What is the status of this hadith?
أَنَا عَرَبِيٌّ وَالْقُرْآنُ عَرَبِيٌّ وَلِسَانُ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ عَرَبِيٌّ
“I am an Arab, al-Quran is in Arabic and the tongue (language) of the Paradise people is in Arabic.”
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The Arabic language is the language of al-Quran and it is chosen by Allah SWT to be the language which is read by His slaves to understand His sayings. This is as stated in the Quran:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
“Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an that you might understand.”
Surah Yusuf (2)
Referring back to the above question, the hadith is narrated by Imam al-Thabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Awsath (9147) from a Companion which is Abu Hurairah RA. There is also another narration from Imam al-Thabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir (11441) and al-Mu’jam al-Awsath (5583) from Abdullah bin Abbar R.anhuma which is:
أُحِبُّ الْعَرَبَ لِثَلاَثٍ: لِأَنِّي عَرَبِيٌّ، وَالْقُرْآنُ عَرَبِيٌّ، وَكَلَامُ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ عَرَبِيٌّ
“I love Arab for three reasons; as I am an Arab, al-Quran is in Arabic and the language of the people of Paradise is Arabic.”
Among the scholars who evaluated this hadith:
- Imam al-‘Uqaily (322H) evaluated the narration of Ibn Abbas as munkar and of no origin. [See: al-Dhu’afa’ al-Kabir, 348/3]
- Imam Ibn al-Jauzi (597H) evaluated this hadith as mawdu’ (fake/fabricated) in his book. [See: al-Mawdhu’at, 41/2]
- Imam al-Zahabi (748H) evaluated this hadith as mawdu’. [See: Mizan al-I’tidal, 103/3]
- Imam al-Sakhawi (902H) evaluated this hadith as dhaif (weak), but the narration of Abu Hurairah RA is stronger when compared to the narration of Ibn Abbas R.anhuma. [See: al-Maqasid al-Hasanah, 64]
Based on the above opinions, we are inclined to say that the hadith which states that the language of the people of paradise is Arabic is a very dhaif (weak) hadith. Even though it is said that the narration of Abu Hurairah RA is stronger or sahih when compared to the narration of Ibn Abbas R.anhuma, but both these narrations have a narrator who is tafarrud (alone in one level of narration) upon narrating the hadith.
In addition, there is no sahih hadith which states that the language used by the people of Paradise. However, the opinion that Arabic is the language of the people of Paradise comes from the generations after the time of the Prophet PBUH.
In conclusion, the language which is used by the people of Paradise is not known as there is no sahih and clear dalil in this issue. So, we take the stand to tawaqquf in this issue. Lastly, may Allah SWT group us all in His Paradise in the Hereafter. Amin.