5 Reasons Why Arabic Is So Important During Ramadan
As we experience the sweetness of the blessed month of Ramadan, we can’t help but think about all of the extra exposure to the Arabic language we get during this special time of year subhanAllah! Whether we are an Arabic speaker ourselves or not, we hear Arabic words on a daily basis, especially if we join community events such as Taraweeh or Iftars at the mosque. But why is Arabic so important during Ramadan? Let’s have a look!
1. Feel closer to the One Who specifically chose Arabic for the Quran
Ramadan is the month of the Quran and Arabic is the language of the Quran. Yes, the Quran has been translated from beginning to end to almost 50 different languages, and selected passages have been translated to well over 100 different languages masha’Allah! This is amazing and we should most definitely continue to support the work of qualified translators to expand our da’wah effort around the world. That being said, none of these translations will ever do justice to the original version in Arabic, the language chosen by Allah SWT to reveal the Quran. The Arabic language – and Quranic Arabic especially – is such a rich and subtle language. As we engage in the precious month of Ramadan, it’s very important to make every effort to increase our understanding of Arabic so that we can hope to feel closer to the One Who specifically chose Arabic for the Quran insha’Allah.
2. Get more rewards for Quran recitation
There is no doubt about the fact that whoever sincerely seeks to increase his or her understanding of the Quran with the intention of pleasing Allah SWT, even if it is through translations, will be rewarded for their efforts insha’Allah. But the Prophet (SAWS) taught us that every single letter of the Quran that is being recited gets its own reward, and that reward is doubled if we struggle through it. In other narrations, he also told us that rewards were multiplied during Ramadan. No need to be a math expert to understand what this all means! Want more reward? Read the Quran in Arabic, especially during Ramadan!
3. Find focus and connection during Taraweeh prayers
We all want to feel the sweetness of khushoo’ during Taraweeh prayers, that special connection to the Words of Allah SWT. The reality though is often the opposite: after a long day of fasting preceded by a usually short night, we struggle to listen to the recitation of the Imam during the night prayers, making the experience a little less enjoyable. Understanding Arabic, even if just a few words here and there, is the first step to changing this experience and getting closer to what we really want during Taraweeh, and even during our daily prayers. With each little word you are able to understand as the Imam recites, your attention span will increase, and your ears will be looking for the next word you are able to understand, and the next, and the next, insha’Allah. It starts with just one word.
4. Memorize and learn duas in Arabic
There is nothing wrong with saying duas (supplications) in your own language, Allah SWT is As-Samee’, the Listener, and understands no matter which language you choose. There is however something special about reciting duas in Arabic. Firstly, since many were passed down to use from the Prophet (SAWS) himself in Arabic, reciting them in Arabic is more accurate than their translations. Secondly, since the vocabulary we find in duas is the same as the one we find in the Quran, learning duas in Arabic will help increase your understanding of the Words of Allah SWT. Lastly, your efforts will be rewarded insha’Allah!
5. Connect with others in your community
Ramadan usually means a lot of community events, from taraweeh to iftars to special halaqas. As a result, we interact with a lot of people, and even though we might all speak different languages, Arabic is naturally the one that unites us because most people know basic phrases such as “as-salaamu ‘alaykum”, “jazakum Allahu khayran”, and “barakAllahu feek”. Knowing how to initiate those greetings and how to respond to them when they are addressed to us is part of our lives as Muslims, whether we are Arabic speakers or not, whether we want to learn Arabic at a higher level or not – this is basically the bare minimum as community members. Additionally, you also want to try and understand the sweet uncle or auntie who makes dua for you, and your family, and your akhirah, and everything in-between, because it’s such a nice thing to hear, especially during Ramadan!