How to Perform Umrah

The rituals of performing Umrah explained in simple English

[By Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat]

INTRODUCTION

This brief but comprehensive book is presented to you to outline the rituals of Umrah. It is only through the Infinite Mercy of Allah ta‘ala that I have been able to contribute this humble work for the cause of Islam.

It was in 1987, when I was recovering from my chronic illness, that my brother, (Maulana) Haafiz Ismail, directed my attention towards the need for a short and comprehensive book on Umrah in English. He repeatedly reminded me of his desire and insisted that I proceed with it. Inspite of my weakness, both spiritual and physical, I also had the great desire to do so, thus I firmly resolved and commenced the work in the name of Allah ta‘ala.

This book contains all the necessary information regarding the method, rites and formalities of  Umrah, with diagrams and sketches where appropriate. Inshaa’allah, you will find in it answers to many of your questions.

May Allah ta‘ala through His Mercy and Kindness pardon me for any errors herein, and abundantly reward all for their effort in making this publication possible.

I earnestly request the readers to remember me, my teachers, family and friends and all those who have contributed in the publication of this book in their du‘aa

Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Leicester, England

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS

1.      It must be stressed at the very outset that there should be a sincere intention to perform  Umrah, for all actions are judged by intentions. The Holy Prophet  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

The reward of deeds depends on the intentions”.  _Bukhaari

The intention must be to please Allah ta‘ala exclusively, hopeful of earning rewards only from Allah ta‘ala, the Creator, believing in what has been promised by Allah ta‘ala through our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and performing the act according to the way shown by him. Hence, this must always be borne in our minds.

2.        Do not let the thought enter your mind that you are going on a trip or a holiday. No! You are going to fulfil one of the greatest  Sunnah  of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). You are going to Makkah where our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was born and to Madinah where he is resting. You are going to visit the house of Allah ta‘ala – Ka‘bah, which is surrounded by angels on all sides, and upon which continuously descend the Mercy and Blessings of Allah ta‘ala.

3.        As regards to your visit to the holy places, it must be borne in mind that Allah ta‘ala does not grant such blessed opportunities to all, and for those whom He has blessed with the opportunity, it will be very unfortunate to have spent time and wealth, and gain no benefit and reward. Generally, the loss and ruin is brought by Shaytaan  and  nafs  (base desires). Therefore, be conscious of their deception and wickedness.

4.        It is advisable to study this book prior to your departure for  Umrah, preferably with an  aalim  of your locality, seeking his explanations on what you do not understand.  Thus you will be able to follow the instructions laid down in this book with ease.

5.        If you have any queries concerning religious matters or concerning the  Umrah, consult an  aalim or a knowledgeable person and seek his advice.

Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Perform Hajj and Umrah one after the other for surely they (Hajj and Umrah) remove poverty and sins just as the furnace removes the dirt of iron, gold and silver.”  _Tirmizi, Nasa‘ee

UMRAH

Umrah is also known as the ‘minor Hajj’. It is a Sunnah and can be performed anytime during the year except for the five days of  Hajj, i.e. from 9th Zul Hijjah to 13th Zul Hijjah. In these five days, it is  makrooh tahreemi  to perform  Umrah.

Virtues of  Umrah

1. One  Umrah  is an expiation for the sins committed between it and another  Umrah. _Bukhaari, Muslim

2. To perform one Umrah in Ramadhan is equivalent to a  Hajj. In another narration, … equivalent to  Hajj with me (The Prophet). _Muslim

3. The performers of Hajj and Umrah are deputations of Allah ta‘ala. If they call Him, He answers them and if they seek His Forgiveness, He forgives them. _Ibne Maajah

Necessary acts of  Umrah

The  fardh  of  Umrah  are:

1. Ihraam  (i.e. special dressing,  niyyah  and  talbiyah).

2. Tawaaf  (with  niyyah).

The  waajib  of  Umrah  are:

Sa‘ee  between Safaa and Marwah.

2.  Halaq  or  Qasr.

DEPARTURE

1. Before departure, perform two  raka‘at  nafl  in your house. On completing the two  raka‘at, firstly  thank Allah ta‘ala for the favour which He has bestowed upon you by giving you the understanding and the blessed opportunity to go on this holy mission.

2. Thereafter, make  du‘aa  to Allah ta‘ala. Ask Him to make the journey easy for you and to make it full of  blessings and gains. Also that He safeguards you from the evil of Shaytaan and  nafs. Further that He gives you the opportunity to utilise your time in those actions which will bring His Pleasure and that He accepts your  Umrah.

3.  Now start your journey. Throughout your journey you must perform the daily five  fardh  Salaat regularly and punctually. You must not be a cause of harm to anyone. On the contrary, you should be of assistance to anyone who needs help. Do not waste your time. Engage  yourself in learning, teaching, preaching and  remembrance of Allah ta‘ala.

IHRAAM

1. On (or prior to) reaching  Meeqaat [(i.e It is the place which is fixed for putting on ihraam or in other words, it is the boundary beyond which a person intending to go to Makkah cannot go without  ihraam. (Jeddah is beyond this boundary, therefore one must put on  ihraam  before reaching Jeddah)], perform  ghusl  if possible, otherwise  wudhoo. Thereafter, put on the clothes of  ihraam, preferably of a white colour two sheets, one to cover the lower part of the body and the other for the upper part of the body. At this moment, men folk may apply  ‘itr  (perfume). The women should keep all their body covered in their normal clothing, except the face.

2.  Perform two raka‘at nafl with the intention of ihraam (with your head covered). Recite ‘Qul yaa ayyuhal kaafiroon’ in the first  raka‘at and ‘Qul huwallaahu ahad’  in the second  raka‘at. On completing the two  raka‘at, sitting bareheaded on the prayer mat, make the niyyah of Umrah  saying:

allaahumma innee ureedul umrata fayassirhaa lee wataqabbalhaa minnee

O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah. Make it easy for me and accept it from me”.

Then read the following  du‘aa  (known as  talbiyah) three times:

Labbayk, Allaahumma labbayk. Labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Innal hamda  wanni‘mata laka wal mulk. Laa shareeka lak.

Here I am at Your Service, O Lord, here I am. Here I am, no partner do You have, here I am. Truly, the Praise and the Favour is Yours, and the Sovereignty. No partner do You have”.

Men should recite these words loudly, and the women silently. Now, read durood shareef and make du‘aa for as long as you can.
Ihraam  becomes complete on

(a) making  niyyah
(b) recitation of  talbiyah.

Now you must refrain from certain acts which become forbidden.

Things prohibited in ihraam

1.  It is strictly prohibited to indulge in sexual intercourse, to kiss, embrace or talk about sex in the presence of women.

2.   It is prohibited to indulge in those acts which Allah ta‘ala has made unlawful, e.g. obscenity, transgression, conflict, etc.

3.   It is prohibited to hunt animals or help or guide anyone in this act; even killing a lice is prohibited.

4.    Do not use scent, perfume, perfumed oil or anything that has a fragrance; whether on the body or on the clothes, or in food or drink.

5.    It is prohibited to shave or clip hair from any part of the body or to clip the nails.

6.     It is prohibited for men to use stitched clothes.

7.     It is prohibited for men to wear footwear of any kind that will cover the central bone of the upper part of the feet.

8.      Men must not cover their heads and faces.

9.      Women should not cover their faces. However, in the presence of men, the face will have to be covered in such a manner that the covering does not touch the face.

10.     Do not cause harm to any Muslim – be it verbal or physical.

Things permissible in ihraam

1.        It is permissible to use an umbrella or shadow of any object such as a car roof, as long as it does not touch the head.

2.        It is permissible to put on a ring, a pair of glasses, a hearing aid, a wrist watch and a belt or girdle which protects one’s money and documents.

3.        It is permissible to change one’s garments and to wash them as well as to wash one’s hair and body without removing dirt by the means of using soap.

4.        It does not matter if some hair come off by themselves during washing without you intending it.

5.        It is permissible to cover the body, including the feet with blanket, quilt, sleeping bag, etc.  Do not cover the head and the face.

6.        It is permissible to use  miswaak  to clean the teeth.

7.        There is no harm in carrying something on the head.

Sahl Ibne Sa‘d (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “When a Muslim recites talbiyah, then verily every stone, tree and all the ground to his right and left recites the talbiyah with him to the end of the earth.” _Tirmizi

Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) relates from Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam that he said, “One hundred and twenty mercies from Allah descend upon the Ka‘bah every day and night; sixty for those performing tawaaf, forty for those who are engaged in Salaat and twenty for those who are merely looking at the Ka‘bah.” _Bayhaqi

IN MAKKAH MUKARRAMAH

After putting on ihraam, you should engage yourself in the remembrance of Allah ta‘ala, istighfaar and recite the  talbiyah as much as possible until you reach Makkah.

1.       Enter the sacred city of Makkah with utmost respect and humility reciting  talbiyah.

2.      Make your arrangements and immediately go to the sacred Masjid which is known as Al Masjidul Haraam. You must enter the Masjid with utmost humility and a sense of the Greatness of Allah ta‘ala and sacredness of the place.

3.      When entering the Masjid, put your right foot in the Masjid and say:

bismillaahi wassalaatu wassalaamu alaa rasoolillaah. Allaahummaftah lee abwaaba rahmatik

In the name of Allah. May the Peace and Salutations (of Allah) be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, open for me the doors of Your Mercies”.

4. When you see Ka‘bah, say three times:

allaahu akbar. Laa ilaaha illallaah

Allah is the greatest. There is no deity except Allah”.

Thereafter, read  durood shareef  and make  du‘aa while standing, facing Ka‘bah.

NOTE: This moment is very precious, for whatever du‘aa is made is most certainly accepted by Allah. Make du‘aa  as much as you can. One must not forget to make this  du‘aa:

O Allah, when you take me away from this world, take me in the state of  Imaan. O Allah, enter me into Jannah without any account. O Allah, accept all my du‘aa and keep me steadfast on  Deen”.

Do remember this humble writer in your  du‘aa  also.

Mas’alah: A woman in the state of haydh (menstruation) or  nifaas  (period after childbirth) must not enter the Masjid.

TAWAAF

Now you must perform  tawaaf  which is  fardh  in Umrah. During  tawaaf, engage yourself in  du‘aa  and remembrance of Allah ta‘ala. The recital of the holy Qur’an is also permissible. Be mindful that you do not raise your voice as this will cause disturbance to others performing  tawaaf.

1.        Proceed towards the corner of the Ka‘bah in which lies Al Hajarul Aswad.

2.       Looking from the Ka‘bah around the arched walls of Al Masjidul Haraam, you will see a green light directly opposite one of the four corners of Ka‘bah. In this corner (of Ka‘bah) lies Al Hajarul Aswad. Another clue for locating Al Hajarul Aswad is that at present it is located in the corner of Ka‘bah facing the corner with only one minaret; (the rest of the three corners have two minarets each).

3.        On (or prior to) reaching this corner, make idhtibaa and stand facing the Ka‘bah, such that the whole of Al Hajarul Aswad lies to the right of your right shoulder. (The floor is marked with a black/brown line which stretches from Al Hajarul Aswad).

4.       Stop reciting  talbiyah  and make  niyyah  (which is fardh) to perform  tawaaf.

5.       Move slightly to your right, keeping the face and chest towards Ka‘bah, and stand on the black line which indicates that you are directly in line with Al Hajarul Aswad.

6.        Raise your hands upto the ears (palms facing Al Hajarul Aswad) saying:

bismillaahi allaahu akbar walillaahil hamd

In the Name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest, and all Praise is for Allah”.

7.       Place both palms on Al Hajarul Aswad and kiss it gently without a smack. If kissing is not possible, then merely touch it with one hand or both hands or raise your hands (palms facing Al Hajarul Aswad) saying:

bismillaahi allaahu akbar

In the Name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest”. and kiss them. This is known as  istilaam. It should be performed at the end of every round standing on the black/brown line facing Al Hajarul Aswad.

8.       Now move towards the right, keeping the Ka‘bah on your left and walk around Ka‘bah (anticlockwise) until you return to Al Hajarul Aswad. Here, perform  istilaam. You have now completed one round. You must complete seven rounds in this manner to complete the  tawaaf.

8.       On completing the seventh round, perform istilaam and go to Maqaame Ibraaheem and offer two raka‘at waajib. It is  Sunnah  to recite ‘Qul yaa ayyuhal kaafiroon’ in the first  raka‘at and ‘Qul huwallaahu ahad’ in the second  raka‘at. Thereafter engage yourself in  du‘aa.   

NOTE: If  you cannot find a place at Maqaame Ibraaheem, it is sufficient to perform the two  raka‘at anywhere within the sacred Masjid.

10.      You should now proceed to the well of Zam-zam and facing the direction of Ka‘bah, drink its water as much as you are able to. Also pour it over the body.

11.         Returning from Zam-zam, go to Multazam and cling to the wall of Ka‘bah, with arms stretched above the head placing on it your right cheek and at times the left and engage in  du‘aa, for whatever you ask is certainly granted by Allah ta‘ala.

NOTE: If you wish, you can go to Multazam prior to going to the well of Zam-zam.

12.    Return to Al Hajarul Aswad once again and perform  istilaam. This  istilaam  before  sa‘ee  is mustahab.

Mas’alah: The kissing of Al Hajarul Aswad is a Sunnah, while safeguarding the dignity of Muslims is  fardh. A fardh  cannot be sacrificed for a  Sunnah, because Allah ta‘ala does not accept a Sunnah which violates a fardh. Some pilgrims ignore this fact when they harm others in their zeal to kiss Al Hajarul Aswad, which is merely a  Sunnah. To harm any believer in performing this Sunnah is haraam (prohibited). How is it possible to carry out a  Sunnah  observance while performing a  haraam deed? Therefore, when the area is crowded it is sufficient to raise the hands saying ‘Bismillaahi allaahu akbar’ and to continue to move into the flow of the people. In shaa’allah, Allah will grant you His Mercy and will increase your reward.

Mas’alah: There are no prescribed du‘aa for tawaaf. One should rather make du‘aa for the fulfilment of one’s needs of both – this world and the hereafter.

Mas’alah: Hateem is part of Ka‘bah. Therefore, one must go around the Hateem to complete the  tawaaf.

Mas’alah: It is  Sunnah for men to perform the first three rounds with  ramal.

Mas’alah: Idhtibaa is for men only, and it is Sunnah ONLY during tawaaf. Discontinue the idhtibaa after completing the seven rounds of  tawaaf.

Mas’alah: During  tawaaf  when you come to Al Ruknul Yamaani, merely touch it with both hands or the right hand. It is not  Sunnah  to kiss or raise hands at this corner.

Mas’alah: Between Al Ruknul Yamaani and Al Hajarul Aswad it is  Sunnah  to recite:

Rabbanaa aatinaa fid dunyaa hasanataw wafil aakhirati hasanataw waqinaa ‘azaaban naar

O Allah, grant us goodness in this world, and goodness in the hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the fire”.

Mas’alah: The Ka‘bah should at all times be on one’s left side during the  tawaaf. Do not keep your back, chest or right arm towards the Ka‘bah.

Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that he heard Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) say, “The touching (of Al Hajarul Aswad) removes sins and whoever performs the tawaaf properly (according to rule) the reward (is like) that of the freeing of a slave and one does not place one’s foot on the ground nor raises it (in tawaaf) except that Allah removes a sin (from his deeds) and orders for him one good deed.” _Tirmizi

Jaabir (radhiyallahu anhu) relates from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that, “The water of Zamzam is for that (intention) for which it is drunk (i.e., whatever intention one makes while drinking the water, one will achieve that intention, e.g. for thirst, food, medicine, etc.)” _Ibne Maajah

SA‘EE 

1.      After the  istilaam  proceed to Safaa – again in the direction of the green light on the wall.

2.      Climb Safaa until you reach the place from where Ka‘bah is visible between the pillars of Al Masjidul Haraam and make  niyyah  for  sa‘ee.

3.      Facing Ka‘bah, raise both hands up to the shoulders in the way in which hands are raised while making du‘aa. Then say three times:

allaahu akbar laa ilaaha illallaah

Allah is the Greatest, there is no deity except Allah”.

4.      Read  durood shareef  and make  du‘aa  for the fulfilment of your good wishes and others’ also. Remain engaged in  du‘aa  for quite a long time, for this is a place where  du‘aa  is accepted.

5.       You must now walk (at normal pace) towards Marwah (the other side). While walking between Safaa and Marwah you should engage yourself in remembrance of Allah ta‘ala and making  du‘aa.

6.       When you reach the green lights, you must quicken your pace and run slowly until you reach the other set of green lights. Thereafter, you should resume the normal speed of walking till you reach Marwah. Women, however, must walk at their normal pace between the green lights too.

7.       On Marwah too, you should go upto such a place from where the Ka‘bah is visible. The same actions must be performed as on Safaa. This is one round.

NOTE: Ka‘bah is not visible from Marwah, therefore climb Marwah and estimate the direction of Ka‘bah.

8.        From Marwah proceed towards Safaa in the same manner as described above. On reaching Safaa you have completed the second round.

9.        Complete seven rounds in this manner. The final round will end at Marwah.

10.      At this stage it is mustahab to perform two raka‘at inAl Masjidul Haraam.

Mas’alah: During sa‘ee you are not restricted to anyspecific du‘aa. You may make any du‘aa you wish.However, it is Sunnah to recite:

rabbighfir warham antal a‘azzul akram.

O my Lord, forgive and have mercy. You arethe most Majestic, the most Generous”.

The Mas‘aa

The two hills are separated by a distance of 394m/1247ft which is called Mas‘aa

HALAQ

After completing the sa‘ee, you must shave your head or trim the hair of the entire head in such a manner that you trim at least one inch of each hair. Shaving the head is more virtuous.

The women should trim slightly more than one inch from the end of their plait.

After shaving or trimming the hair, the rituals of Umrah  have ended and all restrictions imposed due to the  ihraam  will be lifted.

May Allah ta‘aalaa accept your  Umrah  and bestow you with its blessings.

Yahya Ibn Husayn reported on the authority of his grandfather that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj made du‘aa thrice for those who shave their heads and once only for those who trim their hair. _Muslim

WHILE IN MAKKAH MUKARRAMAH 

1.      You should remain busy in  Salaatdu‘aa  and recitation of the holy Qur’an. You should complete the recitation of the holy Qur’an at least once.

2.       Perform each and every  fardh Salaat  with congregation in Al Masjidul Haraam. One such Salaat  is equal to two million and five hundred thousand  Salaat  performed elsewhere.

3.       Perform virtuous deeds as much as you can because every  virtuous act in Makkah is equivalent to one hundred thousand virtuous acts. The holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  said,

Besides Makkah there is no city on the surface of the earth where Allah multiplies one virtue by a hundred thousand times”.

4.       You should avoid all prohibited and execrable acts and things. Hadhrat ‘Umar and Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas  (radhiyallahu anhum)  said, “I would much rather prefer to commit seventy sins at Rukyah than to commit one  sin in Makkah”.

NOTE: Rukyah is a place outside Makkah.

5.       Perform as many  tawaaf  as much as possible because a  nafl tawaaf  is superior to a  nafl Salaat.

NOTE: The  offering of two raka‘at at Maqaame Ibraaheem  is essential even after  nafl tawaaf.

6.       Perform  Salaat  in the Hateem whenever you have the chance.

7.       Visit Jannatul Ma‘alaa (the graveyard of Makkah) and other sacred places of Makkah.

8.       Utilise your time in doing good.  Remember! You may not get this opportunity again.

When a person sets forth to perform Hajj or Umrah and passes away en route, he shall not be brought (before Allah) for judgement, nor will he have to give account. It shall be said to him: ‘Enter into Jannah.’ _Targheeb

Ibne Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) says that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) addressed Makkah, “What a beautiful town you are and most beloved to me. If my people did not expel me from you I would not have stayed elsewhere._Tirmizi

GLOSSARY

Al Hajarul Aswad: The stone set in the southeast corner of the Ka‘bah. It is set about 4.5 feet from the ground in a silver casing.

Al Masjidul Haraam: The sacred Masjid in Makkah.

Al Ruknul Yamaani: The corner of the Ka‘bah preceding the corner in which lies Al Hajarul Aswad

Baytullaah: See Ka‘bah (below).

Deen: The religion Islaam.

Du‘aa: Supplication, prayer.

Durood Shareef: Salutations upon the holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

Fardh: Obligatory.

Ghusl: Bath.

Halaq: To have the head shaved.

Haraam: Forbidden.

Hateem: The semi-circle outside Ka‘bah.

Idhtibaa: To put one end of your cloth (covering the top part of your body) on the left shoulder, and take the other end from below the right armpit, throwing it over the chest onto the left shoulder, thus leaving the right arm and shoulder entirely exposed.

Ihraam: To put on the special dress (i.e. two unsewn sheets of cloth, preferably new and of white colour). Thereafter, to make the niyyah of Umrah and recite talbiyah. It has been named ihraam because after performing these three actions, certain permissible acts become prohibited (haraam)

Women enter into the state of  ihraam  without putting on the special clothing. It is for men only.
Istighfaar: To ask forgiveness from Allah ta‘aalaa.

Ka‘bah: The Sacred House of Allah ta‘aalaa which stands in the centre of the sacred Mosque of Makkah.

Makrooh Tahreemi: Prohibited.

Maqaami Ibraaheem: A few meters away from the door of Ka‘bah stands a small kiosk (gold in colour) which contains a stone with a figurative indentation of a footprint of Prophet Ibraaheem  (alayhis salaam). This footprint was impressed into the stone during the building of Ka‘bah.

Marwah: See Safaa (below).

Mas‘aa: See Safaa and Marwah (below).

Meeqaat: It is the place which is fixed for putting on ihraam or in other words, it is the boundary beyond which a person intending to go to Makkah cannot go without  ihraam. (Jeddah is beyond this boundary, therefore one must put on  ihraam  before reaching Jeddah).

Miswaak: A stick used for cleaning teeth.

Multazam: It is the part of the Ka‘bah situated between Al Hajarul Aswad and the door of the Ka‘bah. It comes from the Arabic word meaning to become attached, and perhaps it is so called because this is the section of the Ka‘bah where a person should attach his body.

Mustahab: Desirable.

Nafl: Optional.

Niyyah: Intention.

Ramal: To walk with quick short steps; lifting the legs forcefully; chest out; and moving the shoulders simultaneously.

Sa‘ee: To walk between Safaa and Marwah seven times. It is performed walking, except for a portion in the middle, today marked by green lights, where the pace is quickened.

Safaa and Marwah: Two small hills, in Makkah. The remains of both hills are enclosed within the sacred Mosque. The two hills are separated by a distance of 394m/1247ft which is called Mas‘aa. This distance is walked, and in part run, seven  times by  those performing  Hajj  or  Umrah.

Sunnah: The way shown by the holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  – physically or verbally.

Talbiyah: Labbayk, Allaahumma labbayk. Labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Innal hamda  wanni‘mata laka wal mulk. Laa shareeka lak.

Tawaaf: The ritual circumambulation of the Ka‘bah, starting from Al Hajarul Aswad. This is done anticlockwise with the Ka‘bah on the left hand side, seven times.

Umrah: To enter into  ihraam  from Meeqaat or (for those people already in Makkah) from Masjid Tan‘eem, perform tawaaf  of Ka‘bah, walk between Safaa and Marwah and shave the head. Its rituals take place entirely in Makkah.

Waajib: Incumbent, less than fardh.

Wudhoo: Ablution.

Zam-zam: The blessed water in Makkah.

SEEKING BLESSING [TABARRUK] THROUGH THE RELICS OF THE PROPHETS AND THE PIOUS

[Translated by Mawlana Zameelur Rahman]

Hamid ibn ‘Umar narrated to us: Abu ‘Awanah narrated to us: from Tariq: from Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab: he said:

“My father was one of those who pledged [allegiance] to Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) at the tree[1]. [My father al-Musayyab] said: ‘Then we proceeded [to Makkah] the following year, as pilgrims, and the tree’s location was hidden from us. So if it is clear to you, then you are more knowledgeable than us!’” (Sahih Muslim)

His statement “its place was hidden from us”: it is mentioned in the following narration: “then they forgot its location the following year”, and in the narration of al-Bukhari: “its location was unclear to us”. Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) related the same incident according to al-Bukhari in Kitabal-Jihad (no. 2958). He said “We returned the following year and no two of us agreed about the location of the tree beneath which we pledged [allegiance]. This was a blessing from Allah.”

Al-Hafiz said in al-Fath (6:118) under the Hadith of Ibn ‘Umar “The explanation of the wisdom behind this is that no misdeed will ensue as a result of the good that occurred beneath it. Were it to remain, it would not be safe from some ignorant people glorifying it, until it may lead them to the belief that it has the power to benefit or harm, as we see today plainly in that which is lesser than it [in value]. Ibn ‘Umar alluded to this by his statement ‘this was a blessing from Allah’ by which he meant its obscurity to them was a blessing from Allah Most High after that. It is possible that the meaning of his statement ‘a blessing from Allah’ is that the tree was the place of Allah’s mercy and the location of His pleasure, due to the descent of pleasure over the believers near it.”

Al-Hafiz said in al-Maghazi (7:448) “Moreover, I found that according to Ibn Sa’d, with an authentic chain from Nafi’, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was informed that a group of people approached the tree and prayed near it, so he admonished them, and commanded it be cut down and so it was cut down.”

The Issue of Seeking Blessing (Tabarruk) through the Relics (Athar) of the Prophets and the Pious

Some ‘ulama adduce from this narration of Ibn Sa’d proof that tabarruk through the relics of the pious is prohibited. However, this inference is not strong, because it is possible ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) cut down the tree because he was aware that the tree at which the pledge was taken was not known to anyone; and because the tree that people claimed was the Tree of Ridhwan and prayed near, should not be identified as the tree at which the pledge was taken. This is proven by what al-Bukhari transmitted in al-Maghazi with the complete [wording] of the hadith of this chapter whose phrasing is:

From Tariq ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman: he said: “I went as a pilgrim and I passed by a group of people praying, so I asked:What mosque is this?’ They said: ‘This is the tree at which Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) pledged the allegiance of Ridhwan.’ I then went to Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab and related this to him, and Sa’id said: My father narrated to me that he was one of those who pledged [allegiance] to Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) beneath the tree. He said: ‘When we went out the following year we forgot its location and were unable to recognise it.’ Then Sa’id said: ‘Verily the Companions of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not know and you know [its location], so you are more knowledgeable than them!’”

It is, therefore, clear that the tree which the people would pray near was not the tree beneath which the pledge of Ridwan occurred, and for this reason Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab (radhiyallahu anhu) did not repudiate them for their tabarruk in praying near it; he only repudiated their tenacity in specifying the location of that tree. So it is possible ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) cut down the tree from this standpoint, not because he did not believe in tabarruk through relics. As regards to what has passed from [the narration of] Jabir (radhiyallagu anhu) in which he said: “If I could see I would show you the place of the tree”, this does not prove anything besides that he (radhiyallahu anhu) was confident in his knowledge of the location of the tree and that he could guide to it to the best of his belief. This does not entail that it corresponds to the same thing.

The permissibility of tabarruk through the relics of the Prophets and the pious has been established from a number of hadiths:

From them is what al-Bukhari transmitted in Kitab al-Libas, Bab ma Yudhkaru fi l-Shayb (no. 5896) from ‘Uthman ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Mawhab (radhiyallahu anhu) that he said: “My people sent me with a bowl of water to Umm Salamah (radhoyallahu anha).” Isra’il approximated three fingers [indicating the small size of the container] in which there were some hairs of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). ‘Uthman added: “If any person suffered from an evil eye or some other disease, he would send a vessel (containing water) to Umm Salamah. I looked into the container [that contained the hair of the Prophet] and saw a few red hairs in it.

Al-Hafiz said under it in al-Fath (10:353): “The intended meaning is that one who complained [of an illness] was sent to Umm Salamah with a vessel, in which she placed those hairs and bathed them in it and then returned it. The owner of the vessel would then drink [from it] or bathe with it in seeking a cure from it. Thus, he would acquire its blessing.”

From them is what al-Bukhari transmitted in Kitab al-Isti’dhan (no. 6271) from Anas (Allah be pleased with him): “Umm Sulaym (radhiyallahu anha) used to spread a leather sheet for the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and he used to take a midday nap on that leather sheet at her home.” Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had slept, she would take some of his sweat and hair and collect it in a bottle and then mix it with suk (a kind of perfume) while he was still sleeping.” Abu Thumamah said: “When the death of Anas bin Malik approached, he advised that some of that suk be mixed with his hanut (perfume for embalming the dead body).” He said: “and it was mixed with his hanut.” Muslim added in his narration: “The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) woke up and said ‘What are you doing?’ She said ‘We hope for its blessing for our children.’ He said: ‘You have done what is right.’” This is unequivocal in [proving] the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) approval of her act.

From them is what al-Bukhari transmitted in Kitab al-AshribahBab al-Sharb min Qadh al-Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam (no. 5637) in the hadith of Sahl ibn Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu): “Then the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Companions went towards the shed of Bani Sa’ida and sat there. Then he said, ‘Give us to drink, O Sahl!’ So I took out this bowl and gave them to drink from in it.” The sub-narrator added: “Sahl took out for us that very bowl and we all drank from it.” He added: “Later on ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz requested Sahl to present it to him as a gift, and he presented it to him as a gift.

This hadith is to come from the compiler (Muslim ibn Hajjaj) in Kitab al-Ashribah (Bab Ibahatu al-Nabidh) if Allah wills, and al-Nawawi said under it: “This contains [proof] of tabarruk through the relics of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), that which he touched, wore or took as a means. This is close to something that has been agreed upon. The Predecessors (salaf) and the Successors (khalaf) practiced tabarruk through praying at the prayer-place of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) at the Noble Rawdah, and entering the cave which he entered etc. Related to this is the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) giving Abu Talha (radhiyallahu anhu) his hair to distribute amongst the people and his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) giving his loincloth to shroud his daughter…

From them is what al-Bukhari transmitted in Kitab al-Ashribah (no. 5638) from ‘Asim al-Ahwal that he said: “I saw the bowl of the Prophet with Anas bin Malik, and it had been broken, and he had mended it with silver plates. That bowl was quite wide and made of Nadar wood. Anas said, ‘I gave the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan) to drink from that bowl more than so-and-so times.’” Consider how Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) cared for the bowl to the extent that he mended it with silver plates after it had broken. This [act] is nothing besides tabarruk through it.

From them is what Ibn al-Sakan transmitted from Thabit al-Banani that he said: “Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) said to me: ‘This is a hair from the hairs of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Put it beneath my tongue‘” He said “So I placed it beneath his tongue and he was buried while it was beneath his tongue.” Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) mentioned this in al-Isabah (1:84) in the biography of Anas (radhiyallahu anhu).

As for tabarruk through religious places (mashahid) and visiting them, the most balanced view on this is what Ibn Taymiyyah transmitted from Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) that “he was asked whether a man should go to those religious places (mashahid) in Madinah and outside Madinah? He said: ‘With regards to the hadith of Ibn Umm Maktum (radhiyallahu anhu) that he asked the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to come and pray in his house so he could adopt [that area] as a place of prayer, or regarding what Ibn ‘Umar used to do by tracing the places from the journey of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) until he was seen pouring water at a certain place and was asked about this and said the Prophet would pour water here.’ Ahmad (rahimahullah) said: ‘As regards to this, there is no harm’ and he said: ‘there is a dispensation in this.’ Then he said: ‘However people go too far in excess and go overboard on this purpose’. He then mentioned the grave of al-Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) and what the people do near it. Al-Khallal narrated these in Kitab al-Adab.”

Al-Hafiz ibn Taymiyyah after relating the statement of Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) said: “With regards to religious places which are places at which the relics of the Prophets and pious are present, and are not mosques, like certain places in Madinah, Abu ‘Abdullah (Ahmad ibn Hanbal) distinguished between a few which people do not take as places of celebration (‘id) and many which they take as places of celebration, as has passed. This distinction combines between the narrations and statements of the Companions, for indeed al-Bukhari narrated in his Sahih from Musa ibn ‘Uqbah that he said: ‘I saw Salim ibn ‘Abdullah searching for places in the road and praying at them, and he narrated that his father (Ibn ‘Umar) would pray at them, and that (Ibn ‘Umar) saw the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) pray at those places.’ Musa said: ‘Nafi’ narrated to me that Ibn ‘Umar would pray at those places.’” See Iqtida al-Sirat al-Mustaqim by Ibn Taymiyyah (pp. 374-5).

The upshot is that if visiting these religious places is like visiting historical sites, or to envision what happened there of blessed acts, and to increase faith and contentment by remembering them, and to attain blessings from them, there is no harm in that. As for taking them as places of celebration or believing that they benefit or harm or glorifying them in ways that resemble worship (bima yushbih al-‘ibadah), that is not permissible.

By this [principle] is understood what Sa’id ibn Mansur narrated in his Sunan from Ma’rur ibn Suwayd that he said with regard to ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu): “We went out with him in the Hajj he performed … When he returned from Hajj he saw people hastening to a mosque. He said: ‘What is this?’ They said: ‘The mosque at which Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayed.’ He said: ‘This is how the Ahl al-Kitab (People of the Book) before you perished. They took the relics of their Prophets as synagogues. One who finds the prayer there should pray and one who does not find the prayer there should leave.’”

And in a narration from him “he saw the people going along paths and said: ‘where are these people going?’ And it was said: ‘O Commander of the Believers! The mosque at which the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayed.’ He then said: ‘Those before were destroyed for the like of this. They would trace the relics of their Prophets and take them as churches and synagogues, so whoever from you acquires the prayer in these mosques should pray and whoever does not should leave and not [pray] there purposefully.’”

Thus ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) disliked taking the prayer-place of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as a place of celebration, fearing that this will lead to innovations and abominations. Otherwise it has been proven ‘Umar (radhiyallahu qnhu) showed eagerness in protecting the relics [of the Prophet] in what al-Bukhari transmitted from al-Zubayr that Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) requested from al-Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhu) the spear with which he killed Abu Dhat al-Karish on the day of Badr. In it is mentioned: “When Allah’s Messenger died, al-Zubayr took it back. After that Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) demanded it and he gave it to him, and when Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) died, he took it back. ‘Umar then demanded it from him and he gave it to him. When ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) died, al-Zubayr took it back, and then ‘Uthman (Allah be pleased with him) demanded it from him and he gave it to him. When ‘Uthman (Allah be pleased with him) was killed, the spear remained with Ali’s (Allah be pleased with him) offspring. Then ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (Allah be pleased with him) demanded it, and it remained with him till he was martyred.” [See KitabalMaghazi in Sahih al-BukhariBab Shuhud al-Mala’ikati Badran.]

This proves the importance the rightly guided caliphs, particularly al-Faruq (radhiyallahu anhu), attached to preserving a spear although there are many spears in the world. This was not [done for any reason] besides [the fact] that the spear remained with Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for a period of time, so they sought tabarruk through it.

(Takmilah Fath al-Mulhim vol 3 pp. 301-5)

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[1] This refers to the tree situated in Hudaybiyyah, a town ten miles north of Makkah, at which 1,400 believers pledged to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) their willingness to fight against the pagans of Makkah who had captured ‘Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) when he was dispatched to them as a peaceful envoy. It is known as the Tree of Ridhwan (pleasure) due to Allah’s pleasure descending on the believers as mentioned in Qur’an 48:18. (Translator) 

Source: Deoband.org

The Qur’an Unimpeachable: Refutation to John Gilchrist’s slander on the Authenticity of The Holy Qur’an

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INTRODUCTION

This  treatise  is  in  refutation  of  the  booklet,  “Evidence  for  the Collection  of  the  Qur’aan”,  written  by  one  Christian  missionary, Mr.  John  Gilchrist.  The  booklet  of  Gilchrist  is  merely  a  page from  the  long  Christian  history  of  abortive  attempts  to  assail  the integrity  and  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef.  But,  as  all previous  Christian  writers  and  other  enemies  of  Islam  have failed  in  the  attempt  to  blacken  the  glory  of  the  Qur’an’s glittering  authenticity,  so  too,  does  Gilchrist  follow  suit.  He  has miserably failed in his scheme.

Gilchrist  tries  to  compare  the  Bible  with  the  Qur’an  in regard  to  authenticity.  To  say  the  least,  this  claim  is  laughable. This  is  not  the  occasion  to  present  argument  for  the  refutation of  this  fallacy.  If  Allah  wills,  a  separate  article  shall  be prepared  to  adequately  expose  the  fallacy  of  the  comparison  of the bible with the Qur’an Majeed.

Despite  his  dilatory  ramblings  directed  against  the  Qur’an Majeed,  Gilchrist  is  constrained  by  the  I’jaaz  and  the  Divine nature  of  the  Qur’an  Hakeem  to  droop  his  head  and  feebly confess:

…  whereas  the  Qur’aan  may  have  been  remarkably transcribed,  even  to  the  point  of  inerrancy,  from  the  time  of Uthman…

Remarkably  transcribed  even  to  the  point  of  inerrancy”  is indeed  a  remarkable,  if  not  gracious,  confession  from  a  man  set out  to  denigrate  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed. Gilchrist  is  not  the  solitary  soul  among  the  non-Muslim  critics of  the  Qur’an  who  have  conceded  the  remarkable  authenticity of  the  Qur’an  Shareef.  Many  other  hostile  critics  have conceded,  albeit  reluctantly,  the  high  degree  of  accuracy  and authenticity  of  the  glorious  Qur’an.  No  book  can  ever  hope  to compare  with  the  Qur’an  Majeed  in  authenticity  and  in “inerrancy” of transcription.

No  matter  how  hard  the  detractors  of  the  Qur’an  blow  their trumpets,  they  cannot  achieve  their  heart’s  desire  and  aim  of faulting  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an.  It  is  for  this  reason  that we  find  repeated  attempts  by  Christian  writers  to  sully  the Qur’an’s  authenticity.  But,  each  time  an  attempt  is  made, failure  is  the  result,  hence  the  attempt  is  renewed  by  another adversary  of  the  Qur’an.  But,  all  such  attempts  are  perpetually doomed to failure for the Qur’an Majeed declares:

“They  desire  to  blow  out  the  Noor  of  Allah  with  their  mouths. But, Allah will  complete  His Noor  even though the  kaafiroon detest it.”

[MAJLISUL ULAMA OF S.A  

IN  THE  NAME OF ALLAH, THE  MOST MERCIFUL

Inspite  of  his  desperate  and  abortive  endeavors  to  show  that  the Qur’an–e–Hakeem  is  not  authentic  and  that  the  Qur’an Shareef  has  suffered  the  same  fate  as  the  Bible  in  regard  to distortion,  interpolation  and  deletion,  John  Gilchrist  has  been constrained  to  make  the  following  admission:

This  booklet  contains  a  brief  historical  survey  of  the collection  of  the  Qur’an  text  from  the  time  of Muhammad’s  death  until  the  caliphate  of  Uthmaan when  the  text  was  finally  standardized  into  the  form  in which  it appears  today.” (Page i- Gilchrist’s brochure on the Qur’an)

In  fact  Gilchrist’s  contentions are  all  supposedly  based  on  the developments  during  the  period  stated  in  the  aforementioned paragraph  of  Gilchrist’s  booklet,  hence  he  says  on  the  cover  of his  brochure:

A  study  of  the  textual  history  of  the  Qur’an  from  the death  of Muhammad  to  the  Caliphate of  Uthmaan,

From  this  statement  and  the  abovementioned  admission  made by  Gilchrist, the  following  facts  are  of great significance:

The  supposed  changes  (supposed  by  Gilchrist)  which  occurred in  the  Qur’an  Shareef  were  wrought  in  the  period  from  the death  of  Muhammad  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  until Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) Khilaafat.

Since  the  time  of  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  to  this  day  there  exists  the  “standardized  form”  of  the Qur’an  Shareef.  In  other  words,  Gilchrist  concedes  at  least  this much  that  the  Qur’an  which  the  World  of  Islam  possesses  and reads  today  is  the  same  Standard  Form  which  was  “finally standardized”  by  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radiyallahu  anhu).

The  demise  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  occurred in  the  year  632  of  the  Christian  Era  and  the  demise  of  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  happened  in  656  of  the  Christian Era  (C.E.).  Thus,  the  period  from  the  demise  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  to  the  demise  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  a  duration  of  a  mere  24  years.  But  for  the purpose  of  our  discussion  this  period  shrinks  to  a  mere  14  years since  the  event  of  the  standardization  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef  by Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  took  place  in  about  26 Hijri  (646  C.E.)  after  the  Conquest  of  Armenia  by  the  forces  of Islam.

These  facts  lead  to  the  conclusion  that  the  contended  change and  interpolation  (supposed  by  Gilchrist)  occurred  during  these 14  years.  At  the  end  of  this  brief  period,  the  process  of interpolation  was  effectively  halted  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  who  arranged  the  Standardized  Copy  of  the Qur’an  Shareef  –  the  very  same  version  we  possess  to  this  day, a  fact  which  Gilchrist  himself concedes  in  his  statement:

“.. until  the  caliphate  of  Uthmaan  when  the  text  was finally  standardized  into  the  form  in  which  it  appears today.”

In sha’Allah,  it  shall  be  shown  later  that  the  ‘Standardized Form”  in  our  possession  is  the  very  Qur’an  which  existed during  the  time  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  –  the Qur’an  which  Nabi–e–Kareem    (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) and  all  the  Sahaabah  recited.  There  is  absolutely  no  difference in  the  Version  which  the  Ummah  recites  today  and  in  the Version  which  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  recited. However,  before  proceeding  to  negate  and  neutralize  the baseless  claims  and  assertions  of  Gilchrist  pertaining  to  the supposed  change  which  occurred  in  the  brief  span  of  14  years,  it is  necessary  to  draw  attention  to  the  admission  of  Gilchrist  –  an admission  which  knocks  out  the  very  bottom  of  his  contention that  the  Qur’an  is  not  authentic.  It  is  Gilchrist’s  claim  that  the Qur’an  Shareef  has  been  altered  and  the  Qur’an  in  our possession  today  is  not  the  whole  of  the  Qur’an  which  existed during  the  time  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  But, his  claim  contains  an  absurd  contradiction  in  that  he  concedes the  authenticity  of  the  Version  standardized  by  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  while  denying  the  irrefutable  fact that  the  “Uthmaan”  version  is  none  other  than  the  very  Version which  existed  in  the  time  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  In  conceding  that  the  Qur’an  which  we  have  today in  our  possession  is  the  “text”  which  was  “standardized  into  the form  in  which  it  appears  today”  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (Radiallahu  anhu)  more  than  1400  hundred  years  ago,  Gilchrist is  guilty  by  implication  of  the  ludicrous  claim  that  while  the Qur’an  Shareef  withstood  the  ravages  and  vicissitudes  of fourteen  hundred  years  (from  the  time  of  Uthmaan  –radhiyallahu anhu  –  to  the  present)  and  retained  the  authenticity  bestowed by  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  it  (the  Qur’an)  failed  to maintain  its  originality  during  the  short  period  of  14  years  (from the  demise  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  –  to  the time  when  it  was  standardized  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  – (radhiyallahu  anhu).  This  conclusion  is  absurd  to  the  extreme.  No unbiased  and  intelligent  person  can  be  prepared  to  accept  that the  Qur’an  inspite  of  withstanding  the  ravages  of  14  centuries in  maintaining  its  form  (as  standardized  by  Uthmaan)  lacked the  ability  to  perform  this  same  feat  of  maintaining  its authenticity in  the  short period  of 14  years.

