Arabic the language of Islam and Arabisation

2.2.Arabic, the language of Islam


The section unfolds the history of Arabic language in its variation towards Morocco. The Arabic has enriched the linguistic landscape in which it has played bilingual and diglossic forms in the society. The Arabic embodies in various varieties concluded in classical Arabic, modern standard Arabic, and Moroccan Arabic.

„‟In the seventh century A.D. the Arabs invaded Morocco, spreading Islam among the hitherto pagan Amazighs‟‟ (Bentahila, 1983). Sybil Bullock stated “When Uqba Ibn Nafi of the Umayyad Caliphate led the first Arab invasion into Morocco in 681 AD, he brought with him Islam and Classical Arabic” (2014). The indigenous habitants, Amazigh, facilitated the interaction with Arabs and learned language Arabic to deal with traders economically speaking.


The Amazighs in far places have been converted to Islam by Arab missionaries and acquired the written scripts in order to read Quran and understand religious speeches (Bentahila, 1983, p. 2). According to Ferguson (1959), the religion plays significant role in the hegemony of the language through diverse part of the globe. Indeed, the Arabic has been the official language of Morocco through the monarchies that were established twelve century ago because it is the language in which the Allah revealed Holy Quran and the Islam. This situation lasted to the present time though the reform of constitution of 2011, Article 5 states that “Arabic is … the official language of the State”.

The Arabic in Morocco divided into three varieties. Classical Arabic, CA, overlaps the religious matters in the mosque and Quran. It is the source of the other varieties. CA is codified consisted of old vocabularies. Modern standard Arabic, MSA, exploited in the media, public administrations, schools and tribunal. This one is the modernized Arabic to suit the today functions. Moroccan Arabic, MA, covers the daily life of the Moroccan population. This dialect is melt of Arabic and Tamazight in morphology, phonology, syntax and vocabulary.


2.2.1. Arabization


The process of Arabization took place in Morocco after the independence from the French protectorate in 1956 (Bentahila, 1983; Ennaji, 2005; jamai, 2009). This step adopted to eradicate the influence of the colonization over the country in attempt to unify the population. „‟The term Arabisation became more significant in the wake of North Africa‟s independence from European colonial powers (France and Spain)‟‟ (Jamai, 2009, P. 45). The process made of Arabic „‟official language‟‟ and the language of instruction within the post-independence Moroccan education (Ennaji, 2005; Bentahila, 1983). Moreover, “Moroccanization … of foreign teachers and other staff by Moroccan nationals” (Bentahila, 1983, p. 122).

These changes lasted through many monarchies which pursuit the identical pattern of Islamic monarchy until the country entered into the protectorate under France in the beginning of twenty century.


Arabic the language of Islam and Arabisation French the language of the colonial rule 

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