Imam Al Shafee (Raliya Allahu Anhu)
The great Imam al Shafee (Raliya Allahu Anhu) with full name Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafee (150 – 204 Hijra) was born in Gazza (Palestine) descending from Muttalib clan of Quraish tribe. Muttalib is brother of Hashim (sons of Abdu Manaf). Hasim is father of Abdul Muttalib, the grand father our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alihi wasallam.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alihi wasallam said:
عالِمُ قريش يَمْلأ طباق الأرض علمًا
“A Scholar from Quraish will fill layers of the earth with knowledge”
Many scholars explained the object of this Hadeeth is Imam Shafee. His teaching and activities in Islamic juridical matters eventually led to the Shafee School of fiqh (Mad’hab). Mad’hab al Shafee is one of the four Schools of fiqh followed by Muslims all over the world to align their worships as per teaching of Qur’an and Sunnah.
Imam Shafee (Raliya Allahu Anhu) memorized the Holy Qur’an when he was 7 years old. He went to Al Madeenah al Munawwarah seeking Islamic knowledge and studied under great Imam Malik ibn Anas (Raliya Allahu Anhu). There is famous history on memory power of Imam Shafee(Raliya Allahu Anhu) as he memorized the whole book of Hadeeth written by Imam Malik ibn Anas (Raliya Allahu Anhu) at a very young age. Seeing this Imam Malik (Raliya Allahu Anhu) accepted him as a student to study in Al Madeenah al Munawwarah.
It is amazing to know that all Scholars who wrote authentic books on Ahadeeth Al Nabawiyyah (Words, deeds and permissions of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alihi wasallam) called “Siyahu Al Sittah” (6 correct books) were among the followers of Imam Shafi’i’s school (Madhad). They are:
1. Imam Muhammad al-Bukhari (R A)
2. Imam Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (R A)
3. Imam Abu Da’ud (R A)
4. Imam Al-Tirmidhi (R A)
5. Imam Al-Nasa’i (R A)
6. Imam Ibn Majah (R A)
This legacy erases a false propaganda heard in recent times about following Madhad (Taqleed). Those people say that one could directly interpret Qur’an and Ahadeeth to find Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh). But all Imams of Ahadeeth were followers of Madhab as mentioned above. So the ignorant people of this era are violating pure Islamic legacy shown by these great scholars.
Many other scholars who enlightened the world with wisdom and knowledge were followers of Imam Shafi’i’s school (Madhad). To name some among them:
- Imam al-Nawawi (R A)
- Imam al Ghazali (R A)
- Imam Muzni (R A)
- Imam Izz bin Abdul Salaam (R A)
- Imam Bayhaqi (R A)
- Imam ibn Hibban (R A)
- Imam Al Subuki (R A)
- Imam Suyuti (R A)
- Imam Ramli (R A)
- Imam Hakim al-Nishaburi (R A)
- Imam Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani (R A)
- Imam Zakariyya Al Ansar(R A)
- Imam Ibn Hajar Al Haitami (R A)
- Imam Zinudeen Al Makhdoom Al Magbari Al Malaibari (R A)
He authored more than 100 books, among are
1. Al-Risala — The best known book by al-Shafi’i in which he examined usul al-fiqh (sources of jurisprudence): the Qur’an, the Sunnah, qiyas (analogy), and ijma’ (scholarly consensus).
2. Kitab al-Umm – his main surviving text on Shafi’i fiqh
3. Musnad Ash-Shafi’i (on hadith)
The great Imam al Shafiee (Raliya Allahu Anhu) lived during the period of Sayyidah Nafeesa (Raliya Allahu Anha), a great Pious Lady from Ahlu Bait. These two great scholars used to share their knowledge frequently. Imam Shafiee(R. A) made a ‘wasiyyat’ while he was sick with which he passed away to take his ‘janaza’ to house of Sayyidah Nafeesa (R.A) to perform funeral prayer.
The great Imam al Shafee (Raliya Allahu Anhu) departed this world at the age of 54 on the 30th of Rajab in 204 AH (820 AD). He was buried in al-Fustat, Cairo, Egypt. One could wonder within this small life span on the knowledge he have spread which helps masses of generations of Muslim Ummah to worship Allah in correct manner.
It was our first visit destination in Egypt during our 6 days stay over there. We reached there en-route shrine of Imam Waqee’ (Teacher of Imam Al Shafee) before ‘Asr’ prayer on that cold yet bright evening. We stood beside his Maqam (shrine) and emotion was running high and tears started shedding thinking of this great Imam. We don’t have anything to offer you, our beloved Imam for all the good works you have done for this Ummah except sincere dua!
جزاك الله خيرا يا إمامنا الشافعي المطلبي