Declaration of Faith


Balancing Arabization SeriesPart I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII Part IX

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We have all witnessed the declaration of faith administered to a new Muslim and it is generally accepted as a compelling occasion. Naturally, some will be surprised by my usage of the phrase “generally accepted as compelling” to describe the administering of the declaration of faith. Don’t get me wrong, someone being guided aright is indeed a blessed and joyous occasion, but that phrase is indeed the subject of this article. In this series we attempt to challenge accepted norms of practice here in the West regarding the Arabization of our identity. When judging anything, we should undoubtedly look to the pristine legacy of our beloved Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) and the distinguished tutelage of his noble companions.

In the time of the Prophet ﷺ, there were multitudes of men, women, and children who were graced by divine light in embracing the absolute truth of our very existence, “I declare that there is no deity other than God and that Muhammad ﷺ is His messenger.” But the question is how did that take place? Did it ever happen that someone who indicated their interest in Islam would come to the Prophet ﷺ or his companions and then be brought in front of the people and be administered word for word the declaration of faith? The answer of any student of the Prophet’s ﷺ biography and the early history of our lofty predecessors is NO.

This article is not by any means attempting to call the declaring of faith in front of a crowd an innovation. Rather the hope is to reform the practice to make it in line with the example of the companions of the Prophet ﷺ, about whom Almighty God has stated,

“God is pleased with the early Muslim immigrants, their helpers in Madinah and those who follow them to the best of their ability and God is pleased with them […]” (Qur’an 9:100)

Islam is a spiritual reality that when embraced should be expressed quite naturally with no confusion. It should appear as a sincere conviction coming from the heart of the person. The current process of the declaration of faith has an element which takes away from its glory. It brings down the person taking that great leap of faith, especially in today’s world. By giving him or her the idea that although you have ratified your innate knowledge of Islam through the Qur’an and prophethood of Muhammad ﷺ, you can’t truly express that unless it is in Arabic. Of course since he or she does not know Arabic this is often the beginning of an inferiority complex that is thrust upon the fresh revert from the get go.

One time in Kuwait, I administered a declaration of faith in front of an audience at a large Mosque. The audience was about 200, maybe a quarter of them spoke English fluently and the majority understood basic conversational English. So first, in Arabic I summarized for the crowd his story and that the brother was going to declare his newfound faith. Then I asked him to repeat after me in English, “I declare that there is no deity other than God and Muhammad is His Messenger.” Many people were elated and came to embrace their new brother while you can hear some objections rustling through the crowd. The Imam of the Mosque took me aside and began telling me that it is a condition or obligation for the declaration to be in Arabic. I asked the sheikh for some evidence and he said that it is well known. Of course well known is not a proof of Islamic Law so I researched the matter and, until now, to my surprise, I have found no such claim in the books of Islamic jurisprudence. That said, it is confirmed by various sheikhs as being “well known.”

Of course it doesn’t make sense to have someone declare their faith in a language that they don’t have the slightest clue about, but we should be fair to our legal tradition and not use our logic as an indisputable gauge. That being said, with the absence of any text or juristic precedence, I will now suggest how and why it should be done differently than the “well known” way we are accustomed to.

In the history of our pious predecessors we find that the people who declared their faith to the Prophet ﷺ and his companions did so without any coaching necessary. It came naturally as a result of the certainty of their heart. Since they were Arabs that declaration was in their own language. As mentioned before, the scholars of the principles of jurisprudence (usool al-fiqh) say, “That which is significant is not in names or titles rather the meaning and implication behind them.” The meaning is completely rendered in the English translation and thus the intended action has been performed.

In reflection, the form which I followed in Kuwait is still faulty! The Prophet ﷺ  said something quite crux to this article,

” ما من أحد يشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله ، صدقا من قلبه إلا حرمه الله على النار.
(و في رواية خالصا من قلبه)”

“Anyone who declares that there is no deity other than God and that and that Muhammad is the messenger of God genuinely and sincerely from his or her heart will be saved from the Hellfire.” (Bukhari 128)

It is my hope that when someone enters Islam they do so with conviction and sufficient knowledge and understanding. So if they feel comfortable with it, I would encourage them to stand in front of the Muslims and tell their story and make their declaration in confidence and clarity without the help of any Imam. This would be keeping in line with the generation that carried and conveyed this message which is, after divine blessing, why we are all able to be Muslim in the first place. All praise and gratitude go to our beloved Guide and May He bestow His peace and blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ and the early generations!

