Encyclopaedia Islamica

Get access

(1,287 words)

Abjad (ا‎, ب‎, ج‎, د‎), is the sequence of the first four letters of the twenty-two Semitic consonants, which are generally referred to as the early order of the Arabic alphabet.

The Arabic alphabet derives originally from Aramaic, through one of its main branches, the Nabataean language and script (see Azarnoosh, 75 et passim). However, as the classical North Semitic system contained no more than 22 consonants arranged in six groups, the remainder of the consonants used in Arabic, which comprises a total of 28 basic letters, were added later in the form of the two groups of thakhidh (ثخذ…

Cite this page
Azarnoosh, Azartash and Translated by Rahim Gholami, “Abjad”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 07 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-9831_isla_SIM_0081>
First published online: 2015

▲   Back to top   ▲