بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

The Life of Imam Shafi’i (Rahimahullah) (d. 204 A.H./ 820 C.E.)

Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Idris ash-Shafi’i was a descended from the Hashimi family of the Quaraish tribe to which the Holy Prophet (SAW) belonged.

He was born in Gaza, Palestine, and was raised in Makkah, his parents’ home town. He memorized the holy Qur’an while he was still a young child. When he reached fifteen, his knowledge was so thorough, Muslim Ibn Khalid Al-Zinji, the Mufti of Makkah, told him: “O Abu Abdullah, give fatawa (religious rulings), for by Allah it is time for you to do so!”

Al-Shafi’i traveled extensively for the sake of spreading knowledge. He went to Madinah, met Imam Malik, memorized many ahadith, and learned the Muwatta of Imam Maliki. He also visited Iraq twice. By the second time he arrived there, he was so famous for his knowledge, that many Iraqi scholars followed him and rejected the innovations and deviations they espoused before. He then left for Egypt where he stayed until he died in 204 Hijri. There he taught the jurisprudence of the Qur’an and Sunnah. He also taught linguistics, poetry and genealogy, and debated people who were fanatically following their madhahib (schools of thought). Most of them were of the Maliki school of thought. They saw in him a wise and pious man so acquainted with their madhahib but without any fanaticism. Through him, they were able to see their flaws, and learned to seek the truth wherever it was.

But what earned Al-Shafi’i the title of the revivalist of the second century was that he was the one who put the fundamentals of jurisprudence (usul Al-Fiqh). Scholars before him used to gather the ahadith they heard in their countries, and when a hadith seemed in contradiction with another, they used their personal judgment to decide which one is the most acceptable.

Then at the time of Al-Shafi’i, the Prophet’s ahadith were gathered from different countries, and the disagreements among the scholars increased until Al-Shafi’i wrote his famous book, Al-Risalah, which is considered the foundation of Islamic jurisprudence. In it, Al-Shafi’i relied on the literal meaning of the Qur’an, then on the authentic Sunnah. He strongly argued for the acceptance ahadith provided they were authentic. He considered following and applying the Sunnah as equally important as following the Qur’an. He supported the use of consensus and discouraged the use of one’s personal judgment without relying on the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the consensus or the juristic reasoning by analogy (Qiyas). One of the things that distinguished Al-Shafi’i from other scholars was that he himself wrote the fundamentals of his school of thought, as well as other books that are considered the body of his jurisprudence.

Al-Shafi’i revival movement had many achievements:
He brought people back to follow the Sunnah after a lot of confusion had spread among them.

He was committed to relying on evidence, and rejecting blind imitation. He said: “If a hadith is proved authentic, then it becomes my belief.” He also said: “If you see that my words contradict the hadith, then apply the hadith and disregard my words.”

When he saw the opinions of some scholars before him were not based on the Qur’an or the Sunnah, and had no foundations, he worked toward putting the fundamentals of jurisprudence, and wrote down his famous book, Al-Rissalah.

He was the first to distinguish and separate between the application of discretion in legal matters (Istihsan), and the juristic reasoning by analogy (Qiyas).

He did not confine himself to the knowledge of hadith or fiqh, but he was also well versed in Arabic linguistics, poetry, and genealogy. Al-Karabissi, a famous scholar of the time of Al-Shafi’i said: “I have seen nothing nobler than Al-Shafi’i’s study sessions. People of hadith used to attend them as well as people of jurisprudence and poetry. Most of the well-known scholars in poetry and linguistics used to visit him, and they would listen to his discourse on all these disciplines.”

Baghdad in Iraq and Cairo in Egypt were the chief centres of Imam Shafiee’s activities. It is from these two cities that teachings of the Shafi-ee school spread . During the time of Sultan Salahuddeen (Saladin), the Shafi-ee Madhhab was the most prominent in Egypt, and to this day the Imam of the Al-Azhar Masjid is always a Shafi-ee and the Shafi-ee Madhhab is industriously studied along with that of the other three schools of the Sunnis.

During his life Imam Shafi-ee also suffered from political intrigues. For instance, after studying under Imam Malik in Medina he was sent to fill an office in Yemen, where he was accused of political involvement which resulted in his arrest.

He was taken as prisoner to Haroun al-Rasheed. The Khalifah however found him innocent and the Imam was honourably released.

