ISLAM, KNOWLEDGE & CIVILIZATION
Fahmi Abdul Muin
Nasir Al Sunnah(One who saved the Sunnah)
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Idris al-Shafi’I(
a prominent Imam who was a descendant from the Hashimi family of
The only Imam related to Rasulullah(PBUH)
Born : 767 CE/150 AH, Gaza, Palestin
Died : 20 January, 820 CE/30 Rajab, 204 AH (aged 52-53)
Chain of Life
He completed memorizing all of the Quran at the age of 7 years old
At the age of 13, he memorized the Kitabul Muwatta’ of Imam Malik
➢ The muwatta’ is an early statement of Muslim law.
➢ The earliest extant source of hadith
He was a mufti (given authorization to issue fatwa) at the age of 15.
He spent most of his time among the Bedouins outside Makka, to acquire
a good knowledge of the Arabic language.
➢ The Bedouin are predominantly Muslim
➢ Desert-dwelling Arab nomad.
At the age of 20, he went to Madina and become a student of Imam Malik
He also learned with, 81 sheikhs from all of whom he acquired the knowledge of the
Quran, hadith and Sunnah.
In 184 A.H./ 799 A.C., Imam Shafi’I was arrested and taken to Baghdad to appear before
Haroon Ar-Rasheed on trumped up charges of treason.
It was due to the recommendation of Imam Muhammad (the state Qazi and student of
Imam Abu Hanifa) that Imam Shafi’I was discharged.
o Qazi is a judge ruling in accordance with the sharia.
Imam Shafi’I remained in Bagdhad as a student of Imaan Muhammad for over 3 years to
add further to his knowledge of Islamic Law
In Baghdad, he developed his first madhab, influenced by the teachings of both Imam
Abu Hanifa(from Imam Muhammad) and Imam Malik
o Madhab or in Urdu Mazhab is an Islamic school of law or fiqh (religious jurisprudence)
His work there is known as “al Madhab al Qadim lil Imam as Shafi’i” or the Old School of
He returned to Makkah where he stayed for 9
years delivering lectures on Islamic Law.
It was during this period that Imam Ahmad ibn
Hambal came into contact with Imam Shafi’I
It appears that all of his surviving writings were
done in retirement in Egypt during the last 5
years of his life.
He died in Fustat, Cairo, Egypt
On Friday evening after Maghrib, 29th Rajab, 204
A.H. (20th Jan; 820 A.C) after a short illness. Age
of 54 years.
Al-Risalah (Usul al-Fiqh) : 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)
Al-Umm (Fiqh) : his main surviving text on Shafi’I Fiqh
Musnad ash-Shafi'i (on hadith) : it is available with arrangement, Arabic
'Tartib', by Ahmad ibn Abd ar-Rahman al-Banna
He authored more than 100 books.
One of the four scholars - besides Maliki, Hanbali, and Hanafi
Most predominantly in regions such as;
Africa: Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, eastern Egypt, and the Swahili Coast.
Middle East: Yemen, Kurdish regions of the Middle East, Israel, Lebanon, minor parts of
Jordan, Palestine and Saudi Arabia
Caucasus: parts of Azerbaijan
Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, western coast of Indian peninsula,
Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, Brunei, and the southern islands of the Philippines.
● He memorized the Qur’an at a very young age.
● On anonymous accounts, he was a very handsome man and his beard does not exceed
the length of his fist.
● He also learnt archery and became very skilful; he could hit the target 10 times out of 10.
● Al-Shafi'i was an eloquent poet, who composed many short poems aimed at addressing
morals and behaviour
● Imam Al-Shafi’i never got furious while debating with anyone, because he was not
interested in scoring points or winning people’s admiration, but rather in reaching the truth.
And if his opponent were right, he would not find any difficulty accepting his view.
● He had an eidetic memory.
He was quoted as saying:
‘I wish people would learn what I have to give, without it being attributed to me.
In this way, I will receive the reward for it from Allah, without having people’s
He who seeks pearls immerses himself in the sea.
He said to the effect that no knowledge of Islam can be gained from books of
Kalam, as kalam "is not from knowledge" and that "It is better for a man to
spend his whole life doing whatever Allah has prohibited - besides shirk with
Allah - rather than spending his whole life involved in kalam."
Differences in madhab
for example, in the mughalazah filth category, there is no clear explanantion
in Quran and Hadith- all of Imam sect 4 (except Imam Shafi'i) says pig
feces belong in mid(muthawasitah) related to its bodyparts and droppings,
while Shafi’i described it as mughalazah. In this case the scholars based
on their knowledge that had to endeavor to formulate a legal basis (takhrij,
instinbat,qiyas). But they respect the views of other imams. Imam sect 4 is
among the four mujtahid scholars mutlaq (this should be another
explanation about ijtihad).
1. Shafi'i school of thought: rake head is self-sufficient with a few levels in
which the act is said to be a broom. (For example, just sweep the ubun2
and about 3 strands of hair would suffice).
2. Hanafi opinion: shall apply only ¼ (one fourth) of the head (eg a sweep
rate with the palm of the hand to the head)
3. Hanbali also believes: it is swept by leveling air to all parts of the head.
(For example, by washing hands and sweep both of the ubun2 and pulled
up to the back of the head).
Scholars differ on the law touching the skin AJNABI women (lawful marriage), would
According to Shafi, the legal void in absolute terms (without conditions). This
includes a wife of his own.
Maliki: Touching the skin of women ajanabi cancel the ablution if the purpose of
`talazzuz '(best-delicious), or get a taste when touching.
Hanafi: Touching the skin of women AJNABI absolutely not cancel, either with a
view talazzuz or feel it when touched.