Books of Fiqh

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Arabic Titles

Ifta’ in the Shafi’i Madhhab: Tuhfah & Nihayah


In the Shafi’i Madhhab, one very significant contribution is undoubtedly Imam Nawawi’s Minhaj al-Talibin. The founder of this madhhab, Imam Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafi’i (radyAllahu ‘anhu), authored a large writing in the subject of fiqh under the title Kitab al-Umm. And according to some, like Sayyid ‘Alawi al-Saqqaf in al-Fawa’id al-Makkiyyah, his student Imam Muzani summarized Kitab al-Umm into a work under the title Mukhtasar al-Muzani.

Imam Muzani’s Mukhtasar received a lot of attention, being elucidated on commentated on for years by the leading Islamic jurists of the time. One particularly significant contribution is Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni’s magnum opus, Nihayat al-Matlab fi Dirayat al-Madhhab. A masterpiece work indeed. After Imam al-Haramayn, his student the famous Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, summarized Nihayat al-Matlab into a work under the title al-Basit, and then summarized that into al-Wasit, and then al-Wasit into al-Wajiz.

According to some, Imam Rafi’i took Ghazzali’s Wajiz and summarized it into his Muharrar. While according to others, al-Muharrar is an independent work. And al-Muharrar is the work Imam Nawawi took and abridged under the title Minhaj al-Talibin, the madhhab‘s central legal work.

Imam Ibn Hajar commentated on it in his Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, a work relied on for the giving of fatwa. And this is what is printed in the margins of this particular edition. Furthermore, this edition features the marginalia notes on Tuhfah from both ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Sharwani and Ibn Qasim al-‘Abbadi. Sharwani’s feature on the top of the page above the line and Ibn Qasim’s on the bottom. This is the era 1938 print of Matba’ah Mustafa Muhammad, Cairo. It is still circulated through the means of reprints in the Arab World as do other earlier prints of Ibn Hajar’s works.  The original is available here as a نسخة مصورة, or photocopied copy.

Along with Ibn Hajar’s Tuhfah, Imam Shams al-Din Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Hamzah al-Ramli – famously known as “al-Shafi’i al-Saghir” – commentated on Imam Nawawi’s Minhaj al-Talibin in a work under the title Nihayat al-Muhtaj. These two works, Tuhfah and Nihayah, are the primary reference works for fatwa in the Shafi’i Madhhab.

This edition of Nihayah is Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah’s photographed reprint of the Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, Cairo edition. Halabi’s final edition is dated 1967, and this is the edition that they currently distribute.

In Halabi’s print, Imam Ramli’s Nihayat al-Muhtaj features on the top of the page, with the marginalia notes of Shaykh Nur al-Din ‘Ali b. Ali al-Shabramallisi in the middle of the page, and those of Shaykh Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Maghribi al-Rashidi on the bottom.

The Madhhab’s Founder: Imam Shafi’i (Era 150-204)


Imam Shafi’i was born in Gaza in the year 150. Two years later, his mother, Fatimah, moved to Makkah so that his maternal family could help raise him. Imam Shafi’i memorized the Qur’an at a young age, and Imam Malik’s Muwatta’, which he borrowed from a friend, in seven nights. In Makkah, he studied with Muslim b. Khalid, Sufyan b. ‘Uyaynah, and others.

He departed Makkah to take knowledge from the Imam of Ahl al-Hadith, Imam Malik b. Anas. Imam Shafi’i stayed with Imam Malik until his teacher’s passing in the year 179.

Thereafter, Imam Shafi’i relocated to Yemen to take the position of judge. He was in Yemen until taken prisoner and extradited to Baghdad in 184. In Baghdad, Imam Shafi’i would take the opportunity to study and review the books transmitted by Imam Abu Hanifah’s students like Muhammad b. Hasan al-Shaybani. During his first stay in Baghdad, he reviewed the books related by Imam Abu Hanifah’s students, debated, taught, and benefited the people there.

