The Sabaeans or Sabeans were an ancient people speaking Sabaean, an Old South Arabian language, living in the southern Arabian Peninsula. The Identification of the kingdom of Sabaʾ with the biblical land of Sheba is disputed; the view that the biblical kingdom of Sheba was the ancient Semitic civilization of Saba in Southern Arabia is controversial: Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman write that "the Sabaean kingdom began to flourish only from the eighth century BC onward" and that the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba is "an anachronistic seventh-century set piece meant to legitimize the participation of Judah in the lucrative Arabian trade." The British Museum states that there is no archaeological evidence for such a queen but that the kingdom described as hers was Saba, "the oldest and most important of the South Arabian kingdoms". Kenneth Kitchen dates the kingdom to between 1200 BCE with its capital Ma ` rib; the Kingdom fell after a long but sporadic civil war between several Yemenite dynasties claiming kingship.
Sabaeans are mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible. In the Quran, they are described as either Saba’, or as the People of Tubba'; the origin of the Sabaean Kingdom is uncertain. Kenneth Kitchen dates the kingdom to around 1200 BCE, while Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman write that "the Sabaean kingdom began to flourish only from the eighth century BCE onward", Jan Ratso writes that there is "hardly any evidence" for such a kingdom until the ninth or eight century; the Sabaeans were one of the sha`bs, "communities", on the edge of the Sayhad desert. Early, at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, the political leaders of this tribal community managed to create a huge commonwealth of sha`bs occupying most of South Arabian territory, took the title mkrb SB', "mukarrib of the Sabaeans". Several factors caused a significant decline of the Sabaean state and civilization by the end of the 1st millennium BC. Saba' was conquered by the Himyarite Kingdom in the first century BCE; the Sabaean kingdom was conquered by the Ḥimyarites in the late 3rd century and at that time the capital was Ma'rib.
It was located along the strip of desert called Sayhad by medieval Arab geographers, now named Ramlat al-Sab'atayn. The Sabaean people were a South Arabian people; each of these peoples had regional kingdoms in ancient Yemen, with the Minaeans in the north in Wādī al-Jawf, the Sabeans on the southwestern tip, stretching from the highlands to the sea. The Sabaeans, like the other Yemenite kingdoms of the same period, were involved in the lucrative spice trade frankincense and myrrh, they left behind many inscriptions in the monumental ancient South Arabian script or Musnad, as well as numerous documents in the related cursive Zabūr script. In the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, Augustus claims that: By my command and under my auspices two armies were led at about the same time into Ethiopia and into Arabia, called the Blessed. Great forces of each enemy people were slain in battle and several towns captured. In Ethiopia the advance reached the town of Nabata, close to Meroe. Muslim writer Muhammad Shukri al-Alusi compares their religious practices to Islam in his Bulugh al-'Arab fi Ahwal al-'Arab: The Arabs during the pre-Islamic period used to practice certain things that were included in the Islamic Sharia.
They, for example, did not marry both her daughter. They considered marrying two sisters to be a most heinous crime, they censured anyone who married his stepmother, called him dhaizan. They made the major hajj and the minor umra pilgrimage to the Ka'ba, performed the circumlocution around the Ka'ba tawaf, ran seven times between Mounts Safa and Marwa sa'y, threw rocks and washed themselves after sexual intercourse, they gargled, sniffed water up into their noses, clipped their fingernails, removed all pubic hair and performed ritual circumcision. They cut off the right hand of a thief and stoned Adulterers A late Arabic writer wrote of the Sabaeans that they had seven temples dedicated to the seven planets, which they considered as intermediaries to be used in their relation to God; each of these temples had a characteristic geometric shape, a characteristic color, an image made of one of the seven metals. They had two sects and idol worshippers, the former doctrine was similar to one that come from Hermes Trismegistus.
