Evolution of Arabic Grammar
The earliest attempt to write the Arabic grammar began when `Hazrat Ali (AlaihisSalam) commissioned one of his students, Abu al-Aswad ad-Du’ali (69 AH) to codify Arabic grammar. During the time of the caliphate of `Ali (AlaihisSalam), it was apparent that Arabic grammar needed to be systemized. This was because many of the non-Arabs who had embraced Islam were making critical errors in the Arabic language. Here is an excerpt from ad-Du’ali
“I came to the leader of the Believers, `Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib AlaihisSalam, and found that he was holding a note in his hand. I asked, ‘What is this, oh Leader of the Believers?’ He said, ‘I have been thinking of the language of the Arabs, and I came to find out that it has been corrupted through contacts with these foreigners. Therefore, I have decided to put something that they (the Arabs) refer to and rely on.’ Then, he gave me the note, and on it wrote: ‘Speech is made of nouns, verbs, and particles. Nouns are names of things, verbs provide information, and particles complete the meaning.’ Then he said to me, ‘Follow this approach and add to it what comes to your mind.’
Ad-Du’ali continued saying, “I wrote two chapters on conjunctions and attributes then two chapters on exclamation and interrogatives. Then I wrote about إِنَّ وَ أَخَوَاتِها and I skipped لَکِنَّ . When I showed that to him, he ordered me to add لَکِنَّ . Therefore, every time I finished a chapter I showed it to him, until I covered what I thought to be enough. He said, ‘How beautiful is the approach you have taken!’”
At this point in history, the science of grammar called اَلنَّحْو (Nahw) started to evolve and blossom. Following ad-Du’ali came many other grammarians, who studied and developed the science of the language. The period between 750 AD and 1500 AD saw more than 4000 grammarians who have been recorded in history.