Kitab Safinatun Naja – Kitab Fiqh Madzab Syafei (English)

The Ship of Salvation

A Basic Text on Islamic Worship

According to the Shaafi’i School of Thought

Written by

al-‘Allamat ash-Shaykh Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Sumair al-Hadrami ash-Shaafi’i

Translation and Commentary prepared by

Khalil Abdur-Rashid

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Table of Contents

About The Translation:

The text of the Safinah itself appears in BLACK.

All commentary appears in BLUE.

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About the Translator

Khalil Abdur-Rashid is a native of Atlanta, Ga.  He received an ijaza in the rules of Qur’anic recitation from Shaykh Dia-Deen, who received his ijaza from the famous Shaykh Khalil al-Hussary of Egypt.

Brother Khalil began his study of Shaafi’i fiqh under the tutelage of Amin Best who took several ijaza from Shaykh AbduliLLah al-Arfaj who was a student of the famous Shaafi’i Shaykh of Hofuf, Saudi Arabia – Shaykh Ahmad ad-Dogan.

Khalil receive two ijaza from Shaykh AbduliLLah in the jurisprudence of tahara (cleanliness) and al-qawaa’id ul-fiqhiyyah (rules of fiqh).

In the summer of 1999, Khalil traveled to the city of Tareem in the Hadramawt valley of Yemen where his sister and brother-in-law were studying.  While there, Khalil studied the elementary books of fiqh in the Dar ul-Mustafa program.

Khalil has been given ijaza from Shaykh al-Habeeb ‘Umar bin Muhammad bin Saalim bin Hafiz to convey the text and commentary for Safinat un-Najaa.


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All praise is solely for Allah, Lord of all the worlds. With Him we seek assistance for all matters in the secular life and the religious affairs. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend upon our Master, Muhammad, the seal of prophets, and on his family and all of his companions. There is no strength or power except with Allah, the High, the Mighty.

1) The meaning of   , (al-basmalah)

  • The is for the accompaniment of blessings.

  • The word  is derived from which means “loftiness”, “exaltedness”.

  • The name indicates the Essence of He Whose existence is necessary.

  • means the bestower of general blessings. *

  • means the bestower of precise blessings. *

* Allah is ar-Rahmaan with all of His Creation, while He reserves the mercy that stems from His attribute of ar-Raheem for the believers.  By His attribute of ar-Rahmaan He gives sight, while it is through His attribute of ar-Raheem that He gives each individual their particular precision of sight.

The author, may Allah give us benefit through him, begins his work with the basmalah which gives the meaning, “I begin this work in Allah’s name seeking blessings, and acknowledging that He is the Beneficent, the Merciful.”

Rulings for the Basmalah

  1. Waajib:  in the Shaafi’i school, it is obligatory upon the praying person to recite the basmalah as part of al-Faatiha.

  2. Mandub: it is recommended that the basmalah be recited at the beginning of any activity that bears some significance in the Shari’ah, such as writing a beneficial book about the deen.

  3. Mubah: it is permissible to say the basmalah before undertaking any activity that is permissible, such as moving an object from one place to another.

  4. Makruh: it is disliked that one should say the basmalah before undertaking an action that is disliked in the Shari’ah.

  5. Haram: it is forbidden that one recite the basmalah when doing something forbidden such as drinking alcohol.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said:

“Every significant matter that is not begun with the basmalah is cut off (i.e. deficient of blessings).”

(Abu Dawud)

Conditions for beginning with the basmalah:

  1. That it not be used purely as a dhikr.

  2. That the shari’ah has not legislated a beginning other than it, such as in the khutbah of Jumu’ah.

2) The meaning of 

The word hamd (praise) linguistically means, “glorification by the tongue for something that is beautiful, and stems from choice.”

Stemming from choice in this definition indicates something like generosity.  A person chooses to be generous, it is not something inherent in their nature that they have no control over.

The customary meaning of hamd is, “an act of glorifiying the One Who bestows blessings due to His inherent nature as One Who bestows blessings, whether upon the one doing the praising or another.”

Anything outside of this is not called “hamd,” but rather it is known as madh ( ).  That is, when something is “praised” for a quality that it has no control over such as the beauty of a pearl, it is called madh and not hamd..

The word  means, “the possessor” or “the owner.”  It does, however, have other meanings.

is humanity, jinn, and angels.  It is also said, “everything other than Allah.”

Rulings for Hamd (Praise)

  1. Waajib: in the Shaafi’i school, the khutbah of Jumu’ah must begin with praising Allah.

  2. Mandub: it is recommended to give praise in whatever condition one is in, and in the wedding khutbah.

  3. Makruh: it is is disliked that one should say “al-hamdu liLLah” while in a place where all trash and waste is discarded, such as a landfill, or at the place of animal slaughtering.

