At 08:53 PM
8/6/2003 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear Respected Teachers,
> Assalaamualaykum wa rahamtullah.
wa `alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
>I sent this question to the Shafi'i Fiqh forum and I also wanted to
>send it you as well. Wassalaam.
My advice to you is that you ask someone who is knowledgeable in the
history of the Shafi`i madhhab and not just the madhhab as it is
>Your brother in Islam,
>> Assalaamualaykum wa rahamtullahi wa barakatuh. I was reading
>> the book Fiqh Al-Imam by the California based Hanafi teacher,
>> Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf which states the following:
>> “Imam Shafi’i’s popular view is that it is necessary for the
>> follower to recite Surat al-Fatiha in both types of prayers
>> audible as well as silent. This view, although being the popular
>> one, is not necessarily his final opinion. A careful study of
>> his works reveals this opinion to be his former view, as Ibn
>> Qudama states in his book al-Mughni (1:601). The words of Imam
>> Shafi’i, as relayed in his book Al-Umm, inform us that it is not
>> necessary for the muqtadi to recite Sural al-Fatiha in the
>> audible prayers; however, it should be recited in the silent
A few comments:
* One should note that the author here is referring to the opinion
of Imam al-Shafi`i - not the madhhab.
* The Shafi`i madhhab did not die with the death of Imam
al-Shafi`i. While _al-Kitab al-Umm_ may be his final work, is it
his final word? Did his students quite taking from him when he
finished dictating it?
* Yes, Imam al-Shafi`i in one place does mentioned that reciting
al-Fatiha is obligatory for leaders and individuals - and that he
did give the same ruling for followers.
* What Ibn Qudama says on page 600, not page 601, is that the
follower does not read if he can hear his imam's recitation
according to one of two opinions of Imam al-Shafi`i. At the end
of the next line, he clarifies that Imam al-Shafi`is other
opinion is that one does read behind his imam, even if he can
hear the recitation. No where in that paragraph does Ibn Qudama
differentiate between Imam al-Shafi`i's old and new school.
Ibn Qudama's _Mughni_ is an excellent book. But Ibn Qudama did
not mention any history regarding the two opinions he mentioned.
* The source I consulted for checking the issues where Imam
al-Shafi`i's opinion in his school is used instead of his opinion
in the new listed some 22 issues. This was not among them.
* The opinion that everyone reads the fatiha: imam, individual, and
followers, is not only the well known position of the madhhab,
but it is also the strongest and the mu`tamid.
My quick browse through Imam al-Nawawi's _Mughni al-Muhtaj_ did
not even mention any difference of opinion on the matter. In his
his _Tibyan Fi Adab Hamalt il-Qur'an_ he wrote:
THE FOLLOWER IN A PRAYER
As for someone being led in Prayer and the Prayer is silent,
al-Fatiha is obligatory and the [additional] chapter is
recommended. If it is audible and he can hear the imam’s
recitation, it is offensive for him to recite any
[additional] chapter. There are two opinions regarding
al-Fatiha being obligatory [to recite]. The sounder opinion
is that it is obligatory; the other is that it is not. If
one does not hear the im¥m’s opinion is that al-Fatiha is
obligatory and the [additional] chapter is recommended.
Other opinions hold that al-Fatiha is not obligatory; others
yet say that it is obligatory and the [additional] chapter
is not recommended. And God knows best. (pp69-70)
When I looked in al-Husni's _Kifayat al-Akhyar_ he mentioned
that there was a "quwail", a minor opinion, that the follower
does not need to read al-Fatiha.
* While it is true that Imam al-Shafi`i had two opinions on the
matter, what the author has done here is not sufficient for
determining which one was his final position.
>> He writes:
>> ‘And we say that the follower recite in every prayer performed
>> behind an imam, in which the imam recites in a non-audible tone’
>> (Kitab al-Umm 7:153 U) “ p 66 of Fiqh Al-Imam.
Perhaps the author should have have been clearer about what he his
quoting. It is _al-Kitab al-Umm_ itself, or one of the various
booklets printed with it? My copies of _al-Kitab al-Umm_ put this
somewhere in the section where differences between Imams Abu Hanifa
and Ibn Abi Layla as narrated by Abu Yusuf are discussed.
Isn't it just a bit odd that he quotes this instead of the book
where Imam al-Shafi`i sets down his madhhab?
>> Here are my questions. It seems that this is not the current
>> position of the Shafi’i madhab (from such books as the Reliance
>> and Al-Maqasid) and it appears that this is one of the cases
>> where the fatwa lies upon Imam Shafi;i earlier position.
I do not think that there is enough evidence to support this. While
the Hanafi author thinks that there is, he has not gathered enough
evidence to support his conclusion.
>> 1. Shaykh Gibril Haddad writes in his book on the Four Imams,
>> “What is presently known as the Shafi;i position refers to the
>> New except in approximately twenty-two questions, in which
>> Shafi’i scholars and muftis have retained the Old” (p 189) Can
>> you highlight or mention what these twenty-two questions are?
I'll leave this for someone else to do.
But the book I consulted did not list this issue as being among
>> 2. How does one recite behind the imam in an audible prayer? Is
>> it better to recite at the same time that the imam is reciting or
>> wait for him to completely finish the Fatiha (and then recite)?
>> Should the imam pause between the fatiha and the second surah to
>> give the follower a chance to recite?
The follower recites to himself, after the imam has recited
al-Fatiha. Shafi`i and Hanbali imams are supposed to leave a slight
pause after al-Fatiha to give their followers time can read.
Because the Hanafis don't like this pause, what the Shafi`i imams do
in Sham is to immediately begin reciting the second sura, but in a
voice that is barely audible to anyone but those closest to him.
>> 3. Is this position of Imam Shafi’i (as mentioned in Al-Umm) a
>> strong position within the madhab or is it considered a weak
I haven't really seen anything quoted from _al-Kitab al-Umm_
indicating what Imam al-Shafi`i really thought on the matter.
According to other scholars, the opinion that followers do not
recite al-Fatiha in audible prayers is not strong.
And Allah knows best.
>> Thank you for taking the time to read this question.
>> May Allah greatly reward you. Wassalam.
>> Your brother in Islam,
At your service, wa al-salamu `alaykum