48. Instruction in the Mudar language.



It should be known that the habit of the Mudar language has disappeared and become corrupted at this time. All Arab Bedouins speak a language that differs from the Mudar language in which the Qur'an was revealed. It has become another language through the admixture of non-Arab elements, as we have stated before. 1359

However, since languages are habits, as mentioned before,1360 it is possible to learn them like any other habit. The 1361 obvious method of instruction for those who desire to obtain the habit of the ancient (Mudar) language is to acquire expert 1362 knowledge of the linguistic documents (written) in it, such as the Qur'an, the traditions, the speeches in rhymed prose and verse of the ancients and of outstanding Arabs, as well as the statements of (early) men of mixed Arab and non-Arab parentage (muwallad) in all disciplines. Eventually, the student obtains expert knowledge of a great amount of such poetical and prose material. As a result, he is like a person who grew up among the (old speakers of Arabic) and learned from them how to express what he wants to express. 1363

After that, he may try to express his own thoughts with the expressions and in the style they would have used and to follow their ways and word arrangement, of which he has, by now, an expert knowledge. His expert and practical use (of the material) gives him the habit of (the old language). With the increase in (his knowledge and practical use of the material, 1364 his habit) becomes more firmly rooted and stronger.

In addition, the student needs a healthy disposition and a good understanding of the aspirations and ways of the Arabs in (their) word combinations and in (their) efforts that those word combinations should conform to the requirements of the given situation.1365 Taste attests to the fact that (these things are needed by the student), for it originates as the result of the (existence of the proper linguistic) 1366 habit and of a healthy disposition, as we shall mention later on. The more the student knows by heart and the more he uses (the material), the better will his utterances in prose and verse turn out to be. The (student) who has obtained these (linguistic) habits knows the Mudar language. He has a critical understanding of what constitutes good style (eloquence) in it.

This is how the (Mudar language) must be studied. God "guides whomever He wants to guide." 1367