In fact, Imam Shafi’i mentioned that he reviewed these books for a year until he had committed them to memory, and then he sat and wrote his work al-Hujjah. At this stage he also wrote his Risalah ‘Iraqiyyah in the subject of usul al-fiqh and other books too which would be related by the transmitters of his ‘Iraqi School.

Defining the ‘Iraqi Madhhab’s transmission we find:

- Imam Abu Ali Hasan b. Muhammad al-Za’farani al-Baghdadi

- Imam Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Baghdadi

- Imam Abu Thawr Ibrahim b. Khalid al-Baghdadi

- Imam Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan b. ‘Ali al-Karabisi al-Baghdadi

After his stay in Baghdad, Imam Shafi’i returned to Makkah where he taught in the Haram. In the year 195, Imam Shafi’i returned to Baghdad until 199 when he relocated to Egypt. In Egypt, he established his new School, the madhhab jadid.

In Egypt, Imam Shafi’i authored various works which would form part of his new madhhab. In fiqh, Imam Shafi’i authored a large work under the title Kitab al-Umm.

Imam Shafi’i authored another work under the title Ikhtilaf al-‘Iraqiyyani, the word “‘Iraqiyyani” being dual indicating to the “two ‘Iraqis” namely Imams Ibn Abi Layla and Abu Hanifah.

Additionally, he authored Ikhtilaf Malik wa al-Shafi’i, Jima’ al-‘Ilm, Ibtal al-Istihsan, al-Radd ‘ala Muhammad b. al-Hasan, and Siyar al-Awza’i.

He also authored a work under the title Ikhtilaf al-Hadith. While it should be noted that the Shafi’i scholars differed as to if this is part of the qawl qadim or jadid. In his Mustasfa, Imam Ghazzali stated that it is part of the jadid; however, in his takmilah of Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, Taqi al-Din al-Subki dismissed this and maintained that it is part of the jadid.

And all of these are found published along with his Kitab al-Umm. The contemporary Egyptian scholar, Shaykh Dr. Rif’at Fawzi has done an excellent editing of this work. His edition has been printed by Dar al-Wafa’, Egypt 1422/2001.

Imam Shafi’i also wrote his al-Imla’ which is part of the qawl jadid, and there is a work related from him under the title al-Amali which is from the qadim. And he also reworked his usul al-fiqh book, al-Risalah, in Egypt. This has been both published as an independent book, and it also features as one of the first volumes in Dr. Rif’at edition of Kitab al-Umm.

In hadith, Imam Shafi’i also left his Sunan and Musnad. And he left his Diwan as well.

Imam Shafi’s Direct Students: the Qawl Jadid (Era 204-270 approx)

The madhhab Imam Shafi’i formulated in Cairo which was transmitted by very notable scholars such as:

- Imam Abu Ya’qub Yusuf b. Yahya al-Buwayti

- Imam Abu Ibrahim Isma’il b. Yahya al-Muzani

- Imam Rabi’ b. Sulayman al-Muradi


They took his madhhab, his books, his teachings, his opinions, his legacy, and transmitted it from him after he passed away in 204. May Allah have mercy on Imam Shafi’i and benefit us through his knowledge.

Imam Shafi’s direct student, the aforementioned Imam Muzani, penned a work on the fiqh of his teacher that would serve as the basis for some of the most significant fiqh books to come. This work is known as Mukhtasar al-Muzani or just al-Mukhtasar. In fact, when the jurists mention a book just as “al-Mukhtasar“, then it is understood to be Mukhtasar al-Muzani.

In al-Hawi al-Kabir, Mawardi said,

“Imam Shafi’s As-hab confined themselves to the Mukhtasar of [Imam] Ibrahim b. Yahya al-Muzani because the encyclopedic works are too drawn-out for a student to grasp and to lengthy for a scholar to review. The students of Imam Shafi’i made this work a primary source, easy to present to the beginner and sufficient for the advanced scholar…”

This is a work on which the As-hab al-Wujuh expended tremendous resources studying, reviewing, elucidating, and commentating on. Surely, we can note that it is one of the primary works in the Shafi’i Madhhab.

