Assalaamu'alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
I have received many forwarded emails giving new "unique" and so-felt "intelligent" ways to approach Islamic juristic laws. I am no expert myself, and have always regarded that the Ulama (scholars) are my guides and means of myself being protected from the Fire of Jahannam.
When I read these entries / posts - it fumes me with rage, firstly because of my own weakness of being unable to contain my anger against blasphemous claims of righteousness; but more secondly and primarily - due to the fact that these claims are actually tools of Shaytaan to destroy our Deen of Islam, and hence our practice of our Deen, and hence our spiralling down into the pit of Jahannam. May Allah protect us all. Ameen.
In my humble mind, I find it extraordinarily dubious that people who claim to be knowledgeable say things that directly or indirectly attack the credibility of Imam Shafi'i Rahmatullahu 'Alaih. These people go about looking for Dalils (evidences) from Hadith, and they do not stop. Even "better" they back their Hadith evidences with "certification" - claiming that their evidences either come from the collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and so forth. This is actually very comical; because little do they know that these illustrious Imams of Hadith are all Shafi'is in practice themselves. It is absolutely hillarious. In other words, they follow, abide and carbon copy the methodology of Imam Shafi'i Rh in deriving, abiding, following and conveying the Laws of Shari'ah.
Infact, many illustrious scholars are Shafi'is. If we were to spend our post here to name them all, then I guess I would have to use up an extra hour for the time I spend in crafting this email response. But anyway, let us just list some of our frontliners, to give a taste of reality...and of course - Ilm (knowledge).
Among the glorious Scholars of Islam who were Shafi'is in their juristic practices are:
(Imam of Aqidah)
1. Abu Al-Hasan Ash'ari Rh
(Imams of Hadith)
2. Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail Al-Bukhari Rh
3. Imam Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Rh
4. Imam Nasa'i Rh
5. Imam Bayhaqi Rh
6. Imam Tirmidhi Rh
7. Imam Ibn Majah Rh
8. Imam Ibn Hibban Rh
9. Imam Daraqutni Rh
10. Imam Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani Rh
11. Imam Abu Dawud Rh
12. Imam Nawawi Rh
13. Imam As-Suyuti Rh
14. Imam Ibn Kathir Rh
15. Imam Dhahabi Rh
16. Imam Al-Hakim Rh
(Imams of Fiqh)
17. Sheikh Khatib Shirbini Rh
18. Ibn Hajar Haytami Rh
19. Imam Al-Rafi'i Rh
20. Imam An-Nawawi Rh
21. Al-Hafiz Izzuddin Abdus-Salam Rh
22. Imam Daqiiqul-Eid Rh
(Imams of Tafsir & Sirah)
23. Imam Mawardi Rh
24. Imam Al-Baghawi Rh
25. Imam Fakhruddin Ar-Razi Rh
26. Al-Hafiz Ibn Kathir Rh
27. Shaykh Khatib Al-Baghdadi Rh
28. Imam Al-Baydhawi Rh
(Other Leading Scholars and Religious Experts)
29. Imam Jalaluddin Al-Mahally Rh
30. Imam Taqiyuddin As-Subki Rh
31. Imam Tajuddin As-Subki Rh
32. Shaykhull-Islam Zakariyya Al-Ansari Rh
33. Imam Ramli Rh
34. Imam Al-Ghazali Rh
35. Imam Tabari Rh (who later became an independent Mujtahid)
See - it is a colourful, magnificent, glorious and supreme list of Ulama - who are the flagbearers and legacy of Rasulullah SAW.
Now - one may ask in irony - how come Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah - are all Shafi'is?
Were they not capable too?
Were they not pious?
Were they not accessible to the various sources of Deen?
Were they not closer in their time to Rasulullah SAW?
Were they not in an age when the reasonings in Islamic Law and the Arabic medium was understood crystal clear?
I tell you now - if there were Imam Bukhari Rh standing in front of me here on one side, and the other side was a charismatic critique-blogger from year 2009 with a loose tongue also in front of me - then of course I would want to follow Imam Bukhari Rh. Default selection by using the minutest basic intelligence.
And then I think I will want to ask Imam Bukhari Rh - why is it that you are following Imam Shafi'i Rh although you are a Hadith Master, the most authentic in nature, the strictest in requirements, and when you sit in Hadith readings during your glorious time, you didn't even need to use a pen to jot down notes, yet you memorised the narrations; you can memorise each hadith text, and their narrators right up to Rasulullah SAW; and you know the qualities, strengths and weaknesses of these narrators as if you knew them like your own family - then why still do you follow the juristic requirements of Imam Shafi'i Rh?
