Arabic language is one of the oldest languages in the world but it still exists till now. It belongs to Semitic languages which most of them have been extinct due to some reasons such as no people speak them any longer. Arabic exists and develops as soon as Islam, one of the biggest religions in the world, spreads worldwide from Arabian Peninsula and many people learn Arabic for religious motive.
Although Islamic civilization isn’t the mainstream civilization any longer as it was many years ago, Arabic language still catches many people’s attention. In Indonesian context, it influences most people in some aspects such as religion, international relationship, educational career, job career, and so forth and soon. This short article tries to summarize these influences and their impacts to people’s life.
Arabic language cannot be separated from Islam as it is the main language of Islam. Koran, the holy book of Muslims and the main reference of Islamic tenets, was written in Arabic language and reveled in Arabic context even the messages are universal. Furthermore, hadith (the prophetic tradition), the second source of the Islamic tenets, was written in Arabic and most books explaining the interpretations of these sources are written in Arabic. Therefore, it’s right when some people say that it is hardly possible to understand Islam if we didn’t master Arabic. Arabic language is the key to understanding Islam and its holy tenets.
Due to its importance in understanding Islam, many madrasa (Islamic schools) teach Arabic for their students. Some of them oblige their students to speak Arabic in their daily conversation. Arabic also becomes the language of instruction for some ‘religious subjects’ such as fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), tauhid (Islamic theology), tassawuf (Islamic mysticism), akhlaq (Islamic ethics), etc.
Some people learn Arabic as they think that it plays a significant role in international relationship. It is reported that Arabic is the sixth languages spoken by many people worldwide. Most of them are from Muslim countries or Arabian countries. Nowadays, these countries have the strategic position in the global economy as their lands contain the important natural resources such as oil and gas. Very often, the political or economical instability in this region impacts immediately to the global market. That’s way we see that many western countries have the political and economical interests to these countries for these reasons.
The field of Arabic teaching offers the prospective careers for its learners. Nowadays, there are some jobs that require Arabic language fluency such as Arabic teachers both in formal schools or courses, translators, diplomats, etc. Arabic teachers are required in many Islamic schools which teach both Islamic and Arabic sciences. The sworn translators are needed in the legal and certified translation agency which translates the formal documents, certificates, diplomas, etc. The diplomats are required in the Indonesian embassy for middle-east countries.
In sum, the development of Arabic language in Indonesian context shows the positive growth. It is indicated by the increasing numbers of the Arabic learners in schools and other educational institutions.