Imaamu Shaafici (Carabi محمد بن إدريس الشافعي) waa Muxamed (Abuu Cabdullaahi) bin Idriis binil-Cabbaas bin Cusmaan bin Shaafici bini-Saa'ib bin Cubayd bin Cabdi-Yaziid bin Haashim binil-Muddalib bin Cabdi-Manaaf. Al-Muddalib wuxuu dhashay 150h/766m wuxuuna geeriyooday 204h/820m,
Al-Shafi’i Al-Shafi’i (AH 150–208/767–820 CE) is one of the eponyms of four great Sunni schools of law. He is also the author of several prominent works in the field. He is also known as Imam al-Shafi‘i. Abu Abdallah Muḥammad b. İdris b. al-Abbas b. Uthman b. Shafi b. al-Saʾib b. Ubayd b. Abd Yazid b. Hashim b. al-Muṭṭalib b. Abd Manaf b. Ḳuṣayy al-Ḳurashi Al-Shafi’i was of a Muttalibi leanage through his father, and thus a distant relative of the Prophet. He was born in Gaza, (in contemporary Palestine) in 150 AH / 767 CE, the year of Abu Hanifa’s death. Following the death of his father, so as not to remain alone, his mother decided to migrate with Al-Shafi’i to Mecca where their relatives lived. In early days of his life, he managed to develop his gifted talents. He was skilled to a high degree in linguistics and was advanced in poetry, as well as being a very talented archer. At that time one of his masters discovered ash-Shafi‘i’s talents and directed him to study the religious sciences such as fiqh, and hadith. As a result of his master’s advice, he devoted all his time and effort to these areas. Moreover, according to some sources, he memorized the Qur’an by the age of seven or nine. In Mecca, the principal teachers of Al-Shafi’i were Muslim b. K̲h̲alid al-Zand̲j̲i (d. 179/795 or 180/796), Sufyan b. ʿUyayna (d. 198/813), Said b. Salim, Fudayl b. İyad among others. At the age of fifteen (or eighteen), his master gave Al-Shafi’i permission to issue judicial decisions (fatwas), and when he reached twenty, his inexhaustible passion for learning led him to travel to Madinah. It was here that he met Imam Malik who is know as the founder of the Maliki school. Before introducing himself to Imam Malik, he memorized the Muwaṭṭa, Malik’s principle work. This gesture impressed Imam Malik greatly and resulted in Al-Shafi’i acceptance as his pupil. For a period of nine years, Al-Shafi’i remained in Madinah until Malik’s death. After the death of Malik, Al-Shafi’i returned to Makka. Soon later, the governor of Yemen, while paying a visit to Mecca, met al-Shafi’i, discerned his unique abilities, and offered him an administrative post in Yemen. In Yemen, Al-Shafi’i was soon to become involved in local controversies, which led not only to to be dismissed from his post but also to be accused of being a follower of accusations that he was a follower of the Zaydi İmam Yaḥya ibn Abd Allah, an adversary of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad. Although the other nine co-defendants were executed, Al-Shafi’i was forgiven by the Caliph because of the strength of his argument, his intelligence and his re-affirmation of loyalty to the Abbasid Dynasty. During the two years he lived Baghdad, he met Muhammad b. Al-Hasan ash-Shaybani who was one of Abu Ḥanifa’s the most important pupils. His contact and discussions with ash-Shaybani increased and by which he strengthened his knowledge. Moreover, Al-Shafi’i had the opportunity to study the books of ash-Shaybani and other Iraqi scholars in Baghdad. After his travels, he returned to Makka. During these travels, in every place he visited, he arranged meetings and organized study circles attended by many including great scholars such as Abu Thawr, al Za’farani, al Karabisi. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal also attended his circle and studied with Al-Shafi’i. The last station for Al-Shafi’i was Egypt where he remained until his death. He was welcomed with great honor and respect by the people and scholars of Egypt due to his being a pupil of Imam Malik and due to his reputation in fıqh. (His stay in Egypt) In
Egypt, which constitutes a cutting line between his previous opinions (al-qadim) and new ones (al-jadid), he began a critical analysis of Malik's legal opinions and devoted all his time to teaching and dictating his works to his students. Al-Shafi’i developed two approaches known as "The Old" and "The New" in juristic terminology, corresponding respectively to his stays in Iraq and Egypt. Al-Shafi’i had a lot of talented students, some of whom become prominent masters. Before he came to Egypt, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Karabisi, al-Za`farani, and Abu Thawr, were to be counted among his best students and after traveling to Egypt, al-Buwayṭi (d. 845), and al-Muzani (d. 877), al-Rabi al-Muradi (d. 