Language is not only means of communication and expression but a channel for transmitting meanings and a way of looking at things.
The Arab sees that the scandalous act in the street is unacceptable, while the non-Arab may see the same act as a kind of affection or love expression within a framework of freedom.
The language invites the Arab to stop in front of the action and describe it as (an immoral or prohibited act), while the foreigner describes it as (love or intimacy).
Therefore, children born to Arab parents in foreign cultures (like living in Australia or New Zealand) gradually lose much of their religion and identity because their way of looking at things is a part of the language and culture that name the actions.
That is why we hear that sons of the second or third Muslim generation are at risk of losing their religion because they are affected by the culture that is irrigated by the language.
Islam does not contradict any language and calls on every society to keep its mother language alive. Learning Arabic may be a secondary language for studying Islam or communicating with Arab communities. Still, Arab origin people must keep their mother tongue alive wherever they live.
We see that it is crucial in countries of emigration, such as Australia and New Zealand, if we are of Arab origin, that our speech as spouses and with children is in their mother tongue.
When we deal with non-Arabic, we speak with them in their language. Still, any conversation between the same family must be Arabic, containing Arabic literature: texts, audible, read and visual that is constantly exposed at home and in the car.
We are surprised that many Islamic schools design their academic day based on speaking and interacting in Arabic. However, this is supposed to be expected, even with their students’ different languages and cultures.
Foreigners will learn Arabic as a second language (as if they are in a foreign or international Islamic school). Students of Arab origins will speak their mother tongue. The two will benefit from being closer to the language of revelation (the Qur’an and Sunnah), from which they will start to understand all the teachings of Islam.
However, the existence of the Arabic language as a secondary language in an Islamic school is a matter that we need as parents and school management to reconsider for our sons’ future and hereafter life peace. All students already communicate in English everywhere. Islamic schools should deliver something different to the students that daily link them with their religion and Islamic history to live as Muslim proud of their identity and firm culture.
Teaching the Arabic language is essential for building a culture that respects and preserves the regulations of Islam through the cognition of the meanings inherent in the speech and culture of the Arabs, such as modesty, generosity, courage, altruism, and peace.