Imam W. Deen Muhammad
QUESTION: My understanding is that the Arabic language is supposedly superior to the English language. Wouldn't this have some effect on peoples' minds? Wouldn't it also be saying that God's original dialect is Arabic?
IMAM: Not at all. I don't see where we should be associating these ideas. Arabic is superior to English for understanding Quran because the Quran is revealed in Arabic. It's superior to English in terms of its ability or its effectiveness as a revealing language, religiously speaking.
As you know, English has developed really in response to industrial progress - science, modernization, etc. So you'll find English perhaps is the richest language today, in terms of what the world is demanding of us now in communications. But in terms of translation or understanding of Quran — not only Quran, but the essence of the Bible — I believe that Arabic is the richest language.
In fact, authorities on the Semitic language -- authorities in the field of Semitic language -- have pointed to Arabic as being the most reliable language for us studying or arriving at pure concepts and even Semitic languages. So when we say Arabic is the choice or superior language, we are talking about the students of religion, for students of scripture and especially for Muslims who read Quran.
To me, it's superior in its beauty, but then I'm talking about Quranic Arabic. If I would just go to Baghdad or somewhere and speak the language, the local language there, maybe I wouldn't say that, maybe I wouldn't feel that way. Quranic language is superior.