Imam Muzani arranged the works chapters starting with purity, then prayer and the other chapters of worship, followed by business and trade, then marriage and the chapters connected to it, and then on into crimes and punishments, statecraft and judiciary issues, etc. And the As-hab al-Wujuh mostly followed the chapter layout of Mukhtasar al-Muzani.

As we shall discuss forthcoming, other works in the madhhab developed, many of them based on commentaries on al-Mukhtasar. These latter-day works gained immense popularity in the circles of scholars. And while the source of most these works may be al-Mukhtasar, using it directly as a teaching text seems to be less frequent in comparison to early periods of the As-hab al-Wujuh.

The work does remain a valuable text to study. And even in latter-periods it was used for teaching. In Khulasat al-Athar, it is mentioned that Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ra’uf al-Munawi would teach it in al-Madrasah al-Salahiyyah in Cairo neighboring the resting place of Imam Shafi’i, and Nur al-Din al-Shabramallisi (the author of the Hashiyah on Nihayat al-Muhtaj mentioned above) was one to have attended his lessons. And some have ascribed a commentary on the Mukhtasar to Munawi as well.

Mukhtasar al-Muzani has been printed numerous times; some current prints include its respective commentaries. One edition that features just the text alone is Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut’s 1998/1419 edition, edited by Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qadir Shahin.

It was Imam Buwayti who took over the seat of teaching after our great imam’s passing (رضي الله عنه). Imam Buwayti maintained this until he was extradited to Baghdad during the mihnah where he passed away shackled in prison.

Imam Buwyati authored a work documenting Imam Shafi’s opinions. This work, Mukhtasar al-Buwyati, is part of the madhhab jadid’s transmission. Portions of a manuscript copy of Mukhtasar al-Buwayti can be found by following this link. This is the manuscript copy of Ahmad Murad (Turkish) which is located at the al-Majid Center, United Arab Emirates, #1189.

After Buwayti’s demise, Imam Muzani was the next in line. Imam Muzani’s Mukhtasar has been mentioned above. Imam Muzani’s Mukhtasar is very important as we shall soon see with the commentaries written on it and subsequent works based on those commentaries.

The role of Rabi’ b. Sulayman al-Murardi was very much that of a transmitter, students would come to him in order to hear him relate the books of Imam Shafi’i. He is noted to be both a transmitter of the early fiqh books in the Shafi’i Madhhab and also a proficient transmitter of hadith.

Transmission from Imam Shafi’s Students until the Two Tariqahs (Era 270-340 approx)

Of the senior scholars from the As-hab al-Wujuh we find Abu al-Qasim al-Anmati. He took fiqh directly from both Imam Muzani and Imam Muradi. He was the means by which the madhhab’s books gained prominence in Baghdad thereby establishing the Shafi’i Madhhab.

Anmati’s student, Abu al-‘Abbas Ibn Surayj (known as “Shaykh al-Madhhab”), is considered to be the mujaddid [reviver] of the 3rd century. He transmitted the Shafi’i Madhhab far and wide. Ibn Surayj was a prolific author. In fact, it was mentioned regarding him that, “if the books of Ibn Surayj would be cataloged, they would include about 400 writings.”

Various writings in Shafi’i fiqh have been attributed to him. One of these writings is a work under the title al-Furuq fi Furu’ al-Shafiyyah; and in his Muhimmat, Isnawi mentioned that in this work Ibn Surayj responds to questions pertaining to Mukhtasar al-Muzani. And with works like this (and others), we can see that immediately after the era of Imam Shafi’s direct students, the As-hab al-Wujuh had turned their attention to Mukhtasar al-Muzani.

Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Ahmad al-Marwazi studied fiqh with Ibn Surayj. He was the senior Shafi’i scholar of his era. He authored a commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani and a work under the title al-Tawassut bayna al-Shafi’i wa al-Muzani. He spent most of his life in Baghdad, while towards the end he moved to Cairo were he passed away. He is buried there next to Imam Shafi’i.

