Studying Shafi’i fiqh

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

I have decided for my family and I that we study Islam from the perspective of Shafi’i fiqh and its scholars. I recently obtained “al-Maqasid” and the “Reliance of the Traveler” as well as Imam Nawawi’s “Riyad al-Saliheen”. I feel that these books will establish within my family a firm foundation. I would like to make the best use of the information that I have, but feel overwhelmed in figuring a method of studying my reference materials. I try as much as possible to read from the headings, dua’s, dhikrs and prescriptions, but find it difficult and painfully frustrating. I feel that there is no coherent flow or structure to my study. For example, in “al-Maqasid” shall I read all the duas & dhikrs for the morning all at once and memorize them in the order as they appear in the book? I would appreciate your advice on the matter, in sha Allah.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the most Compassionate.

I praise your decision to begin studying the shari`ah and applying it to your life and that of your family. Learning one of the four schools well, and applying is great means to the pleasure of Allah, Most High, May Allah make it easy for you, in sha Allah.

I understand the difficult you are facing in learning a school of though through books. It is indeed difficult. Sometimes, one cannot understand the expressions used in the book, let alone ask anyone questions to for clarification.

My advice to you is to join the upcoming Shafi’i fiqh course on

The course will be taught by Hamza Karamali, who has been formally trained in learning this school, therefore he is well capable of teaching it. One of the benefits that you will find is that learning from a live person will give you a more complete picture of how fiqh is meant to be practiced to bring one closer to Allah. If you live in the West, a live teacher could be even more useful, in explaining how to deal with contemporary issues.

Another short-term alternative is that you sign up to receive Shafi’i fiqh e-mails to your account, which come out almost daily. You can sign up at the following link: [email protected] 

Qualified teachers and students of Sacred Knowledge answer or translate these questions, and they can be very useful. They are archived it the website, as well. If you go to and click on Fiqh q/a, and search in Shafi’I archives, you’ll be able to find many solid answers.

As for memorizing, you can do that on your own. You should try to listen to the audio recordings of the particular du’as at that are obligatory to recite during the prayer. If you can find a Qur’an teacher that can help you perfect your recitation of surah Fatiha and the du’a during the tashahhud, this would be very useful as a starter. You can find some audio recordings for the prayer, taken from the Maqasid here:

Audio Recordings for Prayer

May Allah give you tawfiq in your endeavours.



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