Ibn Abi Ishaq

Died on 735

ʿAbd-Allāh ibn Abī Isḥāq al-Ḥaḍramī;

(Arabic, عبد الله بن أبي اسحاق الحضرمي), (died AD 735 / AH 117) is considered the first grammarian of the Arabic language. He compiled a prescriptive grammar by referring to the usage of the Bedouins, whose language was seen as especially pure (see also iʿrāb, aʿrāb). He is also considered the first person to use linguistic analogy in Arabic.

Two students of Ibn Abi Ishaq’s were Harun ibn Musa and Abu ‘Amr ibn al-‘Ala’. His student al-Thaqafi seems to have had more prescriptive views while al-‘Ala’s were more descriptive. Their differences have been suggested to lie at the core of the late division of Arabic grammar into the schools of Kufa and Basra. Ibn Abi Ishaq was said to be more proficient with the rules of grammar than the analysis of common speech.

Abi Ishaq’s work was considered influential upon later grammarians, as he was quoted as an authority by Sibawayhi in his seminal work on Arabic grammar seven times.