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Translator’s Preface to the Third Edition →

Foreword to the Fourth Edition

By the grace of Allah (swt), The World Federation of KSIMC is pleased to present to our community a fourth edition of Islamic Laws, an edition which includes many revisions to the third edition published in 2017.
The World Federation first had the honour of publishing an English translation of the Persian manual of the rulings of His Eminence al-Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani (may Allah (swt) protect him) in 1994. It was in accordance with the wishes of His Eminence that the first edition of Islamic Laws was published by The World Federation, the result of Mulla Asgharali M. M. Jaffer’s translation completed in a remarkably short space of time. All subsequent editions of the work – including this present fourth edition – have been translated by Dr Shaykh Mohammed Ali Ismail. The second edition was originally published as two separate volumes: volume one, Ritual Acts of Worship, was published in 2015; and volume two, Transactions, was published in 2017. Also in 2017, a combined edition of the entire work was published as one volume.

However, considering that the Qum Office of His Eminence has published five further editions of the Persian manual of his rulings since our last English edition (that is, since the third edition of Islamic Laws, which was based on the thirty-first edition of the Persian manual of rulings), we felt it necessary to publish a fourth updated English edition, which would be in accordance with the latest thirty-sixth Persian edition, published in 2021.

In this fourth edition, the reader will find changes to over 100 rulings, six of which pertain to frequently faced situations. These updates, therefore, may potentially have a major impact on the English-speaking followers of His Eminence.[1] Additionally, this new edition, having gone through a robust review process, includes an updated glossary, clearer phrasing of language, and corrections to the Arabic text, making Islamic Laws more accurate and user-friendly. So as to bring our marjaʿ closer to our community, we have included a new biography of His Eminence and have redesigned the cover with a new look and a photograph of His Eminence, in line with the teaching that looking at the face of an ʿālim is an act of worship.

The Islamic Education Department of the World Federation strives towards the goal of making religious education material digitally accessible. As a consequence of our embracing technological changes in education, the fourth edition of Islamic Laws is freely available via both our ‘OneStopFiqh’ dynamic online portal ( and mobile application.

I am extremely grateful to Dr Shaykh Mohammed Ali Ismail, as are all the office bearers of The World Federation. Since the second edition of Islamic Laws, Shaykh Ismail has accompanied us on a blessed journey to make Islamic rulings more accessible to English readers. His proficiency as a translator combined with his meticulous and efficient approach to his work serve to assist readers to better understand the fiqhī rulings of our marjaʿ, and practice them as intended. We would also like to thank Shaykh Abbas Ismail for copy-editing this updated translation with utmost efficiency as well as Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Kassamali for drafting an insightful biography of His Eminence, especially for this volume, which appears here in revised form.

I also acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the proof-readers, as well as the constant support and guidance received from the offices of His Eminence.

Finally, I would like to express our gratitude to the Islamic Education Department’s team, led by Shaykh Murtadha Alidina and Shaykh Afzal Merali, for their constant guidance and project management of this publication. May Allah (swt) reward them and everyone who has contributed to this work.

Safder Jaffer


The World Federation of KSIMC

London, UK

Shaʿbān al-Muʿaẓẓam 1444 / March 2023

(1) These six rulings are: 597, 1498, 1562, 1694, 1699, and 1803. A list of all the updated rulings can be found in Appendix 3.
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