In this article, we will understand how to learn Fiqh step by step, and what the word even means, so keep reading if you are interested.

First, we will understand what is Fiqh, then we will get to know the best methods to follow in the journey of learning Fiqh.

What is Fiqh?

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Islamic Jurisprudence or Fiqh, is the process of setting rules and guidelines based on the Quran, and Sunnah. The person who studies and practices Fiqh is called Faqeeh, they study Islamic law and shariah.

Should a person follow only one madhhab?

One day a person asked Imam al-Nawawi if a person should only follow one madhhab (school of law) or not and his answer was as follows:

“What the proof necessitates is that a layman is not required to adhere to a specific madhhab. Instead, he seeks a fatwa from whomsoever he chooses or whomsoever he encounters [from the scholars]: on the condition that he not hunt for concessions (rukhsah). Perhaps those who forbade him from doing this did so because they weren’t convinced that he would not avoid chasing after concessions.”

What we understand from this is the following. We shouldn’t strictly follow one madhhab instead we should seek the answer or Fatwa from anyone that could help.  

How to Learn Fiqh Effectively?

To learn Fiqh you should follow one of the four doctrines of Islam which are:

Shafi school:

The Shafi doctrine was founded by Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shāfi – born in 767 AD and died in 802 AD. He was born in Gaza. Al-Shafi’s father died when he was still a little boy. So, his mother took him to live with her in Mecca at the age of two years old.

He memorized the whole Quran when he was seven and when he was 10. And he memorized Muwatta Malik when he was ten years old.

Al-Shafi said in his book ‘Al-Umm wa Al-Risala’ that his doctrine is based on the closest to Quran and sunnah or what is known among the Companions without disagreement

Hanafi school:

This doctrine was founded by Imam Abu Hanifa, his full name is al-Numan bin Thabit bin Zuti al-Kufi, and his origins were Persian. He was in the year 80 AH and died in the year 180 AH. Abu Hanifa was the name that everyone called him by. He was known for his honesty. Imam Abu Hanifa knew about twenty companions and heard hadith from seven of them.

He said that his doctrines are based on ijtihad, he explained that he takes the answer from the Holy Quran and then the Sunnah of the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).

Hanbali school:

The founder of the sect is Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, born in 164 AH and died in 241 AH. He was raised as an orphan and his mother raised him well. Their social conditions were difficult, and among the clear characteristics of his personality was self-esteem. He was also patient.

Maliki school:

The founder of the doctrine is Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Amer, his nickname is Abu Abdullah. His grandfather Malik is one of the senior followers and his grandfather Amer is one of the companions of the Messenger of God (peace and blessing be upon him). Imam Malik was born in the year 93 AH and died in 179 AH. Before he takes the answer from the hadiths he first ensures that the hadith is a strong hadith, not a weak one.

But why should we do so? Why should we only follow one of them? There is more than one benefit, such as:

1-     Don’t get confused when facing different opinions regarding the same matter.

2-     To learn the Islamic rules and principles in an organized and systematic way.

Shah Wali Allah al-Dehlawi said: ‘These four codified madhhabs that the ummah, or rather those in it whose views are worth considering, has agreed may be followed, up until our time, then in doing so lie certain benefits which are not hidden. Particularly in our time when peoples’ resolves are hugely deficient; souls are drunk with desires, and each individual is infatuated with his own opinion.’

Here are a few steps to follow to effectively learn Fiqh and acquire its knowledge:

1-     Choose a madhhab whose teachers and texts exist and are accessible to you. Or if you were raised according to a specific Madhab then you can take advantage of that and enhance your information and knowledge about it.   

2-     Choose a Qualified teacher that has the authorization to teach Fiqh, and start from the beginner level.  

3-     Started with the Fiqh rules regarding purification, prayer, zakat and fasting. Then when you excel move to the next level and learn the rules of marriage, buying and selling, and any relevant areas.

4-     Learn about the different acts or the aspects of the act like obligatory (wajib), recommended (mustahabb), offensive (makruh), prohibited (haram), or licit (mubah).

5-     Learn the reasons behind the rulings, you don’t have to learn it but it’s better to know why, because when one asks you the reason behind your answer you should be able to explain. Make sure that you understand and know the shariah. Scholars say that it is okay to follow the opinion of a qualified scholar without knowing the proof. But in my opinion, if you can find the reason behind it is better. Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi said: “Taqlid in the branches of the law (furu‘) is permitted by scholarly consensus”.

6-     Learn about the basics acts of worship, social dealing, and what is our responsibilities toward others. Not just toward humans but animals too and the earth. learn how to deal with everything around you. To learn the Fiqh you should first learn how to recite the Quran and understand its tafsir. Speaking of Tafsir, you can find out how to learn Tafsir here.

7-     Lastly, you should understand that the Fiqh or madhab that you follow doesn’t mean that it is the only right madhab and the others are wrong. Respect the other madhab and opinions just like expect others to respect yours.

al-Dhahabi said:

‘You must not believe your madhhab is the best one or the one most pleasing to God. You have no proof for this; nor does the one who differs from you. The Imams, may God be pleased with them, were all upon great good. Those issues wherein they were correct, they will receive a double reward; those in which they erred, they shall receive a single reward.”

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

 ‘Rather, the names that are permissible to call oneself by – such as an ascription to an imam like Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi‘i, and Hanbali; or a shaykh like Qadiri or ‘Adawi, or tribes like Qaysi or Yemani, or region like Syrian, Iraqi or Egyptian – then it is unlawful to test people using them, or form allegiances or enmity around them. Rather the noblest people in God’s sight are those who have the most piety: whatever group they belong to.’


Before you start learning Fiqh you should first choose one of the four doctrines (madhab) to study. Why can’t we study the four of them? Because if you do so you will find that there are different opinions regarding the same matter which will get you confused. So, choose the one that you believe in more or the one that you were raised upon.

The next step is to choose a qualified teacher to teach you and start from the beginning, learn the Fiqh rules regarding purification, prayer, zakat, and fasting. Then learn about acts that are obligatory (wajib), recommended (mustahabb), offensive (makruh), prohibited (haram), or licit (mubah).

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