Imam Shafii’s tabarruk with the shirt of Imam Ahmed

Question:

Is the report on Imam Shafii seeking tabarruk with the shirt of Imam Ahmed authentic? This report was said to be mentioned in Manaqib Imam Ahmed of Ibn al Jawzi and Tarikh dimashq of Ibn `Asakair.

Moreover, there is a opposite report said to be mentioned in the first chapter of the book Al-usûl al-arba’a fî tardîd al-Wahhâbiyya, where it says :

“Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal put al-Imâm ash-Shâfi’î’s (rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’aleyh) shirt into water and drank the water to get blessings.”

Is this second report (where it is Imam Ahmed who seeks tabarruk) mistaken?

Answer:

Ibn al-Jawzi considered it authentic, al-Dhahabi not, and Allah knows best. There is no basis for the report that the act was done by Imam Ahmad with Imam al-Shafi`i’s shirt. Rather, the reports mention it was al-Shafi`i with Ahmad’s shirt, after the ordeal of the latter at the hands of the Mu`tazili government and Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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