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Permissability of English in Sujood

This is a discussion on Permissability of English in Sujood within the Islamic Law forums, part of the Islamic Knowledge category; One fatwa by Islamqa: Can I recite duaa's in English?. Praise be to Allaah. Making duaa in English or in ...

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    Default Permissability of English in Sujood

    One fatwa by Islamqa:

    Can I recite duaa's in English?.

    Praise be to Allaah.
    Making duaa in English or in any other language is permissible outside of salaah (prayer). But it is not permissible to say any part of the salaah in any language other than Arabic, according to the majority of scholars. But if the Muslim can stick to Arabic in all cases, especially in acts of worship and duaa is an act of worship that is preferable and is better.
    Shaykh Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr

    Another fatwa by Islamqa:

    If I don't speak Arabic and I want to make Du'aa while I am in prayers. For example, in Tahajud while the prostration is long Can I make Du'aa in my language until I learn Arabic.

    Praise be to Allaah.
    Yes, it is permissible to make duaa in a language other than Arabic, if one does not speak it. But the Muslim has to learn enough Arabic to do the acts of worship properly. And Allaah knows best.

    Shaykh Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr.


    Which is the correct opinion?

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    Bismillah ...

    The first appears to be directed to one who can speak Arabic, while the second questioner has specified he does not speak thus the differing answers.

    Here are some more detailed fatwas:

    I have become Muslim, al-hamdu-Lillaah, but I do not know Arabic. What should I do with regard to the adhkaar (phrases praising Allaah) in the prayer and reading Quraan in Arabic?
    Praise be to Allaah.

    The majority of fuqaha say that if the non-Arab can speak Arabic, he should not recite Takbeer (saying Allaahu akbar (Allaah is Most Great)) in any other language. The evidence for this is that the texts instruct this particular wording, which is Arabic, and that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do it any other way.

    But if a non-Arab cannot speak Arabic and is unable to pronounce it, then according to the majority of fuqaha it is OK for him to say the Takbeer in his own language after it has been translated from Arabic, according to the statements of the Shaafais and Hanbalis, no matter what the language is. The Takbeer is remembrance or mentioning of Allaah, and Allaah can be remembered or mentioned in every language, so a language other than Arabic is an alternative, and the person has to learn how to say it in the other language. There is some controversy as to whether all of the adhkaar of the prayer, such as tashahhud, qunoot, duaa, and the tasbeehaat in rukoo and sujood may be said in languages other than Arabic.

    With regard to reading Quraan, the majority say that it is not permissible to read it in any language other than Arabic. The evidence for this is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quraan [Yoosuf 12:2]

    Moreover, the Quraan is a miracle in its wording and its meaning; if it is changed, this is no longer the case, and it is no longer Quraan but an interpretation (tafseer). (al-Mawsooah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 5: Ajami).

    Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
    Section: It is not right to read it in any language other than Arabic, or to substitute other words in Arabic, whether the person can read it well in Arabic or not, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): an Arabic Quraan [Yoosuf 12:2] and In the plain Arabic language [al-Shuara 26:195]. The Quraan is a miracle in both its wording and its meaning, but if it is changed this is no longer the case, it is not Quraan or anything like it. It is only an interpretation (tafseer), and if the interpretation were like the Quraan itself, they would not be unable to meet the challenge of producing a soorah like it.

