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One may ask what the point is in learning a "dead language" but I can see several reasons why more Muslims should have extensive knowledge of spoken and written Latin.

 

1.) Latin is the traditional lingua franca of Western Europe. For centuries, it was the chief language of religious institutions, poets, philosophers, and the social/political elite. Although Latin is no longer widely spoken, the most important languages used in the West derive in part from the Latin language in some way. Comprehensive knowledge of Latin thus helps to more accurately express Islamic concepts and ideas from languages such as Urdu, Turkish, Persian and Arabic into these languages. In turn, knowledge of Latin, even for non-Muslim speakers of French, Italian, English, Spanish, Portugese, etc. is known to help people's skill in speaking and writing in these languages in general.

 

2.) In conjunction with the above,  knowing Latin would give aspiring Muslim intellectuals and scholars greater access to historic texts which have greatly shaped the course of Western thought, including the Latin Vulgate which formed the basis for the Catholic Church's Biblical canon and the religious idiom of its theologians. This can also help in interfaith dialogues and intellectual debates as one would then be able to understand more fully the implications and intended meaning of phrases and concepts found in various religious creeds and writings of Western Christianity, which may not themselves be accurately conveyed or which are only expressed in their partial and most rudimentary meaning when translated to non-Latin European languages .

 

3.) Access to Latin allows one to tap into the cultural heart of much of traditional Western society and could help Muslims living in the West to further carve out a place for themselves in the spectrum of Western civilization by also serving as a means by which traditional Western values and wisdom embodied in the language of Latin itself may be revived for the good of both non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

 

 

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Most Muslims are not even bothered to learn about their own religion let alone a "dead" language.

 

In theory we should learn everything but in practice, we need to prioritise and learn what is important first and there are far more important subjects Muslims must learn. The most important are Akhlaq (ethics), Aqaid (belief) and Fiqh (Islamic/Shariah Laws).

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Salam alaikum, 

 

nice topic, Latin is important language and teaches you many "origins" of Romance modern languages of today like Spanish, French, Italian etc. It is also very useful for students going into Medical/ medicine careers or pharmacology because thousands of the words in the Medical field have their origins in Latin. Especially students wanting or are planning to take the Medical exams like "Mcat" should consider taking a Latin course because they will be very surprised to find that it will help them A LOT for vocabulary and identifying terminology of something they don't know. I learned Latin for 2 years in grammar school, and it was VERY VERY hard definitely one of the most hardest languages on earth! But its definitely not a "dead" language as the person above said. Latin is still a "living" language and it lives in the modern Romance languages of today and in general scientific vocabulary.

 

 

salaam

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Most Muslims are not even bothered to learn about their own religion let alone a "dead" language.

 

In theory we should learn everything but in practice, we need to prioritise and learn what is important first and there are far more important subjects Muslims must learn. The most important are Akhlaq (ethics), Aqaid (belief) and Fiqh (Islamic/Shariah Laws).

 

I think basic Latin could actually help in these areas as well. You have to understand that Muslims are becoming more and more embedded in Western society. To the extent that learning Latin can help Muslims to better utilize Western languages which draw from Latin in both daily and academic use, it can also help in teaching the three things you mentioned because then Muslims who are growing up in countries that have been historically and culturally influenced by Catholicism or Latin Christianity in general will be able to connect the two heritages together, which will help them to illuminate the things you mentioned for those who are not experts in Arabic or the other Eastern languages.

 

Let's take the example of Chinese Islam. For the first few centuries, Islam in China was mostly taught in Persian and Arabic, but as more native Chinese ethnic groups converted to Islam there grew a need to translate Islamic ideas into Chinese. The result of the efforts of Chinese scholars of Islam in this field was a rich tradition of Islamic literature in the Chinese language, utilizing the common terms and discourse of Confucianism that permeated throughout Chinese society to all religious groups to show Chinese Muslims that their Confucian heritage and their Islamic heritage need not be at odds.

 

Muslims in the West are in a similar situation, being minorities living in predominately non-Muslim areas, having to learn and use languages that aren't the typical languages of Islamic discourse but which are the historic languages of the Christian intellectual and religious discourse of Europe and the Americas.

 

Learning Latin in general has helped speakers of Western languages become better English, French, Spanish and Italian speakers, this is a fact. So it follows that basic courses in Latin will help even Muslims who are raised with these languages master them more efficiently in everyday use. But what it would also allow is a means by which scholars and intellectuals who have committed themselves to educating Muslims in matters of religion to accurately compare and contrast Islamic concepts and ideas with Christian ones that were originally or primarily articulated in Latin and also clarifying the deeper meaning of Islamic terms in books aimed towards educating Muslims in fiqh, akhlaq and aqaid.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23

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Salam! :)

Well, I had Latin for around 8 1/2 years in school and it was even one of my three finals. It's not an easy language, especially if you want to actually speak- speaking wasn't even a real focus for us, we paid more attention to translating texts, language as such, Roman history and myths and culture and how it influenced Europe, its cultures and different languages. I loved it ;)

It's true, if one learns Latin, it's easier for him to learn many Eruopean languages such as Spanish, Italien etc... I, for example, could learn many English and French vocabulary easily because the roots of many words were the same as many Latin words. That's definitely an advantage. And yes, I think it also helps in the medical field, to some extent (the reason why I was interested in it, to begin with).

Another point: Translations. I don't speak Arabic (though, I'm trying to learn it slowly) so I don't know how hard it is to understand and translate (old) Arabic texts - but translating Latin texts into modern languages (for me German) is anything but easy. A word could have several meanings, the structure of the sentences is different, there are grammatical elements in Latin which do not exist in German (and other languages). So, translating a Latin text into proper German and yet, maintain some of the language's beauty isn't easy. We learned a lot about this, it was always a focus - our teachers taughts us technics and tricks how to approach such texts, how to work on them etc... Maybe such technics could also be used for Arabic texts (or maybe they already are? I don't know).

Though, whether Muslims should learn it, I don't know. It has its benefits, is a beautiful language even if not easy (especially poetry), has a lot to do with philosophy (very interesting) and I don't regret learning it. Personally, I really enjoyed it, all of its aspects and if anyone is interested in it, why not?

Wa salam!

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Why should we learn Latin when our Holy Book and narrations are written in Arabic? Even if you're inclined towards philosophy or poetry, most likely you'll need Persian or Urdu.

Latin isn't a language that should be taught for Muslims IMO.

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