Sabaeans are mentioned in the biblical books of Job, Joel and Isaiah. The Book of Job mentions them as having slayed Job's livestock and servants. In Isaiah they are described as "tall of stature"; the name of Saba' is mentioned in the Qur'an twice, in the 27th and 34th Chapters, with the latter Sūrah being named after the area. The former refers to the area in the context of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, whereas the latter refers to the Sayl al-ʿArim, in which the historic dam was ruined by flooding; as for the phrase "Qawm Tubba'", which occurs in the 44th and 50th Chapters, "Tubba'" was a title for kings of Saba', like for Himyarites. Ancient South Arabian art Hamdan tribe Minaean Kingdom Hi
A personal name or full name is the set of names by which an individual is known and that can be recited as a word-group, with the understanding that, taken together, they all relate to that one individual. In many cultures, the term is synonymous with the birth name or legal name of the individual; the academic study of personal names is called anthroponymy. In Western culture, nearly all individuals possess at least one given name, together with a surname —respectively, the Abraham and Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln—the latter to indicate that the individual belongs to a family, a tribe, or a clan. Where there are two or more given names only one is used in normal speech. Another naming convention, used in the Arabic culture and in different other areas across Africa and Asia is connecting the person's given name with a chain of names, starting with the name of the person's father and the father's father and so on ending with the family name. However, the legal full name of a person contains the first three names with the family name at the end, to limit the name in government-issued ID.
Note that the wife's name does not change after marriage, it follows the naming convention described above. Some cultures, including Western ones add patronymics or matronymics. For instance, as a middle name as with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, or as a last name as with Björk Guðmundsdóttir or Heiðar Helguson. Similar concepts are present in Eastern cultures. However, in some areas of the world, many people are known by a single name, so are said to be mononymous. Still other cultures lack the concept of specific, fixed names designating people, either individually or collectively. Certain isolated tribes, such as the Machiguenga of the Amazon, do not use personal names. A person's full name identifies that person for legal and administrative purposes, although it may not be the name by which the person is known, it is nearly universal for people to have names. Common components of names given at birth include: Personal name: The given name can precede a family name, or it can come after the family name, or be used without a family name.
Patronymic: A surname based on the given name of the father. Matronymic: A surname based on the given name of the mother. Family name: A name used by all members of a family. In China, surnames came into common use beginning in the 3rd century BC. In some areas of East Asia, surnames developed in the next several centuries, while in other areas, surnames did not become prevalent until the 19th century. In Europe, after the loss of the Roman system, the common use of family names started quite early in some areas, but it did not happen until much in areas that used a patronymic naming custom, such as the Scandinavian countries and some areas of Germany, as well as Russia and Ukraine; the compulsory use of surnames varied greatly. France required a priest to write surnames in baptismal records in 1539. On the other hand, surnames were not compulsory in the Scandinavian countries until the 19th or 20th century in Norway, Iceland still does not use surnames for its native inhabitants. In Spain and most Latin American countries, two surnames are used, one being the father's family name and the other being the mother's family name.
Whereas Spain used to put the father's family name before the mother's family name and Brazil keep the inverse order but use the father's family name as the principal one. A Portuguese man named António de Oliveira Guterres would therefore be known as António Guterres. In Spain, the second surname is used if the first one is too common to allow an easy identification. For example, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is called Zapatero. In most of the cultures of the Middle East and South Asia, surnames were not used until European influence took hold in the 19th century. In many families, single or multiple middle names are alternative names, names honoring an ancestor or relative, or, for married women, sometimes their maiden names. In some traditions, the roles of the first and middle given names are reversed, with the first given name being used to honor a family member and the middle name being used as the usual method to address someone informally. Many Catholic families choose a saint's name as their child's middle name or this can be left until the child's confirmation when they choose a saint's name for themselves.
Cultures that use patronymics or matronymics will give middle names to distinguish between two named people: e.g. Einar Karl Stefánsson and Einar Guðmundur Stefánsson; this is done in Iceland where people are known and referred to exclusively by their given name/s. Some people choose to be anonymous, that is, to hide their true names, for fear of governmental prosecution or social ridicule
Saba is a Caribbean island, the smallest special municipality of the Netherlands. It consists of the active volcano Mount Scenery, at 887 metres the highest point of the entire Netherlands. Saba has a land area of 13 square kilometres; as of January 2013, the population was 1,991 inhabitants, with a population density of 150 inhabitants per square kilometre. It is the smallest territory or sovereign state by permanent population in the Americas, its towns and major settlements are The Bottom, Hell's Gate and St. Johns. Christopher Columbus is said to have sighted the island on 13 November 1493, he did not land. In 1632 a group of shipwrecked Englishmen landed upon Saba, they stated. In 1635 a stray Frenchman claimed Saba for Louis XIII of France. In the 1630s, the Dutch Governor of the neighboring island of Sint Eustatius sent several Dutch families over to colonize the island for the Dutch West India Company. In 1664, refusing to swear allegiance to the English crown, these original Dutch settlers were evicted to St. Maarten by Jamaican governors Edward and Henry Morgan.
The Netherlands have been in continuous possession of Saba since 1816, after numerous flag changes during the previous centuries. By 2016 the island had been French for 12 years, English for 18 years, Dutch for 345 years. In the 17th and 18th centuries Saba's major industries were sugar and rum produced on plantations owned by Dutchmen living on St Eustatius, fishing lobster fishing. In the 17th century Saba was believed to be a favorable hideout for Jamaican pirates. England deported its "undesirable" people to live in the Caribbean colonies, some of them became pirates, a few taking haven on Saba; the island of Saba is forbidding and steep, a natural fortress, so the island became a private sanctuary for the families of smugglers and pirates. The most notable native Saban pirate was Hiram Beakes. Legitimate sailing and trade became important, many of the island's men took to the sea, during which time "Saba lace", pulled thread work, a Spanish form of needlework introduced by a nun from Venezuela, became an important product made by the island's women.
Throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century, the primary source of revenue for the island came from the lacework produced by the women. During this period of time, with most of the island's men gone out to sea, the island became known as "The Island of Women"; the remains of the settlements of 1630–1640 can be found on the west side at Tent Bay. These settlements were destroyed by a landslide in the 17th century. A status referendum was held in Saba on 5 November 2004. 86.05% of the population voted for closer links to the Netherlands. Saba is the northernmost active volcano in the Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc chain of islands. At 887 metres, Mount Scenery is the highest point within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the island is composed of a single rhomb-shaped volcano measuring 4.6 kilometres east to west and 4.0 kilometres north to south The oldest dated rocks on Saba are around 400,000 years old, the most recent eruption was shortly before the 1630s European settlement. Between 1995 and 1997, an increase in local seismic activity was associated with a 7°-12°C rise in the temperature of the hot springs on the island's northwest and southeast coasts.
There is a 8.6 hectares cloud forest located at and above 825 metres on top of the mountain referred to as the "Elfin Forest Reserve" because of its high altitude mist and mossy appearance. The most dominant tree in the cloud forest is the Mountain Mahogany, although hurricanes over the years have destroyed a large number of the mature trees. Despite the name, the mountain mahogany is not related to other mahogany species; the native mahogany trees are considered to be at risk of becoming extinct on Saba. In the underbrush of the mahogany trees, the Sierran palm and tree ferns dominate, with a large variety of epiphytes and Orchids growing on the trunks and branches of all the trees. Wild raspberries and plantain trees can be found growing on most of the mountain. All seven of the Lesser Antilles Endemic Bird Area restricted-range birds occur in the Elfin Forest Reserve. Below the cloud forest is a sub-montane forest, the variety and average number of species are less. Redwood and Mountain fuchsia tree trees grow wild in this zone, as well as cactus species such as the prickly pear, Seagrape trees.
