بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Imam Abu Idris Ash-Shafi’e (rahimahumAllah) and a collection of his wisest sayings in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah.
I intend to add more sayings on to this list, as I translate more of his works and authenticate them. In sha Allah check back often to see if any noew ones have been added. Imam Shafi’e was a mountain of knowledge and wisdom and my humble blog could never do justice to his vast collection of pearls and wisdoms contained there in.
Imam Ash-Shafi’ee was born in Gaza and moved to Mecca when he was two years old. He went to Madeenah and was as a student of Imam Malik who was very impressed with this young student. He wrote several books, the most well known is Kitab-al-Umm containing rulings of the Imam on all subjects of Islamic Law. –
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My Favourite two quote of his:
Al-Muzanī reports: I heard Al-Shāfi’e say:
A man once asked Ubay b. Kaʿb – Allāh be pleased with him, “Exhort me with something I can benefit by and by which I will be rewarded.” He replied, “Be brotherly with brothers according to how righteous they are, do not expend your speech on those who are not interested in it, do not seek anyone to meet your need who does not care if he does not fulfil it, and do not envy the living except for something you would envy the dead.”
Al-Ājurrī, Juz fīhi Ḥikāyāt ʿan Al-Shāfiʿī article 24.
It is reported that Imām Layth b. Sa’d – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “Even if I saw a heretic (follower of bid’ah) walk on water, I would not accept him.” This was reported to Imām Al-Shāfi’ī – Allāh have mercy on him, to which he replied, “He didn’t go far enough. Rather, if I saw one walk in the air, I would not accept him.”
Al-Lālakā`ī, Sharh Usūl ‘I’tiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah Vol.1 p228; Ibn Battah, Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā Vol2. P175; Ibn Al-Jawzī, Talbīs Iblīs p14 – with slightly variant wordings.
Some more quotes by him.
I heard Al-Shāfi’ī say, “A man does not become complete in this life except when he has four [qualities]: religiousness (al-diyānah), trustworthiness (al-amānah), safeguarding [from sin] (al-ṣiyānah) and sobriety (al-razānah).”
Al-Bayhaqī, Manāqib Al-Shāfi’ī 2:189.
When I see a man from the Adherents of Ḥadīth, it is as if I have seen the Prophet – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him – alive.
Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baghdādī, Sharaf Ashāb Al-Ḥadīth article 85.
“When my heart was hardened, and my courses constrained; I made my hope a stairway to Your forgiveness. My sins burdened me heavily, but when I measured it by Your forgiveness, Lord, Your forgiveness was the greater.”
Al-Rabī’ b. Sulaymān reports:
Al-Shāfi’ī used to divide the night into three parts: he would write (knowledge) for the first third, pray during the second third and sleep during the last third.
It is reported from Ḥusayn Al-Karābīsī that he said:
I spent the night with Al-Shāfi’ī. He would pray for about a third of the night. I hardly ever saw him recite more than fifty verses (in the prayer), one hundred at most. Whenever he came to a verse about mercy, he would ask Allāh for His Mercy, for himself and for the believers; and whenever he came to a verse about punishment, he would seek Allāh’s refuge from it, and ask salvation for himself and for all the believers. So it is as if both hope and fear were brought together for him.
Al-Bayhaqī, Ma’rifatu Al-Sunan articles 362, 365.
“Whoever slanders to you about others, will slander about you. And whoever reports to you, will soon report about you.”
Do not live in a land in which there is neither a scholar to inform you about your religion, nor a doctor to tell you about your body.
Al-Bayhaqī, Manāqib Al-Shāfiʿī 2:115
It is reported that Imām Al-Shāfʿee – Allāh have mercy on him – said,The loftiest in status are those who do not know their own status, and the most virtuous of them are those who do not know their own virtue.
Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 10:99
“Knowledge is that which benefits, not that which is memorized.”
It is reported that Imām Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal – Allāh have mercy on him – said:
Al-Shāfi’ī saw me sitting in his circle, and there was some ink on my shirt I was trying to hide. He said, “Young man, why are you hiding it? Having ink on ones clothes is a sign of lofty conduct: to the sight it is black, but to the insight it is white (with the light of knowledge).”
It is reported that ‘Abdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh have mercy on him – said:
Ink on the clothes is the perfume of the scholars.
– Some put this in verse (from Arabic):
The ink-pot’s ink is the perfume of men
As saffron is the perfume of women
So the former befits the garments of those men
As the latter the garments of wives
It is reported that Imām Aḥmad said, seeing the students of ḥadīth approaching with their ink-pots:
These are the lanterns of Islām.
Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baghdādī, Al-Jāmi’ li-Akhlāq Al-Rāwī, articles 508, 509, 512 .
