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The Shāfi‘ī madhhab (شافعي)

Shāfi‘ī's [150 – 206 AH] full name is Abū ‘Abdu l-Lāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs ibn al-Abbās ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Shāfi‘ī ibn as-Sa'ib ibn ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Abd al-Yazīd ibn al-Muttalib ibn ‘Abd Manaf. ‘Abd Manaf was the great grandfather of Muhammad. Based on this lineage, he is from the Quraish tribe.[1] He was born in 150 AH (760 CE) in Gaza in the same year Imam Abū Hanifa died.[2].

As a member of the school of Medina, ash-Shāfi‘ī worked to combine the pragmatism of the Medina school with the contemporary pressures of the Traditionalists. The Traditionalists maintained that jurists could not independently adduce a practice as the sunnah of Muhammad based on ijtihad "independent reasoning" but should only produce verdicts substantiated by authentic hadith.

Based on this claim, ash-Shāfi‘ī devised a method for systematic reasoning without relying on personal deduction. He argued that the only authoritative sunnah were those that were both of Muhammad and passed down from Muhammad himself. He also argued that sunnah contradicting the Quran were unacceptable, claiming that sunnah should only be used to explain the Quran. Furthermore, ash-Shāfi‘ī claimed that if a practice is widely accepted throughout the Muslim community, it cannot be in contradiction of sunnah.

Ash-Shāfi‘ī was also a significant poet. His poetry is noted for its beauty, wisdom, despite the fact that during his life time he stood off becoming a poet because of his rank as an Islamic scholar. He said once:

و لولا الشعر بالعلماء يزري
لكنت اليوم أشعر من لبيد
For scholars, if poetry did not degrade,
finer than Labīd's I would have said.

However, the beauty of his poetry made people collect it in one famous book under the name Diwān Imām al-Shāfi‘ī. Many verses are popularly known and repeated in the Arab world as proverbs:

نعيب زماننا و العيب فينا
و ما لزماننا عيب سوانا
و نهجو ذا الزمان بغير ذنب
و لو نطق الزمان لنا هجانا
We blame our time though we are to blame.
No fault has time but only us.
We scold the time for all the shame.
Had it a tongue, it would scold us.[3]

[edit] Importance of the Shāfi‘ī School
[edit] Demographics
The Shafi`i madhhab (in dark yellow) is predominant in East Africa and parts of the Arabian Peninsula and Southeast Asia.

The Shāfi‘ī school is followed throughout the Ummah and is the official Madhab of traditional scholars and leading authorities of Ahlu s-Sunnah, but is most prevalent amongst Kurds in Kurdistan and Kurds in other parts of the world. It is also practiced by other communities in Egypt, Mauritius, Somalia, Yemen, the Hejaz in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, State of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India, the Cost district of Mangalore & Bhatkal in Karnataka in India, most of Sunni Muslims of Konkan in Maharashtra in India, Ethiopia, among Chechens in Kazakhstan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, most of Lebanon, Syria and is the official madhab followed by the government of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. The government of Indonesia also uses this madhhab for the Indonesian Compilation of Sharia. It is followed by approximately 28% of Muslims world-wide, being the second largest School in terms of followers.
[edit] Notable differences in Prayer from other Math'habs

* Takbir - In the First Takbir, Shaf'is raise their Hands Parallel to their Ear Lobes.[4]
* Al-Qayyam - Position of Folding of the hands during Al-Qayyam (Standing) is Below the Chest.[4]
* Ruku' - Shaf'is raise their hands before going to Ruku'.[5]
* Tashahhud - Shaf'is raise the Index Finger of their Right Hand when Reciting the Shahadah and Keep it Raised Until the Tasleem.[5]
* Tasleem - Is considered obligatory by the Maddhab.[6]
* Salat-ul-Witr - Shaf'is pray Two Rak'ats consecutively Perform Tasleem, and One Rak'at is performed separately.[6]
* Dua'Qunoot is recited after the Ruku' during Witr, and Hands are raised during the Dua..
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