How  is  it  possible  for  the  Qur’an  to  have  been  so  well preserved  for  14  centuries  and  on  the  admission  of  Gilchrist himself  the  very  form  standardized  by  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  “appears  today”,  but  could  not  be  preserved  in  the  form handed  down  by Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  for only 14  years??!

If  the  process  of  interpolation  and  deletion  had  set  in  after  the demise  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  how  was  this supposed  process  arrested  and  eliminated  to  give  rise  to  a Qur’anic  version  which  held  its  originality  and  authenticity  for fourteen  centuries  –  from  the  time  of  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  to  this  day??  The  following  facts  should  not  escape  the seeker  of the  truth:

i) After  the  demise  of Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  the process  of  the  initiation  of  deviated  sects  set  in.  Groups inimical  to  the  Sahaabah  and  the  true  teachings  of  Islam reared  their  heads.

ii)  A  great  number  of  Sahaabah  had  already  departed  from  this world.

iii)  In  contrast,  the  number  of  the  Sahaabah  living  during  the fourteen  years  from  the  demise  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  to  the  occasion  of  the  “standardization”  of the  Qur’an  Shareef  was  greater.

Keeping  in  mind  these  facts,  it  can  never  be  accepted  that inspite  of  the  Qur’an  retaining  its  originality  (the  “form standardized”  by  Uthmaan)  for  14  long  centuries  when  all  the Sahaabah,  the  first  students,  scribes  and  teachers  of  the Qur’an,  had  departed  and  deviated  sects  sprang  up,  it  (the Qur’an  Shareef)  lost  its  authenticity  in  the  very  first  fourteen years  after  the  demise  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam),  a  period  in  which  all  the  Sahaabah  existed.  If  the first  Scribes  –  those  who  memorized  the  whole  Qur’aan  under the  supervision  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  –  and the  first  Students  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) had failed  to  preserve  the  originality  and  the  authenticity  of  the Qur’an  Shareef  in  the  first  14  years,  then  how  was  it  possible for  the  Ummah  of  Islam  to  have  retained  the  authenticity  of  the Uthmaani  Version  for  such  a  long  period  of  14  centuries  when so  many  forces  inimical  to  Islam  were  arraigned  against  the Qur’an  and  Islam?  If  this  feat  could  have  been  accomplished by  those  not  directly  connected  with  the  Qur’an  (i.e.  non-Sahaabah),  what  is  the  difficulty  which  precluded  those  directly connected  to  the  Qur’an  (viz.,  the  Sahaabah)  to  have  retained the  authenticity  of  Muhammad’s  Version  for  a  mere  14  years? Intelligence  will not  accept Gilchrist’s claim  to  be  rational.

Gilchrist  has  named  his  brochure:  “Evidences  for  the  Collection of  the  Qur’aan”. On  the  basis  of  these  “evidences”  he  seeks  to refute  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef.  But  all  such “evidences”  are  confined  to  the  initial  fourteen-year  period when  all  the  Sahaabah  and  authorities  of  the  Qur’an  were  alive and  propagating  the  Qur’an,  its  teachings  and  recital,  exactly as  they  had  obtained  it  from  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  In  the  attempt  to  negate  the  authenticity  of  the Qur’aan  Shareef,  Gilchrist  has  been  compelled  to  ignore fourteen  centuries  which  have  passed  over  the  Qur’an-e-Hakeem  –  fourteen  hundred  years  which  saw  no  change overcoming  the  Qur’an  according  to  even  Gilchrist  who  has been  constrained  by  the  miraculous  nature  of  the  Qur’an  to proclaim  the  authenticity  of  this  Divine  Book  in  the  following words, albeit inadvertently:

…the  collection  of  the  Qur’aan  text  from  the  time  of Muhammad’s  death  until  the  caliphate  of  Uthmaan when  the  text  was  finally  standardized  into  the  form  in which  it appears  today  (fourteen  hundred  years  after  the event).” (NB:  Words  in  brackets  are  ours).

If  the  Qur’an  has  undergone  change  as  the  Bible  has  according to  Gilchrist,  then  why  has  he  overlooked  fourteen  centuries  of the  Qur’an’s  history??  If  the  process  of  interpolation  and deletion  supposedly  wrought  in  the  Qur’aan  was  initiated  after the  demise  of  Prophet Muhammad    (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  why did  this  process  not  continue  after  the  14  years  when  it  was “finally  standardized  into  the  form  in  which  it  appears  today”? What  hidden  and  mysterious  power  preserved  the  authenticity and  originality  of  the  “standardized”  version  for  full  fourteen hundred  years?  In sha’Allah,  it  shall  be  shown  that  the  form standardized  during  the  time  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  the  very  same  form  which  existed  during  the  time  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  It  now  devolves  on  us to  produce  the  proof  to  establish  this  claim.  Once  it  has  been substantiated  that  the  Version  recited  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  is  the  very  same  Version  adopted  during  the Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  then  Gilchrist will  have  no  rational  option  other  than  conceding  the authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  since  he  has  already  admitted  that the  form  of  the  Qur’an  standardized  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  is  the  very  same  form  which  is  in  our possession today.

MUSLIM ATTITUDE TO THE TEXT OF THE QUR’AN

Gilchrist  says on  page  1  of  his  brochure:

It  is  universally  believed  throughout  the  Muslim  world that  the  Qur’an  in  circulation  today  is  precisely  that which  Allah  revealed  to  Muhammad,  that  nothing whatsoever  has  been  changed,  that  no  passage  has  been omitted  from  the  text,  that  no  man  added  to  it,  and  that, down  to  the  last  letter,  it  has  been  preserved  intact  by the  power  of God.”

This  is  precisely  what  Muslims  claim.  The  Qur’an  is  the  Divine and  Eternal  Truth.  The  Qur’an  in  our  possession  is  the  very Qur’an-  down  to  the  last  letter  –  which  was  revealed  to Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Over  fourteen centuries  of  time  attests  to  the  authenticity  and  the  unchanged form  of  the  Qur’an.  Friend  and  foe  alike  bear  testimony  to  the Eternal  and  Unaltered  Truth  of  the  Qur’an.  Gilchrist’s  laments and  baseless  comparison  with  the  Bible  will  never  alter  the irrefutable  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an.  We  contend  without  the slightest  fear  of  contradiction  that  nothing  whatever  has  been added  to  or  deleted  from  the  Qur’an.  Whatever  “proof”  and “evidence”  Gilchrist  has  adduced  in  his  brochure  to  refute  the claim of  Islam will, In sha’Allah,  be  demolished.

THE  DIACRITICAL SIGNS IN  THE  QUR’AN

On page 2 of  his  brochure, Gilchrist  asserts:

…  and  yet  the  history  of  the  Qur’aan  text  shows  that diacritical  points  distinguishing  the  Arabic  consonants and  the  relative  vowel  points  were  only  introduced  at least  two  hundred  years  after  Muhammad’s  death.  The earliest  Qur’aans,  in  kufic  and  other  scripts,  all  had  only seventeen  consonants  (whereas  the  Arabic  letters distinguished  by  diacritical  points  etc.  today  number twenty-nine)  and  none  were  accompanied  by  vowel points.

It  is  abundantly  clear  from  the  above  line  of  reasoning  adopted by  Gilchrist  that  he  is  totally  in  the  dark  regarding  the  claim which  Islam  makes  in  relation  to  the  Qur’an.  By  the  QUR’AAN is  meant  the  REVELATION  to Prophet Muhammad    (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  The  Qur’an  is  that  Speech  of  Allah  Ta’ala  which  was revealed  to  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam). And,  it  is our  claim  that  the  very  Speech  revealed  to Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  –  known  as  the  Qur’an  –  is  intact to  this  day.  It  has  not  suffered  the  slightest  bit  of  alteration.  The Qur’an  as  recited  in  this  day  is  EXACTLY  the  Qur’aan  which was  recited  by  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  It  is  a self-evident  fact  that  the  Qur’an  was  not  revealed  in  the written  form.  The  Divine  Revelation  was  transmitted  verbally by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  to  the  Sahaabah.  The insertion  of  diacritical  points  is  exactly  in  the  same  category  as the  insertion  of  the  letters  of  the  Arabic  alphabet.  Like  the letters  of  the  Arabic  alphabet  (i.e.  the  written  characters) produce  the  sounds  and  pronunciations  of  the  Speech  of  the Revelation,  so  too,  do  the  diacritical  points  and  signs.  The diacritical  points  and  signs  are  in  a  similar  category  as  the written  representatives  of  the  Arabic  letters,  viz,  the  Huroof. These  Huroof  in  the  first  instance  or  in  actual  fact  are pronunciations,  not  written  forms.  The  written  forms  merely represent  the  actual  sounds  produced  by  the  “letters”,  the Huroof.

If  a  verbal  statement  is  committed  to  writing  and  the  form  of the  writing  is  such  as  to  produce  exactly  the  same  statement which  was  spoken  –  not  the  meaning  of  the  statement,  but  the actual  words  spoken  –  then  such  writing  can  by  no  stretch  of intelligent  reasoning    be  interpreted  as  an  addition  or  a  change to  the  spoken  words.  Yes,  if  in  the  written  words  such  a  change has  been  introduced  to  bring  about  a  variation  between  the spoken  statement  and  the  written  statement,  then  undoubtedly, the  claim  of  alteration  will  be  valid.  But,  in  the  total  absence  of any  variation  between  the  spoken  words  and  the  written  words, the claim of alteration is unfounded and absurd.

In  the  Qur’anic  Revelation,  not  only  diacritical  signs  and points  were  absent,  even  written  consonants  representing  the sounds  of  the  consonant  letters  were  absent  since  the  Qur’an was  not  revealed  in  written  characters.  Thus,  if  Gilchrist  insists that  the  inclusion  of  diacritical  signs  and  vowel  points represents  alteration  in  the  Qur’an,  then  in  terms  of  the  same line  of  reasoning  he  will  have  to  expand  his  denial  of  the Qur’an’s  authenticity  by  claiming  that  the  Qur’an  in  the written  form  –  even  the  supposedly  “only  seventeen consonants”  represent  change  and  addition  to  the  original Qur’an  revealed  to Prophet  Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam). But, the absurdity of such a claim is manifest.

It  has  never  been  claimed  by  Muslims  that  the  exactness  and precision  of  the  Qur’an  in  circulation  today  to  that  of  the Revealed  Qur’an  incorporate  the  tangible  or  material component  parts  of  the  Book  such  as  the  physical  pages,  the ink,  the  lines  drawn  in  the  Book,  the  calligraphic  inscriptions, the  decoration,  etc.  The  exactness  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef  in circulation  today  compares  with  the  exactness  of  the  Revelation with  great  precision.  Thus,  the  Qur’anic  words  which  are recited  today  by  the  Ummah  of  Islam  are  the  exact  and  precise words  which  were  revealed  to Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam),  and  the  exactness  which  we  are  contending  refers not  only  to  recital,  but  to  content  matter  as  well,  i.e.  the  whole  of the  revealed  Qur’an  excluding  the  Mansukhut  Tilaawah (abrogated  recital)  Aayaat  (abrogated  By  Allah  Ta’ala Himself, not  by  any  follower  of  Islam).  This  aspect  will  be  discussed  later in greater detail.

The  appearance  of  diacritical  signs  and  points  (fathah, kasrah,  dhammah,  jazm,  etc.)  is  similar  to  the  appearance  of  the alphabetical  letters  (the  Huroof)  in  the  written  text  of  the Qur’an  –e–Hakeem.  Just  as  written  letters  are  non-existent  in the  Qur’anic  Wahi  (Revelation)  so  too  are  diacritical  points  and signs  absent.  Just  as  alphabetical  letters  are  employed  to produce  sound  and  pronunciation,  so  too,  are  diacritical  signs and  points  utilized  in  the  Qur’anic  written  text  to  produce sound  and  pronunciation.  The  Arabic  Huroof  (alphabetical letters)  are  mere  symbols  or  characters  used  to  represent  sound and  the  diacritical  signs,  in  the  same  way,  are  symbols  or characters  which  represent  the  vowel  sounds.  In  having inserted  diacritical  signs  in  the  written  text,  no  new  sound  or new  word  or  new  phrase  has  been  added  to  the  Qur’an.  The recited  word  in  Arabic  is  exactly  the  same  whether  diacritical signs and points are included or excluded from the text.
The  diacritical  signs  and  points  are  merely  part  of  a  system  of handwriting  which  represent  the  original  uttered  or  verbal statement.  A  Haafiz  reciting  the  Qur’aan  from  memory  recites in  exactly  the  same  way  as  a  person  who  recites  from  the  text observing  the  diacritical signs  and  points. There  is  absolutely  no difference  in  the  actual  recital  which  is  what  the  actual  Qur’an is.  The  original  form  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef  is  verbal  recital,  not written  characters  which  merely  are  representative  of  the  actual revealed and verbal Qur’an.

A statement  taken  down  in  stenography  (any  system  of  shorthand  writing)  is  not  an  addition  or  interpolation  of  the  original statement.  When  the  statement  recorded  in  shorthand  is  read  or recited  it  will  compare  in  exactness  to  the  original  verbal expression.  Therefore,  the  claim  that  the  diacritical  signs  and points  represent  an  addition  to  the  Qur’an  is  utterly nonsensical.

If  the  diacritical  signs  and  points  produced  any  variation  in the  recital  of  the  Qur’an  or  if  thereby  a  new  word,  letter  or phrase  was  introduced  into  the  text,  then  Gilchrist  would  have had  a  valid  argument.  But,  since  not  a  single  new  letter  has been  introduced  by  these  signs  and  points,  the  fallacy  of Gilchrist’s argument is manifest.

In  written  Arabic,  the  diacritical  signs  and  points  are  not normally  inserted.  These  signs  have  been  inserted  only  to facilitate  correct  recitation  by  non-Arabic  speaking  Muslims, just  as  the  entire  Revealed  Qur’an  has  been  inserted  between two  covers  on  pages,  in  the  written  form,  to  facilitate  authentic preservation.  The  purpose  of  such  signs  is  merely  to  ensure  that the  written  text  is  recited  in  exactly  the  same  way  as  the revealed  Words  of  the  Qur’an.  The  charge  of  interpolation  or addition  is  therefore  absurd.  How  can  the  diacritical  points  and signs  be  interpreted  as  an  addition  when  their  only  function  is to  enable  and  ensure  exactness  and  correctness  of  recitation?? By  what  stretch  of  imagination  and  line  of  reasoning  can  it  be honestly  claimed  that  these  signs  are  additions  to  the  Qur’aan when  they  merely  uphold  the  exactness  of  the  Revealed Qur’an??  How  can  any  sensible  man  argue  that  such  signs  and symbols  are  additions  to  the  Qur’an  when  they  produce  not  the slightest variation in the recitation of the Qur’an??

To  sum  up:  the  diacritical  signs  are  only  symbols  which represent  the  vowel  sounds  in  the  same  way  as  the  other characters  of  the  Arabic  alphabet  are  symbols  representing  the consonant  sounds.  The  non-appearance  of  the  diacritical  signs in  early  written  texts  of  the  Qur’an  was  merely  in  line  with  the style  of  Arabic  writing  which  omits  the  vowel  ‘sounds’  in  the written  text, but  not  in  the  spoken  words.

THE  CLAIM  OF  17  AND  29  LETTERS  OF  THE  ARABIC ALPHABET

Gilchrist asserts: “The  earliest  Qur’aans,  in  kufic  and  other  scripts  all had  only  seventeen  consonants  (whereas  the  Arabic letters  distinguished  by  diacritical  points,  etc.,  today number  twenty-nine)  and  none  were  accompanied  by vowel points.”

This  statement  seeks  to  convey  the  impression  that  the  Arabic language  in  which  the  Qur’an  Shareef  was  revealed  consisted of  only  seventeen  consonants  and  no  vowels  and  that  the  vowels were  later  accretions.  By  implication  the  reader  is  asked  to  form the  conclusion  that  since  the  vowels  and  even  further consonants  were  incorporated  into  the  Arabic  language centuries  after  the  revelation  of  the  Qur’an,  new  phonetic sounds  were  introduced  into  the  Arabic  language.  Since  such “new  phonetic  sounds”  represented  by  the  diacritical  signs  and points,  etc,  are  employed  in  the  Qur’anic  written  text,  it  has  to follow  that  the  Qur’an  in  circulation  today  cannot  be  exactly the  same  as  the  revealed  words  of  the  Qur’an  which  descended to  Muhammad (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  An  ignoramus  and a  person  not  versed  with  the  Arabic  language  will  swallow  such drivel and baseless assumptions which are nothing but false.

The  Arabic  language  always  had  the  same  number  of  letters i.e.  actual  letters,  the  sounds  and  the  pronunciations.  The  idea that  an  extra  12  letters  were  incorporated  into  the  Arabic language  centuries  after  the  revelation  of  the  Qur’an-e- Kareem  is  blatantly  false.  It  has  already  been  explained  earlier that  the  actual  and  the  original  way  of  writing  Arabic  is  without the  diacritical  points  and  signs  which  represent  the  vowel sounds  and  some  other  consonants.  But,  while  the  verbal statements  may  be  reduced  to  the  written  form  with  characters which  all  seem  to  amount  to  only  “seventeen  consonants”,  the conclusion  that  there  were  only  seventeen  consonants  in  the Arabic  language  of  the  early  days  is  erroneous.  This  erroneous conclusion  stems  from  being  ignorant  of  the  Arabic  language. Those  versified  with  Arabic  will  not  read  the  written  statement with  only  seventeen  consonants.  The  diacritical  points  and distinguishing  dots  will  be  employed  mentally  to  produce  the correct vowel  and  consonant sounds. But, one  ignorant of  Arabic will  labour  under  the  false  notion  that  there  are  only  “seventeen consonants”  –  no  vowels  and  no  other  consonants  other  than those understood by Gilchrist. For example if the  ب (Baa),  ت (Taa)  and  ث (thaa)  are  written  without  their  respective distinguishing dots, it does not follow that the ں is  neither  a  Baa, nor  taa  nor  Thaa.  In  the  same  way  it  does  not  follow  that  the absence  of  dots  has  reduced  the  number  of  consonants.  It  was only  expected  of  the  Arabs  to  recite  correctly.  Their  mastery over  their  language  enabled  them  to  distinguish  the  various letters  and  to  include  the  correct  vowel  sounds  without  the external  aid  of  diacritical  points,  signs  and  dots  which  were introduced  for  the  prime  purpose  of  assisting  non-Arabic-speaking  people  to  recite  the  Qur’aan  in  exactly  the  same  way as the Revealed Words.

The  introduction  of  additional  symbols  to  distinguish  the consonants  and  to  indicate  the  correct  position  of  the  vowel sounds  in  no  way  constitutes  an  addition  to  the  Qur’an  since such  distinguishing  marks  and  dots  do  not  result  in  the introduction  of  additional  sounds,  letters  or  words.  Since  no variation  what  so  ever  is  wrought  in  the  recital  of  the  Revealed Qur’an  by  the  inclusion  of  these  distinguishing  dots  and symbols,  the  claim  of  addition  to  the  Qur’an  advanced  by Gilchrist is false.

THE EFFORT AND ENDEAVOUR OF THE UMMAH IN THE PRESERVATION OF THE ORIGINALITY OF THE QUR’AN ARE MANIFESTATIONS  OF THE DIVINE WILL TO SAFEGUARD THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE QUR’AN SHAREEF

Confronted  by  the  indisputable  fact  that  no  book  on  earth enjoys  originality  and  authenticity  as  the  Qur’an,  Gilchrist attempts  to  argue  the  insignificance of  this  fact.  He  thus  says on page 2 of his brochure:

No  amount  of  human  effort,  no  matter  how remarkably  punctilious  or  scrupulous  it  may  be,  can  be adduced  as  proof  of a  divine  miracle.

In  relation  to  the  preservation  of  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an the  super-human  effort  and  endeavours  of  the  Ummah  of  Islam are  indeed  the  reflections  of  the  Divine  Miracle  to  maintain  the authenticity  of  the  Qur’an-e-Hakeem.  The  seeker  of  the  truth will  naturally  ask.  Why  does  no  book  (other  than  the  Qur’an) enjoy  the  same  high  degree  of  total  authenticity  and  exactness as  the  Qur’an??  Why  is  it  possible  that  the  Qur’an  enjoys  the unique  and  miraculous  capacity  of  it  being  memorized  by millions  of  people  throughout  its  history-memorized  in  exactly the  same  form  as  it  was  revealed,  and  not  with  only  “seventeen consonants”  and  not  without  vowel  sounds  as  the  arguments  of Gilchrist convey  to  an  unwary  person??  Why  has  it  not  been possible  to  memorize  any  other  book – Divine  or  otherwise word-for-word,  letter  for  letter,  in  entirety?  Why  could  Jews  not safeguard  the  authenticity  of  their  Scripture  and  why  could  the Christians  not  protect  the  authenticity  of  their  Bible??  Why  has this  unique  feat  been  accomplished  by  only  the  followers  of Islam??  This  all  indicates  the  workings  of  Divine  Power.  Inspite of  the  ravages  of  time,  the  passing  of  fourteen  hundred  years, the  spiritual  and  mundane  decline  of  Muslims,  the  subjugation of  the  Muslim  people  and  their  lands  by  foreigners  inimical  to Islam,  the  initiation  of  organized  conspiracies  on  governmental basis  by  the  foes  of  Islam  to  print  false  copies  of  the  Qur’an and  distribute  among  the  illiterate  masses  of  Muslims,  the  lack of  technological  methods  of  printing,  etc,  we  find  that  the Qur’an  has  maintained  its  authenticity.  If  the  prejudiced  Mr. Gilchrist  intransigently  wishes  to  maintain  his  baseless  charge against  the  Qur’an  Shareef  which  according  to  him  was  altered in  the  first  14  years  after  the  demise  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam),  then  at  least  he  has  conceded,  albeit inadvertently,  that  the  present  Qur’aan  in  circulation  today  is the  very    same  Qur’aan  which  was  “standardized”  by  Uthmaan (Radiallahu  anhu).  Here  is  a  Book  which  on  the  admission  of Gilchrist  himself  has  withstood  the  ravages  and  vicissitudes  of fourteen  centuries.  Here  is  a  book  which  millions  of  Muslims recite  in  exactly  the  same  form  as  handed  down  to  them according  to  Gilchrist  some  fourteen  hundred  years  ago,  from the  time  of  Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) Khilaafat  which  was  only  a  decade  or  so after  the  demise  of  Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam). What  is  that  power  which  has  kept  intact  the  authenticity  of  this Book  which  even  Gilchrist  acknowledges  dates  back  to  the  time of  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu)  some  fourteen  centuries  ago?? Intelligence  will answer  that  it  is  only  Divine  Power  –  a  Divine  Miracle  which transmitted  this  Book  so  safely  and  so  intact  down  the  passage of  fourteen  hundred  years.  Indeed,  Gilchrist  will  curse  himself for  letting  the  cat  out  of  the  bag,  for  he  has  admitted  that  the Qur’an in circulation today is:

“….  The  Qur’an  text  from  the  time  of  Muhammad’s death  until  the  caliphate  of  Uthmaan  when  the  text  was finally  standardized  into  the  form  in  which  it  appears today.”

From  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  to  the  present..fourteen centuries…  and  the  same  “standardized”  text  remains  intact and  authentic  in  its  original  form!!!  What  greater  evidence  does Mr.  Gilchrist  need  as  testimony  for  the  Divine  Miracle  guarding the  Qur’an  Shareef??

On page 2 of his brochure, Gilchrist states:

As  we  analyze  the  history  of  the  text  of  the   Qur’an we  will  find  that,  like  the  Bible,  it  has  suffered  from variant  readings  and  other  vagaries,  notwithstanding the  fact that it  has  been  carefully preserved  as  a  whole.”

In  fact,  an  analysis  of  the  history  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef  will indicate  the  opposite  of  what  Gilchrist  is  out  to  achieve. Unlike the  Bible,  the  Qur’an  never  suffered  from  unauthorized  variant readings  as  the  above  statement  of  Gilchrist  tends  to  assert. Furthermore,  the  vagaries  which  reduced  the  original  Bible  to the  man-made  book  it  is  now,  never  overtook  the  Qur’aan-e-Hakeem.  Gilchrist’s  claim  is  wishful  thinking  which  cannot  be substantiated  with  facts  and  historical  evidence.  Whereas  the Bible  truly  suffered  under  the  axe  of  interpolation,  wholesale addition  and  deletion,  the  Qur’an  has  remained  in  its  original form  without  the  addition  or  deletion  of  a  single  letter.  The comparison  between  the  Qur’an  and  Bible  presented  by Gilchrist  is,  therefore,  ludicrous  and  just  cannot  be  borne  out  by evidence.

In  substantiation  for  his  claim  that  the  Qur’an  “suffered from  variant  readings”  like  the  Bible,  Gilchrist  tenders  the following narration:

Hudhaifa  was  afraid  of  their  (the  people  of  Sha’m  and Iraq)  differences  in  the  recitation  of  the  Qur’an  so  he  said to  Uthmaan,  ‘O  Chief  of  the  Believers!  Save  this  nation before  they  differ  about  the  Book  (Qur’an)  as  Jews  and the  Christians  did  before.”  So  Uthmaan  sent  a  message  to Hafsa,  saying,  ‘Send  us  the  manuscript  of  the  Qur’an  so that  we  may  compile  the  Qur’an  materials  in  perfect copies  and  return  the  manuscripts  to  you.’  Hafsa  sent  it  to Uthmaan.  Uthmaan  then  ordered  Zaid  bin  Thabit, Abdullah  bin  az-Zubair,  Sa’id  bin  al-As,  and  Abdur Rahman  bin  Harith  bin  Hisham  to  rewrite  the  manuscripts in  perfect  copies.  Uthmaan  said  to  the  three  Quraishi  men, ‘In  case  you  disagree  with  Zaid  bin  Thabit  on  any  point  in the  Qur’aan,  then  write  it  in  the  dialect  of  Quraish  as  the Qur’an  was  revealed  in  their  tongue’.  They  did  so,  and when  they  had  written  many  copies,  Uthmaan  returned the  original  manuscripts  to  Hafsa.  Uthmaan  sent  to  every Muslim  province  one  copy  of  what  they  had  copied,  and ordered  that  all  the  other  Qur’aanic  materials,  whether written  in  fragmentary  manuscripts  or  whole  copies,  be burnt.”  (Sahih  al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p.479)

Commenting  on  the  aforementioned  narration, Gilchrist  states:

This  tradition  informs  us  quite  clearly  that  other manuscripts  of  the  Qur’an,  some  in  sections,  others complete,  had  been  written  out  and  that  they  were  in use  elsewhere  in  the  conquered  territories.  Uthmaan’s order  that  they  should  be  burnt  indicates  that  there were  serious  textual  differences  between  them  and  the manuscript in  Hafsah’s  possession.”
The  following  narration  gives  a  clearer  explanation  of  the  event mentioned  in  the  Hadith of  Bukhaari:

While  participating  in  Jihaad  along  the  Armenian  front  I observed  the  people  of  Shaam  reciting  according  to  the Qira’at  of  Ubay  Bin  Ka’b  (Radiallahu  anhu),  but  the  people of  Iraq  have  not  heard  of  this  Qira’at.  The  people  of  Iraq were  reciting  according  to  the  Qira’at  of  Abdullah  Bin Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  but  the  people  of  Shaam  have not  heard  of  this  Qira’at.  In  consequence  (of  this  mutual ignorance  of  the  other’s  Qira’at)  the  one  group  was branding  the  other  as  kaafir.

This  narration  establishes  the  following  facts:

1.  The  people  of  Shaam  were  reciting  in  accordance  with  the Qira’at of  Ubay  Bin Ka’b  (radhiyallahu  anhu).

2.  The  people  of  Iraq  adhered  to  the  Qira’at  of  Abdullah  Bin Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu).

3.  The  two  forms  of  Qira’at  (Recitation)  were  imparted  by  two senior  authorities  of  Qira’at,  who  were  both senior  Sahaabah.

4.  As  a  result  of  the  one  group  being  ignorant  of  the  official  and authentic  Qira’at  of  the  other  group,  mutual  disputes  arose. The  one  group  labored  under  the  impression  that  the  other group  had  adopted  an  innovatory  and  unofficial  form  of Qira’at.

The  facts  in  this  as  well  as  other  Hadith  narrations  clearly reveal  that  the  “differences”  in  the  recitals  of  various  people were  all  official,  authorized  and  divine  forms  which  were  taught by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  to  the  Sahaabah  who in  turn  imparted  their  knowledge  of  Qira’at  to  their  students. Both  Abdullah  Ibn  Mas’ud  and  Ubay  Bin  Ka’b  (Radiallahu anhumaa)  were  senior  Sahaabah  and  authorities  of  Qira’at  who were  authorized  and  qualified  to  teach  Qira’at.  Thus,  the “variant”  forms  of  recitation  which  they  imparted  to  their respective  students  and  disciples  were  not  innovatory  and  can never  be  branded as  being  additions  to  the  Qur’an.  Their  forms of  Qira’at  were  sanctioned  by  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  who  said  that  the  Qur’an  was  revealed  in  seven forms (Sab’at-e-Ahruf).  This  may  be  new  to  Gilchrist,  but  to Muslims  and  even  those  foes  of  Islam  who  have  studied  the history  of  the  Qur’an  are  aware  of  this  fact.  Gilchrist  cites  the narration  of  Huzaifah  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  from  Bukhaari  to  back up  his  claim  of  “variant”  readings  which  he  endeavours  to  trade as  “additions”  to  the  Qur’an  while  just  a  few  lines  after  the same  narration  in  Bukhaari  appears  the  narration  speaking  of the  official  and  authoritative  forms  of  recitation.  At  the  end  of the  Hadith, Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) says:

Verily, this QUR’AAN  was  revealed  in  SEVEN FORMS
Therefore, recite according  to  whatever  form  is  easy of it.

Numerous  Hadith  narrations  and  the  history  of  the  Qur’an establish  beyond  any  doubt  that  the  “variant  readings”  which were  employed  in  the  early  days  were  all  sanctioned  by  Islam. All  such  forms  of  Qira’at  were  sanctioned  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  himself.  Such  disputes  as  Gilchrist mentions  existed  even  among  the  Sahaabah  themselves  during the  very  lifetime  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) since  all  the  Sahaabah  were  not  aware  of  ALL  the  different forms  of  Qira’at.  However,  whenever  he  would  report  to Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  obtain  clarification and  verification  of  the  form  which  he  had  heard  another Sahaabi  reciting.  The  Hadith  Kitaabs  bear  ample  testimony  to this  fact.

Since  the  Qur’an  was  revealed  in  different  forms,  it  is ridiculous  to  claim  that  any  one  of  these  authorized  forms represents  an  addition  to  the  Qur’an  since  our   contention  is that  all  the  authorized  “variant  readings”  are  revealed  and  part of  the  Qur’an.  Yes,  if  Gilchrist  asserts  that  the  Qira’at  of  Ubay Bin Ka’ab or  of Abdullah  Bin  Mas’ud  or  of any other  authority of the  Shariah  is  not  among  the  authorized  and  sanctioned versions  of  the  Qur’an,  then  there  would  be  a  charge  of interpolation.  But,  then  Gilchrist  should  furnish  his  proof  for such  a  charge.  He  does  not  possess  the  slightest  shred  of evidence  to  substantiate  any  such  claim.  The  “variant  readings” are  accepted  as  the  Qur’an  by  Islam  since  all  such  “variant readings”  were  revealed  forms.  It  is  entirely  another  matter  that all  such  “variant  readings”  have  been  discarded  by  the  Ijma’ (Unanimous  Verdict)  of  the  Ummah  since  the  time  of  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  The  official  and  divine  form  of Qira’at  adopted  by  the  Ijma’  of  the  Sahaabah  during  the  time  of Uthmaan  (Radiallahu  anhu)  exists  with  the  Ummah  today.

A  brief  history  of  the  various  forms  of  Qur’anic  recitals  will assist  readers  to  comprehend  this  issue  better.

THE  SEVEN AHRUF OF THE HOLY  QUR’AN

Among  the  many  Ahadith  mentioning  the  seven  forms  of  the Qur’an,  the  following  is  part  of  a  Hadith  recorded  in  Sahihul Bukhaari:

Verily, this  Qur’aan  was  revealed  in  seven  forms.  Therefore, recite according  to  whichever  form is  simple  of  it.

In  terms  of  the  clear  statements  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  Allah  Ta’ala  has  permitted  the  Qur’an  to  be  recited in  seven  ways.  In  Manaahilul  Irfaan,  Vol.  I,  a  narration  reads that  Hadhrat  Jibraeel  (alayhis  salaam)  informed  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam):

Allah  Ta’ala  has  ordered  that  your  Ummah  recite the Qur’aan  in  seven  ways. Therefore, recitation  in accordance  with  any one  of these  (seven)  ways is  correct.

What  is  the  meaning  of  SABA’AT-E-AHRUF  (Seven  Letters)??  The  authoritative  Ulama  of  Islam  have  explained  the  meaning of  the  seven  forms  of  recitation  in  detail.  According  to  these authorities  of  Islam  the  revealed  seven  forms  of  Qira’at  differ  in seven  ways.  These  differences  among  the  revealed  forms  or “variant readings”  are  as  follows:

1.  Difference  in  the  nouns  in  regard  to  singular,  plural, masculine  and  feminine.

2.  Differences  of  verbs  with  regard  to  the  tense, 

3.  Differences  in  I’raab  (Diacritical  Signs), 

4.  Differences  of  word  placement.  In  certain  forms  of  Qira’at  a word  may  appear  posterior  to  another  word  in  another ََQira’at. ََ

5. Differences  in  the  number  of  words.  One  form  of  Qira’at  may have  a  word  more  than  another  Qira’at.  

6.  Substitution  of  words.  A  particular  word  in  one  Qira’at  may be  substituted  with  another  word  in  another  Qira’at,  e.g.  اَهَزَشَنَن ََََََ and   اَهزَشَنَن ََ ََََ .

7.  Differences  in  Lahjah  (tone  of  voice  –  accentuation).  All  the various  qualities  and  rules  of  Tajweed  come  within  the  scope of differences in Lahjah.

The  above  explanation  totally  neutralizes  the  charge  of interpolation  brought  by  Gilchrist  against  the  Qur’an-e-Hakeem.  The  “variant  readings”  which  Gilchrist  has  tendered in  substantiation  of  his  claim  are  in  fact  integral  parts  of  the Qur’an.  They  are  revealed  forms  of  Qira’at.  Thus,  the  form  of Ubay  Bin  Ka’b  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  the  way  of  Abdullah  Bin Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  were  not  their  own  innovation,  nor any  new  style  introduced  by  anyone.  Their  forms  of  recitation which  the  people  of  Shaam  and  Iraq  had  adopted  were  among the Sab’at-e-Ahruf.

Another  fact  of  great  significance  is  that  the  variation  –  the revealed  forms  –  in  the  forms  of  Qira’at  does  not  create differences in the meanings of the Qur’an Shareef. In  the  beginning,  because  people  were  not  generally acquainted  with  the  style  of  the  Qur’an,  permission  was granted  to  recite  according  to  any  form  of  Qira’at.  This concession  and  permission  applied  to  the  time  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  period  immediately attendant  to  his  demise.  By  “any  form  of  Qira’at”  means recitation  within  the  confines  of  the  Sab’at-e-Ahruf.  It  was  the practice  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  to  recite  the entire  Qur’an  once  during  the  month  of  Ramadhan  in  the presence  of  Jibraeel  (alayhis    salaam).  During  the  year  of  his demise,  he  recited  the  Qur’aan  Majeed  twice  in  the  presence  of Hadhrat  Jibraeel  (alayhis  salaam).  This  last  recitation  is  known as  Arsah  Akheerah.  On  this  occasion  many  of  the  Qira’at  forms were  abrogated. Only  those  forms of  Qira’at  were  retained  which have  been  preserved  to  this  day  by  way  of  Tawaatur Transmission  (i.e.  being  narrated  from  generation  to  generation by way of an unbroken chain of authoritative transmission).

During  his  reign,  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiallahu  anhu)  had seven  copies  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  compiled.  In  these  seven copies  all forms of  Qira’at  were  conglomerated  by  deletion  of the diacritical  signs  and  points  or  dots  (nikaat).  The  majority  of  the authorized  forms  of  Qira’at  was  therefore  incorporated  into  this Rasmul Khat (Mode  of Writing)  of  the  Qur’aan-e-Hakeem. Those forms  of  recitation  which  could  not  be  incorporated  into  this Rasmul  Khat  were  preserved  in  separated  manuscripts. Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  ordered  that  a  separated compilation  be  made  for  each  form  of  Qira’at  not  contained  in the Rasmul Khat of the initial seven copies.

The  Ummah  of  Islam  expended  the  greatest  effort  to  learn, memorize  and  preserve  the  various  forms  of  Qira’at  (the “variant  readings”  mentioned  by  Gilchrist)  so  ably  compiled and  recorded  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  It  was  a direct  result  of  this  great  and  grand  endeavor  of  the  Ummah that  the  Knowledge  of  Qira’at  developed  into  a  well-established and  independent  science.  Hundreds  of  Ulama  and  Huffaaz devoted  their  entire  lives  to  the  preservation  of  this  science  of Qira’at.

The  very  first  step  in  this  field  was  the  momentous  action instituted  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  in  the formulation  of  this  science.  With  each  compilation  of  the  seven copies  of  the  Qur’an  which  he  sent  to  different  parts  of  the Islamic  Empire,  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu) despatched  a  qualified  Qaari  to  impart  the  knowledge  of  Qira’at to  others.  These  of  Qira’at  instructed  people  in  the  respective territories  allocated  to  them,  according  to  the  form  of  recitation in  which  they  specialized.  The  various  forms  of  recitation  were therefore  disseminated  extensively.

The  principle  which  has  been  universally  accepted  by  the entire  Ummah,  right  from  the  time  of  the  Sahaabah  was  the  fact that  the  Qira’at  had  to  be  proven  to  be  a  form  of  recitation  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The  authenticity  of  the Qira’at  had  to  be  accredited  by  the  Aimmah  (Masters)  of  Qira’at. It  is,  therefore,  abundantly  clear  that  the  “variant  readings” were  not  and  are  not  accretions  to  the  Qur’an  Shareef,  but  all were  accredited  forms  of  Qira’at  revealed  to  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  To  prove  his  contention  of  the Qur’an  having  “suffered”  additions  and  variations,  it  is essential  that  Gilchrist  present  evidence  of  such  variations which  have  not  been  accredited  by  the  Sahaabah – in  other words,  he  must  prove  that  the  “variant  readings”  about  which he  speaks  were  not  revealed  to  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  And,  in  the  process  of  furnishing  such  evidence,  he must  resort  to  the  Ahaadith  since  he  has  chosen  the  Hadith narrations to  disprove  the  authenticity of  the  Qur’alan  Majeed.

THE  WRITTEN  QUR’AAN  DURING  THE  LIFETIME  OF RASULULLAH (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)

Gilchrist  alleges  that  the  first  copy  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef compiled  by  the  command  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  Siddique (raduiyallahu  anhu)  was  not  the  full  and  complete  Revelation  in entirety. Pressing this claim, Gilchrist says:

Zaid  clearly  knew  the  Qur’an  well  but  the  suggestion that  he  knew  it  perfectly,  and  in  its  entirety,  is contradicted  by  this  statement  attributed  to  him:  So  I started  looking  for  the  Qur’an  and  collecting  it  from (what  was  written  on)  palm-leaf  stalks,  thin  white  stones and  also  from  the  men  who  knew  it  by  heart,  till  I  found the  last  Verse  of  the  Surat  at-Tauba  (repentance)  with Abi  Khuzaima  Al-Ansari,  and  I  did  not  find  it  with anybody  other  than  him.  (Sahih  al-Bukhari,  Vol.  6, p.478)”

Retention  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef  in  entirety  in  the  memory  of man  is  indeed  an  act  of  Allah  Ta’ala.  Inspite  of  the  great difficulty  and  marvel  of  the  task,  it  is  common  knowledge  that millions  of  Muslims,  from  the  childhood,  accomplish  this wonderful  feat.  Innumerable  Huffaaz  to  this  day  exist,  who  can recite  the  Qur’an  Shareef  in  entirety  from  memory.  When ordinary  Muslims,  even  kids  in  the  Ummah,  possess  the divinely  bestowed  ability  to  absorb  the  Qur’an  in  entirety  into their  memories,  what  was  the  impossibility  which  could  have precluded  such  a  great  Sahaabi  as  Zaid  Bin  Thaabit  (radhiyallahu anhu)  from having  memorized the  Qur’an  in  entirety? Zaid  Bin Thaabit  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  among  the  foremost  of  the Scribes  who  wrote  down  the  Wahi  (Qur’anic  Revelation)  under the  direct  supervision  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  Furthermore,  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu)  has  the  distinction  of being  the  only  Sahaabi  who  listened  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  recite  the  entire  Qur’an  Majeed  in  the presence  of  Jibraeel  (alayhis  salaam)  on  the  last  occasion  prior to  Nabi-e-Kareem’s  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  demise.  There is  not  the  slightest  vestige  of  doubt  in  regard  to  Zaid’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  mastery of  the  Qur’an.  That  he  was  a  Haafiz  of  outstanding  ability  is  a unanimous  fact  of  the  Ummah.  The  contrary    has  been  posited by  only  Gilchrist  and  the  enemies  of  Islam.  Gilchrist  has  not furnished  an  iota  of  evidence  to  back  up  his  claim.  Besides wishful  thinking  and  his  personal  opinion  there  is  absolutely  no evidence  for  the  suggestion  that  Hadhrat  Zaid  Bin  Thaabit (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  not  a  full  and  perfect  Haafiz  of  the Qur’an.  All  the  facts  of  the  Ahadith  which  Gilchrist  has  taken to  base  his  claims  on,  uphold  the  Ummah’s  view  that  Hadhrat Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  among  the  best  of  Huffaaz.  He knew the Qur’an in entirety from memory.

