Why The Translation Of the Quran Is Not Enough

The Quran is the Holy book of Allah that he sent down to mankind to learn Islam and to become the ultimate guide for Muslims. Since there are more than 1 billion Muslims in this world today, the Quran has been translated into around 114 languages for these people to read and understand.

Quran translation is a great way to read and understand Quran in your own language in order to be able to use its teachings in your life. However, it should be a temporary phase and you should eventually learn to read Quran in its original language; Arabic.

Why the translation of Quran is not enough

Allah SWT sent down the Quran in Arabic. One, original, defined version that has no alteration ever since it was read by Jibreel on Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). It’s been clearly stated in Quran that:

“Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran that you might understand.”

(Surah Yusuf)

From that, it’s confirmed that Arabic is the original and only language of the Quran, and it should be recited how Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) recited it in his time.

Is Reading Quran With Translation Haram?

Some think that scholars who encourage people to read Quran in its original language say that reading it in any other language is Haram (prohibited). This is wrong on so many levels, as reading a translated Quran is not haram. It’s encouraged to let people understand what they read, but discouraged once they do.

First, we must understand that Quran doesn’t only have a spiritual aspect, it also has an intellectual aspect.

The Intellectual Aspect Of The Quran

The intellectual aspect of the Quran implies that we should understand everything we read, or else we won’t be able to apply it in our lives and really comprehend the message of Allah SWT to us. That’s why translation is important.

Quran translation helps you understand the real message, examine the teachings, and know all about the Quranic stories. However, always reading Quran in a foreign language deprives you of the spiritual aspect of reading it.

The Spiritual Aspect Of The Quran

One may argue, why does translation block the spiritual level if it’s all Quran at the end? The answer is that translation is much less equivalent to Quran. The real Quran is the one and only Arabic Quran.

So, in order to gain the spiritual aspect of the Quran, you must respect it and recite it the way it was intended. Think of translation as a tool that helps you understand something till you can do this thing without any help.

What Should I Do If I Read Quran With Translation?

For all brothers and sisters who read Quran with translation, don’t freak out. Nothing wrong with reading Quran with translation until you understand what’s been said. However, at some point, you need to learn how to read it in Arabic to read it how Allah wants.

“And thus We have revealed it as an Arabic legislation”

(Surah Ar-Ra’d)

Why Should I Learn Arabic To Read Quran?

Arabic Is The Original Language Of The Quran

Think of one of your favorite books, what was its language? Did you like the style of writing? Have you memorized specific quotes of it? If it’s really your favorite book, the answer to these questions will be a firm “yes,” or else it can’t be your favorite book.

Now, think of it written in another language, can you imagine how much beauty it loses once translated? That’s what happens with Quran, in order to fully experience Quran, you need to read it in its original language.

Arabic Vocabulary Is Rich And Precise

One of the Quran miracles that it precisely described everything. There are no filler words, no words that are misplaced, and every sentence conveys the exact meaning. 

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why Allah SWT sent down the Quran in Arabic, as it’s the only language that can have this rich precise vocabulary. When you read the Quran in Arabic, you get to directly know these meanings as it was said by Allah SWT.

I’d like to take an example, the word “Ayah”, which is translated as “verse” in English, has 9 different meanings. Each meaning is fully understood within the context. Some of its meanings are direction, reflection, meaning, or something valuable. In English, it’s just a verse. Do you see my point?

You Get A Good Deed (Hasanah) With Every Letter

Let’s agree that reading Quran is rewarding, and Allah SWT doubles to whoever He wills. However, reading it in Arabic must have special rewards. Abdullah ibn Masoud reported: Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) once said: 

“Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will receive one good deed as ten good deeds like it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is one letter, but rather Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter, and Mim is a letter.”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

Alif, Lam, and Mim are Arabic letters, when combined, they form one word called Mutshabehaat. The point of this Hadith is that every letter within the Arabic word is associated with a good deed (hasanah).


Quran translation is great for those who can’t understand Arabic in order to understand Allah’s message to them. However, at some point, they’ll have to learn how to read and recite in Arabic; its original language. 

You can take Arabic online courses for beginners and start your journey of shifting from translation to authentic Quranic Arabic reading.

Unlock Quran Author

Unlock Quran Author