Fiqh is an Arabic word also known as Fiqha which means Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh or Fiqha is a detailed version of the Sharia and Islamic Law which is based directly on the Quran and Sunnah.
The word Fiqh comes from Arabic meaning open or explain something. In Islamic sharia Fiqh has specific meaning which can be described as ‘to recognize those regulations of Islamic Law which have been derived from the Quran, Hadith, Consensus and Analogy through the means of independent reasoning.” Islamic Fiqh deals with the issues of observance of rituals (Wudu, Salat, Sawm, Hajj and Zakat), morals and social legislation. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “Nor should the Believers all go forth together: if a contingent from every expedition remained behind, they could devote themselves to acquiring Fiqh in religion, and admonish the people when they return to them, that thus they (may learn) to guard themselves (against evil).” (9:122) There are four fundamental sources of Islamic Fiqh, namely the Quran, Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Ijma (Consensus) and Qiyas (Analogy).
Islamic Fiqh addresses the affirmative and negative actions of a mature and the sane Muslim. It instructs the Muslims to attain success in two worlds. There is a great reward for those who learn Fiqh. The Holy Prophet said: “One ‘Faqih’ is harder upon Shaytan than a thousand worshippers.” There are four schools of thought in Islamic Fiqh known as the Hanafi School, the Maliki School, the Shafi’i School and the Hanbali School. They are named after four great Islamic scholars of Islamic Fiqh, called Faqih. They are Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi’I and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. According to Hasan al-Basri, “The Faqih is the one who is frugal in this world, desirous of the Hereafter, a person who has insight into his religion, who is constant in the worship of his Lord, who keeps himself well away from [violating] the characters of and property of Muslims, and who is an advisor to them.”
The Muslims of the world are mostly the followers of these four Faqihs and books on Fiqh have been generally written in the light of the explanations offered by them. Some of the prominent books written on Islamic Fiqh are as under: