If any of you want to start doing this and need advice but don't want to openly ask, PM me please. My PM is only open to brothers just to note. If you are a sister, i will receive PMs but reply to you on here without saying you had asked.

Ofcourse Mods are excluded from this.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is very nice thread.

Mashallah to the OP for learning arabic. Reminds me of my grandmother, May Allah bless her soul, who studied arabic and the Quran for 13 years and taught it to others. 

As for myself, I want to learn Arabic someday, inshallah as I think it's a beautiful language. 

Edited by Islandsandmirrors
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  • 1 month later...

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