In this article, we will learn about the Shafi madhab Fiqh, his approaches, and how to study it. so, let’s get started.

There are four madhabs in Sunni Islam, one of them is the Shafi madhab. The name of the Fiqh school is after its founder Muhammad ibn Idris ibn al-`Abbas, al-Imam al-Shafi, known as Imam Shafi.

 Now let’s see how to study this madhab and learn about the other three madhabs.

How to Study the Shafii Madhab?

Shafi Madhab Fiqh Explained

Here’s the curriculum that many Fiqh teachers recommend, study them in order, you don’t have to study all of them, you will start with the basics of the madhab.

How to study for the elementary level?

The first book to read is Masa’il al-Ta’lim by ‘Abd Allah Ba-Fadl, usually, this book is taught or studied with its chief commentaries al-Manhaj al-Qawim by Ibn Hajar and/or Bushra al-Karim by Ba-Ishn.

You should read this text with care to understand it completely, some people choose to memorize it. But that’s not necessary. If you are studying on your own you could listen to the records of Shaykh Muhammad Tawfiq Ramadan on al-Manhaj al-Qawim.

 You should also finish reading the text of al-Taqrirat al-Sadidah by al-Kaf and Fiqh al-Ibadah ‘ala al-Madhab al-Shafi’i by al-‘Aytah. The first is great work as its explanation is clear. The second one is a great book that summarizes the classes of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Karim al-Rifa’i’s.

Other books to read include:

  • Fath al-Qarib by Ibn Qasim.
  • Tuhfat al-Labib by Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id.
  • Kifayat al-Akhyar by al-Hisni
  • al-Iqna’ by al-Khatib.
  • al-Fiqh al-Manhaji and Sharh al-Yaqut al-Nafis.
  • Al-Fiqh al-Manhaji by al-Khinn, al-Bugha, and al-Sharbaji.
  • Usul al-Fiqh, al-Waraqat by al-Juwayni.
  • al-Khulasah by shaykh Muhammad Hasan Hitu.
  • al-Bulgha by Ibn al-Mulaqqin.
  • basic tabaqat work like Ibn al-Subki’s Tabaqat al-Sughra.

How to study the Intermediate Level (of the Shafi madhab fiqh?

Books to read include:

  • Safwat al-Zubad by Ibn Raslan
  • Umdat al-Salik by Ibn al-Naqib
  • Tuhfat al-Tullab bi Sharh Tahrir Tanqih al-Lubab by Shaykh al-Islam Zakariya al-Ansari
  • Fath al-Mu’in bi Sharh Qurrat al-‘Ayn by Zayn al-Din al-Mallibari
  • Lubb al-Usul by Zakariyah al-Ansari
  • al-Lum’ah by Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi
  • al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir by al-Suyuti
  • Fath al-‘Allam by Zakariyyah al-Ansari
  • Tabaqat al-Shafi’iyah by Ibn Qadi Shuhbah.

How to study for the advanced level?

Here are the best books to read regarding this level of al-Shafi madhab:

  • Minhaj al-Talibin by al-Imam al-Nawawi.
  • Fath al-Wahab by Shaykh al-Islam Zakariya al-Ansari.
  • Mughni al-Muhtaj by al-Khatib al-Shirbini.
  • Kanz al-Raghibin by Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli.
  • Nazm al-Wahhaj by Kamal al-Din al-Damiri.

What are the main madhabs of Islam?

The main doctrines of Islam are four which are:

  • Shafi madhab.
  • Hanafi madhab.
  • Hanbali madhab.
  • Maliki madhab.

What are the 4 main madhabs of Islam?

1-       Shafi school:

The Shafi doctrine was founded by Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shāfi who was born in 767 AD and died in 802 AD. He was born in Gaza. Al-Shafi’s father died when he was still a little boy, so his mother took him to live with her in Mecca at the age of two years old.

Amazingly, he memorized the whole Quran when he was seven and when he was 10, and he memorized Muwatta Malik when he was ten years old.

