Estimates put the percentage of Muslims who are of Arabic-speaking ethnicity at a meager 20%, however Muslims worldwide are required to say their five daily prayers in Arabic, irrespective of their native tongue due to the fact that the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in Arabic.
Why Is The Muslim Prayer In Arabic?
The five-times per day Muslim prayer consists of reciting a limited number of verses and words which could fit on one page, are familiar to all Muslims, and have become a part of the various local languages, such as “God is Great” “Allah Akbar”, “praise be to God” “AlhamduLillah”, and “Glory be to God” “Sobhana Allah” .
Prayer in one language has been a unifying factorfor over 1400 years; it facilitates communication and recognition in the diverse Muslim world. Every Muslim utters the original words of God, instead of depending on the various translations which are just attempted interpretations by humans of the Holy Qur’an. For instance, imagine how confusing things would be if every Muslim were to say “God is Great” in his/her native language during the annual pilgrimage (Hajj)season in Mecca.
The Qur’an Cannot Be Translated, Period!
The translation of any work of literature usually gets across only the superficial meaning of the original work and typically misses its spirit.
A. J.Arberry is an English Muslim who converted to Islam and who translated the Qur’an in a book titled “The Koran Interpreted”. According to Arberry, the Qur’an cannot be translated, because any translation would not be the Glorious Qur’an, “that inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy”. Arberry opines that his interpretation is “only an attempt to present the meaning of the Koran — and peradventure something of the charm — in English”. Read more → (18)