Ibn Faris on Arabic
One of the greatest lexicographers of the 10th century known for ordering the Arabic dictionaries as we generally have them today, Abu’l-Husayn Ahmad Ibn Faris (d.395/1004) said regarding the Arabic language:
“When Allah – May His praises be Exalted – differentiated the Arabic language with clarity and purity (al-bayan), it became known that all other languages fall short of it…”
فلما خَصَّ – جل ثناؤه – اللسانَ العربيَّ بالبيانِ، عُلِمَ أن سائر اللغات قاصرةٌ عنه، وواقعة دونه
- The quality of bayan (clarity or purity in speech) was – and continues to hold – importance for what differentiates Arabic from other languages.
- It is not Arabic per se, but the quality of bayan which inheres in the languages in a unique and unparalleled way.
- The Arabic language is the means by which Islamic ideas and solutions can be reconnected with and revived.
 For biographical information, see Ibn Khallikan’s Wafayat al-A`yan, 1:100-102.
 Ibn al-Faris, al-Sahibi fi Fiqh al-Lugha, 1:4.