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Arabic "O Come All Ye Faithful"

Christmas decorations in Lebanon. Photo by Johnny Rizk.

I once served at a multicultural church and we were welcoming a new attendant family. The husband was from Morocco; the wife was from Lebanon, and they had two adorable children. They had both received death threats from their families upon their conversion to faith in Christ, so they were in the States seeking refuge. They were both trilingual, well-educated (both with masters in a ministry-related study) and, and they were two of the most fearless people I've ever met.

So I found out that the husband has a singing voice, and I wanted to involve him in a "special music" portion of an Advent service (it was that time of year), singing in Arabic. At first, I was recommending to him a Christmas song written in the Middle East, but he wanted to sing a song that had meant a lot to him during tumultuous times. And it's to the tune of "O Come All Ye Faithful." Lyrics (Arabic, romanized, and English translation) are below:

هلم بنا معشر


هلم بنا معشر المؤمنين الى بيت لحم نسر منشدين

هناك لدى سيد العالمين (لنسجد بحب له عابدين)2


مليك الملائكة السرمدي من العرش جاء الى المذود

برب المحبة فلنقتد (ونسجد بحب له عابدين)2


جنود الاعالي اشيدو المديح

بكل احترام لذكر المسيح

فيملا هذا الفضاء الفسيح

(ونحني الرؤوس له عابدين)2


هو ابن الاله القدير الاحد وكلمته قد اتى في الجسد

ومن ملكه ثابت للابد (لنسجد بحب له عابدين)2


لك الحمد يا حي يا سرمد وشكر مدى الدهر لا ينفذ

فاسنى العطايا ابنك الاوحد (نقابلها بالثنا شاكرين)2

Verse 1

Halumma bina maachara lmoemineena ila bayta lahmin nassir monchideen

honaka lada sayyidi lalameen (linasjod bihobben laho abedeen)2

Verse 2

Maleeko lmalaekati ssarmadiye mina larchi ja'a ila lmizwadi

birabbi lmalaekati falnaktadi (wanasjod bihobben laho abedeen)2

Verse 3

Jonouda la'ali achedo lmadeeh, Bikoli hetiramen lizekri lmasseh

Fayamlaa haza lfazaa lfasseh, (wa nahni ro,oussa laho abedeen)2

Verse 4

Howa bno lelahi lkadeeri lahad wa kilmatoho kad ata fee ljassad

Wa man molkoho sabiton lilabad (linasjod bihobben laho abedeen)2

Verse 5

Laka lhamdo ya hayo ya sarmado wa chokron mada ddahri la yanfazo

Fa asna la'taya bnoka lawhado (nokabiloha bi ssana chakireena)2

English translation (translated by my friend and I):

Verse 1

Come together, all faithful, to Bethlehem to walk singing

There at the Lord of the universe (to bow down, with love, worshipping Him)

Verse 2

The King of the eternal angels came from the throne to the manger

Let's give the Lord of Love an example (and bow down to Him, in love, worshipping Him)

Verse 3

The highest hosts praise with respect for the remembrance of Christ

To fill the vast space (and to bow our heads, worshipping Him)

Verse 4

He is the Son of the Almighty Unique God and His Word coming in the flesh

And His Kingdom is standing forever (Let's bow down to Him in love, worshipping Him)

Verse 5

Praise be to You, the Eternal Living God and thankfulness forever unending

The best gifts for Your only Son (we meet Him with thankfulness)

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