Most of the best-known Arabic Textbooks assume that you already know the Arabic script, or else they deal with the basics of the Arabic alphabet very briefly, before moving on to Arabic grammar. Therefore, if you are a complete beginner, we highly recommend that you go to the section Online Arabic and download the free textbook Reading and Writing the Arabic Script, and watch the free accompanying video lectures.

There are currently three prevalent trends in teaching Arabic:

1. Arabic immersion textbooks

2. Nahw books

3. Arabic grammar textbooks

More details on these different methods and their relative merits can be found in the article How to Learn Arabic in the Arabic Language section. For reasons given in the above-mentioned article, it is the third approach which is adopted by (see our Arabic Grammar course), and hence all of the Arabic textbooks reviewed in this section fall under that category. Books like al-Kitāb al-Asāsīal-‘Arabiyyah li al-Nāshi`īn and the 3 volume Madinah Arabic Course, all of which fall under the first category, are discussed in the above article, and not reviewed below, their popularity notwithstanding.

Those with some familiarity with nahw (Arabic syntax) may be surprised to see it listed separately from Arabic grammar books. To be clear, what is intended by the latter are books written in English which cover Arabic grammar, in terms of grammatical categories and linguistic structures familiar to English speakers – clearly, this doesn’t apply to nahw books.

Haywood and NahmadHaywood and Nahmad: A new Arabic Grammar of the Written Language Wright's GrammarW Wright: A Grammar of the Arabic Language
Thatcher's GrammarG W Thatcher: Arabic Grammar of the Written Language Wolfdieterich FischerW Fischer: A Grammar of Classical Arabic
Tritton: Teach Yourself ArabicA S Tritton: Teach Yourself Arabic