 

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36 Comments

  1. Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh :)

    I have really enjoyed this series, jazak Allah kheir for posting them!

    I do have a question about this topic—–I have known some converts who converted and were practicing maybe a year or two before knowing any other muslims. When they did meet some, the others discovered that they had not ‘taken a public shahada’ Then they made them do it. Is this right?

    Could someone clear this up for me?

    • Imam John says:

      WASWRWB Chica :),

      I was one of these too sister. There is no need for anyone to make a declaration of a faith they have held for any amount of time. The declaration is at the moment of embracing Islam. I did so while reading a translation of the Qur’an 14 years ago, but didn’t start to attend a mosque until early 2000 so they were like you need to make your shahadah and I was like OK I guess whatever you say. It would be good to tell their story though and during it they would mention “…and that’s when I knew there was no deity other then God and Muhammad is His final messenger…”

      • seeker says:

        But there is a difference between “knowing” and “testifying.” The former does not make you a Muslim. The latter does.

      • Yaqub says:

        As’Salaamwalaikum (peace be upon you). I have a question just for clarification and making sure; but when you comment as “Imam John”; are you the author (John (Yahya) Ederer) of this article?

      • Thanks for clearing that up! :)

        • Mike says:

          Asalaam alaikum
          @ seeker, I thought you were testifying to Allah and not to people, so you could make your deceleration in private. I feel it is you your intent and your actions that make you a Muslim, not being introduced to your Muslim brothers and sisters.

  2. Ed says:

    Dear Brother John Assalamu Alaikum

    First of all may Allah Almighty reward you for your work on clarifying the message of Islam and for trying to bring it back to its original purity. I think one of the many reasons our Ummah today is in dismay is due to the fact that intellectual debates and discussions have been muted and discouraged for a long time and we limited ourselves to intaking “recycled” knowledge and scholarly opinions without much effort about making it contextual to our time and age.

    Now in this article, you attempted at stating that the Shahada does not have to be in Arabic in order to be accepted and that the most important thing is that it comes from the heart and with conviction. And while you said that the Kuwaiti shaikh told you that “it’s well known” that Shahada must be in Arabic, I did not see a compelling evidence in your article that proves the opposite. How can we know that the saying of the Shahada during the time of the prophet was not just because they were Arabs? To me a good example would be to see how the early generations of the Sahaba dealt with the manner when they spread outside of Arabia to non-Arab lands like China, India, Persia…etc Did they require that the Shahada be in Arabic? This may not be enough proof either but I think it helps a lot.

    In general I agree with the trend of this article series that we sometimes over-Arabize things and we don’t really have to in many occasions. However I think that we need to be careful that in the process we don’t encourage laziness, and discourage the learning of Arabic and the loving of this language, as it’s the language of the Qur’an. Today any fellow in the world can learn the art of international business in their own language. However if they want to excel and expand outside of their status quo the English language becomes a must just because it’s the “language of Business” today. Similarly, one can learn a computer programming language in Chinese and Russian, however to excel and reach “Ihsan” they need to learn English because its the language with the most wealth on computer programming. Similarly (but not identically), one can be a believer Muslim today without knowing Arabic (beyond the Fatiha/requirements for prayer) however if one is to excel and reach Ihsan which is something both our Lord Allah Almighty and his messenger highly encouraged, one ought to make some effort to connect with the Qur’an in its original form at a deeper level and beyond human translations.

    Salam
    Ed

    • Imam John says:

      Dear Brother Ed,

      In the first part of your comment you recognized the problem. That of the multifaceted intellectual stagnancy over the last many centuries. One of the big problems is blind following without question even by scholars who studied the sciences. The part of that problem we are focusing on in this series is that of a Muslims just assuming that the immigrant model of Islamic expression built over the last 50 years is somehow unquestionable and obviously “the way it should be”.

