Can you tell me some good fatawa works in urdu for A) laymen and b) scholars?
The Urdu language is a very rich language, in that it provides us with great works of the scholars from the Indian Subcontinent. One is able to find compilations in Urdu in almost every science of Islam. Many books have been compiled in this language in the various sciences of Islam, such as Qur’anic exegeses, Hadith, Fiqh, Sirah, History, etc.
A relatively unique method of compiling Fiqh in the Urdu language transpired in the last century or so, which was the format of questions and answers.
The answers and Fatawa issued by many of the scholars were compiled and gathered, normally in many large volumes. The answers were categorized into the various sections of Aqidah, Salat, Zakat, etc, in a systematic way.
These Fatawa works number many, some of which are:
1) Fatawa Mahmudiyya:
The Fatawa collection of Shaykh Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan al-Gangohi (Allah have mercy on his soul) in 17 average-sized volumes. The Shaykh’s answers are brief but to the point, and show his amazing knowledge and extensive reading of the various classical texts. A very valuable collection of Fatawa, indispensable for every student of Fiqh.
2) Imdad al-Fatawa:
Fatawa of Hakim al-Ummah Imam Ashraf Ali al-Tahanawi (Allah have mercy on him) in six large volumes. The Fatawa of the Shaykh are normally sophisticated and really aimed for the scholars. Laymen would find it difficult to benefit from them. He quotes the texts of the Hadith and the classical Hanafi jurists and then gives the ruling in light of them. A “must” for every scholar and student of Fiqh.
3) Ahsan al-Fatawa:
By Shaykh Mufti Rashid Ahmad Ludhyanwi (Allah have mercy on him) in 8 volumes. The Shaykh’s answers are backed with many evidences and can be stringent at times. On some of the issues, virtually a whole booklet is compiled.
4) Imdad al-Ahkam:
The Fatawa of Shaykh Zafar Ahmad al-Usmani (Allah have mercy on him) in 4 large volumes. It is valuable for detailed research on specific issues, and does not cover all the various specifics (furu’at).
5) Fatawa of Dar al-Uloom Deoband:
This compilation of the Fatawa issued by the various Muftis of the renowned Dar al-uloom Deoband under the supervision of Mufti Azizur Rahman (Allah have mercy on him) in 12 volumes is immensely valuable for both scholars and the lay person. It covers many questions in brief answers, without indulging too much into the evidences. One is able to find answers for almost every question that arises (though contemporary issues may not be covered).
6) Fatawa Rahimiyya:
The Fatawa of Shaykh Mufti Abd al-Rahim Lajfuri (Allah have mercy on him) of India in 10 large volumes. He discusses the various issues in considerable length providing many evidences. Some of the contemporary issues have also been discussed. Simplicity is the hallmark of his answers, thus this book can be helpful for both scholars as well as laypeople.
7) Jawahir al-Fiqh:
A 2 volume compilation in the study of certain Fiqhi issues by Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Usmani (Allah have mercy on him). The author examines certain critical issues in light of the evidences from the Qur’an, Sunnah and classical texts. Mainly for scholars.
8) Fiqhi Maqalat:
By Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) in 4 volumes. This great work is similar to that of Mufti Muhammad Shafi’s, but deals with contemporary issues. The learned author discusses the various contemporary issues in detail.
9) Nizam al-Fatawa:
The Fatawa of Shaykh Mufti Nizam al-Din A’zami (Allah have mercy on him) in two volumes. It mainly concentrates on contemporary issues, thus very valuable for those seeking guidance in contemporary matters.
10) Jadid Fiqhi Mabahis:
A 17 volume exposition on various classical and contemporary issues compiled by the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India under the supervision of Qadhi Mujahid al-Islam al-Qasmi (Allah have mercy on him). The Academy was formed few years ago and has since been holding Fiqh seminars on various issues. The papers presented by the participants were then recorded and compiled in this colossal work. A “must” for every scholar and student of Fiqh.
11) Kifayat al-Mufti:
Fatawa of Shaykh Mufti Kifayat Allah Dehlawi (Allah have mercy on him) in 9 average-sized volumes. I have not done much reading of it, but whenever I have referred to it, I have found it to be very beneficial.
12) Fatawa Rashidiyya:
Fatawa of Shaykh Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) in one large volume. A relatively short compilation which covers certain aspects of Fiqh.
13) Khayr al-Fatawa:
A collection of the Fatawa issued by the Muftis of Khayr al-Madaris (a Madrasa in Multan, Pakistan), of which 4 volumes have been printed. I have up to 4 volumes, thus I am unaware of whether more volumes have been published. The Fatawa are quite detailed and backed with evidences, especially the section on Aqidah. Very beneficial indeed.
14) Fatawa Ridhwiyya:
Fatawa of Shaykh Ahmad Ridha Khan (Allah have mercy on him) in many volumes. I have not read it, but those who have say that it can be very valuable at times.
15) Imdad al-Muftiyyin:
Fatawa collection of Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (Allah have mercy on him) in 2 large volumes. The author sheds light on many important issues of fiqh providing evidences from the classical texts.
16) Fatawa Khaliliyya:
A Fatawa collection of Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanfuri (Allah have mercy on him) in one volume. A brief treatise on some Fiqhi issues.
17) Umdat al-Fiqh:
By Shaykh Mawlana Sayyed Zawwar Husayn Naqshbandi (Allah have mercy on him) in 4 large volumes. It is well-organized, properly presented and structured and covers aspects of worship (ibadat) in great detail. It only covers Fiqh al-Ibadat though. The fourth volume is fully dedicated to the rules and regulations concerning Hajj. It is useful for both scholars and the layman.
18) Ap ke masa’il or unka hal (Your Questions and their Solutions):
By the late Shaykh Mawlana Yusuf Ludhyanwi (Allah have mercy on him) in approximately 10 volumes. The author compiled this great work mainly for common people, thus the answers given are very simple without mentioning the various evidences. It has proven to be very beneficial, especially for the layman.
The above are just some of the Fatawa works in the Urdu language which come to mind at the present moment. There are other works besides these, but time does not allow me to go into them. May Allah Most High benefit us from the legacy left behind by these great servants of Allah, and that we follow in their footsteps, Ameen.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK