All praise be to God, and may He give His blessings to His Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him).

To learn about Islam and its teachings and code of conduct, and to undertake the tasks of studying and then teaching it, are all noble pursuits that bring a person closer to God. This is only so when coupled with sincerity and the clear aim of following the guidance provided by the Prophet. The Qur’an urges people to learn and it praises the people who attain a good standard of scholarship. Indeed, the first word of divine revelations to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was ‘Read’. God also promises to grant a higher grade in the life to come to scholars, as He says: ‘God will elevate, by many degrees, those of you who believe and those who have been given knowledge’ (58: 11). Indeed, knowledge is the only thing that God has instructed the Prophet to ask for more of, as He says: ‘Be not in haste with the Qur’an before it has been revealed to you in full, but always say: “My Lord, increase my knowledge”’ (20: 114). The Prophet also urged Muslims to seek knowledge and to gain a better understanding of their faith. He says: ‘When God wants a person to have more of goodness, He enables him to have a better understanding of the faith.’ He has ordered his followers to convey to others what they learn from him: ‘Deliver to others what I tell you, even if it be one verse.’ There are many other statements in the Qur’an and the Sunnah in the same vein.

Islam includes a complete code of law that makes things easy for people, serving their interests. It is indeed based on giving people what is best for them in this life and in the life to come. It is a law that combines full justice with abundant grace and perfect wisdom. It ensures the protection of people’s faith, life, mind, offspring and property. As such, it is suited for all generations and communities. All praise is due to God for giving us such a fine code of law.

This book seeks to present Islamic law in an easy and simple way, so as to make it accessible to everyone. It includes all the practical rules that every Muslim, man or woman, should know, citing their bases in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In doing so, we refer to the views of the great scholars, such as Abu Hanifah, Malik, al-Shafi[i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, as well as the eminent scholars in later generations. It has been our aim to give all this in simple language so that all Muslims may benefit by it. Therefore, although we do not go into the details of the views of different scholars, we exert our best efforts to include the weightier view in almost all questions where views differ.

We commend our readers for their efforts to learn about their faith, and we urge them to approach this task with patience and steady effort. Good learning requires sustained effort and perseverance. There must be a tolerant attitude with people holding different views. It is wrong to treat anyone’s views as the ultimate truth. We should all follow Imam Malik who said: ‘Everyone is liable to make mistakes except the Prophet (peace be upon him).’ We urge every Muslim to hold on to the concept of God’s oneness and to adhere to the Sunnah and urge others to follow it. No one may invent anything and attach it to the religion of Islam; indeed nothing belongs to Islam unless based on clear evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. May God give help us all to have right intentions and sincere effort.