Gilchrist  presents  the  aforementioned  Hadith  of  Bukhaari  to bolster  his  suggestion  regarding  Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu anhu), and  he  claims that the  said  narration  contradicts  the  view that  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  knew  the  Qur’an  perfectly  and  in its  entirety.  But,  the  Hadith  in  question  in  no  way  contradicts this  claim.  The  Hadith  does  not  even  remotely  suggest  that Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  an  imperfect  Haafiz. Hadhrat  Zaid’s  search  for  the  verses  of  the  Qur’an  from various  people  and  from  written  materials  does  not  indicate  that he  did  not  know  the  Qur’an  perfectly  and  in  its  entirety.  The “search”  for  the  Qur’anic  Aayat  was  not  the  consequence  of Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  not  knowing  the  Qur’an perfectly  and  in  its  entirety  as  Gilchrist  has  understood  from Hadith.  The  task  of  compiling  the  Qur’an  Shareef  in  book  form was  indeed  a  momentous  undertaking.  So  great  was  this  task that Hadhrat Zaid commented:

I  take  oath  by  Allah  that  if  these  two  elders  had  imposed  on me  the  task  of  washing  some  mountain,  it  would  not  have  been as  difficult  as  the  task  of  compiling  the  Qur’an  Majeed.

The  most  stringent  measures  were  instituted  to  safeguard  the originality  and  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  Shareef.  The Sahaabah  never  relied  solely  on  the  memory  of  any  particular person  nor  on  only  memory  for  accomplishing  this  glorious  and most  difficult  task.  Inspite  of  the  existence  of  numerous  perfect Huffaaz  who  knew  the  Qur’an  perfectly  and  in  its  entirety, other  strict  measures  were  adopted  to  corroborate  the  Qur’an which was stored in the memories of the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam. Hadhrat  Zaid  Bin  Thaabit  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  being  a  perfect Haafiz  could  have  written  the  Qur’an  from  his  own  memory. Besides  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  hundreds  of  other  Huffaaz were  present.  It  was,  therefore,  relatively  simple  to  have established  an  organization  of  Huffaaz  for  the  purpose  of writing  the  Qur’an  Majeed.  Moreoever,  Hadhrat  Zaid  could have  copied  the  Qur’an  from  the  various  manuscripts  which were  written  during  the  time  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  However,  he  exercised  great  caution  in  this  holy task.  As  a  precautionary  measure  he  did  not  content  himself with  any  one  particular  method  for  compiling  the  Qur’an Shareef.  A  number  of  measures  were  employed  simultaneously to  preserve  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’anic  text.  The  measures adopted  were:

1.  Firstly,  Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  would  verify  a manuscript  or  a  written  recording  of  the  Qur’an  by  means  of his  own  memory.

2.  Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  who  also  was  a  Haafiz,  was appointed  jointly  with  Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  to accomplish  this  task.  Hence,  whenever  some  written  verses of  the  Qur’an  were  presented,  both  would  verify  and  accept these  jointly.

3.  Two  uprighteous  and  reliable  witnesses  had  to  bear testimony  as  to  the  authenticity  of  the  verses.  Only  after  the obtainal  of  such  testimony  under  oath  would  the  verses  be accepted.  This  testimony  applied  to  verses  written  under  the direct  supervision  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam). The  witness  had  to  testify  that  the  verses  were  written  in  the presence  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).

4.  The  verse  thus  accepted  and  recorded,  would  then  be compared  with the  written  records  of various  Sahaabah.

It  will  be  clear  from  the  aforegoing  explanation  that  the  search conducted  by  Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  just  one  of the  measures  which  were  adopted  in  the  task  of  compiling  the Qur’an  Shareef  in  book  form.  The  search  was  one  of  the precautionary  measures  instituted  and  cannot  be  interpreted  to mean  that  Hadhrat  Zaid  did  not  know  the  Qur’an  perfectly  and in  its  entirety. In  the  Hadith  of  Bukhaari  cited  by  Gilchrist,  the  following statement of Hadhrat Zaid (Radiallahu anhu) appears:  

..  till  I  found  the  last  Verse  of  Surat  at-Tauba  (repentance) with  Abi  Khuzaima  al-Ansari,  and  I  did  not  find  it  with  anybody other  than  him.”

Gilchrist  draws  the  following  baseless  conclusion  from  this statement:

It  was  quite  obviously  a  widespread  search  that  Zaid conducted  and  the  statement  that  one  passage  (Surah  9. 128-129)  was  found with only  one  man  shows  that no one knew  the  whole  book  by  heart.  He  could  not  find another  supposed  hafiz  who  knew  it.”

Gilchrist  draws  heavily  from  the  works  of  other  non-Muslims  to support  his  arguments  which  are  in  fact  the  argument  of  those inimical  towards  Islam.  Although  Gilchrist  claims  that  his  case is  based  on  “evidences”  from  the  Hadith,  the  conclusion  which he  has  formed  in  regard  to  the  aforementioned  Hadith  in Bukhaari  Shareef  is  quite  peculiar  since  he  demonstrates colossal  ignorance  of  the  actual  meaning  of  the  statement  of Hadhrat  Zaid  Bin  Thaabit  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  Only  a  man  totally ignorant  of  the  Ahadith  and  the  history  of  the  Qur’anic compilation  will  aver  that  since  “the  last  verse  of  Surah  Taubah was  found  with  Abu  Khuzaimah”,  Zaid  and  the  other  Huffaaz were  not  perfect  Huffaaz  and  did  not  know  the  Qur’aan perfectly.  A  study  of  the  Hadith  in  question  and  its  correct meaning  show  that  the  conclusion  arrived  at  by  Gilchrist  is highly erroneous.

Keeping  in  mind  the  method  of  compiling  the  Qur’an Majeed,  viz.,  several  methods  were  utilized  simultaneously  – confidence  was  not  reposed  in  any  one  method  –  Zaid’s statement  regarding  the  last  two  verses  of  Surah  Taubah becomes quite clear.

I  found  the  last  two  verses  of  Surah  Baraa-ah  only  by  Abu Khuzaimah  and  by none  other.

This  statement  does  not  mean  that  no  one  besides  Abu Khuzaimah (radgiyallahu anhu) knew  about  these  verses  or  that  no  one  apart  from Abu  Khuzaimah (radhiyallahu anhu) had  a  written  record  of  these  verses.  There were  a  number  of  Kaatibeen-e-Wahi  (Scribes  of  Revelation)  who wrote  the  Qur’anic  Revelation  immediately  after  it  was revealed  and  under  the  direct  supervision  of  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Khuzaimah  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was one  such  Scribe  who  wrote  the  Qur’anic  Aayaat  under  the direct  supervision  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam). The  meaning  of  the  above  statement  of  Hadhrat  Zaid  should now  be  very  clear  that  among  those  who  had  written  the  verses under  the  direct  command  and  supervision  of  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  Khuzaimah (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  the  only  person from  whom  he  (Zaid)  found  the  last  two  verses  of  Surah  Baraaah written. It  was  known  beyond  the  slightest  shadow  of  doubt that these two  verses  were  part  of  the  Qur’an.  Hundreds  of  Sahaabah knew  the  verses  from  memory.  Furthermore,  those  Sahaabah who  had  in  their  possession  the  complete  recording  of  the Qur’an  writing  also  had  these  particular  verses  in  their  written records.  But,  as  far  as  having  written  them  under  the  direct supervision  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was concerned,  only  Abu  Khuzaimah  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  these verses. The  fact  that  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  says  that  “I  found  the last  verse  …  and  did  not  find  it  with  anybody  other  than  him”, clearly  indicates  that  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu)  had  knowledge  of  these  verses.  If  he did  not  have  any  such  knowledge,  he  would  have  been surprised  at  having  located  the  verses  by  Abu  Khuzaimah (radhiyallahu anhu) and by  no  one  else.  Zaid’s (radhiyallahu anhu) methods  of  compiling  the  Qur’an  were strict  and  they  were  pursued  vigorously  in  setting  the  Qur’aanic verses  to  paper  in  a  classified  and  arranged  order.  The statement  of  Hadhrat  Zaid  Bin  Thaabit  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  only conveys  that  among  the  several  measures  adopted  for acceptance  of  verses  –  to  prove  the  authenticity  of  the  verses beyond  the  slightest  vestige  of  doubt  –  the  application  of  one measure  in  relation  to  the  last  two  verses  of  Surah  Baraah  was fulfilled  by  the  written  record  of  only  Hadhrat  Abu  Khuzaimah (radhiyallahu  anhu).  The  statement  of  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) means  nothing  else apart  from  this.  There  is,  therefore,  no  basis  for  the  wishful thinking  and  baseless  assumptions  of  Gilchrist  in  the  Hadith cited by him.

THE  QUR’AN  DURING  THE  LIFE  AND  AT  THE  END  OF THE  LIFE  OF  RASULULLAH  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)

Gilchrist  in  his  booklet  seeks  to  forge  the  impression  that even  during  the  lifetime  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  and  at  the  end  of  his  life  the  whole  Qur’an  was  not extant,  much  or  part  having  been  lost  since  there  was  no Qur’an  compiled  in  book  form.  In  support  of  this  contention he tenders  the  conclusions  of  western  kuffaar  scholars.  He  thus cites  the  following  passage  from  Jeffrey’s  book,  The  Qur’an  as Scripture:

To  begin  with,  it  is  quite  certain  that  when  the Prophet  died  there  was  no  collated,  arranged  body  of material  of  his  revelations.  What  we  have  is  what  could be  gathered  together  somewhat  later  by  the  leaders  of the  community  when  they  began  to  feel  the  need  of  a collection  of  the  Prophet’s  proclamations,  and  by  that time  much  of  it  was  lost,  and  other  portions  could  only be recorded in fragmentary form.”

This  is  the  conclusion  of  an  enemy  of  Islam.  This  conclusion unsubstantiated  by  fact  is  taken  up  by  another  enemy  of  Islam to  support  his  contention  that  the  Qur’an  is  not  authentic.  But such  wishful  thinking  presented  by  Islam’s  enemies  does  not constitute  evidence.  An  unbiased  study  of  the  evidences pertaining  to  the  Qur’an,  its  revelation,  writing,  collection  and preservation  will  refute  the  above-stated  conclusion  as  totally unfounded.  Let  us  now  present  the  actual  facts  about  the Qur’anic  revelation  during  the  time  of  Rasulullah’s  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) life.

THE  HISTORY  OF THE  QUR’AANS PRESERVATION
The  Preservation  during  the  age  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)

It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  the  Qur’an  Majeed  was  not revealed  all  at  once,  but  the  revelation  was  in  piecemeal  over  a period  of  years.  The  Qur’an  is  the  Revelation  of  Allah  Ta’ala, which  was  sent  to Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  We are  not  concerned  of  the  opinions  and  beliefs  of  the  kuffaar  in this  matter.  Thus,  no  matter  what  the  enemies  of  Islam  believe in  this  regard,  Muslims  firmly  believe  that  the  FIRST, HIGHEST  and  MOST  GUARDED  treasury  in  which  the Qur’aan  Majeed  was  stored  and  protected  here  on  earth  was  the gracious  heart  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The kuffaar  will  allege  that  this  is  blind  and  irrational  faith.  So  be  it. We  are  not  concerned  with  their  claims  and  conclusions stemming  from  their  kufr  and  malice  for  Islam.  We  are  the slaves  of  Islam  and  the  slaves  of  Allah.  We  are  the  believers  in the  Truth  of  Allah,  hence  we  are  not  bothered  by  the accusations  and  slanders  of  the  enemies  of  Allah  and  the enemies of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). A  necessary  corollary  of  Imaan  is  that  Muslims  believe  that the  first  and  most  guarded  treasury  of  the  Qur’an  was  the blessed  heart  and  mind  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  The  Revelation  of  the  Qur’an  was  firmly,  accurately and  permanently  impressed  in  the  mind  of  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  This  was  the  Treasury  –  the  initial Treasury  –  into  which  the  possibility  of  the  slightest  error, modification  and  change  did  not  and  could  not  enter.  Allah declares in the Surah Qiyaamah:

Most  assuredly  its (the  Qur’aan’s) compilation  and  its (correct) recitation are Our responsibility

Besides  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  reciting  the Qur’an  daily  in  abundance,  annually  he  would  recite  the  entire Qur’an  during  the  month  of  Ramadhan  to  Jibraeel  (alayhis salaam)  who  would  listen  to  the  recitation.  During  the  year  of Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  demise,  he  recited  the whole Qur’an twice to Jibraeel (alayhis salaam).

In  view  of  the  presence  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  among  the  Sahaabah,  there  was  absolutely  no possibility  of  any  part  of  the  Qur’an  being  lost  during  his lifetime.  It  is  unreasonable  and  illogical  to  assert  that  any  part of  the  Qur’an  could  have  been  lost  while  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  was  alive.  Yes,  a  kaafir  may  claim  so  since  he does  not  at  all  believe  in  even  the  fact  that Peophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  the Rasool  of  Allah.  There  is,  therefore,  no  surprise  in  a  kaafir’s rejection  of  the  Qur’an’s  authenticity.  When  a  person  does  not believe  in  the  Nubuwwat  (Prophethood)  of  Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  then  it  is  entirely  too  much  and silly  to  expect  him  to  believe  in  the  Qur’an  being  the  divine book  of  Allah  Ta’ala.  But,  anyone  who  initiates  a  discussion  on the  premiss  that Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was the  Rasool  of  Allah  cannot  logically  claim  that  any  part  of  the Qur’an  was  lost  during  the  lifetime  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).  If  after  having  accepted  the  Nubuwwat  of Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  any  follower  of  Islam doubts  the  total  preservation  of  the  Qur’an,  it  follows  that  his doubt  is  the  consequence  of  him  doubting  in  the  very Nubuwwat  of  Nabi-e-Kareem  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  A logical  and  necessary  corollary  of  accepting  a  man’s  Nubuwwat is  the  belief  that  Allah  Ta’ala  has  chosen  him  and  will  be guarding  His  Word  which  is  being  revealed  to  the  Nabi.  It should  be  therefore  quite  simple  to  understand  that  during  the lifetime  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  there  existed not  the  slightest  possibility  of  any  part  of  the  Qur’an  becoming lost or changed.

In  writing  his  pamphlet  to  disprove  the  authenticity  of  the Qur’an,  Gilchrist  has  embarked  on  an  exercise  in  futility  and redundancy  since  he  served  absolutely  no  purpose  thereby.  If his  motive  in  writing  the  pamphlet  was  to  mislead    Muslims, then  he  will  fail  miserably  since  a  Muslim’s  Imaan  is  based  on  faith  of  the  truth  of Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  One  who  believes  Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to  be  the  Rasool  of Allah  will  dismiss  Gilchrist’s  contentions  as  absurd  and nonsense.  If  Gilchrist’s  motive  is  to  convince  Christians  who may  have  inclined  towards  the  opinion  of  the  Qur’an’s authenticity,  then  his  task  would  have  been  simpler  if  he merely  pointed  out  to  Christians  that  “Muhammad  is  not  the Messenger  of  God”  –  Christians  in  fact  do  not  accept  his Prophethood  –  and  that  the  “proclamations”  of  one  who  is  not  a “Prophet  of  God”  cannot  be  Divine  Revelation.  There  would then  not  have  been  any  need  for  Gilchrist  to  have  embarked  on his futile exercise.

Let  us  revert  to  the  facts  of  the  preservation  of  the  Qur’an during  the  age  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The Sahaabah  themselves  were  repositories  of  the  preservation  of the  Qur’an  Majeed.  Under  the  guidance,  instruction  and supervision  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) innumerable  Sahaabah  memorized  the  Qur’an  Shareef. Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  did  not  impart  only  the meanings  of  the  Qur’an  to  the  Sahaabah.  Great  emphasis  was accorded   to   correct  recitation. In  fact, correct meanings  depend on  correct  recitation  –  on  a  text  correctly  preserved.  In  their eagerness  to  learn  and  memorize  the  Qur’an,  the  noble Sahaabah  vied  with  one  another.  Their  fervor  for  the  Qur’an was  so  high  and  their  enthusiasm  was  so  great  that  some Sahaabiah  (Female  disciples  of  Rasulullah  –  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)    even  compromised  their  mahr  (marriage  dowry)  in lieu  of  their  husbands  teaching  them  the  Qur’an  Majeed. Hundreds  of  Sahaabah  devoted  their  whole  lives  to  this  purpose and  pursuit.  Not  only  did  they  memorize  the  Qur’an,  but  at night  they  recited  it  in  Salaat.  This  was  no  occasional  practice among them. This was the practice daily.

Within  a  short  while  a  large  group  of  Sahaabah  had committed  the  Qur’an  Majeed  to  memory.  In  this  group, besides  the  four  Khulafa-e-Raashideen,  were  such  prominent Sahaabah  as  Talha,  Sa’d,  Ibn  Mas’ud,  Huzaifah  Bin  Yamaan, Saalim,  Abu  Hurairah,  Abdullah  Bin  Umar,  Abdullah  Ibn Abbaas,  Amr  Bin  al-A’s,  Abdullah  Ibn  Amr,  Muaawiyah, Abdullah  Ibn  Zubair,  Abdullah  Ibn  As-Saaib,  Aa’ishah,  Hafsah, Umme  Salmah  and  many  others  (Ridhwaanullaah  alayhim).  In the  face  of  conclusive  historical  evidence  indicating  a  very  large body  of  Huffaaz  among  the  Sahaabah,  the  following  observation made by Gilchrist is fallacious:

He  (i.e.  Hadhrat  Zaid)  could  not  find  another supposed  hafiz  who  knew  it.”

Only  a  blind  bigot  and  an  enemy  of  Islam  will  hold  the  view  that the  institution  of  Hifz  in  Islam  is  a  “supposed”  entity.  The  open bias  displayed  by  Gilchrist  should  be  sufficiently  convincing that  he  is  in  no  position  to  discuss  the  subject  impartially.  Even kuffaar  concede  the  real  existence  of  the  institution  of  Hifz among  Muslims  to  this  day.  When  thousands,  nay  millions,  of Huffaaz  exist  in  the  world  even  after  fourteen  centuries  of Islamic  history,  how  unjust  and  absurd  is  it  for  Gilchrist  to attempt  a  denigration  of  this  institution! How can  one  claim that the  Huffaaz  in  Rasulullah’s time  were  “supposed”  Huffaaz  when the  world  of  Islam  even  today  can  boast  of  innumerable  perfect Huffaaz??  Gilchrist’s  contention  that  there  were  no  true  and perfect  Huffaaz  among  the  Sahaabah  is  unsupported  by historical  facts  and  has  to  be  dismissed  as  the  wishful  thinking of one who has no understanding of Islam and its institutions.

In  the  initial  period  of  Islam,  great  emphasis  was  accorded  to memorizing  the  Qur’an  since  this  was  the  most  reliable method  of  preserving  the  Qur’an.  It  was  the  most  dependable and  most  efficacious  way  of  guarding  the  Qur’an  in  an  age  in which  there  was  a  dearth  of  writers  and  writing  materials.  If reliance  had  to  be  placed  on  writing  for  the  guarding  of  the  Holy Revelation,  dissemination  of  the  Qur’aan  Majeed  would  not have  been  effected  so  extensively  and  intensively,  neither would  the  process  of  preserving  the  Qur’aan  have  been  so reliable.  It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  the  memorizing  method  is exclusive  with  the  Qur’aan  Majeed.  All  other  previous  scriptures did  not  enjoy  the  institution  of  Hifz,  hence  all  were  lost, interpolated  and  mutilated  by  their  very  followers.  On  the contrary,  the  Qur’an,  enjoying  Divine  Protection,  was conferred  with  the  blessing  of  this  institution  of  Hifz  which acted  as  the  mundane  agency  for  the  preservation  of  the  text  in its  original  form  and  purity.  Thus,  the  measure  of  Hifz  is  no ordinary  method  engineered  by  human  mind.  The  role  it  played and  plays  in  the  preservation  of  the  Qur’an  is  so  important  and miraculous  that  it  cannot  be  likened  to  non-Muslim  kids swotting  a  few  lines  of  poetry  for  school  lessons.  The  efficiency and  wonder  of  the  agency  of  Hifz  is  of  such  staggering  import that  to  this  day,  no  enemy  of  Islam  has  succeeded  in  forging  a text which  could  be  accepted  by  the  most  ignorant,  illiterate and backward  tribes  of  Muslims  inhabiting  even  the  most  isolated places  of  the  world.  In  fact,  kuffaar  governments  have attempted  to  eliminate  the  true  Qur’an  from  their  illiterate Muslim  subjects,  but  never  were  they  able  to  succeed.  The Huffaaz  –  the  true  Huffaaz  and  Ulama  –  were  always  present  to wreck  and  thwart  the  conspiracies  engineered  by  the  inimical forces of the kuffaar.

The  faculty  of  memory  which  was  divinely  bestowed  to  the Arabs,  was  so  profound  that  they  were  able  to  memorize thousands  of  verses  of  poetry  with  relative  ease.  Thorough  use was  thus  made  of  the  faculty  of  memory  in  the  preservation  of the  Qur’an.  This  legacy  inherited  by  the  Ummah  of  Islam  may be  tested  even  today.  Take  away  all  the  copies  of  the  Qur’an from  any  given  group  or  community  of  Muslims.  Within  a  short while  the  Qur’an  will  surface  in  written  form  from  the  hearts and  memories  of  the  Huffaaz.  This  is  no  wishful  thinking.  It  is an  irrefutable  and  an  indisputable  fact  which  even  the  enemies of  Islam  concede.  Gilchrist  has  no  alternative,  but  to  accept  this reality.  If  this  then  is  the  case  of  memory  after  fourteen centuries  of  the  Qur’an  history,  then  what  precluded  this phenomenon  or  this  institution  from  exercising  its  effect  during the  very  age  of  Wahi  –  during  the  very  time  of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)??  Even  Gilchrist  is  constrained  to admit:
…  the  caliphate  of  Uthman  when  the  text  was  finally standardized into  the  form in  which  it  appears  today.

Mr  Gilchrist,  “today”  is  fourteen  hundred  years  after  the  event of  the  “standardization”,  but  even  according  to  you,  today’s Qur’an  appears  in  that  “standardized”  form  which  was prepared  fourteen  centuries  ago.  Does  this  not  ring  any  bell  in your  mind??  The  bell  of  truth!  That  what  has  been  preserved intact  for  fourteen  centuries  by  lesser  beings  could  also  have been  preserved  for  a  decade  by  greater  beings  –  in  fact  could have  been  preserved  intact  to  a  greater  degree  of  authenticity.

It  was  through  this  divine  agency  of  Hifz  (memorizing  the Qur’an)  that  the  Qur’an  Majeed  reached  the  remotest  corners of  the  world  and  was  preserved  intact  in  all  parts  of  the  world  to the  envy  and  chagrin  of all the  enemies of Islam.  But,  no  matter how  they  may  blow  their  pipes  of  envy  and  malice,  the  enemies of  the  Qur’an  will  never  achieve  their  heart’s  desire  of  seeing the  distortion  and  effacement  of  the  Qur’anic  text  since  Allah Ta’ala Himself declares:

“Verily,  We  have  revealed  the  thikr  (Qur’an), and  most assuredly,  We  are  its  Protectors.”

Elsewhere, in the Qur’aan, Allah Ta’ala declares:

“They  (the  enemies) desire  to  extinguish  the  Noor  of  Allah, but  Allah will  complete  His Noor  even  though  the  kaafiroon detest  it.”

COMMITTING THE QUR’AN TO WRITING

Although  the  institution  of  Hifz  was  and  is  the  best,  most reliable  and  of  decisive  importance  in  the  preservation  of  the Qur’an,  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  did  not  restrict the  means  of  protecting  the  Qur’an  to  only  memory.  Besides the  committal  of  the  Qur’an  to  memory,  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  instituted  elaborate  measures  for  having  the Qur’an  recorded  in  writing  during  his  very  lifetime. Furthermore,  writing  the  Qur’an  was  not  delayed  until  the whole  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  was  revealed.  The  Qur’anic  Wahi was  recorded  in  writing  immediately  after  the  verses  were revealed.  The  Qur’an  Majeed  was  recorded  in  writing  on whatever  writing  materials  were  available  at  the  time.  In addition  the  writing  took  place  under  the  direct  supervision  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The  Hadith  evidences are  very  explicit  on  this  fact,  but  Gilchrist  will  obviously  choose to  cast  a  blind  eye  to  these  evidences  if  in  fact  he  does  know thereof.

Hadhrat  Zaid  Bin  Thaabit  (Radiallahu  anhu)  was  not  the  only Kaatib-e-Wahi  (Scribe  of  the  Wahi).  Besides  him,  there  were many  other  Sahaabah  who  acted  as  scribe  and  executed  the obligation  of  recording  the  Qur’an  Majeed  in  the  written  form. The  Khulafa-e-Raashideen,  Ubay  Bin  Ka’b,  Zubair  Bin Awwaam,  Muaawiyah,  Mughirah  Bin  Shu’bah,  Khalid  Bin Waleed,  Thaabit  Bin  Qais,  Abaan  Bin  Saeed (radhiyallahu anhuma) were  among  the more  prominent  scribes.  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu) speaking on the committal of the Qur’an to writing, said:

It  was  the  practice  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) after  a  part  of  the  Qur’an  was  revealed,  to  instruct  the  scribes of  the  precise  position  of  the  revealed  portion,  i.e.  in  which Surah  it  should  be  inserted  and  after  which  Aayat  it  should  be placed.” (Fathul Baari)

On account of the  dearth of paper  at the  time, the  greater  part of  the  Qur’an  was  written  on  stone  tablets,  leather, date-palm branches,  bamboo,  leaves  and  bones.  Thus,  in  the  very  lifetime of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  the  whole  Qur’an Majeed  was  committed  to  writing  under  the  direct  supervision of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The  Qur’an  not having  been  compiled  in  a  conventional  book  form  under Rasulullah’s    (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  supervision  in  no  way detracts  from  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an,  nor  from  the  fact that  the  whole  Qur’an  was  in  fact  committed  to  writing  in  his very  lifetime.  It  had  already  been  mentioned  earliar  that  when the  Sahaabah  set  about  the  task  to  write  the  Qur’aan  in  the  form of  a  book,  they  found  the  whole  Qur’an  which  was  written under  the  direct  supervision  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  This  written  Qur’an  –  written  under  Rasulullah’s supervision  –  was  found  by  many  of  the  scribes.  Only  the  last verse  of  Surah  Taubah  written  under  Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  supervision  was  found  with  only  Khuzaimah (radhiyallahu  anhu)  although  many  other  Sahaabah  also  had  it  in the written form and all knew it from memory.

Besides  the  Qur’an  having  been  reduced  to  the  written  form under  Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  supervision many  other  Sahaabah  had  written  the  Qur’aan  from  their  own memories.

The  following  statement  made  by  Gilchrist  should  be weighed  on  the  scale  of  the  elaborate  measures  for  preserving the  Qur’an  in  the  very  lifetime  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) – measures which have been explained thus far:

Let  it  be  said,  in  passing,  that  the  sources  relied  on  by Zaid  –  date  palms,  white  stones,  etc.  –  were  hardly conducive  to  the  compilation  of  a  perfect  text  from which  nothing  was  lacking.  What  evidence  is  there  that he  did,  in  fact,  remarkably  compose  a  perfect  copy  from such  brittle  resources?”  (Page  6  of Gilchrist’s disgraced pamphlet)

What  makes  these  obsolete  writing  materials  “hardly  conducive to  the  compilation  of  a  perfect  text?”    These  old  materials,  viz. Stone,  bones,  leather,  etc,  are  more  durable  than  paper.  What  is the  evidence  for  claiming  that  Zaid’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  resources  were  “brittle?” These  claims  by  Gilchrist  are  his  personal  fancies  for  which  he has  failed  to  advance  any  proof.  The  explanation  given  by  us illustrates  amply  that  Zaid’s (radhiyallahu anhu) resources  were  not  “brittle”  nor scanty  as  Gilchrist  wishes  people  to  believe.  On  the  contrary, the  resources  on  which  Zaid  Bin  Thaabit  and  the  Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhuma) relied  in  the  compilation  of  the  Qur’an  were  solid  and  beyond reproach.  We  shall briefly  enumerate these  resources:

1.  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  himself  being  the best  Haafiz  whose  Hifz  excluded  the  slightest  possibility  of error  on  account of Divine  Protection. He  was  the  Master.
2.  The  Qur’an  being  written  down  during  the  very  lifetime  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  under  the  direct supervision of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).
3.  Numerous  official  scribes  operated  under  the  supervision  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  recording  the  Aayaat of  the  Qur’an  as  they  were  being  revealed.
4.  Besides  the  written  records  prepared  under  the  supervision of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  a  number  of Sahaabah  had  written  down  the  Qur’an  from  their  own memories. 5.  The  wonderful  and  miraculous  institution  of  Hifz  which permeated  the  entire  community of  Sahaabah.
6.  The  chief  compiler  of  the  Qur’an  in  written  form,  Zaid  Bin Thaabit (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  a  perfect  and  a  master  Haafiz. 7.  Numerous  other  Sahaabah  were  perfect  Haafizes (Huffaaz). 8.  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  recited  the  whole  of the  Qur’an  each  Ramadhan  to  Jibraeel (alayhis  salaam), the medium  through  whom  the  Qur’an  was  revealed.  During  the year  of  Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  demise  he recited  the  Qur’an  Majeed  twice  to  Jibraeel  (alayhis  salaam). At this  session  Zaid  was  present. 9.  When  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  commenced  the  task  of compiling  the  Qur’an  Majeed  in  book  form,  it  (the  Qur’an) was  no  obscure  and  forgotten  book.  It  was  a  Book  which  was being  daily  recited  by  thousands  and  thousands  of  Sahaabah and  other  Muslims.  It  was  the  common  practice  for  ordinary people  to  complete  one  recitation  in  every  ten  days.  Once  in every  three  days  was  also  a  popular  form  of  recital  while reciting  the  whole  Qur’an  once  a  day  was  also  the  practice with some  Sahaabah.

These  facts  are  sufficient  to  negate  the  baseless  observation  and claims  of  Gilchrist.  It  will  be  seen  from  these  facts  that  Hadhrat Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  a  great  and  powerful  treasury  to work  from.  His  resources,  far  from  being  brittle  as  contended  by Gilchrist,  were  solid,  fresh  and  most  reliable.  There  was  nothing left  to  chance.  If  the  Qur’an  Majeed  can  be  reproduced  even today  –  fourteen  centuries  after  the  event  –  from  the  memories of  the  Huffaaz,  then  there  is  no  logical  reason  why  it  could  not have  been  achieved  in  the  age  which  was  in  very  close proximity  to  the  age  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) and  by  the  very  persons  who  acquired  the  Qur’an  from  the Master.  While  in  this  belated  century,  the  Huffaaz  will  only  have memory  to  fall  back  onto,  in  that  age  –  the  age  of  the  Sahaabah– Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  possessed  many  original writings  and  manuscripts  and  materials  on  which  the  Qur’an was  written  in  entirety  under  the  direct  supervision  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  In  this  age  while  we have  no  other  way  other  than  Huffaaz,  in  that  age,  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu  anhu)  enjoyed  the  aid  of  all  the  official  scribes  who wrote  the  Qur’an  under  Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  direct  command  and  supervision.  In  short,  Hadhrat Zaid  Bin  Thaabit  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  possessed  the  strongest possible  resources  to  compile  a  perfect  and  an  exact  replica  of the  Qur’anic  Revelation  just  as  it  was  revealed  and  recited  by Muhammadur Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

The  compilations of the  Qur’an  Majeed  in  book  form was  not a  light  task  involving  a  single  individual  who  presented  his  own version  or  who  relied  on  his  own  memory  or  own  record.  Far from  such  an  assumption,  the  Qur’an  Majeed  being  compiled in  book  form  was  the  accomplishment  of  the  whole  Ummah  of Sahaabah  at  the  time,  using  the  best  and  most  authentic sources  and  the  most  solid  resources.  These  facts  are  attested  to by  even  unbiased  non-Muslims  who  have  made  a  study  of  the glorious  Qur’an’s history.

GILCHRISTS  BASELESS  ASSUMPTION  REGARDING ZAID

On  page  6  of  his  pamphlet,  Gilchrist  presents  the  following hypothesis.

Furthermore,  the  mushaf  (written  codex)  that  he finally  compiled  was,  let  it  be  noted,  assembled  not  by the  decree  or  direction  of  the  Almighty  but  purely  at  his own  personal  discretion,  no  matter  how  careful  he almost  certainly was  to  arrange  an  authentic  copy.”

The  facts  of  the  Qur’aan’s  compilation  belie  the  claims  of Gilchrist.  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  never  compiled  the  Qur’an  at “his  own  personal  discretion.”  The  elaborate  and  stringent measures  adopted  by  him  and  the  other  Sahaabah  in  compiling the  Qur’an  Majeed  belie  Gilchrist’s  claims.  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu  anhu)  being  himself  a  perfect  Haafiz  could  have written  the  Qur’an  Majeed  from  his  memory  if  “personal discretion”  featured  anywhere  in  this  gigantic  task.  Besides him,  hundreds  of  Huffaaz  were  present  to  assist  him.  It  was, therefore,  quite  possible  to  have  established  an  organization  or committee  of  Huffaaz  for  the  purpose  of  writing  the  Qur’aan  in book  form.  Moreover,  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) could  merely  have  copied the  Qur’an  from  the  various  manuscripts  and  materials  written during  the  lifetime  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam). Assuming  that  there  were  any  missing  parts  in  the  written  form as  Gilchrist  wishes  us  to  believe,  Zaid  or  any  other  Haafiz  could have  furnished  it  from  memory.  Thus,  if  “personal  discretion” played  any  role  in  the  compilation  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  into book  form,  then  the  task  of  the  compilation  would  not  have seemed  more  “difficult  than  moving  a  mountain”  to  Zaid (radhiyallahu  anhu).  The  best  and  strongest  resources  were gathered  and  put into  operation in  this  holy  mission.

THE FIRST OFFICIAL COMPILATION IN BOOK FORM

Refuting  the  fact  that  the  first  compiled  copy  in  book  form was  that  under  the  instruction  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu), Gilchrist alleges:

The  traditions  would  have  us  believe  that  the  first official  collection  of  the  Qur’an  was  therefore  made  by the  caliph.  Abu  Bakr  and  yet  we  find  that,  instead  of being  copied  and  promulgated  as  the  standard  text  of the  Qur’an,  it  was  strangely  preserved,  if  not concealed,  in  the  private  possession  of  the  first  two caliphs  and..

In  support  of  his  conclusion,  Gilchrist  cites  the  following statement of another kaafir.

Thus,  if  the  death  of  so  many  Moslems  at  al-Yamamah  endangered  the  preservation  of  the  text,  why did  Abu  Bakr,  after  making  his  copy,  practically  conceal it,  entrusting  it to  the  guardianship of  a  woman?” (Caetani:  Uthman  and  the  Recension of  Koran)

What  evidence  can  Gilchrist  or  anyone  else  tender  to  negate  the claims  that  the  copy  compiled  under  the  instruction  of  Hadhrat Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  in  fact  not  the  first  official collection  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  into  book  form??  Gilchrist  has designated  his  pamphlet,  “Evidences  for  the  collection  of  the Qur’aan,”  but  he  fails  to  produce  any  evidence  for  the  implied rejection  contained  in  the  aforementioned  statement  made  by him.  Prior  to  the  collection  ordered  by  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu)  there  was  no  other  officially  compiled Qur’an  copy  in  book  form.  This  is  a  historical  fact  which requires no further amplification.

The  question  is  asked:  Why  did  Abu  Bakr  “conceal”  the  first officially  compiled  copy  “if  the  death  of  so  many  Moslems  at  al-Yamamah  endangered  the  preservation  of  the  text?”  There  is  a world  of  difference  between  guarding  and  concealing.  Holding custody  of  the  first  compiled  copy  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  cannot be  interpreted  as  “concealing”.  The  kuffaar  seek  to  introduce some  sinister  motive  for  Abu  Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  custody  of  the  Qur’an  by describing  it  as  “concealing”.  The  actual  purpose  in  compiling the  Qur’an  Majeed  in  book  form  is  clearly  stated  in  the narrations  from  which  the  enemies  are  quoting.  The  purpose underlying the first compilation is stated very clearly as follows:

Umar  informs  me  that  a  large  group  of  Huffaaz  has been  slain  in  the  Battle  of  Yamaamah  and  that  if  the Huffaaz  have  to  be  martyred  at  this  rate,  he  feared  that a  considerable  part of  the  Qur’aan  Majeed  will be  lost.”

It  is  clear  that  the  underlying  purpose  was  to  guard  against  any possible  future  loss  of  passages  of  the  Qur’an  should  such calamities  befall  the  Ummah  where  large  groups  of  Huffaz  are killed.  It  is  significant  that  Hadhrat  Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)  coupled  the preservation  and  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  with  the institution  of  Huffaaz.  The    official  copy  compiled  in  book  form was  for  future  use,  not  for  use  during  the  time  when  it  was compiled  since  there  had  not  yet  arisen  any  such  need.  The single  calamity  of  loss  of  Huffaaz  at  Yamaamah  did  not endanger  the  preservation  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  during  that age  because  numerous  Huffaaz  and  senior  Sahaabah  were  still living.  The  compilation  of  the  official  copy  was  for  future preservation,  hence  Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  expressed the  fear  of  a  possible  loss  of  part  of  the  Qur’an  in  the  future should  the  incidence  of  the  Huffaaz  being  martyred  be  on  the increase.  This  first  official  collection  in  book  form  was  put  to use  later  during  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  when  it  was  used  to  compile  the    standardized  text  in circulation today.

There  was  no  need  during  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu)  to  standardize and  promulgate this  collection as  the  only  official  text  since  such  a  need  arose  only  during  the time  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  Different circumstances  led  to  the  compilation  of  the  copy  by  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  The  factor which  constrained  Uthmaan’s  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  compilation  to be  promulgated  as  the  only  standard  text  did  not  exist  during the  time  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  It  was explained  earlier  that  the  situation  which  gave  rise  to  the  action instituted  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  the differences,  disputes  and  arguments  which  prevailed  on account  of  ignorance  among  various  communities  who  were  not aware  of  the  different  authentic  forms  of  Qira’at  of  the  Qur’an Majeed.  On  the  other  hand,  the  factor  which  caused  the  Qur’an Majeed  to  be  compiled  by  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu) was  the  fear  that  in  future  a  considerable  portion  of  the  Qur’an may  be  lost  as  a  result  of  the  Huffaaz  being  martyred  at  the  rate which  took  place  in  Yamaamah.

THE COMPILATION BY HADHRAT UTHMAAN (radhiyallahu anhu)

Gilchrist states: “This  tradition  informs  us  quite  clearly  that  other manuscripts  of  the  Qur’aan  some  in  sections,  others complete,  had  been  written  out  and  that  they  were  in use  elsewhere  in  the  conquered  territories.  Uthman’s order  that  they  should  be  burnt  indicates  the  there  were serious  textual  differences  between  them  and  the manuscript in Hafsah’s possession.”

It  is  practically  certain  that  none  of  the  other  texts was  identical  to  that  compiled  by  Zaid  for  Abu  Bakr,  as not  one  was  allowed  to  be  spared  destruction.  Uthman’s drastic  action implies  that the  differences  between  these texts  were  serious  textual  variants  and  that  they affected  not  just  the  manner  of  the  recitation  of  the Qur’aan  but  its  actual  form and  content.” 

It  was  never  the  contention  of  Muslims  that  prior  to  the compilation  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  there  were no  manuscripts  or  copies  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  in  circulation. In  fact,  this  fact  has  been  stated  earlier  and  the  Hadith  is  very clear  in  this  regard.  In  making  this  statement,  Gilchrist  has served  no  purpose  other  than  redundancy.  But,  his  contention that  Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  order  that  they  be  burnt  indicates  serious textual  differences  with  the  revealed  Qur’an  is  utterly  baseless. Gilchrist  draws  this  baseless  conclusion  from  Hadhrat Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) command  to  eliminate  all  other  copies  of  the Qur’an  Majeed  which  were  compiled  unofficially.  Gilchrist himself  is  fully  aware  that  he  has  no  proof  to  substantiate  his claim  hence  he  admits  that  his  conclusion  is  arrived  at  by “indication”  and  “implication”.  He  implies  this  to  be  the  case since  he  has  understood  the  motive  underlying  Hadhrat Uthmaan’s  (radhoyallahu anhu) order  as  such.  Gilchrist,  names  his  booklet, “EVIDENCES  for  the  collection  of  the  Qur’aan.”  He  sets  out  to refute  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  by  supposedly producing  evidence  and  proof,  but  all  refutations  tendered  by him  are  the  products  of  his  wishful  thinking  and  based  on implication  and  baseless  hypotheses.  Basing  one’s  case  on implication  is not evidence. Furthermore,  it  is  conceded  that  there  prevailed  differences in  recitation.  One  such  difference  pertains  to  textual  variation. But,  such  textual  variation  as  explained  earlier  represented  no addition  or  alteration  of  the  Qur’an.  Such  differences,  be  they recital  or  textual,  were  revealed  forms  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed. Since  the  various  forms  of  revealed  Qira’at  presented  no  cause for  alarm  during  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  and  Umar (radhiyallahu  anhuma),  there  was  no  need  to  institute  the  action taken  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radiyallahu  anhu)  during  his Khilaafat.  Gilchrist  endeavours  to  portray  the  differences  in recital  and  text  as  man-made  interpolations.  But,  this  is  not  the case.  There  is  not  the  slightest  evidence  to  support  the conclusion  made  by  Gilchrist  and  others  on  the  basis  of implication,  inference  and  assumption.  The  authorized  and revealed  differences  of  Qur’anic  recital  have  already  been explained earlier.

