My dad always used to say that to know an additional language is to know a whole different world. I was born and raised in the US, but he and my mom taught me Farsi in addition to English, and that has been a lasting and invaluable gift that I hope to pass on to my children and I hope they will do the same for theirs.

I wish that more first and second generation Muslims in the West would practice this. It is always a little sad to see bilingual parents not pass on the second language, the language of their parents and forefathers, to their American or European born children. Even if it is a little more effort and the language doesn’t come as easily to you as does English, still make the effort to speak to your kids in that second language starting from 4 or 6 months old. If you are living in the West, the domestic language will come easily and you don’t have to worry about your kids falling behind. But any effort you make to talk with your children in the second language will pay huge dividends inshaAllah. Even for children to hear the second language at a young age will significantly improve their ability to learn that language later in life. This is what linguists tell us about language acquisition and speech development.

Languages from Muslim cultures are especially important to keep alive and to pass onto future generations. The modern world has secularized the notion of language, but this is not something we should accept. Some languages are more infused with religious concepts than others. Some languages are more conducive to a religious mindset and religious character than others. That’s just a fact. Our Muslim languages, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Turkish, Bengali, Bosnian, etc., have hundreds if not thousands of years of history being spoken by Muslims, and so all that heritage, all that devotion, good character, and sunnah permeates these languages. If you have been fortunate enough to inherit this tradition, do not take abandoning it lightly.

My dad always used to say that to know an additional language is to know a whole different world. I was born and raised…

Posted by Daniel Haqiqatjou on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Daniel Haqiqatjou

View all posts