The Shafi’i School of law was founded by Imam Muhammad bin Idris al-Shafi’i.
Family lineage (father’s side): Muhammad bin Idris bin al-Abbas bin Uthman bin Shafi’i bin al-Sa’ib bin Ubayd bin Abdu Yazid bin Hashim bin al-Muttalib bin Abdu Manaf bin Qusayy bin Kilab bin Murrah. The imam’s lineage connects with the Prophet Muhammad’s lineage ﷺ at Abdu Manaf bin Qusayy.
Family lineage (mother’s side): Fatimah bint Abdullah bin al-Hasan bin al-Husayn bin Ali bin Abu Talib.
Al-Shafi’i was born in 150 AH (767 CE) in Gaza, Palestine. His father died when he was two years old, and thus his mother decided to move to Mecca, where many members of her family were settled. Despite being in a very bad economic situation, his mother insisted that he embark on a path towards scholarship.
Thus, as a young man, he was trained in Arabic grammar, literature, and history. Because of his family’s financial situation, his mother could not afford proper writing materials for the young al-Shafi’i. He was thus forced to take notes in his classes on old animal bones. Despite this, he managed to memorise the Quran at the age of seven.
He studied fiqh from teachers like Imam Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Shaybani who was one of the famous scholars of the Hanafi School of fiqh, Muslim bin Khalil al-Zanji, Sufyan bin Uyayanah, and Imam Malik bin Anas. He had an amazing memory and memorised al-Muwatta at a young age.