Al-Shafi said in his book ‘Al-Umm wa Al-Risala’ that his doctrine is based on the closest to Quran and sunnah or what is known among the Companions without disagreement

The approach of Imam Al-Shafi’i in his doctrine:

 Al-Shafi’i explained his method of ijtihad that he relies on as:

  • The holy Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Prophet, and consensus. The Holy Qur’an is without disagreement the first reference. As for the rest of the references, they are:
  • Al-Sunnah: Al-Shafi’i considers that the Noble Qur’an and the Sunnah are in the same rank in terms of inference.
  • He also sees that the Sunnah abrogates the Sunnah, but the Qur’an does not abrogate the Sunnah. And if there is any conflict between the Quran and Sunnah then he takes the answer from the Quran.
  •  
  • Ijma’: Al-Shafi’i believes that consensus is an argument, and it cannot be mistaken for it. The Companion’s saying: Al-Shafi’i did not consider the statement of the Companion to be an argument.
  •  
  • Qiyas: Al-Shafi’i is considered an analogy, but without any expansion.
  •  
  • Approval and sent interests: Al-Shafi’i did not take approval and sent interests and did not consider them as a basis for legislation.

2-       Hanafi school:

This doctrine was founded by Imam Abu Hanifa, his full name is al-Numan bin Thabit bin Zuti al-Kufi, his origins were Persian. He was in the year 80 AH and died in the year 180 AH. Abu Hanifa was the name that everyone called him by. He was known for his honesty. Imam Abu Hanifa knew about twenty companions and heard hadith from seven of them.

He said that his doctrines are based on ijtihad, he explained that he takes the answer from the Holy Quran and then the Sunnah of the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).

The approach of Imam Hanafi in his doctrine:

  • The holy Qur’an and the Sunnah: he relied his answer mainly on the holy Quran.
  • Consensus.
  • The Companion’s Fatwa: he took the answer from the Companion’s opinion if there is no conflict between them.
  • Istihsan: Imam Ahmad used to use it when necessary.

3-       The Maliki Madhab.

The founder of the doctrine is Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Amer, his nickname is Abu Abdullah. His grandfather Malik is one of the senior followers and his grandfather Amer is one of the companions of the Messenger of God (peace and blessing be upon him). Imam Malik was born in the year 93 AH and died in 179 AH. Before he takes the answer from the hadiths he first ensures that the hadith is a strong hadith, not a weak one.

The approach of Imam Malik in the doctrine:

  • The sources he took his answers from are many including the holy Quran, Sunnah of the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), analogy, and consensus.
  • Sunnah: Imam Malik used to argue with the transmitted hadith. The saying of the companion: Imam Malik used to take the saying of the companion and consider it from the Sunnah, as he used to take the saying of the follower.
  • The saying of the companion: Imam Malik used to take the saying of the companion and consider it from the Sunnah, as he used to take the saying of the follower.
  • The analogy: Imam Malik used it as evidence, like all other imams.
  • The sent interest: Imam Malik is the only imam who invoked the sent interests if they were reasonable and appropriate to the purposes of the Sharia, as he took the principle of blocking excuses in most chapters of jurisprudence.

Check out our guide to the best Maliki books here.

4-       Hanbali Madhab:

The founder of the sect is Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, born in 164 AH and died in 241 AH. He was raised as an orphan and his mother raised him well. Their social conditions were difficult, and among the clear characteristics of his personality was self-esteem. He was also patient.

Imam Hanbali doctrine approach:

 Imam Hanbali was an imam in hadith and jurisprudence, and he had specific methods of ijtihad which include the following:

  • Presenting the texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah: With regard to the Sunnah, he did not present anything on the correct hadith from an opinion or a companion’s statement or analogy, as he also argued with the transmitted hadith.
  • Consensus: Imam Ahmad used to say that unanimity abstained, and limited it to the consensus of the Companions.
  • The Companion’s Fatwa: He used to take the fatwa of the Companions if he was not in conflict.
  • Measurement: Imam Ahmad used it when necessary.
  • Istihsan: he used to use it when necessary.

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