This is a very funny question by the Christian faithful, and it’s a question that they try to imply that our God is ignorant of any other language and only knows Arabic, for example they say to us – doesn’t Allaah know English, why does He only want you to pray in Arabic?
The response to this is pretty simple, and is common knowledge among the Muslims, but I’m publishing this article in the event that there is a Muslim who may need some support in answering such a claim. To begin with, a distinction needs to be made. Muslims can pray in any language they want, a prayer is what we refer to as a du’a in Arabic. You can make a du’a at anytime, you can glorify God, praise Him, ask for things, whenever, wherever, however.
Worship (Salaah) however, is something different to du’a. Salaah is a meeting between the worshiper and one who is worshiped. Due to this, we must ask the Christian a very important question, does the worshiper meet God on his terms or does the worshiper meet God on God’s terms? Let’s say that you have an invitation to a business meeting, you’d have a shower, wear your finest clothes, prepare yourself to go, arrive early, speak in a professional manner with the businessmen, etc. You don’t show up dirty, wearing clothes you’d wear to the beach, show up an hour late and speak in an unprofessional manner! The same goes for worship, you meet God on His terms, you show Him respect by cleaning yourself before your meeting with Him (wudhu, ghusl), you wear proper clothing – clean clothing, you arrive for the prayer early and you pray to God, using His words, not your words or the words of men.
If we can show humans this level of respect, then why can’t we show the same or more respect to God? Therefore, when the Christian asks, why do we worship God only in Arabic, it isn’t because God doesn’t know any other language – but it is because we respect God and we value His words (scripture) to us, we do not find it appropriate to worship God using the words of men (translations) or under our terms, we show God what He deserves – respect. The Christian through this explanation may then understand the true value of worship in Islam, it is not done for the sake of men, but for the love of God and because of this, we pray in Arabic using His words, under His terms and conditions and not under our terms or by using the words of men. God is much more deserving of our respect, than men are.
and Allaah knows best.