Imam shafi’i whom we all refer to so much do we actually know about him that well. Let us learn few things about him today.
Mohammad ibn Idhris Al-Shafi’i was born in Gaza (Palestine) or Ash-Sham back in those days around 150A.H. or 767 A.D. He belonged to the Qurayshi clan Banu Mutallib. His lineage meant that he belonged to the same tribe of our prophet (ﷺ) and was actually related to the prophet (ﷺ) through our prophet’s uncle Abbas, from whom the Abbasid caliphate name was derived. Yet his lineage didn’t have any influence on his economic status. He was born in a poor family and was raised that way.
His keeness towards seeking knowledge was so immense that by the age of 7 he memorized the whole Qur’an. His father died at a very early age and was raised by his mother. They moved to Makkah where he started to sit in the circles of knowledge to gain from the scholars of Islam. His first teacher was Mufti of Makkah Muslim ibn Khalid Az zanji. At the age of 10 he learnt Imam Malik’s Muwatta( Hadith collection) by heart. At the age of 15, he was authorised to give fatwas.Later on he moved to Madina in his quest for seeking more knowledge. He then became the student of Imam Malik Ibn Anas, who was impressed by Imam Shafi’i’s memory, knowledge and intelligence. He became one of the best jurist at that time yet he was so humble. He might have disagreed with some of the views of Imam Malik but he had the deepest respect for him and always referred to him as ” The Teacher”. He loved two things which kept him preoccupied always; one was seeking knowledge and the other was archery. Yes! He was one of the best archers in his time. He also had passion to write poems on Islam especially on Allah and His bounties. His quotes reverberate even today in the minds of young & old!
It’s a vast irony that those were the people who did so much but still they were not satisfied with the worship of Allah that they did and look at us, we do so little and we expect Jannah will just fall into our hands just like that without any effort!! May Allah make us steadfast and guide us in the straight path of worshipping Him with complete belief and piety!!
There are no more words from me to describe about this great scholar whose passion was just to follow our beloved prophet (ﷺ) and seek Allah’s mercy all the time.
And lastly just to add, I couldn’t find any source from history where he formed any group or sect called Shafi’i .He was more keen to follow the messenger (ﷺ) and wanted people to follow the messenger only by making it easier for us through his studies and research!
Just leaving with a beautiful poem written by him which shows how humble he was as a person and his love for the Maker was immense.
© Dr. Nisar Ahmad bin Ibrahim