Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Growing up I studied the Quran in Arabic without being taught the meaning of it. It added no value to me. I want to teach my kids the Quran in English as I can understand it and can also teach them. Is it mandatory to learn the Quran in Arabic? What is the point of it if we don’t understand what we are reading?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Learning Quran in Arabic
It is obligatory to learn to recite the Quran in Arabic to the extent that one can perform the obligatory acts of the prayer, and it is necessary to the extent that one can perform the necessary acts of the prayer.
This would entail the following:
- a) the obligatory (fard) level – learning at least three verses or one long verse equivalent in length to three verses.
- b) the necessary (wajib) level – learning at least Sura al-Fatiha and any other Sura
Learning the Meanings of the Quran
Despite the above rulings, one should seek to have a relationship with the Quran that encompasses both the Arabic language and understanding the message of guidance from the Quran.
Along with reciting the Quran in the Arabic language, one should follow along with what they are reading in translation and also in commentary.
The Language of the Quran
The Quran was revealed in the Arabic language, not because it was only for the Arabs to understand to the exclusion of others. The Arabic language was the only language that has the depth and vastness to be able to reflect something of the miracle of the Divine speech.
For this reason, the Arabic language is a blessed language. Even if one does not understand what they are reading, there is great spiritual benefits in the recitation. For this reason, one should not completely abandon the Arabic due to not understanding it.
Learning Arabic: The Key to Quran
Along with the above, each Muslim should seek to transcend the complaint of not understanding the Quran by trying to learn the language. Learning Arabic is not an all or nothing matter. If one learns even one new word in Arabic, they have strengthened their connection to the Quran that much more.
One class per week consistently over a year’s time may open doors of understanding in the Quran that will increase one’s faith and connection to the Quran and also increase one’s presence in the prayer.
The most important thing to teach your child is to love the Quran: to love the sound of the Quran by playing recordings of the famous Quranic reciters, to love reciting it in Arabic, to love its stories and lessons by reading translation, and to love its guidance and wisdom by commentaries.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.