Goals of the Shari’ah are like a general framework for existent and anticipated Islamic rulings. They are the comprehensive goals unto which a Muslim goes back whenever he is confused, particularly when partisanships, imitation and preoccupation with details of controversial issues are the order of the day.
They are also a refuge for someone who seeks a way out of a crisis or craves for Islamic solutions to a particular Nazilah (i.e. a novel case that was unknown in the history of Islamic jurisprudence and for which Islamic rules are needed). In any of these situations, flags and lighthouses of the goals of Shari’ah are already high there for guidance.
Many of the Ummah reformers have used this methodology, seen as one of the most important landmarks of reform, in making the Shari’ah the reference point. An example in this regard is what Imam Ash-Shafi’i did, when he brought the Ummah together after they had been divided into two groups, Ahlur-Ra’y and Ahlul-Hadith, through his famous work, Ar-Risalah; and as done by Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah in his works where he explained the way of the righteous predecessors after division had eaten deep into the fabric of those who came after them concerning matters of belief and law.
Imam Ash-Shatibi also did the same in his famous work, Al-Muwafaqat where he laid down methodology of acting according to the objectives, and regarding such methodology as a decisive proof on fundamental issues and matters relating to acts of worship.