Brother ashrafh, aka Hasan Ashraf, was kind enough to share with us an important book of comparitive fiqh that argues the Shafi’i stance on legal issues, highlighting the legal contentions that existed between the Shafi’i and the Hanafi (or as Imam Bayhaqi terms it, the “Iraqi”) schools.
The book that brother Hasan provided is an abridged form of Imam Bayhaqi’s (384-458 AH) original work, entitled al-Khilafiyat, which is also available in pdf format and has been uploaded here as well for those who are interested. Unfortunately, however, the original book has not been published in its entirety and only the Book of Purification has been published so far, albeit in three large volumes. I have heard that the muhaqqiq has completed the tahqiq on the rest of the book, but I cannot confirm this. I cannot be sure that the entire book is even available in manuscript form, although I have not read otherwise.
The abridged book, entitled Mukhtasar Khilafiyat al-Bayhaqi, is the work of Imam Ahmad ibn Farah al-Lakhmi al-Ishbili (d. 699AH), and due to the extensive notes on the differences in manuscripts and hadith referencing, the abridged version covers five volumes. The book is a must for all students of the Shafi’i madhhab, particularly those who are interested in the early legal argumentation that took place between these two major schools of fiqh.
For a similar work by a scholar contemporary to Imam Bayhaqi and from the opposite viewpoint, one should read Imam Quduri’s (362-428 AH) al-Tajrid, recently published under the name al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Muqaranah: al-Tajrid. This book, like Imam Bayhaqi’s al-Khilafiyat, is a much neglected reference amongst students of the Hanafi school. I have provided a link to the tenth volume of Imam Quduri’s voluminous work as a sample. I don’t think the rest of the book has yet been scanned and posted online. In sha Allah, I hope to write up a separate post and review of al-Tajrid in the future.