Learning Fundamentals of Islam: Suggested Books by Mufti Taqi Usmani


We keep hearing from the ‘Ulama’ that learning the fundamentals of our religion is necessary (farḍh) upon every male and female, as per ḥadīth, “learning knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim.”  However the task to identify what constitutes as fundamentals is beyond lay Muslims like myself.

Similarly, the manner in which you have set a syllabus at the seminaries for students training as ‘Ulama’, there is no such syllabus for lay Muslims.  This is despite scholars having produced many works in Urdu with the hope to spread the teachings of Islam amongst the masses. 

My request is for you to gather a selection of Urdu works, which can constitute a syllabus, for lay Muslims wanting to learn the teachings of their religion; a syllabus after the completion of which a layperson will have acquired all the fundamental and necessary teachings of his religion and meet the criteria laid out in the above-cited ḥadīthBayyinū, tu’jarū.   


I received your letter.  The question you ask is indeed a very important one.  Acquiring knowledge according to one’s need is definitely a duty (farḍh) upon Muslims.  Accordingly, the reading list should be divided into two categories: the first comprising of primary literature without which one cannot live as a true Muslim and the second, being a completion and complement to the first, literature strengthening one’s fundamentals and deepening his knowledge enough that he would not be lead astray by deviants.  

Books which I find necessary reading for the first category are as follows:

1. Ḥayāt al-Muslimīn, Mol. Ashraf ‘Alī Thānvī

​Urdu – Read / Download; Alternate edition: Read / Download
English – Download

2. Furū’ al-Īmān, Mol. Ashraf ‘Alī Thānvī

English – Read / Download

3. Ta’līm al-Dīn, Mol. Ashraf ‘Alī Thānvī

Urdu: Read: 

Vol1Vol2; Download: Vol1Vol2 
English – Download

4. Beheshti Gohar for boys & Beheshti Zevar for girls 

Behishti Gohar:
​Urdu – Read / Download

Behishti Zevar:
Urdu – Read / Download
English – Read / Download
Bangla – Read: 

V1, V2, V3; Download: V1, V2, V3 5. Jazā’ al-A’māl,  Mol. Ashraf ‘Alī Thānvī

​Urdu – Read / Download; Alternate Edition: Read Download

6. Sīrat khātam al-Anbiyā’,  Muftī Shafī’ Uthmānī  

Urdu – Read / Download

7. Ḥikāyāt-i Ṣaḥābah, Mol. Zakariyyā Kāndhelvī

Vol1: Read / Download
Vol2: Read / Download
Vol3: Read / Download
Vol1: Read / Download
Vol2: Read / Download
Vol3: Read / Download
Vol1: Read / Download
Vol2: Read / Download
Vol3: Read / Download
Vol4: Read / Download
Vol1: Read Download
Vol2: Read / Download
Vol3: Read / Download8. Tārīkh al-Islām, Mol. Muḥammad Miyān

Urdu – Read / Download

9. Uswa’-i Rasūl-i Akram, Dr. ‘Abd al-Ḥayy ‘Ārifī

Urdu – Read / Download; Alternate version: Read / Download

The second category should incorporate the following books:1. Ma’ārif al-Qur’ān by Muftī Shafī’ Uthmānī  OR Tafsīr-i ‘Uthmānī by Mol. Shabbīr Aḥmad ‘Uthmānī

Access in English and Urdu languages by clicking here

2. Ma’ārif al-Ḥadīth, Mol. Manẓūr Nu’mānī

Urdu –  Read: Vol 1Vol 2, Vol 3-4Vol 5-6-7Vol 8; Download: Vol 1Vol 2Vol 3-4, Vol 5-6-7, Vol 8
English – Read:  Vol 1Vol 2Vol 3Vol 4; Download: Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3Vol 4 3. Beheshti Zewar Ke Masā’il by Mol. Ashraf ‘Alī Thānvī  OR ‘Ilm al-Fiqh by Mol. ‘Abd al-Shakūr Luknowī

Ilm ul Fiqh:
​Urdu – Read / Download; Alternate Edition: Read / Download

4. ‘Aqā’id-i Islām, Mol. Idrīs Kāndhelvī

Urdu – Read / Download

5. Sharī’at wa Tarīqat, Mol. Ashraf ‘Alī Thānvī

Urdu: Read / Download
English – Read Download​After reading these books one will acquire enough knowledge to live his life properly as a devout Muslim and will not become prey to misguidance inshā’ Allah.  Wa as-salām

Fatāwā-i Usmānī (p. 158, vol. 1)

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