Islamic scholar
Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shafiʿī
Title Imam of the Abode of Emigration
Born 767 CE/135 AH
Gaza, Palestine
Died 820 CE/188 AH (aged 52-53)
Fustat, Egypt
Ethnicity Arab
Maddhab Sunnah
School tradition Sunni Islam
Main interests Fiqh
Notable ideas Shafi'i madhhab
Works Risalah: Usul al Fiqh, Kitab al-Umm
Influences Imam Malik,[1] Sufyan ibn `Uyaynah, Muhammad al-Shaybani
Influenced Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Yusuf, Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahawi, Ahmad Sirhindi, Shah Waliullah

Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shafiʿī (Arabic: ابو عبدالله محمد بن إدريس الشافعيّ‎) was a Muslim jurist, who lived from 767 CE to 820 CE. He was active in juridical matters and his teaching eventually led to the Shafi'i school of fiqh (or Madh'hab) named after him. Hence he is often called Imam al-Shafi'i. He is considered the founder of Islamic jurisprudence.[2]:1



The biography of al-Shafi'i is difficult to trace. The oldest surviving biography goes back to Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi (died 327H/939) and is no more than a collection of anecdotes, some of them fantastic. The first real biography is by Ahmad Bayhaqi (died 458H/1066) and is filled with pious legends. The following is what seems to be a sensible reading.


Al-Shafi'i belonged to the Qurayshi clan Banu Muttalib which was the sister clan of the Banu Hashim to which Muhammad and the Abbasid caliphs belonged. Hence he had connections in the highest social circles, but he grew up in poverty.

767 – 786: Al-Mansur to Al-Hadi's era

Early life, studies with Imam Malik

He was born in Gaza and moved to Mecca when he was about two years old. He is reported to have studied with the "School of Mecca" (which might not even have existed, although some scholars are reported to have been active there)[citation needed]. Then he moved to Madinah to teach others of the message of Islam and be taught by Malik ibn Anas.

786 – 809: Harun al-Rashid's era

After that he lived in Mecca, Baghdad and finally Egypt.

Among his teachers were Malik ibn Anas and Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī, whom he studied under in Madinah and Baghdad.

He was appointed as a judge in Najran in the time of Harun ar-Rashid. Sunnis portray that his devotion to justice, even when it meant criticizing the governor, caused him some problems, and he was taken before the Caliph, falsely accused of aiding the Alawis in a revolt. al-Shaybānī was the chief justice at the time, and his defense of ash-Shafi'i, coupled with ash-Shafi'i’s own eloquent defense, convinced Harun ar-Rashid to dismiss the charge, and he directed al-Shaybānī to take ash-Shafi'i to Baghdad. He was also a staunch critic of Al-Waqidi's writings on Sirah.

In Baghdad, he developed his first madh'hab, influenced by the teachings of both Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik. Thus, his work there is known as “al Madhab al Qadim lil Imam as Shafi’i,” or the Old School of ash-Shafi'i.

809 – 813: Al-Amin's era

Muhammad ibn Harun al-Amin (787–813) (Arabic: محمد الأمين بن هارون الرشيد‎), Abbasid Caliph. He succeeded his father, Harun al-Rashid in 809 and ruled until he was killed in 813.

813 – 820: Al-Ma'mun's era


He died at the age of 54 on the 30th of Rajab in 204 AH (820 AD). He was buried in al-Fustat, Egypt.


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 remains a site where people petition for justice.[3]

Shafi'i developed the science of fiqh unifying 'revealed sources' - the Quran and hadith - with human reasoning to provide a basis in law. With this systematization of shari'a he provided a legacy of unity for all Muslims and forestalled the development of independent, regionally based legal systems. The four Sunni legals schools or madhhabs- keep their traditions within the framework that Shafi'i established.

Shafi'i gives his name to one of these legal schools Shafi'i fiqh - the Shafi'i school - which is followed in many different places in the Islamic world: Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen and southern parts of India.

Today, many English speaking Muslims are introduced to the madh'hab of Imam Shafi’i through the translated works Umdat as Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) and al Maqasid, both done by Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller.

Among the followers of Imam Shafi’i’s school were:


He authored more than 100 books.

  • 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). There is a good modern translation.
  • Kitab al-Umm - 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

Sunni view

Many stories are told about the childhood and life of ash-Shafi'i, and it is difficult to separate truth from myth:

Tradition says that he memorized the Qur’an at the age of seven; by ten, he had memorized the Muwatta of Imam Malik; he was a mufti (given authorization to issue fatwa) at the age of fifteen. He recited the Qur’an every day in prayer, and twice a day in Ramadan. Some apocryphal accounts claim he was very handsome, that his beard did not exceed the length of his fist, and that it was very black. He wore a ring that was inscribed with the words, “Allah suffices Muhammad ibn Idris as a reliance.” He was also known to be very generous.

He was also an accomplished archer, a poet, and some accounts call him the most eloquent of his time. Some accounts claim that there were a group of Bedouin who would come and sit to listen to him, not for the sake of learning, but just to listen to his eloquent use of the language. Even in latter eras, his speeches and works were used by Arabic grammarians. He was given the title of Nasir al Sunnah, the Defender of the Sunnah.

He loved Muhammad very deeply. Al Muzani said of him, “He said in the Old School: ‘Supplication ends with the invocation of blessings on the Prophet, and its end is but by means of it.’” Al-Karabisi said: “I heard al-Shafi’i say that he disliked for someone to say ‘the Messenger’ (al-Rasul), but that he should say ‘Allah’s Messenger’ (Rasul Allah) out of veneration for him.” He divided his night into three parts: one for writing, one for praying, and one for sleeping.

