Encyclopaedia of Islamic Jurisprudence released

By Nadim Ahmad

New Delhi: The Urdu translation of Al-Mausu’ah al-fiq-hiyah (Encyclopaedia of Islamic Jurisprudence) was released here on 23 October 2009 by Vice President of India Hamid Ansari at the India Islamic Cultural Centre. Releasing the book, the vice president said that a new chapter has been added in the cultural relations between India and Kuwait through this translation in Urdu for people of India. He was speaking at the function organised by the publisher, Islamic Fiqh Academy (India). Explaining the necessity of Fiqh in the life of a Muslim, he said that many changes have taken place in the lifestyle of a Muslim. Islam has reached almost every corner of the world. Thus Muslims faced questions peculiar to their social needs and also faced difficulty in finding a suitable solution to certain problems in new circumstances. Ansari added that appropriate solutions could only be found through the mutual efforts of Fuqaha and Ulama, jurists and scholars.

 Therefore, the Encyclopaedia of Islamic Jurisprudence, the greatest work in the century in the field of Islamic Jurisprudence, will benefit both university and madrasa students, he said.

Earlier, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, General Secretary of IFA, briefly explained the contents of the multi-volume work. He said that the work for preparing the encyclopaedia originally started at the behest of the Egyptian and Syrian Governments but remained incomplete. In 1968, Kuwait’s Ministry of Awqaf took up the challenge to complete it. Scholars from the Muslim World were invited to join the research committee and Syrian scholar Dr Mustafa Zarqa was entrusted with the job of supervising the whole exercise. Thus the greatest research work of Islamic Fiqh was completed a few years back in 45 volumes. The IFA was entrusted with the responsibility to make this great work available to the Urdu-reading people in 1998. Maulana Rahmani said that the translation work started under the supervision of Maulana Mujahidul Islam Qasmi and continued for the next ten years under the supervision of Dr Faheem Akhtar Nadwi and Maulana Safdar Zubairi Nadwi under the patronage of IFA and was completed for all the 45 volumes one and a half years back. Three volumes have already been published and another 12 volumes are ready for publication, he said. Speaking about the contents and uniqueness of the work, Maulana Rahmani said that the Encyclopaedia is unique in the sense that it contains the views of all the four Sunni schools of Fiqhi Thought. The Mausu’ah has been compiled according to the Arabic alphabets.

Speaking on the occasion, Maulana Jalaluddin Umri, President of Jamat-e-Islami Hind, said that due to the availability of multiple views of different schools of thought at one place, one can adopt and follow the convenient solution for a single  problem.

The function was presided over by Maulana Salim Qasmi, Vice President of the Muslim Personal Law Board. In addition to special invitees like Kuwaiti ambassador Sami' Muhammad Al Saliman, Saudi ambassador Faisal Bin Hassan, representatives of Kuwaiti Ministry of Auqaf Badar Saliman Al Sanain, Dr Khalid Al Shu'aib,  Shaikh Badar Fateh Al Azmi and Maulana Badrul Hasan Qasmi, a host of other Ulama and Muslim scholars were present. Scholars were of the view that the Encyclopaedia will bring followers of different schools of thought closer. A CD of  the encyclopaedia was also released on the occasion.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 November 2009 on page no. 3

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