Dar Ul Thaqafah
First published in 1884 in Tunis, The Reconciliation of the Fundamentals of Islamic Law (or al-Muwafaqat fi Usul Al-Sharai'a), written by Ibrahim ibn Musa Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi, was an innovation in Islamic jurisprudence.
It was the first book to address the objectives of the shari'a. The difficulty that some may find in comprehending some of its parts may be attributed to the fact that it was the first time that the codification of the maqasid or objectives of the shari'a was undertaken. The book has been a source of inspiration, moderation, and renewal in fiqh.
However, it deals with much more than the maqasid, and substantial research is needed to unravel its full contribution.
The author described the contents of his book as follows: When the concealed secrets began to be revealed...I started collecting their unique meanings...I did this to the extent of my ability and strength, while elaborating the purposes of the Book (Qur'an) and the Sunna...organizing these precious gems and gathering these benefits into meanings that have re-course to the principles helping in their comprehension and attachment, and I merged them with the interpretation of principles of fiqh and organized them on a shining and radiant string.
The resulting book is divided into in five parts: the fundamental concepts of the discipline; the ahkam (rules) and what is related to them; the legal purposes of the shari'a and the ahkam related to them; the comprehensive treatment of the adilla (evidences); and the rules of ijtihad and taqlid.
Volume 1 – now available in paperback – covers the first two parts described above by the author. . The translation of the third part, dealing with the purposes of the shari'a, is presented in Volume II.