    If a person cannot read well in Arabic, he has to learn. If he does not learn when he is able to, his prayers are not valid. If he is not able, or he fears that he does not have time to learn before the time for the next prayer is over, and he knows one aayah of al-Faatihah, he should repeat it seven times If he can recite more than that, he should repeat it as much as he needs to make his recitation equivalent to the length of Soorat al-Fatihah, or he could make it up by reciting other aayaat. If he knows some aayaat he does not have to repeat, he could recite another aayah instead, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded the one who could not recite Quraan well to say Al-Hamdu Lillaah (Praise be to Allaah) and other phrases, which is part of an aayah, but he did not command him to repeat it. If he cannot do anything, but he knows some of the Quraan by heart, he should recite whatever he can, and nothing else will do, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood from Rifaaah ibn Raafi, who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: When you get up to pray, if you know some Quraan, recite it, otherwise say al-hamdu Lillaah (praise be to Allaah), and La ilaaha ill-Allaah (there is no god but Allaah), and Allaahu akbar (Allaah is Most Great). This is more like Quraan, and is more appropriate (than any other words). He should also recite as much as he needs to make it equivalent in length to Soorat al-Faatihah. If he cannot recite anything of the Quraan, and cannot learn before it is too late to pray the current prayer, he should say Subhaan Allaah wal-hamdu Lillaah wa Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa Allaahu akbar wa Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (Glory be to Allaah; praise be to Allaah; there is no god but Allaah; Allaah is Most Great; and there is no strength and no power except with Allaah). Abu Dawood reported that a man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: I cannot learn anything of the Quraan. Teach me something that will suffice me. He said, Say Subhaan Allaah wal-hamdu Lillaah wa Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa Allaahu akbar wa Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah.

    And Allaah knows best.
    Islam Q&A
    Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid


    I have become Muslim, al-hamdu-Lillaah, but I do not know Arabic. What should I do with regard to the adhkaar (phrases praising Allaah) in the prayer and reading Quraan in Arabic?

    Firstly:

    If the worshipper can say duaa well in Arabic, it is not permissible for him to make duaa in any other language.
    But if the worshipper is unable to make duaa in Arabic, there is no reason why he should not make duaa in his own language, so long as he starts learning Arabic in the meantime.

    With regard to making duaa in languages other than Arabic outside of prayer, there is nothing wrong with that, especially if that will make the worshipper more focused in his duaa.

    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
    It is permissible to make duaa in Arabic and in languages other than Arabic. Allaah knows the intention of the supplicant and what he wants, no matter what language he speaks, because He hears all the voices in all different languages, asking for all kinds of needs.
    Majmoo al-Fataawa, 22/488-489.
    See also the answers to questions no. 3471 and 11588.

    Secondly:

    There is nothing wrong with reciting duaas mentioned in the Quraan even if there is no report in the Sunnah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited them in his duaa. They are all good and contain guidance. Most of the duaas of the Prophets and Messengers that we know are from the Quraan. Undoubtedly their duaas are the most eloquent and most profound in meaning.
    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

    People should make duaa by reciting the prescribed duaas that are mentioned in the Quraan and Sunnah, because these are undoubtedly virtuous and good, and this is the straight path. The scholars of Islam and the imams have mentioned the duaas that are prescribed in Islam, and turned away from the innovated duaas, so we should follow them in that.
    Majmoo al-Fataawa, 1/346, 348.
    And Allaah knows best.


    Sources:
    [1] Islam Question and Answer - What should a non-Arab do for the adhkaar in salaah?
    [2] Islam Question and Answer - Ruling on making duaa in languages other than Arabic in the prayer

    Other in Arabic:
    [1] - -
    [2] .. - -

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    I read a fatwa on this forum (posted and was from around the middle ages) that you are allowed to make dua in any other language you prefer, other than the fundamentals or pillars of the salah than you have to say it in Arabic. I make dua in my sujood in English and sometimes farsi.

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    This is the hardest thing for a new convert to Islam. We think in our native language, so our understanding of Salat will always be translated, or interpreted in our heads as such, there is no way around that fact, unless one can get to the point where they think in Arabic, which would require Hijra. How do we know for sure that our understanding of Salat is correct when we are reciting them in Arabic? And, if one does not know any Arabic at all, how do they benefit from Salat when they are in essence repeating the Arabic without understanding? The wealth of the Quran and Salat is to understand in order to gain the favor of Allah (swt). What impact can recitation have without understanding, because the laws of Allah (swt) will not be understood by someone that does not know Arabic?I have been studying Arabic for a few months now so I can learn in order to make Salat with understanding, with the help of Allah (swt) , but I do not understand how to make Salat in Arabic without translating in my head.

