Reasons to learn Arabic: Like other Semitic languages (the rest of them being Aramaic, Amharic, Hebrew, Tigrinya, Tigre, and Maltese), Arabic can be traced back to the family of ancient Afro-Asiatic languages. It established a strong identity with the Muslims after Islam became the final divinely revealed religion for Mankind.
Today, Islam has established firm roots in around 50 countries of the world. The Qur’an being the religious scripture of Muslims is recited and memorized in the Arabic language by a majority of their population.
Yet, when it comes to its comprehension, only a limited fraction of qualified individuals can understand it. In short, the inability to understand Arabic has led Muslims to a lack of implementation (of Islamic values into their lives).
Why You Should Learn Arabic?
Apart from religious standards, a Muslim is supposed to meet, logic itself entails doing things knowing what they ought to mean. After all that has been addressed so far, the status a Muslim shall be holding for Arabic has already been highlighted.
But, to take this matter to the next level, let’s ponder over other encouraging factors. They are as under.
1. The Recommendation of Sahaba (رضي الله عنهم)
When searching for a legal ruling about the obligation of this act, one can easily find assertive statements from the Sahaba Kiraam (رضي الله عنهم). The jist of these statements encourages people to learn this language. However, Ulema haven’t highlighted any authentic hadith in this regard. Imam Al Bayhaqi (رحمه الله) in his book Shu’ab Al Emaan, and Ibn Abi Shaybah (رحمه الله) in Musannaf, have brought to limelight relevant statements from Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه).
To sum up, let’s stick to what Sheikh Abdullah ibn Jibreen (رحمه الله) said in response to a question about non-Arabs learning Arabic. He said, ” they have to learn as much as they need for Islamic purposes, how to pronounce the words and what they mean, such as the Takbeer, al-Faatihah and al-Tasbeehaat – those that are obligatory in the prayer and for other duties.”
2. Seeking In-Depth Knowledge of the Deen
To vouch for this reason, one must understand a very important point. And, that’s about comprehending that the Qur’an and the Sunnah (both) are two parts of Divinely revealed revelation. The Sunnah includes sayings, approvals, and actions of Rasool Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). And, these sources are as important as is the Qur’an. Both are required to understand the Deen in its entirety. One explanatory statement has been recorded by Hassaan ibn ‘Attiyah in the Sunan of Imam Daarimi (رحمهم الله).
We all know that both of these sources of revelation have reached us in Arabic. So, to grasp a deeper understanding of both, Arabic shall be studied.
3. Increased Devotion in Salah
Salah/prayer is the act of worship during which most Muslims find difficulty concentrating. Whether it be chores on a to-do list, memories, noises in the background, or anything trivial, the problem lies realistically.
However, if an effort is made to learn Arabic, and understand what’s being recited, wonders can happen. Here are some more tips on How to Concentrate on Salah.
4. Establishing a One-on-one Connection with Scholars
Since the sources of revelation have been preserved in the Arabic language, scholars have been trained to impart knowledge accordingly. For students of knowledge to seek in-depth knowledge themselves (without any intermediary party), they too must know this language.
5. Making Du’as in Arabic
One of the best times when one can make du’as is during sujood/prostration. Rather than saying du’as in one’s native language, it’s recommended to learn and offer the ones which have been instructed by Rasool Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Imam Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj (رحمه الله) has also recorded a hadith pertaining to this matter in Saheeh Al Muslim.
6. It’s a Branch of Islamic Sciences
Another reason for venerating this language lies in the fact that there’s a branch of Islamic Sciences named after this language. At the Islamic University of Madinah, every student is bound to study Arabic for two years prior to starting their four years bachelor’s program.
Likewise, other institutes formally offering courses in Islamic Sciences follow the same format (either they offer Arabic courses prior to/integrated with the syllabus).
7. A means to Avoid Confusion
It’s time we admit we’re living in an age of fitna. There exist people who quote verses of the Qur’an disregarding proper context. And, others who promote inauthentic translation and exegesis of the Qur’an. To avoid getting one’s concepts corrupted, it’s better to learn the language of the Qur’an.
8. Ignorance to the Sunnah Stems from Ignorance to Arabic
Just as the Qur’an can be understood best in its original language, same is the case with the Sunnah of Rasool Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). As has been mentioned earlier, the proper understanding of the Qur’an is incomplete without understanding the sunnah.
Consider for example the case of rakahs in salat. The Qur’an obligates the Salat, whereas, the method has been prescribed in ahadith.
