Imam Shafi’is Qawl Jadid and Qadim

Question:

Assalamualaikum,

I would like to know what is the major differences between imam shafie’s qaul jadid and qadim? Why only around 17 of the position from the qadim is taken.

shukran

Answer:

Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

In the Shafi’i Madhhab, the distinction between the qawl jadid and the qawl qadim is defined. The qawl jadid represents Imam Shafi’i’s opinions, by way of written and oral transmission, after his arrival in Egypt until his passing (199-204AH). The qawl qadim represents his opinions, also by way of written and oral transmission, prior to his arrival in Egypt (before 199AH). (al-Khaza’in al-Saniyyah 179-80; Sharh al-Muhadhdhab v. 1, p. 9)

The qawl jadid is relied upon, except for in a few instances. Imam Nawawi stated,

كل مسألة فيها قولان للشافعي رحمه الله قديم وجديد فالجديد هو الصحيح وعليه العمل لأن القديم مرجوع عنه واستثنى جماعة من أصحابنا نحو عشرين مسألة أو أكثر وقالوا يفتى فيها بالقديم

“Every issue that has in it two opinions of Imam Shafi’i, a jadid and a qadim, so the jadid is the relied-upon and upon it is ‘amal; because the qadim view is withdrawn. A group of our As-hab has made an exception for about twenty or more issues. They stated that on them, fatwa is with the qadim.” (Sharh al-Muhadhdhab v. 1, p. 66)

In some instances (not all), Imam Shafi’i withdrew his earlier opinions when forming the Madhhab Jadid. His withdrawing of a view means that it did not remain his Madhhab. Authorities after him adopted some views that corresponded to his opinions in the qadim; whilst exercising their own ijtihad, they found some of them stronger in light of the evidence.

And Allah knows best.

Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.