Why I want my kids to learn Arabic: Part 2


The points are mostly a transcript of this lecture by Nouman Ali Khan. I’ve just added my thoughts here and there. Read Part 1 here.

Part 2:

4.) ‘The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it’ [Bukhari]

It’s a well known hadith. The issue though, is that when we think of this hadith we’re generally thinking of  two things: Recitation and Memorization. If we say our kids are learning the Qur’an, what do we generally mean? Learning the qaaidah, learning to read or memorize the Qur’an.  Too often, ‘learning’  doesn’t have anything to do with understanding.

The nation before us (the Bani’ Israel) had a book, a messenger and a shariah. In Surah Al Baqarah, Allah describes how they failed with their book:


“And among them are unlettered ones who do not know the Scripture except in wishful thinking, but they are only assuming” [Surah Al Baqarah:78] 

Allah uses the word “amaanee”. Which means, they just think they know what it says. In their tafseer of this ayah, Ibn Abbas and Qatadah (ra) said:

“All these people did was tilawah (recitation)”

 “They know it only by memorizing and reciting it, without understanding, they don’t know the meanings of what’s inside it”.

So their real crime is: they don’t know what it says. They were only memorizing it and reciting it. Sound familiar?

My thoughts: I don’t want to fail with the Qur’an and I  certainly don’t want my children to. Studying Tafseer and learning Arabic are incredibly important steps to take to prevent us from making the same mistakes as the Bani Israel. 

5.) The Advice of the Sahabah:

 “Teach your children Arabic, like you teach them to memorize the Qur’an”.
Ubayy ibn Ka’ab (ra) 
 “Learn Arabic, for it’s part of your deen”
Umar Al Khattab (ra)
 “No one should be teaching Qur’an except someone who knows the language”
Umar Al Khattab (ra)

Arab companions advising Arabs to learn Arabic.

My thoughts: Hmmm. What of the non-Arabs then? We may have to put in twice the effort (or thrice or four times!) but inshaAllah the more the struggle, the more reward! =)

6.) It preserves the Salah (prayer).

It preserves the proper understanding of the religion and most importantly, it preserves your salah. The miracle of Allah is being presented to us and here we are standing and yawning because we don’t know what it says. It’s a tragedy. Allah is talking to us in the Qur’an. If we had that experience with the salah most of our problems would be solved. Mostly because, 5 times a day, we’d be taking Allah’s advice. The salah will essentially become counsel from Allah.

My thoughts: The salah is the first thing we’ll be questioned about on the Day of Judgement. We all know that khushu’ is often difficult to achieve, if our khushu’ in salah will be enhanced by learning Arabic, that would be reason enough.

The bottom line:

Transcribing Ustadh Nouman’s lecture and reflecting on it has been profound. The process has clarified the need I’ve always had to learn Arabic and made it more purposeful. I also hope it will help me continually renew my intention and learn it for the right reasons.

Ultimately, learning Arabic will be an integral step toward achieving our family’s Qur’an vision (for more on what that a Quran vision is, read this article). Part of that vision involves my children falling in love with reading Allah’s Book. I want them to truly know the language so that each time they read it they’ll discover something new. I want my kids to be of the best of people, those who learn the Qur’an and teach it by reciting it, memorizing it, and above all understanding and acting upon its meanings.

And absolutely nothing can be achieved except by Allah’s Leave.

Speak Your Mind