Imam Shafi's Chain of Tafaqquh

Posted on: 16 June 2015

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Flow chart can be found here.)

Authentic Scholarship Connects to Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu alayhie wa sallam)

Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu alayhie wa sallam) conveyed the teachings of Islam to his Sahabah.

In Makkah, we find the legacy transmitted by many, including:

Abu al-Abbas Abd Allah b. Abbas Abd al-Mutallib b. Hashim b. Abd Manaf al-Hashimi is the son of the Prophet Muhammad’s uncle. He is most famously known as Ibn Abbas. In Usd al-Ghabah, it is recorded that when he was born the Prophet made his tahnik with his blessed saliva and that was three years before the Hijrah. The Prophet performed the Hajj in the 10th Hijri year. Then, he returned to Medina, and just about three months passed when the Prophet fell ill and then passed away. That was in the 11th hijri year approximating the year 632. In Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, Dhahabi mentioned that Ibn Abbas was 13 years old when the Prophet passed. Dhahabi’s assessment seems closer to what is found in Usd al-Ghabah. Others, such as Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, related that Ibn Abbas was 15 when the Prophet passed. Ibn Abbas himself passed away in the city of Taif in the year 68 during the days of Ibn al-Zubayr.

Abu al-Hasan wa al-Husayn Ali b. Abi Talib al-Hashimi is the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law and the fourth of the four rightly guided caliphs. Ali’s father’s name was Abd Manaf, and some consider that his kunyah was in fact his actual name. His mother’s name was Fatimah bint Asad b. Hashim b. Abd Manaf. She passed during the Prophet’s lifetime and he performed her funeral prayer. Ali is the father of both Hasan and Husayn; thus, his kunyah is Abu al-Hasan. The Prophet gave him the kunyah Abu Turab. He married the Prophet’s daughter Fatimah, and from that marriage both Hasan and Husayn were born, the Prophet’s grandchildren. Through them the lineage of the Prophet carried on. I think it may have been Sh. Ahdal in Umdat al-Mufti wa al-Mustafti who related that it is from the Khasa’is of the Prophet Muhammad that his lineage carried on through his daughter, while generally lineage is recorded through the father. The eminence of this noble imam is great. Being also one of Islam’s greatest leaders and jurists, Ali is also a spiritual inspiration for us and many of the Sufi orders in Islam trace their roots back to him. According to some, Ali was the first of any to embrace Islam; while this is explained as the first of the youth to have embraced Islam. The Prophet’s first wife Khadijah was the first to have accepted Islam, then Abu Bakr was the first freeman to have embraced Islam, then Ali was the first of the youth to have embraced Islam. Ali embraced Islam at the age of ten. He participated in every battle except for Tabuk when the Prophet rather left him behind in charge of Medina. Many of the Sahabah took knowledge from him, including his two sons, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, and others. After Uthman’s passing Ali was then the most virtuous companion and thus vested with the caliphate, which he held for about 5 years. Ali was martyred in Kufah in the year 60.

Zayd b. Thabit is noted to have been one of those who scribed the revelation for the Prophet. His father was killed in a battle between the tribes of Aws and Khazraj before the Prophet’s hijrah. When the Prophet reached Medina Zayd was a young and intelligent lad at the age of 11. He embraced Islam and the Prophet ordered that he be taught reading and writing. He excelled in this task, becoming fully literate, he thereafter wrote down the Quran as it was revealed. He participated in Khandaq and the battles thereafter. This is according to Dhahabi. In Usd al-Ghabah, it is mentioned that while the Prophet did not allow him to participate in Badr, he did witness Uhud and the battles thereafter. He was pivotal in the Sahabah’s efforts to preserve the Quran during the caliphate of both Abu Bakr and Uthman. Many from even amongst the Sahabah studied the Quran by him including Ibn Abbas.

Abu Muhammad, Abu Abd al-Rahman Abd Allah b. Amr b. al-As made hijrah with his father before Fath Makkah. His father was older than him by only 11 years, still he embraced Islam before his father. He sought permission to record from the Prophet, to which he was granted such permission. In al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Ibn Hajar mentioned different opinions for where he passed and when; some saying in Sham, some saying in Makkah, some saying in Egypt, etc. Dhahabi mentions in Egypt in his Tadhkirat al-Huffaz. According to Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Taqrib, he passed in Taif.

They transmitted it to:

Ata b. Abi Rabah, he was the mufti of Makkah during his era. His kunyah is Abu Muhammad and he was born during Uthman’s caliphate or perhaps during Umar’s. He heard from many companions including Ibn Abbas, Abu Hurayrah, Aishah, and others. He was a black man with what is described in the Arabic books as peppercorn hair, Dhahabi mentioned this in Tadhkirat al-Huffaz. He was a vast ocean of knowledge. Imam Abu Hanifah remarked regarding him: ما رأيت أفضل من عطاء, I have not seem anyone more virtuous than Ata. He passed in Makkah in the year 114.

Abu al-Walid Abd al-Malik b. Abd al-Aziz b. Jurayj was born in the year 80. The year 80 is called aam al-juhaaf, meaning the year of being swept away; during this year there was a major flood in Makkah. He is a scholar who also wrote, pertaining to books he is probably one of the first. Ibn al-Madini mentioned that there was no one more knowledgeable pertaining to Ata than him. In fact, he stayed with Ata for eighteen years. Imam Nawawi mentions that according to the majority, he passed in 150.