The ‘Iraqi and Khurasani Tariqahs, i and ii

At this point, the As-hab al-Wujuh branch off into two schools: (1) the ‘Iraqi Tariqah (2) and the Khurasani Tariqah.

i. The ‘Iraqi Tariqah (Era 340-585 approx)

Abu al-Qasim al-Dariki hailed from the village of “Darik” located in Asbahan. He relocated to Baghdad where he studied fiqh with Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi. It is noted regarding al-Dariki that he was very much a hadith orientated scholar; he conveyed the madhhab to Shaykh Abu Hamid al-Isfarayini.

Shaykh Abu Hamid Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Isfarayini is the imam of the ‘Iraqi tariqah. He studied fiqh in Baghdad and authored a massive Ta’liqah on Mukhtasar al-Muzani. Imam Nawawi mentioned that this work stretched into 50 volumes. The students who benefited from him are innumerable; in his gatherings the focus would be expounding and commentating on Mukhtasar al-Muzani. Shaykh Abu Hamid’s Ta’liqah is one of the ‘Iraqi tariqah’s primary works.

Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi had another student, Qadi Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Masarjisi, who must have been a very close companion as when Abu Ishaq departed for Egypt, Masarjisi accompanied him and stayed there with him until he passed away. After his teachers passing, he moved to Baghdad where he resided for a while teaching; and then, he moved to Nishapur (the capital of Khorasan).


It was in Nishapur where Qadi Abu al-Tayyib al-Tabari met Masarjisi. He stayed in Masarjisi’s company for about four years, studying fiqh and benefiting from his knowledge. Thereafter, Qadi Abu al-Tayyib traveled to Baghdad where he benefited from Dariki’s student, Abu Muhammad al-Khawarizmi and also attended the gatherings of Shaykh Abu Hamid. Qadi Abu al-Tayyib authored a most valuable commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani.

Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi is perhaps Qadi Abu al-Tayyib’s most important student. Shirazi was born in the city of Firozabad. He traveled to Shiraz where he studied with two of Dariki’s students, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Baydawi and Ibn Ramin. Then, he traveled to ‘Iraq; Basrah first, then Baghdad. It was in Baghdad where he met his teacher, Qadi Abu al-Tayyib al-Tabari.

And Shaykh Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi wrote his Muhadhdhab taking from his teacher, Qadi Abu al-Tayyib’s Ta’liqah on Mukhtasar al-Muzani.

The publication featured here is Dr. Muhammad al-Zuhayli’s edition printed by Dar al-Qalam, Damascus 1996/1413.


Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi had another student, Qadi Abu Hamid Ahmad b. Bishr al-Marwarrudhi. He authored various works including one under the title al-Jami’, al-Ishraf, and his Ta’liqah on Mukhtasar al-Muzani. It is this Abu Hamid whom the middle-stage ‘Iraqi authors intend by mentioning just “al-Qadi”. While from the latter-stage Khurasanis and the muta’akhkhirin, “al-Qadi” is according to them Qadi Husayn.

And Shaykh Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi wrote his Tanbih taking from Qadi Abu Hamid’s Ta’liqah on Mukhtasar al-Muzani.

Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi conveyed the madhhab to his student Qadi Abu Hasan b. Ibrahim ‘Ali al-Fariqi who traveled to Baghdad seeking knowledge. Fariqi studied the Muhadhdhab with his shaykh until he had memorized the work. A brilliant scholar, he was one of the senior jurists of his time. He was appointed as head of the judiciary in the city of Wasit, while he abandoned the position in order to focus on teaching fiqh and hadith.

