Origin of Arabic Language

Question:

Assalamualaikum Ya Sheikh Nazim, Shaikh Hisham and blessed eshaykh staff.
Forgive my lowly adab, Ya Shaykh.

I am curious to know how Arabic language formed as it is the most perfect language being the language of Quran Al-Kareem. Do previous Prophets (AS) also speaks Arabic? including Prophet Adam (AS)? and do the malaikat speak Arabic as well? Sorry for troubling you with my stupid question, Ya Shaykh. Please pray for me, Ya Shaykh, so that I love Allah, Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, Awliya’ Allah and my family.

Thank you very very much.
Assalam Alaykum.

Answer:

Wa alaikum as salaam,

We know that the angels can speak Arabic because we have the hadith Gibrael (as) and the revelation of the Qur’an. The hadith Gibrael is:

Narrated Abu Huraira: One day while the Prophet was sitting in the company of some people, (The angel) Gabriel came and asked, “What is faith?” Allah’s Apostle replied, ‘Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection.” Then he further asked, “What is Islam?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “To worship Allah Alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan.” Then he further asked, “What is Ihsan (perfection)?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you.” Then he further asked, “When will the Hour be established?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents. 1. When a slave (lady) gives birth to her master. 2. When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah. The Prophet then recited: “Verily, with Allah (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour–.” (31. 34) Then that man (Gabriel) left and the Prophet asked his companions to call him back, but they could not see him. Then the Prophet said, “That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion.” Abu ‘Abdullah said: He (the Prophet) considered all that as a part of faith. (Book #2, Hadith #47).

According to the story of the lives of the prophets (sas) the following prophets are known to have spoke Arabic:

Salih (as)
Shuayb (as)
Ismael (as) – according to Bukhari 55:583
Hud (as)
Prophet Muhammad (sas)

As far as Adam (as) speaking Arabic, if we take the following hadith from Bukhari literally then yes he did.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall. When He created him, He said to him, “Go and greet that group of angels, and listen to their reply, for it will be your greeting (salutation) and the greeting (salutations of your offspring.” So, Adam said (to the angels), As-Salamu Alaikum (i.e. Peace be upon you). The angels said, “As-salamu Alaika wa Rahmatu-l-lahi” (i.e. Peace and Allah’s Mercy be upon you). Thus the angels added to Adam’s salutation the expression, ‘Wa Rahmatu-l-lahi,’ Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam (in appearance and figure). People have been decreasing in stature since Adam’s creation. (Book #55, Hadith #543)

As far as the question of when the Arabic language originated, Allah know best. There is a historical answer, but according to the Ash’ari school of thought, the Qur’an is not created, but rather Allah’s ancient word. As the Qur’an is in Arabic, this implies Arabic predates any historical date and according to one (disputed) hadith is the language of paradise.

And Allah knows best.

Yusuf Hussain

About Yusuf Hussain

Studied under Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani for the last 5 years, and prior to that another an Uwaisi Shaykh in Pakistan for two years from '93-96 and intensive self-study. Secular Education: 1997-2001 bachelors in Computer Science 2008-present masters of business adminstration
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