      I didn’t attempt to do anything bro. I wrote an article that makes a point especially keeping in mind the verse we mentioned throughout this series 14:4 “We always send messengers in the tongue of the people to whom they are sent.” and 29:46 “say to the people of the book our God and your God is one in the same”.

      In the principles of jurisprudence we have a rule that to establish an act of worship in a specific way you must have proof. There is nothing in Islamic law from hadiths or schools of thought that I or other scholars I spoke with could find which says that the declaration must be in Arabic. On the other hand the hadith mentioned is indeed proof for it to be in English. Maybe you didn’t catch my juristic derivation so I’ll walk you through it.

      I’ve presided over around 100 declarations. Many of which I did use the Arabic since that was the rules I had been taught. The vast majority of them were quite awkward in the Arabic portion. They can’t pronounce nor do they understand what they are saying so that part is void of the qualifying description mentioned in the hadith “sincerely and genuinely”.
      I am a certified scholar of the Arabic language and I can assure you the full meaning is given in the translation so barring the presence of a text in our scripture which says it must be in Arabic then as I mentioned as well in proving my point the scholars of Islamic principles (as well as most law systems) say that it isn’t the exact words that make the issue rather what is understood by them and the intention behind them. So yes bro from an Islamic legal standpoint my argument is rock solid.

      As for your last point in the analogy you articulated. First of all by no means am I calling for people to not be interested in learning Arabic. As a matter of fact I have been teaching Arabic for 7 years. The point I am making is relative to your analogy, yet with a twist.
      As you said if someone was studying to be an economist/IT specialist then they should study English because of the wealth of knowledge available. In your point you are equating being a pious Muslim of a deep understanding of Islam to needing to know Arabic. I would say that is off. You can be a very pious Muslim of deep knowledge by the authentic works written in English as well as the good translations of scripture available. Similarly you can keep a good budget for a successful business and/or learn how to comprehensively work your computer in Russian/Chinese. I think your analogy is better and I would be in full agreement if we say to become a prominent scholar of the Islamic sciences you then must master Arabic first!

      You don’t know Arabic so therefor your knowledge and practice of Islam is weak! This guilt trip put on non-Arab Muslims is wrong dare I say a farce. I know plenty of Arabs who are fluent in Arabic and have read about the sciences yet either don’t understand or practice the deen as well as many non-Arabs.

      I know tens of people who wasted hundreds of hours trying to learn Arabic and it did not deepen their knowledge of Islam one bit nor did it make them more pious. Had they had been reading more stuff in English with their time they would have achieved both aims.
      God knows best

  3. abdulhaq says:

    assalaamu `alaykum

    I’ve enjoyed this series and am pleased to hear this side of the discussion. Please note that the translation of the hadith in Bukhari is incorrect and misses out some of the arabic (wa anna Muhammadan rasuulu-llaah) i.e. and that “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”

  4. Fritz says:

    Why not do it in both languages?

    • Imam John says:

      Peace Fritz,

      It is permissible to do so if you like. My point is that it makes that special cherishable moment awkward to do it in Arabic. Since it is both textually unfounded as encouraged by Islam nor is it logical I prefer not to use the Arabic. The Quran was revealed and preserved in Arabic and is only by text the pure divine word of God. That being said Islam is a universal concept which can be completely expressed in detailed meaning in any language.

  5. Ify says:

    When I converted, I googled a transliteration of the Arabic phrase and then repeated it in English at home by myself. Two years later, several Muslims questioned the validity of my shahada, so I repeated it at the mosque.

    While the Arabic language plays an important role in our faith, its misuse or overuse for non-Arab speakers may have an exclusionary effect and can complicate matters, which should be simple and easy to understand. In reaction to this, I do consciously try to use English as much as possible in in writing and speaking.

