Is It Obligatory To Learn Arabic?

What is the ruling on learning to read Arabic?
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.

The Ruling of Learning Arabic 

The legal ruling regarding learning to read Arabic and learning to understand Arabic is different.
It is obligatory to learn to read and recite Arabic to the level that fulfills the necessary requirements of Prayer.
Please see: Arabic & Prayer
Learning to understand the Arabic language is a recommended action. It is a condition for a serious seeker of Islamic knowledge.

Best Steps to Learn How to Read

The first step one should take in the pursuit of learning to recite Arabic is to renew their intention in learning this language. The intention should be that this pursuit is only for the sake of Allah, Most High, and to obtain his pleasure.
Then, one should seek out a teacher, either in person or online, and continue with this teacher until their recitation has been approved by them.
One should begin by learning to recite the individual letters, then words, then sentences.
The key to learning any language is consistency and repetition.
As the Arabic proverb goes: “Indeed repetition even teaches the donkey!”
And Allah alone knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani