Imam al-Shafi’i is attributed with two schools; the old from his stay in Iraq and the new from his stay in Egypt. The new school forms most of Shafi’i fiqh except in a limited number of cases where scholars have followed the old school.
Al-Shafi’i revolutionised the study of fiqh by codifying the field of usul al-fiqh, the principles behind the study of fiqh.
A significant contribution of Imam al-Shafi’i is the distinction between good innovation and bad innovation. In his words, “Therefore, whatever innovation conforms to the Sunnah is praiseworthy, and whatever opposes it is disparaged.” [Al-Bayhaqi, Manaqib al-Shafi’i (1/469)(Sahih)][Abu Nu’aym, Hilyah al-Awliya][Fath al-Bari]
Imam al-Shafi’i died in 204 AH (820 CE) in Fustat, Egypt.
The Shafi’i school is widespread in countries such as: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Palestine, Daghestan, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and East Africa (Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania) with followers in Egypt, India, Turkey, Iraq, South Africa, and Iran.