Each and every Muslim across the globe stands in front of Allah (SWT), prostrates to Him five times a day, and recites the same Arabic words as the rest of his Muslim brothers. Have you ever wondered why? Why is it that all Muslims offer their prayers in one language, despite belonging to different cultures and nationalities with varied mother tongues? It is because Allah (SWT) decreed it to be so. Here is why.
Arabic is the most expressive language known to mankind
Linguistically, Arabic is the richest, most developed, most expressive, and the most comprehensive language there is. Its perfection lies in its utter eloquence, sophistication, and beauty of expression- it is the only language that can do justice to the realm of spirituality and higher thought. The beauty of the Holy Quran lies in its Arabic eloquence and intense depth of expression. Hence, it becomes clearer as to why Allah (SWT) chose Arabic to be the language of His prayers.
Offering Salah in one language unites the Ummah
Worship of God in Arabic becomes a common point amongst the believers and instills a sense of Muslim brotherhood. Muslims throughout the world, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, praise Allah (SWT) and glorify Him daily in words uttered in Arabic and Arabic alone. Worship in Arabic also displays the universality of Islam; how it is the religion for all of the mankind, no matter who or what they are. Even though every Muslim nation and communities have their own local languages, when it comes to serving their ultimate purpose of turning towards Allah (SWT) and prostrating in front of Him, they all become one. The Arabic language unites the believers in their faith and expression of faith and carves out a common channel of reaching Allah (SWT). When you stand for prayer, in a mosque anywhere in the world, and you belong to a foreign land and do not speak the same language as the locals found outside the mosque, you can rest assured that once the prayer begins, the words uttered from every believer’s mouth will match yours with a common aim of exalting the Almighty and praying to Him- this is what true unity in the eyes of God is.
Racism and discrimination is a big NO in Islam
Islam heavily condemns discrimination and racism and labels it as a disease that has plagued our society today. There is no room for hatred and violence based on your color, ethnicity, race or nationality in Islam. Every single human being is the same in the eyes of Allah (SWT)- the only thing that distinguishes one from the other is their level of faith. And having a shared common language of worship aims to demolish all barriers of prejudice, inequality, and intolerance and further invites every single individual to come together as equals and brothers.
Arabic is the language of Quran
Arabic holds a higher rank amongst the realm of dialects, as Allah (SWT) chose Arabic to be the language of the Holy Book of Quran and His revelations. It is the medium that our Almighty chose to send down His message to His creation. The Quran is essentially the word of Allah (SWT) and it only seems appropriate that one recites it in the same dialect as it was originally revealed in back in Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) time. As a believer, the more he masters the Arabic language, the more he will be able to delve into the deeper meaning of God’s words and therefore attains a higher sense of spirituality.
It is a widely known fact that meaning is often lost in the process of translation. It holds true in this case as well. An attempt to translate any part of the Holy Quran into any other language would be a human act and that itself invites errors and leaves room for imperfection- and the word of Allah (SWT) is perfect. Moreover, Arabic being one of the most comprehensive and rich languages that exist today, it will be no easy feat to translate the words into simpler and less expressive languages, and all the while keeping the meaning intact. It is a fact that no other dialect can do justice to the deep meanings and complexities of the Holy Quran.
However, Dua can be in any language
The one thing that the believer is not restricted to do in Arabic is the Dua. Dua is the most personal form of communication a believer has with Allah (SWT)- it is dearly precious. When you make dua and converse with Allah (SWT), do it in your own mother tongue. Allah (SWT) is the knower of all dialects and languages known to mankind- He hears all and He understands all. Dua is something that comes right from the core of one’s heart and a believer is naturally inclined to speak his/her heart in the dialect most known to him/her. Every individual is able to express themselves best in the language they know best- so call out to Him and talk to Him in words that come most naturally to you. So do not fret, Allah (SWT) wants you to call out to Him with a sincere heart and pure intentions- the dialect is not relevant to Him, the act is.