English Khutbah in Riyadh Mosque to help non-Arabic speakers

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Al-Maidani Mosque in Al-Wurud district in Riyadh welcomes the followers of Islam every Friday to pray, but here, there is something unique: The mosque delivers the sermon in English.

Mohammed Abu Shaban, who delivers the sermon after the Friday prayer every week, told Arab News that expatriate worshipers asked for the translation for the benefit of non-Arabic speaking attendees.

“We started this translation over 10 years ago, it was organized in cooperation with Imam Abdus Salam, who kindly arranged this session with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, for our non-Arabic speakers,” said Shaban.

“At the beginning, we started with just the session in the mosque, then soon we launched our YouTube channel where we record the session, and then we broadcast it for our viewers. Anybody can search for our video.”

Shaban, who is from Australia, underlined that Saudi Arabia had a duty, as the “country” of Islam, to help people to benefit from hearing the Friday sermon.

“I believe there are similar sessions in some other mosques and we will encourage that, to benefit the maximum number of non-Arabic speakers, as it is our duty to make it available to the whole Muslim community,” he said.

“Thankfully, the ministry is fully behind it and promoting it. It’s the least we can offer to fellow Muslims.”

He noted that there are considerable number of people who do not speak and understand Arabic currently living in the Kingdom who would benefit from the translation.

“Through the years many, even some non-Muslims, have come, and every few months we see new people becoming Muslim. This is another blessing that will encourage us to continue with the session and presenting what is the teaching of Islam as the people come to know it.”

Volker Enders, a German national who is now practicing Islam and attends the session, told Arab News: “I learned about this session from a colleague who brought me here and introduced me to the English sermon.” This is very beneficial to me, and I am also attending an English lecture at the King Khalid Mosque every Tuesday.”

Article first published in Arab News.

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