Hadhrat  Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) measure  of  eliminating  all  other authorized  and  true  versions  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  was necessitated  by  the  disputes  which  arose  in  the  conquered territories–  disputes  among  new  Muslims  ignorant  of  the  other forms  of  authorized  Qira’at.  Since  a  particular  Ustaad  imparted only  a  specific  Qira’at,  they  remained  unaware  of  the  other authorized  versions.  This  led  to  future  disputes  when  another version  of  recitation  was  heard.  By  “authorized  version”  here  is meant  the  forms  of  Qira’at  which  were  divinely  revealed  and which  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  imparted  to  the Sahaabah.

Gilchrist  would  have  been  correct  in  his  assumption  of “serious”  textual  differences  if  the  variant  readings  were interpolated  by  man.  But,  the  term  “serious”  cannot  be  applied to  the  various  forms  of  Qira’at  since  all  forms  of  Qira’at imparted  by  Sahaabah  were  divinely  revealed  and  not introduced  by  man.  The  only  motive  for  Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  action  was to  ensure  uniformity  in  Qira’at  to  eliminate  disputation  and falling into error as a result of baseless disputation.

Should  any  of  the  other  authorized  versions  be  extant  it  will not  detract  from  either  its  authenticity  nor  the  authenticity  of the  version  standardized  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  since  all  authorized  versions  are  the  product  of  divine revelation.  If  Gilchrist  wishes  anyone  to  accept  his  contention, he  should  produce  evidence  to  prove  that  the  other  manuscripts with  “textual  differences”  were  not  in  fact  divine  revelations. And,  in  the  production  of  such  evidence  he  must  furnish  proof from  Hadith  narrations  since  he  has  set  himself  the  task  of proving that the Qur’an is not authentic from Hadith narration.

It  was  never  contended  that  the  other  texts  which  were ordered  to  be  burnt  were  identical  to  the  one  compiled  during the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  hence Gilchrist  has  submitted  a  superfluous  claim.  But,  what  proof has  Gilchrist  to  disprove  the  claim  that  there  may  have  been among  the  eliminated  texts,  copies  identical  with  the  one compiled  during  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu)??  There  is  absolutely  no  ground  for  assuming  that Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  or  the  Committee appointed  by  him  meticulously  scrutinized  each  and  every  copy which  was  ordered  to  be  eliminated.  The  gathering  and elimination  of  all  other  copies  besides  the  standardized  text  was merely  to  ensure  uniformity.  This  purpose  was  achieved  by simply  issuing  a  blanket  order  to  eliminate  all  other  copies. Such  a  blanket  order  was  necessitated  by  the  absence  of  a measure  to  scrutinize  each  and  every  copy  individually. Scrutinizing  each  and  every  copy  would  have  proven  too laborious  and  difficult  a  task.  The  simplest  and  safest  way  to ensure  the  prevalence  of  the  standardized  copy  was  to  eliminate all other copies.

It  is  also  preposterous  to  arbitrarily  assume  that  there  was not  a  single  other  version  or  copy  which  agreed  with  the  copy compiled  under  instructions  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu).  What  is  the  proof  for  the  assertion  that  there  was  no other  copy  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  which  agreed  with  the  copy compiled  by  Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)?  There  is absolutely  no  evidence  to  support  Gilchrist’s  claim.  On  the contrary  all  indications  lead  to  the  conclusion  that  there  were other  such  copies.  It  is  an  established  fact  that  despite  the existence  of  several  authorized  and  divine  Qira’ats  (forms  of recital),  the  Qur’an  Shareef  compiled  into  book  form  by Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  not  the  unknown  version of  any  single  person.  The  history  of  the  compilation  of  the  first official  copy  confirms  that  whatever  Surahs  and  Aayaat  it contained  were  obtained  from  all  the  scribes  of  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  from  many  other  Sahaabah. The  copy  compiled  under  the  instructions  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  merely  the  written  representation  of what  all  the  Sahaabah  recited  daily.  Gilchrist’s  claim  has therefore  to  be  dismissed  for  the  fallacy that  it is.

On  the  basis  of  the  fallacy  expounded  by  Gilchrist  above,  he forms the following conclusion:
Therefore  the  Qur’an  text  that  has  been  handed down  through  the  centuries  is  not  that  to  which  the companions  of  Muhammad  gave  their  unqualified assent  but  purely  one  form  of  it,  uncorroborated  in every  point  by  the  others  in  circulation,  which  was finally  established  as  the  standard  text  to  the  exclusion of  the  others.
The  claim  that  the  Sahaabah  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  did  not  give  “their  unqualified  support”  for  the  copy of  the  Qur’an  Shareef  compiled  into  book  form  by  Hadhrat Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  is  utterly  baseless.  Such  a sweeping  claim  requires  proof.  But,  Gilchrist  has  not  managed to  tender  even  one  narration  to  substantiate  his  claim  that  the Sahaabah  did  not  unite  in  acceptance  of  the  compilation  by Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  A  mere  claim  by  an enemy  of  Islam  attacking  the  authenticity  of  the  Holy  Book  of Islam  without  furnishing  any  proof  whatever  is  only  wishful thinking  and  the  hope  that  people  will  swallow  as  the  truth  the claim  put  forward.  As  mentioned  earlier,  the  first  official compilation of  the  Qur’an  was  the  product of the  efforts  and  cooperation  of  all  the  Sahaabah  who  came  forward  with  whatever they  had  of  the    Qur’an  in  the  written  form.  The  stamp  of approval  of  the  official  scribes  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  and  the  other  senior  Sahaabah  is  sufficient  to demonstrate  the  “unqualified  support”  which  the  Sahaabah offered for the compilation by Hadhrat Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu).

Gilchrist  avers  that  the  “text  handed  down  through  the centuries  is  purely  one  form  of  it.”  Assuming  this  to  be  the  case, it  does  not  follow  therefrom  that  the  present  Qur’an  is  not authentic.  If  it  is  ‘one  form  of  it”  as  asserted  by  Gilchrist,  then too,  it  is  an  authentic  form  thereof,  since  it  is  the  claim  of  Islam that  the  Qur’an  was  revealed  in  SEVEN  forms.  It  now  devolves on  Gilchrist  to  prove  that  this  “purely  one  form  of  it”  is  not among  the  seven  revealed  forms.  But,  never  will  Gilchrist  or anyone  else  be  able  to  furnish  any  proof  for  any  such  baseless claim.  If  they  wish,  let  them  answer  the  challenge  of  Allah Ta’ala.  The  Qur’an  is  and  will  forever  be  protected  by  Allah Ta’ala.  If  the  “standardized”  version  compiled  under  the instruction  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  withstood the  onslaught  of  14  centuries  and  retained  its  authenticity  –  a fact  conceded  by  even  the  enemies  –  then  Gilchrist  does  not stand  even  the  hope  of  success  in  his  diabolical  mission  to disprove the authenticity of the Qur’an Majeed.

The  claim  that  the  copies  compiled  by  Hadhrat  Uthman (radhiyallahu  anhu)  were  “uncorroborated  in  every  point  by others  in  circulation”,  in  no  way  whatever  detracts  from  the authenticity  of  the  Qur’an-e-Hakeem.  It  was  never  the  claim  of Islam  that  every  Qira’at  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  corroborated each  and  every  other  Qira’at  “in  every  point”.  The  claim  of Muslims  has  always  been  that  the  Qur’an  Majeed  was  revealed in  seven  forms.  Since  the  Divine  Revelation  was  in  seven  forms, it  is  only  logical  that  “corroboration  in  every  point”  could  never have  been  our  claim.  But  differences  in  the  forms  of  recital  do not  support  the  claim  made  by  Gilchrist  since  all  such differences  in  Qira’at  were  revealed  forms  taught  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  which  came  under  the  purview  of Sab’ah  Ahruf  (The  Seven  Forms).  It  is  left  to  the  enemies  of  the Qur’an  to  prove  that  these  official  and  authentic  differences were not among the revealed forms of recital.

Citing  his  master  Jeffrey,  The  Qur’aan  as  Scripture,  Gilchrist quotes:

Attempts  have  been  made  to  avoid  this  conclusion  by claiming  that  all  Uthman  did  was  to  remove  dialectal peculiarities  that  had  crept  into  the  pronunciation  of  the Qur’aan  as  it  was  recited,  and  have  a  standardized  type of  text  written  out  in  the  pure  dialect  of  the  Quraish. This  matter  of  Quraish  dialect  is  indeed  mentioned  in the  traditions  referring  to  this  Recension,  but  to  pretend that  it  was  merely  a  matter  of  dialectal  variation  is  to run  counter  to  the  whole  purport  of  the  accounts  the vast  majority  of  dialectal variations  would  not  have  been represented  in  the  written  form  at  all,  and  so  would  not  have  necessitated  a  new  text.”

The  “conclusion”  mentioned  in  the  abovementioned  passage existed  merely  in  Jeffrey’s  imagination,  but  is  believed  as  fact by  Gilchrist.  Since  there  was  no  such  “conclusion”  stated  above, there  were  no  attempts  to  “avoid”  anything  which  supposedly casted  aspersions  on  the  integrity  and  authenticity  of  the Qur’an.  The  “conclusion”  has  been  drawn  by  Jeffrey  on  the basis  of  what  he  has  interpreted,  but  the  Hadith  narrations  do not  provide  any  scope  for  the  wild  and  unsubstantiated conclusions  of  fallacy  tendered  by  Jeffrey  and  adopted  by Gilchrist.

In  the  above-cited  passage  the  following  claim  is  attributed  to Muslims:  “..  by  claiming  that  all  Uthman  did  was  to  remove dialectal  peculiarities  that  had  crept  into  the  pronunciation  of the  Qur’aan”.  No  such  claim  was  ever  made  by  any  Muslim authority  of  the  Shariah.  It  was  never  claimed  nor  ever conceded  by  Muslims  that  differences  in  recital  “had  crept  into the  Qur’aan”.  There  is  no  Hadith  narration  which  asserts  what Jeffrey  has  claimed.  Whatever  narrations  which  Gilchrist  has produced  from  the  books  of  Islam  merely  state  the  existence  of various  official,  accredited  and  divinely  revealed  forms  of Qira’at.  It  is  indeed  a  fallacy  to  interpret  the  various  accredited forms  of  recital  as  “peculiarities  which  had  crept  into”  the Qur’an.

The  assertion  that  the  “vast  majority  of  dialectal  variations would  not  have  been  represented  in  the  Uthmaani  written form”,  is  baseless.  Jeffrey  and  Gilchrist,  in  their  ardour  to disprove  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed,  generally present  a  theory  full  of  flaws.  In  regard  to  the  Rasmul  Khat  (the mode  of  writing)  adopted  in  the  copies  compiled  under  the instruction  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  it  was  never claimed  that  it  encompassed  all  forms  of  Qira’at.  In  contrast  to Jeffrey’s  claim,  Islam  claims  that  the  majority  of  Qira’ats  were included  in  the  Rasmul  Khat  of  the  copy  compiled  by  the  orders of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan radhoyallahu anhu).  It  is  baseless  for  anyone  to  claim  that  the Rasmul  Khat  of  the  Uthmaani  copy  could  not  have  represented the  vast  majority  of  accredited  Qira’ats.  There  is  no  proof  for this  conclusion  made  by  the  enemies  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed.

The  narrations  are  quite  clear  that  the  majority  of  the  Qira’ats were  represented  in  the  Rasmul  Khat  adopted  by  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  Those  forms  of  recital  which  could not  be  incorporated  into  this  Rasmul  Khat  were  preserved  in separate  compilations.  A  separate  compilation  for  each  form  of recitation  not  contained  by  the  official  and  standard  Rasmul Khat  was  ordered  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu). There  is,  therefore,  no  substance  in  Jeffrey’s  claim  attributed falsely to Muslims.

That  the  endeavour  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu) was  simply  to  compile  the  Qur’an  in  the  pure  Quraishi  dialect in  which  it  was  revealed,  is  an  undeniable  fact.  Although  Jeffrey attempts  to  dismiss  this  fact,  he  reluctantly  concedes:  “This matter  of  Quraish  dialect  is  indeed  mentioned  in  the traditions…”  The  Ahadith  are  explicit  on  this  fact  –  so  explicit that  even  Jeffrey  had  no  option  other  than  concede  this  fact. Thus,  what  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  did,  was  only to  compile  the  original  Qur’an  in  the  manner  in  which  it  was revealed,  without  adding  or  deleting  anything  therefrom.  There was  never  any  incumbency  to  adopt  all  forms  of  Qira’at.  One Rasmul  Khat  was  adopted,  incorporating  several  forms  of recitation  –  all  with the  same  meaning  –  as  the  standard  form for the  Ummah  to  ensure  the  elimination  of  disputes  which ignorance  of  the  various  accredited  and  authorized  forms  is bound  to  create  among  those  not  versed  with  the  different Qira’ats.  To  claim,  therefore,  that  the  adoption  of  a  specific authorized  form  of  writing  and  recital  entails  deletion  or interpolation  is  unreasonable  and  unbacked  by  any  narrational and  rational  proofs.  It  behoves  Gilchrist  to  come  up  with  Hadith proof to substantiate his fallacious claims.

Gilchrist cites the following claim made by Jeffrey:

Rather,  his  (i.e  Hadhrat  Uthmaan)  aim  was  to  select from  amid  a  welter  of  rival  texts, each  claiming  to  be  the uniquely  authentic  record  of  what  had  been  revealed  to Muhammad, a  single  text  to  be  officially  promulgated  as the  textus  receptus  of  the  Muslims.”

Again,  this  claim  is  false.  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu) did  not  select  a  copy  from  “amid  a  welter  of  rival  Qur’an  texts”. Nor  did  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  select  any  of  the supposedly  “welter  of  rival  texts”  to  promulgate  it  as  the standard  text.  The  narrations  explain  the  system  adopted  by Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiallahu  anhu)  to  compile  the  standard copy.  The  manuscripts  compiled  by  Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiallahu anhu)  were  at  this  time  in  the  custody  of  Hadhrat  Hafsah (radhiallahu  anha).  It  should  be  noted  that  the  compilation  of Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radiallahu  anhu)  comprised  of  a  number  of manuscripts.  Each  Surah  was  written  in  a  separate  manuscript. These  very  manuscripts  were  used  for  the  compilation  of  the standard  copy  ordered  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu). There  was  no  “welter  of  rival  Qur’an  texts”  from  which Hadhrat  Zaid  or  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhuma)  did any  selection.  The  only  text  employed  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  the  one  official  and  carefully  preserved text  prepared  during  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr (radhiuallahu  anhu).  The  facts  of  this  compilation  refute  the  claim of  Jeffrey  as  utterly  false.  The  manuscripts  written  during  the time  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  were  not  arranged in  the  Surah  order  as  was  revealed,  but  were  all  separate manuscripts.  The  systematic  arrangement  of  the  Surah  as instructed  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was accomplished  in  the  copy  prepared  under  Hadhrat  Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) instruction.

Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  appointed  a committee  of  four  senior  Sahaabah  to  prepare  the  standard  copy from  the  manuscripts  which  were  written  during  the  time  and by  the  order  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  In preparing  the  standard  copy,  the  manuscripts  of  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu)  were  mainly  used.  However,  for  greater caution  the  same  efficient  process  adopted  in  the  time  of Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  was  again  made  use  of.  In the  preparation  of  this  copy,  again  it  was  verified  by  comparing it  with  the  original  writings  of  the  scribes  who  operated  under the  command  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).

Everything  contained  in  the  standard  copy  of  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  in  agreement  with  the  writings  of  the scribes.  Everything  which  the  manuscripts  of  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) contained  is  contained  in  the  standard  copy.  But,  to  verify  its authenticity,  it  was  compared  with  the  original  writings  of  the scribes  –  what  they  had  written  under  the  direct  instruction  and supervision of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

A  certain  verse  of  Surah  Ahzab  was  found  in  the  original writings  of  only  Hadhrat  Khuzaimah  (radhiyallahu  anhu). Referring to this incident, Gilchrist says:

Furthermore  the  Hadith  go  on  to  inform  us  that  even after  this  recension  by  the  four  scribes,  Zaid  recalled  a verse which was lost:  

Zaid  bin  Thabit  added,  ‘A  Verse  from  Surat  Ahzab  was missed  by  me  when  we  copied  the  Qur’aan  and  I  used  to hear  Allah’s  Apostle  reciting  it.  So  we  searched  for  it and  found  it with Khuzaima  bin  Thabit al-Ansar.” (Sahih  al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p 479)

Gilchrist  has  understood  from  this  Hadith  that  the  verse  in question  was  totally  lost;  that  no  one  knew  about  it;  that  no  one had  any  written  record  of  it.  But,  this  is  not  the  case.  The explanation  has  already  been  given  regarding  a  similar  incident on  the  occasion  of  the  compilation  during  the  Khilaafat  of Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  We  shall  briefly  repeat the  explanation.  The  manuscripts  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu)  contained  this  particular  verse  of  Surah Ahzab.  It  will  be  recalled  that  the  verses  searched  for  and  found only  with  Hadhrat  Khuzaimah  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  during  the time  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  were  not  verses from  Surah  Ahzab.  Those  verses  belonged  to  Surah  Taubah. The  supposedly  “lost”  verse  on  this  occasion,  i.e.  during  the compilation  of  the  Uthmaani  copy,  was  a  verse  from  another Surah,  viz,  Surah  Ahzab.  In  the  compilation  of  Hadhrat  Abu Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  this  verse  of  Surah  Ahzab  existed, hence  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  did  not  report it  “missing”  on  that occasion.  This  fact  by  itself  proves  that  the  manuscripts  of Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  contained  this  Aayat.  Zaid (radhiyallahu  anhu) himself  was  fully  aware  of  the  existence  of  this  Aayat,  hence  he said:

“…  which  I  used  to  hear  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) reciting…

The  numerous  other  Huffaaz  also  knew  of  this  verse.  The  claim that  the  verse  was  “lost”  is,  therefore,  utterly  baseless.  If  the verse  was  “lost”  as  averred  by  Gilchrist,  then  Zaid’s (radhiyallahu anhu) search  for  it was  meaningless.  He  can  only  search  for  something  which  he knew  about.  The  Hadith  does  not  say  that  the  verse  was  lost  – lost  in  the  way  Gilchrist  interprets.  The  Hadith  merely  reports that  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) “missed”  the  Aayat  which  he  was  aware  of. This  is  stated  categorically  in  the  Hadith  which  even  Gilchrist has cited in part.

As  explained  earlier,  the  entire  Qur’an  was  written  down during  the  very  time  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) under  his  direct  supervision  by  a  number  of  scribes.  The manuscripts  compiled  by  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (Radiallahu  anhu) and  the  single-volume  copy  arranged  by  the  order  of  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (Radiallahu  anhu)  were  compared  for  authenticity with  the  writings  in  the  possession  of  the  various  scribes  who had  recorded  the  Qur’an  under  Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  supervision.  It  was  in  these  writings  that  Hadhrat Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  did  not  find  the  verse  of  Surah  Ahzaab. None  of  the  scribes  living  at  the  time  had  a  written  record available  –  a  record  written  under  Rasulullah’s  supervision  –  of the  Aayat  in  question.  Such  a  written  record  was  found  only with  Hadhrat  Khuzaimah  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  The  verse  in question  at  no  stage  was  a  missing  entity  among  the  Sahaabah. There  is  not  the  slightest  shred  of  evidence  to  substantiate  such a claim.

Furthermore,  the  fact  that  Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu) categorically  stated  hearing  the  verse  being  recited  by Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  fact  that Hadhrat  Khuzaimah  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  a  written  record  of the  Aayat  corroborated  by  Zaid’s  memory  belie  Gilchrist’s  claim of  the  Aayat being  “lost”.

Stating another baseless claim, Gilchrist writes:

It  is  to  be  presumed  that,  as  Zaid  was  the  sole compiler  of  Hafsah’s  text,  there  were  Medinese dialectical  variants  in  his  work  which  needed  to  be corrected by  the  other  three.

Firstly,  the  arbitrary  claim  that  “Zaid  was  the  sole  compiler  of Hafsah’s  text”  is  false.  This  conclusion  of  Gilchrist  is  indeed very  peculiar.  He  cites  Ahadith  pertaining  to  the  history  of  the Qur’an’s  compilation,  but  he  forms  the  conclusion  that  Zaid (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  the  “sole  compiler”.  What  is  his  proof  for his  claim??  He  wishes  us  to  believe  that  his  pamphlet  contains “evidence”,  but  he  fails  to  provide  any  proof!  According  to  the authentic  Ahadith,  along  with  Hadhrat  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu), Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  appointed  Hadhrat Umar,  also  a  Haafiz,  to  compile  the  Qur’an  manuscripts  which finally  were  held  in  the  custody  of  Hadhrat  Hafsah  (radhiyallahu anha).  The  narrations  inform  us  that  both  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiayllahu  anhu)  would jointly  verify  and  accept  the  written  verses  which  were presented  to  them.  The  evidence  of  the  Ahadith  thus  refutes Gilchrist’s claim.

On  the  basis  of  his  baseless  claim,  Gilchrist  tenders  a presumption. He  thus  says:

It has  to  be  presumed  that,..

A  presumption  reared  on  a  false  premiss  (i.e.  the  claim  that Hadhrat  Zaid  –  radhiyallahu  anhu  –  was  the  sole  compiler)  is construed  as  “evidence”  by  Gilchrist.  What  respect  can  anyone have  for  conclusions,  the  strength  of  which  is  presumption based on a false premiss??

Zaid’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  co-worker  in  the  compilation  of  the  manuscripts  of  the Qur’an  Majeed  was  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  who  was  not  a Medinite.  Gilchrist  has  assumed  that  since  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu  anhu)  “was  a  Madinite”,  the  manuscripts  prepared during  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu) contained  “Medinese  dialectal  variants  which  needed  to  be corrected”.  This  implies  that  the  compilation  by  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu  anhu)  contained  errors  which  the  Quraishi Sahaabah  appointed  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu) during  his  Khilaafat  had  to  rectify.  But,  the  Hadith  narrations do  not  support  this  contention  or  conclusion.  The  manuscripts compiled  during  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu)  were,  in  the  final  analysis,  after  the  verses  had  been thoroughly  verified,  the  joint work  of  Hadhrat  Zaid  and  Hadhrat Umar  (Radiallahu  anhuma).  Hadhrat  Umar  (Radiallahu  anhu) was  not  a  Medinite,  hence  the  possibility  of  errors  due  to  any Madni dialect was precluded. Gilchrist  further  bases  his  assumption  of  errors  needing correction  as  a  result  of  “Medinese  dialectal  variants”  in  the work of Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu), on the following narration:

Uthman  said  to  the  three  Quraishi  men,  ‘In  case  you disagree  with  Zaid  bin  Thabit  on  any  point  in  the Qur’aan, then  write it in  the  dialect of the  Quraish as  the Qur’aan  was  revealed  in  their  tongue.”   (Cited by Gilchrist  from Bukhaari).

The  disagreement  or  possible  disagreement  referred  to  by Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhyiallahu  anhu)  pertains  to  Qira’at  – accredited  form  of  recital  –  not  to  any  errors  which  required correction as  Gilchrist  claims. It has  already  been  explained  that there  existed  a  number  of  Qira’ats  which  were  divinely sanctioned.  However,  it  does  not  follow  that everyone  was  aware of  all  forms  for  recital.  In  the  event  of  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) reciting  a particular  word  or  verse  according  to  a  Qira’at  form  which differed  with  the  form  of  the  three  Quraishi  Sahaabah  of  the committee,  then  the  Quraishi  form  had  to  be  adopted  since  the first  revelation  of  the  Qur’an  was  in  the  language  or  dialect  of the  Quraish.  Later,  permission  was  granted  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  to  the  Sahaabah  to  recite  in accordance  with  other  dialects  as  well.  There  is,  therefore,  no question  of  correcting  any  errors  as  suggested  by  Gilchrist.  The aim  was  to  prepare  a  standard  compilation,  hence  the  other forms  and  dialects  which  could  not  be  accommodated  by  the Uthmaani  Rasmul  Khat  were  not  included  in  the  copy  compiled by  the  order  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  An illustration  of  the  type  of  disagreement  mentioned  in  this narration  is  the  reciting  of  the  word,  “TABOOT”.  While  Hadhrat Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  recited  it,  TABOOH,  the  Quraishi  dialect  had  it  as  TABOOT.  Both  terms  mean  exactly  the  same thing  and  both  forms  were  accredited  and  sanctioned  by Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  However,  since  the  aim of  the  committee  appointed  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  to  prepare  a  standard  copy,  only  one  form  could  be incorporated  by  the  Rasmul  Khat  adopted.  The  next  question which  arises  is  that  which  of  these  two  forms  –  Taboot  or Tabooh  –  was  to  be  adopted??  Since  the  first  Revelation  was  in the  Quraishi  dialect,  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu) ordered  its  adoption.  This  procedure  cannot  be  regarded  as  a process  of  correcting  any  errors  which  Gilchrist  wishes  readers to  believe.  Thus,  the  different  forms  of  recital  were  not  errors  or additions  which  “crept”  into  the  text  as  claimed  by  Gilchrist.  All forms  of  Qira’at  were  authorized  and  sanctioned  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Referring  to  the  compilation  ordered  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu), Gilchrist says:

Accordingly  even  this  copy  can  hardly  be  regarded  as a  perfect  collection  of  the  Qur’aan  to  the  last  word  or letter, nothing  added or  missing  from it.”

Gilchrist  has  not  furnished  any  evidence  for  this  conclusion.  He could  come  up  with  only  narrations  which  refer  to  different forms  of  authorized  Qira’at.  Nowhere  in  his  pamphlet  does Gilchrist  provide  even  a  single  narration  which  substantiates his  claim  of  addition  or  deletion.  He  draws  his  own  wishful conclusions  from  the  narrations  which  speak  of  the  forms  of recital  in  vogue  among  the  Sahaabah.  The  Rasmul  Khat  of  the standardized  copy  excluding  certain  forms  of  Qira’at  cannot  be said  to  have  deleted  any  part  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  since  it contained  everything  which  was  revealed  in  that  form,  viz.  in the  Quraishi  dialect.  Similarly,  any  other  form  of  authorized  – authorized  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  –  form  of recital  which  differs  with  the  Rasmul  Khat  of  the  Uthmaani compilation  cannot  be  described  as  being  different  from  the revealed  Qur’an,  since  the  Qur’an  was  revealed  in  SEVEN FORMS according to the authentic Ahadith.

A  recitation  which  is  not  sanctioned  by  Islam  can undoubtedly  be  branded  as  a  version  which  is  not  a  proper collection  of  the  Qur’an.  But  Gilchrist  has  been  unable  to produce  any  evidence  to  indicate  the  existence  of  any unauthorized  Qira’at  among  the  “variant  readings”,  which  in fact were all authorized forms.

Whatever  narrations  of  Hadith  have  been  cited  by  Gilchrist and  his  master  Jeffrey,  pertain  to  differences  in  accredited forms  of  recitation.  Gilchrist  attempts  to  manipulate  these differences  to  put  across  the  charge  that  the  Qur’an  is  not  the Qur’an  in  entirety  as  handed  to  the  Sahaabah  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  However,  the  explanation  given  so far  regarding  the  forms  of  recitation  should  be  sufficient  to refute the contention made by Gilchrist.

Having  failed  miserably  in  finding  any  fault  in  the  present Qur’an  which  Gilchrist  concedes  to  be  the  copy  standardized during  the  Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  he attempts  to  detract  from  the  Qur’an’s  originality  and authenticity  by  reference  to  the  different  forms  of  Qira’at prevalent during the time of the Sahaabah. He thus says:

“…  the  argument  for  the  textual  perfection  of  the Qur’aan  cannot  be  taken  back  from  the  time  of  Uthman to  Muhammad  himself.”

If  the  textual  perfection  of  the  Qur’an  Majeed  can  be successfully  taken  back  from  the  present  day  to  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  over  a  period  of  14  centuries,  then  there  is absolutely  nothing  to  prevent  textual  perfection  being  taken back  from  Uthmaan (radhiyal  to Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) –  a  period  of  a  mere  14  years.  The  history  of  the  Qur’an’s compilation  proves  beyond  all  shadow  of  doubt  that  the  Rasmul Khat  adopted  in  the  copy  standardized  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  linked  up  with  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  The  elaborate  measures  which  both  Hadhrat  Abu Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  had  adopted  in  compiling  the  Qur’an  illustrate  the  high degree  of  accuracy  and  certainty  with  which  the  Qur’an  copies were  taken  back  from the  time  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu) to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

The  measures  adopted  by  the  Committee  of  Sahaabah appointed  for  this  purpose,  were  designed  to  precisely  achieve this  degree  of  authenticity,  i.e.  linking  each  and  every  word  of the  Qur’an  directly  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam). This  was  the  prime  function  of  the  Committee  which  compiled the  copies,  both  in  Abu  Bakr’s  and  Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhuma)  times.  It  is because  of  having  achieved  total  and  absolute  certainty  and authenticity  in  this  respect  that  the  Rasmul  Khat  of  the standardized  copy  met  with  the  unanimous  approval  of  the Sahaabah  and  was  sanctioned  as  the  Qur’an  which  was revealed  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  which he conveyed to the Sahaabah.

The  Rasmul  Khat  adopted  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  has  been  indisputably  proven  as  authentic  by  an unbroken  Chain  (Sanad)  of  authoritative  narration  linking  up with  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  This  fact  cannot  be impeached  on  the  basis  of  narrational  evidence.  This  irrefutable fact  can  be  quite  simply  ascertained  by  reference  to  and  study of  the  authentic  Ahadith  literature.  For  the  purpose  of  this dilation,  the  Hadith  literature  should  be  considered  sufficient testimony  since  Gilchrist  has  raised  his  edifice  of  criticism  on the  foundation  of  Hadith  literature. 

Justifying  his  stand  based on Hadith narrations, Gilchrist says:

…  it  must  be  said  that  there  is  no  alternative  chain  of evidence  anywhere  in  the  history  of  Islam  to  tell  us  how the  Qur’aan  came  to  be  written  in  the  form  in  which  we now  have  it.  There  is  no  other  source  to  consult.

Gilchrist  thus  concedes  that  the  only  source  to  consult  in regard  to  the  preservation  and  compilation  of  the  Qur’an Majeed  is  only  the  Hadith  literature.  Since  he  bases  his
exposition  of  the  subject  on  Hadith  literature  it  logically  follows by  implication  that  he  should  accept  the  Ahadith  which categorically  assert  the  authenticity  and  divinity  of  the Qur’anic  Revelations.  An  impartial  study  of  a  subject  does  not admit  acceptance  of  only  facts  which  seem  supportive  of  one’s private  views  and  opinions.  Since  Gilchrist  has  chosen  the “evidences”  for  his  case  from  the  Hadith  literature  of  Islam,  he has  no  logical  grounds  for  discarding  those  Ahadith  which impugn  his  theories,  views  and  beliefs.  Either  present  an impartial  and  factual  account  of  the  subject  under  study  or merely  state  the  beliefs  and  theories  which  you  may  feel entitled  to  hold  on  the  grounds  of  blind  faith.  Confusing  the issues  stems  from  oblique  reasoning  which  is  the  result  of prejudice.

Further  referring  to  the  Hadith  literature  in  justification  of his  procedure  of  criticism  leveled  against  the  Qur’an  Majeed, Gilchrist avers:

The  records  in  the  Hadith,  on  the  other  hand,  are  an historical  heritage,  indeed  the  historical  heritage,  in Islam,  informing  us    how  the  Qur’aan  was  reduced  to  its present  form.  One  cannot  prefer  bold,  wishful  claims  in favour  of  the  Qur’aan’s  supposed  perfection unsupported  by  any  facts  or  evidences,  against  a  factual and  historical  record  widely  reported  in  different  works to  the  contrary.  Such  evidences  cannot  be  dismissed  in favour  of pure  speculation.

Gilchrist  should  be  the  first  to  follow  this  advice  he  seeks  to give  to  Muslims.  In  fact,  he  is  guilty  of  dismissing  the  evidences of  the  Hadith  literature  in  favour  of  pure  speculation.  It  is  on the  base  of  “pure  speculation”  that  he  chose  narrations  at random,  all  pertaining  to  the  official,  accredited  and  authorized forms  of  Qira’at,  distorted  their  meanings,  misinterpreted  the statements  and  drew  his  own  conclusion  to  bolster  his  baseless theories.  Then  the  Hadith  being  a  historical  heritage  in  Islam  is an  undoubted  and  an  accepted  fact.  Since  Gilchrist  ostensibly concedes  this  fact,  it  behoves  him  to  accept  Ahadith  which uphold  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  and  the  Ahadith  which assert  categorically  the  unbroken  relationship  of  the  Qur’anic Revelations  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  –  from Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) to Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Gilchrist and  all  enemies  of  the  Qur’an  fail  miserably  in  the  production of  a  single  narration  impinging  this  absolute  fact.  Whatever Gilchrist  furnishes  from  the  Ahadith  by  way  of  “evidence”  for his  claims  pertains  to  only  the  “variant  readings”  –   which  all were  in  fact  authorized  by  Allah  Ta’ala.  None  of  the  narrations supplied  by  Gilchrist  refers  even  remotely  to  any  unauthorized material  which  has  supposedly  crept  into  the  Qur’aan  according to  the  theories  of  the  enemies  of  Allah.  The  Qur’aan’s  perfection is  not  “supposed”  as  Gilchrist  alleges.  It  is  proven  on  the  basis of  the  authentic  Ahadith  about  which  Gilchrist  is  constrained  to confess:

Such  evidences  (i.e.  Hadith  narrations)  cannot  be dismissed in favour of pure speculation.

“…  a  factual  and  historical  record  widely  reported  in different works…

There  is  no  other  source  (other  than  Hadith)  to consult.

N.B. Words in brackets are ours.

If  Gilchrist  is  genuine  in  his  assertion  that  the  Hadith narrations  “cannot  be  dismissed  in  favour  of  speculation”,  then it  devolves  on  him  to  abstain  from  speculation  and  accept  the Ahadith  which  uphold  the  authenticity  of  the  Uthmaani compilation  and  take  it  back  to Prophet Muhammad  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  The  Ahadith  explicitly  assert  that  the  Qur’an  in  the form  we  have  it  today  –  the  Qur’an  in  the  form  adopted  by Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  –  was  the  Qur’an  which was  revealed  from  Loohul  Mahfooz;  the  Qur’an  which Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  recited  during  his  last year  on  earth  twice  in  the  presence  of  Jibrael  (alayhis  salaam). At  this  occasion  Hadhrat  Zaid  Bin  Thaabit  (radhiyallahu  anhu) was  present,  hence  he  was  the  natural  choice  to  head  the commissions  appointed  to  compile  the  Qur’an  Majeed,  during the  time  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  the  time  of Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  The  Ahadith  claim  that the  Sahaabah  accepted  the  accomplishment  of  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  with  unanimous  approval.  The history of the  Uthmaani  compilation and  the  passing  of fourteen centuries  bear  testimony  to  the  momentous  accomplishment  of authenticity  of  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  If  the  Uthmaani compilation  had  not  enjoyed  the  sanction  and  the  approval  of the  Sahaabah  and  the  Ummah  as  a  whole,  it  would  never  have withstood  the  onslaught  and  the  ravages  of  fourteen  centuries. That  the  Sahaabah  offered  their  unanimous  approval  for  the momentous  accomplishment  effected  by  the  order  of  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu),  is  an  undisputed  fact.  In  a  flabby  attempt  to show  a  crack  in  this  Ijma’  (unanimity)  of  the  Sahaabah, Gilchrist  cites  the  solitary  exception  of  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Ibn Masud’s (radhiyallahu anhu) disagreement  and  his  initial  refusal  to  hand  over  his privately  prepared  compilation.  But,  the  facts  of  the  case elaborately  explained  in  the  Ahadith  do  not  support  Gilchrist’s stand in the least bit.

Hadhrat  Ibn  Masud’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  initial  refusal  to  hand  over  his compilation  to  the  messengers  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu)  does  not  detract  from  the  authenticity  of  the  Uthmaani compilation.  His  refusal  cannot  be  interpreted  to  mean  that  the compilation  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  not authentic.  On  what  grounds  does  Gilchrist  conclude  that  Ibn Masud’s  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  refusal  to  hand  over  his  compilation implied  that  the  standardized  compilation  was  unauthentic?? This  conclusion  is  nothing  other  than  one  of  Gilchrist’s unsubstantiated  presumptions  based  on  his  own  wishful thinking  –  based  on  pure  speculation  while  dismissing  all evidence  to  the  contrary.  Inspite  of  Hadhrat  Ibn  Masud’s  initial refusal,  he  at  no  time  impugned  the  authenticity  of  the compilation  ordered  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu). His  refusal  is  quite  understandable.  Hadhrat  Ibn  Masud (radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  written  his  copy  during  the  age  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  His  copy  contained notes  and  explanations  as  well.  His  copy  was  for  his  personal use,  not  for  the  use  of  the  Ummah  at  large.  In  so  far  as  he  was concerned,  this  copy  was  his  personal  treasure  and  he understandably  attached  the  greatest  sentimental  value  to  his compilation.  When  the  sudden  order  to  dispense  with  his compilation  came,  it  was  not  a  simple  matter  to  resolve. Furthermore,  he  was  a  senior  Sahaabi  and  was  fully  entitled  to hold  a  difference  in  opinion  with  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu). It is  common  knowledge  –  substantiated by  the  Ahadith  – that  even  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  Hadhrat Zaid  Ibn  Thaabit  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  were  initially  not  favourably disposed  to  compiling  the  Qur’an  Majeed  in  biik  form.  But,  the reasoning  and  pleas  of  Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  finally convinced  them  of  the  wisdom  and  need  to  accomplish  this momentous  task.  Similarly,  Hadhrat  Ibn  Masu’d  (radhiyallahu anhu)  did  not  perceive  the  need  for  a  standard  compilation  nor the  need  to  dispense  with  other  forms  of  Qira’at  whereas Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  all  other  Sahaabah considered  this  step  a  vital  need.  Thus,  the  disagreement  –  the initial  disagreement  –  between  Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu anhu)  and  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  not  in regard  to  Qur’anic  Aayat  nor  to  authenticity,  but  was  in  regard to  two  points:  (1)  The  order  to  Ibn  Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  to hand  over  his  cherished  copy.  (2)  The  preparation  of  a  standard copy which will bring to an end several other Qira’ats in vogue.

The  initial  dispute  never  pertained  to  any  allegation  that  the standardized  copy  was  not  authentic  or  that  it  had  deleted anything  from  the  Qur’anic  revelations  or  that  it  had interpolated  anything.  In  fact,  Hadhrat  Abdullah  ibn  Mas’ud (radhiyallahu  anhu),  inspite  of  his  initial  displeasure, handed  over his  compilation  to  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and accepted the standardized copy for the benefit of the Ummah.

The  differences  between  the  recitals  of  Ibn  Mas’ud (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  that  contained  in  the  Rasmul  Khat  of Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  pertained  to  Qira’at,  both being  correct  and  authentic,  sanctioned  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Hence,  it  cannot  be  attributed  to either  Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  or  to  any  other Sahaabi  that  any  of  them  criticized  or  impeached  the authenticity  of  the  standardized  copy.  The  narrations  which Gilchrist  lists  in  his  booklet  speak  only  of  Hadhrat Abdullah  Ibn Masud’s  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  displeasure  at  the  order  to  hand  over his compilation.

Another  point  of  vital  importance  to  remember  is  that  each and  every  narration  passed  off  as  “Hadith”  is  not  in  fact  Saheeh (authentic)  Hadith.  There  are  various  classes  of  Ahadith.  Just any  fabrication  cannot  be  passed  off  as  a  statement  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  or  of  a  Sahaabi.  The authorities  of  Hadith  have  thoroughly  sifted  and  classified  the narrations.  Hence,  while  the  enemies  of  Islam  can  and  will  seize on  any  fabrication  to  support  their  theories,  the  followers  of Islam  will  not  be  duped  by  such  manipulation.  The  authenticity of  a  narration  depends  on  the  Chain  of  its  narrators.  The Aimmah  of  Hadith  have  formulated  stringent  tests  to  ascertain the  validity  and  authenticity  of  a  narration.  A  narration  cannot be  accepted  as  a  statement  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  merely  because  some  historian  has  included  it  in  his writings.  One  who  desires  to  raise  his  case  on  the  foundations  of Hadith  literature  must  of  a  necessity  refer  to  the  authorities (Aimmah)  of  Hadith  for  guidance  in  this  respect.  But,  this  is  too much  to  expect  from  Gilchrist.  His  fanciful  theories  will  locate no avenue for passage in the authentic Ahadith.

Besides  what  has  been  explained  in  regard  to  the  initial difference  of  opinion  held  by  Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu anhu),  it  is  necessary  to  make  mention  of  the  fact  that fabricated  narrations  have  been  attributed  to  Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  Many  stories  circulated  about  his compilation  are  utterly  baseless,  fabricated  and  false.  He,  being among  the  senior  bearers  of  the  Qur’an  was  fully  qualified  in the  subject  of  Qur’anic  Revelations.  He  never  disputed  the authenticity  of  the  Uthmaani  compilation  and  any  differences between  his  copy  and  that  of  the  standard  copy  of  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  related  to  only  Qira’at  –  authorized differences,  sanctioned  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam),  himself.  Let  Gilchrist  refer  to  the  Hadith  literature and  let  him  not  dismiss  “such  evidence  in  favour  of  pure speculation.”

The  following  statement  of  Gilchrist  is  indicative  of  the  type of  “pure  speculation”  employed  by  him  in  his  abortive  bid  to assail the integrity and authenticity of the Qur’an-e-Kareem:

Another  tradition  from  the  same  source  says  that when  Abu  Zabyan,  an  early  convert  to  Islam,  was  asked which  of  the  two  readings  of  the  Qur’aan  he  preferred, that  is,  the  reading  of  Zaid  or  that  of  Ibn  Mas’ud,  he replied  the  latter,  adding  that  whenever  Gabriel revealed  or  recited  the  Qur’aan  to  Muhammad  during Ramadan  each  year,  Ibn  Mas’ud  was  the  first  to  learn  of it.”
Nowhere  in  this  narration  is  the  compilation  of  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  impugned.  That  there  existed  different “readings”  –  the  different  Qira’ats  –  is  not  and  has  never  been denied.  A  person’s  “preference”  for  any  particular  form  of Qira’at  among  the  official  and  authorized  reciting  can  by  no stretch  of  imagination  or  reason  be  considered  to  imply  that  the other  forms  were  not  authentic.  Since  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  by  Divine  instructions  granted  permission  for the  Qur’an  Majeed  to  be  recited in  various  forms, the  Sahaabah chose  and  adopted  the  form which  appealed  most  to  them. Their individual  preferences  for  a  particular  Qira’at  form  can  never  be interpreted  to  mean  that  the  other  accredited  forms  were  false or  not  sanctioned.  The  Hadith  literature  explicitly  makes mention  of  the  various  forms  sanctioned  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Gilchrist’s  deliberate  silence  and side-stepping  of  these  narrations  regarding  the  sanctioned forms  of  “variant  readings”  portrays  his  biased  attitude  and  his desire  to  pedal  his  theories  on  the  basis  of  “pure  speculation”, dismissing  all  the  Hadith  facts  which  do  not    serve  the  purpose of  his  theories  and  opinions.  If  Abu  Zabyan  preferred  Ibn Mas’ud’s  Qira’at,  others  preferred  the  Qira’at  of  authorities other  than  Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  Such individual  preference  cannot  be  construed  to  imply  rejection  of the  other  forms  of  recital  authentically  attributed  to  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).

