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In the Name of God بسم الله
Propaganda_of_the_Deed

One issue I have with English language majalis

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Now I know the speaker's intention is good in trying to capture and convey the emotions to the audience, but from my own perspective, if I'm honest, I am not keen (I find it a little cringe) when during English language majalis for a shahadat event, the speaker tries to replicate a melodious Arabic eulogistic style whilst speaking in English. It doesn't really fit.

I'm sure many know what I mean. Some may like it. But for me, I think it works better in Arabic rather than English.

Though I appreciate majlises in a language I can understand and most importantly it is about invoking the memory and love for Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). Though I wonder if this can be achieved without the replicating speech style.

Am I the only one with these thoughts? Not that I mind if I am, just curious if others think the same.

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I know of what you mean. I watched an hour long one about a particular topic I was interested in, and the person in question ended it with one of these melodious eulogies in English. It didn't tie in with the talk at all. I felt like I should have just stopped watching after 20 mins because as I say, the topic got lost in the emotions of other matters. 

I would feel really awkward if I had actually gone to see it in person. Reminds me of the time I ended up two rows from some funky naat session at a Barelvi mosque. They packed everyone in to see this pir and astaghfirullah it was awful. They had a group of kids singing naats in Urdu I think and it was so loud, and so crowded and I was sweating cobs.

Never, ever, again.

Edited by aaaz1618

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I agree brother. Each culture has their own method of eulogy and of expression. Trying to translate this from one culture to another doesn't work in my humble opinion. You mentioned speeches as an example, I think this is even more so the case with poetry where it doesn't seem to fit at all. 

Wallahu a'lam 

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Yes, the speech style doesn’t translate well to English. It’s not just the words of a language, but also the flow, rhythm, and melody.

There are so many styles that would work better for English. Look at public speakers (or even Christian preachers) for tips on delivery. 

My opinion is that most Muslim speakers are not skilled public speakers, and use the Arabic style because it sounds the most “Islamic” and familiar. It’s just tradition. 

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23 minutes ago, realizm said:

:salam:

I understand when it's a elder speaking. 

When he's young > awkward

Do you mean these young brothers who grow up speaking perfect accentless english but suddenly develop an Arabic accent when they start lecturing?

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) forgive us all.

Wallahu a'lam

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:salam:

1 hour ago, Mahdavist said:

Do you mean these young brothers who grow up speaking perfect accentless english but suddenly develop an Arabic accent when they start lecturing?

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) forgive us all.

Wallahu a'lam

Precisely.

31 minutes ago, notme said:

It might sound strange to mimic the Arabic style in English, but give it time; eventually English language majalis will develop its own sound. 

If you look up majalis from Senegal or Ghana, you will find the brothers developped their own reciting style. It is because they have no ancestral tie to Shia Islam, unlike the western fellows of Iranian or Iraqi descent who feel the need to ressemble the elders.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, realizm said:

If you look up majalis from Senegal or Ghana, you will find the brothers developped their own reciting style. It is because they have no ancestral tie to Shia Islam, unlike the western fellows of Iranian or Iraqi descent who feel the need to ressemble the elders

Oh I had forgotten about that! The west African style is unique and beautiful! 

But as western Islam becomes more its own thing rather than a subset of middle eastern Islam, it will naturally develop its own characteristic methods. 

The change will be gradual and slow unless someone breaks from the awkward tradition, does something that people like, then others emulate it. That would move things along more quickly. 

Edited by notme
Autocorrect incorrect

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I appreciate the effort. The alternative is just 'saying' it straight out in English which evokes zero emotion. English is not the most poetic language so even though it can be a bit awkward, I think I prefer it. 

This is probably the most emotional English can sound: 

 

Edited by ireallywannaknow

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