  6. Layla says:

    I think it isn’t too difficult for someone to say the Shahada in Arabic, most people that convert to Islam have learnt basic Arabic words like, Inshallah, Deen, Ummah.. The Shahada is very easy to say and it is usually repeated by the convert in their own language so they understand the meaning. It is important for us all to witness it in a language that we all understand. If we don’t use Arabic, then by default we will start using English, a language of commerce. It is without doubt that the Arabic language is a divine language as is all Semitic languages. The conversion is a momentous occasion for all the Ummah – we should celebrate together in Arabic.

    • Imam John says:

      Why do people even need to know ummah, deen and inshaAllah if those are perfectly available in English? Nation, Religion and God willing! Those mean the same thing.
      If they know it and are comfortable with it then fine, my point is that it is not a condition and so therefore if the person doesn’t know Arabic then it is perfectly fine done in their native tongue and there is no need to make things difficult on them.

      Arabic is not a divine language sister. It is a language that was developed and spoken by Polytheist people for hundreds of years with no revelation. When Ishmael (PBUH) and his progeny learned it there was knowledge which he learned from his father and the angels, but no actual scripture as Ishmael (PBUH) was not a messenger rather a Prophet.

      Arabic is not the language of Islam because Islam was practiced long before Arabic existed. Arabic is the language in which Islam was finally revealed and the only language which has the purely preserved divine message. Islam is a universal concept meant for all people in all places and for all times.

      • Layla says:

        Please listen to this sermon – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – The language of the Arabs
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLiVYND6gbg

        And Allah knows best.
        Salaam,

        • Imam John says:

          That lecture is not what we are talking about. I agree with most everything in it.Balance is hard to see when you are one of extreme you judge what disagrees with your extreme as the opposite extreme. Check this out. This is only one example but I know Sh. Hamzah agrees with most of what I am saying. He himself has said he regrets changing his name and many of his recent speaking programs reflect that-
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzL2FmrofFw

      • Layla says:

        Will you then also translate Allah (SWT) to simply God because some people may not be able to say this too? Will you lose all the meanings that come with the Shahada please see this very good video: “Allah has made these secrets in the Arabic language”…
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpFWxB_gnSA&feature=relmfu

        • Imam John says:

          Please read the whole series and respect it for its substance not because the one saying it isn’t a famous speaker at the conferences. I love Sh. Hamzah and respect him as a scholar, but I will have to disagree with this unfounded mystical word play. If you follow someone because your love them then you will be convinced with whatever they say regardless of how scientifically baseless it is. I judge things not based upon love, rather I judge by evidence based research.

  7. Mila says:

    Next thing we’re going to hear is we don’t need to read Quran in Arabic especially for converts as its not their original language! There is a difference between turning into an Arab and learning the language of the religion one is converting into.. To become a Muslim you need to learn the language of this religion. Simple!! This does not mean becoming an Arab when you utter the shahada in Arabic. It’s quite worrying how slowly it is being excepted that Arabic is irrelevant to Islam.

    • Imam John says:

      Believe it or not Abu Hanifa was of that opinion for some time until convinced to retract it.

      No one is saying what you are saying. I am saying that if the Prophet Muhammad was a Jew and came to the people speaking in Hebrew telling them that to embrace his faith they need to speak Hebrew then we wouldn’t be having this discussion because we wouldn’t be Muslim because there would be no such thing as Islam in the world!

      What I am offering is taught in the verses and hadiths mentioned and is the essence of the success of the Prophet. I have learned from my experience that if people would conform to this balance I am offering the conversion rate and the respect Muslims are given here would rise considerably.

      Please with a neutral just mind and heart read the previous articles and comments over again for a better understading.

  8. seeker says:

    “If one pronounces the two testimonies of faith in a language other than Arabic, one’s conversion to Islam is valid, even if one is fluent in Arabic.”

    Ibrahim al-Bajuri (died 1860 C.E.), in his book Tuhfa al-Murid.

  9. Mila says:

    Sheikh John its easy for you to say this when you know Arabic and you enjoy all the beautiful hadiths and Quranic texts in its original form.. Why do you want to deprive the new convert from enjoying these texts in Arabic? I can certainly say, had I not known Arabic, I doubt very much that I Could have enjoyed the Deen.

