Arabic alphabet

Jump to: navigation, search

The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others.

The alphabet was first used to write texts in Arabic -- most importantly, the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. With the spread of Islam, it came to be used to write many other languages, even outside of the Semitic family to which Arabic belongs. Examples of non-Semitic languages written with the Arabic alphabet include Persian, Urdu, Malay, Azerbaijani (in Iran) and Kurdish in Iraq. In order to accommodate the needs of these other languages, new letters and other symbols were added to the original alphabet. (See Arabic alphabets of other languages below.)

Just as different handwriting styles and typefaces exist in the Roman alphabet, the Arabic alphabet exists in different styles such as Nasta'līq, Thuluth, Kufic and others (see Arabic calligraphy). These styles can vary widely.

Note: the above was taken from the English version on the subject. The authors recommend (if possible) to take into consideration the much more detailed and complete article in french.


Way too many to enumerate here for the moment.

Please see Wikipedia's Current uses of the alphabet for languages other than Arabic

Dari, Kurdish, and Azeri are all quite similar to Farsi, reflecting the reach of the later Muslim Persian Empire.