Why O Imam Bukhari Rh?
I can imagine, that the realistic answer from Imam Bukhari Rh to this hypothetical question would be:
"I am an expert in the collection of authentic narrations of Hadith, but the best integrator, systemiser of the evidences we have in the forray of Islamic Jurisprudence - so that every Muslim can abide by the rules of the Lord Almighty was Imam Shafi'i Rh.
Imam Shafi'i Rh is the scholar of Islam who developed established, integrated, and documented the systematised and cohesive form of fundamentals / origins for Islamic legal reasoning. This helped to further eradicate the problem when various sources of Hadith gave conflicting conclusions or so-seemed confusing / inconsistent."
The A-B-C for any Muslim who plans to understand the core-ultra-basics of Islamic Law is to firstly understand the term: Usul-ul-Fiqh.
What is it?
Well, Usul-ul-Fiqh, literally translates in Arabic as "The Origins / Fundamentals of the Laws" - which is the study of the origins, sources, and principles upon which Islamic Jurisprudence is based.
In narrow terms, it simply refers to the question of - what are the sources of Islamic Law?
In an extended sense, it includes the study of the philosophy and rationale of Islamic Law and the procedures by which the law applicable to particular cases is derived from the sources.
Thus, Imam Shafi'i Rh was responsible to raise the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAW to a place of prominence and fixed its position for legal use - that is to say - only practices directly passed down from the Prophet Muhammad SAW were valid. Imam Shafi'i Rh is best known for writing Al-Risalah, which is a prime example of applying logic and order to Islamic Jurisprudence.
Imam Shafi'i Rh was the one who established that there are basically four major sources of jurisprudence: that is -
(i) the Qur'an,
That is - Imam Shafi'i Rh established that the first source of law covers those duties made clear in the Qur'an. For example, Al-Risalah says that in the Qur'an men must "perform the Solat, pay the Zakat, perform the Hajj, and observe the Sawm (fast)". On the other hand, in the Qur'an, men are forbidden from "adultery, (the drinking of wine), eating (the flesh of) dead things and of blood and pork."
(ii) the Sunnah (Hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad SAW,
That is - the Sunnah covers those duties which are required by the Qur'an, but whose methods are made clear only through the words and practice of Muhammad SAW. Extending the examples cited for the first source, Al-Risalah describes "the number of Solah (each day) and the (amount of) Zakat and their time (of fulfillment)" as examples of issues that may be clarified through the Sunnah.
(iii) the Ijma' (consensus), and
Then, for those issues that are addressed by neither the Qur'an nor the Sunnah, the Ulama (Islamic Scholars) can be consulted in order to arrive at an Ijma (i.e. scholarly consensus).
(iv) Qiyas (analogy).
Finally, as a last resort, Ijtihad (personal reasoning) may be used to seek the truth. This personal reasoning entails the use of analogy (qiyas) to relate a specific issue to something that has already been addressed by any of the other three sources of Sacred Law.
In this day and age, this kitab is not easy to find. I was extremely fortunate to purchase this book, ironically in an "Islamic" bookstore in London porported by those who were rejecters of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah. Still, although being very hard-headed in their juristic preferences, they still cannot deny the legitimacy of Al-Risalah - as being a core reference for finding the means in deriving Islamic Law.
An example of the contribution of Imam Shafi'i Rh is as follows:
"If anyone does or says something before Rasulullah SAW, and Rasulullah SAW does not stop or rebuke the act / words, then this serves a proof as to the permissibility of this act, and this was solely to the undisputed fact that Rasulullah SAW was infallible. Others beside Rasulullah SAW cannot rely on this, as they are not infallible."
In the foray of Hadith sciences, Imam Bukhari Rh, who was also Shafi'ite said:
"Other than Rasulullah (SAW), the silence of someone cannot be advanced as proof."
Hence, all of the above is through the rigorous application of legal principles as opposed to speculation or conjecture. It is considered one of the most conservative and most systematic of the four schools of Islamic Jurisprudence.
For this reason, Imam Shafi'i Rh is also known as the "First Among Equals" for his exhaustive knowledge and systematic methodology to religious science. His approach to Islamic Jurisprudence has become the standard reference of the scholars not only among his School but among others as well.
There is hence - the famous Fiqh saying:
"The Shafi'is Are The Pillars of Our Religion (of Islam)."
May This Be Beneficial and A Means of Guidance.
Jazakamullahu Khairan Katheer.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Assalaamu'alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh