Why do we deliver Friday sermon in Arabic when expats don’t understand it?

Every day is special for Muslims as they have to pray regularly five times a day and it has been enjoined for the male Muslims to visit mosques to pray in congregation daily. Friday has been chosen as a special day for all Muslims as Allah has ordained the Friday prayer in place of Duhr prayer.

Friday prayer is a congregational prayer that all Muslims pray after the obligatory sermon that is given by the Imam.  The listening of this sermon is an obligatory part of Friday prayer without which Friday prayer remains incomplete.

Allah has placed a special reward for the person who reaches in time and listens to the complete sermon. The sermon is an obligatory part of Friday prayer as it is to remind Muslims of their duties towards Allah and fellow Muslim brothers.


Friday sermon teaches Muslims of the commandments of Shariah and teaches Muslims to live in harmony and create peace in a community. This sermon strengthens brotherhood and love for each other.

This sermon is delivered in Arabic by the Imam in Saudi Arabia. Although it is important for all Muslim to learn and understand Arabic as our religion has chosen Arabic as a medium of communication. 

In Arab countries, we have a huge number of expatriates who have come from different parts of the world. These expatriates do not have Arabic as their native language and only know and understand few sentences in Arabic that facilitate their stay.

These non-Arabs do not learn Arabic which they should but this language barrier remains a major impediment.  This language barrier can also be witnessed during Friday sermon.

Although Arabic is a language that our religion has chosen for us and all Muslims should learn and understand Arabic so as to better understand our religion.

The sermon is delivered in Arabic which these expatriates fail to understand and the delivering and importance of sermon stands at zero.

It is important that the Friday sermon should be translated so that everyone, irrespective of the language they speak, is able to understand the commandments of Allah (SWT).

In order to achieve the purpose of making Friday sermon understandable for the expatriates, modern technology can be put into use. Islam does not forbid us to make use of inventions and modern technology by any means.

The Arabic sermon can be beforehand translated into different major languages of expatriates like Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Tagalog, and Indonesian (depending on the majority of an expatriate in the area) and this translation can be displayed on screens while the sermon is delivered.

Another method could be the publishing of sermon content on the website beforehand and make them available to the expatriates. These translations can be read by the expats and they can better relate to the content while the sermon is being delivered.

This will make sermon more meaningful for the expatriates. The expatriates will be able to understand and feel the spirit of Friday prayer to its fullest.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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