Fariqi in turn transmitted the madhhab to Ibn Abi ‘Asrun who traveled first to Wasit in order to take knowledge from Fariqi. And then, towards the end of his life, he relocated to Damascus where he passed. He authored various works including Safwat al-Madhhab (a work on Imam al-Haramayn’s Nihayat al-Matlab), Fawa’id al-Muhadhdhab wa al-Tanbih (by the title it is on Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi’s books), and others. In Sham, he would convey the madhhab to an individual named Salah al-Din (Ibn al-Salah’s father) upon whom the two tariqahs merge.

ii. The Khurasani Tariqah (Era 340-560 approx)

In regards to the Khurasani Tariqah, Abu Zayd Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Marwazi took fiqh from Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi. Abu Zayd, along with being a senior Shafi’i jurist, is also noted to have been a key transmitter of Imam Bukhari’s Sahih. In fact, he related it directly from Imam Bukhari’s student, Firabri.

His student, Abu Bakr ‘Abd Allah b. Ahmad al-Qaffal al-Saghir al-Marwazi, is the Khurasani tariqah’s imam. Many senior scholars studied with him, such as: Abu ‘Ali al-Sinji, Qadi Husayn, and Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni.

Qaffal’s student, Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni, resided in Nishapur where he taught, issued fatwa, and wrote. A proficient faqih and usuli, he commentated on Imam Shafi’s Risalah in usul al-fiqh, and also authored a commentary on Abu Bakr al-Farisi’s ‘Uyun al-Masa’il (some ascribed it to Qaffal). And he also wrote a work in fiqh under the title al-Tabsirah.



Shaykh Abu Muhammad is the father of Imam al-Haramayn. He studied first with his father until his father passed away; thereafter, he took his position of mufti in the area and at this point he was only twenty years old. He studied the aslayn under Abu al-Qasim al-Isfarayini. During a period of strife, he migrated to the Hejaz where he stayed for about four years. It was in the Hejaz that he started writing. He started writing a very significant work in fiqh, a commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani under the title Nihayat al-Matlab fi Dirayat al-Madhhab. Indeed, a masterpiece work from the noble pen of one of the most gifted scholars this ummah has produced. Nihayat al-Matlab was edited by Dr. ‘Abd al-‘Azim al-Dib and published by Dar al-Minhaj, Jeddah. The work can be found by following this link.

One of Imam al-Haramayn’s senior students is very famous, being an individual whose life and works have received much attention throughout the generations. This student is Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Ghazzali al-Tusi. He took Imam al-Haramayn’s Nihayat al-Matlab and summarized it. He first summarized it into a work under the title al-Basit, and then another time into a work he called al-Wasit, and then again into his al-Wajiz.

Imam Ghazzali’s student, Abu al-Qasim ‘Umar b. Muhammad Ibn al-Bizri took fiqh from Ghazzali and as well commentated on his Wasit. Furthermore, he conveyed the madhhab to the aforementioned Salah al-Din, the father of Ibn al-Salah who also took from Ibn Abi ‘Asrun the ‘Iraqi tariqah. And upon him, it is mentioned that the two tariqahs merged.

So far five very important fiqh books have been mentioned. They are: (1) Mukhtasar al-Muzani, (2) Shirazi’s al-Muhadhdhab, (3) Shirazi’s al-Tanbih, (4) Ghazzali’s al-Wasit, (5) and Ghazzali’s al-Wajiz.

While these five hold a special significance. It should be noted that the As-hab al-Wujuh wrote many more works. Some of them are:

