Arabic Root System Overview

The Arabic root or جذر refers to a three or four consonant base-word which represents a core meaning or concept. Most roots in Arabic are made up of three consonants. A large number of words can be derived from each root. 

For example, the root k-t-b كَتَبَ carries the meaning ‘writing’.

Various words are derived from this root, all associated with the idea ‘writing’ literally or abstractly.

Words are formed from these roots by addition of vowels (short and double) and consonants (like hamza, t, s, y, m, n, w).

He wrotekatabaكَتَبَ
He correspondedkātabaكَاتَبَ
Write! uktubuاُكْتُبْ
I write aktubuأَكْتُبُ

The root system is a unique and amazing concept in the Arabic language which allows you to rapidly expand your vocabulary. Once you start recognising these patterns, it will be very easy for you to remember the meanings of new words.


Let’s try to identify the roots of some frequent words in the Qur’ān.


The Root R-S-L

أَرْسَلَarsalaHe sent
مُرْسَلmursalThat which was sent

The Root Kh-L-Q

خ – ل – ق kh-l-q creation
خَلَقَ khalaqa He created
خَلْق khalq creation
خَالِق khāliq creator
مَخْلُوق makhlūq creation
خَلَّاق khallāq One who creates repeatedly
اِخْتِلَاق ikhtilāq Fabrication (lies that are made up)
خُلُق khuluq Character (what a person is made of)

Upgrade to Pro

Get lifetime access to great additional resources with our pro plan


  • All Basic Lessons
  • All Quizes


$ 39
  • All Lessons
  • All Quizzes
  • Visual Learning
  • Immersion Exercises
  • Progress Tracking
  • Certificate

How can I make this better?

Your feedback goes a long way in helping me improving these lessons. Help me find mistakes, explain things better, or just let me know what’s on your mind.

Write a review?

Let the world know what you think about this project!

Is this Useful?