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Is it necessary to read the Quran in Arabic? I have learned from elders and also seen many videos stating that understanding the meaning of the Qur'an is more important than just reading it. As i don't understand Arabic i would like to read the Quran in a language that i understand like English.
So is it permissible that i read the Quran in english (or any other language) while not reading the Arabic part?


Let us assume that the translations are 100% correct.

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I had 3 experiences, Arabic, Persian and English translation. Translations are correct but they cannot traverse same volume of information and feel in compare with Arabic one! Please read my answer –  Yasser Zamani Jun 22 '12 at 6:26
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"Let us assume that the translations are 100% correct." Impossible. And that's nothing specifically to do with the Quran. Translations are never 100% correct. –  TRiG Jul 5 '12 at 18:18

9 Answers 9

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I understand you well because I have a situation like you. My native language is Persian but we learn Arabic and English too in our education process. So I can read and compare Quran in both Arabic and Persian, English translation. I strongly recommend you to read Quran in Arabic.

Do not worry about learning Arabic, you don't have to learn Arabic completely. Quran's Arabic is really simple and understandable. Quran describes huge concepts just by simple words and grammar. I myself cannot read any Arabic text except Quran. Because Quran's words are optimized to a small collection and it's grammar is simple and integrated in whole of it.

But why Arabic? I have 3 experiences, Arabic, Persian and English. But the Persian and English translation does not have any effect on my heart! you say why? because the translated one is no longer in it's original harmonic provided by God and also consider you want to drink water and compare drinking with a glass or with a plate and a spoon. The water is same but the structure which keeps the water is very important. In same way, I think Arabic structure and grammar can traverse more information and feel with always fresh optimized words and sentence length. Please see also [19:97]

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لِتُبَشِّرَ بِهِ الْمُتَّقِينَ وَتُنذِرَ بِهِ قَوْمًا لُّدًّا

So, [O Muhammad], We have only made Qur'an easy in the Arabic language that you may give good tidings thereby to the righteous and warn thereby a hostile people.

Another very important thing is that understanding Quran in next stage after language, needs a clear heart. So anyone which can read Quran in Arabic does not mean that he/she understands it well. Please see [56:79]

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿٧٧﴾ فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ ﴿٧٨﴾ لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ ﴿٧٩﴾ تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٨٠﴾

Indeed, it is a noble Qur'an (77) In a Register well-protected; (78) None touch it except the purified. (79) [It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. (80)

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Great answer. I already upvoted. But, I do have a question: I have been told that it is Sunnah for one to read the entire Quran during the month of Ramadan. Does reading the entire Quran in English (or another language) count towards this? –  Dynamic Jun 22 '12 at 23:54
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Well, Sunnah is to read in Arabic. Prophet PBUH did not have access to non-arabic Quran. However, if you are reading in another language, you will get some 'ajar' for it, as 'Niyaat' or intentions are good. Perhaps, someone else can point you to a scholarly opinion. –  Nasir Jun 23 '12 at 0:39
    
Thanks @Dynamic, unfortunately my info about Islam's jurisprudence is low because their existence philosophy is not well understandable for me. An example is what you cited. Shi'a also has this in Ramadan but I personally cannot force myself to read specific amount of Quran in distinct time period! because this tires me and force me to read fast and in result skipping thinking about their concepts! I personally think that tanzil.net/#73:20 confirms me :) –  Yasser Zamani Jun 23 '12 at 5:46

Asalamu wa alaikum,

It is Mustahab to read the Qur'an in Arabic because it is the language which it was sent down. When it is in other languages sometimes the full meaning is lost, and is not the Quran anymore, rather a Tafseer and the words of men, so it is good to read in Arabic it's language. if you can't than try to learn Arabic. but it is not haraam to read it in other languages, you are not kept from that.

(Mustahab) means it is loved or liked, example if you have a choice of reading the Qur'an in Arabic or English than it is more liked to read it in Arabic. Better definition:

Mustahab (مستحب)

recommended form of worship or action. Doing a mustahab activity will be rewarded by Allah but not doing a Mustahab activity will not be considered sinful.

Haram means forbidden. The word usually refers to what food we eat, ether it is halal/permissible or haram/forbidden. But it can also refer to a action.

source : http://www.islamic-dictionary.com/

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I suggest adding an explanation to the word "haraam" too. –  Tamer Shlash Jun 28 '12 at 3:30

No it is not necessary. I saw an Hadith that in any language Quran is read, angels take it to Heaven in Arabic language.

Although understanding the meaning of the quran is more important than just reading it but just reading it has high reward and has good spiritual effects for example Satan will be away from your home and your home will be seen like star by angels.

But you know Arabic is like an ocean and no translation can transfer all meanings of Quran.

It is recommended you have a plan for learning Arabic little by little and may Allah help you.

This site may help you:

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+1 this is the kind of quality answer I hope to see more of –  ashes999 Jun 22 '12 at 13:26
    
related question: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/426/… –  goldPseudo Jun 22 '12 at 16:05
    
@Ahmadi +1 for the link. Also Madinah Arabic is good for learning Arabic online. –  Mohammad Yaseen Jun 26 '12 at 10:12

I strongly agree with @YasserZamani's these two paragraphs:

I understand you well because I have a situation like you. My native language is Persian but we learn Arabic and English too in our education process. So I can read and compare Quran in both Arabic and Persian, English translation. I strongly recommend you to read Quran in Arabic.

