The Reconciliation of the Fundamentals of Islamic Law: Volume II

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The Reconciliation of the Fundamentals of Islamic Law or Al-Muwafaqat fi Usul al-Shari'a, written by Ibrahim ibn Musa Abu Isḥaq al-Shaṭibi, is an innovation in Islamic jurisprudence, for it was for the first time that the objectives of shari'a were addressed, as they are in this book. The book is an authority in understanding 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 maqaṣid or objectives of the shari'a was undertaken. It was first published in 1884 in Tunis, and since then it has been a source of inspiration, moderation and renewal in fiqh. The book, however, deals with much more than the maqaṣid, and substantial research is needed to unravel its full contribution. The book is divided into five parts: the fundamental concepts of the discipline; the aḥkam (rules) and what is related to them; the legal purposes of the shari'a and the aḥkam related to them; the comprehensive treatment of the adilla (evidences); and the rules of ijtihad and taqlid. Volume I dealt with the first two parts, and this volume covers the third part, dealing with the purposes of shari'a.