IMAM SHAAFEE (150 A.H. - 204 A.H.)
Imam A'zam Abu Hanifa, Imam Maalik, Imam Shaafi and Imam Ahmed bin Hambal
(radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in)are the leaders of the four schools of Fiqh (Islamic
"FIQH" is the Science of Islamic Law or Jurisprudence.
It refers to the collection and compilation of Islamic laws based on the Holy
Quran and the Sunnah of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
These great Muslims devoted themselves to the task of developing the science
of understanding Islamic Law and its practise.
Although they differed from each other, all the four
great Imams had great respect for each other. They were all teachers and pupils
of each other for the common goal of enhancing their knowledge about Islam.
All of them were unanimous on Aqa'ids (Islamic Beliefs). We, as Muslims, must
respect the different Sunni schools of thought.
Mohammed bin Idris Al Shaafa'ee (radi Allahu anhu) famously known as Imam Shaafa'ee
was born in 150 A.H. and belonged to the Quraish tribe.
- EARLY LIFE
When he was 10 years old, he came to Makkatul Mukarramah from Palestine where
he grew up. He was very intelligent and had an excellent memory. He memorized
the entire Holy Quran at the age of 7. By the age of 15, he had memorized
the entire Muwatta of Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu). Before the age of 20,
he studied Islamic Jurisprudence under the Mufti of Makkatul Mukarramah, Sayyiduna
Muslim bin Khalil al Zanji and also Sayyiduna Sufyaan bin Uyayana (radi Allahu
anhuma). Imam Maalik bin Anas (radi Allahu anhu) was also his teacher.
- IN IRAQ
When the Governor of Iraq visited Madinatul Munawwarah, he was so impressed
by Imam Shaafa'ee (radi Allahu anhu) that he persuaded him to become an Administrator.
As Imam Shaafa'ee (radi Allahu anhu) was in conflict with the Government officials,
he was deported to Iraq and brought in front of Haroun Rasheed who was very
impressed with Imam Shaafa'ee (radi Allahu anhu).
He now studied Islamic Jurisprudence under Imam Mohammed Ash Shaybaani (radi
Allahu anhu), who was the student of Imam Abu Yusuf (radi Allahu anhu), who
was the student of Imam A'zam Abu Hanifa (radi Allahu anhu). Thus, Imam Shaafa'ee
(radi Allahu anhu) became a master of both the Hanafi and Shaafa'ee School
- IN EGYPT
On his way to Egypt, he lectured in Makkatul Mukarramah in the Haram Shareef.
Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (radi Allahu anhu), who was studying at the time in
Makkatul Mukarramah found great benefit from these lectures. Imam Shaafa'ee
(radi Allahu anhu) then went to Baghdad where he spent 3 or 4 years and finally
went to Egypt. He was now 50 years old.
In Egypt, scholars from all over the world came to study at his feet. His
famous pupils were Sayyiduna Rabi bin Sulayman, Sayyiduna Abu Yacoob Al Ruwayta
and Sayyiduna Abu Ebraheem bin Yahya Al Muzani (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in).
- HIS WORKS
"Kitaabul Umm" and "Ar Risaalah" are the two famous books
on Islamic Fiqh written by him.
- PASSES AWAY
Some reports say that he was injured seriously by a person called Fityan,
while other reports mention that he passed away through natural illness on
the last day of Rajab in the year 204 A.H.in Egypt. Maalik Al Kaamil, the
Ayyubid Sultan, built a Mazaar for him in 608 A.H.