The public pressure to provide translation of Friday sermons in different languages spoken by non-Arab expatriates in the Kingdom, is mounting. People are demanding such service, especially in English, Urdu, Malayalam and Tagalog, so they can understand the sermon’s message and learn more about Islam.
A Saudi engineer and former director general of the Industrial City Dawa Office, spoke to Arab News on this issue.“This is a very important topic. We know there are millions of non-Arab expats who come to attend the Friday sermons but only a few of them get the message. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs must take up this matter seriously,” said Fuad Kawther.
He shared that he hoped the ministry would permit translation of sermons in major languages for the benefit of expatriates. He emphasized the importance of understanding the message of Friday sermons particularly when they contain Islamic rules and teachings to be learned by Muslims.
Kawther also encouraged Muslim expats to make use of their time in the Kingdom to learn Arabic, the language of the Holy Qur’an. He hoped that charitable and cultural centers, including dawa centers would open more Arabic language centers for the benefit of expats.
The language center at Al-Hamra Dawa Center offers three levels of Arabic courses. It follows a curriculum developed by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. “There is big demand for Arabic language courses,” he pointed out.
Kawther also mentioned out that a mosque in Jeddah’s industrial city offers translation of the sermon in three languages. He stressed the need to promote Arabic language to spread Islamic culture and civilization.
Planning manager at a recognized Saudi company in Jeddah, Abdullatheef Nadukandy, agreed with Kawther and urged expats to make use of the opportunity to learn Arabic.Commenting to Arab News, he said,“It will not only help them understand Friday sermons but also excel in their professions.”
Ahmed Mofarrah Al-Ghamdi, khateeb at Omar bin Al-Khattab Mosque in Faisaliya, emphasized the significance of Friday sermons. “Many non-Arab expats including Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Indonesians and Africans attend our sermons. Many of them do not know even a single word of Arabic,” he said, stressing how essential translation would be.
His proposal would required that volunteers of dawa centers provide translation of the sermon in different mosques, giving expats the main idea of the sermon. “This will help them a lot in understanding their religion and change their ways.”
He expressed hopes that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs would instruct dawa centers across the country to dispatch their volunteers in mosques to provide the service, particularly ones where a large number of expats attend prayers.
The message delivered by Al-Ghamdi on Friday encouraged worshipers to take care of their parents,
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