Imam Shafi’i Love for Imam Muhammad bin Hassan Shaybani

In this post we shall be discussing how immensely the great “Mujtahid MutlaqImam Muhammad bin Idrees ash-Shafi’i loved great Faqih, Muhaddith Imam Muhammad bin al Hassan al Shaybani radiallahu anhum. When i first got to read regarding their blessed relationship, I(on a personal/spiritual level) felt so good. Despite of all the subsidiary issues, they had amazing relations.

Imam Shafi’i

Muhammad ibn Idris ibn al-`Abbas, al-Imam al-Shafi`i, Abu `Abd Allah al-Shafi`i al-Hijazi al-Qurashi al-Hashimi al-Muttalibi (d. 204), the offspring of the House of the Prophet MHMD, the peerless one of the great mujtahid imams and jurisprudent par excellence, the scrupulously pious ascetic and Friend of Allah, he laid down the foundations of fiqh in his Risala, which he said he revised and re-read four hundred times, then said: “Only Allah’s Book is perfect and free from error.”

Malik ibn Anas and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani were among his most prominent teachers and he took position against both of them in fiqh. Al-Shafi`i said: “From Muhammad ibn al-Hasan I wrote a camel-load.” Al-Hakim narrated from `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Hakam: “Al-Shafi`i never ceased to speak according to Malik’s position and he would say: ‘We do not differ from him other than in the way of his companions,’ until some young men spoke unbecomingly at length behind his back, whereupon al-Shafi`i resolved to put his differences with Malik in writing. Otherwise, his whole life he would say, whenever asked something: ‘This is what the Teacher said’ – hâdha qawl al-ustadh – meaning Malik.”

Like Abu Hanifa and al-Bukhari, he recited the entire Qur’an each day at prayer, and twice a day in the month of Ramadan. 1

Imam Muhammad bin Hassan al Shaybani

He is Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Farqad al-Shaybani. Muhammad was born in Wasit in 132 AH, and grew up in Kufa. He was a pupil of Abu Hanifa. Imam Shafi’i said, “I have not seen anyone more eloquent than him. I used to think when I saw him reciting the Qur’an that it was as if the Qur’an had been revealed in his language.” He also said, “I have not seen anyone more itelligent than Muhammad ibn al-Hasan.” Al-Dhahabi said, “He narrated from Malik ibn Anas and others, and he was one of the great oceans of knowledge and fiqh, and he was strong [when he narrated] from Malik.” Muhammad said, “I stood at Malik’s door for three years and I heard [the Muwatta’] from him [with] more than seven hundred hadith.” He died in Ray in 189 AH.

Now we shall come back to our main topic, that is, the great brotherly relationship of these two greatest of the Imams!


Narration #1

27- حدثني محمد بن عبد الله بن جعفر الرازي بحمص, قال: حدثنا الحسين بن علي بن أبي مروان, قال: حدثنا الربيع بن سليمان, قال: قال لي الشافعي:
((سألت محمد بن الحسن كتاباً فدافعني به, فكتبت إليه بهذه الأبيات:
قل لمن لم تر عين … من رآه مثله
ومن [كأن من] رآه … قد رأى من قبله
العلم ينهى أهله … أن يمنعوه أهله
لعله يبذله … لأهله لعل

Imam Rab’ee bin Sulayman alMuraadi states that Imam Shafi’i told him that “when he wrote letters to Imam Muhammad and he got late in his replies so Shafi’i wrote all of these verses and sent to him”

He clearly says his blessed EYES has not seen the likes of Imam Muhammad Subhan ALLAH!!

Mulla Ali Qari after mentioning these verses in praise of Imam Muhammad said:

ومن المعلوم ان الشافعی رآی مالکا، وکیع بن الجراح و ابن عیینة وقد اعترف فی تلك الابیات انه لم یر مثل محمد بن الحسن ، وعدہ یمثل علم ابی حنیفة الذی لم یدرکه الشافعی،
فتح المغطا شرح الموطأ برواية الشيباني، امام ملا علی القاریؒ، ص ۴۷)

Imam Shafi’i had seen Imam Malik, Imam Waki’i and Sufyan ibn Uyaynah yet he accepted that his eyes has not seen anyone like Imam Muhammad. Mulla Ali Qari then writes that he saw Imam Muhammad and said all of this, “imagine IF HE HAD SEEN ABU HANIFA WHO WAS MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE AND GREAT THAN IMAM MUHAMMAD?!” Subhan Allah!!!2

وأخرج الآبري من طريق الحسن بن علي بن مروان حدثنا الربيع بن سليمان قال: قال لي الشافعي: سألت محمد بن الحسن كتابا فدافعني فكتبت إليه:
-قل لمن لم تر عينا من رآه مثله.
-ومن كان رآه قد رأى من قبله.
-العلم ينهى أهله أن يمنعوه أهله.
-لعله يبذله لأهله لعله.
قال: فحمل محمد الكتاب في كمه وجاءني معتذرا من حينه.
الكتاب: توالي التأنيس بمعالي ابن إدريس لابن حجر
المؤلف: ابن حجر العسقلاني (852 هـ)

Alhumdulillah, all four Madhabs, and we muslims love each other and we have been living in unity for ages! Salafis/Ahle Hadith of our times, they are misguided and they can not do any harm to us. We are the REAL SALAFIS. In Shaa ALLAH, you might see great posts coming in praise of Imam Muhammad alHanafi. Radiallahu anhum!

  1. Taken from
  2. also narrated by Imam Sumayri without any fault in the chain

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