THE MANSUKHUT TILAAWAH VERSES 

Gilchrist  attempts  to  assail  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an Majeed  by  reference  to  the  verses  pertaining  to  the  Aayat  of Rajm (the Stoning Verses). Stating his case, Gilchrist says:

Widely  reported  in  the  Hadith  is  a  tradition  which makes  Umar  report  that  the  punishment  for  adultery, according  to  the  Kitab  Allah,  the  “Book  of  Allah”,  was death  by  stoning,  notwithstanding  the  verse  found  in the  Qur’aan  today  which  prescribes  a  different penalty.

After  referring  to  narrations  pertaining  to  Rajm,  Gilchrist  states its conclusion as follows:

The  widespread  stoning  of adulterers  in  Muhammad’s time  does  tend  to  imply  that  the  verse  disclosed  by Umar was  originally  a  part  of  the  Qur’aan  text.  If  so,  it  is just  one  of  those  passages  now  excluded  from  the Qur’aan  (more  will  be  mentioned  shortly),  proving  that the  Qur’aan  text,  as  we  have  it  today,  is  somewhat incomplete.

In  citing  the  verses  of  Rajm  in  his  attempt  to  assail  the authenticity  of  the  Qur’an,  Gilchrist  has  portrayed  colossal ignorance  of  the  history  of  the  Qur’an.  It  was  never  denied  that the  verses  pertaining  to  Rajm  constituted  part  of  the  Qur’an. Even  to  this  day,  the  punishment  for  married  people  guilty  of adultery  is  stoning  to  death.  The  punishment  prescribed  in  the Qur’an  for  adultery  does  not  conflict  with  the  punishment prescribed  in  the  verses  of  Rajm  (stoning).  The  punishment  for adultery  stated  in  the  Qur’an  applies  to  unmarried  persons committing  the  abomination  of  adultery.  The  Aayaat  on punishment  for  adultery,  found  in  the  Qur’an  mention  the infliction  of  lashes  while  the  Rajm  verses  –  not  found  in  the Qur’an  –  apply  to  married  people.  There  is,  therefore,  no conflict  between  the  two  sets  of  verses  dealing  with  the  sin  of adultery.  The  question  arising  now  is:  Why  are  the  verses  of Rajm not to be found in the Qur’an which we have with us?? Verse 106 of Surah Baqarah reads:

Whatever  verse  we  abrogate  or  cause  to  be  forgotten, we bring  another  better  than it  or  like  it.  What,  do  you  know,  that verily, Allah has power over everything!

Abrogation  of  verses  by  Allah  Ta’ala  during  the  time  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  while  the  incidence  of Wahi  (Revelation)  was  in  progress  is  a  fact  well-known  to  all. The  abovementioned  Qur’anic  verse  states  this  abrogation  or cancellation  of  verses.  Such  abrogation  is  described  in  detail  in the  Hadith  literature.  The  verses  of  Rajm  referred  to  by Gilchrist  are  not  news.  The  abrogation  of  the  verses  in  relation to  recitation  is  not  a  secret  discovered  by  Gilchrist  or  by  Jeffrey or  by  some  other  enemy  of  Islam.  The  Qur’an  Majeed  itself mentions  the  abrogation  of  verses.  Such  abrogation  was  not  by the  Sahaabah.  The  abrogation  was  by  Wahi  and  applied  only  to the  time  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Abrogation (Naskh)  applied  to  hukm  (effect)  and  to  tilaawat  (recitation). Certain  verses  were  abrogated  with  regard  to  hukm,  but  not tilaawat.  Other  verses  were  abrogated  with  regard  to  tilaawat, but  not  hukm.  The  verses  of  stoning  fall  in  the  latter  category and  are  known  as  Mansukhut  Tilaawah,  i.e.  their  tilaawat  has been  cancelled  while  the  law  expounded  in  them  has  been retained.  The  fact  that  the  Sahaabah  did  not  dispute  regarding the  abrogation  of  the  stoning  verses,  clearly  proves  that  the cancellation  of  the  tilaawat  of  these  verses  was  a  well established  fact  among  them.  Not  a  single  authority  of  Qira’at among  the  Sahaabah  taught  the  recitation  of  the  Rajm  verses  or of  any  other  Mansukhut  Tilwaat  verses.  Inspite  of  the  fact  that the  Rajm  verses  were  not  obscure  verses  unknown  to  the Sahaabah,  we  find  that  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) did  not  include  them  in the  copy  compiled  by  order  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu)  nor  do  we  find  Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  who  was jointly  appointed  with  Hadhrat  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu),  making  a  case  for  the inclusion  of  these  verses  in  the  official  copy  compiled  under Abu  Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) instruction.  Again,  despite  the  knowledge    which  all the  Sahaabah  had  of  the  Rajm  verses  and  inspite  of  the  fact  that punishment  for  married  adulterers  was  always  stoning  to  death, no  attempt  was  made  to  include  these  verses  in  the standardized  copy  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  This bears  out  amply  the  explicit  mention  in  the  Hadith  literature that  the  verses  of  stoning  were  among  the  abrogated  verses (Mansukhut  Tilaawat).

It  is  highly  unreasonable  for  a  critic  of  Islam  to  cite  the  verse  of stoning  with  a  view  to  impugn  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an. Among  the  assumptions  and  presumptions  presented  by Gilchrist  to  assail  the  Qur’an’s  authenticity,  his  conclusion based  on  the  Mansukhut  Tilaawat  Aayaat  is  about  the  flimsiest for  the  following  reasons:  

⚫ These  verses were  well-known  by  the  Sahaabah  

⚫ The punishment  mentioned  in  these  verses  was  official  law and  remains  so  to  this  day  in  the  Shariah.  

⚫ Inspite  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr,  Umar,  Zaid,  Uthmaan  and  all others  having  knowledge  of  these  verses,  no  attempt  was ever  made  to  include  these  verses  in  either  the  manuscripts compiled  by  order  of  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu  anhu) or  the  standardized  copy  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhu).  

⚫ There  never  existed  any  difference  among  the  Sahaabah  on the  fact  that  these  verses  were  among  the  Mansukhut Tilaawat verses.

It  now  rests  on  Gilchrist  to  provide  us  with  authentic  Hadith literature  as  evidence  to  prove  his  claim  that  the  exclusion  of the  stoning  verses  constitutes  unauthorized  deletion  from  the Qur’an.  The  Hadith  literature  explains  the  abrogation  of  verses –  abrogation  stated  in  the  Qur’an.  Let  Gilchrist  refer  to  the Hadith  literature  and  not  “dismiss  these  evidences  in  favour  of pure speculation” and fanciful thinking.

Once  a  verse  has  been  abrogated  on  the  authority  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  it  cannot  be  included  in the  Qur’anic  text  any  longer.  The  matter  is  simple  to understand  and  it  explains  the  total  lack  of  dispute  among  the Sahaabah  regarding  the  mansukhut  Tilaawat verses.

THE DIFFERENCES IN QIRAT

In  a  section  under  the  heading:   “VARIANT  READINGS  IN THE  QUR’AAN”,  Gilchrist  mentions  some  differences  in  words between  the  Qira’at  of  Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu) and  the  Uthmaani  standardized  compilation.  On  the  basis  of this  attempt  Gilchrist  endeavours  to  disprove  the  authenticity of  the  Qur’an.  It  has  been  repeatedly  explained  in  the aforegoing  pages  that  these  differences  in  Qira’at  were sanctioned  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  hence  all the  Sahaabah  accepted  the  various  Qira’ats  (variant  reading)  as authentic.  It  has  never  been  claimed  that  the  differences  in  the various  forms  of  recital  pertain  only  to  pronunciation  as Gilchrist  alleges.  The  Hadith  literature  explains  the  various type  of  differences.  This  has  already  been  explained  earlier  in this  booklet.  The  only way  for  Gilchrist  to  assail  the  authenticity of  the  Qur’an  from  this  angle  is  for  him  to  produce  authentic Ahadith  claiming  that  some  Sahaabah  had  adopted unauthorized  forms  for  recitation.  But,  he  has    absolutely  no hope  of  locating  any  such  evidence  in  the  Hadith.  Harping  on the  “variant  readings”  as  a  basis  to  disprove  the  Qur’an authenticity  will  not  assist  Gilchrist  to  achieve  his  aim  since  the “variant  readings”  have  never  been  denied  by  the  authorities  of Islam.  On  the  contrary,  the  authenticity  of  the  variant  readings, be  it   reading  of  Ibn  Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  Ubay (radhiyallahu  anhu),  Zaid  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  or  of  any  other Sahabi, is vigorously canvassed by Islam.

Sight  must  not  be  lost  of  the  actual  charge  which  the  enemies of  Islam  are  leveling  against  the  Qur’an  Majeed.  The  charge  is that  the  present  Qur’an  in  our  possession  is  not  the  full  and perfect  Qur’an  which  was  proclaimed  by Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  But  proof  for  this  charge  has  not been  forthcoming  from  the  enemies.  They  have  merely  sought to  befuddle  others  by  referring  to  the  existence  of  other authentic  Qira’at  (variant  readings).  The  existence  of  other sanctioned  forms  of  recitation  is  not  evidence  for  the  claim  that the  Uthmaani  version  is  not  authentic  or  not  complete.  The Hadith  literature  which  Gilchrist  concedes  to  be  the  only  source to  consult,  abundantly  proves  that  the  Uthmaani  compilation  is directly  linked  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The Chain,  therefore,  has  no  weak  link  as  alleged  by  Gilchrist.  So strong  is  this  Chain  of  authority that  even  Gilchrist  concedes:

There  may  be  one  standard  text  of  the  Qur’aan today…

…  the  caliphate  of  Uthman  when  the  text  was  finally standardized into  the  form in  which  it  appears  today.”

So  strong  is  the  Chain  that  even  Gilchrist  and  all  forces  inimical to  the  Qur’an  Majeed  have  failed  miserably  to  fault  the Uthmaani  compilation  which  exists  with  us  in  perfect  exactness even  after  fourteen  centuries  and  which  will  exist  in  the  world until the  Last  Day.

UTHMAAN’S (RADHIYALLAHU ANHU) MOTIVE

Manufacturing  a  motive  for  the  standardization  of  the  Qur’an Majeed  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  Gilchrist comes up with the following baseless and absurd argument:

The  purpose,  therefore,  of  Uthman’s  decree  was  not just  to  standardize  a  text  to  the  Qur’aan  for  the  whole Muslim  world  but  to  remove  with  one  stroke  the growing  influence  of  the  qurra  and  to  nullify  the  threat that  they  posed.  Quite  clearly  the  caliph  sought  to undermine  their  authority  in  religious  matters  by destroying  their  Qur’aanic  esteem.”

Indeed,  Gilchrist  has  descended  to  ludicrous  levels  in presenting  this  theory.  What  evidence  is  there  to  even  remotely suggest  that  the  despicable  theory  offered  by  Gilchrist  was Hadhrat  Uthmaan’s  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  motive  for  ordering  the compilation  of  the  standard  copy.  What  has  been  written  by Gilchrist  in  this  passage  is  plain  drivel and  pure  speculation,  yet he  ventures  to  describe  his  dilation  as  “evidences”!.  No  student of  history  who  possesses  any  respect  for  the  truth  will  ever uphold  the  ridiculous  and  blatantly    false  motive  attributed  to Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  by  Gilchrist  and  other enemies of Islam.

By  what  stretch  of  imagination  could  the  influence  of  the qurra  be  removed  with  “one  stroke”  by  the  imposition  of  the standard  copy  of  the  Qur’an?  How  on  earth  was  the standardized  copy  supposed  to  undermine  the  authority  of  the qurra??  The  elimination  of  the  written  records  of  the  qurra  could never  secure  the  elimination  of  their  specific  form  of  Qira’at from  their  hearts  and  minds.  The  decree  of  standardization  in no  way  affected  the  authority  or  position  of  the  qurra  teaching the  Qur’an  all  over  the    Islamic  empire.  No  Qaari  was dismissed  by  the  decree  of  standardization.  They  remained  in their  positions.  They  retained  whatever  following  they  had. None  of  them  ever  vied  with  the  Khalifah  in  the  political domain  as  the  enemies  of  Islam  and  the  fabricators  of  this despicable motive wish us to believe.

Assuming  the  fabricated  motive  attributed  to  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  to  be  a  fact,  what  reasonable explanation  can  the  enemies  offer  for  the  total  endurance  of  the Uthmaani  version  even  after  his  enemies  murdered  him??  Even after  he  was  martyred  by  unscrupulous  assassins,  the compilation  left  by  him  remained  a  perpetual  and  an unchallenged  entity.  A  variety  of  forces  inimical  to  Islam  reared their  heads  in  the  guise  of  Muslims  after  the  murder  of  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiallahu  anhu).  Numerous  deviated  sects  sprang up,  openly  rejecting  the  teachings  of  the  Sahaabah,  but,  all  sects –  even  those  who  strayed  far  from the  Path of  Islam  –  adhered  to the  Uthmaani  compilation.  It  is  illogic  and  bigoted  to  believe that  the  enemies  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and the  many  deviated  sects  which  later  developed  would  have retained  the  Uthmaani  compilation  if  they  had  reason  to impeach  the  authenticity of  the  text.  Thus, we  see  that inspite of mighty  political  upheavals  developing  in  Islam  after  the  murder of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  as  well  as  fanatical  sects such  as  the  Khaarjis  arising,  the  standardized  copy  remained unassailed and intact to this day.

According  to  Gilchrist,  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu) was  a  “most  unpopular  caliph”.  But,  inspite  of  this  suppose unpopularity,  his  compilation  enjoyed  the  highest  degree  of popularity and  approval among  friend  and  foe  alike. If there  was indeed  any  substance  in  the  claim  that  the  imposition  of  the standard  copy  by  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  unpopular and  detested,  it  could  never  have  been  accorded  such  popular acceptance.  Deviated  and  inimical  sects  and  other  treacherous forces  within  the  ranks  of  Muslims  would  never  have  adopted the  Uthmaani  compilation  as  the  standard  copy.  Even  after  the final  annihilation  of  the  dynasty  of  Bani  Umayya  the  Uthmaani compilation  continued  to  enjoy  its  unique  supremacy  since  it was  the  only compilation accepted  and  approved  of  by  the  entire Ummah.  Even  the  Abbasi  Khulafa  who  had  displaced    the Umayyad  reign  retained  the  Uthmaani  compilation. All  the  facts conclusively  prove  that  the  motive  of  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu)  is  unimpeachable.  His  intention  in  decreeing the  standardized  copy  was  not  contaminated  by  any  worldly motive.  In  view  of  the  unanimous  acceptance  of  Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) sincerity  and  purity  of  intention  coupled  to  the  authenticity  of the  compilation,  the  entire  world  of  Islam  in  all  ages  and  of    all political  and  religious  shades,  upheld  the  validity  and authenticity of the Uthmaani copy.
Gilchrist  himself  contradicts  his  own  advice  which  he  gives regarding  Hadith  evidence  and  pure  speculation.  As  mentioned elsewhere  in  this  treatise,  Gilchrist  portrays  himself  as  the negator  of  the  Qur’an’s  authenticity  on  the  basis  of  Hadith literature.  But,  whenever  he  discerns  that  any  Hadith  goes counter  to  his  theories,  he  conveniently  turns  a  blind  eye  to such  Ahadith.  It  is  queer  that  Gilchrist,  after  having  stated  the causes  which  led  to  the  Uthmaani  compilation,  attempts  to introduce  an  entirely  different  dimension  to  underpin  the motive  which  gave  rise  to  the  action  taken  by  Hadhrat  Uthmaan (radhiyallahu  anhu).  On  page  6  of this  pamphlet,  Gilchrist  states:

In  the  meantime,  however,  it  is  of  great  interest  to  us to  find  that  during  the  reign  of  the  third  caliph  Uthman, this  copy  (i.e.  Abu  Bakr’s)  was  brought  to  the  fore  as word  was  brought  from  the  out-lying  provinces  that  the Muslims  in  these  areas  are  reciting  the  Qur’aan  in different  ways.  The  sequel  is  set  out  in  the  following tradition:

Hudhaifa  was  afraid  of  their  (the  people  of  Sha’m  and Iraq)  differences  in  the  recitation  of  the  Qur’aan,  so  he said  to  Uthman,  ‘O  Chief  of  the  Believers!  Save  this nation  before  they  differ  about  the  book  as  the  Jews  and the  Christians  did  before.’  So  Uthman  sent  a  message  to Hafsa  saying,  ‘Send  us  the  manuscripts  of  the  Qur’aan so  that  we  may  compile  the  Qur’aanic  materials  in perfect  copies..

Gilchrist  here  concedes  that  the  motive  for  Uthmaan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) compilation  was  that  the  Qur’an  was  being  recited  in  different ways.  Further,  it  is  acknowledged  by  Gilchrist  that  the Uthmaani  compilation  commenced  in  consequence  of  the information  and  exhortation  of  Hadhrat  Hudhaifa  (radhiyallahu anhu).  The  differences  spoken  of  in  the  above  narration  refer  to different  authorized  Qira’ats  of  which  the  two  communities were  not  fully  aware.  The  “differences”  do  not  refer  to  any supposed  accretions  which  crept  into  the  Qur’an  as  Gilchrist seeks  to  convey.  Furthermore,  the  people  of  Iraq  and  Sha’m who  were  disputing  regarding  the  Qira’ats  were  not  Sahaabah. They  were  students  of  different Masters  of  Qira’at who  imparted only a specific form of recitation.

The  Hadith  narrations  establish  conclusively  that  the  cause which  induced  Hadhrat Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  to  order  the preparation  of  a  standardized  copy  was  the  disputes  which developed  among  people  not  versed  in  the  authorized  forms  of Qira’ats.  It  is  thus  blatantly  false  to  attribute  any  worldly  or political  motive  to  this  momentous  undertaking  of  Ameerul Mu’mineen  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  The  charge Gilchrist  levels  against  Hadhrat  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  is totally  unfounded.  Not  an  iota  of  evidence  exists  in  the  Ahadith to  uphold  this  fallacy.

SUMMARY

The  summary of this  whole  discussion is  as  follows:

1.  Gilchrist  claims  that  the  present  Qur’an  Majeed  is  not  the complete  Qur’an  which  existed  in  the  time  of  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).

2.  Gilchrist  claims  to  base  all  his  conclusions  on  the  Hadith Literature.

3.  In  support  of  his  claim,  Gilchrist  furnishes  only  two  factors: (a)  variant  Readings  mentioned  in  the  Hadith  literature  (b) Exclusion of  certain  verses from the  Qur’an  Majeed.

4.  The  variant  readings  cited  so  copiously  by  Gilchrist  do  not support  his  claim  since  all  such  variant  readings  (Qira’ats) were  authorized  forms  of  recitation  sanctioned  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The  variant  readings  were  not later  accretions  to  the  Qur’an.  They  were  taught  and  allowed by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) himself.

5.  The  verses  which  were  excluded  from  the  Qur’an  text,  are verses  which  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  himself excluded  after  Allah  Ta’ala  cancelled  their  recitation.  Such abrogated  verses  are  known  as  mansukhut  Tilaawat.  There was  no  dispute  whatever  among  the  Sahaabah  in  this  regard. It  was  an  unanimously  known  fact  to  the  Sahaabah  that  the mansukhut  Tilaawat  verses  do  not  form  part  of  the  Qur’anic text  after  the  decree  of  abrogation.

By  the  Fadhl  of  Allah  Ta’ala  it  has  been  conclusively  proved that  whatever  theories  tendered  by  Gilchrist  and  other  enemies of  the  Qur’an  to  impugn  the  authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  are pure  speculation,  wishful  and  bigoted  thinking  unsubstantiated by  any  evidence. Allah  Ta’ala  is  the  Guardian  of the  Qur’an.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY  ABOUT THE QUR’AN

Dr. Steingoss  says: ‘We  may  well  say  the  Qur’aan  is  one  of  the  grandest  books  ever written…  such  a  work  is  a  problem  of  the  highest  to  every thoughtful  observer  of  the  destinies  of  mankind.

That  the  best  of  Arab  witnesses  have  never  succeeded  in producing  anything  equal  to  the  merits  in  Qur’an..  To  compose such  revelations  at  will  was  beyond  the  power  of  the  most expert literary  artist.’ –Encyclopedia Britannica

However  often  we  turn  to  it  (Qur’an)…  it  soon  attracts, astounds  and  in  the  end  enforces  our  reverence…  Thus  this Book  will  go  on  exercising  through  all  ages  a  most  potent influence.’ -Goethe.

The  age  of  the  Vedas  Puranas  is  gone.  Now  the  Qur’an  is  the only  book  to  guide  the  world.’  -Guru  Nanak 

The  miracle  of  Islam  par  excellence  is  the  Qur’aan.  How  could this  marvelous  book  be  the  work  of  Muhammad,  an  illiterate Arab..  The  Qur’aan  could  not  be  the  work  of  an  uneducated man..  unless  he  had  the  help  of  the  Almighty.’ -Dr  Laura  V. Vaglieri.

THE  QUR’AN’S CHALLENGE TO THE WORLD

By  a  fortune  absolutely  unique  in  history,  Muhammed  is  a threefold  founder  of a  nation, of an  empire  and  of  a  religion. The Qur’an  is  a  Book  which  is  a  poem, a  code  of  laws, a  book  of common  prayer,  all  in  one  and  is  reverenced  by  a  large  section of  the  human  race  as  a  miracle  of  purity  and  style,  of  wisdom and  of  truth.  It  is  the  one  miracle  claimed  by  Mohammed  –  his ‘standing  miracle’  as  he  called  it; and  a  miracle  indeed  it is.’ -Reverend  Bosworth Smith.

The  best  Arab  writers  have  never  succeeded  in  producing anything  equal  in  merit  to  the  Qur’aan  itself.’-Palmer.

There  is  probably  in  the  world  no  other  book  (Qur’aan)  which has  remained  twelve  (now 14)  centuries  with  so  pure  a  text.’ -Sir  William Muir.

OPINION  OF  NON-MUSLIMS  ABOUT  ISLAM  AND  THE HOLY  QUR’AN

Philosopher,  orator,  apostle,  legislator,  warrior,  conqueror  of ideas,  restorer  of  rational  dogmas,  of  a  cult  without  images;  the founder  of  twenty  terrestrial  empires  and  of  one  spiritual empire,  that  is  Muhammed.  As  regards  all  standards  by  which human  greatness  may  be  measured,  we  may  well  ask,  is  there any man  greater  than  he?”        -Lamartine, Historie  de  la  Turquie.

It (Qur’aan)   is a  literal  revelation  of  God,  dictated  to Muhammed  by  Gabriel,  perfect  in  every  letter.  It  is  an  everpresent  miracle  witnessing  to  itself  and  Muhammed,  the prophet  of  God.  Its  miraculous  quality  resides  partly  in  its  style, so  perfect  and  lofty,  that  neither  men  nor  jinn  could  produce  a single  chapter  to  compare  with  its  briefest  chapter,  and  partly  in its  content  of  teaching,  prophecies  about  the  future,  and amazing  accurate  information  such  as  the  illiterate  Muhammed could  never  have  gathered  of  his  own  accord.’  Gaylord  Dorman. -Harry

All  those  who  are  acquainted  with  the  Qur’aan,  in  Arabic  agree in  praising  the  beauty  of  this  religious  book;  its  grandeur  of form  is  so  sublime  that  no  translation  into  any  European language  can  allow  us  to  appreciate  it.’ – Edward  Montet.

There  is  no  religion  which  is  maligned  by  the  ignorant  as  is Islam,  yet  if  people  only  knew  it  is  the  only  true  solution  for  the problems  of  socialism  in  as  much  as  it  is  the  religion  of  the strong  for  the  weak,  of  the  rich  for  the  poor…  I  do  not  think  I need  say  much  about  the  universal  brotherhood  of  man  in Islam.  It  is  a  recognized  fact.’  -Sir  Charles  Edward  Archibald Hamilton.

Islam  which  claims  allegiance  of  seven  hundred  million  souls, is  the  ONLY  SOLUTION  for  all  the  ills  of  the  world.  This  is  no idle  boast  on  my  part.  Events  are  proving  it.  Every  thoughtful observer  of  what  is  going  on  in  Western  Asia  and  Africa  can appreciate  its  truth.  For  it  is  in  Islam  only  that  the  idea  of  a  real material  league  of  nations  has  been  approached  in  the  right  and practicable  way.’ –Sir  Thomas  Arnold. (The  Preaching  of Islam, London  1913)

Islamic  brotherhood  is  a  social  an  spiritual  fact.  Islam  is  not only  a  faith, it is  a  legal system and  a  social system as  well.’ -Reverend  Murray Titus.

A  false  man  found  a  Religion!  Why  a  false  man  cannot  build  a brick  house?  If  he  does  not  know  and  follow  truly  the  properties of  mortar,  burnt  clay  and  whatever  else  he  works  with,  it  is  no house  that  he  builds,  but  a  rubbish  heap.  It  will  not  stand  for twelve  (now  fourteen)  centuries  to  lodge  a  189  million  (now  900 million),  it will fall straightaway.’ -Thomas Carlyle.

‘Say;  “If  the  whole  of  mankind  and  Jinns  were  to  gather together  to  produce the  like  of  this Qura’an, they  could  not produce  the  like  thereof, even if  they  backed  up  each other with help  and  support.’ Al-Qur’aan  17:88

And  if  you  are  in doubt  as to  what  We  have  revealed  from time  to  time  to  Our  servant, then produce a  Sura like thereunto;  and  call  your  witnesses or  helpers (if  there  are  any) besides  Allah, if  your  (doubts) are  true. But  if  ye  cannot  –  of  a  surety  ye  cannot  then fear  the  Fire whose  fuel  is Men  and  Stones  –  which is prepared  for  those who reject  Faith.’ Al-Qur’an 2:23-24

This Qur’an is  not  such that  can be  produced  by  other  than Allah.’ Al-Qur’an  10:37

1400  years have  elapsed since  the  Qur’an  first  issued the  above  challenge  to the  world but  not  a  soul  has been able  to  produce  something  similar  or  better  than  the Qur’an.  This  is  a  LIVING  TESTIMONY  of  the  DIVINE ORIGIN of  the  Qur’an

“Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan – The “Reformer” of Western Dajjalic History Textbooks was In reality a Modernist-British Agent

As part of the cultural campaign against Muslims in India, modern books published in India, whether educational or otherwise, generally present inaccurate and false information regarding the British occupation of the Indian Subcontinent, the War of Independence 1857 and the formation of Pakistan. Information about the past is presented in a twisted manner, so some people who are presented as heroes in history were actually British agents, who understood the colonialist agenda and acted as tools. They took to constantly deceiving Muslims, using Islam as a disguise, as is the case of colonialist stooges in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan today. Thus, whilst the Indian Subcontinent was under British occupation, the British groomed collaborators who stood by their side, distorting Islam in order to legitimize British occupation.

When the British invaded the Indian Sub-Continent, they started buying off the rulers, princes and the leaders of different regions to strengthen their foothold. For this purpose, the East India Company spent 90,000 Pounds Sterling annually as a political bribe, which when adjusted for inflation is similar to the huge amounts colonialists spend on buying up agents today. The total number of regions in the Indian Subcontinent was 635 and many rulers of these regions submitted to the British, helping them to establish a colonialist system that was completely in British hands. The rulers who refused to compromise and showed resistance, were fought and removed by force.

Those who were allies of the British and betrayed Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Muslims are known in some cases, such as Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq, but many are not known. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan is on the list of the people who openly supported the British, sided with them, protected them from Muslim resistance and furthered their agenda. It is tragic that such people are presented as “heroes” of the Muslims, when in fact they helped the British to subjugate the Indian Subcontinent and brainwash the Muslims, making them think that the British were their allies and benefactors. These people were very valuable to the British as they were local and so made it easier for them to present the colonialist agenda and have it accepted by the others.

The British were well-aware of the fact that if they did not divide the strongly unified population of the Indian Subcontinent, they would neither dominate the region nor exploit the immense wealth of the Indian Subcontinent, which had been their motivation from the beginning of their occupation. Muslims and Hindus had lived together peacefully and prosperously under Islamic Rule for over eight hundred years, for Islam looks after the affairs of the non-Muslim citizens, the Ahl udh-Dhimma magnificently. The first thing the British did was to sow discord between them for the British were horrified by the Hindu support of the Muslim resistance. Thus, the British began to turn the Hindus against the Muslims, and encouraged them to view Muslims as enemies rather than providing them support.

One of the styles was language education, using the Urdu language. Soldiers were taught Urdu and an Urdu college was established by the British so-called ‘Governor’, General Wilson, on 10th July 1800. Although this date was altered upon his instruction to 4th May 1800, the date that the heroic Muslim rulers of Mysore, Haider Ali Sultan and Tipu Sultan, suffered defeated at the hands of the British and their lands were taken over. A number of Muslim and Hindu writers were recruited for the college. Books written in foreign languages, steeped in Kufr culture that was alien to Islam, were translated into Urdu. This was during the period of intellectual decline of Muslims, so the books written in this era are a representation of the Western enslaved mentality of the Muslims. Urdu writers who fulfilled the intention of the British through prose were richly rewarded. For example, Moulvi Nazeer Ahmed (the La-Madhabi scholar) wrote the first Urdu novel, Mir’aat-ul-Uroos, in which he held Queen Victoria in great esteem and praised her excessively. He was gifted a gold watch by the British and a generous sum of money.

Then in Fort William College, an Urdu-Hindi dispute began. The British were successful in convincing Hindus that the Muslims had never cared about them. They claimed the Muslims were now using the Urdu language to subjugate them, even though the language that had been widely spoken previously had been Urdu. The name of this language had changed in history; Lashkari, Hindwi, Hindi, Hindustani, Urdu-e-Mu’alla and at last Urdu. Throughout, however, the writing script remained the same as that of the Arabic language and Arabic had a strong influence on Urdu. The British encouraged the Hindus to break away Hindi in a Dev Nagri, Sanskrit, script of writing and Fort William College was not only the scene of the origin of the conflict, it nurtured it. “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan began to study this conflict. Meanwhile, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk delivered speeches in Hindustan, which strengthened the growing division between Hindus and Muslims, benefitting the British. This dispute led to a physical altercation between Muslims and Hindus, with the Muslims who died within it, praised as martyrs. The hidden agenda of the British, aided by Hindu bigotry, ultimately led to Urdu becoming a pivot for the Muslims. The energies of the Muslims that were supposed to be used against the British occupation, then started being consumed in defending and promoting the Urdu language.

This language division had a parallel in the British efforts for political division. Initially, “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan tried to distance the Muslims from politics. However, the British realized that hatred towards them still existed and rebellions kept on arising. So, they set up a political party called Congress in 1885 at the house of an English “Sir” A.O. Hume. Its aim was to provide a platform to the public where they could vent their frustration and discuss the problems they were facing as a society. However, the leaders of the party were still under the control of the British government. This provided the government with an opening to yet again create dispute between Hindus and Muslims. The top positions in Congress were given to Hindus, with Muslims left to feel that it was a Hindu dominated party. Syed Ahmad Khan advised Muslims to stay away from Congress and then in 1906, the Muslims set up their own party called ‘All India Muslim League’. Thus the Hindus that had previously accepted Muslim political leadership, now were divided from the Muslims.

The British then encouraged another type of division to beguile the Muslims, which is the separation of their Deen from life’s affairs of Muslims. In the field of education, they took steps to ensure the separation of Islamic knowledge from worldly knowledge. Before the British occupation, schools and other educational institutions taught both Islamic and worldly knowledge, side by side, in generous proportions; thus, Arabic, Persian, philosophy, medical studies, astronomy, arithmetic, geometry and poetry were taught besides Qur’an and Sunnah. Moreover, before Muslim rule, there is no evidence to suggest that these subjects were taught in such an organized fashion in any institute. People who studied from these institutions were the ones who ran the affairs of the citizens, for they attained the common government positions. These people also became biographers, engineers, doctors and teachers. The British set upon this hundreds of years of legacy, and set up a separate school to provide religious education exclusively in Calcutta and a separate college for other subjects. Now, the people who studied from the secular schools, where no importance was given to knowledge about Islam, went on to obtain posts in government. And the ones who studied from religious institutions were confined to the four walls of the mosques.

Consequently, the Muslims became divided into being religious or secular. Along with this, different sects and religious groups were set against each other in sectarian conflict. Naïve scholars wrote books against each other’s sects, which were published by the British from publishing companies that were set up, during the era of Fort William College. Ulema began arguing and issued Fatawas (verdicts) declaring others Kuffaar on the basis of difference of opinion which is allowed in Islam. This was in addition to attempts to make Muslims apostatize from Islam, so the British also created mischief of the Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiyani Dajjal and Barelwi movement by Ahmad Raza Khan, both these movements along with “Sir” Syed had same mentality of serving the British Interests while upright Ulamas of Delhi and Deoband fought for freedom. Thus the Muslims became entangled in sectarian issues and lost focus from the main project of expelling the British occupation and restoring the Islamic ruling.

It was within this context that “Sir” Syed showed his true colours. “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan displayed a strong sense of loyalty towards the British during the 1857 War of Independence, saving the lives of twenty Europeans and then further guarding their houses at night wearing armour. The people whom Sir Syed saved and protected were not ordinary English people, rather they were the rulers of Bijnaur. It is just like a pro-American Muslim safeguarding the top brass of Americans who occupy Afghanistan today. If Sir Syed saved the lives of the Muslims who were being killed by the British, his name would have rightly gone down in history as a true Muslim hero. However, as a reward for his loyalty, the British gave “Sir” Syed a dress of honour worth 1000 rupees and a political pension of 200 rupees every month.

In 1875, “Sir” Syed set up an institution called MAO School in Aligarh. He deceitfully convinced the Muslims that since they lacked modern and scientific education, they were regarded as disgraceful and inferior. Therefore,  they must advance in the scientific field. English and Science were given special attention in Aligarh. By 1887, the government allowed the school to develop into a college, whose inauguration took place on 18th January 1887, conducted by the British governor “Sir” Luton. The college was not only funded by the British, special teachers from England were brought there to teach. Under the supervision of the Scientific Society which was established by so-called “Sir” Syed, articles preaching Dajjalic Western Culture published in Europe were translated into Urdu and then published here. These articles contained literature that attacked the very foundations of Islamic thoughts, civilization and culture. The British aimed to promote their ideas, thoughts and concepts through Urdu writings to the people who were unable to understand English. Thus, the British focused the people of the Indian Subcontinent upon the Western personality as a standard through both Urdu and English literature.

The British were aware that until the Muslims detached themselves from their Islamic concepts, beliefs, lifestyle and the Qur’an, they will not wholeheartedly accept British occupation of the Subcontinent. Consequently, it was necessary for Islam to be explained and broken down in a way that would be favourable to the British occupation. “Sir” Syed, being a loyal agent of the British, did not hesitate in undertaking this task and presenting Islam, the Qur’an and Sunnah as mere theory. He laid a premise that the Qur’an is the Word of the Creator and the universe is the Action of the Creator. Therefore, it is not justified for the Creator to have contradiction between his word and deed. Then, he accepted flawed assumptions with regards to scientific principles regarding the universe and began to explain the Qur’an accordingly. He would accept Ayaat that complied with his scientific assumptions and if not, would give the Ayaat meanings from his own mind. Consequently, he headed on a path that is destructive in both this world and the hereafter and called others to it. He failed to accept or give regard to the fact that the standards he brought above the Qur’an and using as a basis for explanation, were merely scientific assumptions and theories, that would keep on changing over time because of new discoveries.

Thus, according to him, Angels were not a specific creation of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, rather powers made by Allah سبحانه وتعالى to help run the system of the universe. And since the existence of Jinn has not been proven by science, they are not a creation. He believed that the picture presented to Muslims regarding Jannah and the Jahannam was wrong and that in fact the peace and blessings of this world would be Jannah, whilst its trials and tribulations world be Jahannam. He openly rejected the miracles of the Prophets and Messengers in his books ‘Tafseer-ul-Qur’an’ and ‘Khutbat-e-Ahmadia.’ According to him the miracle of Musa (alayhissalaam) of twelve springs emerging from the rock he hit with his staff, is nothing but wrong explanation of Qur’an by the Ulema. In his book, ‘Tafseer-ul-Qur’an’ he writes that the Islamic Ulema made a glaring mistake in the Tafseer of the Ayah فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ. According to him this Ayah never meant “And we said, hit the rock with your staff.” He stressed that the word ‘اضْرِبْ’ means ‘walk’ and the word ‘بِعَصَاكَ’ means ‘with your staff’ and ‘الْحَجَرَ’ means ‘mountain’. Thus the Ayah is conveying a meaning “And we said, walk on the mountain with your staff” and hence it does not describe a miracle. So according to him, Musa (alayhissalaam) walked on the mountain with his staff and found twelve springs at a certain place. For deriving his desired meaning, he completely changed the rules of Arabic. In Arabic, the meaning of ‘اضْرِبْ’ is ‘walk’ but if ‘ب’ is used as a preposition after ‘اضْرِبْ’ so the meaning will be changed into ‘hit with’, so according to this grammatical rule ‘اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ’ means ‘hit with your staff on rock’ instead of ‘walk on the mountain with your staff’. Secondly, the word ‘الْحَجَرَ’ means ‘rock’ but as to how Sir Syed took its meaning as ‘mountain,’ even he himself couldn’t justify. Similarly, he denied the incident of Isra’a and Miraj. Sir Syed did not view Sunnah as a reliable source and consequently justified his opinion. He believed that Ijtihad was not a method of understanding the conventional meaning of Islam so that any Islamic ruling which conflicted with Western ideas, should either be elucidated and changed, or removed from the religion.

As for the war of Independence 1857 that took place because of the Muslim spirit of freedom struggle and their growing resentment towards the British, “Sir” Syed labeled it as a ‘riot’ and ‘sedition.’ In his pamphlet, ‘Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind’ (Causes of the Hind Sedition), he made it clear that Muslim were guilty of sedition. In this pamphlet, he told the British that the Muslims were in favour of their rule, but rebelled because they had not been given any seat or position in government circles. So, he played along with the British plan to engage Muslims within the British rule, rather than act to uproot it and he himself took a government position.

“Sir” Syed also wrote a book called ‘Loyal Muhammadans of India’. It had three volumes and was published in the years 1860-61. Throughout the book, he proved his loyalty towards the British. In this book, he wrote, “I am extremely angry with the Muslims who rebelled and were defiant against the British and consider them bad because this outbreak by the Muslims was against the People of the Book, the who are our religious brothers, believed in the Messengers, accepted Allah’s rules and keep Allah’s revealed books with them which are part of our fundamental beliefs. Therefore, whenever Christian blood was shed, Muslim blood should have been shed too. And whoever stands against this and are ungrateful to the government, which is not tyrannical, have gone against their religion. They are extremely worthy of being angry with.

“Sir” Syed seized every opportunity in giving a favourable opinion about the British. After the War of Independence 1857, Queen Victoria appealed to the Muslims for forgiveness and asked them to excuse the British for the mass murder that took place. “Sir” Syed told the Muslims in Muraadabad that it was absolutely necessary to thank her. So a ‘Dargah Hazrat Shah Balaqi’ was suggested and on 28 July 1859, 15,000 people were gathered. To attract more people, food arrangements were made and after ‘Asr Prayer, “Sir” Syed made a collective Dua. Some of the content of this Dua is as follows: “Oh Lord! You have shown mercy to Your people and the people of Hindustan by placing upon them just and equitable rulers and for this we thank You. In the preceding years, we had to face a curse of the absence of such rulers owing to our wicked deeds but now You have compensated it and provided us with such just and kind rulers. We thank You for this blessing of Yours from the core of our hearts. Oh Lord! Accept our gratitude! Ameen! The Indians who were caught into this unfortunate catastrophe, You molded the hearts of our rulers to be merciful to these Indians for the Queen issued an appeal seeking forgiveness just because of Your inspiration. We not only thank You but also pray for the Queen Victoria, wherever, she might be. Oh Lord! Accept our Dua! Ameen!” The cunningness, treachery and deceit against Muslims and Islam is obvious in these words. This Dua is a proof of the loyalty of “Sir” Syed to the British but the tragedy is that such a personality is presented to us as a role model to our Children in School text books while pious personality like Aurangzeb (rahimahullah) are antagonized.

In reality, the decline of the Muslims began with a decline in the comprehension of Islam and its wrong implementation. “Sir” Syed suggested a wrong way to come out of this decline. In his flawed understanding, the Muslims can make progress only by following the British blindly in science, inventions and their thoughts related to life, without adopting the systems springing from the complete Deen of Islam. In fact, we fell behind West, because we did not adopt Islam as  a complete way of life. Therefore, if we want to be a progressive Ummah, we must first revive by holding fast onto our Islamic Aqeedah, instead of following the West. Moreover, if science and technology is the only way to success and if Islam mandates that the path to enlightenment is progress and evolution as envisaged by ‘Sir” Syed, then why didn’t Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم spread Islam and conquer through science and technology?? How did the Khulafa-e-Rashideen establish the golden era of Islam without the inventions and discoveries of the Industrial Revolution?? If science was so central to human existence, then wouldn’t the prophets and messengers have been scientists, or at least invented something for mankind??

In reality, the truth is that the thoughts and beliefs emanating from Islam, result in scientific progress and advancing in technology is a must. The foundation of the Islamic society that the Prophet built in the state of Madinah became a technologically advanced society very quickly. The Muslims rapidly acquired war weapons, ships, canons, scientists, doctors, philosophers, specializing in fields such as algebra, surgery, medicine, chemistry, mathematics, geometry, astronomy and everything that the West had not even dreamed of at that time. However, all of this was a result of Islamic thinking and the Islamic belief upon which the society was established. This is what “Sir” Syed failed to acknowledge and thus he deliberately led the Muslims down the wrong path. The reality is that the reason for change in the thoughts of that society and progress is a result of this change.

