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24 I SPECIAL FEATURE Passion Islam I June 2009
The Four School of thoughts
Part 3
Continued from
last month
Formation of the only one condition for the acceptance link, but legally it refers to the process
Shaafi’ee Madh-hab: of Hadeeths, namely that they be of deducing Fiqh laws by linking a later
Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee R.A. combined authentic [Saheeh]. He rejected all set of circumstances with an earlier
the Fiqh of Hijaaz [Maalikee thought] other conditions set by Imaams Abu set. It is based on the assumption that
with that of Iraq, [Hanafee thought] Haneefah R.A. and Imaam Maalik the Fiqh laws applicable to certain
and created a new Madh-hab which R.A. He was also noted for his great conditions remain valid so long as it is
he dictated to his students in the contributions to the science of Hadeeth not certain that these conditions have
form of a book called ‘al-Hujjah’ [The criticism. altered. If, for example, on account
Evidence]. This dictation took place of the long absence of someone, it is
in Iraq in the year 810 CE and a Ijmaa doubtful whether he is alive or dead,
number of his students memorized Although ash-Shaafi’ee had serious then by Istis-haab all rules must remain
his book and narrated it to others. doubts about the possibility of the in force which would hold if one knew
[Among these students were Ahmed Ijmaa in a number cases, he conceded for certain that he was still alive.
Ibn Hambal of the Hambalee Madh- that in the few cases where it was
hab and Abu Thawr of the Abu Thawr known to have occurred, it should be Main Students of the
Madh-hab]. This book and period of regarded as the third most important Shaafi’ee Madh-hab
his scholarship are usually referred source of Islamic law. The most important of Imaam ash-
to as al-Madh-hab al-Qadeem [the Shaafi’ee’s students who continued to
old school of thought] to differentiate Individual Opinions follow his school of thought were:
it from the second period of his of the Sahaabah al-Muzanee, ar-Rabee and Yoosuf Ibn
scholarship which occurred after he Credence was given by Imaam Yayhaa.
reached Egypt. ash-Shaafi’ee R.A. to the individual
In Egypt he absorbed the Fiqh of opinions of the Sahaabah on condition Al-Muzanee [791-876 CE]
Imaam al-Layth Ibn Sa’d and dictated that they were not at variance with each Al-Muzanee’s full name was Ismaa’eel
al-Madh-hab al-Jadeed [the new other. If there were conflicting opinions Ibn Yahyaa al-Muzanee. He was
school of thought] to his students in the among the Sahaabah on a legal point, the constant companion of Imaam
form of another book which he named he, like Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. ash-Shaafi’ee throughout his stay
al-Umm [The Essence]. Because of would choose whichever opinion was in Egypt. Al-Muzanee was noted for
his exposure to a completely new set the closest to the source and leave writing a book which comprehensively
of Hadeeths and legal reasoning, in the rest. gathered the Fiqh of ash-Shaafi’ee.
al-Madh-hab al-Jadeed, he reversed Later condensed under the title
many of the legal positions which he Qiyaas Mukhtasar al-Muzanee, it became
had held while in Iraq. Imaam Ash- Qiyaas was, in the Imaam’s opinion, the most widely read Fiqh book of the
Shaafi’ee R.A. holds the distinction of a valid method for deducing further Shaafi’ee Madh-hab.
being the first Imaam to systematize laws from the previous sources.
the fundamental principles of Fiqh However, he placed it last in order of Ar-Rabee’ Al-Maraadee
which recorded in his book called ar- importance, considering his personal [790-873 CE]
Risaalah. opinions inferior to proofs based on Ar-Rabee was noted as the main
the opinions of the companions. narrator of ash-Shaafi’ee’s book al-
Sources of Law used by the Shaafi’ee Umm. He wrote it down during Imaam
Madh-hab: Istis-haab [Linking] ash Shaafi’ee’s lifetime along with ar-
Both the principle Istihsaan used Risaalah and other books.
The Holy Qur’aan: by Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. and
Ash-Shaafi’ee did not differ from the Istislaah used by Imaam Maalik Yoosuf Ibn Yahyaa al-Buwaytee
previously mentioned Imaams, in their R.A. were rejected by Imaam Ash- Yoosuf Ibn Yahyaa succeeded ash-
uncompromising stand in relation Shaafi’ee R.A. and considered a Shaafi’ee as the main teacher of the
to the primacy of the Holy Qur’aan form of Bid’ah [innovation], since, in Madh-hab. He was imprisoned and
among the sources of Islamic law. He his opinion, they were based mostly tortured to death in Baghdad because
relied on it as heavily as those before on human reasoning in areas where he rejected the officially sanctioned
him adding only the new insights revealed laws already existed. Mu’tazilite philosophy on the creation
which he gained from a deep study of However, in dealing with similar of the Holy Qur’aan.
its meanings. issues ash-Shaafi’ee was obliged to
use a principle similar to Istihsaan and Followers of the
The Sunnah Istislaah which he called Istis-haab. Shaafi’ee Madh-hab
Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee R.A. laid down Istis-haab literally means seeking a The majority of the followers of the
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