Kitab Al-Itisam by Abou lshaq Ibrahim lbn Musa AI-Shatibi (D. 790H.) Translated by Mohammed Mahdi Al-Sharif
KITAB AL-ITISAM BY ABOU LSHAQ IBRAHIM LBN MUSA AI-SHATIBI
Kitab Al-I’tisam (holding fast by the Book and the Sunnah) is composed by the grand Imam scholar, Ibrahim Ibn Musa Ibn Muhammad, Abu Ishaq AlLakhmi, Al-Ghimati, recognized for Ash-Shatibi.
He learned Arabic and other sciences of language and religion from such great Imams as Ibn Al-Fakhkhar Al-Albiri, Abu Al-Qasim As-Sabti, Abu ‘Abdullah At-Tilmisani, Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Maqri, Ibn Marzuq Al-Jad, Abu ‘Ali: Mansur Ibn Muhammad, Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Balensi, Abu ‘Al-‘Abbas AlQabbab, and others.
He entered into many discussions with many of his contemporaries from among the scholars and Imams, he had a long experience and attained precedence over a lot of them. His researches and investigations included many scientific fields and religious branches.
He discussed the idea of Sufism in a very practical method. In his book “Al-Muwafaqat”, he studied many questions thoroughly and scrutinized a lot of ideas, such as the consideration of differences among the various juristic schools of Fiqh.
As for our book, Kitab Al-I’tisam, it seems that Ash-Shatibi “may Allah have mercy upon him” composed it for his disciples and the scholars and students of knowledge, rather than for the laymen and commons among the people. He underwent great difficulties to achieve this glorious task.
The book is indeed a scientific encyclopedia, which includes a lot of benefits and unique issues, which make its holder and carrier dispense with anything else, in residence as well as on a journey.
He prefaced the book with a wonderful and concentrated introduction, in which he talked about the alienation of Islam, and the emergence and spread of the religious innovations, which motivated him to write his book, in the hope it would benefit the Muslims in the world and the hereafter.
He divided the book into ten sections, each including many chapters as required by context and in-depth explanation of the issues: