Scotland: Muslims favor sermons in English

Scotland: Muslims favor sermons in English

The majority of Scottish Muslims are favoring that mosque sermons be delivered in English rather than Arabic, language of the Noble Qur'an, to tailor to the needs of mosque-goers, though some oppose the proposal as a direct contravention of Islam teachings.

"The delivery in English would be a bit more meaningful to a younger generation," Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding at Glasgow University, told the Sunday Herald on June 14.

The call for imams to hold Friday prayer sermons in the country's native tongue is finding a lot of support among Muslim Scots

They contend that Arabic would make the audience, especially the youngsters, disengaged with the sermons, as only a small percentage of the congregation usually understands it.

Leading Islamic scholar Shayke Amer Jamil toured Scotland this month to suggest sermons be delivered in English.

The Scottish Islamic Foundation (SIF) already posted an online survey asking the community whether they prefer breaking with tradition and modernizing the sermons to reflect the needs of a younger generation.

More than three-quarters of those who responded favored the proposal.

Siddiqui stressed that the move is not necessarily "revolutionary" but rather "common sense".

According to the Herald, more than half of Scotland's Muslims are under the age of 25, and few speak Arabic at any level.


Not everyone, however, is welcoming the proposal of the English sermons.

"There are principles in Islam that are not changeable," Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah, imam of the Al-Furqan Mosque in Glasgow's west end, told the paper.

Shah believes such a move now would be in direct contravention of Islamic teaching.

He contends that many Muslim scholars have concluded that it is prohibitively offensive to give the Friday sermon, known in Arabic as khutba, in other than Arabic.

"The word of God is in Arabic, not English," says Shah. In khutba, we recite verses from the Qur'an.


Source: Islam Online (English)

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