Al-Muwāfaqāt fī Uṣūl al-Sharīʽa, volume I : premises (translation and analysis)
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Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. Mūsā b. Muḥammad al-Lakhmī al-Shāṭibī al-Gharnāṭī – „al-Shāṭibī‟ – was a fourteenth century Granadan Mālikī religio-legal theorist and jurisconsult. His best known work – al-Muwāfaqāt fī uṣūl al-sharīʽa – proposed a significant reinterpretation of religio-legal epistemology and hermeneutics emphasizing a holistic reading of scripture focusing on the divine purposes [maqāṣid] underlying specific ethico-legal rulings. Although barely noticed over several centuries, Shāṭibī‟s work has, in the last century, gained the attention of Islamic religio-legal reformers, who see in it an anticipation of their project. Al-Muwāfaqāt, Shāṭibī‟s attempt to identify and analyze the fundamental principles of religious jurisprudence, is divided into five volumes – Premises, Religio-legal Categories, Purposes of the Divine Law, Legal Indicants, and Jurisprudential Expertise. The first volume articulates and defends the vii thirteen premises [muqaddamāt] that form the basis for Shāṭibī‟s theory of religious law. This thesis comprises a translation and analysis of that first volume. The translation is generously supplemented by bracketed syntactic and referential glosses to facilitate comprehension and readability. The analytical commentary attempts to provide some clarification of the gist of the argument as well as modest interpretation. A brief introduction offers an overall interpretation of the significance of the work as well as some background necessary to make sense of the author‟s discussion.