Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – Debate over use of English emerging in US mosques

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – Debate over use of English emerging in US mosques.

I am really surprised that this is even a debate, much less that it was posted in a Pakistani newspaper. I’ll be interested to see if it shows up in any US newspaper.

My experience in US Masajid (the plural of Masjid) is that the Khutbah is delivered in English with Arabic used in the du’a before and after the Khutbah and in the quoting any ayat from the Qur’an and then interpreting in English afterward. This is the way it has been in every Masjid I have attended. When quoting from Hadith it seems to vary, with some using Arabic with an English translation and some using only English.

In the article the idea that English is a unifying force for Muslims in America is brought up. This is accurate and unless the board of the Masjid want to limit regular attendance to persons only from their country they would be wise to have Khutaba in English. More importantly, as is also brought out in the article, there are many Muslims born and raised here in the US who do not speak Arabic, who have not learned Arabic and probably never will. This is sad yes, but it is not a pre-requisite for being Muslim. There is no hadith, nor any verse in the Qur’an which requires one to speak Arabic.

That being said, recitation of the Qur’an in Arabic is required of us, and more importantly understanding its meanings is required. Although it is a wonderful first step, it is not enough to sound out the syllables. One’s heart must be moved by the meanings and one must incorporate those meanings into one’s life. In order to do that one must understand the meanings of the words. But Qur’anic Arabic is not like modern conversational Arabic. The language that is spoken on the street is the language of the people and that is the language that should be used in the Khutbah in my opinion. That is what will move the believer to want to learn more and that is what will move the visitor, the guest, who is wondering about Islam to look deeper.

Please read the article it is well written and will give you insight into this question – which should not even be a question.

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