Post-Ramadan Teensie-Weensie Tip #5: Start learning Arabic (if you haven’t already) – Part 1
[This is a bit of a rant, so beware. Don’t say that you weren’t warned.]
[*I suppose I could say “blogged” but I’m more of a writer than a blogger. (Feel free to disagree.)]
One of the mistakes that many people make is to read the Quran without understanding it. Unfortunately, they only realise this little fact (i.e. that they can’t understand a word) when it’s time for Taraweeh in Ramadan. That’s when posts like this one become a super hit*.
[*No, I’m not joking. It seems to have reached all parts of the globe.]
So, what should the one who cannot understand the Quran do?
Well, learn Arabic of course.
Isn’t that what many people promise themselves every Ramadan? “Next Ramadan, I’ll be able to understand what the Imam is reciting!”
And did they? Well, judging by the super hit post, most people didn’t keep this promise to themselves.
So, what do you need to do?
1) Make the firm intention to learn Arabic before Shaban 2011.
2) Ignore all those silly articles that say that learning Arabic is difficult. They were not inspired by anybody except Shaytan (the devil).
Everyone has realised this by now, right?
The Quran is the Speech of Allah. Keeping in touch with it only increases our iman which he doesn’t like.
Therefore, he has taken many steps to ensure that we stay unaffected by the Quran. The main way is by stopping us from understanding the Quran. Hey, you can read and read and read but if you don’t understand what’s going on, you won’t get affected by the message, and he knows that all too well.
So, what does he do? He inspires people to think that Arabic is a very difficult language. Once this has been firmly stamped into everyone’s minds, he has succeeded in defeating them before they even start.
How can learning Arabic be difficult when Allah says:
“And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)?” [Surah Al-Qamar (54) :17]
I’ve read the most ridiculous articles pertaining to the “difficulty” of the Arabic language. One of the best (worst?) reasons provided was:
Learning Arabic is so difficult because there are so many types of Arabic: there’s the classical one (Quranic Arabic), the modern standard one (the one used in newspapers and books) and then of course you have the dialects (Gulf, Levant Region (used by those in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine), Egyptian, Algerian, Moroccan, etc).
For example, there are so many ways of saying “How are you”: Kayfa Haluka, Keef haalak, Keefak, Izaayak, cheef haalach, etc.
Okay, let me try my hand at this:
Learning English is so difficult because there are so many types of English: there’s the classical one (used for rubbish like Shakespeare, whose books are highly recommended for insomniacs), the modern standard one (used for newspapers, although this too is divided into British and American English, both of which are spelled/spelt differently), and then of course you have the dialects (American (the yankees and confederates sound they’re like from two different galaxies) and British (which should really be called England’s English, because Wales, Ireland and Scotland have their own dialects) as mentioned previously, as well as Australian (fair dinkum, mate) South African, Nigerian, etc.
For example, there are so many different ways of saying “How are you”: How ya doin, howdie, wassup, etc.
See? English is a difficult language to learn, isn’t it?
Oh wait, you disagree? Could it be because we are always told that “English is so easy to learn!”
English is my first language so the above statement never mattered to me anyway. By the way, I love English (but nowhere near as much as I love Arabic) because it’s part of me and makes me who I am (I think in English, I dream in English, I do dua to Allah in English, etc), but this ridiculous tattle, about how easy English is and how difficult Arabic is, really gets on my nerves.
On top of this, I see so many Arabs rushing to learn English (ditching their beautiful deep language for my stupid basic one). I say to them what Musa (alaihissalam) said to Banu Israil when they asked for their stupid vegetables despite the fact that Allah had sent Manna and Salwa down for them:
“He (Musa) said, “Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower?” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 61]
Better = Arabic.
Lower = English.
In case you’re wondering why a post about learning Arabic become a rant about the Arabs’ love for English, let me explain once more:
– Don’t believe everything that you read. Learning Arabic is easy.
– Many of you might have learnt English in your adulthood. What is stopping you from learning Arabic the same way that you learnt English?
– I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with learning English. However, when learning English is placed above learning Arabic, then we have a serious problem on our hands.
– Part of the reason learning English is so attractive is because it’s the lingua franca of the world. For a short period of time (during the spread of the Islamic Empire), Arabic was the lingua franca.
And you know what? If the Arabs stopped running after English, and the Muslims made sure to teach their kids Arabic, then Arabic could become the ligua franca in a few generations, insha-Allah.
And Shaytan would just hate that.
To be Continued….
PS. I told you that it was a rant.