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Islam being for every nation

By: admin

Question

Islam is the religion that is not limited to any nation. We Muslims believe that Islam can belong to a Chinese and an Indian to the same extent that it belongs to Arabs. However it’s amazing how this religion is dependent to a certain language (i.e. Arabic).

Firstly Qur’an is the main source of guidance and every one admits that no translation could give the same impression and beauty to the reader. However any Non-Arab needs to first learn Arabic in order to understand the glory of Qur’an.

Secondly, prayer is one of the major acts of worship in this religion, however it needs to be done in Arabic and is not accepted in any other language.

The question is, for a religion to belong to all nations, it is very weird to be this much based on the language of only one nation.

Why a Chinese who wants to become Muslim needs to learn Arabic in order to pray to his God and realize the glory and lovely style of Qur’an? Why Islam is not more generic?

Even in Qur’an it has been pointed out in a couple of verses that this book has been revealed in Arabic and that if it was in non-Arabic language (Ajam) people would have complained. So it seems like even Quran rejects of idea of having a religion which is based on a certain language for people with another language.

So briefly put:

If Islam is for all nations, why two important elements of it (Quran – Salat) are this much dependant on the language of one particular nation?

Appreciate your advice!

Reply

It is true that the beauty and eloquence of the Qur’an can only be appreciated by a person who is well versed in the classical Arabic language, because such beauty and eloquence cannot be fully translated in any other language. However, appreciation of beauty and eloquence of the Qur’an is one thing and understanding the message of the Qur’an through its translations in another language is quite another thing. Even though it is true for that the former cannot be translated, it is equally true for the latter to be easily communicable in any language of the world.

As for Sala’h(prayesrs), it should be kept in mind that only a very small part of the readings in it is fixed and prescribed to be offered in the Arabic language. The readings in most of the other parts of Sala’h are neither fixed nor necessary to be offered in any one or the other language. A person may offer any prayers and supplications, in any language, during these parts of Sala’h(prayers). As a principle, only those readings in Sala’h, which are to be offered loudly in a congregational prayer are prescribed to be read in the Arabic language. The reason for this restriction, besides a few other points is the standardization of congregational Sala’h throughout the Muslim community of the world.

Keeping the foregoing explanation in mind, let us now take up your specific question. You ask:

If Islam is for all nations, why two important elements of it (Quran – Salat) are this much dependant on the language of one particular nation?

If religious guidance was to be given through a human being living in a society, as was the method preferred by the All Wise, then as a corollary this religious guidance as well as any prescribed religious practices was bound to be in the language which that particular prophet and that particular community spoke and understood.

Nevertheless, the important thing to note is that neither the message of Islam nor the concepts and spirit entailed in its practices is limited to any one or the other society. The message as well as the spirit can be fully conveyed in all languages of the world and to all people living in it.

We hope this helps.

Regards,

UIUK team

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