Assalam o alaikum. Recently, ive tried to get closer to islam and pray salah and read quran. Now my question is that is arabic a MANDATORY requirement for a muslim? I am 21 years old, about to get a job and I wont have much time to study arabic at this stage of my life. If i would have started at an earlier age, then it would have been easier. I have heard people saying that arabic is must for islam. I know some surahs that i learnt when i was a kid and im hoping to learn a few more for salah. but i just get discourages that this is not enough and i need to know arabic in order to perform salah because i need to understand what im saying in the salah. also, i want to acheive khushoo in salah whwich people say is only possible if u know arabic. even though my recitation of quran is not perfect, i am willing to improve it but i just dont want to learn the arabic language at this stage. please tell me if its possible to be a good muslim without understanding the arabic language if i understand quran through translation and if i can recite surahs from quran.
It is not necessary to learn Arabic in order to be considered a proper Muslim.
You can continue with your studies as planned. You should learn the basics such as the method of Prayers and how it is offered etc... and also slowly learn to read the Holy Qur'an in Arabic. You are required to learn more than that unless you wish to engance your own understanding of Islam.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Ikram ul Haq
Fatwa Center of America