A Code of Practice For Muslims in the West

Author's Preface

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

It is a pleasure for me to present to the respected readers my book, al-Fiqh lil Mughtaribin, according to the views: of his eminence Grand Ayatullah as-Sayyid 'Ali al-Hussaini as-Seestani (May Allah prolong his blessed presence among us).

This book is the first attempt at writing Islamic laws For Muslims who have settled in non-Muslim Countries. Muslims who were compelled to leave their countries and the places where they grew up, and had to migrate to non-Muslim countries in which they now live under different laws and systems, dissimilar values and rules, and unfamiliar customs and habits. The modes of conduct and manners of the host societies are greatly at variance with what the guests were used to; there is a wide gulf between their own upbringing and the values of the host countries. Consequently, new problems have emerged and a number of questions arose that called for answers - answers that would clarify the ambiguous, enlighten the obscure, guide the stray, and brighten the darkness.

From this came the need for writing a book that would deal with the various practical problems of immigrant Muslims, and provide answers and present solutions for them.

It was against this background that al-Fiqh lil Mughtaribin was written with a detailed introduction, followed by two parts with each part branching out into various chapters which contain new questions, issues that had not been charted before, and problems that have not been discussed in most Manuals of Islamic Laws and other commonly used books of Islamic Jurisprudence. Hopefully these parts and chapters will act as a stimulus for further questions that the learned reader may raise; and I will be greatly pleased to receive those queries so that they may be included with their answers in future editions, insha Allah.

Islamic Laws for Muslims in non-Muslim Countries is the third attempt following two other books "al-Fatawa al-Muyassara" (Jurisprudence Made Easy) and "al-Muntakhab mina 'l-Masa'ili 'l-Muntakhabah" (Current Legal Issues) through which I hope to have contributed to the process of making Islamic laws accessible, and endear them, to lay people. If I have succeeded in my aim, all praise is due to Allah; and if I have not, it is sufficient that I have tried "and my success is not but from Allah, and in Him I place my trust and to Him I turn."

I had the privilege of reading some chapters of this book to my respected father (may Allah prolong his life) during his stay with me in London when he came for treatment. His guidance has indeed enriched this book.

I pray to the Almighty Allah that He may accept this work with a good acceptance I am grateful to those who helped me in completing this book. I would like to especially thank His Eminence the Grand Ayatullah as-Sayyid 'Ali al-Hussaini as-Seestani (may Allah prolong his blessed presence) who took upon himself the trouble to provide the answers to the questions. I am also grateful to the offices of the Grand Ayatullah in Najaf [Iraq], Qum [Iran], and London for helping me in ensuring the accuracy of what I have written and in ensuring that it is in accordance with the views of the Ayatullah.

"Our Lord! Do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord! Do not lay on us a burden as Thou did lay on those before us. Our Lord! Do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear; and pardon us and grant us protection and have mercy on us. Thou are our Master, so help us against the unbelieving people."

'Abdul Hadi as-Sayyid Muhammad Taqi al-Hakim

27 Ramadhan 1418 / 26 January 1998