    • Emm…I think what brother John is trying to say is, one can proclaim his faith in a language he’s comfortable with, and still be accepted as long as the shahadah comes from his heart. It is an option. Not absolute.
      There’s nowhere in the articles or the comments that says he’s depriving the converts from the beauty of the Arabic language. He himself teaches Arabic, how is it that he’s depriving anyone of it?
      I don’t speak Arabic myself, and I only realized how beautiful the language in the Quran is after watching Imam Suhaib Webb’s programme in our local television. All this while I’ve only heard about it, but never quite understood it myself until just recently.

      And yes, I agree that you don’t need to know the Arabic language to get close to Allah, but of course, knowing it is an advantage because there are so many books and resources of Islam available in Arabic.
      I do hope people would stop looking down on Muslims who don’t speak Arabic. Hey, we do know stuff too, you see. Spirituality knows no language.

  10. SuhaylaW says:

    Thank you, Imam John, for this.

    As converts we struggle with issues of Arabic and Arabization from the very beginning of our journeys as Muslims. Frankly, I am comforted in knowing that I am not alone in my experiences, and I thank you and people like you for addressing the issues that have contributed to a sense of alienation in large numbers of believers (most of whom could never even begin to articulate their feelings).

    I love my religion, but learning Arabic well has been a struggle for me for well over a decade. God willing, we will all be rewarded for our efforts!

  11. ZAI says:

    I think too many people tend to construct stark polarized paradigms regarding this issue. Nuance is required…

    For those people who want to be scholars or who want to go directly to the Qur’an, Hadith and other miscellaneous classical Islamic texts directly and read them for themselves…yes ‘Arabic is an absolute requirement.

    There are however other people who are perfectly content with the idea of “if you don’t know, then ask those who know”. They’re fine with accomplishing the agreed upon five pillars, basic ‘aqeedah and following a madhhab or certain qualified Imam they’re comfortable with.

    I frankly do not see anything wrong with that. There are plenty of hadith and Quranic verses which point to the fact that is so-and-so do such-and-such, it is enough for them to have paradise and be successful in this life….and that’s enough for many people. Not everyone WANTS to be a scholar…

    Further, there are also hadith and Quranic verses who point to people who HAVE all this deep knowledge, but who fail to be successful regardless of that. So obviously knowledge alone is not a gaurantee of being successful in the din. At the very least, we can admire having the deeper knowledge, but must acknowledge that it is NOT a fardh…and again many, many Muslims are fine with that.

    Finally…in my opinion, I find the whole divine nature of ‘Arabic to be a flawed argument. ‘Arabic is in no way divine in and of itself, it is divine only insomuch as God chose it as the language of revelation for the final message which will be preserved in this final stage of human existence.

    The Quran and hadith clearly state that EVERY culture/community at one time or another recieved a divine message from a messenger amongst themselves. That would make EVERY language which exists “divine” at some point or another…’Arabic happened to be the last in a long, continuous line.

    There is no doubt in the miraculous nature of Quranic Arabic…but I think any language in God’s hands would manifest itself perfectly. I think that is infact the proof of the divine nature of the Quran…that no language or human being can replicate or imitate what God has done. I think to postulate that ‘Arabic itself is of a divine nature takes away from God’s miraculous use of it in the Qur’an if anything…

    God can accomplish that miracle with ANY language he wanted to…and if we believe the hadith and Quranic verses of messengers to every community, he HAS.

    • Layla says:

