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- He belonged originally to the school of Medina and was also a

pupil of Malik ibn Anas, the founder of Maliki School of Law.


However, he came to believe in the overriding authority of the
traditions from the Prophet and identified them with the Sunnah

- From these two cities, Shafii teaching spread into various parts of
the Islamic world. In the 10th century, Mecca and Medina came to
be regarded as the school’s chief centres outside of egypt

- However, with the Ottoman Empire’s expansion and patronage, it


was replaced with the Hanafi school in many parts of the Muslim
world

- Shafii does not consider Istihsan (the personal preference of


Islamic legal scholars) as an acceptable source of religious law
because it amounts to “human legislation” of Islamic law

The school of Imam al-Shafi’i went through five major developmental


stages:

1. The stage of ta’sis: the period in which the foundations of the


school were established.

This period represents the earliest stage in the school’s development


and it ended with the death of its founder, Muhammad ibn Idris al-
Shafi’i, who left behind works such as al-Umm and others.

2. The stage of naql: the period in which the school developed


during the period of ta’sis was transmitted.

The responsibility of transmitting and spreading the Shafi’i school was


shouldered by the students of al-Shafi’i. The most famous work written
by al-Shafi’i’s students during this period is al-Mukhtasar by Imam al-
Muzani.

3. The stage of tadwin and tawassu: the period in which scholars


began formally recording the fiqh of al-Shafi’i on paper as well as
expounding on many legal issues.
From this period, two schools emerged:

a. The Iraqi school, which was led by Abu Hamid al-Isfara’ini, al-
Mawardi, Abu Tayyib al-Tabari, al-Bandaniji, al-Mahamili, Sulaym al-Razi,
and others.

b. The Khurasani school, which was led by al-Qaffal al-Saghir, Abu


Bakr al-Marwazi, Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni, al-Furani, al-Qadi Husayn,
Abu ‘Ali al-Sinji, al-Mas’udi, and others.

4. The stage of tahrir: the period of revision.

This phase in the school’s development was led by the two sheikhs of
the school,

Imam al-Rafi’i, who recorded his findings in al-Muharrar, Sharh al-


Kabir and al-Sharh al-Saghir, two works explaining Ghazzali’s al-Wajiz,

and Imam al-Nawawi, whose impact on the school during this critical
stage of development is exemplified by works like Minhaj al-Talibin, al-
Majmu’, a commentary of Shirazi’s al-Muhadhdhab, and Rawdat al-
Talibin.

These are the most important works of al-Rafi’i and al-Nawawi. In


these works, al-Rafi’i and al-Nawawi revise the legal issues of the
school as well as the proofs for those legal issues and determine which
of the narrations of the school are correct and which statements of the
scholars of the school should be given consideration.

5. The stage of istiqrar: the period of consolidation in which the two


great imams, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, and Shams al-Din al-Ramli, who,
in the works Tuhfat al-Muhtaj and Nihayat al-Muhtaj, discuss the
views and statements of earlier scholars of the school that neither
al-Rafi’ nor al-Nawawi had addressed, in addition to correcting
what remained of the school’s legal issues and tracking various
issues throughout the chapters of fiqh.
Having undergone verification at the hands of al-Rafi’I and al-Nawawi,
with the issues left unaddressed by the two imams now finally taken
care of by Ibn Hajar and al-Ramli, the school reached its final stages of
development.

Because of the rigour these imams had when revising and


consolidating the school, scholars of the later-Shafi’I school
wholeheartedly approved of their works.

For whatever al-Rafi’i and al-Nawawi agreed upon became the reliable
position, and if either of the imams were found disagreeing on an
issue, later-Shafi’is concluded that the view of al-Nawawi is to be given
preference—notwithstanding the fact that formal legal edicts on the
view of either imam is permitted.

And for any legal issue in the school that has been left unaddressed,
the reliable position is what Ibn Hajar and al-Ramli agree upon.