  4. Haram: it is forbidden to say “al-hamdu liLLah” when one falls into transgression and sin, showing happiness for it.

3) meaning of 

Linguistically this word can mean obedience, worship, or recompense and repayment.

The shari’ah definition however is: that which Allah legislated upon the tongue of His prophet concerning laws.  Synonymous with this are the words Islam, and Shari’ah.

4) Meaning of  (salat) on the Prophet (SAWS).

  • From Allah, it means MERCY.

  • From the Angels, it means (seeking forgiveness for someone).

  • From the human being, it means (supplication)

It has been said that when we make the du’ah of salat on the Prophet(SAWS), Allah sends His Mercy down on us, and the angels ask Allah to forgive us.

Salat upon the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) is one du’ah that is NEVER rejected by Allah, and therefore we should put salat upon the Prophet(SAWS) at the beginning and end of our du’ah, and if it is a long du’ah we should include some salat upon him (SAWS) in the middle.

Sayyid (Master)

This term has several meanings:

  1. The one who attains a place of authority and leadership amongst his people.

  2. The one who commands a large army.

  3. The one to whom people flee in times of severe hardships.

  4. The forbearing one who is not easily moved to anger.

Truly, all of these qualities are combined in our Prophet (SAWS).

The family of the Prophet (SAWS)

Some ‘ulema say that the family designates the Bani Haashim.  The position of our imam, ash-Shaafi’i, is that it consists of Bani Haashim and Bani Mutallib.

This designation is in the maqaam uz-zakaat, or station of zakat – as it is forbidden that the family of the Prophet (SAWS) be recipients of zakat.

In the maqaam ud-du’ah, or station of supplication, it is said that the family is everyone who is upon the deen of the Prophet(SAWS), and who follows him.  This is mentioned in the al-Muhadhab of Imam ash-Shiraazi.

And his companions

Everyone who met with the Prophet(SAWS) after he attained prophethood, believed in him while he was alive, and died a believer.

The best of the sahaba were the , or the ten who were given the glad tidings that they would enter Jannah.  They are:

  1. Abu Bakr

  2. ‘Umar

  3. ‘Uthman

  4. ‘Ali

  5. Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas

  6. Sa’eed bin Zayd

  7. Talha bin UbayduLLah

  8. Zubayr bin al-Awaam

  9. Abu ‘Ubaydah bin al-Jarah

  10. Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf

The best of those ten were the Rightly Guided Khalifas, and their order in stature is the same as their order of assuming the khilafah. (i.e. the order they are listed in above, 1-4)

There is one prophet who is also a sahaba –>

al-Masih ‘Isa ibn Maryam (AS) is a companion of the Prophet(SAWS) because he is not dead, he met the Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) on the night of ‘Isra and Mi’raj, and when he returns he will die a Muslim.  al-Hamdu liLLah.

Meaning: To grant him(SAWS) safety from all harmful things.

“There is no strength or power except with Allah”

The meaning is, “No created thing has any inherent ability to do anything, except with the permission of Allah, the High, the Mighty.”


“There is no strength to engage in transgression, or power to engage in acts of obedience, except by the success granted by Allah.”

Section: The Pillars of Islam

The Pillars of Islam Are Five:

1) Testifying that there is no deity except Allah and Muhammad is His messenger

  • Testification or Shahadah, in this context, means certainty, strong belief, and conviction.
  • Deity means anything that is given worship, even if it is not worthy of it.

The full meaning of this statement is that there is nothing in existence that is deserving of worship except Allah, and that our Master Muhammad is His Messenger to men, jinn, and angels.

2) The establishment of prayer.

  • Establishment means to be constant in doing something, to have perseverance in doing something,  and being continuous in doing something.
  • Prayer ( ) linguistically means  or supplication.
  • The shariah definition is: a particular combination of speech and actions that are begun with takbeer ( ), and conclude with tasleem ( ).

The full meaning is to be constant and continuous in the performance of the prayer while observing all of its obligatory aspects and conditions.

3) The paying of zakaat.

  • Linguistically zakaat means growth, and purification.
  • The shariah definition of zakaat is: the name for that which is taken from one’s wealth for a specific purpose.

The full meaning is the giving of zakaat to those who are valid recipients, which is a duty upon the one who has the capacity to give.

4) The fasting of Ramadan.

  • Linguistically fasting ( ) means to abstain from something.
  • The shariah definition of fasting is: a special abstention, with a special methodology, accompanied by a special intention.
  • Ramadan: the name of the 9th month of the Islamic calendar.

The full meaning is to abstain during the daytime of every day in the month of Ramadan from all things which break the fast.

5) The pilgrimage to the House of Allah for whomever has the means.

  • Linguistically hajj means: to set out for something.
  • The shariah definition is: to set out for the House of Allah with the intention of devotions and worship.

The full meaning is to set out for the Ka’ba for the one who has the means to go and return and has the means to provide for himself during that whole period of time.

