In the month of Ramadan, we recommend to you the book Al-Risala by Imam Al-Shafi’i, the first book written in the science of jurisprudence, and Imam Al-Shafi’i wanted by authoring this book to set the controls that the jurist or the mujtahid adheres to in order to clarify the legal rulings for every hadith and novelty in every era.
The book is located in one volume in which Al-Shafi’i dealt with fundamental issues such as the hadith of the one and the argument in it, the conditions for the authenticity of the hadith and the fairness of the narrators, the response of the transmitted and uninterrupted news, and other issues of origins and weighting. The introduction to the long message (one hundred pages) constitutes a large part of its material. Fakhr al-Din al-Razi says about al-Shafi’i’s leadership in establishing the science of jurisprudence:
Al-Shafi’i wrote many books, some of which he wrote himself and read to people or read to him, and some of them were dictated by dictation, and counting these books is difficult, and many of them have been lost. A thousand in Mecca, a thousand in Baghdad, and a thousand in Egypt. And what is in the hands of scholars from his books now is what he wrote in Egypt, which is the book (The Mother) in which al-Rabee collected some of the books of al-Shafi’i, and named it by this name, after he had heard these books from him, and what he missed hearing between that, and what he found in al-Shafi’i’s handwriting and did not hear it between him either. As the people of knowledge who read the book (The Mother) know this. And (Book of Differences of Hadith), which was printed at Bulaq Press in the footnote to the seventh volume of Al-Umm. And (The Message Book). They are separate from what was narrated by al-Rabi` on the authority of al-Shafi`i, and he did not include them in the book (The Mother).
(Kitab al-Risala) was written by al-Shafi’i twice. Therefore, scholars consider him two books in the index of his books: the Old Message and the New Message.
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