Why You Should Learn Arabic?
Before you decide on “How to Learn Arabic” you should first ask yourself “Why You Should Learn Arabic”.
So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons for learning Arabic as Muslims in this post.
1) You should learn Arabic because it is a symbol of Islam and the language of the Qur’an.
As Muslims we have no choice but to learn the Language of the Qur’an.
BECAUSE ALLAH CHOSE THE ARABIC LANGUAGE TO CARRY HIS FINAL MESSAGE TO ALL MANKIND.
The Qur’an contains the exact words which Allah revealed to our beloved prophet (Peace be upon him) and the exact words which the Prophet recited. Nothing added or deleted.
2) The “Qur’an” is NOT the “Qur’an” if it is not in the Arabic Language; otherwise it is a mere translation, an interpretation.
Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali said “It is a pity that many nations are only satisfied in the translated meaning of the Qur’an and Prophet’s Sunnah instead of studying the (true) Arabic text of the Qur’an and Prophet’s Sunnah. For this reason they are divided into various sects (due to the lack of knowledge about the religion of Islam) e.g. as regards to the ways of religious education, etc. so they are plunged in differences, which was prohibited by Allaah.”
Translations are mainly meant for informing the people who have not yet embraced Islam to make clear to them the principles of Islam and the teachings of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and to know its exact facts. When they reach this state and Allaah has blessed them with Islam, they must take the Qur’anic and the Messenger’s Language (i.e. Arabic) as the only language to understand Islam.
3) As Muslims we are obligated to recite the Qur’an in Arabic EVERY SINGLE DAY. And based on the Quran and Hadith, it can be said that every Muslim has the following obligations towards the Quran: –
To believe in the Quran;
To read it and recite it daily;
To understand its commandments;
To act upon its teachings; and
To convey its teachings to others
It is obvious that most of these obligations cannot be fully discharged unless the understanding of the Quran is acquired! When those who were given the book of Allah could no longer prove themselves to be its worthy bearers, they were described as donkeys laden with books. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says,
“The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Taurat then they did not bore it (i.e., failed in the obligations), is like the donkey who carries volumes (of books but understands nothing from them).”
4) Our SALAAH is in the Arabic Language.
And We cannot have khushoo and khuzoo in our Salaah until and unless we understand what we are saying in our Salaah.
5) The Language of the Qur’an is a Miracle. THAT MIRACLE will never touch our hearts unless we learn and know the Language of the Qur’an.
The Quran is revealed in Arabic. It is neither prose nor poetry but a unique combination of both.
It is simply inimitable and untranslatable.
However, in spite of the limitations of translation, a sincere reader of the Quran will not be deprived of guidance. The message of the Quran is so powerful that it will have its due effect on the reader even if one reads the ‘translation’ only. But to feel the real charm of its originality by one’s heart, mind, and reason, and ultimately by the soul, one should understand the Quran via the Arabic text.
We are linked with the Quran through one or all of the following sources: one’s own recitation, listening to it in individual/congregational prayers, and audio and video channels. However, it is essential that we understand the full message of our Creator.
How can the Qur’an guide you and how can you ponder over it and implement the Guidance of the Qur’an in your daily life if you do not understand the Language of the Qur’an!
The beauty, the Eloquence, the Miracle and the Divine Wisdom of the Qur’an will penetrate the innermost depth of your heart and you will experience the joy and happiness which cannot be expressed but can only be felt in the Believer’s Heart.
6) Language has a clear and strong effect on one’s thinking, behavior and religious commitment.
Shaykh ‘Umar Uzbak, a great Turkish man, who strove for Islam in Uzbakistan under the Russian government had said: ‘Russians had compelled us to learn perfectly the Russian language (by force), so we learnt it. And unless they knew that the learning of the Russian language will make the person who learns it, follow their ways of thinking, characters, and their traditions, they would not have forced anybody to learn it.’
Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said that, the Language has a clear and strong effect on one’s thinking, behavior and religious commitment. It also helps one to resemble with the early generations of this Ummah, the Companions and the Tabieen. Being like them improves one’s thinking, religious commitment and behavior.
Moreover, the Arabic language itself is part of Islam, and knowing Arabic is an obligatory duty. If it is a duty to understand the Quran and Sunnah and they cannot be understood without knowing Arabic then the means needed to fulfill the duty also becomes obligatory.
7) Sayings of the SALAF about importance of learning Arabic.
One of the reported instructions ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote to Abû Mûsâ Al-Ash’arî and those under his governance during the former’s Caliphate was, “Seek knowledge and understanding of (fiqh) the Sunnah and seek knowledge and understanding of Arabic.”
Ibn Abî Shaybah, Al-Musannaf Vol.6 p126.
It is reported that he also said, Learn Arabic for it is part of your religion, and learn how the estate of the deceased should be divided (Faraaid) for these are part of your religion.
It is also reported that he said, “Learn Arabic, for it strengthens the intelligence and increases one’s noble conduct (al-murû`ah).”
Al-Bayhaqî, Shu’ab Al-Îmân Vol.4 p187.
He has been also reported to have said, “Do not learn the language of the non-Arabs, and do not enter upon them in their churches on their festivals, for indeed wrath descends upon them.”
‘Abd Al-Razzâq Al-San’ânî, Al-Musannaf Vol.1 p411.
It is also reported that he was once circumambulating the Ka’bah when he heard two men speaking in a language other than Arabic behind him. He turned to them and said, “Find some way to learn Arabic.”
‘Abd Al-Razzâq Al-San’ânî, Al-Musannaf Vol.5 p496.
It is reported that Ubay b. Ka’b – may Allâh be pleased with him – said, “Learn Arabic just as you learn to memorize the Qurân.”
Ibn Abî Shaybah, Al-Musannaf Vol.7 p150.
It is reported that Ibn ‘Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him – used to hit his children for making language errors.
Tahdhîb Al-Tahdhîb Vol.9 p292.
It is reported that Shu’bah – may Allâh have mercy on him – said, “Learn Arabic, for it increases the intelligence.”
Tahdhîb Al-Tahdhîb Vol.4 p303.
It is reported that ‘Attâ b. Abî Rabâh – may Allâh have mercy on him – said, “I wish I were fluent in Arabic,” when he was ninety years old.
Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ`, in his biography of ‘Attâ b. Abî Rabâh.
It is reported that Ibn Shubrumah – may Allâh have mercy on him – said, “Men have never worn a garment more beautiful than Arabic.”