This essay, originally published in Hungarian in 1878 by one of the founders and great masters of Islamic studies in Europe, examines the origin and early history of Arabic grammar and some features of its later development with special regard to cultural historical aspects. Goldhizer's comprehensive approach weaves a whole system, connecting with other fields of Islamic culture and science, and so is of interest not only to Arabic linguists, but also historians of general linguistics and of Islam. The work has not been supplanted, nor become outdated. The original text is here supplemented with amendments and explanations. Also added are a comprehensive and updated bibliography, and appendix with original texts and two indices.