On the lowest southern and eastern slopes of Saba are scattered shrubs. Saba National Land Park is a 35 hectares national park located on the north coast of Saba. Owned by the Sulphur Mining Company, the park was established in January 1998 and the property was turned over to the Saba Conservation Foundation in 1999, it stretches from the coastline all the way up to the cloud forest, encompasses all vegetation zones present on Saba. The coastline of Saba is rubble and rocky cliffs that are 100 metres or taller with no permanent beaches; the steep
The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God. It is regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature; the Quran is divided into chapters. Muslims believe that the Quran was orally revealed by God to the final Prophet, through the archangel Gabriel, incrementally over a period of some 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40, concluding in 632, the year of his death. Muslims regard the Quran as Muhammad's most important miracle, a proof of his prophethood, the culmination of a series of divine messages starting with those revealed to Adam and ending with Muhammad; the word "Quran" occurs some 70 times in the Quran's text, other names and words are said to refer to the Quran. According to tradition, several of Muhammad's companions served as scribes and recorded the revelations. Shortly after his death, the Quran was compiled by the companions, who had written down or memorized parts of it; the codices showed differences that motivated Caliph Uthman to establish a standard version, now known as Uthman's codex, considered the archetype of the Quran known today.
There are, variant readings, with minor differences in meaning. The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in the Biblical scriptures, it summarizes some, dwells at length on others and, in some cases, presents alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance for mankind 2:185, it sometimes offers detailed accounts of specific historical events, it emphasizes the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence. Hadith are additional written traditions supplementing the Quran. In most denominations of Islam, the Quran is used together with hadith to interpret sharia law. During prayers, the Quran is recited only in Arabic. Someone who has memorized the entire Quran is called a hafiz. Quranic verse is sometimes recited with a special kind of elocution reserved for this purpose, called tajwid. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims complete the recitation of the whole Quran during tarawih prayers. In order to extrapolate the meaning of a particular Quranic verse, most Muslims rely on exegesis, or tafsir.
The word qurʼān appears assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun of the Arabic verb qaraʼa, meaning "he read" or "he recited"; the Syriac equivalent is qeryānā, which refers to "scripture reading" or "lesson". While some Western scholars consider the word to be derived from the Syriac, the majority of Muslim authorities hold the origin of the word is qaraʼa itself. Regardless, it had become an Arabic term by Muhammad's lifetime. An important meaning of the word is the "act of reciting", as reflected in an early Quranic passage: "It is for Us to collect it and to recite it."In other verses, the word refers to "an individual passage recited ". Its liturgical context is seen in a number of passages, for example: "So when al-qurʼān is recited, listen to it and keep silent." The word may assume the meaning of a codified scripture when mentioned with other scriptures such as the Torah and Gospel. The term has related synonyms that are employed throughout the Quran; each synonym possesses its own distinct meaning, but its use may converge with that of qurʼān in certain contexts.
Such terms include kitāb. The latter two terms denote units of revelation. In the large majority of contexts with a definite article, the word is referred to as the "revelation", that, "sent down" at intervals. Other related words are: dhikr, used to refer to the Quran in the sense of a reminder and warning, ḥikmah, sometimes referring to the revelation or part of it; the Quran describes itself as "the discernment", "the mother book", "the guide", "the wisdom", "the remembrance" and "the revelation". Another term is al-kitāb, though it is used in the Arabic language for other scriptures, such as the Torah and the Gospels; the term mus'haf is used to refer to particular Quranic manuscripts but is used in the Quran to identify earlier revealed books. Islamic tradition relates that Muhammad received his first revelation in the Cave of Hira during one of his isolated retreats to the mountains. Thereafter, he received revelations over a period of 23 years. According to hadith and Muslim history, after Muhammad immigrated to Medina and formed an independent Muslim community, he ordered many of his companions to recite the Quran and to learn and teach the laws, which were revealed daily.
It is related that some of the Quraysh who were taken prisoners at the Battle of Badr regained their freedom after they had taught some of the Muslims the simple writing of the time. Thus a group of Muslims became literate; as it was spoken, the Quran was recorded on tablets and the wide, flat ends of date palm fronds. Most suras were in use amongst early Mu
Legend is a genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions perceived or believed both by teller and listeners to have taken place within human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human values, possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. Legend, for its active and passive participants, includes no happenings that are outside the realm of "possibility," but may include miracles. Legends may be transformed over time, in order to keep them fresh and realistic. Many legends operate within the realm of uncertainty, never being believed by the participants, but never being resolutely doubted; the Brothers Grimm defined legend as folktale grounded. A modern folklorist's professional definition of legend was proposed by Timothy R. Tangherlini in 1990: Legend is a short episodic, traditional ecotypified historicized narrative performed in a conversational mode, reflecting on a psychological level a symbolic representation of folk belief and collective experiences and serving as a reaffirmation of held values of the group to whose tradition it belongs.