Apocryphal accounts claim that Imam Ahmad said of ash-Shafi'i, “I never saw anyone adhere more to hadith than al-Shafi’i. No one preceded him in writing down the hadith in a book.” Imam Ahmad is also claimed to have said, “Not one of the scholars of hadith touched an inkwell nor a pen except he owed a huge debt to al-Shafi’i.”

Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani said, “If the scholars of hadith speak, it is in the language of al Shafi’i.”

Shah Waliullah, a 18th century Sunni Islamic scholar stated [4]:

A Mujadid appears at the end of every century: The Mujtahid of the 1st century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz. The Mujadid of the 2nd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Muhammad Idrees as-Shafi'i the Mujadid of the 3rd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Abu Hasan Ashari the Mujadid of the 4th century was Abu Abdullah Hakim Nishapuri.

According to many accounts he was said to have a photographic memory. One anecdote states that he would always cover one side of a book while reading because a casual glance at the other page would commit it to memory.

He claimed that the game of chess was an image of war, and it was possible to play chess as a mental exercise for the solution of military tactics. Chess could not be played for a stake, but if a player was playing for a mental exercise, he was not doing anything illegal. Provided the player took care that his fondness for chess did not cause him to break any other rule of life, he saw no harm in playing chess. He played chess himself, defending his practice by the example of many of his companions.


  • He who seeks pearls immerses himself in the sea.[5]

See also


  1. ^ The Origins of Islamic Law: The Qurʼan, the Muwaṭṭaʼ and Madinan ʻAmal, by Yasin Dutton, pg. 16
  2. ^ Fadel M. (2008). The True, the Good and the Reasonable: The Theological and Ethical Roots of Public Reason in Islamic Law. Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.
  3. ^ Ruthven Malise, Islam in the World. 3rd edition Granta Books London 2006 ch. 4, page 122
  4. ^ Izalat al-Khafa p. 77 part 7
  5. ^ Diwan al-Imam al-shafi'i, (book of poems - al-shafi'i) p. 100; Dar El-Mrefah Beirut - Lebanon 2005. ISBN 9953-429-33-2
  • Ruthven Malise, Islam in the World. 3rd edition Granta Books London 2006 ch. 4
  • "al-Shafi'i's Risala: Treatise on the Foundation of Islamic Jurisprudence" Majid Khadduri. Original 1961, reprinted 1997. ISBN 0-946621-15-2.
  • al-Shafi'i,Muhammad b. Idris,"The Book of the Amalgamation of Knowledge" translated by Aisha Y. Musa in Hadith as Scripture: Discussions on The Authority Of Prophetic Traditions in Islam, New York: Palgrave, 2008

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shafi Muhammad Shah — or Shafi Mohammad, PP, was a Pakistani film and television actor. Famously known Shahjee was born in Kandiaro, in Naushahro Feroze District, Sindh in 1949.Shafi starts his career as a Radio presenter from Hyderabad Radio Station , He honed his… …   Wikipedia

  • Shafi Group — of Companies, is a large Pakistani business conglomerate comprising ten separate manufacturing units. It’s headed by Muhammad Naseem Shafi. Muhammad Shafi Tanneries (Private) Limited (MST) is the most prestigious and widely known trademark… …   Wikipedia

  • Shafi Hadi — Birth name Curtis Porter Born September 21, 1929 (1929 09 21) (age 82) Origin …   Wikipedia

  • SHAFI‘ITE (ÉCOLE) — SH FI‘ITE ÉCOLE École d’interprétation (m dhh b ) de l’isl m sunnite, le shafi‘isme se fonde sur les enseignements de l’im m Ab Abdallah Mu ムammad ibn Idris al Sh fi‘ 稜, né en 767 en Arabie, mort en 820 au Caire. Ce théologien a joué un grand… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Shafi Inamdar — (1949 March 1996) was an Indian actor. He started his film career with film Vijeta and continued in Ardh Satya. He acted in television serials also including Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. Shafi married actress Bhakti Barve. He died in March 1996. External… …   Wikipedia

  • Shafi Hadi — (* 21. September 1929 in Philadelphia als Curtis Porter) war ein amerikanischer Jazzsaxophonist (Alt und Tenorsaxophon). Er ist vor allem durch seine Mitarbeit in den 1950er Bands von Charles Mingus in Erinnerung geblieben. Leben und Wirken Hadi… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shafi'i — Shafi ite, n. /shaf ee ee, shah fee ee/, n. one of the four schools of Islamic law, founded by al Shafi i. Cf. Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki. [ < Ar Shafi i, der. of name of founder al Shafi i] * * * …   Universalium

  • shafi'ite — ou chafi ite adj. RELIG école shafi ite: école d interprétation de l islam sunnite, fondée sur les enseignements du théologien Shafi i, qui tenta de faire la synthèse entre la volonté divine et les raisonnements humains. L école shafi ite tient… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Shafi'i — ou Chafi i (Abû Abd Allâh Muhammad ibn Idrîs as Sâfi î) (767 820) théologien et juriste musulman qui fonda l école juridique shafi ite …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Shafi'i — member of one of the four principal schools of Sunni Muslims, 1704, from Arabic, from ash Shafi i, cognomen of founder Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Idris (767 819) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Shafi Edu — Shafi Lawal Edu (1911 2002) was a prominent Nigerian businessman and conservationist from Epe, Lagos State. He was born into the family of an Epe chief and trader. As a youth, he attended Epe Grammar School and undertook private lessons in higher …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”