A 16 year old American high school student who wants to study Classical Arabic seriously has a few options:

1. Take a year off and either go to an institute that specializes in teaching Classical or travel overseas

2. Take an online course on top of the already demanding schedule they have

3. Transfer to an Islamic school. (If they are blessed with a good one the school will have good secular studies and Islamic studies.) Unfortunately, many parents have to make the difficult decision of putting their children in a public school for secular studies and as a result outsource their Islamic education, many times through an outdated Sunday School system.

For the past decade or so these have been the avenues and options for students who take an interest in Classical Arabic at an earlier age. Each option requires a unique sacrifice. Some do not have the time or finances to make those sacrifices and are limited to the resources around them. So why hasn’t the Muslim American community found a solution to this? There are a few reasons:


  1. Most educational leaders such as principals and superintendents are unaware of the difference between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic. Put shortly, Classical Arabic is similar to Latin in that they have the characteristics of a dead language – a language that is not used in everyday speech and is used mainly for reading and writing purposes. While they both focus on Arabic, the demographics are drastically different. This requires an educational marketing campaign which takes time and effort.
  2. There are not enough teachers who speak fluent English that can teach Arabic well enough to high school students
  3. There are not enough interested high school students per school in Classical Arabic to warrant a separate class.
  4. Institutes that teach classical Arabic are either primarily focused on teaching communities or working with universities.
  5. Working with the public schooling system is a long process and many times requires accreditation.
  6. By outsourcing Classical Arabic, the student only has one source of motivation, their own interest, and is thus more likely to not complete the course. Having multiple sources of motivation leads to higher retention rates.


What is the solution?

  1. Use Classical Arabic courses as a foreign language credit that can be transferred to any high school. In order to do this one has to develop relationships with the high schools. Many high schools require an institute be accredited by some sort of body to take the relationship seriously.
  2. Instead of wrapping Classical Arabic as an Islamic endeavor we need to explain it as a cultural and language study. This mode of communication is important for public schools to understand what is being offered. The reason for this is because schools would be more hesitant to accept Islamic studies courses versus a language course.
  3. The goals of Classical Arabic are emphasized more on reading. Many times schools will require a speaking and listening portion. A program can focus on this but a good response to this is that Latin which is a dead language is taught at many schools and Classical Arabic is similar.
  4. Accessibility – post Covid-19 online classes became normalized. Because the Muslim community is spread out the best way to get many students with a similar mindset is to have the courses online.

Arabic Daily is attempting to bridge this gap. They have recently been accredited by Cognia, the world leading accrediting body for high schools. They are in constant communication with high schools around the United States and are accepting their first batch this Fall 2021. A student just needs to fill out the form and Arabic Daily will contact the high school on behalf of the student.