9. Added Effort in the Memorization of the Qur’an
The memorization of the Qur’an doesn’t depend on our personal abilities. Allah Azza Wa Jall makes it easy for whoever aims to do so. So, you take a few steps ahead, Allah will cover the rest! Some of the efforts you can take as these steps can include learning Arabic.
10. Everything About the Qur’an is Miraculous
The Qur’an is miraculous, so is the language it has been sent in. Like mentioned earlier, Allah will make the path (to learning Arabic) easy for you, as He makes for the Huffaaz of the Qur’an. So, never look down upon yourself when you plan to learn Arabic. Just, intend to do so, then seek Allah’s help.
I also recommend that you go through these Miracles Performed by the Prophet PBUH.
11. Improved Mental Abilities
The world of Psychology has already revealed studies highlighting a strong connection between efficient communication and multilingual. One study claims these people can do so as they can perceive various perspectives to one thing.
That’s what the world is discovering based on objective behavior (that can be examined). And, it doesn’t bring to the limelight any particular language.
However, we have a statement from our second Khalifah, the second best of people after the Prophets (عليهم السلام), Umar ibn Al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه), regarding the fruits it yields for the Arabic learner. And, they are mental strength and chivalry.
12. Battling Identity Crisis
We, the Muslims, have already been subjected to an inferiority complex. And, the youth is always in search of finding their true identities as Muslims. One such thing that can work as a connecting factor is Arabic itself. Ponder over the statement of Imam ibn Taymiyyah (رحمه الله) that says:
13. It will Help with your Travels
Every Muslim wishes to perform umra and hajj in their life and apart from that, travelling to other Muslim countries like Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar and Lebanon is also a dream for many of us. If we’re fluent in Arabic, it will be of great help when we travel to these countries. Of course, many of these have their own languages but they are very similar to Arabic. Here are the Top 10 Muslim Countries You Should Visit.
14. Facilitation in Dawah
Nobody has ever denied the virtue of spreading the Deen. What if the person teaching the Qur’an, Sunnah, Tafseer and etc is well versed in Arabic? Well, imagine all the above-mentioned merits are combined together in one personality. What a bonus would that be!
15. It is a Valuable Skillset to Add to Your Resume
Knowing a language or being fluent in it comes with many perks, one of which is the increase in job prospects. For example, Dubai is one of the top destinations for job seekers these days and most Dubai based companies prefer Arabic speaking job applicants. So whether you’re an employee or a businessman, learning Arabic will open up many new opportunities for you.
16. Adds to You Sense of Brotherhood
The Prophet Muhammad had said time and again that all Muslims are brothers, they are all united by a special bond and this essentially makes them one ‘ummah’ or one nation. There are many things which Muslims have in common and the love for Arabic is also one of them. By learning the language, you’ll feel the love for your ummah and brotherhood to be stronger than before.
17. It’s Easy to Learn
Most Muslims are already familiar with basic Arabic as they have been reciting the Quran, namaz and numerous duas in Arabic. So if you’re a Muslim, you already have a base on which you can build. And even for non-muslims, Arabic is an easy language to learn as it is similar to other languages such as Urdu and Persian.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are there different versions of the Arabic language?
Yes, the Arabic language has many different dialects, each having its own style and charm. So before you start to learn, do a little research and choose the version that goes best with the purpose for which you’re learning Arabic.
Q. What is the origin of the Arabic language?
Arabic language is more than 1000 years old and it is believed that it originated from the Arabian Peninsula.
Q. What is the concept of vowels in Arabic?
In the Arabic language, there are 28 consonants and 6 vowels. 3 of these are known as short vowels, namely, a, i and u and then there are 3 long vowels; aa, ii and uu.
Q. How different is Arabic from other languages?
If you compare Arabic to English, they are both very different and it would be almost impossible for an English speaker to understand Arabic if they hear it for the first time. However, since Arabic is a Semitic language, it is very similar to other Semitic languages such as Farsi, Kurdish and Pushto
Q. How long does it take to learn Arabic?
The time it takes to learn Arabic depends on many factors including your own memory and retention skills, the purpose for which you’re learning, the type of Arabic you’re learning and how fluent you want to be. It also depends on how you’re learning as there are many free resources available online and on Youtube but they can take longer as compared to learning through a teacher or by signing up for an online Arabic language course. Nonetheless, if you’re putting in your full effort and giving it time every day or at least 5 days a week, then I would say that 2 to 3 months is the minimum amount of time that you need to learn Arabic.