Muslim b. Khalid al-Zanji was originally from the Levant, from Sham. He was so light in complexion that they called him al-Zanji, meaning a black man. He is Imam Shafi’is teacher, and was the mufti of Makkah during his era. He passed away to his Lord in the year 179.

Imam Shafi’i.

In addition, the aforementioned Sahabah transmitted to:

Abu Muhammad Amr b. Dinar was born in the year 46 and heard from Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Jabir, and others. Shu’bah, Ibn Jurayj, the two Sufyans, and others took from him. Both a faqih and a muhaddith, he divided his night into three, a portion for sleep, a portion for studying hadith, and a portion for prayers. Ibn Uyaynah said of him: ما كان عندنا أحد أفقه ولا أعلم ولا أحفظ من عمرو بن دينار. He passed in 126.

Abu Muhammad Sufayn b. Uyaynah al-Hilali was a Kufan who resided in Makkah. He was born in the year 107. Imam Shafi once remarked: لولا مالك وسفيان لذهب علم الحجاز. Sufyan passed in 198.

Imam Shafi’i.

In Medinah, we find the legacy transmitted by Abd Allah b. Umar b. al-Khattab. Ibn Umar embraced Islam with his father while still very young. He did not participate in Badr due to his age. There is a slight dispute regarding his participation in Uhud, while what is found in the Sahihayn is that the Prophet did not allow him for Uhud while he was 14, but permitted him for Khandaq when he had reached 15. Thereafter, he participated in numerous other campaigns including the Muslim’s conquest of Egypt and Africa. He is known to have been so staunch in following the Sunnahs of the Prophet that he would pray in everyplace that he knew the Prophet prayed. He had four sons, Salim, Hamzah, Bilal, and Abd Allah. They all relate from him and many others too. He passed in Makkah in the year 73.

And he transmitted it to:

Abu Abd Allah Nafi’ his mawla. Nafi’ took from Ibn Umar, and also from Aishah and Abu Hurayrah and others. Imam Malik took from him, as did Layth, Awzai, Ibn Jurayj, and others. Imam Bukhari considered the isnad from Ibn Umar to Nafi to Imam Malik as the most-authentic. It is mentioned that Umar b. Abd al-Aziz dispatched Nafi to Egypt to teach the people there. Nafi passed away in 117.

Imam Malik, the Imam of Ahl al-Hadith, the Imam of Dar al-Hijrah. His name is Abu Abd Allah Malik b. Anas b. Malik al-Madani. He is one of Imam Shafi’is most distinguished teachers. He passed in Medina in 179.

Imam Shafi’i.

In Iraq, we find the legacy transmitted by Abd Allah b. Masud who is one of the Prophet Muhammad’s senior companions. His status in knowledge is overwhelmingly high. In Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, Dhahabi lists his name immediately after the four caliphs, thus giving him a sort of preference. His kunyah is Abu Abd al-Rahman. He is one of the السابقون الأولون. Ibn Masud once said: رأيتني سادس ستة ما على ظهر الأرض مسلم غيرنا, I saw myself the sixth of six, there was not on the face of the earth a Muslim besides us.” After the Prophet, he was the first to recite the Quran out loud in Makkah; a senior Sahabi he served the Prophet for years. A veteran of the battle of Badr and a faqih from amongst the Sahabah, he was meticulous in narrating hadith and very strict in sticking to the verbatim wordings. He embraced Islam before Umar, and recited the Quran to the Prophet himself.

He transmitted it to:

Alqamah b. Qays al-Nakhai passed in the year 62. He is a Tabi’ born during the Prophet’s lifetime a mukhadram, and the faqih of Iraq. He took extensively from Ibn Masud, and lived in Kufah where he also passed. Ibn Abi Hatim related from Imam Ahmad from Yahya b. Said al-Qattan that Alqamah was the paternal uncle of Aswad b. Yazid who is the maternal uncle of Ibrahim. What relation that may establish between Alqamah and Ibrahim, Allah knows best. Ibrahim did take from Alqamah however, especially the fiqh of Ibn Masud.

Ibrahim al-Nakha’i is one of Kufahs famous fuqaha. All of the major compilers of hadith transmit from him, besides for Imam Bukhari. There is a discussion surrounding if Nasai made tad’if of him or not, according to Hafiz Ibn Hajar this claim is not established, while Dhahabi does relate it in his Mizan.

Hammad b. Abi Sulayman is the mawla of Ibrahim b. Abi Musa al-Ashari. He passed in 119. Ibn Hajar mentions that he passed in the year 120 or sometime before.

Imam Abu Hanifah, the Imam of Ahl al-Ra’yy, his name is Nu’man b. Thabit, and he was born in the year 80. He lived for seventy years passing in the year 150. He took fiqh from Hammad, and there were still some Sahabah who were living in his time, while he did not take from any of them. Khatib Baghdadi mentions that he saw Anas b. Malik and took from Ata and Abu Ishaq al-Sabi’I and others. He is one of the Imams of Islam and a great faqih.

Abu Abd Allah Muhammad b. Hasan al-Shaybani is along with Qadi Abu Yusuf one of Imam Abu Hanifah’s most senior students. He was born in the year 131. Muhammad al-Shaybani is the Imam of Ahl al-Ra’yy during his era, he passed away to his Lord in the year 189.

Imam Shafi’i.