I know from experience that one of the main challenges when learning Arabic is the missing Tashkeel. In case you are wondering Tashkeel is the term for the Harakat or the Diacritical Markers like ‘Fatha’, ‘Dhamma’, ‘Kathra’ etc. that are put on the letters which tell you how to pronounce them. You find these marks on the Quranic text for example.
While the experienced Arabic reader doesn’t need them to read Arabic text, it can be a major challenge for the beginner. Without the Harakat, you might find trouble, not just with the pronunciation, but also in making out the words.
You Have 3 Ways to Master Arabic Reading Without Harakat or Vowel Marks
- Read to someone and have them correct your mistakes
- Read a lot of books with Harakat
- Listen to audiobooks and follow along
I will help you with the latter two options.
Unfortunately it can be extremely hard to find books with vowel marks. But the good news is, I have compiled enough books for you here to practice your reading till you wont need the Harakat anymore. InshaAllah.
Best Arabic Books For Beginners With Tashkeel
I have tried to pick out the books that are most beneficial for those setting out on their journey of seeking Islamic knowledge. These are books highly recommended for beginners. So these books can teach you Arabic and at the same time give you a strong foundation in ‘ilm.
1.Tafsir Al-Sa’di :
Written by Sheikh Abd ar-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa’di (born 1889), it is a clear, concise Tafsir that is considered Authentic. It is widely considered the best Tasfir for beginners, due to its simple methodology and avoidance of unnecessary details. It is a great place to start reading the Quran in Arabic as it will give you enough context for the verses you don’t understand.
I have complied the Juz Amma of Tasfir Al-Sa’di with Tashkeel here. Click here or on the image below to download.
Inshallah it will give you enough practice to move on to the remaining without Tashkeel.
In case you want to the full text with Tashkeel you can go to islamweb.net/maktaba. Click on the (تَ) icon at the top left to activate Tashkeel.
2.Arbaeen Al-Nawawee – The 40 Hadith of Imam Al-Nawawi
These 40 Hadith hand-picked by Imam Al-Nawawi are so popular and recommended for beginners and advanced students alike because they cover many basic concepts of our Deen across many sciences. Try to understand as well as memorize as many as you can from these Ahadith. Download here
3, 4, and 5. Al-Usool Al-Thalatha, Al-Qawaid al-Arba’a and Kitab al-Tawheed
These 3 books are by Sheikh Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, on Aqeedah or Islamic Creed. These are important books to read when setting out to seek knowledge as they teach the most fundamental concepts of Tawheed very thoroughly. I recommend that you proceed in the order mentioned with these three books as the first two are very short and simple while Kitab al-Tawheed is a bit longer. It helps to listen to the explanations or recorded duroos of these books which you can find online.
Al-Qawaid Al-Arba’a (PDF + MP3)
Kitab al-Tawheed (The file contains other texts as well)
6. Seerah: Saheeh Al-Seerah Al-Nabawiyyah
I haven’t found any appropriate Seerah books with Tashkeel so far. But here is a great Audio book.
This is a great book to listen to while you are in your car or on your daily commute.
7. Zad Al-Mustaqni’
Zad al-Mustaqni’ is the summary of the book al-Muqni’ by ibn Qudama, which is one of the main references of Hanbali fiqh. This book claims to contain the strongest or best opinions of Imam Ahmad on various issues. While you definitely need a teacher, or at the very least an explanation of the book to understand the concepts properly, it is nevertheless a great way to get some reading practice. Download here.
Audiobooks are a great resource you should never overlook. Most people spends hours and hours on their daily commute or in their car. Some go on long journeys often. All these opportunities are goldmines for learning. While reading a book might not be practical in many of these situations. Listening to audiobooks can be perfect. Go to the Resources section where I have 100’s of hours of full audiobooks you can download for free. Load them up on your phone now.
Where To Go From Here?
A few months of hard work with these books should be enough for you to move on to reading without Tashkeel. Once you do, there is no turning back. There are more that 1000 years of books and wisdom waiting for you to explore.