Imam Shafiee died in the Year 204 A.H./ 820 C.E. and was laid to rest in Egypt

Major Works:

Kitab al-Risalam Fi-Usul al-Fiqh commonly known as Al-Risala
Kitab al-Umm

One of his Sayings:

Imam Ghazali in his Ihya quotes Imam Shaf’ee as saying:

“I used not to take food with satisfaction for the last 16 years, as a full stomach makes the body heavy, makes the heart hard, increases sleep and renders a man lazy for Worship”

64 Responses to “Imam Ash-Shafi’i”

  1. rafique bharoochi said

    salaam.i need the words of the poem da iel ayaam by imam shafi in arabic please.
    yours in islam
    rafique bharoochi

  2. IBRAHIM said

    THE DETAIL LIFE OF SHAFI’I

  3. Sulaiman said

    Assalamualaikum

  4. tanzeel said

    is smoking haram or halal?if haram give me daleel

  5. IMohamed said

    As Salaamo Alaykom

    When in Tashahud: How long must the index finger be raised? Until Salaam left and right or must it be raised when starting to recite Shahada, or beginning of Tashahud until Salaam. Please describe in detail to avoid confusion Insha Allah.

    Jazakallah.

  6. shabir ahmed said

    asalamu alaikum,where can i find a book on shafi prayer madhab,can you please advise me of the title of the book.i need it to be a complete account of how imam shafi prayed.
    JAZAKALLAH

  7. muzzadeigh said

    assalamu alaykum to all ahl sunna wal jama’a..i just like to ask if there is a kitab or site concerning all the knowledge of the four madhab?mostly of imam shafi’i

  8. humaira said

    respected molvi sb i am facing one problem i am married from last 5years and now i have two kids my husband fucked my mother now i know about this i heard that if someone fucked his mother in law his nikkah is broken. molvi sb. i don’t want to leave my house or divorce is there any panalty for this thing please i am needed the solution send me a reply as soon possible. i shall be grateful to you. i am needed the solution of this mater i am so upset. if you will reply the same mail i shall be thankful to you.

    • in shafaee fiqh u need not worry because according to principles of this fiqh a Halal cannot be made Haram by a Haram, your husband’ srelation with ur mother is Haram, hence it cannot null ur marriage(according to Shafaee fiqh), while as in Hanfi it is null and void.
      from

  9. Abdul said

    Salamu Aliakum, Dear brother and sister I need help any can please leave comment. I am looking for a big Mufti from The follower of Imam Shafi if some body have email or web please leave ur comment. I have to ask a question from one one who is mufti. Hope i find it soon.

    Abdul Karim

  10. ali said

    Without Imam Shafi there would be no westminster system of justice. Western jurisprudence owes the canon of common law to him. He was born in Gaza. We should be ashamed to allow the desecration of his birthplace and the suffering of his descendents.

  11. SAJJAD H BAWA said

    pls advise me about this ashaar

    HUBBE ALI JUNNAH (LOVE OF ALI IS SHIELD,
    KASIMUNNAAR WAL JANNAH (LOVERS OF ALI WILL GO PARADIS)
    WASI E MUSTAFA AL HAQ
    IMAM AL INS WAL JINNAH

    THIS IS WRITTEN ON THE HOLY SHRINE OF IMAM ALI A.S.
    PLS CONFIRM THIS AND ADVISE WITH DETAIL COMMMENTS.

    IMAM SHAFI IS STUDEMT OF IMAM MALIK, AND IMAM MALIK IS THE STUDENT OF ABU HANIFA , AND IMAM HANIFA IS THE THE STUDENT OF HAZRAT IMAM AS SADIQ A/S IS THIS TRUE.

  12. aaron(abdul latif) said

    if its permissible 2 marry a christian woman…..why do some brothers say its haram 2 have intercourse with them. please clear this up for me insha’Allah

  13. ya its realy good for ummate muslima if all maslks are following her imam’s but i realy luky person one who following the shafis allh hu khair

  14. ariba said

    allah huakbar

  15. yusuf saquafi said

    salamualik brother ,
    here is a great mufti Scholar from markaz (kerala)named MUFTI MUHAMMED RAFEEQUE SAADI .for further details log on to .www.markazonline.com

  16. Faiz Ahmed Kurlawala said

    Assalam Alekum,
    Please kindly help me regarding method of pray for shaafi maslak. Hope favorable reply me in soonest time.
    Faiz Ahmed Kurlawala

  17. Muhammad Allie said

    Salaam

    I will be posting some fiqh questions and answers. I make dua it benefits all.

