What are the wisdoms of reading the Qur´an in Arabic?

The Details of the Question

What are the wisdoms of reading the Qur´an in Arabic?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There are numerous benefits and wisdoms of reading the Quran in Arabic, the language in which it was sent down. We will mention some of them here:

1. A person who reads the Quran in original Arabic worships Allah and that reading makes a person closer to Allah; a person who reads it even without understanding it gains rewards (thawabs). A person who reads it by understanding gains rewards after rewards.As it is stated in the verse of Allah:

" Those who rehearse the Book of Allah, establish regular Prayer, and spend (in Charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a Commerce that will never fail: For He will pay them their meed, nay, He will give them (even) more out of His Bounty; for He is Oft-Forgiving Most, Ready to appreciate (service).."1, those who read the Book of Allah are praised, reading the Quran is regarded like performing prayers; reading the Quran is mentioned before performing prayers, which are very important kinds of worshipping.  

"There is a hasana for every letter of the Quran for the person who reads it. Each hasana is given ten rewards. I do not say Alif Lam Mim is one letter. Alif is one letter. Lam is one letter. Mim is one letter."2 Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) attracted attention to the fact that reading the Quran would gain a person the reward of worshipping  in the hadith above; the Quran has a distinction due to this property and it is superior to other books.

2. The aim of reading the Quran in Arabic is to save it from the changes and distortions that the previous books of Allah underwent. The fact that God Almighty promises great rewards to those who read the Quran even without understanding it became one of the most important reasons and motives for the protection and maintenance of the Quran.

Therefore, people were very keen on reading the Quran and some of them memorized the whole Quran. The increase in the number of people who memorized the Quran and who read it in accordance with its rules caused the continuous utterance and circulation of the Quran in the mouths. Therefore, no one dared to change it because they knew that they would be blamed severely by the people who knew the Quran. As a matter of fact, those who dared to do it were criticized and answered back by the scholars and readers of the Quran and those who memorized it.   

3. Another wisdom is to ensure the unity of language among Muslims, to strengthen their unity of religion, to facilitate the means of agreement and solidarity among them, thus to strengthen their ranks, to increase their strength and elevate their words.

It is a divine and lofty policy. This policy became successful.

4. Another wisdom is to ensure that continuous reading will gradually bring about thinking, understanding and acting in accordance with it. Someone who reads it heedlessly will start to read it by thinking on it; he who starts reading it by thinking on it will start to act based on its guidance. Thus, the reader is elevated to higher levels gradually.3

Can We Ask Now?

Can we ask this question now?

Can those who do not want the original Arabic of the Quran or those who want Turkish Quran say the opposite of the items we mentioned above? That is, although they are Muslims, can they say,   
”we do not believe that reading the Quran in Arabic is worshipping and we do not expect any rewards from it”?

Can they also say, “we do not have any issues on our agenda like the preservation of the Quran until the Day of Judgment, keeping the Quran free from changes or distortions and maintaining the unity of Muslims”?

They cannot say it because they are Muslims. Since they cannot say it, they should have the the Quran in Arabic and they should give up the simple, groundless requests like Turkish worshipping, Turkish Quran, Turkish iqamah, etc.

"It is not possible for the Quran to leave its Throne. Its throne is Arabic. It is Allah who placed it on the Throne. If the Sultan leaves its throne, what is left from the honor and power for that Sultan? Allah made the Quran the Sultan of the words and put the crown of miraculousness on its head; He made its Arabic a mirror of that miraculousness and honor.”4  "It is a valuable book. The wrong ideas cannot approach it from the front or the back. It was sent down by Allah, who is praised a lot and who is perfectly wise."5

We love our nation, country, national values and our Turkish language. However, we also love our religion, our holiest being, the Quran, and Arabic, which is the language of the Quran.

Those who insist on worshipping in Turkish declare and confess their enmity toward Arabic. They will almost express their enmity toward the Quran due to their enmity toward Arabic but thanks God, they live in a Muslim country and say that they are Muslims.

Sometimes, they assume so strange attitudes that they say, “Why was the Quran sent in Arabic but not in Turkish? Why was the Prophet sent from among Arabs not among Turks?” whether out of racism or enmity toward religion. It reminded me the following verse: " The children of Israel said: "O Moses! fashion for us a god like unto the gods they have." He said: "surely ye are a people without knowledge..6 That attitude and understanding is so wrong.

Do we, as weak creatures, have the right to judge Allah, who is the Lord and Creator of the Realms?

Allah would not have been Allah if He had not been free to do whatever He willed and judged. We should surrender to the judgment of Allah and say if He did so, there definitely is a wisdom behind it; that is what befits a Muslim.

We see the following statements in the Risala of Imam Shafii`:

Those who are non-Arab should be subject to Arabic because it is the language of the Prophet of Allah (pbuh), who was sent as a messenger to the whole mankind. Those who accept his religion will accept his language gladly.   

It is necessary for each Muslim to learn Arabic as much as they can so that they can witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, so that they can read His book and mention the names of Allah bay takbirs and tasbihs.7

If Allah had chosen His Prophet among Turks and had sent His book in Turkish, the other nations would have said, ‘why was the Prophet not sent from among us and why was the book not sent in our language?”; questions like those would have been asked one after another.

Then, we should say, ‘whatever Allah does is correct’ and we should adopt the religion and language of our Prophet, understand him and live accordingly. That is all.

The Point We Have Reached Today

The Quran has made Turkish fully-fledged; our ancestors who carried the main concepts, verbs, phrases and culture of the Quran to Turkish skillfully took Turkish to the level of perfection in the international arena and among Islamic nations. What the language racists wanted to banish was not only Arabic; they also wanted to eliminate the Quranic culture and content in Turkish.

The point we have reached today and the widely accepted view is this: The Quran cannot be without Arabic. What is expressed in a language other than Arabic cannot be regarded as the Quran because as Badiuzzaman put it, “other languages cannot preserve the Qur’an’s qualities and fine points in place of the grammatical language of Arabic."8

1. Fatir, 35/29-30.
2. Tirmidhi reported something similar from Hakim as marfu. az-Zarqani, p. 129.
3. Az-Zarqani, Muhammad Abdul`azim, Manahilu`l-Irfan fi Ulumi`l-Qur`an, nd, p. 129-130.
4. Az-Zarqani, ibid, p. 137.
5. Fussilat, 41/42.
6. al-A`raf, 7/138.
7. Az-Zarqani, ibid, p. 151.
8. Badiüzzaman, Şualar (Rays), p. 213.

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