As for as the reality of the Muslim rule of the Indian Subcontinent before the British occupation is concerned, it is presented in a completely distorted manner. The impression given to us of Muslim rule is that it was devoid of knowledge and expertise and was ignorant, illiterate and uncivilized. Till this day, we are told that our Muslim rulers were steeped in worldly pleasures and benefits. However, the Indian Subcontinent was regarded as ‘a bird of gold’ before the arrival of the British here. Prosperity reached to an extent that a man named Abdul Ghafoor had far more assets than the British East India Company. The ‘Jagat Hut’ family of Bengal had far more capital than the Bank of England. The amount of war booty collected after the Battle of Plassey in 1775 amounted to more than the GDP of whole of Europe. According to Captain Alexander Hamilton, there were 10,000 schools and colleges and 70 hospitals in Delhi alone and there were 80,000 schools and colleges in Bengal. Captain Alexander writes in his book, ‘A Case for India’ that in the Mughal era, students were taught medical education in 125,000 institutes. Ibn-e-Batuta wrote that there is a place near Mumbai called Hawaz, where there were two schools for men and thirteen for women and there was not a single person who did not memorize the Qur’an as well as its translation. The biggest steel industry in the world was in the Indian Subcontinent and it was present until 1880. Regarding ship-building, ships were produced in the greatest quantity in the Indian Subcontinent. The imports of the Subcontinent never exceeded its exports. In the area of Thatha, there were 400 great educational institutes. This strong foundation left its effects even under British occupation. In 1835, “Lord” Macaulay made it obvious in one of his speeches which he delivered in British Parliament that the prosperity in the Indian Subcontinent, despite the looting by the British, was not confined to a specific area or a group of people, rather the entire citizenry was generally prosperous. He said that he travelled from corner to corner of the entire of the Indian Subcontinent but he didn’t come across a single beggar or a thief. The population census of 1911 which was carried out by the British is still found in Anarkali’s tomb and states that the literacy rate of the Subcontinent was more than 90%. It then declined to mere 10% according to the 1941 census, owing to the Dajjalic education system of the British. Today if America constructs the World Trade Centre, White House, spacious roads and hundred storey skyscrapers, it is called economic and scientific progress, but the same act of Muslim rulers who built Shahi Fort, Badshahi Masjid, Taj Mahal, Lal Qalaand, Shalimar Garden is associated with their lust for status and worldly pleasures. The architects and the engineers of these masterpieces got their education in the same Muslim institutes, where the arts and sciences of the whole world were taught. These buildings are an obvious proof of the prosperity and the abundance of wealth of the state. Unfortunately, the eyes of “Sir” Syed were blinded with the inspiration of the British, even though the glorious past of the Muslims under Islam exceeds their state without Islam.

So, such are the people who had been deceiving the Ummah in the name of guidance, claiming sincerity to the Muslims but in fact placing their loyalties with the Western colonialists. Today a section of our society is unaware of its bright and matchless history and feels intimidated of the West. One of the obvious reasons is our biased educational system which presents to us those personalities who had a slave mentality as heroes, history will be purified of all these wrong concepts only when people create awareness of such deceitful people who tried to destroy Islam from within.

Muhammad Ibn Abd al Wahhab and the Wahhabi Movement

[By Mawlana Zameelur Rahman]

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792) was a controversial figure, whose ideas, beliefs and practices have received both great praise and great disdain. The following will attempt to settle matters on his views regarding violence, fiqh and tasawwuf which are unclear to many, mostly due to very successful propaganda. I wrote about this on another forum, and thought I should reproduce parts of it here with some additional material. I use the term “Wahhabi” because of its common usage, although the person it is named after is in fact the son of Abd al-Wahhab, Muhammad, and although the term was originally (mis)used disparagingly to gain political advantage.

Introduction

The things for which Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was and is criticised, e.g. opposition to grave/saint veneration, opposition to fanatic madhhabism, and his emphasis on hadith scholarship, was in fact consistent with other reform movements in his time (the 18th century). Ahmad ibn Idris one of the great Sufi masters of Morocco from the 18th century had many of the same views: he strongly opposed saint veneration (changing the shaykh-murid relationship to one of ustadh-talib), he rejected kalam entirely, rejected madhhabs entirely (he was a more hardline critic than was Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab), and used Tasawwuf as the vehicle by which the seeker could attain a direct relationship with the Prophet; his emphasis, however, was Prayer and remembrance of Allah (and not necessarily “Tawhid” as was Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s). Ibn Idris was the greatest influence on Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanusi, the founder of the Sanusi tariqa, prominent in Libya. Sanusi also rejected taqlid. When students of the Sanusi Way took up arms against the Italian colonialists, foremost amongst them the great mujahid Omar Mukhtar, they were branded as Wahhabis. This guilt by association was common, but not without some truth. Ahmad ibn Idris visited Makkah during Wahhabi rule (in the early 19th century) and found sanctuary there with his hardline view on adherance to the Shari’ah. Ahmad ibn Idris had problems with popular religion as did Wahhabi scholars for which reason they had a common ideological interest. However Ibn Idris had mild criticisms of the Wahhabis, mostly for their rejection of (or indifference to) Tasawwuf which he considered the main vehicle for reform. For more on the Idrisis, see the book Enigmatic Saint, Ahmad Ibn Idris and the Idrisi Tradition. Similarly, Ahmad Shahid from India, who also opposed popular religion and had some problems (though a lot less than his N African counterparts) with taqlid, was also branded a Wahhabi by the British although his interaction with the Saudi Wahhabis was very limited.

“Jihadism” and Violence

The major criticism of Orientialism (by Edward Said and others) was its analysis of Islam from a Western vantage point that thought of it as backwards, intellectually barren and monolithic. I think the same can be said about many Muslim opinions of Wahhabism. Natana DeLong Bas’ 2004 book Wahhabi Islam covers the topic in great and accurate detail, using sources contemporary to Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (his own writings, interviews conducted with Wahhabis at the time, and writings of opponents e.g. Ahmad Zayni Dahlan).

Delong Bas shows Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s emphasis was educational and religious reform not violent or political reform as some (like Ibn Abidin) have imagined mostly due to politically inspired propaganda (from the British and the Ottomans). When he began his preaching on “the message of tawhid”, he attacked many of the ulama for ignorance and turning a blind eye to shirk, for which he attained notoriety. In fact during preaching at a certain town an attempt was made at his life. He later returned to al-Uyayna and received protection from Ibn Muammar the amir of the town. Such alliances between religious and political leaders were not unusual at the time. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was accused of violence against fellow Muslims in his very lifetime, which he vehemently denied. He preferred education and da’wa.

Here is a description of Muhammad ibn al-Wahhab’s alliance with Muhammad ibn Saud in 1744 and the different agendas of the two, though they are often conflated:

“Upon his arrival in al-Dir’iyah, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab stayed briefly with Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn Suwaylim and his cousin, Hamid ibn Suwaylim. However, he soon set his sights on the local leader, Muhammad Ibn Saud. As with his stay in al-Uyaynah, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab did not immediately engage in public preaching activities in al-Dir’iyah, nor did he immediately preach his message of tawhid to Muhammad Ibn Saud. Rather, he conducted his preaching activities in clandestine visits with small groups of people. It was only after gaining some important adherents that a delegation of two blind men and a prominent woman renowned for her “intelligence, knowledge and religion” was sent to Muhammad Ibn Saud’s wife and brother with the express purpose of introducing Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s message to them, particularly the hallmark theme of tawhid.

Muhammad Ibn Saud’s wife was the first to accept Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s proclamation of God’s special role for Muhammad Ibn Saud and to proclaim her belief in it to her husband. Subsequently, two of his brothers, Thunayn and Mashari, also declared their belief and encouraged Muhammad Ibn Saud to support and promote tawhid. After these three declarations, Muhammad Ibn Saud ordered that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab be placed under his protection and brought to him under the escort of his own men. When his brothers persuaded him that his personal intervention would be most effective, Muhammad Ibn Saud himself set out to Ibn Suwaylim’s house to meet Ibn Abd al-Wahhab in person.

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab greeted Muhammad Ibn Saud with the message of tawhid, promising him that if he dedicated himself to the promotion of tawhid and the eradiction of shirk, jahl and divisions among the people, God would grant him and his descendents rule over the lands of Najd and its regions, as well as the people within them. It was clear from his remarks that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s interest remained in religious issues but that he was also a pragmatic man who realised that no political leader would be willing to take such great risks for the sake of religion unless some kind of early reward accompanied it.

Thus, in 1744, the famous alliance [between ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad al-Saud] that led to the first Saudi state was formed between Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad ibn Saud, sealed by mutual oath swearing of loyalty. According to this arrangement, ibn Abd al-Wahhab was responsible for religious matters and Muhammad Ibn Saud was in charge of political and military issues. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab promised not to interfere with Muhammad Ibn Saud’s state consolidation, and Muhammad Ibn Saud promised to uphold Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s religious teachings.

The fault lines of this alliance soon became clear. There is a marked difference between non-interference in military activities and active support and religious legitimation for them. If Ibn Saud had expected Ibn Abd al-Wahhab to legitimate all of his military undertakings for the sake of state consolidation and accumulation of power in the name of jihad as holy war, he must have been severely disappointed. Muhammad Ibn Saud’s first conquest, the people of al-Dir’iyah and their possessions, met with neither approval nor condemnation from Ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Rather than actively supporting or promoting conquest, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab merely acceded to it, hoping that Ibn Saud would get his fell of conquest and then focus on more important matters – those pertaining to religious reform. In fact, as evidence of the lack of religious support this military conquest enjoyed, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab left Ibn Saud’s company altogether during his campaign, devoting himself instead to spiritual matters and prayer. This was hardly what one would expect had Ibn Abd al-Wahhab believed that jihad as holy war was intended to be used as a tool for conquest.

The tension between the two was also apparent in Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s careful delineation of parameters to be followed by each in their roles as political leader (amir, Muhammad Ibn Saud) and religious leader (imam, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab). According to this vision, the amir was responsible for political, military and economic matters and the imam for religious issues. Only the imam could declare jihad as holy war and this only when the motivating factor was faith alone. Jihad was not intended to serve as a means of acquiring power, wealth or glory. This did not preclude the amir from engaging in military activities he believed were necessary or expedient [but these were not “jihad”]. What it did do was to limit the religious legitimation of those military activities. Because only the imam could declare a jihad as holy war, the amir could not automatically claim that any and all military activities were being carried out in the name of jihad. Thus, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was able to restrict the declaration of jihad to cases that he believed fit the religious criteria.

Although observers and historians have assumed that any and all military activities undertaken by the Saudis after the 1744 alliance were jihad activities, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teachings and writings do not support this contention. His behaviour – his tendency to withdraw from Ibn Saud’s company during such engagements and his ultimate withdrawal from his position as imam in 1223 – further makes it clear that he did not actively support all Saudi military actions. In fact, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s writings and activities after the alliance demonstrate his continued efforts to win converts through discussion, debate and persuasion rather than force.

For example, during the two years following the alliance, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab engaged in a letter-writing campaign in which he contacted local leaders, scholars, and rulers throughout Arabia, explaining his interpretation of tawhid and inviting them to join his movement. Many, though not all, of the recipients responded positively to these missives, although they did not always do so out of religious conviction. These notables were well aware that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was “in a house of strength” due to his alliance with Muhammad Ibn Saud and that their own continued power bases necessitated accommodation with these two parties.

Those who did not respond positively to Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s invitiation were not immediately or necessarily declared to be unbelievers (kafirs), who were therefore subject to jihad as holy war. Rather than engaging in immediate warfare, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab persisted in his attempts to engage those who resisted in dialogue and debate in order to try to work out a formal relationship. The conquests of Riyadh and Washm are particularly instructive in this regard.

The conquest of Riyadh occurred neither quickly nor forcibly. It took the Saudis twenty-seven years to consolidate their hold over the important city, suggesting that a considerable amount of time was allowed for the inhabitants to grown in their understanding of and adherence to tawhid.

The conquest began with Ibn Abd al-Wahhab extending an invitation to its ruler, Dham ibn Dawwas, to adhere to his religious teachings. Although Dham ibn Dawwas initially refused his offer, he made peace with the Wahhabis and entered into a truce. This is significant because it shows that a truce with non-Wahhabis was permissible. Initial rejection of Wahhabi teachings did not result in an immediate or permanent state of warfare.

Over time, Dham ibn Dawwas accepted Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teachings and even invited some Wahhabi ulama to live and teach in Riyadh. However, Dham ibn Dawwas broke this truce several times. It was only at this point that protracted military activities began, culminating with the final conquest of Riyadh in 1773…Although the Wahhabis legally had the right to put to death any person who had actively fought to oppose them, they did not do so. People were not forced to convert, nor were all of their properties or financial assets confiscated. Instead, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab declared that this was an opportunity to offer the inhabitants protection and to implement order and justice…

Similarly, the conquest of Washm took seven years to accomplish. As with Riyadh, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab first engaged in a letter-writing campaign with the inhabitants of Washm” (Wahhabi Islam, pp. 34-37)

In her analysis of his views on jihad it was found Ibn Abd al-Wahhab parted with much traditional views on Jihad and took a very limited view, applying it only for the purposes of defense and self-determination, but in the long-term preferring truces and educational reform. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab taught at Dir’iya but the town was transformed by the Saudi family into a place of luxury and permissiveness much to the distaste of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab himself. But eventually this image of “Wahhabism”, i.e. the political one, is what stuck. “Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s goal of reforming Islam was overshadowed and ultimately overwhelmed by Muhammad Ibn Saud’s quest for state consolidation.” (ibid. p. 38).

Later conquests and takfiri legitimisations by Saudi kings occurred long after Ibn Abd al-Wahhab retreated from public life. “Abd al-Aziz proceeded to expand his vision beyond the confines of Najd into the rest of Arabia, Iraq and Syria. His actions made it clear that the Al Saud family had as its ultimate goal the expansion of its territories and power, with or without religious legitimation. In fact, Saudi-Wahhabi power reached its height between 1792 and 1814, long after Ibn Abd al-Wahhab withdrew from public life. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab remained a consultant to Abd al-Aziz but largely withdrew his legitimation of Saudi military activities.” (ibid. p. 39)

Modern “jihadism” does not derive from Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teachings, but from Sayyid Qutb’s modernist reading of the Qur’an and Sunna which draws much from “traditional” Islam. Those, like Stephen Schwartz and Timothy Winter, who attempt to create a Sufi-Wahhabi dichotomy when it comes to matters of political radicalisation and violent extremism, should remember firstly, the Wahhabi rejection of such violence and takfiri attitude (from Ibn Abd al-Wahhab to Bin Baz), and secondly, the Sufi trajectory of modern “jihadism” – Hasan al-Banna the founder of Ikhwan al-Muslimin that inspired many of the later more radical movements (including Hizb Tahrir, Hamas and even ultimately al-Qaeda), was a Sufi. A Syrian proponent of Banna, who actively promoted the latter’s political views in Syria, and a great hadith scholar Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda was also an admirer of Tasawwuf. Likewise Izz al-Din al-Qassam an early Palestinian mujahid after whose name the military wing of Hamas is named was a Sufi. For more on the moderate Islamism of the ikhwan, see:http://www.ikhwanweb.com/

Fiqh

In Fiqh, the Wahhabis were Hanbalis, although they advocated a balanced approach to taqlid and ijtihad, in which they permitted taking opinions from other madhhabs when they felt it better fitted the evidence. Abd Allah, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s son, wrote: “(Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab) told us that what we believe and construct as our religion to Allah is the way of the Ahl al-Sunna wa l-Jamaa, and the Salaf of the Umma in the Usul of religion. As for the peripherals (furu‘) we are on the madhhab of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, although we do not reject one who does taqlid of the four imams and we are not deserving of the rank of ijtihad. None of us claims this. However in some issues when a clear text is authentic to us from the Book of Allah or the Sunna that has not been abrogated, is not qualified and does not conflict with stronger (evidence) and one of the four imams said it, we adopt it and leave the madhhab. And at times the imams of the four madhhabs held views on some issues conflicting with the madhhab of the (so-called) muqallidun of its founder…” [for reference, see further down]. In a study, Rudolph Peters compared the Ijtihad advocated by Shawkani, Sanusi, Shah Waliullah and Hamid ibn Nasir ibn Muammar (a 19th century Wahhabi) and it turns out the Wahhabi was the strongest in favour of Taqlid along with Dehlawi and the strongest against were Shawkani and (the Sufi) Sanusi (Ijtihad and Taqlid in 18th and 19th Century Islam, Rudolph Peters). Some later Indian Sufi scholars like Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi also advocated a softer form of Taqlid and more critical thinking e.g. in his epistle al-Iqtisad fi l-Taqlidi wa l-Ijtihad. For more, see Fareeha Khan’s dissertation Traditionalist Approaches to Shari’ah Reform: Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi’s Fatwa on Women’s Right to Divorce, which can be accessed here:http://www.mediafire.com/?jzwmwywiwce .

Sufism

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hafiz Makki a prominent Makkan student of Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Muhammad Yahya al-Kandhlawi (d. 1982) wrote in his book Mawqifu A’immati Harakat al-Salafiyya min al-Tasawwufi wa l-Sufiyya (The Position of the Imams of the Salafi Movement on Sufism and Sufis), Third Edition, 2001, Dar al-Salam, pp. 15-20 [Makki’s brief comments in the footnotes are in square brackets]:

“Imam Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi al-Hanbali

The Islamic University of Imam Muhammad ibn Saud in Riyadh gave particular importance to the convention of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab Week, in which all of the works of Shaykh Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab were distributed, and were all produced in 12 volumes.

By Allah’s grace I read all of these volumes page by page, and I did not find in them in any instance any vilification or denouncement from Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab of Tasawwuf or of one of the masters of Tasawwuf due to his Tasawwuf. These volumes are easily available, sold in the markets and bookshops, and it is possible for anybody to procure them and read them and verify what I have mentioned.

Rather, I found from various sections from these works on his writings that which clarifies with lucidity and clarity his explicit position on Tasawwuf and the masters of the Sufis (Allah have mercy on them). I will cite them in what follows with Allah’s help and His munificence, and upon Him (Glorified is He) is (my) trust:

1. In Section Three of Mu’allafat al-Imam Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, in the part (called) Fatawa wa Masa’il – its collection, authentication and verification from its (original) sources was carried out by Shaykh Salih ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Atrah and Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Duways – on page 31, on the fifth issue (being discussed), he  was asked about useful matters and he answered:

“Know – Allah guide you – that Allah (Glorified and High is He) sent Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) with the guidance which is beneficial knowledge, and the religion of truth which is right practice. Furthermore, from those affiliated to the religion, are those who pay attention to the science of Fiqh and speaks about it (in) like (manner to) the Fuqaha. And from among them are those who pay attention to worship and seeking the (rewards of the) Afterlife, like the Sufis. So Allah sent His Prophet with this religion (which is) inclusive of the two categories [of Fiqh and Tasawwuf]. From the greatest of what Allah has strengthened him and his Umma is that He gave him “comprehensive speech” (jawami‘ al-kalim). Thus Allah (High is He) mentions in His Book one word (or phrase) which becomes a comprehensive principle under which is included (various) issues that cannot be enumerated. Likewise Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) speaks in comprehensive speech. Whoever understands this matters well, understands His speech (High is He) “Today I have completed your religion” (Qur’an 5:3), and this phrase too is from the “comprehensive speech”…”

2. He says in Section Two of Mu’allafat al-Imam Shaykh Muhmmad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (on Fiqh), volume 2, page 4, in the epistle (called) Arba‘ Qawa‘id tadur al-Ahkam ‘alayha (Four Principles around which Laws revolve):

“Know  – that four of these words despite their brevity the religion revolves around them whether it be a speaker speaking about the Science of Tafsir or about the Science of Usul or about the science of the actions of the heart which is called the Science of Suluk [and this is Tasawwuf as is well known] or about the Science of Hadith or about the Science of Halal and Haram and Laws which is called the Science of Fiqh or about the Science of Heaven (lit. promise) and Hell (lit. threat) or about other (aspects) from the (various) categories of the sciences of religion…”

3. He said in Mu’llafatat al-Imam Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, Section Four (Tafsir wa Mukhtasar Zad al-Ma‘ad), Mukhtasar Zad al-Ma‘ad, page 84, compiled by Imam Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, in the section Fi Hadyihi sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam fi l-I‘tikaf (On his manner of I‘tikaf):

“Since the rectification of hearts and its steadfastness in the course of one’s journey to Allah (High is He) is dependent on (the heart’s) gathering unto Allah and uniting its disparate (aspects) by devoting it in (its) entirety to Allah (for indeed the disparateness of the heart is not united except by devotion to Allah), and excess drinking and eating, excess mixing with people, excess sleeping and excess talk is from what increases (the heart) in (its) disparateness, and disperses it into every valley, and cuts one from his journey to Allah (High is He) and weakens him or hinders him and holds him back, the wisdom of the Almighty and the Merciful entailed He would institute for His servants fasting which eliminate over-eating and over-drinking, and empties the heart of (its) various desires which hinder its journey to Allah and He instituted (fasting) to the degree of (humanity’s best) interest whereby the servant gains benefit from it in his worldly life and his next life and is not harmed thereby.

And he instituted for them I‘tikaf whose purpose and spirit is the reclusion of the heart to Allah, dissociating from creation and being preoccupied in Him alone, so his affinity with Allah substitutes his affinity with creation, and thus he becomes prepared thereby with his proximity to Him on the day of (his) loneliness in the grave. Since this objective is only completed with fasting, I‘tikaf was instituted in the best of the days of fasting which are the last ten days of Ramadhan, and Allah (Glorified is He) did not mention I‘tikaf except with fasting and Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not practice it except with fasting.

As for speech, it was legislated for the Umma to guard the tongue from all that is not beneficial for the Afterlife.
As for excess sleep it is legislated for them to stand (in prayer) in the night which is from the best of ways to spend the night awake and its most praiseworthy in consequence, and (this) is the moderate (amount of) passing the night awake which benefits the heart and the body and does not hinder the servant from his (worldly and otherworldly) interest. The pivot of the exercise of the masters of exercises (riyadat) and Suluk [and they are the Sufis as is well known] is on these four principles, and their most felicitous in (practicing) them is treading on the Muhammadan way – so, the deviation of the extremists does not deviate (from it) and the deficiency of the liberals does not subtract from it. We have mentioned his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) manner in fasting and standing (in prayer) and speaking, so we are (now) to mention his manner in I‘tikaf.”

4. He said in Mu’allafat al-Imam Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (addendum to the works), hadhihi l-masa’il (these issues), page 182:

“It is known the Umma is commanded to propagate the Qur’an, its words and its meaning and its message, to non-Arabs in translation, and when the knowledgeable believer has experienced all the philosophical ideologies and other (ideologies) from the (various religious and non religious) groups, he finds the Qur’an and Sunna exposing their conditions and clarifying (the degree of) their truth, distinguishing between the truth of (these other philosophies) and its falsehood.

The Sahaba were the most knowledge of creation in (the Qur’an and Sunna), and they were the most upright of creation in fighting the Kuffar and the Munafiqun. As Ibn Mas‘ud said “whoever wants to follow the Sunna let him follow the way of those who have passed away for the one who lives is not safe from trials. These (who have passed away) are the companions of Muhammad who were the most righteous of this Umma in their hearts, and their most profound in knowledge and their least in hypocrisy – a group Allah had chosen for the companionship of His Prophet and to establish His religion. So recognise their due and hold to their conduct for indeed they were on the straight guidance”. Thus (Ibn Mas‘ud) mentioned about (the Companions) the perfection of the righteousness of their hearts along with the perfection of their profundity in knowledge and this is rare among the latter (of this Umma). As is (commonly) said: “from the wonders (of this world) is a faqih sufi (a Sufi jurist) and an ‘alim zahid (an ascetic scholar)”. For indeed much is associated with the people of righteousness of hearts due to the absence of knowledge which is necessary to prevent evil and corruption, while the people of profundity in knowledge have mentioned information about evils and doubts that leads them into deviance and error. Most of those with deep knowledge from the latecomers is associated with blameworthy unnaturalness from the kalam scholars and the pretenders of devotion, and this is speech and work without knowledge and seeking what cannot be grasped, contrary to what the Companions were on. This is the favour of Allah on this Umma as (mentioned) in a narration from Nabi ‘Eesa “I bestow on them (something) from my knowledge and my forbearance”, and this is from the specialities of the obedience to the Messenger, so whoever is to him more obedience is in it more complete.”

5. He mentioned (in the addendum to the works), hadhihi masa’il (these matters) on page 124 at the end of a useful discussion about those who deny love of Allah and those who affirms it:

“The essence of His love is the root of His worship, and association (shirk) in it is the root of association in His worship. Those (who love other than Allah in like manner) have a similarity to the Christians and in them is association from the same type of the association of the Christians.

For this (reason) the masters of the Gnostic Sufis would advise many to follow the knowledge (transmitted in the Sunna). One of them said “one did not leave anything from the Sunna except due to arrogance in his soul”. It is as he said, for indeed if he is not following what the Messenger came with he is following his desires without guidance from Allah, and this is the life of the soul, and it is from arrogance, for it is a corollary to the statement of those who say “we will not believe until we are given the same as what the Messengers of Allah were given.” (6:124)”

6. The great eminent scholar Shaykh Manzur al-Numani, the previous head of the Faculty of Hadith at Dar al Ulum Nadwat al-Ulama in Lukhnow India and a member of the executive committee of the Islamic University Dar al-Ulum Deoband mentioned in his epistle, Da’ayat Mukthifa didd al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (Vicious Propaganda against Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab) (printed in Maktaba Furqan), page 76, after explaining that Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’ son) had an independent and comprehensive epistle that sheds brilliant light on the message and the movement of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, in which he says:

“(Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab) told us that what we believe and construct as our religion to Allah is the way of the Ahl al-Sunna wa l-Jamaa, and the Salaf of the Umma in the Usul of religion. As for the peripherals (furu‘) we are on the madhhab of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, although we do not reject one who does taqlid of the four imams and we are not deserving of the rank of ijtihad. None of us claims this. However in some issues when a clear text is authentic to us from the Book of Allah or the Sunna that has not abrogated, is not qualified and does not conflict with stronger (evidence) and one of the four imams said it, we adopt it and leave the madhhab. And at times the imams of the four madhhabs held views on some issues conflicting with the madhhab of the (so-called) muqallidun of its founder…”

Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab ends his epistle with his statement:

We do not reject the Sufi method and the removal of the inward from the vices of sins pertaining to the heart and the limbs, whenever its practitioner is steadfast on the Shar‘i law and the upright trodden methodology (of the Salaf). However, we are not obligated to make (wild) interpretations of his (erroneous) speech or actions, and we do not depend and seek assistance and seek help and rely in all of our matters (on anyone) besides Allah (High is He). He is sufficient for us and the best advocate, the best protector and the best help. Allah bless our chief, Muhammad, his family and his companions, and grant (them) peace.” (al-Hadiyyat al-Saniyya, verified by Rashid Rida, p 50)”

Aqida

In Aqida, the Wahhabis are Hanbalis, who reject kalam and take a more literalist approach. Although this runs into a number of methodological inconsistencies as revealed by Ibn al-Jawzi in Daf’ al-Shubah al-Tashbih it is the aqida of most Hanbalis including such luminaries as Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qudama.

Conclusion

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s ideas of reform were not much different to those of other reform movements, particularly the Sufi groups of “Tariqa Muhammadiyya” in N. Africa and India, the major difference being an indifference (though not outright opposition) to Tasawwuf. In this, he along with the other reformers, was correct in criticising the excessive saint/tomb veneration, the fanaticism in madhhab following, and the mixing of culture with religion. They may have exaggarated the other way (Ahmad ibn Idris/al-Sanusi in their outright rejection of taqlid/madhhabs, and some of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s extreme views), but this does not make their crticism any less valid, and in fact may have contributed to a resurgence in Muslim scholarship and a useful “tip” of the balance in the right direction: towards the “middle way” in all of these matters. In my view, the Wahhabis’ major errors are two: one, their indifference to Tasawwuf, and two, the ta’assub of some of them in declaring all contrary views to theirs illegitimate. However, many of the propaganda claims against them, e.g. their responsibility for political radicalisation or violent extremism, their takfiri attitude, their anti-taqlid views, or their opposition to tasawwuf in principle [there were many more lies besides these that were used to attack Wahhabis, but these are the main ones], is false and in fact distracts us from the actual origins of these views amongst Muslims (e.g. hardline anti-Taqlidism from Yemeni/Egyptian/N African scholars and even Sufis; violent extremism and intolerant takfirism from Egyptian extremists, etc.).

The “horn of the devil” may be the power-hungry Saud family, but this must be differentiated from the Wahhabi religious ideology itself which has/had some good in it, but some bad in it too – but so does other religious ideologies including “traditionalist” ones.

Refutation of Pagan-Christian Trinity

Say not ‘Trinity:’ desist:  It will be better for you. For God is One God.” – [Holy Qur’an 4:171]

Let’s do something very  simple. I will quote to you  verbatim from  the  Athanasian  Creed concerning  the Trinity  and every  time you see “God”  or “Person” make a  mental  check  mark and  then total them.  It reads:  “The Father is  God, the Son is God, the Holy  Ghost is God…the Father is a Person, the Son is a Person, the Holy  Ghost is a Person.”  How  many  check  marks  did you get??  Anyone who can count at a  first-grade level should  have gotten six. Three for “God” and three for “Person.” The Creed  continues: “and yet they  are  not three Gods  but one God…and yet they  are not three Persons but one Person.” The Creed further states:  “We worship one  God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.” Does anyone speak English  here?? Have  words lost their meanings?? In this chapter  we will  examine this  doctrine of the “triune” god and expose it  as an obvious fabrication perpetrated by  the Hellenistic Pauline gentile Church.

What the Trinity is

As Muslims it is tremendously  important for us to have accurate knowledge  as to  what exactly the Trinitarian belief entails. Christians very often charge us with propagating false information regarding this dogma. You  may  hear an apologist say, “Muslims believe  that we worship  three  gods and that we have left the  monotheistic tradition.” Remind  your Christian acquaintance, “It’s not that we believe you worship three gods, we understand your  claim  to  monotheism,  we  are simply not buying it.”

The Trinity teaches that there is  only one essential being or  nature, but that this nature is manifested into three separate and distinct personalities, namely  the Father, the Word (Son), and the Holy  Ghost (Spirit). Although the Father is  greater  than the Son and the Holy Ghost is His office or person, their essential natures are  co-equal, co-eternal, co-substantial, and completely  inseparable. Therefore, where the Father  is  in essence  so are the Son and Holy  Ghost.  You can think of this in terms of a triangle: At the three points are the three persons, labeled “Father, Son, and Holy  Ghost.” These are the three “Who’s.”  Now imagine an arrow starting from the inside of each corner and pointing inward toward the  middle. The  middle can be labeled “God.” This is the one “What.” Therefore, the Father  is not the Son  nor is he the  Holy  Ghost,  but they  are all God.

The triune god cannot  be  divided  in  his spirit. Christians who know something about their beliefs will agree  with you on this, lest you charge them  with tritheism. This leads us to an interesting  question: If Jesus (the Son) is inseparable from  the Father in his nature/spirit/essence,  then  when Jesus died on the cross as Christians  claim,  the Father as well as  the Holy  Ghost must have  also died along with him. The Christian  will rebut, “No, Jesus died as  God in his  person, not is his essence.” Jack T. Chick writes frequently  in his Christian propagandist literature the refrain, “The Creator allowed Himself  to be  murdered by  men.” If Jesus does not die as  both  God and man, then there is no atonement for sin.

Geisler  and Saleeb state:  “Only  if one and the same person, who is God and man, dies  on the cross for our sin can  we be  saved.  For unless Jesus is  both God and man he cannot reconcile God and  man” (page 268). Despite having a divine nature as  God, Jesus  also has a human nature as  man. Geisler  explains this dualism: “Did Christ die? In his  human nature, he did die. But in his divine nature he did not die. The person who died was the Godman, but his Godness did not die.” Confused yet??  It is little wonder why  nearly  all Christian apologists who have tried to explain the Trinity  find themselves reduced to drawing triangles and scribbling grade-school level equations. So to recap: Christ died as God in his person, he died  as  man in his nature, but  not as God in  his nature. In  other words, he  was two-thirds dead, but  the  one-third  that really  counted, the  divine nature, survived and resurrected him  on the third  day. Therefore, Jesus has the unique  honor  of being  of  two natures, God and man in one person.

The person of Jesus however, is not divine but human, flesh and blood  in  all respects.  Viewed logically, it is the nature of God, His Spirit, within that person that makes him  (Jesus) divine. It is the infinite within  the finite that  makes the latter God-incarnate. Let’s not forget that “God is a Spirit: and they  that worship  him must worship him  in spirit and in truth”  (John 4:24),  not in form, shape, size, flesh, or blood. Christians, however, do not believe  that God died in his nature on the cross, only  the person of God that was Jesus. Certainly God was not killed because He resurrected Jesus (the man) while he lay dead in  his tomb  and according to Christianity,  Jesus resurrected himself.  Thus to say  that Jesus died  as the “Godman” but his “Godness” did not die is to abandon logical consistency  as to the  manner of his death. What made Jesus human??…his nature as  man. What  made him  God??…his nature as deity. Therefore, in order for him to reconcile  God and  man he  must die in both natures. If one of them  survives then this cannot be accomplished.  Dying as God in person would be impossible since it was only  his divine  nature that  made him  God, and it survived according to Christianity. Would it then be  possible for  the person of Jesus to  die but have his  nature as  man survive?? Certainly  not.  He must die  equally  for redemption. Therefore, the Christians deceptively claim that perhaps  what Jesus  meant when he cried on the cross: “My  God,  my God, why  hast thou forsaken  me” (Mark 15:34)? Basically  saying, “Why  have you abandoned me  to die as a  man?” So unless Jesus died in his divine nature (Godness) there is  no atonement of sin. If a Christian should admit  that Jesus  did in fact die in his divine nature as well as his human nature, then respond  by saying that the Father  and  Holy  Spirit  must have died as well because  all three persons of the Trinity are inseparable in  their nature as God according to  the Trinitarian Creeds. Ask him,  “Who ruled and maintained the heavens and the earth when ‘God’ lay  dead in  His tomb  for three days??”

A basic example: If the nature of a dog incarnated into a cat,  who would  you say  the animal really  (essentially) is? Answer: A  dog…even though he is in the  person  of a cat.  Therefore, our nature dictates who we really  are. If the person of the cat was killed  by a passing truck but somehow his dog nature survived, can you say  that the cat died as dog? No, he only  died as a feline. How could the cat die as dog without  his canine nature dying that  made  him  dog in the first place?? He can’t!

A Christian  might explain  to  you that truth is not always  simple. In fact, it can be extremely complex. You do not have  to disagree  with him here. Explain to  him that the Essence of God’s absolute Unity  is something that Muslims believe  is  extremely complex and mysterious, however the  concept  of God in Islam  is  not a difficult thing to grasp. It  can be summed up in literally four verses:  “Say: He is  Allah, the One  and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;  He begetteth not,  nor is  He begotten; And there is none like unto Him”  (Qur’an 112:1-4). The Christian  concept of God as 1+1+1  = 3 cannot be grasped, even by  the likes  of Einstein.  Can God be the creator of such a concept??  No, because “God is not the author of confusion” (I Corinthians 14:33).  But what about 1x1x1? Doesn’t that equal one?? Yes, but so does one to the fourth, fifth, or fiftieth power, so why stop at three persons of  God when you can have a million! 1/1/1 = 1 also. Can God be divided??

What the Trinity is not

Christians charge the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as one who denounced an incorrect concept of the Christian Trinity  because Allah has  said: “And behold! Allah  will say: ‘O Jesus the son  of Mary! Didst thou say  unto  men, worship me  and my  mother as gods  in derogation  of Allah?’ He will say: ‘Glory  to Thee! never could I  say what I had  no  right  (to say). Had I said such a thing,  thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou  knowest what is in my  heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For  Thou knowest in full all that is hidden’”  (Qur’an 5:116). Christian authors claim  that the Prophet believed the Trinity  to consist of somewhat of  a “holy  family,” Father, Son, and Mother. Looking at the verse  a little closer, however, reveals that this assertion is completely incorrect and unfounded.  The words “in derogation  of Allah” translated from  the  Arabic “min du-nillah,” does not correspond to a sense that complements, but rather antagonizes. In essence, God is  asking  Jesus if he ever told his followers that he  or his  mother were gods  other than  Allah. Certainly  no Christian will ever concede that there are three gods,  but  only  one God  in three persons. This verse has nothing to  do with the Trinity; it is dealing with the deification of Jesus and Mary. 

Was Mary  ever deified though? There were actually  sects of Christianity at the  time  of Prophet Muhammad called the Miriamites and  Choloridians who worshipped Mary  as a  mother-goddess  much  like the cult of Isis did in Greco-Roman times.  Also, mention  the  word “Catholic” and  you will  see your  born-again accuser blush. The Catholic will answer that he only  uses Mary as an intermediary,  not as an object of worship. Explain to him  the Muslim concept of  shirk, or false deification. According to Islam,  worship is a direct contact between the worshipper and God. Invoking  God through a creature, no matter how  saintly  he or  she  might have been, would make us no better than the Israelites  and their golden calf or the Quraysh with their stone statues. Paul tells us: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory  of  the incorruptible God into an  image made like to corruptible man,  and to birds, and fourfooted beasts,  and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them  up to uncleanness through the lusts of their  own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into  a lie,  and  worshipped and  served  the creature  more  than the Creator, who is  blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:22-25). Although  Paul is actually offering a cause of the rampant homosexuality  in Roman culture, he  unwittingly lets the cat out  of the  bag. Worshipping  man and serving him, which is exactly what Christians intend with Jesus, is  foolish  behavior. If you say, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and  blessed is the fruit of thy womb  Jesus. Hail Mary,  mother of God…,”  you are a fool! – Not my word, but Paul’s.

Keep these  words of Paul in  mind: “changed the glory  of the incorruptible  God into an  image made like to corruptible man.”  Now  listen to what he says  about Jesus in Colossians 1:15: “He (Christ,  a man) is the image of the invisible God.” Can you say hypocrisy?? Jesus is the “Word of God” Many  Muslim authors have drawn erroneous analogies between the Qur’an and the Christian Jesus. They have  said that since both are uncreated, imperishable,  and an expression of the divine, they  can be thought of  as identical.  Make sure that when you  say Jesus is the “Word of God,”  you explain him  not as Kalaamullah,  the Word (Literal Speech) of God which is the Qur’an, but rather  Kallimatullah,  a  word  from  God. The creation of Jesus was  purely  an act of divine  Will that resulted  from God’s command for  a thing to come into existence. “When He  hath decreed a plan, He  but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is” (Qur’an 3:47). 

A Christian  may  say, “You believe that the Qur’an is uncreated  and eternal, well,  we feel the same about Jesus. You say  that there are two eternal and uncreated things, the Qur’an and God,  and we  say  there are three uncreated and eternal persons, the Father,  Son, and Holy  Ghost. Yet you  call  me an idolater and accuse me of worshipping  three gods. Do  you  worship two  gods then?” Obviously, we do not worship the Qur’an and  we never will. But why  not??  Is it not the  speech of God?? Sure it is.  Speech, however, is not  a “separate  and distinct personality”  of God but rather an attribute or reflection of Him  that  cannot  be separated. God’s attribute of  Mercy  (Rahma)  is certainly  never  detached from  Him  and is also uncreated. His  eternal Word  is precisely  identical. The Christian believes that God is in three persons and that Jesus,  the revelation  of God,  is a person or entity  in  his own right. The Qur’an, however, is a revelation of God’s  only  person. There is no plurality in  God’s holy  person whatsoever. Besides, is Jesus really  uncreated??  Paul calls him “the firstborn of all  creation” in Colossians 1:15.   

There are a  total of ninety-nine attributes that Allah,  most Exalted, has revealed to us in the Qur’an. The Qur’an itself embodies  many  of these attributes  and is frequently  referred to as “Light,”  “Truth,”  and “Mercy.” These ninety-nine attributes are reflections of the  one  essence of God that help us to understand His Will and to develop and maintain a relationship with Him  by  familiarizing ourselves with him  personally. For example, you  may  think that you are  merciful or loving, yet Allah is infinitely  more  merciful  and loving as He is called  al-Rahman  and  al-Wadud, the  most Merciful and most Loving, respectively.

Is the Trinity Biblical??

Fact: The word “Trinity” appears  absolutely nowhere in the Bible in any  way,  shape, or form. What do I  mean by  “way, shape, or form??”  Remember,  the word Trinity is a description of a concept, that of  the triune god. If  the Bible should say  that  there are  three and that these  three are one, then this would suffice as evidence that the Trinity  is  Biblical. The exact word “Trinity” does not need to be spelled out. If a Christian who thinks himself clever should  say, “The  word ‘Tawhid’  is nowhere in the Qur’an,” correct  him joyfully. The  term  “Tawhid,” meaning “oneness,”  is Semitic (Arabic), and like  all Semitic  words it is derived from  a tri-literal root word. In this case it is  wahid  (whd). The word  wahid  denoting  an absolute unity  is used  many times  in the  Qur’an as one of  the  Holy attributes of the Almighty. Here’s an example: 

O People of the Book! Commit no  excesses in  your religion: Nor  say  of Allah aught but  the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary  was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit  proceeding from Him:  so  believe in Allah and His  messengers. Say  not ‘Trinity’ :  desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is  one  God: Glory  be to  Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son.  To Him  belong all things in the heavens  and on earth. And enough  is Allah as a Disposer of affairs” (Qur’an 4:171).

Not only is the concept of Tawhid mentioned and glorified in this verse, the belief in Trinity is explicitly rejected as well.

