Q. What is the correct position regarding the status of Arabic and the Arabs and the Quraysh? Kindly clarify this subject for us.
A. “And We revealed the Quran in Arabic so that you may understand” (Quran 12:2)
In his masterpiece “Anwaar Muhammadiyya” [Urdu edition, p.22-29]” Imam Allamah Yusuf ibn Ismail Nabhabani (may Allah have mercy on him), narrated the following Hadith from Ibn Umar (r), who said,
“The Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah examined His creation and chose the children of Adam from among them; He examined the children of Adam and selected the Arabs from among them; He examined the Arabs and chose me from among them, so I was always the choicest of choices. Behold, people who love the Arabs, it is out of love for me that they love them, and those who hate the Arabs, it is out of hatred for me that they hate them.”
In his book, “Virtues of Arabic”, Shaykh ul-Hadith Mawlana Zakariyya Kandhlawi cites all of the following virtues of the Arabs and the Arabic language:
Mulla Ali Qari has quoted the following Hadith of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his family: “To have love for the Quraysh is Iman whilst having hatred for them is kufr. Accordingly, whoever has love for the Arabs has expressed love for me (Prophet) and whoever has hatred for the Arabs has in reality shown his hatred for me” (Iqtidaus Siratil Mustaqeem, p.156)
Allamah Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani writes in his commentary regarding the above verse,
“The Arabic language, which is the most eloquent, versatile, regulated and magnificent of all languages was chosen for the revelation of the Quran. Because the Messenger was an Arab, it logically follows that its first audience will be Arabs. Then, by means of the Arabs this light spread all around. The words “so you may understand” indicate the reason for revealing the Quran in Arabic viz. that you, who are the nation of the Messenger, should first taste its knowledge and thereafter make others do the same. So it happened.” (Tafseer Uthmani (Urdu), p.311).
Ibn Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,
“Love the Arabs for three reasons:
Because I am an Arab
The Quran is in Arabic
The language of the people of Paradise is Arabic (Baihaqi in Shuabul Iman)
Tha’alibi writes in Fiqh ul Lugah, ‘one who loves Allah, will certainly love His Messenger and whoever loves the Messenger will love the Arabs’.
Mulla Ali Qari has quoted the following Hadith: “To have love for the Quraysh is Iman whilst having hatred for them is kufr. Accordingly, whoever has love for the Arabs has expressed love for me (Prophet) and whoever has hatred for the Arabs has in reality shown his hatred for me” (Iqtidaus Siratil Mustaqeem, p.156)
Abdullah bin Umar (R), in a lengthy Hadith, quoted the following words from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his Family,
“Whoever has loved the Arabs has done so because of my love and whoever has hated the Arabs has done so because of having enmity for me” (Al Madkhal, p23)
Abu Uthman Nahdi as in Azerbaijan when he received the following letter from the Caliph Umar, may Allah be pleased with him.
Wear izar (a cloth used to cover the area between the waist and the ankles) and a sheet. Wear shoes and remove your leather socks and do not wear trousers, but adopt the dress of your father Ishmael (AS), keep yourselves away from a luxurious and pampered life and refrain from the customs of the non-Arabs. Inculcate the habit of sitting in the sunlight because it is the bathing place of the Arabs. Imitate the ways of the people of Ma’d who were an energetic tribe. Wear coarse clothing and make a habit of wearing old clothes. Do not use stirrups (when mounting a horse) but leap onto it. Practice archery. He who becomes proficient in the Arabic language and Arabic grammar, the Quran and Hadith, is the most fortunate. (Baghawi)
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him is also reported to have said, “Whoever has the ability to speak correct Arabic should not speak another language because it creates nifaq (hypocrisy). (Iqtidaus Siratil Mustaqem, p. 205)
Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him narrates that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him said,
“I take an oath in that Being in whose Hand is my life, Allah revealed to every Messenger in Arabic, after which he (the Messenger) used to convey the message to the nation in their language” (Majmuaz Zawaaid, p. 52)
Caliph Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have advised regarding the superiority of the Arabic language to his subjects, “(It is preferable if you) do not learn a language other than Arabic” (Al La’Ali)
The Status of the Quraysh
Rifa’ah bin Raafi (rad) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) once instructed Hadrat Umar (rad): “Gather my people!” Hadrat Umar gathered them outside the room of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and then went in and asked, “O Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) should I get them to enter or shall you be going out to them?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied, “I shall rather go to them.” When Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) went to them, he asked “Is there anyone here who does not belong to you?” Yes, they replied. Amongst us are also our allies, the children of our sisters and our slaves”. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said to them, “Our allies are part of us, the children of our sisters are part of us and our slaves are all part of us. Have you not heard that it is only those with Taqwa who are Allah’s friends? If you are His friends, then it is excellent. Otherwise, you should give the matter deep thought. It should not be that other people arrive on the day of Judgement with plenty of good deeds while you arrive there with sins, because of which I will have to turn away from you.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) then raised his hands and said, “O people! The Quraysh are trustworthy people. Allah will therefore grab by the nostrils the person who searches for their faults and throw him into the Fire of Jahannam.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) repeated this thrice (1)
And Allah knows best.
Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin
1. Bazzar, Ahmad and Tabrani, all reporting from reliable sources as confirmed by Haythami (Vol 10. Pg. 26)