The word fiqh literally denotes understanding, though as a term, it has been employed since the late eighth/fourteenth and early ninth/fifteenth centuries in the sense of understanding of the law in the sense of stating the norms and elaborating legal details through scholarly activities. However, the term shari‘a designates the laws of Islam. Jurists (fuqaha’) discover and express the shari‘a. accordingly, the Western concept of ‘legal system’, i.e. the bureaucratic structures of government, is carried by fiqh. The present volume treats of different branches of law, e.g. private, public, criminal, and international, as applied in Muslim countries.