The Evolution of Fiqh - (English) - (PB)
The overall purpose of this book is to acquaint the reader with the historical factors behind the formulation of Islamic law(Figh), in order that he or she may better understand how and why the various schools of Islamic law came about. The pressing need for this book can easily be seen in the dilemmas of converted Muslims.
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A little over a year has passed since the second edition of this book was published, and, by God's grace, copies are no longer available for distribution. However, the public demand for the book has progressively increased, especially since its disappearance from the book stores. My impressions concerning the need throughout the Muslim world for the clarifications and recommendations contained in the text have proven true. Not merely because the book has been a relative commercial success, but because of the very positive intellectual response which I have received from those who had read it. In fact, in order to make the information contained in the text available to an even wider audience, some readers have already undertaken a Tamil translation of the book, and an Urdu translation has also been commissioned. Consequently, I felt obliged to reprint the book, in order to increase the circulation of its contents among English readers and to meet the growing commercial demand for the book.
Due to technical problems faced in the first edition which caused the print on some of the pages to be faded, I decided to re-typeset the whole text. This also gave me an opportunity to apply the transliteration scheme more carefully throughout the text than in the first edition. I also changed the title of the book from Evolution of the Madh-hubs to The Evolution of Fiqh (Islamic Law & The Madh-habs) in order to further clarify the subject matter of the book with the exception of chapter one (The First Stage), which has been almost totally rewritten, only a few changes have been made within the text itself: corrections where necessary and improvements where possible. However, with regards to the footnotes, there have been quite a few modifications. All the Hadeeths mentioned in the text have been thoroughly referenced to existing English translations, with the help of brother Iftekhar Mackeen. As for those Hadeeths mentioned in the book which are not found in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree or Saheeh Muslim, l have endeavored to have them all authenticated in order to remove any doubts in the reader's mind as to their reliability and the conclusions based on them. Likewise, Hadeeths which were alluded to in the text have been quoted in the footnotes and or referenced. There have also been some cosmetic changes, like the improved cover design and the reduction of the size of the book, all of which I hope will make this edition somewhat more attractive than its predecessor.
In closing, I ask Almighty Allaah to bless this effort by making it reach those who may most benefit from it, and by adding it to my scale of good deeds on the Day of Judgment.
Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Riyadh, August 23rd, 1990