      I feel that the fact that the Quran (the last revelation to mankind) was given in the Arabic language is a sign in itself. For me Arabic (the Quranic Arabic) became divine the moment Allah (SWT) chose it as the last language to convey and seal his message to mankind. The Quranic Arabic can be recited and easily memorised and of the many signs for me of its divine nature is the fact that when I listen to it in times of hardship it lifts my spirit and helps me overcome times of hardship. We are also told that when it is recited and is heard by the Angels and some Jinn they come to listen. I am not fluent in Arabic myself, and admit I have to rely on an English translation but I have noticed that by just listening to the English translation and meaning I do not feel a sense of spiritual connection. I need to listen to it in Arabic to feel a sense of peace and I think and really believe that the Arabic Quran speaks to the soul.
      Of course, we don’t all want to be scholars, I think most of us listen and recite in Arabic because we want the truth to resonate much deeper within us and we want to feel a connection with Allah and his messenger (pbuh). I feel honoured just to be able to recite the very same words that Allah (swt) conveyed to our prophet (pbuh), if I converted I would want to repeat the same words that our Prophet and his companions repeated when they proclaimed their conversion.
      In many countries, especially in the developing world, I’m always amazed at how the simple uneducated trader in the market place is able to speak so many languages because of a simple necessity of commerce. Why is it so hard then to learn Arabic for Allah (swt). If we want to strive towards Allah – learning one or two simple words in Arabic should not be too difficult. Of course no one is expected to learn the entire language over night; it is a gradual process that should begin with the Shahada.
      I’m trying to understand those people that don’t think this is very important and your arguments don’t seem very encouraging –your argument implies that Arabic Quran is for scholars and the simple Muslims should be content with just asking. We are reminded in the Quran to ‘read’ and seek out knowledge and one of the signs is that the Quran was revealed to an unlettered prophet (pbuh). Cannot Allah (swt) extend his bounty of knowledge to whoever he pleases and make the path easy for them?
      I also understand your argument that some Arabic speaking Muslims can alienate those that don’t speak the language, and here is the problem, it is an unfortunate side of man’s pride. Perhaps this article should have addressed this issue that Muslims should be more understanding and helpful to converts.
      Salaam.

      • Imam John says:

        Layla you said -“I also understand your argument that some Arabic speaking Muslims can alienate those that don’t speak the language, and here is the problem, it is an unfortunate side of man’s pride. Perhaps this article should have addressed this issue that Muslims should be more understanding and helpful to converts.”
        Thats exactly what this article is teaching. You’re being influenced by some third party as to what the article is about sister. Seek refuge with your Lord from him!

        • Layla says:

          I am sorry if I mis-understood your article- but i am not the only person that has read it in this way.

      • Bills says:

        it looks to me that you seem to be apportioning the beauty and majesty of Allah SWT’s words to Arabic as a language rather than to the fact that it is so appealing because it comes from Allah SWT..this is leading you to getting personally offended at br. John’s accurate dig at our cultural understanding of Islam…as br.John has mentioned in other comments,this causes eager converts and born Muslims to an excessive pursuit in learning Arabic which doesnt increase their piety or understanding

  12. sister M says:

    Assalam Alaikum Warahmatullahe Wabarakatuhu Imam John :)
    These articles seem to be bringing criticism to your doorsteps. People can so easily misunderstand words and action, but you too seem to have some very bad experiences with the Arabic language :) You should have balanced the article a little more, and made it more clear :)
    I am not a scholar but this is how I see it. Since Islam is a universal religion and we are all united under Lailaha Illalah Mohammadur Rasullual (there is no God but Allah, and Mohammed (PBUH) is the messenger of Allah) I find it very important to have a common language of communication. Imagine a brother who visits America and does not understand English, now if the Azan was going to be said in English how would he know that it’s time for prayer? Imagine an Indian sister goes to China, the only word she might understand would be Alhamdilliah or Allahu Akbar. There are thousands and maybe millions of Hafiz in the world, all with different backgrounds, different cultures, lifestyle and yes, languages. But they know the Quran the same way, the exactly same way. There are millions of Muslims in this world, and they all pray the same way, read the same Quran, and say the same SubhanAllah, MashaAllah and Allahu Akbar etc. This is why people insist on sticking to just one language, which is Arabic, because it’s what connects us as an Ummah, as the Prophet’s Ummah. These are not just any words; these are the words my beloved Prophet said, the words he used, his Sunnah. There were many non-Arab Sahabas at the Time of the Prophet PBUH, did they say Shahada in their own language?