If Ibn Hajar and al-Ramli hold divergent views on an issue the people of
Hijaz and Hadramawt give preference to Ibn Hajar, while those in Egypt
and the Levant tend to support al-Ramli.

As a concluding remark, it is permitted to act on and issue formal legal


verdicts upon views frequently conveyed by in books by scholars other
than al-Rafi’I, al-Nawawi, Ibn Hajar, al-Ramli as long as there is not
agreement that the respective viewpoint is an outright mistake, the
product of absentmindedness, or weak, and the only way a view can
be known as such is by studying under the masters of this field.
Brief Historical description of the Shafai’i school
Or
Evelution history of the school
Acourding to historical events in the schools history it is noticed that
the school went through five stages of evolution:
1. Establishment of the school
Which ended with the death of the founder
And the studies he left like Al Umm and Ar-Risala
2. Distribution of the knowledge
Where the student of Shafai’I started teaching and spreading the
knowledge of their teacher
For example: Mukhtasar Al Muzani “The notes of al Muzani”
3. The Extention of the Knowledge
When more events appeared which forced the scholars in responding
to these issues with what they were taught as a bases of their
approach
Which lead to two branches of the school being formed due to the
methods understood
A. The Iraqi Method: which was represented by; Abu Hamid Al
Isfaraeni, Al Mawordi, Abu Tayyib At-Tabari, Al Banadnji, Al Mahamili,
Sulaym Ar-Razi and Others
B. The Khurasani Method: which was represnted by ‘Ali Al Qaffal As-
Saagheer Abu Bakr Al Marwazi, Abu Muhamed Al Juwani, Al Fuwrani,
Al Qadi Hussain, Abu ‘Ali As-Sinji, Al Maso’di and others
4. The Verifacation
Which took place with Ar-Rafa’I and An-Nawawi books, most
importantly Al Muharar, Asharh Al Kabir and Asharh As-Saghir last two
being based off of Al Wajiz by Al Ghazali and these books were written
by Ar-Rafa’I
And then An-Nawawi’s books such as; Al Minhaaj, Al Majmo’ sharh Al
Muhathab and Ar-Rawda
These six books were essencial in the verification process of the
schoola and in reviewing the narrations and statements of the scholars
or the school and authenticatiing the infromation narrated with in the
school boundaries.
Note: It is important for the reader to know that An-Nawawi Worked
on Ar-Rafa’I’s books While handling his book Al Minhaaj.
5. The settlement
This stage mainly was focused on two great scholars
Ibn Hajar Al Haytami and his book Tuhfatul Muhtaaj and Ashams Ar-
Ramli and his book Nihayatul Muhtaaj
Which both explaining An-Nawawi’s book Al Minhaaj
Where both of these scholars adjusted what needed adjustment and
clearified what was not mentioned in the books of the scholars before
them, which made their effort the final stage of the schools
foundation.
Therefore, the additions and adjustments made by these to were
suffice in filling any open gaps after the works of Ar-Rafa’I and An-
Nawawi
And this is what later scholars have agreed upon.
Important info to know;
If Ar-Rafa’I and An-Nawawi agree on a matter it becomes standerd of
the school
If they differ then An-Nawawi exceeds Ar-Rafa’I
Although; for a fatwa stand point what ever either of them have said is
accepted due to the issue present
And if Ibn Hajar and Ar-Ramli Agree on a matter that wasn’t discussed
before them than it is school standard
If they differ the people of Hijaaz and Hadurmout choose to pick Ibn
Hajars opinion, and the people of Ashaam abd Egypt pick Ar-Ramli’s
opinion
Note: That is not out of nationality or being stbburn to own country
men but rather due to the detailed Knowledge those scholars had of
those area by them leaving there and being exposed to different issues
concerning those terrotories
As far as the rest of the authentic and recommeneded scholars of the
shafa’I school it is premissable to quote their opinions in diiferent
matters except what has been agreed upon due to mistakes, errors
and weakness.
And this can only be determind by the scholars of this field
History[edit]
The Shafi'i madhhab was spread by Al-Shafi'i students in Cairo, Mecca
and Baghdad. It became widely accepted in early history of Islam. The
chief representative of the Iraqi school was Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi, whilst
in Khorasan, the Shafi'i school was spread by al-Juwayni and al-Iraqi.
These two branches merged around Ibn al-Salah and his father, before
being reviewed and refined by al-Rafi'i and al-Nawawi.[citation
needed]

