Ottoman Empire

Arabic language should have been made the official language of the Ottoman Empire

The fact that none of the former territories of the Ottoman Empire speaks today Arabic, apart from where Arab language was the mother tongue, is a clear indication that our Empire was very tolerant. Definitely, cherishing languages is what clearly Quran emphasizes, “And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours. Surely in this are signs for those of ˹sound˺ knowledge.” [30:22]

Even though the Ottoman Empire deserves credit for being tolerant and for cherishing languages, it has not done enough to stimulate the Arabic language. There’s no doubt that this was a big mistake. Arabic language should have been made the official language of the Empire and it should have been stimulated.

By contrast, the British Empire, which brought down the Ottoman Empire, not only has it stimulated English language, but it has made it the lingua franca of the world. Empires should be tolerant, but they should also be assertive and even coercive in order to survive, as the intolerant British Empire is doing.

Besides, the Arab language is the most preserved and eloquent language of the world because Quran is in Arabic, so it’s not like any other language. The fact that the Ottoman Empire has somehow neglected it, this was a big failure.

Unfortunately, the Arab countries today are not doing better with regard to the preservation of the Arabic language.

Sabri Lushi


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