Many Arab youths, in Australia, aged 12-19, struggle to speak Arabic. This is a huge issue young people are facing nowadays and they are not realizing its future impact on themselves and the generations to come.
Arabic is one of the world’s major languages with over 300 million people in various Arab countries who use it as a mother tongue. Over one billion Muslims in places like India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Tanzania study Arabic as a foreign or second language for liturgical and scholarly use.
Having the ability to speak Arabic does not only aid us to be bilingual and thus have a skill to distinguish us, but it also forms an essential part of our religion and culture. The loss of the Arabic language is potentially like the loss of half our identity.
We use Arabic to read the Quran and understand it to be able to have a deep spiritual connection with Allah. Because if we don’t understand what Allah is trying to tell us in his holy book, how will we have the same strong relationship with him?
Muslim non-Arabs always appreciate our Arabic language and call us ‘lucky’ as we are able to directly understand the Quran. But, unfortunately, us being privileged and born with this gift, we don’t see the miracle behind it; which is why we must rethink about how Allah blessed us with this ability, thank Him for it and conserve it.
Not only is the Arabic language the language of the Quran; but it’s also the language of the people of paradise; which is definitely another reason why we should be proud to have it as our mother tongue.
Adding onto that, if our own first language is lost, how will our next generations have the capacity of reading the Quran? If young people, from today, start speaking English and use absolutely no Arabic, then they will also speak to their future children in English and the cycle will only continue this way.
It’s a domino effect that starts in this generation’s youths; this is why we must re-construct that wall so we can reconstruct our bond with Allah and protect our future children and grandchildren from external factors that can potentially weaken their faith.
Not only is Arabic useful for our religion, but it is additionally beneficial for our culture as it forms our identity and is a significant part of who we are. If youths lose this divine language they will not be able to have their own cultural language to identify themselves with.
Imagine a person who says, “I am an Arab,” but can’t speak Arabic. How ironic, right?
They will also not be able to assist the older generations, including their own grandparents; who are still attached to their mother language. They will equally not be able to communicate with their family overseas; which can lead to torn family ties.
So why do we get ourselves in this endless, hopeless cycle if we can make a change from this day onwards? If every parent ensures their son/daughter speaks Arabic, at least at home, they will soon be able to properly read the Quran, understand it and teach it to their future kids.
They will also be able to proudly identify themselves as Arabs who have the capacity of speaking Arabic, serve the older generations, including older family members, and keep their connection with their family living overseas.
Whoever comes from an Arabic background must conserve their Arabic language because it’s a treasure that can open the doors for their own religion, culture and identity.