Why is the Arabic is named as the language of dhad (ض)?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Pertaining to the question presented, Arabic is also named as the language of dhad (ض) due to a famous hadith (saying) which is:
أَنَا أَفْصَحُ مَنْ نَطَقَ بِالضَّادِ
I am the most well-versed in pronouncing the letter dhad (ض)
Definition of Dhad
Dhad is one of the Hija’ (هجاء) alphabets.
The ruling of the Hadith
- Imam Ibn Kathir also said: It is of no origin. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 1:57]
- Imam al-Sakhawi said: Its meaning is sahih, but is of no origin as stated by Ibn Kathir. [al-Maqasid al-Hasanah, 1:167]
- Imam al-Ajlouny said: Its meaning is sahih, but is of no origin as stated by Ibn Kathir and other huffaz of hadith. Besides, this hadith is also mentioned by the scholars who accumulate or gather hadiths which are gharib (odd) and is not known of its sanad. [Kasyf al-Khafa’, 1:200]
- Sheikh Mula Ali Qari said: Its meaning is sahih, but of no origin. [Al-Asrar al-Marfu’ah, 1:116]
- Muhammad al-Hut said: Its meaning is sahih, but of no origin, as stated by Ibn Kathir and what is mentioned by the learned people in their writings that it is a wrongdoing. [Asna al-Mathalib, 1:91]
After considering the scholars’ opinion upon this hadith, we are of the opinion that this hadith (saying) is not sahih and we cannot say it is from the Prophet PBUH even if its meaning is sahih. The meaning of this hadith is sahih in which the Prophet PBUH is the most well-versed in pronouncing and articulating the hija’ alphabets. Besides, the letter dhad is the hardest letter to be pronounced especially by the non-Arabs. Therefore, the Arabic language is named as the language of dhad referring to the hardest alphabet to be pronounced among the hija’ alphabets. However, it is merely a name and does not have any impact towards one’s aqidah or ibadah.
Lastly, may Allah SWT make us from among the most well-versed in reciting al-Quran and always practice what is commanded by Him. Ameen.