Professor Abd Al-Salam Haroun was born in Alexandria (Egypt) in 1908 to a family of renowned Islamic scholars. He memorized the Holy Quran and learned reading and writing during his childhood, then pursued formal education in Arabic and Islamic studies in Al-Azhar institute in Cairo. Thereafter, he joined Dar al-Ulum for higher education, graduating with a degree in Arabic in 1932.
Professor Haroun began his career as a faculty member of the College of Arts in Alexandria University, moving, in 1950, to Dar Al Ulum in Cairo where he became professor and Chair of the Department of Arabic Language. He assisted in designing curricula for the College of Arts in the then newly established Kuwait University, and chaired its Departments of Arabic Language and Graduate Studies for more than a decade.
Professor Harun was one of the most distinguished scholars of Arabic literature and language in modern times. He published his first edition, Matn ibn Shuja’a in 1925, when he was only 16. Two years later he published the first volume of his edition of Khizanat al-Adab by al-Baghdadi, and completed four other volumes while he was a student in Dar al-Ulum. His profundity was exceptional, and through the years, he produced around 115 books and editions, many of which consisting of several volumes. His publications covered a wide range of Arabic language and literary arts, history, religion and heritage. Among his major works are: Kitab Al-Hayawan (8 volumes) and Kitab Al-Bayan wa’l-Tabyin, (4 volumes), both by Al-Jahiz; Rules of Grammar (6 volumes) by Ibn Faris, Diwan Al-Hamasa by Al-Marzuqi (4 volumes), Kitab Seebawaih (4 volumes) and Tahqiq al-Nusus. He also wrote numerous seminal articles in Arabic literary journals and supervised or examined more than 80 MA and Ph.D. students.
His contributions were recognized, in addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Arabic Literature, by his election to the prestigious Arabic Language Academies of Egypt and Jordan, and his selection as Secretary General of the former and recipient of its award. He died in 1988.