Legend is a loanword from Old French that entered English usage circa 1340. The Old French noun legende derives from the Medieval Latin legenda. In its early English-language usage, the word indicated a narrative of an event; the word legendary was a noun meaning a collection or corpus of legends. This word changed to legendry, legendary became the adjectival form. By 1613, English-speaking Protestants began to use the word when they wished to imply that an event was fictitious. Thus, legend gained its modern connotations of "undocumented" and "spurious", which distinguish it from the meaning of chronicle. In 1866, Jacob Grimm described the fairy tale as "poetic, legend historic." Early scholars such as Karl Wehrhan Friedrich Ranke and Will Erich Peuckert followed Grimm's example in focussing on the literary narrative, an approach, enriched after the 1960s, by addressing questions of performance and the anthropological and psychological insights provided in considering legends' social context.
Questions of categorising legends, in hopes of compiling a content-based series of categories on the line of the Aarne–Thompson folktale index, provoked a search for a broader new synthesis. In an early attempt at defining some basic questions operative in examining folk tales, Friedrich Ranke in 1925 characterised the folk legend as "a popular narrative with an objectively untrue imaginary content" a dismissive position, subsequently abandoned. Compared to the structured folktale, legend is comparatively amorphous, Helmut de Boor noted in 1928; the narrative content of legend is in realistic mode, rather than the wry irony of folktale. In Einleitung in der Geschichtswissenschaft, Ernst Bernheim asserted that a legend is a longstanding rumour. Gordon Allport credited the staying-power of some rumours to the persistent cultural state-of-mind that they embody and capsulise; when Willian Jansen suggested that legends that disappear were "short-term legends" and the persistent ones be termed "long-term legends", the distinction between legend and rumour was obliterated, Tangherlini concluded.
In the narrow Christian sense, legenda were hagiographical accounts collected in a legendary. Because saints' lives are included in many miracle stories, legend, in a wider sense, came to refer to any story, set in a historical context but that contains supernatural, divine or fantastic elements. Hippolyte Delehaye distinguished legend from myth: "The legend, on the other hand, has, of necessity, some historical or topographical connection, it refers imaginary events to some real personage, or it localizes romantic stories in some definite spot."From the moment a legend is retold as fiction, its authentic legendary qualities begin to fade and recede: in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving transformed a local Hudson River Valley legend into a literary anecdote with "Gothic" overtones, which tended to diminish its character as genuine legend. Stories that exceed the boundaries of "realism" are called "fables". For example, the talking animal formula of Aesop identifies his brief stories as fables, not legends.
The parable of the Prodigal Son would be a legend if it were told as having happened to a specific son of a historical father. If it included a donkey that gave sage advice to the Prodigal Son it would be a fable. Legend may be transmitted orally, passed on person-to-person, or, in the original sense, through written text. Jacob de Voragine's Legenda Aurea or "The Golden Legend" comprises a series of vitae or instructive biographical narratives, tied to the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, they are presented as lives of the saints, but the profusion of miraculous happenings and above all their uncritical context are characteristics of hagiography. The Legenda was intended to inspire extemporized homilies and sermons appropriate to the saint of the day; the vanishing hitchhiker is the best-known urban legend in America, traceable as far back as 1870, but it is found around the world including in Korea and Russia. In the legend, a young girl in a white dress picked up alongside of the road by a passerby.
The unknown girl in white remains silent for the duration of her ride, thanks the driver, gets
Sheba is a kingdom mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran. Sheba features in Jewish and Christian Ethiopian Christian, traditions, it was the home of the biblical "Queen of Sheba", left unnamed in the Bible, but receives the names Makeda in Ethiopian and Bilqīs in Arabic tradition. The predominant scholarly view is that the biblical narrative about the kingdom of Sheba was based on the ancient civilization of Saba in South Arabia, in contradiction to several local traditions from different countries. Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman write that "the Sabaean kingdom began to flourish only from the eighth century BCE onward" and that the story of Solomon and Sheba is "an anachronistic seventh-century set piece meant to legitimize the participation of Judah in the lucrative Arabian trade." The British Museum states that there is no archaeological evidence for such a queen but that the kingdom described as hers was Saba, "the oldest and most important of the South Arabian kingdoms".
