Ash-Shafi’ee on the Authority of the Sunnah

 

Ar-Risala Imam Shafi'ee

By Abu Amina Elias for FaithinAllah.org

Imam Ash-Shafi’ee wrote in Ar-Risalah, the Epistle on Islamic Law:

Allah the Exalted said to His Prophet:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا وَاتَّبِعْ مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

O Prophet, fear Allah and do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Verily, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. Follow that which is revealed to you from your Lord. Verily, Allah is aware of what you do.

[Surah Al-Ahzab 33:1-2]

And He said:

اتَّبِعْ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord – there is no God but Him – and turn away from those who associate others with Allah.

[Surah Al-An’am 6:106]

And He said:

ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَىٰ شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

We put you on an ordained way concerning the matter, so follow it and do not follow the inclinations of those who do not know.

[Surah Al-Jathiyah 45:18]

Thus, Allah instructed His Messenger that He has favored him with His established knowledge and that He will protect him from mankind, for He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ

O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. Allah will protect you from the people.

[Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:67]

Allah the Exalted certified the Prophet’s firm belief in what He commanded of him and in guidance for himself and whoever follows him, for He said:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ وَلَٰكِن جَعَلْنَاهُ نُورًا نَّهْدِي بِهِ مَن نَّشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

Thus, We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or faith, but rather We have made it a light by which We guide whomever We will of Our servants. Verily, you guide to a straight path.

[Surah Ash-Shura 42:52]

And He said:

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَهَمَّت طَّائِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ أَن يُضِلُّوكَ وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَضُرُّونَكَ مِن شَيْءٍ وَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُن تَعْلَمُ وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيمًا

Were it not for the favor and mercy of Allah upon you, a group of them would have been determined to mislead you, but they do not mislead except themselves and they will not harm you at all. Allah has revealed to you the Book and wisdom and has taught you that which you did not know. Ever has the favor of Allah upon you been great.

[Surah An-Nisa 4:113]

Thus, Allah declared that He commanded His Prophet to obey His order, and certified what the Prophet proclaimed on His behalf as well as what He certified for Himself. Likewise, we certify for him in order to draw near to Allah by our faith in Him and we entreat Him by belief in the Prophet’s words.

Al-Mutalib ibn Hantib reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَا تَرَكْتُ شَيْئًا مِمَّا أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ بِهِ إِلا وَقَدْ أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِهِ وَلا تَرَكْتُ شَيْئًا مِمَّا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ إِلا وَقَدْ نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْهُ

I have not left anything which Allah has commanded you except that I have commanded you, and I have not left anything which Allah has forbidden for you except that I have forbidden it for you.

Source: Musnad Ash-Shafi’ee 1072 Grade: Hasan

Allah has informed us of His establishes knowledge and His final judgment – a favor and a blessing from Him – that He prevented those who attempted to lead the Prophet astray and informed him that they could not harm him in any way.

In certifying that the Prophet guides humanity along a straight path, the path to Allah, and that he delivers His message and obeys His commands, as we have stated earlier, and in ordering obedience to the Prophet and in emphasizing all of the messages we have cited – Allah has given evidence to humanity that they should accept the Messenger’s judgment and obey his commands.

Whatever the Messenger has decreed that is not based on a command from Allah (in the Quran), then he has still done so by Allah’s command. Thus, Allah instructed us in His saying:

إِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

Verily, you guide to a straight path.

[Surah Ash-Shura 42:52]

For the Messenger has established traditions (sunnah) for which there is a text in the Book of Allah as well as others concerning which there is no text. Yet, whatever he has established of traditions, Allah has ordered us to obey them, and He regards our obedience to the Prophet as obedience to Him, and our failure to obey the Prophet is disobedience to Him for which no man will be forgiven, nor is there an excuse for failure to obey the Prophet’s traditions, due to what I have already cited and because of what the Messenger himself has said.

Abu Rafi’ reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا أُلْفِيَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ مُتَّكِئًا عَلَى أَرِيكَتِهِ يَأْتِيهِ الْأَمْرُ مِمَّا أَمَرْتُ بِهِ أَوْ نَهَيْتُ عَنْهُ فَيَقُولُ لَا أَدْرِي مَا وَجَدْنَا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ اتَّبَعْنَاهُ

Let me not find one of you reclining on his couch and when he is informed of a command which I have commanded, he says: I do not know this, for we only follow what we find in the Book of Allah.

