June 22, 2024
The Quraysh and Nabataeans both descended from Banu Qedar. All of these tribes were purely Arabs and Arabic-speaking people.

Qedar was the son of Prophet Ismail ibn Ibrahim (peace be upon them) and his descendants are called Banu Qedar, known as Qedarites in Western literature. The Quraysh and Nabataeans both descended from Banu Qedar. All of these tribes were purely Arabs and Arabic-speaking people. The Quraysh dominated Makkah and its surroundings while the Nabataeans populated Jordan, with their capital Petra.

Dr. Jay Smith claims that the Arabic language of the Qur’an was not from Makkah but from the northern parts of the Arabian Peninsula around Jordan. He also claims that certain grammatical rules of the Qur’anic Arabic were borrowed from Nabataeans. On this basis, he concludes that the Qur’an wrongly claims its origin from Makkah. You can watch his claims in the following video:

Dr. Jay Smith ignored the fact that the Nabataeans and the Quraysh, both descending from the same Arab tribe, Banu Qedar, exhibited significant linguistic similarities despite their geographical separation. This shared heritage manifested prominently in their language and grammatical structures.

Common Linguistic Heritage

The Nabataeans, who inhabited regions primarily around modern-day Jordan, and the Quraysh, who were based in the area surrounding Makkah, both spoke dialects that evolved from a common Proto-Arabic ancestor. This common origin underpinned the similarities in their languages. Researches show that Nabataeans and Quraysh worshipped the same deities with similar names.

Grammatical Resemblances

  1. Syntax and Sentence Structure: Both groups utilized a similar syntactic framework, characterized by the use of a root-based morphology. This structure involved creating words and sentences through a combination of consonantal roots and vowel patterns, a hallmark of Semitic languages.
  2. Verb Conjugation: The verb conjugation systems of both languages followed patterns that indicated tense, mood, and aspect. These conjugations were often marked by specific prefixes, infixes, and suffixes attached to the root verbs, showcasing a shared grammatical heritage.
  3. Nominal System: The formation and inflection of nouns in both Nabataean and Quraysh dialects displayed resemblances. For instance, the dual form, a grammatical number used to indicate exactly two of something, was common in both dialects, reflecting a feature that can be traced back to Classical Arabic.
  4. Definite Articles and Particles: The use of definite articles such as “al-” in the Quraysh dialect and its equivalent in Nabataean suggests a shared syntactic rule for noun determination. Additionally, particles that indicated questions, negations, and conjunctions exhibited similar forms and usages in both languages.
  5. Phonetic Characteristics: Despite potential variations in pronunciation and accent influenced by geographical factors, the fundamental phonetic inventory of both dialects remained remarkably consistent. This included the presence of emphatic consonants, guttural sounds, and the use of long and short vowels.

Cultural and Linguistic Interactions

The trade routes and caravan networks that connected different parts of the Arabian Peninsula facilitated cultural and linguistic exchanges between the Nabataeans and the Quraysh. These interactions further reinforced the similarities in their grammatical rules and linguistic expressions. The movement of people, goods, and ideas across these regions helped maintain a level of linguistic coherence despite the distances involved.


The linguistic and grammatical parallels between the Nabataeans and the Quraysh highlight the enduring influence of their shared ancestral language. These resemblances in syntax, verb conjugation, nominal systems, definite articles, and phonetic characteristics underscore the deep-rooted connections between these two historically significant Arab groups. Their common linguistic heritage not only reflects their shared origins but also emphasizes the intricate web of interactions that shaped the linguistic landscape of the Arabian Peninsula.

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