Ibn al-Haddad’s al-Furu’ (upon which al-Qaffal al-Marwazi, Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini, and Abu Bakr al-Saydalani all commentated on), Ibn Abi Hurayrah’s commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani (an ‘Iraqi contribution), Ibn Abi Hurayrah’s student Abu ‘Ali al-Tabari’s al-Ifsah a commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani, Qadi Abu Hamid’s al-Jami’, Ibn Adi al-Jurjani’s commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani under the title al-Intisar, Juri’s al-Murshid a commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani, al-Qaffal al-Shashi’s al-Taqrib a commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani, Mahamili’s Ru’us al-Masa’il, his al-Tajrid, Bandaniji’s al-Jami’ (a summarized work wherein the author follows the way of Shaykh Abu Hamid), Abu ‘Ali al-Sinji’s al-Ta’liqah al-Jami’ah bayna al-Tariqatayni is the first attempt to join the two tariqahs, Qadi Abu Shuja’s al-Ghayat wa al-Taqrib, Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni’s al-Tabsirah, Abu al-Faraj al-Darimi’s al-Istidhkar, Imam Bayhaqi’s books, Qadi Mawardi’s al-Hawi al-Kabir a commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani, Furani’s al-Ibanah (one of the first works were preferred opinions are mentioned by terms of tarjih, like asahh), Qadi Husayn’s Tal’liqah, his Asrar al-Fiqh, Ibn al-Sabbagh’s al-Shamil, Mutawalli’s Tatimmat al-Ibanah, Ruyani’s Bahr al-Madhhab a commentary on Mukhtasar al-Muzani, Baghawi’s al-Tahdhib, Abu Tahir al-Mahamilli’s al-Lubab, Bushanji’s al-Mustadrak, Qadi Mujalli’s al-Dhakha’ir, ‘Imrani’s al-Bayan, Khawarizmi’s al-Kafi, Ibn Abi ‘Asrun’s al-Intisar, his Safwat al-Madhhab Mukhtasar Nihayat al-Matlab, Marani’s al-Istiqsa Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, ‘Abd al-Ghaffar al-Qazwini’s al-Hawi al-Saghir, and others.

The Tariqahs Merge & Shaykhayn: Imams Rafi’i and Nawawi, i and ii (Era 585-677 approx)

Two extraordinary scholars carried out tarjih in the madhhab. They are Imam Abu al-Qasim ‘Abd al-Karim b. Muhammad al-Rafi’i al-Qazwini and Imam Abu Zakariyya Yahya b. Sharaf al-Nawawi.

i. Imam Rafi’i

Imam Abu al-Qasim ‘Abd al-Karim al-Rafi’i studied fiqh with his father Muhammad. His father Muhammad studied fiqh in Khurasan and ‘Iraq.

In his hometown, Qazwin, he studied with Milkdad b. ‘Ali and others. And then in Baghdad, he studied fiqh with Abu Mansur Sa’id b. Muhammad al-Razzaz who at that time was teaching at al-Madrasah al-Nizamiyyah. And after that, he studied in Nishapur and took fiqh from Abu Sa’d Muhammad b. Yahya.

In Qazwin, his teacher Milkdad b. ‘Ali b. Abi ‘Amr al-Shaykh Abi Bakr al-Qazwini is noted to have studied fiqh with Qadi Husayn’s student Imam Baghawi.

In Baghdad, his teacher Razzaz is noted to have one of the major authorities in Baghdad in fiqh and usul. He studied fiqh with Imam Ghazzali, Mutawalli, al-Shashi, and Ilkiya al-Harrasi. He also studied hadith with Abu Sa’d al-Sam’ani and others. When he passed, he was buried near to Shaykh Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi.

In Nishapur, he studied with Imam Ghazzali’s student Abu Sa’d Muhammad b. Yahya b. Mansur al-Naysaburi who was teaching at al-Madrasah al-Nizamiyyah [Nishapur’s branch]. Abu Sa’d is considered to have been the most senior Shafi’i jurist in Nishapur during his particular era and it is noted that students traveled from all far and wide to come and benefit from him.

Shaykh Abu al-Fadl Muhammad al-Rafi’i was one of those students. After traveling in pursuit of knowledge, Abu al-Fadl Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Karim al-Rafi’i returned to his hometown of Qazwin where he stayed teaching fiqh and narrating hadith. He benefited students of knowledge tremendously, and biographers describe him as a vast ocean of knowledge and a pious personality to whom miracles are attributed. Hafiz Dhahabi mentioned him as “Mufti al-Shafiyyah”. It is mentioned that he wrote in the subjects of hadith, fiqh, and tafsir.

