Saturday, January 8, 2011

Say what?????

Salaam to all of you out there...

I have some serious questions concerning language...haha..No, not with Rajh.  However him and I are still working out our own Nepal/Hindi/American version of a language... :)  My issues is with Arabic.  I understand the need for all of us to learn it.  It's the language of our Prophet(pbuh) and we need to learn to read the Quran and recite our prayers correctly.  My problem lies with the intermittent use of some Arabic words into our daily conversations with people who are of an English speaking background.  Just because I am a Muslim doesn't mean that all of a sudden I should "switch up" my English words with Arabic, does it?  I still receive email messages from some crazy polygyny group that I quit a while back...too extreme, and when I read them I just laugh.  They, and I, are Americans.  Why cant I call him, "my husband"?  Why does it have to be"zawj" or what ever term they use?  They will do all these "greetings" in Arabic...then say.."so and so is looking for "akhi", this is her "wakil" information.  Then they will throw in a little American English and say, "you can hit her up on facebook"... LOOOOL  When us as Americans take our Shahada, does it come with an obligatory duty to speak broken Arabic in our daily conversations?  I know a few reverts here in my country that do the same.  I greet with "Salaam Alaikmu, how are you".  Mind you, they are as English as English gets..LOL  They follow up with "Alaikum Salaam, jhak bar, schlolich zaina....hdlakfldjwoeijldkfjlsdjflejfoieldkjfoielj..."(During this time I just nod my head)

When I am speaking to an American Muslim or European Muslim, do I have to pretend we are Arabic?  What is so wrong with speaking English?  I struggle thru this language on a DAILY basis.  I would love to just be free to speak my own language with others that speak it as well.

So to all of my English speaking Muslim friends out there, "Salaam Alaikum!  How are you all doing today?  May Allah bless you and all of your family."


  1. Salam,

    I'm confused myself about this... I just do the nod and talk in english... Its amazing when I'm talking Spanish and then they start talking English and Arabic and Spanish.... Thats just a big... HUH??

    Side note... I hope I didn't offend you and anyone on my last comment I put... I didn't meant to, just expressing my view...


  2. @Mrs.Khan...I agree! I cant imagine 3 languages at once...Ughh! On your side note...No offence taken :)

  3. LMAOOO.. This is classic. Omg sis you crack me up. I swear theres nothing wrong with speaking english all the time, its your language! Same as Chinese Muslims speak Chinese, Bangladeshi/Indian Muslims speak their language, English Muslims also have their own language which is understood by everyone, so why change it??
    BUT GOSh this is funny stuff.

  4. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

    LOL, There is nothing wrong with speaking English, but you just wait another year or two...

    When I was first in the Middle East, I was learning bits and pieces of Arabic. Obviously, there was great focus on knowing it for the same reasons you state: prayer, Quran, Islamic knowledge and understanding. However, there are certain words that we use as Muslims that we don't say in English. So, interspersed in a normal English sentence, I automatically used to say inshaa'Allah, mashaa'Allah, al hamdul'Illah, etc. Those things, inshaa'Allah, we can agree are okay.

    As for the rest, after a while you may catch the same disease most of us got: ya'anee-itis. I started saying ya'anee at the beginning of my English sentences. I then found myself saying "wa laakin" instead of "but." After a while, it just increased until I found that there were all kinds of Arabic words in my sentence! Every year, I would go home to see my parents in England. They were always saying, "Pardon? What did you say?" I'd have to explain, translate, or say the sentence again totally in English. It was HARD! I was so used to interspersing the Arabic that my language was a mess. After about 10 years, they pretty much got used to it all and just ignored what they didn't know, LOL.

    Please, please, please...write about this in a year or two and let us know if you're still speaking all English sentences or not, LOL. Between that and the broken English to communicate with the office boys and car wash men, you will find yourself a linguistic mess before you know it!

  5. P.S. Also, to defend those English-speakers who do speak Arabic rather than English, in normal speech, the best way to become fluent in a language is to use it... as much as you can, as often as you can, in as many situations as you can. You, ideally want to be able to think in that language. So perhaps some of those people are simply trying in their own way to increase their Arabic and make it a part of their daily lives.

  6. As salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh , jazakullahu khair for this post. Mashallah so funny.LIHUB-BILLAH lol. Yea i know exactly what you mean, But what I think is even funnier is when you go to certain masjids for jummah and every other word the imam says people in the audience are all "Ameen." "SUBHAN-ALLAH" or every other sentence someone is like "inshallah I am going to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch in 5 mins, inshallah" lol

  7. I myself am pretty stubborn at learning arabic. I can't even pronounce my son's name right. I try, but my accent is not helping me out and I am always getting corrected no matter what, so not haraaaam to speak how I do as long as ppl understand. lol.


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