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The importance of Arabic language

Arabic language is one of the Sematic languages. It is the official and literary language in all the 22 Arab nations, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf. There is over 185 million people speak Arabic in the Arab World. It is the language of the Qur’an, that’s why the Arabic language became the religious language of Islam. It was also the language of science and culture in the Arab Golden Ages.

Arabic language has many characteristics and advantages. It is a flexible language and rich in vocabulary. One of its features is that although the great promotion that has developed in it during ages, Arabic language could reserve its basis and principles which have been founded since the Ignorant State and beginnings of Islam Age. o Arabic language has a great importance. In the past, people used to hold competitions in poetry between each other, and some of the ancient Arabic poetry that reached to us considered the most sensitive and the closest poetry to heart and mind. The Importance of Arabic is that it’s a key to understanding the Qur’an we all feel touched when we open up a good translation of the meaning of the Qur’an and we ponder and wonder at the beauty of the words and the deep meanings within. But in reality we are just seeing a glimpse of the real treasure that the Qur’an is.

Imagine how you’d feel if you could understand the words of Allah in the form in which they were sent down and not just rely on a translation of the meaning in English or any other language. Imagine the power of the words and the directness of the message then! The potency would be awesome! The Qur’an is the word of Allah; a direct message from Allah to us His creation and Allah chose the Arabic language as the language of this message. Indeed Allah tells us this in the Qur’an emphasising to us that to understand the message in its fuller form one must understand the language: “Indeed we have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that you may understand” (Surah Yusuf, Aayah 2) “And thus we have inspired to you an Arabic Qur’an so that you may warn the mother of towns and all around it” (Surah ash-Shura, 7) Arabic and the message of the Qur’an cannot be separated and translators throughout the ages have tried to convey to the non-Arabic speaking people the beauty of the meaning of the Qur’an but have always called it ‘The translation of the meaning of the Qur’an’, emphasising the fact that the Qur’an’s direct translation is not possible, because so much of the potency and splendour of the words and their meanings which are inextricably linked to the Arabic language are lost in English or any other language.

Indeed to even appreciate the poetic beauty of the Qur’an one needs to have an understanding of Arabic. The language itself was one of the miracles of the Qur’an. Allah challenges mankind: “And if you are in doubt about what we have sent down to our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful. But if you do not do it, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers” (Surah Baqarah, aayaat 23-24) The Preservation of the Arabic Language Languages usually evolve. Just look at the difference between Shakespearean English and modern day English. In many ways they seem like two totally different languages and a man from England in Shakespearean times and a man from modern day England would find it extremely difficult to communicate! But the Arabic language is not just ‘a language’. This is why the Sahabah and the early generations of Muslims strove to preserve the classical Arabic language. It was Ali (RA) who noticed on the tongues of some of the Arabs a slight change in dialect and ordered for the grammar rules of Arabic to be recorded in a universal form.

He knew that the preservation of the Arabic language was part of the preservation of Islam itself. Arabic unified the Muslim countries as it spread to every land that embraced Islam. Today you will find that although Arabs throughout the world unfortunately have different colloquial dialects, they are still taught the Classical Arabic in their schools and Classical Arabic is the standard written Arabic in every Arabic newspaper and book. So it has been preserved by Allah as He(SWT) promised in the Qur’an: “Indeed we have sent down the Reminder and surely we will preserve it.” (Surah Hijr, Aayah 9), Imam ash-Shaafi’ee (RH) also said : “It is compulsory for every responsible Muslim to learn what they can of the Arabic language.” The great 8th century scholar Shaykul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (RH) even went so far as to say that, “The Arabic language is part of the Religion, and knowing it is an obligation.” Unfortunately, we have become comfortable with simply relying on translations and spending all of our time and efforts in studying other things, (other languages even!) which may not even benefit us in the hereafter and have forgotten that the Qur’an is in a very approachable language and we all have the ability or rather the responsibility to study and understand it.

If you knew that Allah (SWT) had a message for you, personally, then would you not want to understand it in its original form? Think about it…we have the last revelation to mankind, the only communication from our Lord and Master, which is preserved in its original form, and yet in a 70 odd year life we do not give it the attention, which it deserves. We should realise that Allah has honoured us with the Qur’an and chosen for us the noblest of languages. Attention to Arabic is attention to the Book of Allah so we should make learning it a priority. One of the definite benefits of learning Arabic is that it aids Khushoo’ or consciousness in salaah and helps us to improve all of our worships. Taraweeh prayer in Ramadan becomes a new experience!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Mark

    Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.

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