Just as the hajj is obligatory on such a person, so too is ‘umrah ( ), which linguistically means “visitation” but whose shariah definition is that of the hajj.

Section: The Pillars of Islam

The Pillars of Iman Are Six:

1) To believe in Allah

This means that you believe that Allah exists, and that He is One in His Essence, His Attributes, and His Actions. He has no partner or associate sharing with Him the right to be worshipped. To Him is every quality of perfection that is befitting of His exalted Being, and it is impossible for any deficiency to be attributed to Him.

2) To believe in His angels

This is the acceptance and compliance of the heart that the angles are the noble servants of Allah, they do as He commands and never disobey. They are beings created from light, neither male nor female. They do not have father, mothers, mates, or children. Their sustenance is the remembrance and glorification of Allah. They act without restriction in the creation according to what Allah has permitted for them.

It is obligatory to know ten angels in particular:

1) Jibreel : has the duty to of dispensing revelation to the Messengers of Allah.

2) Mikaa’eel : in charge of the rains.

3) Israa’feel : in charge of blowing the horn on the Day of Judgement.

4) ‘Azraa’eel : the angel of death, in charge of taking the souls from their bodies.

5 & 6) Munkar and Nakeer : the angels that question the dead in the graves.

7 & 8) Raqeeb and ‘Ateed : the angels that record the good and bad deeds.

9) Ridwaan : the gatekeeper of Paradise.

10) Maalik : the gatekeeper of the Fire.

3) To believe in His books

This is to believe that the Books of Allah are His Non-created Speech, and that they are sanctified above being comprised of letters and sounds and that everything that they contain is real and true. There are four books in particular we must know:

1) The Tawrah given to Musa (AS)

2) The Zabur given to Dawud (AS)

3) The Injeel given to ‘Isa (AS)

4) and the Furqan (the Qur’an) given to Muhammad (SAWS)

4) To believe in His messengers

Belief in the messengers means to believe that Allah sent them to the creation as a guidance, in order that they would teach them how to perfect their lives in this world and the Hereafter. He aided them with miraculous occurrences that proved their truthfulness. They delivered the message Allah revealed to them. It is obligatory to show respect and courtesy to all of them, and to not distinguish between them (i.e. saying, “we believe in this one, but we reject this other one.”) They are all under Allah’s Divine protection from sins great and small.

It has been said that the number of messenger is 313, and from among them we are required to know 25:

1) Adam2) Idrees

3) Nuh

4) Hud

5) Saalih

6) Ibraaheem

7) Lut

8) Ismaa’eel

9) Ishaaq

10) Ya’qub

11) Yusuf

12) Ayyub

13) Shu’ayb

14) Musa15) Haarun

16) Alyasaa’

17) Dawud

18) Sulaymaan

19) Ilyaas

20) Yunus

21) Zakariyyah

22) Yahya

23) ‘Uzayr

24) ‘Isa

25) Muhammad (SAWS)

There are four characteristics that every messenger must necessarily be described with:

1) Truthfulness2) Conveying the message 3) Trustworthiness4) Intelligence

The Muslim should also know that our prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was a Qurayshi Arab, the seal of the prophets and messengers, that he was born in Makkah (50 days after the Companions of the Elephant perished), that he migrated to al-Madinah, that he died and was buried there, that his system of law (shari’ah) abrogated all systems of law that preceded it, and that it is valid to the Last Day.

5) To believe in the Day of Judgement

This means to believe that it is real and true, and to believe in everything it is comprised of such as the scale, the bridge over the hell-fire leading into Paradise, the Paradise, and the Hell-Fire. One must also believe in the questioning of the dead by the two angels, the punishment/felicity in the grave, and other things from the matters of the world between death and the Last Day (this world is called al-Barzakh).

6) To believe in the Divine Destiny and that the good and bad of it are all from Allah.

To believe that nothing happens or occurs except that which Allah has determined, and that it is impossible for anything to happen or occur without Allah having determined it. All good and bad was determined before the existence of creation.

Legal Rulings:

Fard / Wajib : If you do it, you are rewarded. If you don’t do it, you are punished.

Mandub  : If you do it, you are rewarded. If you don’t do it, you are not punished.

Mubah : There is no reward or punishment for doing it or not doing it.

Makruh : If you do it, there is no reward or punishment. If you don’t do it ,there is a reward.

Haram : If you do it, there is a punishment. If you don’t do it, there is a reward.


What is the meaning of “there is no god but Allah”

The meaning is that there is nothing else in existence that is deserving of worship, and has the right to be worshipped except Allah.


What is the meaning of “there is no god but Allah”

The meaning is that there is nothing else in existence that is deserving of worship, and has the right to be worshipped except Allah.

link Madrasah Darul Mustafa – Tareem (Hadramaut) Yemen :

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