If you fear becoming deluded and impressed by your deeds then remember whose pleasure you are seeking, and the joy (Paradise) in which you want to be, and what punishment you fear. Whoever thinks about these things will diminish his deeds.
Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 10:42.
“Let not your tongue mention the shame of another For you yourself are covered in shame and all men have tongues. If your eye falls upon the sins of your brother Shield them and say: “O my eye! All men have eyes!”
“I wish that people learnt this knowledge from me without ascribing one letter of it to me.”
“Whoever wishes that Allah will illuminate him, let him leave that which doesn’t concern him.”
“When the foolish one speaks, do not reply to him, for better than a response (to him) is silence, and if you speak to him you have aided him, and if you left him (with no reply) in extreme sadness he dies.”
“Support me with your advice in private, and avoid advising me in public. Surely giving advice among the people is a kind of reproach, which I would rather not listen to. If you disobey and ignore my wish, don’t be saddened if you are not obeyed.”
“To admonish your brother in private is to advise him and improve him. But to admonish him publicly is to disgrace and shame him.”
“Three things will increase your intellect: sitting with the scholars, sitting with righteous people, and leaving off speech that doesn’t concern you.”
“Intercession is only sought by one of a lower status before a superior and no one is superior to Allah.”
“All humans are dead except those who have knowledge. And all those who have knowledge are asleep, except those who do good deeds. And those who do good deeds are deceived, except those who are sincere. And those who are sincere are always in a state of worry.”
“Whoever recites Qur’an, his value is amplified. Whoever records hadith, his proof is strengthened. Whoever learns jurisprudence, his status is ennobled. Whoever learns Arabic, his disposition becomes gentle. Whoever learns mathematics, his opinion will be copious. And whoever fails to defend his honor will not benefit from his knowledge. “
“I have never debated with a knowledgeable person, except that I won the debate, and I have never debated with an ignorant person, except that I lost.”
“I never once argued with anyone hoping to win the debate; rather I always wished that the truth would come from his side.”
“The foolish one addresses me with words of disgrace, but I hate to respond to him in a similar manner. The more ignorant he proves, the more patient I become. Just like the incense; the more it’s burnt, the more it releases its fragrance.”
“When it comes to my provisions, I rely upon Allah, my Creator; And I know with certainty that He will no doubt provide for me. Whatever’s in my due, will not pass me by, Even if it were to be in the depths of the sea. Allah the Exalted will bring it forth by His Grace, Even if I were to remain silent over it. So, what… can a soul feel sorrow over, When the Most Merciful has set the provisions of the creation?”
“‘I have never seen a wiser man than ash-Shafi’ee. I was arguing with him once about an issue and I left him. Then one day, he met me, held my hand and said: ‘Cannot we be brothers, even if we disagree about something?’’ — Yunus as-Sadafi’, (rahimahumAllah)
“O my soul! It is not, except a few days of patience; As if the extent were but a few dreams. O my soul! Pass quickly on through this world; And leave it, for indeed life lies ahead of it.”
“I complained to Imam Waqee’ of my weak memory; he advised me to abstain from sins; for, verily, knowledge is a light from Allah; and this light of Allah is not awarded to sinners.”
“When I see a man from the Adherents of Hadith, it is as if I have seen the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – alive.”
“Be aware of your tongue, its dangerous! It’s like a snake and so many people have been killed by their tongues.”
“I heard Ash-Shafi’ee say, “A man does not become complete in this life except when he has four [qualities]: religiousness (al-diyanah), trustworthiness (al-amanah), safeguarding [from sin] (al-siyanah) and sobriety (al-razanah).” – Imam Al-Buwayti (rahimahumAllah)
“Be hard on yourself, easy on others.”
“Do you mock the supplication and belittle it? While you do not know what it has the power to do! The arrows of the night (du’a) do not miss target But they have a set limit, which shall come to end. So if my Lord wishes, He holds it back. And if the decree is to be fulfilled, He sets it forth.”
“Were this world to be sold on the market, I would not buy it for a loaf of bread, for all the troubles it contains.”
“Sciences worth studying are only two: the science of fiqh to do with religion and the science of medicine to do with the body.”
“Knowledge without action is arrogance.”
We ask Allah for guidance, knowledge and understanding, we ask Him Ta’ala for blessing in the dunya and the akhira. May Allah have mercy on the Imams of Ahlul Sunnah.
والله تعالى أعلم
وصلى اللهم وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه والتابعين
أخوك أبو ناصر
To read more about the life of IMAM SHAFI’E – HIS LIFE AND DEATH – MINI BIOGRAPHY – SHAFI’E MADHHAB – <<< GO HERE