Monday, May 18, 2009

Imam Shafi’i And His Teacher, Imam Malik Bin Anas

Imam Shafi’i And His Teacher,
Imam Malik Bin Anas
Ustaz Syed Hasan Alatas
Translation by
Syed Abdul Rahman Al-'Idrus
Imam Malik was extremely happy to get a student who was so clever and so intelligent as Shafi’i. Since his childhood, Shafi’i did not only memorise the whole of Al-Quran, but also thousands of Hadith Rasulullah S.A.W. In fact he had also memorised the whole of the book Muatta’, which was a collection of Hadiths written by the master teacher Imam Malik himself, prior to meeting his master.
As a true example of self-management, Imam Shafi’I organised his nights into three parts:
o One third of the night for seeking knowledge;
o One third of the night for prayers;
o One third of the night for sleep.
A narrator by the name of Rabi’ used to explain that Imam Shafi’i regularly recited the complete Al-Quran daily, and in the month of Ramadhan he put in more efforts by completely reciting the whole of Al-Quran sixty times for the whole month during his prayers.
Imam Shafi’i himself explained that he never swore throughout his life, whether to affirm or to deny anything. On one occasion someone asked him a problem. He kept quiet for a while, without answering the question. When he was asked why he did so, he answered: "I waited first, until I know which is better, to keep quiet or to answer your question." This indicated how careful he was in offering an answer to any one who brought a problem to him.
He was quoted to have informed others on himself: "One day I had no money, while I was desirous of seeking knowledge. Then I went to work in a hall to earn my keep." This showed that Imam Shafi’i did not lie idol when confronted with financial difficulties, especially while pursuing his studies but he was willing to work and earn whatever is halal (permissible), as long as he achieved his ambition.
Imam Ghazali was quoted to have mentioned that Imam Shafi’i was also an important personality practising the life of a Sufi. He was a person of the utmost Taqwa , who did not like to pride himself in whatever way.
In relation to Sufism, Imam Shafi’i said: "I would like men to learn this discipline, but do not quote my name, with even a single word."

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