880) who transcribed Al-Shafi’i 's lectures after which he would correct the text when it was read aloud to him, were to become his best pupils. He died at the age of 54 in 204 AH (820 AD) in Cairo, Egypt, after a short illness. He was buried in the tomb of Banu Abd al-Ḥakam at the foot of the Muḳaṭṭam Hills. He married twice, and had three children, two sons, Abu Ut̲h̲man (who became ḳaḍi of Aleppo) and Abu ‘l-Ḥasan, and one daughter, Faṭima. Saladin built a madrassa and a shrine on the site of his tomb. Saladin's brother Afdal built a mausoleum for him in 1211 after the defeat of the Fatamids. It still remains a site where people today come and petition for justice. Al-Shafi‘i developed the science of fiqh combining the Quran and hadith with human reasoning to provide a basis in law. Through a systematization of shari'a he provided a basis for Islamic legal systems. The madhhabs follow their traditions within the framework that Shafi'i had established. In turn Al-Shafi‘i gives his name to one of these legal schools the Shafi'i school - which is the dominant madhab in Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen as well as Sri Lanka and southern parts of India. He authored many books, some of which are as follows: The Kitab al-Umm (The Fundamental/Principal Book) is a masterpiece in this area that gathers almost all of ash-Shafi’s thought. Al-risalah fi uṣul al-fiqh (Treatise on the Sources of the Law), was originally written in Iraq, however, it was revised and rewritten during his stay in Egypt. Al-risalah fi uṣul al-fiqh is his best known book and examines the principles of jurisprudence, it is also an example of an approach to ethics that focuses on divine commands. Kitab al-Hujja, Musnad ash-Shafi'i, al-Ikhtilaf Ma’a Malik, especially Ijma’ of the people of Madinah, Ahkam al Qur’an, Ikhtilaf al Hadith, Ibtal al Istihsan, Jima’al ‘Ilm, and al-Qiyas , al-Ikhtilaf between Ali and Abdullah b. Mesud, Al-Imla. Al-Shafi'i indicates that usul al-fiqh is rests on the faith that God, the creator and judge of all things, provides guidance that makes for the happiness of all creatures in this life and the next. The task left up to human beings is to learn to read these signs from which guidance is given to humanity. As a consequence he developed a new proposal for usul al-fiqh, by which the authority of the Prophet and of texts reporting his words and deeds would be enhanced. This in turn increased their importance as a source for interpreting and utilising commandments in the quran. This makes the divine revelation from the Qur'an more accessible and applicable to issues arising in everyday life. Al-Shafi'i states that the only sunna applicable for use as guidance is the sunna of the Prophet. Al-Shafi'i defends this view in a section on the obligation of humanity to accept the Prophet's authority. Shafi'i argued that it could not contradict the Qur'an: "It is evident that the [Prophet's] sunna never contradicts the Qur'an, and that his sunna—even in the absence of legislation in the Book—is binding...in accordance with God's command to obey his
Apostle."1 Not only could the Sunnah not contradict the Qur'an, it could also not abrogate it, that is, supplant it.2 God has placed His Apostle [in relation to] His religion, His commands and His Book - in the position made clear by Him as a distinguishing standard of His religion by imposing he duty of obedience to him as well as prohibiting disobedience to him. “He has made his merits evident by associating belief in His Apostle with belief in Him”. He cites several Qur'anic texts in support of this (for example, Quran 4:169 and Quran 24:62), to the effect that "Thus [God] prescribed that the perfect beginning of faith, to which all other things are subordinates, shall be belief in Him and then in His Apostle. For if a person believes only in Him, not in His Apostle, the name of the perfect faith will never apply to him until he believes in His Apostle together with Him". As the Islamic declaration of faith (the shahada) puts it, “there is no God but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.”3 According to Al-Shafi’i one makes judgments when there is no textual evidence on the basis of consensus. This consensus should be reached and should be the result of the judgments and practices of the Muslim community as a whole. This differs from other madhabs or earlier practices as it does not see consensus as the product of agreement among scholars. For al-Shafi'i it seems to be a simple acceptance of the opinion of the majority of Muslims. Tuba Erkoç (Marmara University) Laurens de Rooij Durham University.