Muhammad ibn Idrīs Al-‘Abbās ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Shāfi’ ibn Al-Sā’ib ibn ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Abd Yazād ibn Hāshim ibn Al-Muṭṭalib ibn ‘Abd Manāf ibn Qusay, known as Imam Al-Shāfi’ī, Abū Abdullah Al-Shāfi’ī Al-Hijāzī Al-Makkī Al-Azdī Al-Qurashī Al Hāshimī Al-Muṭṭalibī may Allah be well pleased with him.
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said of him, “He was like the sun over the world and good health for people – do these two have replacements or successors?”1
He was a Relative of the Prophet Muhammad
He is the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad (‘alayhis salat wa salam) descending from Al-Muṭṭalib who is the brother of Hāshim, ‘Abdul-Muttalib’s father. Both his great-great-grandfather, Shāfi’, and the latter’s father, Al-Ṣā’ib, were companions of the Prophet (sa), as were al-Ṣā’ib ibn ‘Ubayd’s uncles – ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Abd Yazīd’s brothers – ‘Ujayr and Rukāna, the man who wrestled with the Prophet.2 Al-Ṣā’ib’s mother, Al-Shifā’ bint Al-Arqam ibn Hāshim, sister of Fātima bint Asad, the mother of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (radiya Allahu ‘anhu), who the Prophet called his second mother.3
Someone praised Banū Hāshim in front of the Prophet (salla allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), whereupon the latter interlaced the fingers of his two hands and said: ‘We and they are but one and the same’ and “The Banū Hāshim and the Banu Abdul-Muṭṭalib are not but one and the same”.4
Imam An-Nawawī listed three peculiar merits of al-Shafi’ī: his sharing the Prophet’s lineage at the level of their common ancestor ‘Abd Manāf; his birth in the Holy land of Palestine and upbringing in Makka; and his education at the hands of superlative scholars together with his own superlative intelligence and knowledge of the Arabic language.
Hafith Ibn Hajr Al-’Asqalani quotes from the Manaqib of Imam Al-Hakim that it was narrated to him by Abi Nasr ibn Ahmad Al-Hussayn that heard from Abi Is-haq ibn Khuzaymah that saying that he Yunus ibn Abdul-’Ala [a student and companion of Imam Ash-Shafi’i] say,
“The mother of Ash-Shafi’i [was] Fatimah bint Abdullah bin Al-Hasan ibn Al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib” [Tahdhib At-Tahdhib Vol. 5 page 22 Dar Al-Ihya Turath]
Therefore Imam Ash-Shafi’i was both related to the Prophet Muhammad through his father and through his mother by way of Imam ‘Ali (radiya Allahu Anhu).