Let days go forth and do as they please
And remain firm when settled is the Decree

Don’t be afraid of what happens by night
For the affairs of this world are not to last

And be a human, strong in the face of calamities
And let your nature be that of kindness and honesty

If your faults become too much in front of the people
And you wish that they were to be concealed,

Then know that kindness covers all faults
And how many faults are kept hidden by kindness!

No sadness lasts forever, nor any happiness
And you shall not remain in poverty, or any luxury

Generosity cannot be hoped from the miserly
For no water exists in the Fire for the thirsty

Your provision will not be lessened due to life’s delays
And it cannot be increased due to your haste

If, in your heart, you possess contentment
Then you and those who possess the world are equal

And for him upon whose horizon death descends,
No earth can offer him protection, nor any sky

Indeed, the earth of Allah is certainly vast
But if decree descends, then decree is constricted

Let days be the ones that betray you at all times
For no cure can avail a person of death

—  Imam Shafi’i
Poem of Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi’i about the Martyrdom of al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (AS)

قال الإمام الشافعي حول شهادة الامام الحسين عليه السلام:

تأوه قلبي والفؤاد كئيب ** وأرق نومي فالسهاد عجيب

ومما نفى نومي وشيب لومتي** تصاريف ايام لهن خطوب

فمن مبلغ عني الحسين رسالة **وان كرهتها انفس وقلوب

ذبيح بلا جرم كأن قميصه**صبيغ بماء الارجوان خضيب

فللسيف إعوال وللرمح رنة**وللخيل من بعد النصهيل نحيب

تزلزلت الدنيا على آل محمد **وكادت لهم صمم الجبال تذوب

وغارت نجومواقشعرت كواكب**وهتك استار وشق جيوب

يصلى على المبعوث من آل هاشم** ويغزى بنوه إن ذا لعجيب

لئن كان ذنبي حب آل محمد** فذلك ذنب لست عنه أتوب

لو فتشوا قلبي لألفوا به **سطرين قد خطا بلا كاتب

العدل والتوحيد في جانب **وحب أهل البيت في جانب


Father Of Usul Al-Fiqh

Usul Al-Fiqh is the legal theory or the principles of jurisprudence, the study of how rulings are derived from their sources/origins and the principles upon which Islamic jurisprudence is based. It was the great Imam Al-Shafi’i that codified and systemised these set of principles, developing a rigorous and thorough procedure for the derivation of rulings, and thus he has been named the father of Usul Al-Fiqh.

During the 700s and the early part of the 800s, there were two competing philosophies about how Islamic law should be derived. One philosophy was promoted by ahl al-hadith, meaning “the people of Hadith”. They insisted on absolute reliance on the literal interpretation of Hadith and the impermissibility of using reason as a means to derive Islamic law. The other group was known as ahl al-ra’i, meaning “the people of reason”. They also believed in using Hadith of course, but they also accepted reason as a major source of law. The Hanafi and Maliki schools of fiqh were mostly considered to have been ahl al-ra’i at this time (the Hanbali school of fiqh had yet not come into existence).

Having studied both schools of fiqh, as well as having a vast knowledge of authentic hadith, Imam Al-Shafi’i sought to reconcile the two philosophies and introduce a clear methodology for fiqh – known as usul al-fiqh. His efforts towards this end resulted in his seminal work, Al-Risala. Al-Risala was not meant to be a book that discussed particular legal issues and Al-Shafi’i’s opinion on them. Nor was it meant to be a book of rules and Islamic law. Instead, it was meant to provide a reasonable and rational way to derive Islamic law. In it, Imam Al-Shafi’i outlines four main sources from which Islamic law can be derived just as has been mentioned in earlier posts. For each one of these sources (as well a several more sources that he deems not as important), he goes in depth in his Risala, explaining how they are to be interpreted and reconciled with each other. The framework he provides for Islamic law became the main philosophy of fiqh that was accepted by all subsequent scholars of Islamic law. Even the Hanafi and Maliki schools were adapted to work within the framework that Al-Shafi’i provided.

The contributions of Imam Al-Shafi’i in the field of usul al-fiqh were monumental. His ideas prevented the fraying of the study of fiqh into hundreds of different, competing schools by providing a general philosophy that should be adhered to. But it also provided enough flexibility for there to still be different interpretations, and thus madhabs. So even till today, in Islamic institutes all over the world people study the principles that Imam Al-Shafi’i set hundreds of years ago and it is through his wisdom that we have come to better understand and practice our religion.