Source: Sunan Ibn Majah 13 Grade: Sahih

قال الشافعي قال الله جل ثناؤه لنبيه يَاأَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَلَا تُطِعْ الْكَافِرِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا وَاتَّبِعْ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ. إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

وقال اتَّبِعْ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ، وَأَعْرِضْ عَنْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

وقال ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَى شَرِيعَةٍ مِنْ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

فأعْلَمَ اللهُ رسولَه منَّه عليه بما سبق في علمه، من عِصْمته إيَّاه من خلقه فقال يَاأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ، وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ، فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ، وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنْ النَّاسِ  ]

وشهد له جل ثناؤه باستمساكه بما أمره به، والهدى في نفسه، وهدايةِ مَنْ اتبعه، فقال وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنْتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ وَلَكِنْ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُورًا نَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ نَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا، وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

وقال وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ، وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَهَمَّتْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْهُمْ أَنْ يُضِلُّوكَ، وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ، وَمَا يَضُرُّونَكَ مِنْ شَيْءٍ، وَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ، وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ، وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيمًا

فأبان الله أنْ قدْ فرَضَ على نبيه اتباعَ أمره، وشهِدَ له بالبلاغ عنه، وشهد به لنفسه ونحن نَشْهَدُ له به، تَقَرُّبًا إلى الله بالإيمان به، وتوَسُّلا إليه بِتَصْديق كَلِمَاتِه

أخبرنا عبد العزيز عن عمرو بن أبي عمرو مَوْلى المُطَّلِب عن المطلب بن حَنْطَبٍ أنَّ رسول الله قال مَا تَرَكْتُ شَيْئًا مِمَّا أمَرَكُمْ اللهُ بِهِ إِلاَّ وَقَدْ أمَرْتُكُمْ بِهِ، وَلاَ تَرَكْتُ شَيْئًا مِمَّا نَهَاكُمْ اللهُ عَنْهُ إلاَّ وَقَدْ نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْهُ

قال الشافعي وما أعلمنا الله مما سبق في علمه، وحتْمِ قضائه الذي لا يُرَدُّ من فضله عليه ونعمته: أنه منعه من أنْ يَهُمُّوا به أن يُضلُّوه وأعلمه أنهم لا يضرونه من شيء

وفي شهادته له بأنه يهدي إلى صراط مستقيم، صراط الله، والشهادة بتَأدية رسالته واتباع أمره، وفيما وصفتُ من فرضه طاعتَه وتأكيدِه إياها في الآي ذكرتُ ما أقام الله به الحجة على خلقه، بالتسليم لحكم رسول الله واتباع أمره

قال الشافعي وما سَنَّ رسول الله فيما ليس لله فيه حكمٌ، فبِحُكْم الله سنَّه. وكذلك أخبرنا الله في قوله وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

وقد سن رسول الله مع كتاب الله، وسنَّ فيما ليس فيه بعَيْنه نصُّ كتاب

وكل ما سن فقد ألزمنا الله اتباعه وجعل في اتباعه طاعته وفي العُنُود عن اتباعها معصيتَه التي لم يعذر بها خَلْقا، ولم يجعل له من اتباع سنن رسول الله مَخْرجا، لما وصفتُ وما قال رسول الله.

أخبرنا سفيان عن سالم أبو النضْر مولى عُمَر بن عبيد الله سمع عبيد الله بن أبي رافع يحدِّثُ عن أبيه أنَّ رسول الله قال لاَ أُلْفِيَنَّ أحَدَكُمْ مُتَّكِئًا عَلَى أرِيكَتِهِ يَأْتِيهِ الأُمْرُ مِنْ أمْرِي، مِمَّا أَمَرْتُ به أَوْ نَهَيْتُ عنه فيقولُ لاَ أَدْرِي ماَ وَجَدْنَا فِي كِتَاِب اللهِ اتَّبَعْناَهُ

الشافعي الرسالة

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

(Source / 16.04.2013)

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