    THE AURAH
    Question 1
    Does Touching the Privates Nullify one’s Wudhu?
    The Shafi’i jurist and judge, Qadhi Safadi stated regarding this issue,
    “They all agree that touching the genitals with something other than the hand does not break wudu’. They disagree about touching the penis with the hand.

    Abu Hanifah says that it absolutely does not break wudu’ however you do it.

    Ash-Shafi’i and Mālik say that Wudu’ is broken by touching skin to skin with the front of the hand but not the back.

    The well-known position of Ahmad is that either the front or back of the hand breaks it.

    Abu Hanifah and Mālik say that touching it does not break wudu’.

    Ash-Shafi’i and Ahmad say that it does.

    There is, however, one position from ash-Shafi’i and one transmission from Ahmad that it does not break wudu’

    The open-mindedness and difference of opinion within Muslim scholarship over the centuries ought to be a part of our mindset and nature.

    Why does the touching of the private parts NOT break the wudhu according to Abu Hanifa? Abu Hanifa, like Imam Shafi’I has criteria for deriving rulings regarding what is Mubah (permissable), Makru (disliked, Halal (allowed) and Haram (forbidden). One of these criteria was that for a hadith to be considered for fiqh purposes, it had to be of a Mas-hur level. Mash-hur meaning that in every generation leading up the Prophet (saw), there must be a minimum of three narrators per generation (relating that the Prophet (saw)) said so and so. If this is the case then the hadith is considered Mash-hur and fit for law. If there happens to be less than three narrators in one of the generations then the hadith is considered Ahad and not Mash-hur. Abu Hanifa says that because law will affect each and every Muslim, the hadith used for deriving rullings must at least be of a msh-hur level and because the hadith regarding the touching of the private parts breaking the wudhu are all of the Ahad category of ahadith, he does not use them for Fiqh.

    Imam al-Shafi’I on the other hand accepts Ahad hadith and therefore according to the madhab of Imam Shafi’I, the wudhu breaks of one touches the private parts.

    In the fiqh a rulling is not allowed to be influenced by emotions.
    If I hate certain music then can I say in public that all music is haram because of my dislike of certain music? The Quran says, ‘fatabayyanu’ – verify your evidence.
    Question 2
    What parts of the body must be covered?
    The proof that a person must cover their ‘awrah is established in the following narration:
    What is the ‘awrah of a man and a woman?
    A) The ‘awrah of a man is from navel to knees. The proof for this is the following hadīth of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
    “So verily, what is between the navel to the knees is of the ‘awrah.”
    The following hadīth proves that the thigh is from the ‘awrah of a man:
    غَطِّ فَخِذَكَ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ الْعَوْرَةِ
    The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Cover your thigh, for certainly it is of the ‘awrah.”
    The opinion that the thigh is ‘awrah opposes the Mālikī and [minor] Hanbalī view. Imām An-Nawawī stated, “A large number of scholars state that the thigh is ‘awrah, though Ahmad and Mālik in a report from him state that the ‘awrah [for a man] is only the genitalia and buttocks.”
    There is disagreement about the navel, thighs and knees on the man:

    Shafi: the thighs of men are awrah
    Reported Muhammad Jahsh, “The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, passed by Ma’mar while his thighs were uncovered. He said, to him, ‘O Ma’mar, cover your thighs, for they are (part of the) ‘aurah.” This is related by Ahmad, al-Hakim and al-Bukhari in Tareekh and in mu’allaq form in his Sahih.
    Reported Jurhad, “The Messenger of Allah passed by me when the cloak I was wearing did not cover my thigh. He said, ‘Cover your thigh, for it (is part of the) ‘aurah.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi, who called it hassan, and by al-Bukhari in mu’allaq form in the Sahih.

    Salaam, Muhammad Allie.

  18. SHAKOOR AHMAD MIR said

    A/A can you send me a book ‘Kitab al-Umm’ written by Imam Shafi RA.

  19. ^Abdullaah said

    Dear brothers and sister hope all is well. If there is anyone from the birmingham area or outside and is interested in learning the Obligatory religious knowledge free of charge then you can do so at the following institute. Masjid noorus sunnah, 42 yardley green road, bham, b9 5qf. The teach chapters on Aqueeda (belief), purification and prayer, fasting, zakah, hajj, sins of the body parts, transactions and dealins and repentance. All accordance to the school and madhab of imaam Ash Shafi^iyy and imaam Abu Hanifa. For both brothers and sisters. Lessons held at 7.30pm-8.30pm tuesday,thursday and friday. Come and learn with upright, trustworthy and knowledgeable people who have taken this knowledge orally from upright, trustworthy people in a chain going back to the messenger Prophet MuHammad. Don’t miss out. Tell others. Take care. May Allaah guide us all and make us amongst the winners on the day of judgement.