The Shafi'i jurisprudence was adopted as the official law during the
Great Seljuq Empire, Zengid dynasty, Ayyubid dynasty and later the
Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), where it saw its widest application. It was
also adopted by the Kathiri state in Hadhramawt and most of rule of
the Sharif of Mecca.[citation needed]

With the establishment and expansion of Ottoman Empire in West Asia


and Turkic Sultanates in Central and South Asia, Shafi'i school was
replaced with Hanafi school, in part because Hanafites allowed Istihsan
(juristic preference) that allowed the rulers flexibility in interpreting
the religious law to their administrative preferences.[7] The Sultanates
along the littoral regions of the Horn of Africa and the Arabian
peninsula adhered to the Shafi'i school and were the primary drivers of
its maritime military expansion into many Asian and East African
coastal regions of the Indian Ocean, particularly from the 12th through
the 18th century.

Shafi'iyyah was the third school of Islamic jurisprudence. According to


the Shafi'i school the paramount sources of legal authority are the
Qur'an and the Sunnah. Of less authority are the Ijma' of the
community and thought of scholars (Ijitihad) exercised through qiyas.
The scholar must interpret the ambiguous passages of the Qur'an
according to the consensus of the Muslims, and if there is no
consensus, according to qiyas.

History: The Shafi'iyyah school of Islamic law was named after


Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi'i (767-819). He belonged originally to the
school of Medina and was also a pupil of Malik ibn Anas (d.795), the
founder of Malikiyyah. However, he came to believe in the overriding
authority of the traditions from the Prophet and identified them with
the Sunnah.

Baghdad and Cairo were the chief centres of the Shafi'iyyah. From
these two cities Shafi'i teaching spread into various parts of the Islamic
world. In the tenth century Mecca and Medina came to be regarded as
the school's chief centres outside of Egypt. In the centuries preceding
the emergence of the Ottoman Empire the Shafi'is had acquired
supremacy in the central lands of Islam. It was only under the Ottoman
sultans at the beginning of the sixteenth century that the Shafi'i were
replaced by the Hanafites, who were given judicial authority in
Constantinople, while Central Asia passed to the Shi'a as a result of the
rise of the Safawids in 1501. In spite of these developments, the people
in Egypt, Syria and the Hidjaz continued to follow the Shafi'i madhhab.
Today it remains predominant in Southern Arabia, Bahrain, the Malay
Archipelago, East Africa and several parts of Central Asia.

Adherents: There are no figures for the number of followers of the


school. It has some adherents in the following countries: Jordan,
Palestine, Syria, the Lebanon and Yemen. It has a large following in the
following countries: Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei,
Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and among the Kurdish
people.
The Method of al Imam al Shafi'i in His Book: Al
Risalah:http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/law/alalwani_usulalfiqh/ch4.htm
l

AL‑MADH'HAB AL‑SHAFI'I

Al‑Madh'hab Al‑Shafi'i was the product of the Fiqh (rules and


regulations) as taught by Ibn Idrees Al‑Shafi'i. As in other Islamic
Schools of Thought Al‑Shafi'i's Fiqh deals with tawhid, elements of
faith, elements of worship(pillars of Islam), halal and haram, ethics,
dealing with other people (Mu'aamalat).

