“Imam al-Shafi’i and The Arabic Language”
Imam al-Shafi`i (d.204/820) remarked after discussing the importance of the Arabic language that it is obligatory on every Muslim to learn the Arabic language to the extent that enables him to enact basic aspects of religious worship:
يجب على كل مسلم أن يتعلم من لسان العرب ما يبلغه جهده في أداء فرضه فيما ورد التعبد به…
“It is obligatory upon every Muslim to learn the Arab tongue to the utmost of his power in order to profess through it that “there is no God at all but God and Muhammad is His servant and Apostle” and to recite in it [i.e. the Arabic tongue] the Book of God and to utter in mentioning what is incumbent upon him, the takbir and what is commanded, the tasbih, the tashahhud and others.”
And with Allah is true success.
 For biographical information on al-Shafi’i, refer to G. F. Haddad’s The Four Imams and their Schools, pp.185-300 and the references therein.
 Translation taken from al-Shafi`i’s Risala, translated by M. Khadduri, p.93.