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Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Abi Sara Ali Al-Ru'asi (d. 187AH/802CE) was an early convert from Judaism to Islam and a scholar of the Arabic language. He is considered to be the founder of the Kufan school of Arabic grammar,[1][2][3][4] as well as the first person to write about Arabic morphology and phonology.[5] He was a student of Abu 'Amr ibn al-'Ala' and an associate of Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi.[4][6]

It has been suggested that Sibawayhi, the ethnically Persian father of Arabic grammar, borrowed heavily from the works of al-Ru'asi for the latter's infamous Kitab though there is no textual evidence to support this.[6] We do know of a linguistic exegesis of the Qur'an complete with a glossary which was penned by al-Ru'asi, but it is no longer extant.[7] Although he is regarded as the founder of the Kufan school, very few details are known about al-Ru'asi's life or his views on specific matters of dispute in Arabic grammar and he is rarely quoted by later grammarians.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hana Zabarah, Perspectives on Tenth Century Arabic Grammar Al-Zajjaji's "Jumal" "Patterns in Grammatical Discourse, pg. 10. Ann Arbor: ProQuest, 2005. ISBN 9780549478881
  2. ^ Kees Versteegh, Greek Elements in Arabic Linguistic Thinking, pg. 110. Volume 7 of Studies in Semitic languages and linguistics. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1977. ISBN 9789004048553
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 5, pg. 174, fascicules 81-82. Eds. Clifford Edmund Bosworth, E. van Donzel, Bernard Lewis and Charles Pellat. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1980. ISBN 9789004060562
  4. ^ a b Arik Sadan, The Subjunctive Mood in Arabic Grammatical Thought, pg. 339. Volume 66 of Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2012. ISBN 9789004232952
  5. ^ Monique Bernards, "Pioneers of Arabic Language Studies." Taken from In the Shadow of Arabic: The Centrality of Language to Arabic Culture, pg. 214. Ed. Bilal Orfali. Volume 63 of Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2011. ISBN 9789004215375
  6. ^ a b M.G. Carter, Sibawayh, pg. 24. Part of the Makers of Islamic Civilization series. London: I.B. Tauris, 2004. ISBN 9781850436713
  7. ^ Hussein Abdul-Raof, Theological Approaches to Qur'anic Exegesis: A Practical Comparative, pg. 85. Volume 32 of Culture and civilization in the Middle East. London: Routledge, 2012. ISBN 9780415449588
  8. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 8, pg. 573, fascicules 139-140. Eds. Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb, Johannes Hendrik Kramers, Bernard Lewis, Charles Pellat and Joseph Schacht. 1994.