As the members of the Bay Area Shia community come from all over the world, they are native speakers of one or more of the following languages:
"سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ" (الإسراء)
"Glory be to God Who took His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We (God) did bless." (Quran 17:1)
The common language of all Bay Area Shiites (الشيعة) is of course English, the national language of our country. On the other hand, Urdu is the most commonly spoken foreign language among the Bay Area Shia. Urdu is the native language of the Muslims (المسلمين) of India (الهند) and Pakistan (باكستان). The Indians and Pakistanis are by far the largest and most active of the Shia ethnic groups of the Bay Area.
Farsi (Persian - الفارسية) is the second most popular of the foreign languages spoken by the Bay Area Shiites, for there is a huge Shia Persian expatriate community in the Bay Area. Dari (داري), a branch of Farsi spoken in Afghanistan (أفغانستان), is also very popular among the Bay Area Afghan Shiites, who are based mainly in Hayward, California.
The third most popular foreign language among the Bay Area Shiites is Arabic (العربية), the native language of the Iraqi (العراقيين) and Lebanese (اللبنانيين) Shiites. Arabic is also the language of the Qur'an (القرآن), the native tongue of Prophet Muhammad (النبي محمد، صلى الله عليه وآله), PBUH&HF, and, according to Muslim beliefs, the native language in the Heavens (الجنة)! Indeed, prayers and supplications are done in Arabic by all Muslims.
Krio is very much popular among the Afro-Lebanese-American Shiites who had migrated to United States from Sierra Leone (سيراليون), a west African country. There is substantial community of Krio speakers in the Bay Area.
French is quite popular among the Lebanese Shiites, particularly Lebanese-Canadians originating from Montreal, Canada (كندا). The Berber (البربر) Shia of Morocco (المغرب) speak French as well.
Afar, Amharic, Malay, and Spanish are native languages of various individual converts from either Sunni Islam or Christianity. Afar is spoken among the natives of Eritrea while Amharic is spoken among Ethiopians. Both Eritrea and Ethiopia are east African countries. Spanish is spoken among Chilean and Mexican converts to Islam.
Kurdish and Turkic are spoken by the few Iraqi Turkoman (تركمان) Shiites who live in the Bay Area.
English is not only the common language of the Bay Area Shiites but also the native language of several Christian- and Jewish-American converts to Islam, the Religion of Peace (الإسلام دين السلام). Indeed, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are sister religions that share a common belief in the same One God of Peace, the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses, Jesus son of Mary, and Muhammad Peace be upon them all.
For more information about the San Francisco Bay Area Shiites, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Saba Center: Malcolm Shabazz
Saba Center: Ali Mir
Saba Center: Alavi Foundation
Saba Center: Rafic Labboun