What about 1 John 5:7? It  reads: “For there are three that bear record in  heaven, the  Father, the  Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” This appears only  in the KJV  & NKJV  of the Bible and has been unceremoniously  expunged from all other  modern translations. Here’s how it looks in the Revised English Bible: “7-8) In fact there are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water,  and the blood, and these three are  in agreement.” Notice the verse number  “7-8?”  This  is actually  verse 8 in the  KJV! The commentary  reads (emphasis mine):

7-8: An ancient trinitarian formula (which identifies “Father, Word, and Spirit” as “heavenly witnesses”) was  a gloss  inserted into this passage in some Latin versions. Harris  states  that there have  been numerous New Testament  modifications done over the years. On  page 20  he lists a  few, the last one is of special interest to us (emphasis mine)

No two ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament are precisely alike.  Although most differences  in the texts  were probably caused by unintentional errors in copying, some textual variations seem to result from deliberate changes, many of which may  have been  motivated by theological considerations. A few of the oldest manuscripts, including the Codex Sinaiticus,  do  not contain the  phrase “son of God”  in Mark  1:1, leading some scholars to think that the phrase was inserted at the beginning of the Gospel to refute a belief that  Jesus became God’s adopted son  at  his baptism…Similar concerns about  an orthodox understanding of Jesus’ origins apparently influenced  manuscript changes in  Luke’s story of the youthful Jesus’ being left behind  in the Temple. Mary’s reprimand to the child, “your father and I have been  anxiously searching for  you,” was,  in some manuscripts,  changed to “we  have been searching for you” (Luke 2:48; emphasis Harris’), ostensibly to avoid any  implication that Joseph was Jesus’  father. A theological  belief in  Jesus’ omniscience  may have prompted deletion of references  to “the Son” from some copies of Matthew’s statement that “about that day and  hour [of the End] no one knows,…not even the Son; no one but the  Father alone” (24:36)  …Perhaps the most striking New Testament interpolation appears in very late  manuscripts of 1 John  5:7-8, where a scribe inserted the Bible’s only explicit reference  to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity,  asserting that God exists in three persons and that “these three are one.”  This trinitarian statement  occurs in  no manuscript prior to the fourteenth century.

An interpolation?? How can such a verse find it’s way  into the  Word of the  Almighty??  Does He not care to preserve His  Word??  Let Allah, the Knower of all things open and secret describe such scriptural guile: “There is among them  a section who distort the  Book with their tongues: As they read  you  would think  it is a part  of the Book,  but it is  no part of the Book; and they  say,  ‘That is from God,’ but it is not from God: It is they  who tell a lie against God, and (well)  they know it” (Qur’an 3:78) .

Jesus as sacrifice

As we have  observed, Jesus can only  reconcile humanity  if  his nature as God died  exactly  as his nature as  man died.  Christians will also try  to convince  you that Jesus sacrificed his life for our transgressions, but  did he really?? What does it mean  to sacrifice  your life??  This reminds  me  of a story  I  heard about  one of the  Nazi death camps  that housed  many  of the European Jews during the 1st  World War. A piece of  bread or fish or something had been stolen  or misplaced  from  one of the storehouses that the Germans used to  feed the Jewish laborers. All of the men in that section of the camp  were ordered to stand in a straight line before  a firing squad. The Nazi officer told the  men that unless someone confessed of the crime, all  of them  would be shot dead. No one said a word.  The  officer began counting backwards from  five and before he reached one, an  old man stepped  in front of the others to single himself  out. The officer walked casually  over to him  and without a second of hesitation, shot the  man in the face. The others were ordered  to carry  on  with their work. Was he guilty or innocent? We will never know.  The point is  he sacrificed his life for the sake of others. This  means that he lost his life and it was never returned. 

Another, less dramatic example: A rich man sees an old beggar on the street  and feels  compassion for  him to the point that he decides to give the  beggar all of  the money  in his  wallet. It was a total of $500.00. He gave the beggar the  money  with  the understanding  that it  was not a loan, the beggar did not have to pay him back. 

Let’s relate  the above two examples to the Christian Jesus. In the first case, the old  man  gave up his life and did not expect to survive or to have it returned to him.  This is  what it  means to sacrifice,  or to “give up” something. Jesus on the other hand,  was given his life back by  himself(?), after three days  in the tomb. What did he really  sacrifice then,?  Three days??  If the old  man in our example suddenly stands up  from  where he was shot and discovers that the bullet only grazed his head and knocked  him unconscious for three days, did  he really  give up  his life for  the other  prisoners?? He might have had that intention  but  that was not the reality. If  the Christian Jesus was truly  a “sacrificial  lamb  sent to  the slaughter” then he should have stayed dead. 

In the case of the rich  man and the beggar, the rich man freely  gave out  of the mercy  in  his heart. Obviously, the rich  man has thousands  of dollars in the bank, but that particular $500.00 he will  never see again. John 3:16  states: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son…,” yet the only  begotten  son was returned  to God three days  later  and in an exalted and glorified  form! Paul tells  us: “And  being found  in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath  highly exalted him, and given him  a name  which is above every  name” (Philippians 2:8-9). Luke  also says: “The  God of our  fathers raised up Jesus, whom  ye  slew and hanged on  a tree. Him  hath God  exalted  with his right hand [to be]  a Prince  and a Saviour, for to  give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30-31). This would  be  equivalent to  the beggar giving  the rich man back his $500.00  three days later, with interest!.

Mark 12:29 – The Lord is One

The Trinity  is  central to Christian belief yet it is never clearly  found or defined within the pages of  the Bible. Why would God decide to  veil this sacred knowledge of  Himself for thousands of  years from the ancient Hebrew prophets and  still  not  make it  crystal clear in His  New Testament that such a concept exists?? When it comes to theology, the Christian scriptures must be unequivocal. Certainly  the Qur’an  and Hebrew Bible stand in stark contrast to the twenty-seven books of the New Testament in this  respect. By  saying, “It is written…,” Jesus uses textual support from scripture in Matthew 4:4, 7 to chase away  Satan  while he (Jesus) was fasting in the desert for forty days. So what  is written about  the concept  of God?? Indeed God revealed to Moses [Musa alayhissalaam] the holy  Shema  in the Old Testament: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God  [is]  one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The verse transliterated from  Hebrew reads:  Shema yisra’ale adonai eloheynu,  adonai echad

We are told in the Gospel of Mark  of an exchange between a scribe and Jesus [‘Eesa alayhissalaam]: “And one of the scribes came,  and having  heard them  reasoning together, and perceiving that he had  answered them  well, asked him,  which is  the first  commandment  of all?  And Jesus answered him,  The first  of all the commandments  [is], Hear,  O Israel; The Lord our God is  one Lord” (Mark 12:28-29). Now if Jesus  were  sent here  to preach that  he, the Father, and the Holy  Ghost are  of one co-equal nature, then  this would have  been the perfect time  for him to expound, even implicitly, upon this newly revealed doctrine. Yet Jesus [‘Eesa alayhissalaam] does nothing of  the sort.  He actually  quotes Deuteronomy  6:4 verbatim  to drive  the point home  that the theology  he is preaching is exactly the same  as  the theology  that Moses [Musa alayhissalaam] preached. Any reasonable  Christian will agree that  Moses [Musa alayhissalaam] did not worship God  in three persons.

Obviously  Jesus did not  utter these words in Greek as  the New Testament records them. He  actually said, “Shema yisra’ale adonai eloheynu,  adonai echad.” The word used  by  both Moses  and Jesus  for “one” is the Hebrew  “echad”  which is  exactly  the same  word Allah reveals in the Qur’an in  Chapter 112:1:  “Say: He is God, the One and Only  (ahad)!”  What exactly  does  “ahad (echad)”  mean?  It  means that there is nothing comparable  unto God whatsoever. Whatever our petty little  minds can possibly  conjure up as being the Almighty  can never be  Him who is beyond our scope  of human comprehension.  The Prophet  Isaiah said  it perfectly: “To whom  then will  ye  liken  God? or  what likeness will  ye  compare unto him”  (Isaiah 40:18)?  The Christian, however, is in  an extremely pitiful state of affairs  when he affirms  that God is  echad  but  still maintains that Jesus is  Him  in the flesh. Such an utterance stands in  direct  contradiction to Jesus himself. Explain to him  that we can certainly imagine what a physical Jesus looked like in person. After he has the image locked in his mind exclaim,  “that  is not God!”

A Christian  may  bring  up the fact that  God uses the word  echad  in Genesis 2:24 to describe the “coming together” of  Adam  and Eve in the garden. “Therefore,” he will  shout, “there is  allowance for dualism  and even pluralism  in  the Hebrew  word.” Remind him  that he must look  at the  context  to determine the proper meaning. In reference to Adam  and Eve, they’re coming together as one (echad) flesh is used as  a  symbol  of their union. It should  also be noted that the Hebrew word for one numerically  is also  echad. When used in reference to  God, however, the word  takes on a meaning that denotes uniqueness and incomparability,  as this is exactly  what  the Arabic translates to. This is also what the Jews  at the time of  Jesus would have understood the meaning to be. If Jesus  wanted to teach plurality  within the godhead he would have said, “Hear, O Israel;  The Lord our God  is three in  one.” By  him  not doing  so lends credence to the fact that  Jesus allowed the Jews  to understand him  in exactly  the same  way in  which they understood Moses.  If  Jesus was truly  sent to reveal  God in three persons, for  him to  quote the sacred Shema within the  presence of the scribes and  Pharisees is not only inappropriate, but  also viciously deceptive.

The scribe responds to Jesus’ answer: “Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he  (and beside Him  there is  no other, Revised English Bible)” (Mark  12:32). There is nothing  else equal to the One and Only God!  This comment is  added by  the scribe to stress  the significance of echad.

Man or God???

Due to the dual nature of Jesus in Christianity, Christians justify  Gospel  verses  where  Jesus expresses  a very  human  element by  saying, “he is speaking and acting as a  man.” The  Muslim  will have to agree. Yet when we try to reason with them  concerning verses in which they  allege that Jesus is claiming divinity, they reply,  “he is  speaking as  God!” This identity  crisis provides the  Christians with a full  proof way  of dodging questions concerning Jesus’  humanity. The Christians have no qualms  about labeling their “God” a schizophrenic. For instance, Strobel tells us: “When Jesus does something that’s  a reflection of him  being God, that’s  ascribed to Christ’s  deity. When there’s something reflecting his limitations or  finiteness or  his humanness  – for example,  his tears; does God cry?  – that’s  ascribed to his humanity.” Here are some  verses that demonstrate both natures of Jesus.

Jesus as man

a)  Jesus cried  like a man.  (This is the shortest verse in all of the Christian Bible).

Jesus wept.” – John 11:35.

b)  Jesus hungered like a  man. “Now in the  morning as he returned  into the city, he hungered.” – Matthew 21:18. c) 

c)   Jesus did not know the seasons, like a  man. “And seeing  a fig tree afar off  having leaves, he came, if haply  he might find any  thing thereon: and when  he came to it, he  found  nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not  [yet].” – Mark 11:13. Also see Matthew 21:19  & Luke 13:6. d) 

d)  Jesus did not know the  Day  of Judgment, like a man . “But of that  day  and [that]  hour  knoweth  no man, no,  not the angels which are in  heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” – Mark 13:32. Also see Matthew 24:36.

e)  Jesus can do nothing by  himself  and seeks his Father’s Will, like a man. “I can of  mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my  judgment is just; because I seek  not mine own will, but  the  will of the Father which hath sent me.” – John 5:30.

For I came  down from  heaven, not  to  do  mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” – John 6:38.

f) Jesus is  subordinate  to his Father, like a  man. “Ye have heard how I said unto  you,  I go away,  and come  [again]  unto  you. If  ye  loved me, ye  would rejoice, because I said, I go unto  the  Father: for my  Father is greater than I.” – John 14:28.

g)  Jesus prayed to his Father like a  man. “And he went a little further,  and fell  on his face, and prayed, saying, O my  Father, if it be  possible, let this cup pass from  me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt].” – Matthew 26:39.  Also see Mark  14:35 & Luke 22:41.

h)  Jesus was born like a man. “Then Joseph being raised  from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him  his  wife: And knew her not till she  had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.” – Matthew 1:24-25. 

Jesus as God (as Christians allege(

a)  Jesus  can amend the Sabbath as God. “For the Son  of  man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” – Matthew 12:8. Also see Mark 2:28 & Luke 6:5.

b)  Jesus can forgive sins as God. “And when  he saw their  faith, he said  unto him,  Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” – Luke 5:20. “And he said unto  her, Thy  sins are forgiven.” – Luke 7:48.

c)  Jesus knew people’s thoughts as God. “And Jesus knowing their thoughts  said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” – Matthew 9:4. “But he, knowing their thoughts,  said  unto  them, Every kingdom  divided against itself is brought to  desolation; and a house [divided]  against a house falleth.” – Luke 11:17.

d)  Jesus  claimed to be “Yahweh.” “Jesus  said  unto them,  Verily, verily, I say  unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” – John 8:58.

e)  Jesus claimed equality  with God . “I and [my] Father are one.” – John 10:30

f)  Jesus is the  only  way . “Jesus  saith unto him, I  am  the  way, the truth, and the life: no man  cometh unto the Father, but by  me.” –  John 14:6.

g)  Jesus  is  worshipped as God “And when  they saw him, they  worshipped him:  but some doubted.” – Matthew 28:17.

h)  Jesus is all-powerful as God. “And Jesus  came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me  in heaven  and in earth.”  – Matthew 28:18.

So what is the Christian answer??  McDowell makes it “easy”  for  us: “Jesus was the  God-man. He  was just as much  man as if he had never been  God and just as much God as if he had never been man.” Are you scratching your head  yet? Okay, try this: Jesus  was either a Liar,  a Lunatic, or Lord! This Christian gimmick known as the “trilemma” is designed  to trick Muslims into submitting that there are only three possible conclusions about the historical Jesus.  He either 1)  lied about who he was and deserved  to die a criminal’s death or 2) was insane or possessed by  a demon or 3) was  the Lord God. Don’t fall victim to  their  sorcery,  the answer is none of the above!

Strobel tells us: “The New Testament specifically  confirms that Jesus ultimately  possessed every  qualification of deity, including omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, eternality, and immutability.” (page 262).

If Biblical passages point  to Jesus’  deity  as Christians  claim,  then what in the world are we to make of this  man Melchisedek who was “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of  days,  nor end of life; but made  like unto the Son of God;  abideth a priest continually” (Hebrew 7:3)?? Why  is he not worshipped by  Christians as God??

Christian Trinity Proof

The Christian concept of Christ as  Son of God is  grossly  anthropomorphic and Pagan. Christian apologists,  in an attempt to convert unsuspecting Muslims  who take issue with such  a concept, are  asking us to think of Jesus as  the  ibn  of Allah, not  the  walad  of Allah,  like  “ibnus-sabeel”, Ask such people if God “coming upon and overshadowing” Mary  is meant  to be figurative. Remind them  that the Nicene Creed describing Jesus as being “begotten not made” is  meant  to be literal, not figurative. 

Geilser  and Saleeb say, “Some have pointed to the fact that  Muhammad  was  simultaneously  a prophet, a husband, and  a teacher.  Why  then should a Muslim reject the idea of a plurality  of functions (persons) of God.” Surely this comparison is false  and inapplicable. The Prophet  was still only  one  person  (human) and one essence  (man). The attributes or  roles  of Prophet  Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) were as  prophet, husband, and teacher, but these were not  his “separate and distinct personalities.” Also, Muslims do  not  reject the plurality  of  the functions  of God. The Qur’an  has called Him  the One who creates, destroys, gives sustenance, bestows honor, etc. Functions and persons, however, are not synonymous terms  as  Geisler and Saleeb would like you to believe. The God of  the Qur’an is one Being who has many functions. 

Christians  maintain that the Father, Son, and Holy  Ghost are equal in their nature but are identified by their specific  roles. For  example, the Father planned salvation, the  Son accomplished it by the cross, and the Holy  Ghost applies it to the lives of the believers. If  all three are essentially  equal, would it be okay  to  say  “In the name of the Holy  Ghost, the Son,  and the Father?” Such a formula will cause the Christian to cringe, but why? Why  should it matter?  Although Christians will never admit it, they  believe in a hierarchy  of  gods.  Ask them, “When  you think  of the Father  in heaven, what image comes into  your mind?” Again, they  will  never admit it, but the image is  very  clear. Basically, they imagine a person very  much like jolly old Saint Nick, sitting on a throne with the heavens as His canopy  and the earth as  His footstool. When  you say  “Son” the image of  a young man in his  mid-thirties with white  skin and a straight nose are  conjured. When you say  Holy Spirit, they  imagine a white dove much  like the one  that descended onto Jesus during his baptism. It is  in the nature of primal  man to  make images of that which he reveres or  worships. Islam  has come to rescue  the Christians from  such a  pitiful quagmire of religious deviation and  bring  them  into the light  of true guidance under the  banner of  God’s final  and solidifying Messenger. 

Elohim…means Trinity?

An error Christians  make very  frequently is their interpretation of the Hebrew word  Elohim. They  claim that since this word is plural, literally  meaning “Gods” or “gods,” the plurality  of  the godhead is evidenced  in the Hebrew  scriptures. First of all, remind them  that according to  the orthodox  definition of  the Trinity,  God is only  one. For a Christian to say  that Elohim  should  be taken as “gods” in the literal sense  ambushes their futile claim  of being monotheistic and in the tradition  and spirit of Abraham.  Certainly  Christians don’t believe in three gods in  three persons, but  in only  one God in  three persons. 

Why  is this  word plural? Elohim  is  plural because in the Semitic languages, there is a phenomenon known as the “royal plural.” The book  of Genesis tells us: “And God said, Let  us  make  man in  our  image” (Genesis 1:26), a verse that Christians misuse to  mean that God, being in the form of a  man (Jesus), decided to create Adam  by  modeling  him  after Himself. Christians often charge the Muslims with interpreting the  New Testament in  crooked ways  in order to  corroborate with Islamic belief.  As it turns out, however, the accuser  has become  the accused. The Christians have made grievous errors in interpreting the Hebrew Bible by  reading  into the scripture of the Jews concepts completely  alien to Judaism  such as original sin, divine Sonship,  the plurality  of  God, the divinity  of the  Messiah, etc.  Even the Qur’an, a scripture in which a very  strict  monotheism is stressed, frequently  reveals verses  like: “We  created the heavens and the earth…”; “Why  do  ye  reject  Our Signs…”; “If you are ever  in doubt as to what  We  reveal unto  Our  servant…,” etc. The mutual recriminations  of the People of the Book are recorded in Allah’s Word: “The Jews say: ‘The Christians have naught  to stand upon;’ and the Christians say: ‘The Jews have naught to stand upon.’ Yet they (profess to) study  the (same) Book. Like unto their word  is what those say  who know not; but Allah will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment” (Qur’an 2:113).

Matthew 28:19 – The Great Commission

We are told in  Matthew 28:19: “Go ye  therefore, and teach all  nations, baptizing them  in  the name  of the Father, and of the Son, and  of the Holy  Ghost.” Christians often cite this as an example of Jesus supporting the Trinity since he uses the Trinitarian formula  “Father, Son,  and Holy  Ghost.” Simply mentioning these three entities, however, in no way constitutes evidence for  the  doctrine  of  the Trinity within this verse. Let’s not  forget that central to the Trinitarian belief is the notion that the  Father, Son,  and Holy  Ghost are  all equal  and of the same  essence.  If a father tells his son while the latter ships off to  war, “Defend freedom  in the name  of your  country,  your father, and  your God,”  does this  mean  that they  are all co-equal, co-eternal, and  co-substantial?? Certainly  not! Ask your Christian friend,  “How is it that Jesus has gone from  saying ‘God is  echad’ (Mark  12:29) and ‘enter  ye not into any  gentile lands’(Matthew 10:5) to ‘Go into  all nations and baptize’ in the name of a triune god?” 

Jesus can forgive sins??

Can Jesus  really  forgive sins??  He certainly  can, but this does not have  to be a point of contention between you and the Christian. Let’s not forget that Jesus said: “I do nothing of myself; but as my  Father hath taught me, I  speak these things”  (John 8:28).  Jesus can only  forgive sins because that is what God  allowed him  to do, very  much like how God allowed him  to raise the dead. This does not  indicate deity  however. The prophets are  mediators between God  and man. They speak with the authority of  God,  but are  not  God  by  any means. 

The Prophet of Islam (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was  once approached by  a man who had committed  a grievous sin but rather than censuring the  man  and asking him  to  confess  what  he had done, the Prophet asked him  an  unusual question. He said, “Is your mother still living?” The  man sorrowfully  replied that she had died  many  years prior. “Do you have an aunt,  your mother’s sister who still lives?” he asked again. The  man  answered, “Yes,  I do.”

The Prophet concluded, “Go care for  your aunt, make her life easy, and your sin is forgiven.” Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) spoke with the authority of God yet possessed no authority to forgive sins by himself. Also, Jesus  did not just arbitrarily  forgive anyone’s  sins without a reason of some sort. In  Luke 7:48, he forgave a  woman’s sins  because  of the great love she had  for him by  anointing his feet. In Luke 5:20, he forgave a  paralyzed  man  because  he  “showed great faith.” He was simply  communicating to  them  what God had informed him  of. Give praise to God,  not to the  man. Matthew said it  best: “But that ye  may  know that the Son of  man hath  power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go  unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But  when the  multitudes saw [it], they  marvelled,  and glorified God, which had  given such power unto men” (Matthew 9:6-8).

John even goes  so far as to say  that the disciples of Jesus  can  forgive the sins of  men.  Are they  then God as  well? “And  when he had said this, he breathed  on them, and saith unto them,  Receive ye  the Holy  Ghost: Whose soever sins  ye  forgive, they  are forgiven  unto them;  [and] whose  soever sins ye  retain, they  are retained” (John 20:22-23). 

Jesus knew the thoughts of people

Matthew writes: “And Jesus  knowing their thoughts  said, Wherefore think  ye  evil  in  your  hearts” (Matthew 9:4)? Again, this does not  make  Jesus  God, only  sent from God. The Qur’an relates a similar type of incident with respect to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “When the Prophet  disclosed a  matter in confidence to one of his consorts,  and she then  divulged it  (to another), and Allah made it  known to him, he confirmed part thereof and repudiated a part. Then  when he told her thereof,  she said, ‘Who told thee this?’  He said, ‘He told me Who knows and is  well-acquainted (with all things)’” (Qur’an 66:3). There are also numerous other examples from the sound  ahadith  of the Prophet in which  God informs  him of the hidden  motives of certain people. On one  such occasion, he was able to  avert an assassination attempt while visiting the house of a Jewish family  of  Bani Nadir.

Origins of the triune god

How did all  of this Trinity  nonsense begin?? The New  Catholic Encyclopedia tells us, “The  doctrine of the Trinity  is not  taught in  the  Old Testament.” This should not be surprising to you since Jewish theology  is nearly identical to that of Islam  and the Muslims. According to the Illustrated Bible Dictionary,  however, “The word Trinity  is not  found in the theology  of the church till the fourth century.” It is a  fact  that none of the disciples  ever heard of this word “Trinity” in their lifetimes. Generations of  Christians  would come and go over a span of three-and-a-half centuries that never knew of  the triune Christian god. Here are how some of the  pre-Nicene  Christian scholars  and theologians felt about  the nature of Jesus:

a)  Justin Martyr  (165 CE) – Believed Jesus to be a created angel, NOT EQUAL TO GOD.

b)  Irenaeus  (200 CE)  – Believed Jesus to  be inferior to “the one true and only  God,” and NOT EQUAL TO GOD.

c)  Clement of Alexandria  (215 CE) – Believed the Son to be next to  the “only  omnipotent Father,” and therefore NOT EQUAL TO GOD.

d)  Tertullian  (230 CE) – Believed  Jesus to be inferior because  he  was begotten and sent by  God, NOT EQUAL TO GOD.

e)  Origen  (250 CE) – Believed Jesus and the Father to have two separate essences and substances that  were NOT EQUAL.

Unlike Judaism  and Islam  whose articles of faith were laid down by  the  founders of  their respective religions, Christianity’s articles and doctrine  were always  decided upon in  councils and church synods centuries after its founder. The Roman Empire under Constantine was riddled with major political and religious strife. Constantine, a worshipper of the  Solen Victus, the conquering sun-god, saw in a vision one day the figure of a cross illuminated by  the  light of the sun. He immediately  interpreted this as a sign from  Mithras that he would be  victorious on the  battlefield. After dealing a crushing  blow  to the enemy, he apparently converted to the religion of the persecuted Christians although he  would not be baptized until years later as he lay dying in his bed. 

In 325 CE it was this very  Constantine who presided over the infamous  Council of Nicea in  which Jesus was  declared as co-equal,  co-eternal,  and  cosubstantial with the Father and which also laid  the groundwork for the doctrine of the Trinity. Most of the 300 bishops present signed the new dogma into effect although  many  did so hesitantly.  The  Son of God  had now officially  become  God the Son. This was followed by  a mass genocidal campaign of all Christians who did not believe  as they  were told. Constantine’s leading opponent, Arius, was humbled before the council and promptly  anathematized. 

One Nazarene  sect in particular, the  Eubonites, asserted that Jesus was  only  a servant and chosen Messenger of  God who was sent by  Him  to guide the formal and legalistic Children  of Israel into harmony  by teaching them the true spirit of the law. The Eubonites did not believe that Christ was divine in any  way,  and only  considered Matthew’s  Gospel as authentic while declaring Paul a heretic and an apostate. Due to their strong convictions that Jesus was the  true Christ, they elected not to participate in the doomed  bar Kokhba rebellion of 132 CE, which promoted Simon  “the son  of the star” as being the Jewish Messiah.  Not long after the failed insurrection, Simon was  assassinated by  the Romans and declared “bar Koziba,” “the son of the lie.”

You may  come across some Christian  authors who will claim  that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) actually came into contact with some  surviving remnants of an Eubonite community  and was instructed by  them  to reject Christ’s  divinity.  Such foolish assertions  are backed by  not even a  shred of historical evidence  and causes one to wonder just  how  this could have even been possible since the entire Eubonite  population  was systematically  exterminated by  the Trinitarians shortly after the Synod at Nicea  almost 250  years prior to the birth of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

In 381 CE Emperor Theodosius convened the Council of  Constantinople to  determine the role and nature of the Holy Ghost. After  much  deliberation,  the Council decided that the Holy  Ghost was  also in fact God, the third of three persons in the Holy Trinity. 

The Athanasian Creed, named after a clergyman of the mid-third century, spelled out exactly  the dictates of the various Councils: “The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy  Spirit  is God,  yet not three Gods but  one God.” Athanasius was present at Nicea and supported the decree of Constantine and his frightened bishops. Born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt,  he became  very much influenced by  the Pagan Egyptian concept of  god as a triad. 

The Church  credits another theologian from  the same period, Augustine,  as being one of the chief developers of  modern Christianity  for  his work entitled, On the Trinity.

Rather than rooting  out idolatry  and  Paganism whenever it  went, Christianity  actually  adopted the Paganism  and idolatry  of various cultures and “Christianized” them  as their own. Contrast this to how Islam  spread over the globe as a light of shining Truth that was never influenced by any sort of false teaching. 

The Christian may  take issue with  you and claim that Islam’s God, Allah, was actually  a Pagan deity  of pre-Islamic  Arabia [read this: Refuting the Baseless Claim that Allah is a ‘Moon-god’] . Remind him  that  Allah, the Semitic name  of God used by Moses (Elohah) and Jesus (Allaha), was the same deity  that the Prophet Ishmael (Isma’eel alayhissalaam) worshipped  while he lived  in  the Arabian peninsula  (we will be posting prophecies in Bible regarding the coming of the  Kedarite  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) soon In Shaa Allah). This is also the name  of  God used by  contemporary  Christian Arabs and Arabic speaking Jews. In its origins the name  “Allah” was  true but was later  corrupted by descendants of Ishmael who had fallen away  from  the tradition of their forefather Abraham.  By contrast, the  origins of the triune god were Pagan and later incorporated into Christian theology as the “one true God.” Let  your Christian friend see the difference. 

Pagan triad deities worshipped in  ancient Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt:

a)  The triad of  Anu, the god  of the sky,  Enlil, the god of the earth, and Ea, the god of the ocean.

b) The triad of Ishtar, Sin, and Shamash in Babylon.

c)  The Hindu triad of  Brahma,  the creator,  Shiva,  the destroyer, and Vishnu, the maintainer.

d) The Egyptian triad of Amon-Ra, Ramses II, and Mut.

e) The Egyptian triad of Horus, Isis, and Osiris. 

***********************************

To my Muslim Brethren…

Praise be to  the One who has guided us and made us Muslims bowing to His Will. It is truly  the greatest tragedy  of human history  that over a billion Christians stand alienated from  the truth of Islam  over a theology  that  is not  even  found  in  their own scripture. Help your  Christian friends to understand that their theology is  outside the  tradition of  all the mighty prophets and  apostles of  God that were sent with  the same basic  message:  There is only  one God,  and Abraham, Moses, Noah,  David, Jesus,  or  Muhammad is the Messenger of God.  Help  your Christian  friends understand that God does  not change His spiritual laws because He  Himself cannot change. For God to become man or become revealed  as three persons is incongruent with the  majesty  of Him  who has created the heavens and the earth. 

At the basic  level, explain to the Christian why belief in the  Trinity  has no basis as being from  the God of Abraham.  Be careful that you do  not  offend him  while attempting to do this. As with the divinity  of Christ, belief in the Trinity  has always  been a personal conviction  of  faith that the Christian has been enamored with since he was a young  boy or  girl  in  the church.  As usual, begin  on a  basic level and use reasonable arguments. I cannot stress enough the importance of freeing Christians from  this absolutely  false theology, a theology  that only  beckons  to the fire. Emulate  our beloved Prophet  (sallallahu  alaihi wa  sallam) by  dealing gently and speaking with humility.

Questions to ask your Christian friends. 

1.  How can  Jesus die as both God and man when his divine spirit  survived the  cross?  If  you believe that he was one person with two natures (man and God), then don’t BOTH natures have to die in the same way??  After all, our nature is  really  who  we are. How can he die as God without his divine  nature dying that  made  him God?? Can’t you see that he only  died as a man??

2.  Why  is God  never explicit about the doctrine of the Trinity  in the Old and New Testaments??  Why  would He wait until the fourth century  to completely  reveal Himself in three persons??

3.  Why  do  you believe that God sacrificed His Son when Jesus  was  given his life back after three  days?? You only sacrifice something when it doesn’t return to you.

4.  Did  you know that according to Paul, “changing the glory  of incorruptible God  into an image  like that or corruptible man” (Romans 1:22-25) is  the cause of homosexuality??

5.  Did you know  that the only  verse in the entire Bible that explicitly mentions Trinitarian doctrine (1 John 5:7) was expunged from  all  modern Bible translations and deemed a fabrication to the text??

6.  Why  would  Jesus quote  the sacred Shema of the Jews found in Deuteronomy  6:4 if he  were sent by God to preach the concept of three in one??  Did  you know that  the word  echad  that Jesus  uses in Mark 12:29 cannot denote any  type of plurality  when used in reference of  God, and this is  exactly  how the Jews understood it??

7.  Did  you know that just because  Jesus  amended the Sabbath, knew people’s thoughts, and had the ability to forgive sins  makes him no different than Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who changed  the direction of prayer, abrogated the Sabbath, knew people’s intentions and hidden motives, and forgave sins as  well (by  the leave of God)?? Don’t  you  think  that  prophets could have done these things?? 

8.  Why  do Christians claim that  Elohim  justifies the Trinity  when this word  literally  means “Gods??” Certainly  you don’t  believe in a  plurality  of  gods, but rather persons of God.

9.  Are you aware of the Pagan origins of  the triune or triad god?? Did  you know  that the Trinity  wasn’t even firmly  established as  doctrine in the churches until late in the fourth century CE?? 

10.  Did  you know that the name  Allah was the same name  that Moses and Jesus used to address the Almighty??

In Defense of Imam E Azam Abu Hanifah [rahmatullah alayh]

Contents

➡INTRODUCTION

➡WHAT AL-HAAFIZ IBN HAJAR AL-HAITAMI ASH-SHAAF’I SAID ABOUT IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

➡The glad tidings of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)

➡Imaam Abu Hanifah was a Taabi’ee

➡The accusation of Raai’ (opinion)

➡THE BESTOWAL OF ACCOLADES

➡Respect of the Ulama  for Imaam Abu Hanifah

➡Refutation of those who criticized  Abu Hanifah

➡Refutation of the Criticism of Imaam Abu Hanifah in the Compilation of Khateeb

➡Refutation of the charge that Abu Hanifah baselessly rejects the authentic Ahaadith

➡IMAAM ABU HANIFAH WAS A TAABI’EE

➡Some baseless contentions

➡The Fallacy of Imaam Abu Hanifah’s Paucity of Hadith

➡The Status of Musnad Abi Hanifah

➡IMAM ABU HANIFAH AND THE SUNNAH

➡THE TALAAMIZAH (STUDENTS) OF IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

➡WHAT IMAAM JALAALUDDIN AS-SUYUTI SAYS ABOUT IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

➡The Shuyookh of Abu Hanifah

➡The Students of Imaam Abu Hanifah

➡Glad tidings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) regarding Abu Hanifah

➡Some Manaaqib of Abu Hanifah

➡THE SLANDER THAT ABU HANIFAH WAS AMONG THE MUR’JIYAH

➡WHAT ALLAAMAH ATH-THAHABI SAYS ABOUT ABU HANIFAH

➡Note by Allaamah Muhammad Zaahid Al-Kauthari:

➡Imaam Abu Hanifah’s Akhlaaq (Character) and Wara’ (Piety)

➡The Shuyookh and Students of Abu Hanifah

➡The Ibaadat of Abu Hanifah

➡Imaam Abu Hanifah’s Fiqh

➡ABU HANIFAH AND RAAI’ (OPINION)

➡WHAT IMAAM GHAZAALI SAYS OF ABU HANIFAH

➡MALFOOTHAAT OF IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

➡STUDENTS OF THE SAHAABAH AND THE POSITION IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

➡CRITICISM AGAINST IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

➡THE TAQWA AND ADAALAT OF IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

➡WHAT ALLAAMAH SHA’RAANI SAID ABOUT IMAAM ABU HANIFAH        
_________________________________
        
INTRODUCTION

Among  the great, illustrious and noble   Warathatul Ambiya –  the  Heirs  and  Representatives  of  the  Ambiya  –  the  most  and  much  maligned  is  Imaam  A’zam,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh).  The  haasideen  (the  jealous  ones)  and the  haaqideen  (the  malicious  ones)  had  left  no  stone unturned  in  their  satanic    attempts  and  endeavours    with their  slanders,  falsehood  and  calumnies  to  ruin  the  glittering  reputation  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah alayh).  When  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal  projects  His  Khalifah  on earth,  then  the  entire  mankind  and  jinkind  together   cannot succeed  in  their  pernicious  efforts  of  slander  and vituperation. 

Despite  the  nefarious  plots  and  endeavours  of   the malicious    detractors,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  stood  out  as  the  greatest  Beacon  of  Islam  after  the  Sahaabah.  All  great Ulama and Mujtahideen after the era of  the  Sahaabah paled into  insignificance  in  the  radiant  and  dazzling    Noor    of IlmTaqwa  and  Ma’rifat  of  Imaam  A’zam.  This  irrefutable fact  has  been    vigourously  acknowledged  and  emphasized by  innumerable  AimmahFuqaha  and  Muhadditheen  of  the Salafus  Saaliheen  era  and  of  the  Muta-akh-khireen  era.    In this    treatise  we    present  the  testification  of  the  illustrious authorities  of  Islam  whose  unequivocal  praise    and  respect  for  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  debunk  the  slanderous  contentions of  the detractors of this great  Mujtahid Imaam.

Some  short-sighted  Muhadditheen  have  also  been dastardly  affected  by  the  malady  of  slander  which  the envious  detractors  had  spread.  However,  despite  all  the  evil  machinations  of  the  detractors,  the   brilliant  Star  of Uloom  outshone    everyone.  All  Fuqaha  and  Muhadditheen  after  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  were  his  Students  directly  or  via  the Chain of his Students. 

The  lofty  realm  of  Fiqh  occupied  by  Imaam  A’zam, constrained  Imaam  Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah  alayhi),  who  was Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  Student  via  Imaam Muhammad,  to say:  “We  are  the  children  of  Abu  Hanifah  in  Fiqh.” Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  the  very  first  Mujtahid  Imaam who  had    codified  and    arranged  the  Shariah  in  systematic form  –  a  form  which  all  Fuqaha  of  all  Math-habs  after  him adopted.

The  worst  and  the  hypocritical  enemies  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  in  our  age  are  the  moron  Salafis  who  peddle  the satanic  theme  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  methodology  is to  override  Hadith  with  opinion.  This  is  furthest  from  the truth  as  will  become  clear  in  the  ensuing lines.  There  is consensus  of  the  Ulama  and  Fuqaha  on  the  claim  that according  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  even  a  Dhaeef  (Weak) Hadith has precedence  over  Qiyaas  (Analogical Reasoning) and   Raai’ (Opinion).

This  is  the  first  part  of  the  treatise  to  show  who  was  this illustrious  personality,  Imaam  A’zam  Abu  Hanifah  whose Math-hab  two  thirds  of  the  Ummah  follow. 

[Mujlisul  Ulama of  S.A.]

WHAT AL-HAAFIZ  IBN HAJAR AL-HAITAMI ASH SHAAFI’  SAID ABOUT  IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

Al-Haafiz  Ibn  Hajar  Al-Haitami  Ash-Shaafi’  (died  973 Hijri)  is  among  the  great  and  illustrious  Authorities  of  the Shaafi’  Math-hab.    Ibn  Hajar  Al-Haitami  (Rahmatullah alayh)  wrote  in  refutation  of  the    vituperation  of    the enemies  and  detractors  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh),  the  Kitaab,  Al-Khairaatul  Hisaan  fi Manaaqibil Imaamil A’zam Abi Hanifah An-Nu’maan.

In his Kitaab, Ibn  Hajar Al-Haitami  adequately   refutes and disposes  of  the    evil  vituperation  concocted  by  the   haasideen  (the  jealous  ones)    and  the  haaqideen  (the malicious  ones)  against  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah alayh).  Even  other  illustrious  Shaafi’  Fuqaha  before  Al Haitami  had  written  elaborate  refutations  of    the  enemies of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  All  of  them  highlighted  the   wonders  and  virtues  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  All  those  who are  just,  fair  and  devoid  of  bigotry  and  malice  will  not  fail  to  fall  in  love  with  Imaam  A’zam  after    being  made  aware of  this  great  or  greatest  Representative  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) after the Sahaabah.

In  this  chapter    are  extracts  from  Al-Khairaatul  Hisaan  of Haafiz  Ibn  Hajar  Al-Haitami  Ash-Shaafi’.  In  the introduction  of  Al-Khairaatul  Hisaan,  Ibn  Hajar  Al Haitami writes:

Some  misguided  bigots  presented  to  me  a  book  whose authorship  is  attributed  to  Imaam  Ghazaali.  The  book contained  the  vilest  vituperation,  bigotry,  denigration  and disparagement  of    the  unique,  incomparable    Imaam  of  the Aimmah  Mujtahideen,  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh). The  vituperation  in  the  book  in  reality  deafens  the ears………..

In  reality,  Hujjatul  Islam,  Imaam  Ghazaali  is  not  the author  of    that  book. In  fact,  Imaam  Ghazaali  speaks glowingly  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  lauds    accolades  on him  in  his    kitaabIhyaa-ul  Uloom.  Furthermore, in  the vituperative  kitaab  which  was  presented  to  me,  the  name of  the  author  is  stated  as  Mahmood  Al-Ghazaali.  This  Mahmood  is  not    Hujjatul    Islam,  Imaam  Ghazaali.  It  is also  recorded  in  the    haashiyah  (commentary)  of  this  book that  Mahmood  Al-Ghazaali  was  a  Mu’tazili  and  that  he  is not  Hujjatul Islam.”

Shaikh  Shihaabuddin  Ahmad    Bin  Hajar  Al-Haitami,  Al-Makki  As-Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah  alayh),    who  flourished  in the 9th Islamic century, goes on to say in his Kitaab:

“In  a  dream  it  was  heard  that  Allah    Baari  Ta’ala  said:  “I am  by  the  Knowledge  of  Abu  Hanifah.”  That  is,  Allah Ta’ala has accorded  protection  and  Maqbooliyat (Acceptance)  to  the  Knowledge  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah. Allah  Ta’ala  is  well-pleased  with  his  Knowledge.  He  has  infused  barkat  in  it,  and  in  those  who    have  adopted  his Math-hab.

The  adversaries  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  acknowledge  that he  had  taken  precedence  in  Fiqh,  hence  Imaam  Shaafi’ (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “The  people  are  the  children  of Abu  Hanifah  in  Fiqh.”  He  also  said:  “Whoever  intends  to acquire  Fiqh,  should  cling  to  Abu  Hanifah  and  his Companions.”

Imaam    Shaafi’  said  to  Imaam  Maalik  (Rahmatullah alayh):    “What  is  your  opinion  of  Abu  Hanifah?”  Imaam Maalik  responded:  “I  saw  a  man    (i.e.  Abu  Hanifah)  if  he claims  that  this  pilar  is   of  gold,  he  will  prove  it (rationally).”

When  Imaam  Shaafi’  went  to  Baghdaad,  he  went  to  make  ziyaarat  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  Qabr.  He  performed  two raka’ts  without  raising  his  hands  (i.e.  Rafa’  Yadain  as  the Shaafis  do).  In  another  narration  it  is  mentioned  that  he had  performed  the  two  raka’ts  of  Fajr  and  did  not  recite  the Qunoot.  When  he  was  questioned  regarding  this  omission, Imaam  Shaafi’  said:  “For  the  respect  of  this  Imaam    (it  is not appropriate) to  act in conflict in his presence.”

Fudhail  Bin  Iyaadh  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “Abu Hanifah  was  born    for  Fiqh  and  Wara’  (Taqwa  of    a  very lofty    status).”  Nadhr  Bin  Shumaill  (Rahmatullah  alayh) said:  “With  regard  to  Fiqh,  the  people  (i.e.  the  Ulama)  were asleep until Abu Hanifah  woke them.”

Once  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  in  the  presence  of   Khalifah Al-Mansoor. Isaaa  Bin  Musaa  who  was  an  Aabid  and Zaahid,  said  to  the  Khalifah:  “This  (i.e.  Imaam  Abu Hanifah)  is  the  Aalim  of  the  dunya.”  Al-Mansoor  said  to Imaam  Abu  Hanifah:  “From  whom  did  you  acquire Knowledge?”  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  responded:  “From  the Companions  of  Umar ( Radhiyallahu  anhu)  who  acquired  it from  Umar (Radhiyallahu  anhu), from  the  companinons  of Ali (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  who  acquired  it  from  Ali (Radhiyallahu  anhu) and  from  the  companions  of  Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ood  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  who  acquired  it  from Ibn  Mas’ood  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).” 

