Ibn Abi Ishaq

ʿAbd-Allāh ibn Abī Isḥāq al-Ḥaḍramī (Arabic, عَبْدُ اللّهِ بْنُ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ الْحَضْرَمِيُّ), (died AD 735 / AH 117)[1][2] was an Arab from Yemen and is considered the first grammarian of the Arabic language.[3] He compiled a prescriptive grammar by referring to the usage of the Bedouins, whose language was seen as especially pure (see also iʿrāb, aʿrāb). He is also considered the first person to use linguistic analogy in Arabic.[3]

Two students of Ibn Abi Ishaq's were Harun ibn Musa and Abu 'Amr ibn al-'Ala'.[4][5] His student al-Thaqafi seems to have had more prescriptive views while al-'Ala's were more descriptive. Their differences have been suggested to lie at the core of the late division of Arabic grammar into the schools of Kufa and Basra. Ibn Abi Ishaq was said to be more proficient with the rules of grammar than the analysis of common speech.[6]

Abi Ishaq's work was considered influential upon later grammarians, as he was quoted as an authority by Sibawayhi in his seminal work on Arabic grammar seven times.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gregor Schoeler, Uwe Vagelpohl and James E Montgomery. The Oral and the Written in Early Islam, pg. 187. London: Routledge, 2006. ISBN 9781134158805
  2. ^ a b Kees Versteegh, Arabic Grammar and Qur'anic Exegesis in Early Islam, pg. 17. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1993. ISBN 9789004098459
  3. ^ a b Monique Bernards, "Pioneers of Arabic Linguistic Studies." Taken from In the Shadow of Arabic: The Centrality of Language to Arabic Culture, pg. 213. Ed. Bilal Orfali. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2011. ISBN 9789004215375
  4. ^ Sībawayh, ʻAmr ibn ʻUthmān (1988), in Hārūn, ʻAbd al-Salām Muḥammad, Al-Kitāb Kitāb Sībawayh Abī Bishr ʻAmr ibn ʻUthmān ibn Qanbar, Introduction (3rd ed.), Cairo: Maktabat al-Khānjī, p. 13.
  5. ^ M.G. Carter, Sibawayh, pg. 21. Part of the Makers of Islamic Civilization series. London: I.B. Tauris, 2004. ISBN 9781850436713
  6. ^ Gregor Schoeler, The Oral and the Written in Early Islam, pg. 187. Trns. Uwe Vagelpohl, ed. James E Montgomery. Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures. London: Routledge, 2006. ISBN 9781134158805