#MuḥammadanFridays: “I am at Imām Shāfi’ī’s.“ -— Prophet (ﷺ)
When I was in Egypt a few years ago I came to learn that it was an old custom for the Shayūkh of the Azhar to visit Imām Shāfi‘ī on Fridays. Thus I was advised that Fridays was the best day to visit Imām Shāfi‘ī preferably after Friday prayers. His final resting place is in Cairo in a place known as al-Qarafa al-Sughra (the Small Cemetery).
The great Shaykh Șāliḥ al-Ja’farī in one of his powerful Friday lessons expanded why this was a custom amongst the learned ʿUlamāʾ of the Azhar.
Shaykh ʿAlī al-Ṣaʿīdī al-ʿAdawī a teacher of the great Mālikī Shaykh Aḥmad Dardīr once said to him, “They say that you see the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) frequently. When you see him, ask him about my state.” So he did, he saw the Prophet (ﷺ) saying to him, “He is a righteous man, but he has some coldness toward me.”
When Shaykh al-Ṣaʿīdī heard this he was beset with grief and cried heavily. His student al-Dardīr asked him: “What makes you cry?” He replied, “The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) is blaming me for my shortcoming when it comes to visiting him. I am now old, and cannot bear the difficulties of travel. If you see him again, tell him that.” So al-Dardīr saw the Prophet (ﷺ) again and told him (ﷺ) as he had been instructed. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Tell him (Shaykh al-Ṣaʿīdī) that I am at Imām Shāfi‘ī every Friday, from after ʿAṣr till Fajr. Let him come to me there.” So Shaykh al-Ṣaʿīdī went to the scholars of the Azhar and told this to them, and it became their custom to visit Imām al-Shāfi‘ī every Friday, one group after another, from ʿAṣr until Fajr. This was in that radiant age, when scholars were real scholars, and students were real students.
May Allāh be pleased with them all.
And may He shower blessings, peace and mercy on the Prophet (ﷺ).
Ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam.