Understand, Live by, Inspire

Arabic cannot be a foreign language!

Dear sisters and brothers, Assalamu Alaikum.

At the outset, I thank two sisters – Sr. Aisha and Sr. Naseem Ejaz – and two brothers – Br. Muhammad Munawar and Br Mofiz Ahmad – for responding to my request through the previous post:  Is Arabic a foreign language?

Sr. Aisha quotes Ayah 3 of Surah Zukhruf and says that Arabic is not a foreign language!

“We verily, have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, that you may be able to understand (its meanings and its admonitions).” (43: 3)

Br. Munawar’s answer is interesting. He says both yes and no.

“Yes [because Allah made us into nations and tribes to know each other, possibly by language, location etc]
No [because it is the preserved language of the Qur’an, everyone shall access the Qur’an in Arabic to know its message]”.

Br. Mofiz says:

“Arabic is not a foreign language because the Holy Qur’an is in Arabic which is for the whole mankind not for one country/tribe/community. It is a manual for the human”

Sr. Naseem Ejaz, through e-mail says:

“My answer is No – Arabic is not a foreign language. If we can adopt English from 4 years of our life as a language of education, why can’t we do the same with Arabic – it should be easier for us to understand as our mother tongue Urdu is in the same script (almost)!”

I am of the strong view that Arabic cannot be a foreign language for Muslims.

Without repeating the points shared by our brothers and sisters, I would like to supplement some points:

What is foreign?

Something that doesn’t belong to you is foreign!

Something that is situated outside a place is foreign!

Something that is alien in character is foreign!

The moment you say something is foreign, you are creating a division of ‘they’ and ‘us’, you are passing the buck, you try to deviate the focus and you are not relating it to you!

Why a Muslim is far away from Arabic?

It’s mainly because he thinks that Arabic is foreign! In reality it would mean: It doesn’t belong to me!!

At a broader level if you discuss, we have to understand that Islam doesn’t recognises geographical boundaries and borders. The world is one nation! 

“Verily this community of yours is one community and I am your Lord, so worship Me” (21; 92)

We need to understand that the Book of Allah – the glorious Qur’an – which is in Arabic language is the Book of Guidance Par Excellence. We need to learn the language in order to understand the Guidance directly from the Qur’an.

To conclude, I leave this for you to think over:

Our whole life revolves around the Kalimah Tayyibah which is in Arabic language. And if say Arabic is foreign, are we not trying to separate the foundation from the building?


PS: Dear sisters and brothers, whatever I felt and understood with my little knowledge I have described here. For all right things, I praise and thank Allah. And I pray to Allah to protect us from any misguidance. Aameen.

Some related and interesting arguments can be read here


January 8, 2012 - Posted by | Learning the language of the Qur'an


  1. Ma sha ALLAH your explanation is clear like mirror. May ALLAH reward u. Ameen.

    Jazakum Allahu khayran

    Comment by Time Traveller | January 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Barakallah Feek. Thank you for the appreciation. Jazakillah Khayr. Vassalam.

      Comment by MuQeet | January 8, 2012 | Reply

  2. I totally agree with you. Arabic is NOT a foreign language. Just because to some its not a mother tongue does not make it foreign. Its a langauge which is so close to my heart. Something which unites us cannot be alien to us!
    A great post brother, Masha’Allah!

    Comment by OutspokenHijabi | January 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting as well. Jazakillah Khayr.

      Comment by MuQeet | January 8, 2012 | Reply

  3. Jazaakallah khayr yaa Muqeet! Interesting indeed.

    Comment by Abu Fouzaan Qaasim | January 9, 2012 | Reply

    • wa iy’yaaka dear brother 🙂

      Comment by MuQeet | January 9, 2012 | Reply

  4. My Answer Is NO It’s Not a Foreign language, but rather you can say it’s an International language.

    Comment by Mohammed Ismail | January 22, 2012 | Reply

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