FEATURES of Al‑Madh'hab Al‑Shafi'i

Al‑Shafi'i School of Thought stands in‑between the Maaliki and Hanafi


Madh'habs in that it uses some of the ways of Al‑Maaliki Madh'hab and
some of the Hanafi, i.e. less in the way of Qiyas (Analogy) and Raa'y
(personal opinion). It excels in the technique of Istin'baat ‫اإلستنباط‬
(deductive reasoning) for reaching a Fiqh verdict. Like other Sunni
Madh'habs, Al‑Shafi'i's do not acknowledge the Imamah of Ahlul Bayt,
though all of them were supportive of Ahlul Bayt. The Al‑Shafi'i School
of Thought began its popularity around 190H and picked up steam in
the century that followed.

IBN IDREES AL‑SHAFI'I: ‫ الشـــافـعى ادريــس ابن‬Head of Al‑Madh'hab


Al‑Shafi'i: 150H‑204H

Al‑Shafi'i was born in 150H, the same year in which Abu Hanifa died. He
was from Quraish, a bright student with a dazzling personality. An
orphan, Al‑Shafi'i was cared for by his mother who brought him to
Mecca when 10 years old. He joined Hudhayl tribe for 17 years (in the
desert) to learn the flawless command of Arabic, literary or expression.
In his late twenties by now, Al‑Shafi'i settled in Mecca where Al‑Shafi'i
was enticed by friends to study Fiqh. Thus he joined Al‑Zinji, learning at
his and other scholars' hands. In his thirties Al‑Shafi'i left for Medina to
study at the hands of the aging Malik Ibn Anas, where he became very
close to him. Malik even took care of the living expenses of Al‑Shafi'i
for 4 years until Malik died. Al‑Shafi'i also studied at the hands of
several of Imam Al‑Saadiq's disciples such as a) Ibn U'yainah, 2) Abu
Ishaaq Al‑Madani, 3) Al‑Zuhri, and 4) Ibn Al‑Silt Al‑Basri.

When Malik died, Al‑Shafi'i had to work in Yemen to support himself


financially. He was vocal against the harsh rule of the governor of
Yemen. It is said that in a move to get rid of him, the governor wrote
mischievous accusation about Al‑Shafi'i to Khalifa Al‑Rasheed. As a
result, in 184H and along with 8 other people, Al‑Shafi'i was taken to
Baghdad chained and bound in fetters. He was closely questioned by
the enraged Al‑Rasheed, but Al‑Shafi'i's eloquence and convincing
manners were such that Al‑Rasheed forgave him and set him free. The
other 8 were not so lucky, for they could not defend their innocence
that well, and were decapitated as per orders of the irrational Khalifa.
(The Shafi'i was accused of loving Ahlul Bayt, since loving Ahlul Bayt
was in opposition to the Khalifa policy or other Abbasi rulers, who
posed as enemy No. 1 to Ahlul Bayt.)[12]

Al‑Shafi'i stayed in Baghdad where he joined the circle discussion


headed by Al‑Sheybani (who was a student of Abu Yusuf and Abu
Hanifa). Al‑Shafi'i contested and debated with Al‑Sheybani in his circle
discussions, then began his own discussion assembly, giving If'taa'
(Fiqh edicts). Both he and Al‑Sheybani were active in writing books at
the same time, though the Maaliki scholars at the time paid little
attention to either of them. It is said that Al‑Shafi'i studied under a
total of 19 scholars.

Al‑Shafi'i became quite popular in Baghdad, but he visited Egypt, which


was the Maaliki strong hold at the time. In 198H, the 48 year old
Al‑Shafi'i left Baghdad again, for good, with an endorsement from the
Khalifa. He was accompanied by the new governor to Egypt, and
stayed as a guest with an eminent family in Egypt, whereby he started
his own circle discussion and gave If'taa'. This time he stayed in Egypt
for about 6 years.

