Tarawih in French

Tarawih in French October 18, 2005

Islam Online has an interesting article on French Muslims entitled "Young French Muslims Want Tarawih in French".  It reports that some 2nd and 3rd generation French Muslims–who are mostly of North African descent–are calling for Tarawih prayers (the special nightly prayers during Ramadan in which the whole of the Quran is recited) in French.

I’d like to get more information on this, as I find it hard to imagine that people are really calling for salat to be done in French. That’s pretty radical (and problematic), even if tarawih is in a different category from the obligatory prayers such as the daily salat and juma` salat (e.g., some scholars have argued that women can lead mixed groups in voluntary prayers, but not obligatory prayers)

While I agree with the gentleman quoted that the Quran in Arabic is "unsubstitutable", this should be a general wake-up call to community leaders who do not bother to try to include people who "only" speak the local language.   Measures need to be taken so that non-Arabic speakers can follow what’s going on, whether it’s tarawih or juma`.

I think the idea of having a summary of the juz in the local language before salat begins is excellent.  That’s some healthy "bid`a".

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