Imam Abu al-Fadl Muhammad al-Rafi’i imparted his knowledge to his son Imam Abu al-Qasim ‘Abd al-Karim. And Imam Abu al-Qasim al-Rafi’i holds a special status in the Shafi’i Madhhab, being one of the two shaykhs mentioned in the expression “al-Shaykhayn”, the other being Imam Nawawi. Imam Rafi’i started a comprehensive effort of tarjih in the madhhab. The fruit of this effort is found in his books.



Imam Rafi’i authored two commentaries on Imam Ghazzali’s Wajiz. (Details on Ghazzali’s Wajiz have been mentioned above.)

In Tarikh al-Islam, Imam Dhahabi mentioned that Imam Rafi’i authored al-Sharh al-Kabir and then summarized it into al-Sharh al-Saghir. In Hadiyah al-‘Arifin, it is mentioned that the larger commentary is called [al-]Fath al-‘Aziz; also, referred to as al-Sharh al-Kabir. The shorter commentary is mentioned under the title al-‘Aziz fi Sharh al-Wajiz; also, referred to as al-Sharh al-SaghirThe edition of al-Sharh al-Kabir featured here is Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah Beirut’s 1417/1998 print. And al-Sharh al-Saghir is a partial manuscript lodged with Princeton University.


Imam Rafi’i also authored a one volume text under the title al-Muharrar. The edition featured here is from Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah Beirut edited by Hasan Muhammad Hasan Isma’il dated 2005.

Scholars differed in regards to Muharrar‘s asl:

(1) In Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami mentioned that Muharrar is an independent work.

(2) While Bujayrimi, Ahmad Mayqari Shumaylah al-Ahdal, and others mentioned that it is a summarization of Imam Ghazzali’s Wajiz.

(3) And others, like BalFaqih in Matlab al-Ayqaz, mentioned that it is a summarization of Imam Ghazzali’s Khulasah.

Imam Rafi’i had a son named ‘Aziz al-Din Muhammad who took knowledge from him and related his books, including his al-Fath al-‘Aziz. It is mentioned that Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad b. al-Khalil al-Khuwabi studied fiqh with Imam Rafi’i and in Damascus he studied hadith with Ibn al-Salah.

Ibn al-Salah’s father, Salah al-Din, has been mentioned above. His son, Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthman b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Uthman b. Musa al-Kurdi al-Shahrazuri is a leading authority in Shafi’i fiqh and as well hadith. He first studied fiqh under his father in Shahrazur; thereafter, his father and he relocated to the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul. He studied the entirety of Shaykh Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi’s Muhadhdhab at a young age. He studied hadith in Khurasan, where stayed for a while, before moving to the greater Syria where he taught at al-Madrasat al-Nasiriyyah. He remained there for a short period in order to teach. Thereafter, he relocated to Damascus. As soon as the building of Dar al-Hadith al-Ashrafiyyah in Damascus completed, the lecturer post was his appointment. Many significant authorities in the Shafi’i Madhhab would hold this post after him, like Abu Shamah al-Maqdisi, Imam Nawawi, Hafiz Mizzi, Taqi al-Din al-Subki, and others. Ibn al-Salah wrote his Muqaddimah in hadith sciences, Adab al-Mufti wa al-Mustafti, a commentary on Imam Ghazzali’s Wasit, and a collection of Fatawa.

Ibn al-Salah’s student, Kamal al-Din Sallar b. al-Hasan al-Irbili, is one Imam Nawawi’s teachers. Imam Nawawi said regarding him, “He is the imam of the madhhab during his time, the source that is consulted in analyzing difficult issues and understanding obscure points. His imamate and greatest are unanimously recognized.”

ii. Imam Nawawi

Abu Zakariyya Muhy al-Din Yahya b. Sharaf al-Nawawi was born in the Syrian village of Nawa. He memorized the Quran at a tender age, and traveled with his father to Damascus when he was nineteen. He studied at al-Madrasat al-Rawahiyyah for two years and during that time, his side did not lie on the ground even once. He memorized Shaykh Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi’s Tanbih and Muhadhdhab. Imam Nawawi studied thirteen lessons daily in his student career, always occupied with knowledge. He performed Hajj with his father and visited Medina. When Abu Shamah passed away, he took charge of Dar al-Hadith al-Ashrafiyyah. He remained in that position until he passed in 677. Imam  Nawawi’s works are relied-upon for fatwa in the Shafi’i School; his tarjih is authoritative in the madhhab.


