Arabic, The First language in the world Arabic, The first key to learning Islam
At the time of the Islamic caliphate Arabic was an international language. But since the 7th century A.D. the Arabic language began to be underestimated especially when the doors of ijtihad were closed. By the time the Usmani Turks took control of the Arab world, they announced that Arabic was no longer the state language but rather Turkish.
Until recently when the standard of living was material, learning Arabic was no longer considered important due to the fact that what was needed in the world of work was English or other foreign languages.
Islam views that the existence of Arabic and religion is like 2 sides of a coin that cannot be separated. Imam as-Shafii argued that the law of learning Arabic is fardhu’ain,
“It is mandatory for every Muslim to learn Arabic until his ability can lead him to perform the fardhu (assigned to) him.”
1. Arabic, Part of Religion
Shaikh Islam, Ibn Taimiyah, said,
“Verily the Arabic language itself is part of the religion, and knows that the law is fardhu which is required, For, understand al-Kitab and as-Sunnah the law is fardhu. While all of that is incomprehensible, except by understanding arabic.” An obligation that cannot be perfect, except with it, then it is obligatory.”
When performing prayers, pilgrimage, Quran tilawatil, praying, reading and memorizing hadith or reading other sources of Islamic law is to use Arabic.
2. Arabic, The Language of the Messenger of Allah
Arabic is also the language of the Messenger of Allah, the language of the Quran and later became the language of heaven.
One of the keys to solemnity in prayer is to understand the meaning of the reading. How can I achieve a solemn degree if you don’t understand what is being read?
Likewise, people who understand the meaning of reading the Quran are certainly higher in value than people who do not understand what they read.
So, how can we possibly say that arabic is not the main language? How could we dare to turn our backs to him and not want to study him…?
Imam al Baihaqi narrated from Imam Malik, he said:
“There will not be a man who does not speak Arabic dare to interpret the Quran against me unless I make his deeds (as an excuse to) punish him”. (Al-Baihaqi, Syu’abul Iman).
Imam as-Syathibi (Ushul Fiqh Expert) In al-Muwafaqat fi Ushul as-Shari’ah he says,
“Whoever wants to understand the Quran, then it is from the Arabic language that the Quran is understood. There is no way to understand it from other than this path”.
3. The First Key to Learning Religion
Imam Suyuthi also narrated the story of a Bedouin Arab who almost lost his way because his teacher did not speak Arabic. And uniquely, it is only because of one letter, namely the letter ‘athaf wawu (و) and one harakat, namely kasrah, which should be dhammah.
Imam shafi’i wandered for 20 years to learn the ins and outs of Arabic, fushah(fluent) and balaghah Arabic, verse (literature) and other Arabic sciences. It even settled for 10 years in the Hudzail caravan (the famous most fluent language) to learn their characters, customs and memorize their verses.
So important is the Arabic language that even Imam Shafi’i, who is a native Arab, took decades to learn, what about us?