Sunday, October 16, 2011

Imam Shafi'i and That Early Black Islam

Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shafiʿī (d. 820), or Imam Shafiʿī, is the eponym of the Shafiʿī madhhab or School of Law, one of the four orthodox schools of law in Sunni Islam. He is the founder of classical Islamic jurisprudence or fiqh. Imam Shafiʿī was a pure Qurayshi Arab from the Banu Muttalib, the sister clan of the Banu Hashim to which the Holy Prophet Muhammad belonged. He was thus described as "tall and dark brown skinned (asmar)," which is the standard description of Arabs in that day. And like most dark-skinned Arabs of that era, Imam Shafiʿī did not like white-skinned folk, as the following anecdote reveals: 

روى أحد تلامذة الشافعي أنه إشترى له طيبا بدينار ، فسأله الشافعي : ممن إشتريت ..؟؟ ، فقال : من الرجل العطار الأشقر الأزرق .. فقال الشافعي : أشقر وأزرق ..؟؟ ، إذهب ورد العطر ، ماجاءني خير قط من أشقر 

"One of Al-Shafa'i's students related that he bought some scents for Al-Shafa'i for a dinar. Al-Shafa'i asked him (the student) who he bought the scents from. The man replied, 'From that blue-eyed, very fair-complexioned (أشقر) perfumer.' Al-Shafa'i said, 'Blue-eyed, very fair-complexioned (أشقر)?! Take it back! Nothing good has ever come to me from a very fair complexioned (أشقر) person!'"

That's that early Black Islam :-)

Props to Bro Tariq Berry for excavating this important anecdote.