Shafi’i on Debate: Best answer to a fool is silence

Imam al-Shafi’i, may Allah be pleased with him, said in his poetry, “If a fool speaks to you, do not answer him, for the best answer is silence. If you speak to him, you have delighted him. If you leave him, he nearly dies in anguish.”

Source: Dīwān al-Imām al-Shāfi’ī 38

Al-Ajurri said about the people of lowly desires, “Your silence over them and your abandonment of speaking to them is harder on them than your debate with them. Such was said by the righteous predecessors among the Muslim scholars.”

Source: al-Sharī’ah 1/449

قال الإمام الشافعي رضي الله عنه في شعره إِذا نَطَقَ السَفيهُ فَلا تَجِبهُ فَخَيرٌ مِن إِجابَتِهِ السُكوتُ فَإِن كَلَّمتَهُ فَرَّجتَ عَنهُ وَإِن خَلَّيتَهُ كَمَداً يَموتُ

38 ديوان الشافعي

قال الآجري عن أَهْل الْأَهْوَاءِ سُكُوتُكَ عَنْهُمْ وَهِجْرَتُكَ لِمَا تَكَلَّمُوا بِهِ أَشَدُّ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ مُنَاظَرَتِكَ لَهُمْ كَذَا قَالَ مَنْ تَقَدَّمَ مِنَ السَّلَفِ الصَّالِحِ مِنْ عُلَمَاءِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

1/449 الشريعة للآجري