Imam Nawawi did not finish his Tahqiq. In fact, he finished only up to Kitab al-Musafir, and then passed away before completing more. Tahqiq is a summarized work, its content relying mostly on what is found in Majmu’.

Some scholars, like Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in Tuhfah 1/39, have mentioned Tahqiq to be first in the order of Imam Nawawi’s books. Ibn Hajar said,

“Like Tahqiq, then Majmu’, then Tanqih, then Rawdah, then Minhaj, and his Fatawa, then Sharh Muslim, then Tashih al-Tanbih…this is just a general guide; in reality it is necessary when these books differ to refer to those whose opinion is taken from the scholars after and to follow what they have given tarjih to from these books.”

A manuscript copy of Imam Nawawi’s Tahqiq has been featured here, while the work has also been published by Dar Ard al-Haramayn, Cairo edited by Muhammad Faris.


Shaykh Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi’s al-Muhadhdhab was mentioned above; it is the work Imam Nawawi commentated on in al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab. Imam Nawawi did not complete Majmu’. He wrote a large portion, the fawa’id contained therein innumerable, reaching just into Kitab al-Buyu’.

After Imam Nawawi, Imam Taqi al-Din al-Subki took up the task of completing the work by writing a takmilah. Imam Subki wrote comprehensively in what he finished. Muti’i mentioned that Imam Subki wrote from Kitab al-Riba until al-Radd bi al-‘Ayb fi al-Buyu’. In Tabaqat al-Shafiyyah, Ibn al-Subki described his father’s takmilah as being five volumes long, from Bab al-Riba to Kitab al-Taflis.

Imam Subki wrote an introduction to his takmilah, and also listed the sources he referred to in the work. The introductory material is brief, being about 10-11 pages; and while brief, his list of references is a good resource. For Imam Subki’s takmilah including his introduction, see here.

After Imam Subki, various takmilahs have been written. The edition featured here is Shaykh Muhammad Nujib al-Muti’s. One outstanding service he did to Sharh al-Muhadhdhab is the very useful indexes he composed at the end of each volume. His takmilah has been circulated by different publishing houses. Dar al-Fikr, al-Maktabah al-Tawfiqiyyah, Dar al-Irshad, and others.

Dar al-Hadith, Cairo has also published a version edited by Muhammad Ayman al-Shabrawi.

Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut has also offered an edition with a contemporary takmilah written by ‘Adil Ahmad ‘Abd al-Mawjud and others.

Current editions of Imam Nawawi’s Sharh al-Muhadhdhab seem to be printed mostly along with takmilahs. While also, Imam Nawawi’s portions have previously been printed alone too. Shaykh Muhammad Nujib al-Muti’i indicated to this in his introduction to Subki’s takmilah, mentioning that the scholars of al-Azhar published an unaccompanied version of Imam Nawawi’s Sharh al-Muhadhdhab.

Two of Imam Nawawi’s works are mentioned as being connected to his Majmu’. One of them has been mentioned above, al-Tahqiq. And the other is his Khulasah; a work wherein he encapsulates just the hadith mentioned in Sharh al-Muhadhdhab.


Dar al-Salam, Cairo published Imam Nawawi’s Tanqih in their edition of Imam Ghazzali’s Wasit. The edition is dated 14171997 and edited by Ahmad Mahmud Ibrahim. The entire publication is six volumes, while it should be noted that similar to the first two works from Imam Nawawi mentioned above, he did not complete al-Tanqih. Imam Nawawi authored an introduction (resplendent and full of fawa’id), and then until Kitab Shurut al-Salah.

More coming soon insha’Allah…