Shaykh Abdur Raheem is an outstanding scholar in Arabic Language & Literature. His Madinah Arabic Books for the non Arabic speakers is an outstanding contribution to this ummah.
Childhood and Education
V. Abdur Rahim was born in the small town of Vaniyambadi in the state of Tamil Nadu, India in 1933. After finishing his secondary school studies, he joined Presidency College, University of Madras where he majored in English Language and Literature. He graduated in 1957. In 1964, he joined al-Azhar University, Cairo, where he did his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Arabic Philology.
It is to be noted that Abdur Rahim learnt Arabic by himself. The school where he did his secondary school studies offered Arabic, but the lessons it offered consisted of only memorizing the conjugation tables. Abdur Rahim detested this method. He thought that it was the most unnatural way of learning a language. Only dead languages like Latin, Syriac, etc. are taught this way. Living languages teach sentences straightaway. He decided to design a curriculum to teach Arabic to non-native speakers of Arabic.
When he was learning Arabic by himself, Abdur Rahim studied the many problems that beset the non-native students of Arabic, and tried to solve them. He discovered that all these problems can easily be solved by applying the principle of taqdîm al- usûl ‘ala al-furû‘, i.e. teaching the primary elements before the secondary elements. The following are some of the manifestations of the application of this principle:
Teaching the primary case-endings before the secondary ending, so you teach the masruf noun before the mamnu min al-sarf, and the al-afal al arba’ah before the al-af’al al-khamsah
Teaching the salim verb before the other categories
Teaching the al-mudari al-marfu before the al-mudari al-mansub or al-mudari al-majzum.
Teaching the plural of intelligent nouns before that of non-intelligent nouns.
Another principle Abdur Rahim advocates is that rules of waqf should not be applied during the teaching stage, for in that case the student cannot learn the correct ending of the last word in the sentence as, ma smu-ka and ma smu-ki, for example, are both reduced to ma smu-k.
Degrees Awarded & Positions Held
Majored in English Language and Literature (University of Madras, India).
Holds M.Phil. and Ph.D. Degrees in Arabic Philology from the University of Al-Azhar (Cairo).
Formerly Professor of Arabic Language for 30 years at the International Islaamic University of Madinah
Has taught Arabic Language at the Islaamic Universities around the world: at Omdurman – Sudan, Germany, Washington D.C. – U.S.A, and British Guyana.
Has been teaching Arabic as a foreign language for more than 50 years.
An expert on European Languages and their etymology, phonetic change and semantic development.
Formerly the Director of the ‘Institute of Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language’, Islaamic University of Madinah.
Currently the Director of the Translation Centre at the ‘King Fahd Glorious Qur’an Printing Complex’ (Madinah, Saudi Arabia).
The following are the books Dr. Abdur Rahim has written in the field of teaching Arabic as a foreign language:
Durûs al-Lughah al-‘Arabiyyah (3 parts).
Key To Durûs al-Lughah al-‘Arabiyyah (3 parts).
Key To Exercises of Durûs al-Lughah al-‘Arabiyyah (3 parts).
Teachers’ Guide To Durûs al-Lughah al-‘Arabiyyah (3 parts).
A Glossary of Words used in Durûs al-Lughah al-‘Arabiyyah.