Kenneth Kitchen dates the kingdom to between 1200 BCE until 275 CE with its Ma ` rib. The kingdom fell after a long but sporadic civil war between several Yemenite dynasties claiming kingship, resulting in the rise of the late Himyarite Kingdom; the two names Sheba and Seba are mentioned several times in the Bible with different genealogy. For instance, in the Generations of Noah Seba, along with Dedan, is listed as a descendant of Noah's son Ham. On in the Book of Genesis and Dedan are listed as names of sons of Jokshan, son of Abraham. Another Sheba is listed in the Table of Nations as a son of Joktan, another descendant of Noah's son Shem. There are several possible reasons for this confusion. One theory is that the Sabaean established many colonies to control the trade routes and the variety of their caravan stations confused the ancient Israelites, as their ethnology was based on geographical and political grounds and not racial. Another theory suggests that the Sabaeans hailed from the southern Levant and established their kingdom on the ruins of the Minaeans.
It can not be confirmed. The most famous claim to fame for the biblical land of Sheba was the story of the Queen of Sheba, who travelled to Jerusalem to question King Solomon, arriving in a large caravan with precious stones and gold; the apocryphal Christian Arabic text Kitāb al-Magall, considered part of Clementine literature, the Syriac Cave of Treasures, mention a tradition that after being founded by the children of Saba, there was a succession of 60 female rulers up until the time of Solomon. Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, describes a place called Saba as a walled, royal city of Ethiopia that Cambyses II renamed as Meroë, he writes that "it was both encompassed by the Nile quite round, the other rivers and Astaboras", offering protection from both foreign armies and river floods. According to Josephus it was the conquering of Saba that brought great fame to a young Egyptian prince exposing his personal background as a slave child named Moses. In the Quran, Sheba is mentioned in surat an-Naml in a section that speaks of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon.
The Quran mentions this ancient community along with other communities. In the Quran, the story follows the Bible and other Jewish sources. Solomon commanded the Queen of Sheba whereupon she appeared before him. Before the queen had arrived, Solomon had moved her throne to his place with the help of one of his men who had knowledge from the scripture, she recognized the throne, disguised, accepted the faith of Solomon. Muslim commentators such as al-Tabari, al-Zamakhshari, al-Baydawi supplement the story at various points; the Queen's name is given as Bilqis derived from Greek παλλακίς or the Hebraised pilegesh, "concubine". According to some he married the Queen, while other traditions assert that he gave her in marriage to a tubba of Hamdan. According to the Islamic tradition as represented by al-Hamdani, the queen of Sheba was the daughter of Ilsharah Yahdib, the Himyarite king of Najran. Although the Quran and its commentators have preserved the earliest literary reflection of the complete Bilqis legend, there is little doubt among scholars that the narrative is derived from a Jewish Midrash.
Bible stories of the Queen of Sheba and the ships of Ophir served as a basis for legends about the Israelites traveling in the Queen of Sheba's entourage when she returned to her country to bring up her child by Solomon. There is a Muslim tradition that the first Jews arrived in Yemen at the time of King Solomon, following the politico-economic alliance between him and the Queen of Sheba. However, that tradition is suspected to be an apologetic fabrication of Jews in Yemen transferred to Islam, just like many other traditions. Muslim scholars, including Ibn Kathir, related that the people of Sheba were Arabs from South Arabia. In Ethiopian tradition, the Sheba, Joktan's son is considered their primary ancestor, while Sabtah and Sabtechah, sons of Cush, are considered the ancestors of the Cushites. Traditional Yemenite genealogies mention Saba, son of Qahtan. In the medieval Ethiopian Kebra Nagast, Sheba was located in Ethiopia; some scholars therefore point to a
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.