Al‑Shafi'i is said to have written several books, and the book of


Al‑Umm in 6 volumes is contributed to him, though after probing and
research it was claimed to have been written by his disciples
(Al‑Bu'waiti and Al‑Rabii).[13] As Al‑Shafi'i became popular in Egypt, his
discussion assembly attracted more and more students. He differed
with Al‑Maaliki and Hanafi in many points, and his teachings began to
have a distinct flavor. Just as his popularity was on the increase, he was
beset with a long illness. At the age of 54, there came about hotly
discussed difference between him and Maaliki adherents, especially
after he criticized some Maaliki doctrines or beliefs. The matter was
taken to the governor. Because of that, Al‑Shafi'i was brutally attacked
by the discontented Maaliki adherents, and he was hit on the head
with a big iron rod (iron‑key). Al‑Shafi'i lost consciousness as a
consequence, probably from fractured skull, and he died shortly
after.[14]

Al‑Shafi'i had a charming personality, a very attractive way of


expression in pure Arabic, good poetry, and deep knowledge of the
techniques of the various schools of thought at the time. He excelled in
the criteria he put forth about Istin'baat (deductive reasoning) in
reaching verdicts. Al‑Shafi'i was a devotee of Ahlul Bayt to a great
extent notwithstanding the government jaundiced eyes about anyone
who declared any faith in them. The government took Ahlul Bayt as the
enemy No. 1 solely because Ahlul Bayt rejected acknowledging the
legitimacy of the rulers (Khalifa) as representing Islam. Ahlul Bayt
never conformed to the policies of the rulers or their rule, thus the
enmity and the collision.

The popularity of Al‑Shafi'i Madh'hab was mainly due to the consistent


and hard work of the students of Al‑Shafi'i, famous among them were
Al‑Bu'waiti ‫ ألبـويـطي‬and Al‑Muzni ‫ ألمـزني‬, and Ibn Abd Al‑A'la‫أألعلى عـبد إبن‬
. As Al‑Madh'hab Al‑Shafi'i took roots, it gradually replaced the Maaliki
Madh'hab in Egypt, then spread in Palestine and Syria, completely
replacing that of Aw'zaa'i. It also spread in Iran and neighboring areas
at the time. This Madh'hab was also endorsed by the governments of
the time, especially that of Ayyubi.

Shafi′i School of Thought (Al-Madhab al-Shafi′i)

From the time of his childhood, Imam Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafi′i


(150- 206 AH) immersed himself in the ideas of Imam Malik. He was
inspired deeply by him and nearly memorized al-Muwatta. Eventually
he procured a letter of recommendation from the governor of Mecca
to the governor of Madinah enabling him to meet with Imam Malik,
whose status was very high in Madinah during the Abbasid time. There
he became a student of Imam Malik until the death of Imam Malik
about nine years later.

At that time, Imam Shafi′i fell into poverty and was obliged to return to
Mecca.34 There, some individuals concerned about his condition,
appealed to the governor of Yemen to find him an official position, and
thus Imam al-Shafi′i was made the governor of the state of Najran in
Yemen.

However, during the rule of Harun al-Rashid, Imam al-Shafi′i was


accused of leaning towards the Alawiyin35 and the school of Ahlul
Bayt, and so he was brought to Baghdad, handcuffed. While he was
being held as a prisoner, one of his friends, Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-
Shaybani (who was also one of the primary advocates of the Hanafi
school of thought for the Abbasid) interceded on his behalf and
testified that al- Shafi′i was not on the side of Ahlul Bayt and was
completely supportive of the Abbasid government. This testimony
resulted in the release of al- Shafi′i, and as a result, he became very
close to al-Shaybani and studied under him, learning the opinions
(araa) of Abu Hanifah in ra′i (opinion) and qiyas (analogy), both of
which Abu Hanifah was well known for.

However, the two differed regarding Ahlul Bayt - al-Shafi′i was in fact
sympathetic towards their cause, while al-Shaybani was not.36

Out of these two influences: the Maliki school (which can also be
referred to as the school of athar (text)) and the Hanafi school, was
born the Shafi′i school of thought. In 199 AH, Imam al-Shafi′i moved to
Egypt along with Ibn Abdullah al-Abbas, the governor of Egypt. There,
his school slowly began to spread. Unfortunately, because he differed
on some points with Imam Malik, Imam al-Shafi′i incurred the anger of
many of the adherents of the Maliki school in Egypt, and they
eventually rioted and killed him.

