Imam Shafi'i is a great scholar who has a lot of dialogue and is good at arguing in religious matters.
To the extent that Aaron ibn Sa'id said: "If Shafi'i argued to maintain the opinion that the pole which was originally made of iron is made of wood would undoubtedly win, because kepandainnya in arguing". (Manaqib Aimmah Arbaah p. 109 by Ibn Abdil Hadi).
Imam Shafi'i is a cleric of the Sunnah Defenders, so of course at that time many deviant people were hostile to him, because of Imam Shafi'i's blasphemy against their apostasy.
Here is the story of Imam Shafi'i against them.
Imam Shafi'i said:
يخاطبني السفيه بكل قبح
The ignorant speaks to me with all the ugliness
فأكره أن أكون له مجيبا
I was reluctant to answer it
يزيد سفاهة فأزيد حلما
He grew more and more and more patience
كعود زاده الإحراق طيبا
As the gaharu is burned, it will spread more awe.
(Diwân Imam Asy-Syâfi'iy).
Imam Syafi'i rahimahullah said: "The foolish man scolds me with ugly words. So I do not want to answer it. He's getting stupid and I'm gentler, like burnt perfume even adds fragrant. " (Diwan Asy-Shafi'i, p.156).
Imam Shafi'i also said: "Say as you wish to insult my honor, my silence from the lowly is an answer. It does not mean I have no answer, but it is not proper for a lion to serve a dog ".
• Imam Shafi'i does not want to argue with fools
Although Imam Shafi'i is known as a debater, but Imam Shafi'i does not want to have to argue with fools.
Imam Shafi'i said:
اذا نطق السفيه وتجيبهفخري من اجابته السكوت
If a fool invites arguing with you, then the best attitude is silence, not responding
فان كلمته فرجت عنهوان خليته كمدا يموت
If you serve, then you will be hard on your own. And if you make friends with him, then he will always hurt
قالوا سكت الجواب لباب
If anyone asks me, if it is challenged by the enemy, do you shut up?
I replied to him: Lo! To ward off the doors of evil is the key
والصمت عن جاهل أو أحمق شرفوفيه أيضا لصون العرض اصلاح
The silence of a fool is a glory. So also silence to maintain honor is a virtue.
Then Imam Shafi'i said:
والكلب يخسى لعمرى وهو نباح
Do not you see that a lion is feared because he is quiet? While a dog made the game because he likes barking ??
(Diwan As-Syafi'i, by Yusuf As-Syekh Muhammad Al-Baqa'i).