Author: Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Publisher: International Islamic Publishing House
About the Book: This is Bilal Philips’ best-selling work on the various schools of thought in Islam, including detailed facts, insight, and commentary on the four major madhabs as well as other, less-known madhabs in Islam. Includes mini-biographies on various eminent Islamic scholars. The author very clearly presents a brief overview of the historical development of Islamic law and its schools (the ‘madhabs, ”madhahib’). The book identifies the main reason for the appearance of the schools and the factors leading to differences among them. For those to whom the madhhabs have been a mystery, this aspect of the book will be extremely enlightening.
I have read several books on the subject, but this one is by far the best, for several reasons. Firstly, the book isn’t excessively detailed; the concept is beautifully summed up in less than 200 pages by Bilal Philips, which is just the right type of length to properly introduce one to fiqh. Secondly, there is no author’s bias here that’s so common to books of this nature; the information is presented in an objective manner, with a factual and non-patronizing tone adopted throughout. The paper quality is good, and the division of ‘evolution of fiqh’ into the various stages really helps the reader to comprehend the concept of madhabs.
– Ammar Awais