As the Qur’an is revealed in Arabic, reading it in its original language entails great merits. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever reads one letter of the Book of Allah, will have one hasanah (reward) for doing so, and every hasanah will be multiplied by 10. I do not say that Alif, Lam, Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.”
Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states: “The reward mentioned in this Hadith is only for the one who reads the Qur’an as it is in Arabic, not for the one who reads the translation of the meanings in any other language. However, if a person reads a translation of the meanings in order to understand the meaning and benefit from what the Qur’anic verses are saying, then he will be rewarded for doing this, because the Muslim will be rewarded for reading tafsir (explanation and commentary of the Qur’an), and a translation is tafsir. But there is no indication that the person who reads a translation will earn the reward mentioned in the Hadith. The bounty of Allah is immense.”
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states: “The Qur’an is the word of Allah. It came to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) through the Angel Jibril in the Arabic tongue. It is very important that a Muslim read the Qur’an in its original authentic language. There is a great blessing in reading the Qur’an in Arabic. The translations of the Qur’an are not called the Qur’an. They are only the translations of the meaning of the Qur’an. The translations are not the words of Allah, they are the words of human beings who explain the words of Allah in their own language according to their own understanding and ability to translate.
You should try to learn the reading of the Qur’an in Arabic. It is not very difficult. With some efforts you can learn it in a short of period of time. However, after reading the text in Arabic, you should also read the meaning through translations. Without understanding, one cannot get the benefit of the guidance of the Book of Allah.
We must read the Qur’an in Arabic. We must try to understand the Qur’an either by learning the Arabic language or by reading its meaning through some good translations and commentaries. Then we must do our best to follow the guidance that we receive from the Qur’an. These are the three basic duties that we owe to the Book of Allah.”