Lately I've seen a few people quoting books on fiqh etc. which seem to be available online. I thought it could be beneficial for all of us to have a post where we can find a collection of English sources on topics which are discussed on the main site.

It would be nice if the books listed clearly distinguished between those which are translated from Arabic/Persian and those which are originally in English. And of course the topics of the books.

I'd also be glad for any comments on how to re-phrase this post to have the best and most possible exploit from such a list!

5 Answers 5



References for questions on Arabic linguistics, relevant to Quran and Hadith.

Arabic-English Lexicon by Edward William Lane

This is an 8 volume lexicon produced in the 1800's that draws upon various medieval arabic dictionaries. Available on archive.org as a scanned book. Tyndale archive has the ability to navigate it via alphabetic list of catchwords (like a dictionary). Searchable through arabic text at yulghun.com


References for the consensus of Islamic schools of thought on various religious 
duties and laws.

Kitab ar-Risala fi Usul al-Fiqh by Imam Shafi

Foundational text on the principles of fiqh, written by Imam Shafi, founder of the Shafi school of thought. Available at archive.org.


Minhaj Al Talibin by Imam Nawawi

The book is a summarized compendium of Shafi jurispudence. Available on archive.org.


Al-Hidayah fi Sharh Bidayat al-Mubtadi by Burhan al-Din al-Marghinani

A compendium of Hanafi jurisprudence. There are two translations of this work available. An Old tranalation commissioned by the British Empire and done by Charles Hamilton which covers pretty much the whole work, but excludes sections on acts of worship, war, criminal laws and slavery etc. A new translation by Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee that is not complete yet but covers some parts missed in the original translation.


Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd by ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayarawani.

One of the earliest books in Maliki fiqh, especially fiqh of worships.

Furthermore one may find books on Maliki fiqh on Muwatta.com site which has scans of Muqadimat al Izziyyah


Fiqh ala al-Madhahib al-Arba'ah by Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri

"Islamic Jurisprudence According To The Four Schools" is the translation of a fairly recent work that compiles the rulings of the four Sunni schools on acts of worship such as prayer, purity, fasting, pilgrimage etc. Available on archive.org


Reference Books on Islamic History, specifically on the events of the lives 
of the Prophet and the Rashidun caliphs.

Seerah Rasul-Allah by Ibn Ishaq

One of the oldest available biographies of the Prophet. The original work has not survived but is reconstructed from derivative works, especially from Ibn Hisham and Tabari. Translation by Alfred Guillaume available on archive.org


A single volume of Tafsir Qurtubi is also available in an abridged form.


Here's a start:

  • Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Evolution of Fiqh (Islamic Law & The Madh-habs).

    There's a pdf DOWNLOAD version available, but it contains many spelling and grammar errors.

    The overall purpose of this book is to acquaint the reader with the historical factors behind the formulation of Islamic law (Fiqh), in order that he or she may better understand how and why the various schools of Islamic law (Madh-habs) came about.

  • Nuh Ha Mim Keller (translated), Reliance of the Traveller, The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law 'Umdat al-Salik, by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri.

    I found this through an Australian Islam-critical society QSociety's Mediafire page, which has it in pdf form: DOWNLOAD. I'm not sure how legitimate this download is; but the book appears authentic. (This prompted the question here: Does the book "Reliance of the Traveller" play a significant role in Islam?)

    The present volume, 'Umdat al-salik [The reliance of the traveller], represents one of the finest and most reliable short works in Shafi'i jurisprudence, a school with perhaps fewer scholarly differences on rulings than others because its main resource is the recension of Imam Nawawi, the great thirteenth-century Shafi'i hadith scholar and jurisprudent who upgraded the work of previous generations in terms of the authenticity and application of hadithevidence,

  • Al-Azhar University prepared The Response.

    It's available as a pdf DOWNLOAD, and also available online at http://www.fixyourdeen.com/.

    This book is the result of a lengthy collaboration between scholars of Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University and Islamic Hotline or El-Hatef El-Islami organization. Put simply, far too simply, its aim is to contest the growing number of intolerant and/or simply mistaken legal opinions that often go unchallenged in Muslim communities today.

  • As-Sayyid Sabiq, Fiqh us-Sunnah The Book on Acts of Worship

    It's available online here: http://www.islamicstudies.info/subjects/fiqh/fiqh_us_sunnah/ This is available as a pdf translation DOWNLOAD of questionable legitimacy. Four out of the five separate volumes are scanned here: VOLUME 1 Purification and Prayer; VOLUME 2 Supererogatory Prayer; VOLUME 3 Zakah in Islamic Jurisprudence & Fasting; VOLUME 4 Funerals and Dhikr; VOLUME 5 Hajj and Umrah

    This book deals with the fiqh questions and provides supporting evidence to them for the clear Book (of Allah), the authentic sunnah of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and what this ummah has agreed upon.

  • The website Al Islam https://www.al-islam.org/ contains a large number of books published and available for reading online. I've seen several books at Al Islam go into considerable depth in Islamic history.

    Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project ... Browse for free 1700+ books and articles about Islam and the Muslim people

  • Imam Shamsu ed-Deen Dhahabi, Al-Kaba'ir (translated) or Major Sins in English

    Available as a pdf: DOWNLOAD

    Major sins are defined as what is forbidden by Allah and His Messenger in the Qur'an and the Sunnah in addition to what is narrated on the authority of early Muslims. Allah, the Most high, promises whoever avoids the major sins to expiate his minor sins.

Note: I'm not making judgements about these books nor their authors. They just happen to be available and I'm aware of them. You can judge for yourself.

  • Do you mind also gathering the Shai books? I think al-Islam would be a good place to start. Some great books are الکافی، احتجاج، استبصار،‌من لا یحضره الفقیه، کمال الدین و تمام النعمه، التوحید صدوق، عیون اخبار الرضا، نهج البلاغه، صحیفه سجادیه، وسائل الشیعه
    – Thaqalain
    Apr 20, 2017 at 17:43
  • 1
    @Honey feel free to post them if they are in English.
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Apr 21, 2017 at 6:57
  • I really don't agree with the views of Billal Philips. He is anti Shia. And I don't see how his book could be considered authoritative reference on Islam. Apr 24, 2017 at 19:02

The problem is there's literally countless "Islam-related books in English" out there. There needs to be some sort of notability criteria to determine what would go on the list, otherwise you're either going to end up with a list of cruft, or endless edit wars adding or removing smaller works that may or may not be known and/or useful (see for example The Definitive C++ Book Guide and List as well as the relevant revision history)

I would love to see a list like this get compiled, but a list where anybody can just chime in with a "I read this book once and I thought it was good" is just going to get really useless really fast.

  • I know the risk. Often when I saw what kind of German book of the same kind exist I wonder what is the use of the 100st or 1000st book explaining what is Islam?
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Apr 21, 2017 at 6:53
  • I wish you had linked this a few months ago (I was looking for good C++ books) ;). Well I'm pretty sure that one could re-phrase my post, as I'm indeed afraid of getting a long list with only a few good/useful books.
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Apr 22, 2017 at 16:57
  • 1
    I think the idea is excellent. A classification system similar to the one in the C++ may be warranted. Fort example, we can use topics like the one on IslamWeb library topics (العرض الموضوعي) or something similar to that.
    – III-AK-III
    Apr 25, 2017 at 19:06

Forgive me this is quite a short answer but there is a sub-reddit with active users putting forward scholarly books, articles, useful website links etc. and these all vary from fiqh, history, aqeedah, asceticism [zuhd]/spirtuality, philosophy etc. and there is a discord server for this [where you can talk about said books etc]

I'm trying to compile useful things on my profile as well btw for quick access for people inshaAllah

subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/baytalhikma/ discord server: https://discord.gg/xcAUHnp


Here a post that shares a link with Tafsir at-Tabari.

I agree with Shoaib: altafsir.com is an excellent site. It contains the full text of lots of different tafsirs (in Arabic), beginning with the oldest and most famous: those of Tabari and Zamakhshari.

The first volume only of Tabari's book has been translated into English: http://www.scribd.com/doc/237275012/Tafsir-at-Tabari-Vol-1#scribd

This is only a small part of the work, but it will give you an idea of what it is like.

Otherwise, what can I say except that you should learn Arabic.

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