SHAFI LAID DOWN THE FOUNDATIONS OF A PSEUDO-RELIGION
A careful survey would show that the foundations of the Sunni ideas and the religion based on hadiths had been laid by Imam Shafi, founder of the Shafi sect. After Shafi, except for certain cases about which there is explicit injunction in the Quran, a provision of the canonical law had to be based on one or more hadiths (Montgomery Watt, What is Islam?). The same opinion is expressed by Ýlhami Güler in the following way: “One must not forget that the core of the history of Islamic thought expressed in the Kutub-i Sitte and especially in Bukhari’s work to which has been attributed an epistemological worth almost equal to the Quran, largely consists in Shafi’s reducing the Sunna to ‘gayrý metluv vahiy’. The hadith culture, which up until Shafi, had been differently interpreted and depended on, verbal intellect had come to be expressed in written form after Shafi and assumed a dogmatic quality and an importance almost equal to the Quran (First Quran Symposium, Arkun Tarihiyyatu’l-Fikril’l-Arabi). Osman Taþtan described the manner by which the foundations of the Sunna conception of today had been laid down by Imam Shafi: “Shafi’s emergence changed the situation. Shafi, separated the Prophet’s Sunna from the community’s Sunna and raised the latter in legal terms to a level equal to the Quran. The idea was to show the highest respect to the prophethood of Muhammad and contribute to it. Actually, this put an unbridgeable gap between the Prophet and the community. In this way the Sunna had been mixed with the revelation in a melting pot. The last thing to do would be to merge the sayings of the Prophet’s companions with them. These theoretical approaches had widened the scope of the revelation that came to be extended to cover first the Sunna and then the sayings of the companions. This meant extending the divine revelation to cover human words (First Quran Symposium).” We did not want to reserve a wide space for the history of sects in the present book. Anybody who examines the history of sects may see for himself the attacks on the Hanafi sect by Shafi and the fact that the sects Maliki, Hanbali and Shafi are not branches of one single sect called Sunni, but are sects on their own. The table we shall be giving presently will make clear the wide differences between them. These sects, which originally were separate from each other, had come to be gathered under one heading by the contribution of Imam Ghazzali, rector of the Nýzamýya Madrasa under the influence of political authority. The revelation was one contained in the Quran before it was divided into conflicting sects. The objective was to acquire extraneous sources and try to challenge the divine authority.
103 – Hold on firmly together to the rope of God, and be not divided among yourselves. 3 Family of Imran, 103