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CHAPTER ONE » Following a Jurist (Taqlīd) → ← Translator’s Preface to the Third Edition

Translator’s Preface to the Fourth Edition

In the name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the Ever-Merciful.

All praise is for Allah, Lord of the worlds.

May Allah bless Muḥammad and his pure progeny.

Since the publication of the third edition of Islamic Laws in 2017, His Eminence al-Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani (may Allah grant him a long and healthy life) has published five further editions of his Persian manual of rulings. As the last of these, the thirty-sixth edition published in 2021, contains many revisions, The World Federation saw it necessary to publish a new, fully updated edition of its English translation of the manual.

For this fourth edition, all the revisions in the latest Persian edition were first identified. The translation was then updated to reflect the changes. The entire work underwent a thorough review during this process, and improvements were made to every chapter. In particular, more rulings and terms were explained through footnotes and glosses in square brackets, and the wording was revised in places for better readability.

All the changed rulings have been marked with an asterisk [*]. Furthermore, a new appendix listing all the updated rulings has been added. The revisions to six rulings, namely 597, 1498, 1562, 1694, 1699, and 1803, are particularly significant as they concern commonly encountered situations and could have important implications for His Eminence's followers. These revisions have been explained in the footnotes.

Two related projects have come to fruition since the publication of the third edition of Islamic Laws. The first, ‘OneStopFiqh’, has made Islamic Laws freely available via a mobile device application as well as a dynamic online portal ( The second focused on His Eminence’s new ruling on khums (Ruling 1803 in the present work) and culminated in a booklet titled Khums: A Brief Guide, also available from the aforementioned website.

I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has assisted me in this updated translation. A special word of appreciation goes to my brother, Shaykh Abbas Mohamed Husein Ismail, for copy-editing the work, and to Sayyid Mahmud Marashi of His Eminence’s Qum Office, for answering my questions about the rulings.

I pray Allah accepts the contributions everyone has made to this work and its related projects.


Hemel Hempstead, UK

Shaʿbān al-Muʿaẓẓam 1444 / March 2023

CHAPTER ONE » Following a Jurist (Taqlīd) → ← Translator’s Preface to the Third Edition
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