    I am not saying that don’t let the new Muslims take the Shahada in English, or question its validity because they only took it in English. After all who are we to question the validity of someone’s faith. Why not take the Shahada in both languages? Though we should give them some time, it can be very hard to learn a new language. But they should know that their every effort to get closer to Allah is rewarded, even if they do not come out with flying colours; it’s the intention that counts. Though I do agree that born Muslims should go easy on the new Muslims (we should make every effort to comfort our brother), but the new Muslims should also not just settle down for English.
    I also understand that Arabic may not be a “spitritual” language, but it is definitely what the Prophet (PBUH) spoke, and the du’a and supplications are his Sunnah and all new Muslim should atleast make an effort to learn and understand Arabic. Off course this cannot be done without the support and help from the Muslim community.

    I guess born Muslim misunderstand this series of articles because Arabic is after all really close to Muslims and people find change as a warning sign. It should be remembered that the world didn’t change overnight; it took these small changes that brought us so far away from what we were. These articles should not give the idea that is ok to not know Arabic or the Arabic terms.

    Sorry if I too misunderstood your article, and if I am repeating what other people threw at you

    If I am right it is from Allah. If I am wrong, it is from myself.

    • be says:

      asalaamu alaykum, entirely agree, there would be no comunication problams if everyone strove to learn arabic, and the beauty of the qur’aan being the same no matter what country you hear it in is very profound.

  13. Imam John says:

    The Prophet (PBUH) spoke Arabic because that was language of his people and his land. The revelation was revealed in that language so that those people could truly embrace that message and there is a whole chapter named for this point. Fussilat 41:44
    ولو جعلناه قرانا اعجميا لقالوا لولا فصلت اياته
    If we made it a non-Arabic Quran then they would have said, “Only if its verses were explained…”
    That meaning is clear in chapter Ibrahim 12:4
    “We merely sent messengers speaking in the tongue of their people so that it could be clarified to them…”
    I am not in any way down playing our unity or that we pray studying Arabic for those who want to attempt to gain scholarship of the scriptures and scholarly tradition. Please reread the series objectively.

    Everything I am suggesting is rooted in the Qur’an, Sunnah and example of the seerah. The problem you and others have is that it is against a deeply rooted cultural expression of Islam related to an idea that Muslims are not native to this country which makes what I am saying somehow threatening. The fact is if we articulate ourselves with our pure uncompromising Quranic Prophetically influenced identity in the language of our people as the Prophets did before us then we will gain many more converts or at least the general respect as a native religious expression.

  14. Alsagoff says:

    Recently there has been a lot of discourse and illogical issues being raised about the Shahadah. Some fanatics who are anti Hadith said that it is only “There is No God But God” according to the Quran while any addition like “Muhammad Rasul Allah” is wrong.

    In my opinion of course the verse of the Shahadah which we read “There is no God But God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God” is not available in the Quran.

    This is because if Gabriel had commanded Muhammad PUBH (that we know) to recite “There is no God But God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God” then in this instance the Prophet we know is no longer a Prophet since he (Prophet PBUH) has to look around and attest for another Muhammad. That is why the Shahadah in the Quran in my opinion is only “There is No God But God”.

    But we as followers attest “There is No God But God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God”

  15. Sh Saad Hassanin says:

    Jazak Allah Br Ozzy I read what Br Imam Suhib Web Wrote in the article u attached I have two comments one for the Imam who said to Br Imam Suhib it is well known it is not an accurate statement and he should say it different way like there is an opinion that stated that announcing Shahadah have to be in Arabic or a statement of that sort
    Second comment is for my Br Imam Suhib Web he claimed that he did not find such an opinion in the books of Islamic Jurisprudence which is not true because the opinion of Malikky school of thought stated that clearly in their books In the Kuwait jurisprudence encyclopedia it says الأصل عندهم نطق الشهادة بالعربية means that main opinion is pronouncing Shahadah in Arabic , my point is Islamic knowledge not limited to the many books that you own even if you own the biggest Islamic library there is still opinion that you may be did not know or did not come across but the opinion is there and clear
    Here in USA or any foreign country if the person could say it in Arabic it is ok and perfectly fine but if he or she can’t then he can say it in any other language believing in what he or she is saying
    JAK And Allah knows best

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