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    Quote Originally Posted by mahmud87 View Post
    This is the hardest thing for a new convert to Islam. We think in our native language, so our understanding of Salat will always be translated, or interpreted in our heads as such, there is no way around that fact, unless one can get to the point where they think in Arabic, which would require Hijra. How do we know for sure that our understanding of Salat is correct when we are reciting them in Arabic? And, if one does not know any Arabic at all, how do they benefit from Salat when they are in essence repeating the Arabic without understanding? The wealth of the Quran and Salat is to understand in order to gain the favor of Allah (swt). What impact can recitation have without understanding, because the laws of Allah (swt) will not be understood by someone that does not know Arabic?I have been studying Arabic for a few months now so I can learn in order to make Salat with understanding, with the help of Allah (swt) , but I do not understand how to make Salat in Arabic without translating in my head.
    abu osama answered one of these kind of questions during a QnA session. regarding reverts, they must pray salah in arabic- no to ways about that. but regarding dua, until they learn the arabic it is permissible to make dua in ones own language.

    secondly, if you know a decent amount of arabic, during fardh salah duas must be made in arabic. during sunnah and nawafil prayers you can make dua in any language you wish.

    lets not forget one of the conditions of the acceptance of dua is SINCERITY. so there are some people who say 'Rabbana this, and Rabbana that' but they have no clue about what they are saying because they learnt the arabic parrot fashion and not the inner meanings. so if making dua in your own language increases your sincerity, then where permissible, ie nawafils, go for it.

    dua is a conversation, a method of you to pour out your heart, anguish, stress, worries, wants, needs, desires etc. so conversate in the language you are most proficient. that is not to dissuade anyone from the arabic, ofcourse not. but for reverts especially and people who have just started practising, as abu osama said, the religion is ease.

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    That is what I am talking, the "parroting" of Salat...I just do not see how one gains from it without learning what they are saying, and the recitation of the Quran as well...

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    Quote Originally Posted by TawhidZmaray View Post
    Praise be to Allaah.
    Making duaa in English or in any other language is permissible outside of salaah (prayer). But it is not permissible to say any part of the salaah in any language other than Arabic, according to the majority of scholars. But if the Muslim can stick to Arabic in all cases, especially in acts of worship and duaa is an act of worship that is preferable and is better.
    Easy to say for an Arab who both naturally speaks and thinks in Arabic due to his upbringing.

    Does Allah not have the ability to understand anything but Arabic? Will it be pleasing to Him for someone to imitate sounds he doesn't understand instead of speaking in the language natural to him?

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    I asked Shaykh Assim al-Hakeem about this (coincidentally) and this is his answer:

    Wa aalikom salam wa rahmatu-llahi wa barakatuhu
    You can supplicate in your own language if you dont know how to do so in Arabic.


    Assim L. Alhakeem
    +966 505 64 65 94
    Official website Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem | Official Website

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    Quote Originally Posted by abdulmuhsee View Post
    Easy to say for an Arab who both naturally speaks and thinks in Arabic due to his upbringing.

    Does Allah not have the ability to understand anything but Arabic? Will it be pleasing to Him for someone to imitate sounds he doesn't understand instead of speaking in the language natural to him?
    I guess what the point is, the Quran was sent down to Muhammad (SAW) in Arabic and the Salat were prescribed in Arabic, and in order to not alter the meaning of the Salat sent down from Allah (SWT) it is Fardh to recite them in Arabic.
    It is the intent of the heart that is important when making Salat, and no doubt if you are not a native Arabic speaker, your mind will naturally think in your native tongue; however, from what I understand, and I am new to learning Arabic, it is imperative to follow the example of the Prophet (SAW). Allahu `Alm.

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    Default Re: Permissability of English in Sujood

    Assalamu aleykum. I've recently learned that the dua in sujood should be in Arabic, but what if I say something in Arabic that's not grammatically correct? I'm not confident in my Arabic (I'm a beginner), and sometimes I just say my dua in other languages, because it takes too long to say one dua in Arabic. My question; are my prayers valid if I mix Arabic with other languages in my sujood?

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