It is worth noting that al-Bukhari and al-Muslim did not narrate any
hadith from al-Shafi′i - not because he was inferior in knowledge, but
because he had inclinations towards the school of Ahlul Bayt. He said
that Ali b. Ali Talib had the right to leadership at the time over
Mu′awiyah and his companions,37 who were the group that began the
assault on Islam. He displayed love for Ahlul Bayt and the family of the
Prophet and proclaimed, “If anyone who loves the Ahlul Bayt is a rafidi
(a rejecter of the three caliphates) then let the whole world witness
that I am the first rafidi.” Such statements not only led to his arrest as
mentioned before, but also resulted in silencing his books of hadith.

Shafi
(Sunni)
Shafi, Shafi'iyyah School, Shafi'i
Advanced Information
al-Shafi (d. 820)
Doctrines
Shafi'iyyah was the third school of Islamic jurisprudence. According to
the Shafi'i school the paramount sources of legal authority are the
Qur'an and the Sunnah. Of less authority are the Ijma' of the
community and thought of scholars (Ijitihad) exercised through qiyas.
The scholar must interpret the ambiguous passages of the Qur'an
according to the consensus of the Muslims, and if there is no
consensus, according to qiyas.
History
The Shafi'iyyah school of Islamic law was named after Muhammad ibn
Idris al-Shafi'i (767-819). He belonged originally to the school of Medina
and was also a pupil of Malik ibn Anas (d.795), the founder of
Malikiyyah. However, he came to believe in the overriding authority of
the traditions from the Prophet and identified them with the Sunnah.

Baghdad and Cairo were the chief centres of the Shafi'iyyah. From
these two cities Shafi'i teaching spread into various parts of the Islamic
world. In the tenth century Mecca and Medina came to be regarded as
the school's chief centres outside of Egypt. In the centuries preceding
the emergence of the Ottoman empire the Shafi'is had acquired
supremacy in the central lands of Islam. It was only under the Ottoman
sultans at the beginning of the sixteenth century that the Shafi'i were
replaced by the Hanafites, who were given judicial authority in
Constantinople, while Central Asia passed to the Shi'a as a result of the
rise of the Safawids in 1501. In spite of these developments, the people
in Egypt, Syria and the Hidjaz continued to follow the Shafi'i madhhab.
Today it remains predominant in Southern Arabia, Bahrain, the Malay
Archipelago, East Africa and several parts of Central Asia.
Symbols
The school has no symbol system.
Adherents
There are no figures for the number of followers of the school. It has
some adherents in the following countries: Jordan, Palestine, Syria, the
Lebanon and Yemen. It has a large following in the following countries:
Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Sri
Lanka, the Maldives, and among the Kurdish people.
Headquarters / Main Centre
The school does not have a headquarters or main centre.
Bülent Þenay
Overview of World Religions Project

Shafi'iyyah
Shi'a Information
it was Al-Shafi`i (767-820) who brought greater clarity to the different
bases for legal decisions. He regarded of paramount importance all the
general principles as well as the specific commandments in the Qur`an.
Equally important were the prophetic practices recorded in the Hadith,
which he regarded as more important than the cumulative practices of
the communities. For him the way of the Prophet was the
manifestation of God's will, amply confirming or elaborating on the
Qur`anic injunctions. The words and deeds of the Prophet drew out the
implications and provisions of the Qur`an, and thus the Sunnah
complemented the Qur`an.
Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri
THE ELEMENTS OF ISLAM, Chapter 4

Shafi
Advanced Information
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any scholarly texts on this subject
which have yet been translated into English. We know that a number
of Arabic scholars have written wonderful texts in Arabic, and look for
the day when we will be able to add higher quality texts to this
presentation.