For more information on Imam Al-Shafi’i and Usul Al-Fiqh read the featured article by Lost Islamic History

Also read Qawa’id Fi Ulum Al-Hadith by Shaykh Zafar Ahmad Al-Uthmani and Qawa’id Fi Ulum Al-Fiqh by Shaykh Habeeb Ahmad Kiranwi



The following is a map of the birth places of the founders of the 4 schools of thought and the compilers of the 6 major books of Hadith:

Source: ilmfeed.com

By: Abu Safiyyah

Imam Abu Hanifah - Kufa, Iraq (80-148 AH)
Imam Malik – Madinah, Saudi Arabia (93-179 AH)
Imam Ash Shafi’i – Gaza, Palestine (150-204 AH)
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal – Baghdad, Iraq (164-241 AH)

Imam Bukhari– Bukhara, Uzbekistan…

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Introduction to the Shafi'i Fiqh

The Shafi`i madhab is one of the four schools of fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The Shafi`i school of fiqh is named after its founder: Muhammad ibn Idris ibn al-`Abbas, al-Imam al-Shafi`i, Abu `Abd Allah al-Shafi`i al-Hijazi al-Qurashi al-Hashimi al-Muttalibi (better known as Imam Shafi`i). The Shafi’i school is based upon the theories of the Islamic theologian Abu Abdullah ash-Shafi’i (767- 820). Imam Shafi’i studied under another famous Giant of Islam, Imam Malik ibn Anas, founder of the Maliki Fiqh, for 6 years from 804-810. 

The Shafi`i school is followed throughout the Ummah, but is most prevalent in Kurdistan, Egypt, Yemen, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Syria and is the school of thought officially followed by the government of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. It is followed by approximately 15% of Muslims world-wide.

The Shafi`i tradition is particularly accessible to English speaking Muslims due to the availability of a high quality translation of the Reliance of the Traveller.

The Shafi`i school of jurisprudence is based on Qur’an (Koran), the Sunnah of the Prophet, Ijma’ (the consensus of the scholars), the opinions of the Prophet’s companions (mostly Al-Khulafa Ar-Rashidun, the first four caliphs accepted by Sunni Muslims) and Qiyas (though he is known to have significantly limited the scope for using qiyas in deriving Islamic law). His most famous books are Ar-Risalah and Al-Umm. They emphasized the use of proper instibat (derivation of laws) through the rigorous use of legal principles, as opposed to speculation and guess-work. He is largely responsible for systematizing the methods used for deriving Islamic laws.

The Shafi`i school is considered to be one of the more conservative of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, but there are many adherents of the Shafi`i tradition who maintain liberal views in practicing their religion.

Books to begin your study of the Shafi’i Fiqh

The study of the madhhab begins with the condensed works: `Umdat al-Salik, Matn Ibn ABi Shuja`, and al-Muqaddima al-Hadramiyya.

For the dala’il of the Madhhab, the best sources are the 14-volume al-Bayan - just published - al-Bayhaqi’s Ma`rifat al-Sunan, and al-Nawawi’s Majmu`.

An important textbook is also the Wasit of Imam al-Ghazzali, just republished in an excellent edition.

Via Shaykh Hajj Gibril 

Among the fiqh books which contains most of the opinions considered “mu’tamad inda ash-shafi’iyyah” :

1) Tuhfatul Muhtaj - Ibn hajar al-haitami

2) Nihayatul-Muhtaj - Al-Ramli

3) Mughni-Muhtaj - Khatib Sharbini

4) Hasyiah qalyubi wal umairah ‘ala sharhil minhaj

5) Fathul Wahhab - Zakariyya al-Ansari

6) Syarah mahalli ‘ala Minhaj

7) Al-Iqna - Khatib Sharbini

8) Fathul-Qariib

9) L’anatut-Talibiin - Sh. Abu Bakr Syata

10) Al-Majmu’ - Imam An-Nawawi

11) Raudatut-Talibiin - Imam An-Nawawi

12) At-Tahrir - Zakariyya al Ansari

13) Fathul Jawwad

14) Fatawa al-Kubra

15) Syarah Ubab

16) Minhajul Qawim

*(13)to(16) are all by ibn Hajar al-haitami

17)and of course the book by Sahibul-Madhab al-Imam Ash-Shafi’i rahimahullah "Al-Umm"

18)Ihya ul Uloom and Bidayat ul Hidayah - Imam Ghazali

the primary source of ifta (the fatwas of the Shafi’i Fiqh are no 1,2 and 3.