Do not worry about learning Arabic, you don't have to learn Arabic completely. Quran's Arabic is really simple and understandable. Quran describes huge concepts just by simple words and grammar. I myself cannot read any Arabic text except Quran. Because Quran's words are optimized to a small collection and it's grammar is simple and integrated in whole of it.

I'm exactly in the same situation with Yasser Zamani. I only understand Quran, I don't understand any other Arabic text.

And I want to add something more:

You cannot make perfect translation of any text from one language to another. Because, the translated words will not have the exact same same meaning. Translating a text into another language is actually is not translating it; it is writing a text in another language whose meaning approximates to the original one.

When you translate a text, you truncate its meaning by quantizing it to the words of the other language. This quantization error is always neglected in the translation of other daily ordinary texts. But you cannot ignore it in the case of Quran.

Quran is a book sent by Allah. Its every detail is precious. The orders of words, precise meanings of words, grammar, usage of synonymous of words, details which come with the characteristics of Arabic, like gender of words, counts of objects, prefixes for emphasizing, etc. All of detail are definitely required in order to understand the deep meanings of Quran. All of these detail construct a supernatural book for which a similar one cannot be written by Man.

If you keep reading Quran always from its translation, after a time, you will probably think that you understood it all, and for the worst case, you will stop reading it. If you read it in Arabic, you will see that its meaning is so vast and profuse that there is no way of understanding it completely even if you spend your entire life on it. As long as you keep studying it, you will keep understanding new things, there is no limit of learning from Quran.

There is also a minor reason. Actually, it is a big reason, but it look minor when compared to the ones I counted until this paragraph.
Current Quran translations are terrible. The translator translates the way he understands. If the actual meaning of a sentence or phrase in an ayat does not mean anything to the translator or he just doesn't understand it, he translates it with a different meaning, with a meaning he find chooses in his mind.
I used to have a Facebook page in which everyday I shared translation errors of several ayats. But I finally fed up of doing it, because there was no end to it and image editing was taking too much time.

I hope I made a few more important points.

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Salam-on-aleikom,

It is not necessary but only encouraged, and if you want the truth it is quite very encouraged, mention that God himself has stressed on his book being in Arabic and that of course has quite many reason why God has done that, e.g. Arabic is mobin, it is the only language wherein a real relation exists between the words with the same root such that studying why God has chosen a word for a notion would lead you toward a true scientific discovering process (e.g. Adam is a name available in many languages, but it has meaning only in Arabic, if I am right, meaning made from Adim, dust on the upper layer of the earth, so is about Samaa'--sky-- which has the same root as Maa'--water-- and means the resource of water, and so on …).

It should also be mentioned that only the Arabic Quran can be considered the words of Allah, the miracle of prophet Muhammad,PBUH ! You read Quran in other languages, fine, better than not reading it at all, it would still touch your hearth by sure, however, that's not actually Quran, as it is!

Hope that I have not discourage you from reading Quran, although in other languages, as I was only trying to encourage you read it in Arabic and think about its words and etc., difficult for the first time reading but it is worth bearing that difficulty thrust me.

Allah may help you

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+1 It is good to know the example of Adam and likewise. I gained knowledge and motivation to learn Arabic. –  user2350 Jun 5 '13 at 14:43

Surely it is best to understand what the Quran teaches. Prophet Muhammad was a walking Quran. Many of today's translations capture the meaning very well. I translated the Quran, did my best to keep the meaning intact, and made it easy to read. It is posted here: http://www.ClearQuran.com Talal Itani

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Islam very liberal religion. According to Islam there is no issue in reading the holy Quran in any language other than Arabic.

But the question is that is the translation  100% correct?

It is not possible to give the exact meaning (or feel) of anything written in ancient Arabic language if written in other language.

If in any way someone managed to print the exact meaning (not literal translation) without a single mistake then reading that book has no problem.

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I saw you updated the question. If translation is correct then no problem. But the translation itself is the problem. –  Inshan Jun 22 '12 at 5:55

It is very important to remember few things when we discuss if Quran should be read in Arabic or in any other language.

First, Quran was revealed in Arabic because it was the langauge of the Arabs and Holy Prophet was born there. God has revealed many scriptures before Quran in the languages of the adresse people. Second, Muslims should try not to make God an Arab God. He is Almighty who knows what is in your heart so langauge becomes secondary than intentions. Third, there are only 20 % Arabic speaking Muslims while rest of the Muslims have their own languages.You can teach them to read Quran in Arabic but they would not understand what it says.Is it not important that people understand the message in a language, they can follow and master than recite it like a parrot just to read it? I have read Quran in many languages and believe me, it is wonderful to know what you are reading. Yes, Qirat is beautiful for the ears but Quran must be understood by the brain. That will help Muslims to move on in this complex world we live in.

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Salaam, This is the same problem with me and I've heard on peace tv that we should read the Quran in the language we understand better.There are many good translation books available in many languages that we can trust on. It is a hadith that"if you recite one aya of Quran with understanding it is better than 100 nafl rakats" In 1 rakat we recite 5 verses of surah fatiha an if we calculate the hadith says that its better to recite one aya of the holy Quran with understanding than to recite 500 aya without understanding So,get one and start reading and understanding it.

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