    • alidaina said

      Salam, i am belong to the Great Imam Abu Hanifa . i am SUNNI Muslim from Pakistan. i would like to know about the Wahabinism . actually in Pakistan they spreading bad-creeds they are bid’ati they against the Imam Abu Hanifa much, they follow Abdul wahab Najdi… i know what piont of you about imam Abu Hanafi in Shafi school of thoughts i know Imam shafi get knowledge from Imam Mohammad etc

  20. M NOMAN said

    GOD IS GRAET PAZ NAMAZ KAIM KARE OR ALLAH SE APNE GUNAHOO KI MAFI MANGE PAZ

  21. Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu…do u know where i can download the Diwan of Imam Ash-Shafi’i? Barakallaahu feekum.

  22. M.Nizar said

    how a particular area accept a particular madhab? Is there any reason behind it? Is this because of the influence of Islamic Scholars?
    Nizar

  23. Jamshid Ahmed said

    assalamu alaikkum

    Dear brother,nizar
    with the help of these 4 madhab we can understand ,follow islam fully,all these madhab are true and its better u to live according to the madhab of ur locality..otherwise it will create some oddness (which is not wrong ).and u will get confused leading to bid’ah

  24. Jamshid Ahmed said

    nizar, these may be the reason for a particular locality follow one madhab… And one mufti told that …..if father follows shafi madhab
    and mother follows hanafi..its better for there children to follow the madhab in there locality.whether its a shafi or hanafi

  25. Tayyab said

    Imam shafi hv agreat personality coz he spent his life for islam.

  26. habeeb said

    i want to ask that y is rafedan does. give me d details about it

  27. imran rajapkar said

    assalamualaikum

  28. i said

    assalamualaikum evwry one

  29. Hamza Sulaiman Pali said

    Assalamu Alaikum, how can i have a Risalah Book {Arabic and English}. Barakallahu fikum.

  30. Samir said

    Assalamualakum, fellow brothers and sisters! I hope all is going great in all of your lives!

  31. Assalaamu alaykoem Bros & Sisters, this is a beautiful article about one of the great Imams of a leading madhab in the Muslim World. This is not my blog, I am a visitor but reading your comments and even poorly directed questions is quite disturbing following a beautiful article. Certainly does not reflect an intelligent and respectable adult ummah.

  32. aisha ahmed said

    imam shafi’s article is fantastic and no doubt of his fiqhi i hav been following his madhib almost 21 years i dnt see any other imam to follow accept him since he is following our Beloved Prophet(saw) footsteps.Allah barik

  33. Abdul latheef said

    Is self satisfaction of sex harm?

  34. Salam to All

    Please take a look at the website and share. Only traditional and classical authentic material on the site and its updated daily.

    http://islamictext.wordpress.com

    Salam,
    Allie

  35. AMBPANTAMI said

    May Allah reward imam shafi’i for his dedication to Islam

  36. ahsan said

    aoa any one can send me fiqh shafi in urdu by email my address is hafiz_ahsan1989@yahoo.com

  37. ogundele muse adewale said

    it is my pleasure to be a muslim and the follower of imam shafii. Al amdulilah

  38. search for knowledge even if it will take u around d world…

  39. Click said

    Click
    If a new article becomes available or if perhaps any changes occur on the current publication, I would be interested in reading a lot more and finding out how to make good usage of those approaches you discuss. Click

  40. Abdul Hameed Dawood said

    Can any one Send me any fiqh kitab of Imam shafi rahimahullah email address is hameedabdul755@yahoo.com

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  43. lac.org said

    Hey! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  44. danish said

    is it permissible to marry with a shia girl?

  45. Said Muhammad said

    Mashallah Jazakallah Khayr

  46. alias dahalan said

    what are the rule in mazhab shafie with regards to jamak and qasar

  47. Rabiah Hussain said

    is listening to music totally haram or is it just the content and the message of the music that makes it haram

  48. zulfiqaar said

    Wa `Alaykum Asalaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Baarakatuhu!

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