The  Khalifah  commented:  “Indeed  you  have  acquired  (Knowledge)  from a powerful source.” The  Khalifah  had  instructed  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh)  to    assume  the  post  of  the  Chief Qaadhi.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  declined.  He  was  therefore imprisoned  and  flogged  a  hundred  lashes.  Ultimately  he passed  away  in  prison.  He  was  resolute  in  his  refusal  to  accept the post of the Chief Qaadhi.

Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  used  to  say:  “When  there  is  a  Hadith from  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  then  we totally  submit  to  it.  Or  we  act  according  to  the  statements of  some  Sahaabah  (i.e.  in  the  absence  of  a  Hadith),  and  we do  not  traverse  beyond  that.  Or  the  statements  of  the Taabi-een with whom we  debate.”

He  used  to  pass  the  entire  night  in  Salaat  after  initially  spending  half  a  night  in  Salaat.  Once while  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  was  walking  outside,  someone  pointed  at  him  and commented:  “He    spends  the  entire  night  in  ibaadat.” Thereafter,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    would    pass  the  entire night  in  Salaat.  He  said  in  this  regard:  “I  am    ashamed  of being praised for an ibaadat which is not in me.”  

In  a  dream,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  while  inside  the  Ka’bah,  heard  a  Voice  saying:  “O  Aba Hanifah!  You  have  acquitted  yourself  with  sincerity  in  My service,  and  you  have  beautifully  recognized  Me.  Verily, you have been forgiven.”

Among  the  Students  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  were  illustrious  senior  Mashaaikh  and  Aimmah  Mujtahideen such  as  the   great  illustrious  Imaam  Abdullah  Ibn Mubaarak,  Imaam  Al-Laith  Bin  Sa’d,  Imaam  Maalik  Bin Anas,  Imaam  Mis-ar  Bin  Kidaam,  Imaam  Zufar,  Imaam Abu Yusuf, Imaam Muhammad and others.

When  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  declined  to  accept  the  position of  the  Qadhi    and   also    the  keys  of  the  Baitul  Maal,  he  was subjected  to  the  severest  physical  punishment  and  torture. However,  he  accepted  and  tolerated  these  worldly hardships  and    gave  precedence  to  it  over  the  punishment of  the  Aakhirah.  In  view  of  this  noble  attitude,  Abdullah Ibn  Mubaarak  commented:  “You  speak  about  a  man  to whom  the  world  with  its  treasures  was  present,  but  he  fled from it”

The  Khalifah  sent  with  Hasan  Bin  Al-Quhtabah  a  gift    of 10,000  dirhams.  Discretion  dictated  that  he  should  not decline   the  gift  (for  the  Khalifah  would  construe  it  an insult).    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    instructed  his  son  to    return the  10,000  dirhams  to  Hasan  after  his  (Imaam  Abu Hanifah’s)  burial.  After  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  demise, Hamaad,  his    son,  returned  the   gift  to  Hasan  who  then commented:  “May  Allah have  mercy  on  your father. Indeed, he was most covetous on his Deen.”

When  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  a  little  boy,  his  father,  took  him  to  Hadhrat  ‘Ali  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  who  made dua  of  barkat  for  him.  Thus,  the  Knowledge  and  Piety  that have  been  bestowed  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  were  the effects of  the Dua of  Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu).

He  did  not  benefit  even  from  the  shade  of  the  wall  of  his debtor,  for  this  was  tantamount  to  accepting  a  gift  from  a debtor  which    is  morally/spiritually  also  in  the  category  of riba.  His  extremely  lofty    degree  of  Wara’  constrained  him to    give  in  Sadqah  the  entire    amount    of  the  sales  of  a  day because    his    worker  had  not  declared  to  the  customer  a defect  in  a  bale  of  cloth.  Since  the  whereabouts  of  the  customer  were  unknown,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  gave  as Sadqah the entire  amount  of the sales of that day.

The greatness  of  his  piety  (Wara’)    is  conspicuous    from his  abstention  of  consuming  meat  for  seven  years. Someone’s  goat  in  Kufah  was  lost  and  could  not  be  found. He    enquired  as  to  the  life-span of  a  goat.  He  was informed  that  a  goat  can  live  up  to  seven  years.  Hence, Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    abstained  from  eating  meat  for  seven years  fearing  that  the  meat  which  he  consumes  may  be contaminated  by    the  meat  of  the  lost  goat.  Consuming mushtabah  and  haraam  produces  zulmat  (spiritual darkness) in the heart.

What  has  been  narrated  of  the    virtues  of  the  Wara’  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  is  merely  a  drop  of  a  shoreless  ocean.  He  performed  Fajr  Salaat  with  the  Wudhu  of  Isha  for  forty years.  During  the  month  of  Ramadhaan  he  would    make khatam  of  60  Qur’aan  –  one  during  the  day,  and  one during the night.

What  has  been  mentioned  thus  far    is  a  brief  summary from  Ihyaaul  Uloom  of  Imaam  Ghazaali.  This  exonerates Imaam  Ghazaali  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  from  the    falsehood of  bigotry  and  hatred  for  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh),  which  have  been  falsely  attributed  to him (i.e. to Imaam Ghazaali).

Guided  One!  If  you  intend  salvation  in  the  Aakhirah and safety  from  the  danger  of    criticizing  any  of  the  Auliyaa  of Allah    and    the  Heirs  of  Nabi  Muhammad  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam),  then  it  is  incumbent  that  you  believe  that everyone  among  the  Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen  and  the Ulama-e-Aamileen  (i.e.  the  Ulama  who  practise  the  Deen) is  on  the  path  of  guidance  from  Allah  Ta’ala,  and  that  all of  them  are    rewarded  in  all  their  states.  This  is  the unanimous view of all the Ulama.

Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  narrated  a  Hadith Qudsi  in  which  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal  says:  “I    declare  war on  him  who  distresses  my  Wali.”    Without  any  doubt,  the Ulama-e-Aamileen  of  the  Muslimeen,  all  of  them,  are  the Auliya of  Allah Ta’ala.

The glad  tidings of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) regarding  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh)

Among  the  most  conspicuous  and  best  narrations  in  this regard  is  what  has  been  narrated  by  Bukhaari  and  Muslim from  Abu  Hurairah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu),  and  by  Abu  Nuaim  from  Abu  Hurairah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  And  by   Shiraazi  and  Tabaraani  from  Qais  Bin  Sa’d  Bin  Ubaadah, and  by  Tabaraani  from  Ibn  Mas’ood  (Radhiyallahu  anhu). In  these  narrations    Rasulullah  (Sallalahu  alayhi  wasallam) said:  “If  Ilm  was  suspended    by  Thurayya  (the  planet Venus),  then  men  from  the  sons  of    the  Persians  would acquire  it.”   This  Hadith    is  narrated  with   slightly different  versions by  the Aimmah  of  Hadith.

Al-Haafiz  Al-Muhaqqiq  Al-Jalaalus  Suyuti  said:  “This narration  is  Saheeh  (authentic).  It  is  reliable  regarding  the glad  tidings  about  Abu  Hanifah  (rahmatullah  alayh),  and it  attests  to  his    perfect    excellence.  Some  of  the  Students of  Imaam  Jalaaluddin  Suyuti  averred  that  what  their Shaikh  had  categorically  stated  about  Abu  Hanifah  on  the basis  of  the  Hadith  is  quite  obvious.  Therein  is  no  doubt because  no  one  from  the  Persians    during  his  era  had attained  the  heights  of  his  Knowledge  nor  the  heights  of the Knowledge of his Companions.

Jalaaluddin  As-Suyuti  said  that  in  view  of  this  Hadith whose    authenticity  is  unanimous,  there  is  no  need    for  the  maudhoo’  narrations  pertaining  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah. Another  narration    which  highlights  the  lofty  stature  of  Abu  Hanifah  is  the  Hadith  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam):  “The  Beauty  of  the  world  will    depart  in  the year  150.”  Shamsul  Aimmah  Al-Kardawi  said  that  this Hadith  applies  to  Abu  Hanifah,  for  he  had  died  in  that year. Imaam Abu  Hanifah  was a  Taabi’ee.

According  to  Ath-Thahabi,  Imam  Abu  Hanifah  had  met Hadhrat  Anas  Bin  Maalik  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  during  his childhood. Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said:    “I    saw  him  several times  with  his  beard  dyed  red.”  In  Fataawa  of  Shaikhul Islam  Ibn  Hajar  is  mentioned  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifa  had met  a  group  of  Sahaabah  who  were  in  Kufah  after  his  birth  in the  year 80 hijri.
Besides  Hadhrat  Anas  (Radhiyallahu  anhu),  he  had    heard  narrations  from  a  Jamaa’t  of  Sahaabah  among  whom  were Amr Bin Huraith,  Abdullah Bin  Unais  Al-Juhani, Abdullah Bin  Haarith  Bin  Jaz’i  Zubaidi,  Jaabir  Bin  Abdullah,  Abdullah  Bin  Aufa,  Waathilah  Ibnul  Asqa’,  Ma’qil  Bin Yasaar,  Abu  Tufail  Aamir  Bin  Waathilah,  Aishah  Bint Ajrad,  Sahl  Bin  Sa’d,  Saa-ib  Bin  Khallaad  Bin  Suwaid, Saa-ib  Bin  Yazeed  Bin  Saeed,  Abdullah  Bin  Busrah,  Mahmood  Bin  Ar-Rabee’,  Abdullah  Bin  Ja’far    and      Abu Umaamah  (Radhiyallahu anhum)

Although  arguments  have  been    presented  to  refute  the authenticity  of  the  narrations  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  from Sahaabah,  there  are  likewise  counter  arguments  of authorities  to  confirm  the  veracity  of    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  being  a  Taabi’ee,  and  having  heard  Ahaadith  from Sahaabah.

The accusation of  Raai’ (opinion)

It  should  not  be  construed  from  the  appellation,  As-haabur Raai’,  which  the  Ulama  have  designated  to  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  and  his  Companions  that  their  intention  was  to denigrate  him  or  to    convey  the  idea  that  they  would  give preference  to   their  opinion  over   the  Ahaadith  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  his  Sahaabah.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  his  Companions  are  free  from this allegation.

According  to  numerous  narrations,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh)  had  clarified    that  the  first  source  is the  Qur’aan,  then  the  Sunnah,  then  the  statements    of  the to Sahaabah,  and  he would not  emerge  from these confines. If there  was  no  directive  in  these  sources,  then  only  would  he resort Ijtihaad. Hadhrat  Fudhail   Bin  Iyaadh (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “If  in  an  issue  there  was  a Saheeh  Hadith,  he  (Abu  Hanifah)  would  adopt  it.  Similarly if  there  was  an  authentic  narration  from  the  Sahaabah  or Taabi’een,  he  would  act  similarly.  In  the  absence  of  these sources would he resort to Qiyaas.”

Hadhrat  Ibnul  Mubaarak  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “It  is indeed  surprising  that  people  say  that  he  (Abu  Hanifah) would  issue  fatwa  on  the  basis  of  opinion.  He  would  issue fatwa  only    on  the  basis  of  narration.”  He  also  narrated that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:    “It  is not  proper  for  anyone  to  resort  to  opinion  with  the  Kitaab of  Allah  Ta’ala,  nor  with  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), nor with  the consensus  of the  Sahaabah.  Regarding   the differences  among  the Sahaabah,  we  adopt  the  version  which  is  closest  to  the Kitaab  of  Allah  Ta’ala  or  to  the  Sunnah,  and  we  apply Ijtihaad  in  this  regard.  Whatever  is  beyond  this  (i.e.  these  sources),  then  comes  Ijtihaad  with  opinion  for    him  who  is aware  of  the  differences,  and  he  then  utilizes  Qiyaas.”  This  was  the  methodology  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  his Companions.

Imaam  Al-Muzani  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  who  was  the highest  ranking  Student  of  Imaam  Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah alayh),  abundantly  studied  the  works  of    Imaam  Abu Hanifa’s  Companions.  This  attitude  of  Al-Muzani  constrained  Imaam  Tahaawi  (Rahmatullah  alayh),  who was  the  nephew  to  Al-Muzani,  to    abandon  the  Shaafi’ Math-hab  in  favour  of  the  adoption  of  the  Hanafi  Mathhab.

Al-Hasan  Ibn  Saalih  said  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s research  in  Naasikh  and  Mansookh  was  profound.  He  was an  expert  in    the  Hadith    of  the  People  of  Kufah,  and  a meticulous scrutinizer of the narrations reaching him.

Imaam  Abu  Hanifah   (rahmatullah  alayh)  would  say:  “We do  not  compel    anyone  to  accept    our  opinion  nor  do  we say  that  it  is  incumbent  to  accept  it.  Whoever  has  anything better  than    it  (i.e.  our  opinion)  should  come  forward  with it, for we shall accept it.

Ibn  Hazam  stated  that  there  is  consensus  of  all  the  As-haab of  Abu  Hanifah  that  his  Math-hab  is  that  even  Dhaeef Hadith has precedence  over Qiyaas.

The  illustrious  Imaam  Al-A’mash  had  requested  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  to  write  for  him  the    masaa-il  of  Hajj,  and  he would say:  “Write  the  Manaasik  (Hajj  Masaa-il) from  him. I  do  not  know  anyone    who  has  more  knowledge  than  him regarding  the  Faraaidh  and  Nafl  of  the  Manaasik.”    This is  indeed  a  glowing  testification  for  the  integrity  of  Imaam Abu Hanifah by an Imaam of the calibre of Al-A’mash.

Among  the  distinctions  of  Abu  Hanifah  is  that  he  used  to issue fatwa during the era of the Taabi-een.

A  man  said  to  Imaam  Wakee’  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  who was  the  Ustaadh  of  Imaam  Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah  alayh) that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  erred.  Wakee’  severely reprimanded  the  man  and  said:  “  He  who  says    so,  is    like cattle  or  more  astray.  How  could  he  have  erred  when  there  are  by  him  Aimmah  of  Fiqh  such  as  Abu  Yusuf  and Muhammad,  and    Aimmah  of  Hadith,  and  Aimmah  of Lughat,  and  Aimmah  of  Wara’  (Piety)  such  as  Fudhail  Daawood  Taai’,  etc.?  (Imaam  Wakee’  enumerated    the names  of    these  experts  who  were    the  Companions  – Students  –  of  Abu  Hanifah).  He    who  has  Companions  of such  calibre  as  these  experts  does  not  err.  If  he  errs,  his Companions  upholding  the  Haqq    will  refute  it  (the error).”

Another  distinction  is  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  the very  first  to  codify  the  Ilm  of  Fiqh  and  compile  it systematically  into  chapters  in  the  style  we  have  it  today. In  fact,  Imaam  Maalik  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  adopted Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  methodology  of    compilation  in  his Muwatta.  Those  before  him  (Abu  Hanifah)  had    relied  on their  memories.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  the  first  one  who had compiled Kitaabul  Faraaidh (Inheritance)  and Kitaabus Shuroot.
THE  BESTOWAL OF ACCOLADES

When  Imaam  Shaafi’  asked  Imaam  Maalik    for  his  opinion about Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  he  responded: “Subhaanallaah!  I  have  not  seen  the  likes  of  him.  By Allah!  If    he  says  that  this  pillar  is  of  gold,  he  will  be  able to substantiate it  with daleel (proof) from qiyaas.”

Ibnul  Mubaarak  narrated  that  once  Imaam  Maalik  said  to his  companions:  “Verily,  he  (Abu  Hanifah)  has  been imbued  with  Fiqh    to    the  degree  that  there  is  no  difficulty for  him  in  it.”  Imaam  Maalik  also    glowingly    spoke  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s    Fiqh  and  Wara’  to  Sufyaan Thauri.

Imaam  Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “Whoever contemplates  tabahhur  (an  all-embracing  panoptic  view) on  Fiqh,  he  is  of  the    children  of  Abu  Hanifah,  for  verily, he  (Abu  Hanifah)  has  been  given  the  taufeeq  (by  Allah Ta’ala)    of  Fiqh.”  This  is  the  narration  according  to  Hurmalah. According  to  the  narration  of  Ar-Rabee’, Imaam      Shaafi’  said:  “In  Fiqh  the  people  are  the  children of  Abu  Hanifah.    I  am  not  aware  of  anyone  who  has greater  knowledge  of  Fiqh  than  him.”  Imaam  Shaafi’  also said:  “Whoever  does  not    study  his  Kutub,  will  not    acquire tabahhur in Ilm nor in Fiqh.”

Ibn  Uyainah  said:  “My  eyes  have  not  seen  the  likes  of  him (Abu  Hanifah).”  He  also  said:  “Whoever  intends  (to acquire)  Fiqh,  then  it  is  Kufah,  and  he  should  cling  to  the As-haab of Abu Hanifah.”

Ibnul  Mubaarak  said:    “He  was  the  most  knowledgeable  in Fiqh.  I  have  not  seen  anyone  more  knowledgeable  in  Fiqh than him.”

If  there  is  a  need  for  opinion,  then  it  is  the  opinion  of Maalik,  Sufyaan  and  Abu  Hanifah.  Of  them,  Abu  Hanifah  was most knowledgeable in Fiqh and the most sagacious.”

Ibnul  Mubaarak  when  narrating,  would  say:   “An-Nu’maan  Bin  Thaabit  narrated  to  me.”  It  was  then  said  to him:  “To  whom  are  you  referring?”  He  said:  “Abu Hanifah  is  the  core  of  Ilm.”  Some  who  were  present,  did not    write  this  statement  (in  the  notes  they  were  taking from  Ibnul  Mubaarak).   Observing  this,  he  (Ibnul Mubaarak)  remained  silent  for  a  while.  Then  he  said:  “O people!  How  vile  are  your  manners  and  your  ignorance  about  the  Aimmah!    How  little  is  your  recognition  of  Ilm and  of  its  Bearers!  No  one  is  more  deserving  than  Abu Hanifah  to  be  followed  in  Ilm.  Know,  verily,  he  is  a Muttaqi  Imaam,  an  Aalim  of  Wara’.  He  is  a  Faqeeh  who has    opened  up    Knowledge  which  no  one  has    hitherto opened  up  with  profound  insight,  sagacity  and  piety.” Then   Ibnul  Mubaarak  took  an  oath  that  he    would  not  narrate  to  them  (Hadith)  for  a  month.”  This  was    his severe  reprimand  for   the  disrespect  which  some  had shown for Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh).

Imaam  Thauri  said  to  a  man  who  said  that  he  had  come from  Abu  Hanifah:  “You  have  come  from  one  who  is  the most  knowledgeable  in  Fiqh  on  earth.”  Someone  said  to Imaam  Thauri  that    Kitaabur  Rahn  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah was  seen  by  him  (i.e.  by  Imaam  Thauri).   This  person in surprise  asked:    “Do  you  study  his  kutub?”  Imaam  Thauri said:  “I  wish  I  had  all  his  kutub  to  enable  me  to  study them.   He  left  no    need  for  further    elaboration  of Knowledge, but we are not just to him.”

Imam  Abu  Yusuf  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “Ath-Thauri followed Abu Hanifah more than me.”

One  day  while  describing  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  to  Ibnul Mubaarak,  he  said:  “Wallaah!  He  (Abu  Hanifah)  held  on powerfully  to  Ilm.  He  was  a  defender  (of  the  Deen) especially  against  prohibitions.  He  followed  the  Ulama  of his  city.  He  accepted  only  that  which  was    authentically  narrated  from  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  He had  profound  insight   regarding  the  Naasikh  and Mansookh  Ahaadith.    He  would  search  for  the  Ahaadith  from  Thiqaat  (authentic  narrators),  and  for  the  final    acts of  Rasulullah  (Sallalahu  alayhi  wasallam).  He  would adopt  as  his  Deen    what  he  acquired  from  the    Ulama  of Kufah in following the Haqq.”

Imaam  Al-Auzaai’  said  to  Ibnul  Mubaarak:  “Who  is  this mubtadi’  (bid’ati)  who  has  appeared  in  Kufah  who  is known  as  Abu  Hanifah?” 

Ibnul  Mubaarak  then  showed Imaam  Auzaai’  some  extremely  intricate  masaa-il  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  The  masaa-il    in  the  manuscript  were attributed  to  An-Nu’maan  Bin  Thaabit.  Imaam  Auzaai’ asked: “Who is he (i.e. An-Nu’maan)?” Ibnul  Mubaarak  said:    “A  Shaikh  whom  I  met  in  Iraq.”    Imaam  Auzaai’  said:  “He  is  an  outstanding  expert  among the  Mashaaikh.  Go  and    gain  more  from  him”  Ibnul Mubaarak said: “He is  Abu  Hanifah, the one   from  whose  (association)  you forbid.”

When  Imaam  Auzaai’  met  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    during Hajj,  he  discussed  the  Masaa-il  with  him.  Imaam  Abu Hanifah    presented  greater  elaboration  of  the  Masaa-il  than what  Ibnul  Mubaarak  had  recorded  from  him  (i.e.  from Imaam  Abu  Hanifah).  Aftewards,  Auzaa’i  said  to  Ibnul Mubaarak:“I  envy  the  man  for  his  abundance  of Knowledge  and    depth  of  intelligence.  I  seek  forgiveness from  Allah  Ta’ala.  Certainly  I  was  in  error  manifest.  Cling to  the  man,  for  verily,  he  is  the  opposite  of  what  has reached me (about him).”

Ibn  Juraij  said:  “When  information  of    his  (Abu  Hanifah’s) Knowedge,  profound  piety  and  rectitude  of  Deen  reached me,  I  understood  that  soon  he  will  have  an  elevated  and  a wonderful  rank  in  Knowledge.”  One  day    someone   spoke disparagingly  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  Ibn  Juraij  said:  “Shut  up!  Verily,  he  is  a  Faqeeh!  Verily  he  is  a  Faqeeh! Verily he is  Faqeeh!

Imaam  Ahmad  Bin  Hambal  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said about  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh):  “He  is  from  the  People  of  Wara’  and  Zuhd.  His  preference    for the  Aakhirah  is  such  that  no  one  has  attained  it.  He  was flogged  by  the  orders  of  the  Khalifah  Mansoor  for  refusing to    accept  the  post  of  the  Qaadhi.  May  Allah’s  mercy  and pleasure be with him.”

Abdullah  Bin  Daawood  Al-Khuraibi  said:  “It  is  incumbent on  the  People  of  Islam  to  supplicate  for  Abu  Hanifah  for he  has  protected   for  them  the  Sunnah  and  Fiqh.   Regarding  him  people  are    haasid  (jealous)  and  jaahil (ignorant).  But he  is the best of them.” “Whoever    wishes  to    emerge  from  that  blindness  and ignorance,  and  to    perceive  the  sweetness  of  Fiqh,  should study his kutub.”

Yahya  Bin  Saeed  Al-Qataan  said:    “I  have  not  heard  of any opinion more beautiful than that of Abu Hanifah.”

Mis’ar  Bin  Kidaam  said:  “Whoever  places  Abu  Hanifah between  himself  and  Allah,  I    have    the  hope  that  he  shall not  fear  nor  will  he  be  deficient  with  regard  to  caution.”  It was  said  to  Mis’ar:    “Why    have  you  abandoned  the opinion  of  your  companions  and  adopted    his  (Abu Hanifah’s)  opinion  (Math-hab)?”  He  responded:  “Because of  its  correctness.  Bring    for  me  something  better  so  that  I may turn away from him and adopt it.

‘Isaa  Bin  Yoonus  said:  “Do  not  believe  anyone  who  speaks ill  of  him.  Wallaah!  I  have  not  seen  anyone  nobler  and more knowledgeable in Fiqh than him.”

Ma’mar  said:  “I  did  not  see  anyone  who  could  express himself    with  greater  profundity  in  Fiqh  and  in  elaboration of  Hadith  than  Abu  Hanifah.  There  is  absolutely  no  fear that  he  would  interpolate  into  the  Deen  anything doubtful.”

Al-A’mash  was    asked    a  mas’alah.  He  responded:  “The answer  for  this    can  be  given  appropriately  by    An-Nu’maan  Bin  Thaabit.  I  am  certain  that  barkat  has  been bestowed in his Knowledge.”

Yahya  Bin  Aadam  asked:  “What  do  you  people  say  about those  who  disparage  Abu  Hanifah?”  Then  he  himself  said: “He  explains  to  them  something  which  they  understand and  something  which  they  do  not  understand.  Hence,  they are envious  of him.”

Wakee’  said:  “I  have  not  seen  anyone  more knowledgeable  in  Fiqh    and  more  beautiful  in  Salaat  than  him.

Yahya    Bin  Ma-een  said:  “There  are  four  Fuqaha:  Abu Hanifah,    Sufyaan,  Maalik    and  Auzaai’.      According  to me,  Fiqh  is  the  Fiqh  of  Abu  Hanifah,  and  this  too  is  the view  of  the  people  (i.e.  of  the  Ulama).”  He  (Yahya  Bin Ma-een)  was    asked:  “Did  Sufyaan  narrate  Hadith  from Abu  Hanifah?”  He  said:  “Yes.  He  (Abu  Hanifah)  is  Thiqah (authentic/reliable),  and  truthful  in  Fiqh  and    Hadith,  and  reliable in the Deen of Allah.”

Ibnul  Mubaarak  said:  “I  saw  Hasan    Bin  Ammaarah holding  the  reins  of  Imam  Abu  Hanifah’s  horse,  and saying:  ‘Wallaah!  I  have  not  seen  anyone  superior  to  you in  elaborating  in  Fiqh,  in  eloquence,  in  patience  and  in swift  response.  Verily,  in  your  era  you  are  the  leader  of  the Fuqaha.  Those  who  disparage  you,  do  so    because  of jealousy.”

Yahya  Bin  Ma-een  was  asked  about    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah. He  said:  “He  is  Thiqah  (reliable/authentic).  I  have  not heard    anyone     saying  that  he  is  dhaeef  (i.e.  weak  in Hadith).  (Look!)  this  is  Shu’bah  who  wrote  to  him  to  narrate  Hadith,  and  he  in  fact,  ordered  him  to  do  so. Ayyoob As-Sakhtiyaani  praised  him,  saying that he is pious and  a  faqeeh.  Someone  disparaged  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  in the  presence  of    Ibn  Aun.  The  critic  said  that  he  (Abu Hanifah)  would  present  a  view,  then  retract  it  the  next day.’  Ibn  Aun  said:  ‘This  is  the  proof  for  his  Wara’,  for verily,  he    retracts  error  and    adopts  rectitude.  If  this  was not so, he would have defended  his stance.

Hammaad  Bin  Yazeed  said:  “When  Abu  Hanifah  would  enter  while  we  were  with  Amr  Bin  Dinaar,  he  would    leave us  and    pay  attention  to  Abu  Hanifah.  We  would  then    ask him (Abu Hanifah), and he would  narrate Hadith to us.”

Haafiz  Abdul  Azeez  Abu  Rawwaad  said:  “Whoever  loves Abu  Hanifah  is  a  Sunni,  and  whoever    has  enmity  for  him is a mubtadi’ (bid’ati).”

Khaarijah  Bin  Mus’ab  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  among  the Fuqaha    is  like  the  fulcrum    of  a  millstone,  and  an  expert who  refines gold.”

Haafiz  Muhammad  Bin  Maimoon  said:  “During  the  era  of Abu  Hanifah  no  one  had  greater  piety  (Wara’)  than  him. No  one  was  a  greater  Zaahid  nor  a  greater  Faqeeh    than him.  Wallaah!  A  hundred  thousand  gold  coins    do  not  please me as much as  hearing Hadith from Abu Hanifah.

Ibraaheem  Bin  Muaawiyah  Ad-Dhareer   said:  “Of  the completion  of  the  Sunnah  is  love  for  Abu  Hanifah.  He spoke  justly,  he  opened  for  people  the  avenue  of Knowledge and  provided solutions  for problems.”

Asad  Bin  Hakeem  said:  “It  is  only  a  jaahil  or  a  mubtadi’ who will disparage Abu Hanifah.”

Abu  Aasim  said:  “Wallaah!  He  is    a  greater  Faqeeh  than Ibn  Juraij.  My  eyes  have  not  seen  anyone    with  greater ability in Fiqh than him.

Dawood  Taai’  said:  “He  is  a  star  from  whom  the  nighttraveller  gains    direction  (in  the  darkness),  and  he  is  such Knowledege which  the  hearts of the Mu’mineen accept.”
Shareek  Al-Qaadhi  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  a  man  of considerable  silence  and  reflection.  His  gaze  in  Fiqh    was profound.  He  was  an  expert  of    profound  erudition  in  the deduction  of  masaa-il  regarding  knowledge,  practice  and debate.  He  would  enrich  a  destitute.    If  the  poor  person  acquired  knowledge,  he  would  say:  ‘You  have  attained  the greater wealth by  recognition of halaal and haraam.”

Khalf  Bin  Ayyoob  said:    “Ilm    was  transferred  from  Allah Ta’ala  to  Muhammad  (Sallalahu  alayhi  wasallam),  and from  him  to  his  As-haab,  then  from  them  to  the  Taabi-een. Thereafter  it  was  transferred  to  Abu  Hanifah  and  his Companions.  Now  whoever  wishes,  may  be    pleased,  and whoever wishes, may be displeased.

Someone    asked  an  Imaam  from  the  Aimmah:    “Why  is  it that  when  Abu  Hanifah  is  mentioned,  you    praise  him  specifically,  and    not    others  when  they  are  mentioned?’ The  Imaam  said:  ‘Because  his  status  is  not  like  the  status of  others  with  regards  to  the  benefits  people    derive  from his knowledge.
These  few    accolades  and  praises    mentioned  here,    are  not exhaustive.  There  are  many  more    praises  lauded  on Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  by  the  Aimmah. However,  the  few  narrated  here    are  adequate to  enable a fair  and  just    person  to  recognize  the  truth.  Thus,  Haafiz Abu Umar Yusuf Bin Abdul Barr Maaliki said:

The  Fuqaha   do  not  pay  any  heed  to  those  who disparage  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  nor  do  they  accept  any criticism  directed to him.

Imam  Mis’ar  said:  “I  have  seen    Abu  Hanifah  after  Fajr Salaat  sitting  to  teach  people  until  Zuhr.  After  Zuhr  he  would  resume  teaching  until  just  before  Maghrib.  After Maghrib,  again  he    engaged  in  teaching  until  Isha’.  I  said to  myself:  ‘When  does    this  man  engage  in  ibaadat.  I  shall certainly keep him under observation.

After  the  people  had  dispersed,  he  washed   and changed  his  clothes,  then    left  for  the  Musjid  where  he  remained  in  Salaat  until  Fajr.  Then  he  emerged  from  the Musjid,  changed  his  clothes  and    went  for  Fajr  Salaat. Then  he  did  as  the  previous  day.  I  said  to  myself:  ‘He  was fresh in his ibaadat. I shall certainly observe him again’

He  repeated  the  same  performance,  and  I  again observed  him  the  third  night.  Then  I  resolved  to  remain with  him  until  death  overtakes  me  or  until  he  dies.  I  never saw  him  eating  during  the  day  nor  sleeping  during  the night. However, before Zuhr, he would take a light nap.” 

Imaam  Mis’ar  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  had  passed  away  in Sajdah  in  the  Musjid  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah alayh).

Shareek    said:  “I  lived  with  him  for  a  year,  and  I  never  saw him lying down.”

Khaarijah  said:   “There  were  four  persons  who  had completed  the  entire  Qur’aan  in  one  raka’t  inside  the Ka’bah. One of them was Abu Hanifah.”

Fadhl  Bin  Dukain  said:  :“I  saw  a  whole  Jamaa’t  of  the Taabi-een  and  others,  but  I  never  saw  anyone  performing Salaat  as  Abu  Hanifah.    Before  beginning    Salaat,  he would  weep  and  make  dua.  He  displayed  profound  fear. One night  he repeated the  Aayat:

In fact, the Hour (Qiyaamat) is their promised time, and the Hour is most catastraphic and most unpleasant.” (Surah Qamar, Aayat 46) the entire night in Salaat. On another occasion, he repeatedly recited

Thus Allah has been benevolent to us and He has saved us from the chastisement of the burning hot wind.” (Aayat 27 Surah Tur) in Salaat until the Fajr Athaan.” 

Ibn Abu Rawaad said: “In Makkah I did not find anyone  so patient in Tawaaf, Salaat and issuing Fatwa. Day and night he was engrossed in the search for the Aakhirah and Najaat. I observed him for ten nights. He did not sleep at all during the night. During the day he was occupied in Tawaaf, Salaat and Ta’leem. 

When a mas’alah would become intractable, he would say: “This is because of a sin which I have committed. He would then repent. Frequently, he would  make wudhu and perform two raka’ts Salaat and repent. The problem would then be solved, and he would comment: ‘I feel pleased and hope that I have been forgiven, hence the mas’alah has been solved.’ When this reached Fudhail Bin Iyaadh, he wept profusely and said: ‘May Allah have mercy on Abu Hanifah. His attitude is because of the  paucity of his sins.
If  it  was  someone  else,  he  would  not  have    understood because of the abundance of his sins.”

Once  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  accidentally  stepped  on  the  foot of  a  young  boy.  The  boy  spontaneously    exclaimed:  “O Shaikh!  Do  you  not  fear  the  compensation  of  the  Day  of Qiyaamah?”  The  impact  of  this  statement  on  Imaam  Abu Hanifah’s  heart  was  such  that  he  fell  down  unconscious. When  he  regained  consciousness,  it  was  said  to  him:  “Why were  you    so  much  affected  by  the  statement  of  that  boy?” He  said:“I  fear  that  he  was  inspired  (by  Allah  Ta’ala)  to say so.

Someone  observed  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  Imaam  Ibnul Mu’tamir  speaking  in  low  tones  in  the  Musjid.  Then  both wept  profusely.  After  they  emerged  from  the  Musjid someone  asked  the  reason  for  their    weeping,  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  said:  “We  observed  that  during  this  age,  the people  of  baatil  have  overwhelmed  the  people    of  virtue (the Ahl-e-Haqq), and this has reduced us to weeping.

The  impression  of  his  tears  were  visible  in  his  eyes  and  on his  cheeks.  May  Allah  be  pleased  with  him,  and  have mercy on him.

Once  one  of  his  detractors    said  to  him:  “O  Mubtadi’!  O Zindeeq!”.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  responded:  “May  Allah forgive  you.  Allah  knows  me  to  be  the  opposite  of  what  you have  said.  Since  I  have  recognized  Allah,  I  have  not considered  anyone  to  be  His  equal.  I  hope  only  for  forgiveness  from  Him.  I  fear  nothing  except  his punishment.”  Then  he  wept  profusely  and  became unconscious.  When  he  regained  consciousness,  the  man said:  “Forgive  me.”  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said:  “Whoever disparages  me  in  ignorance,  he  is  forgiven.  Whoever  says something  (i.e.  baseless  criticism)  about  me  despite  having knowledge,  he  is  in  a  problem  because    gheebat  of    the Ulama  remains  after  him  (i.e.  the  effect  and  punishment  will be enduring).”

Bukair    Bin  Ma’roof  said:  “I  did  not  find    in  the  Ummah  of Muhammad  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  anyone    with such a beautiful  character as Abu Hanifah.

Hasan  Bin  Saalih  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  exceptionally strict    in  Wara’,  fleeing  from  haraam,  abandoning  much  of halaal  for  fear  of  mushtabah.  I    did  not  see  a  Faqeeh guarding  himself  and  his  knowledge  as  much  as  him.  His perpetual struggle was until his grave.”

Yazeed  Bin  Haaroon  said:  “I  acquired  knowledge  from  a thousand  Mashaaikh,  but  I    did  not  find  anyone    more pious  and  exercising  more  control  over  the  tongue  than Abu Hanifah.”

Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said:  “If  it  was  not    for  the  fear  of Knowledge  being  lost,  I  would  not  issue  any  fatwa    for anyone. While others will benefit, I may incur sin.”

Among  our  senior    Shaafi’  Aimmah,  namely,  Ustaaz    Abul Qaasim  Al-Qushairi  states  in  his    Kitaab  on  the  lives  of  the illustrious  Sufia,  in  the  section  on  Taqwa:  “Abu  Hanifah would  not  sit  in  the  shade  of  a  tree  belonging  to  his  debtor, and  he  said:  ‘Every  Qardh  (loan  given)  which  brings benefit is riba.’

Regarding  this  attitude  of  Taqwa,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah explained:  “I  do  not  impose  this  on  others.  However,  it  is necessary    for  an  Aalim  to  impose  on  himself  more  than that to which he calls   people.

Respect of the Ulama for Imaam Abu  Hanifah

The  Ulama  and  Fuqaha  showed  their  utmost  respect  for Imaam  Abu  Hanifa  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  even  after  his death  just  as  they  had  honoured  him  whilst  he  was  alive. The  Aimmah  and  Ulama  as  well  as  the  masses  would  visit the  Grave  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  through  his  medium  (Waseelah) would make dua.

While  Imaam  Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  was  in Baghdad,  he  would  frequently  visit  the  Grave  of  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh).  When  he  had  a  need, he  would  perform  two  raka’ts  Salaat,  then  go  to  the  Grave of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  He,  himself  said:  “I  would  derive barkat  from  Abu  Hanifah.  When  I  had  a  need,  I    would perform  two  raka’ts  and  go  to  the  Qabr  of  Abu  Hanifah.  I would  supplicate  to  Allah  Ta’ala  by    his  graveside,  and  my need would be fulfilled.

It  is  mentioned    in  the  Haashiyah  of  Minhaajun  Nawawi that  Imaam  Shaafi’  once  performed  Fajr  Salaat    by  the graveside  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  and  he  omitted  Qunoot. When  he  was  askd    to  explain,  he  said:  “For  the  respect  of the  Companion    of  this  Grave.”  It  has  also  been  mentioned that  he  had  also  abstained  from  reciting  Bismillaah audibly.

Contrary  to    what  some  may  opine,  there  is  no  objection  in this  attitude  of  Imaam  Shaafi’  because  sometimes  due  to certain  factors    of  importance,  abstention  from  Sunnah    is accorded  preference.  To    project  the    superiority  of  the status  of  the  Ulama  is  an  essential  objective.  When  there  is  a  need  to  denigrate  a  haasid  (the  envious  one)  or  to  teach  a jaahil,  then  this  objective  is  superior  to  recitation  of Qunoot  and    reciting  Bismillaah  audibly  in  view  of  the difference  of  opinion  in  these  two  acts,  and    no  difference in  the  former  (i.e.  projecting  the    status  of  the  Ulama). Furthermore,  the  benefit  of  this  is  greater  than  the   restrictive benefit of the two acts.

Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  numerous  hussaad  (those    who harboured  intense  jealousy)  during  his  lifetime  and  even after  his  demise.  They  had  gone  to  great  lengths  to  level the  worst    slanders  against  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  and    they had  connived    in  the  conspiracy  to  murder  him.  In  view  of these  circumstances,  the  action  of    Imaam  Shaafi’  in abstaining  from  Qunoot  and    Bismillaah  bil  Jahr  is superior    for  emphasizing  the  respect  and  honour  of  this noble  Imaam,  and    to  register  the  fact  that  he  was  among the  Aimmah  of  the  Muslimeen  who  has  to  be  followed.  Honouring  and  respecting  him  are  incumbent.   The haasideen  and  disparagers,  despite  having  had  knowledge, were  cast into deviation  and loss by Allah Ta’ala.

When  Ibnul  Mubaarak  stood  at  the  graveside  of  Imaam Abu  Hanifah,  he  said:  “May  Allah  have  mercy  on  you. Ibraaheem  An-Nakh’i  and  Hammaad  bin  Sulaimaan  died and  left  a  Representative  (i.e.  Abu  Hanifah).  However,  you have  died  without  leaving  a  representative  in  this  entire earth.”  Then he sobbed profusely.

At  his  graveside,  Hasan  Bin  Ammaarah  said:  “You  (O  Abu Hanifah!)  were  for  us  the  Representative  of  those  before you,  but  you  did  not  leave  a  representative    after  you.  If anyone  does  represent  you  in  the  Knowledge  you  have imparted,  it  is  not  possible  for  anyone  to  represent  you  in Wara’ except  with the Taufeeq of Allah Ta’ala.”

Azhar  Bin  Kaisaan    said:  “In  a  dream  I  saw  Nabi (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Abu  Bakr  (Radhiyallahu anhu)  and  Umar  (Radhiyallah  anhu)  were  behind  him.  I said:  ‘May  I  ask  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) something?’  They  said:  ‘Ask,  but  do  not  raise  your  voice.’ Then  I  asked  about  the  Knowledge  of  Abu  Hanifah  because I  did  not  have  confidence  in  him.  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  replied:  ‘His  knowledge  is  from  the fountain of Khidhr’s knowledge.

Refutation of those who criticized  Abu Hanifah

The  detractors  accuse  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  of  according preference  to  Qiyaas  over  the  Sunnah.  Haafiz  Ibn  Abdul Barr  Maaliki  said  that  the  Muhadditheen  had    transgressed the  limits  in  their  criticism  of  Abu  Hanifah  accusing  him of  giving  preference  to  Qiyaas  over  the  Sunnah  whereas the  majority  of  the  Ulama  say  that  when  there  is  a  Saheeh Hadith,  then  opinion  is  negated.  However,  there  are  only  a few  such  preferences  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  and  for which there  are valid  interpretations.

In  the  vast  majority  of  his  qiyaasaat,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah followed  the  Ulama  of  Kufah  such  as  Ibraaheem  Nakha’i and Companions  of  Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  Although  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had resorted  to  Qiyaas  more  than  others,  he  is  not  exclusive  in this  field.  Imaam  Ahmad  Bin  Hambal  (Radhiyallahu  anhu) was  asked:    “Why  do  you  criticize  Abu  Hanifah?”  He  replied:  ‘Because  of  opinion.’  It  was  said  to  him:  ‘Did Maalik    not  also    employ  opinion?’  Imaam  Ahmad  said: ‘Yes,  but  Abu  Hanifah  employed    opinion  more  than  him.’ Then  it  was  said  to  him:  ‘Why  do  you  not  criticize  each one  proportionately  –  this  one  with  his  share  of  opinion and  that  one  with  his  share  of  opinion?’  Imaam  Ahmad then remained silent.

Laith  Bin  Sa’d  said:  “I  enumerated  70  masaa-il  which Maalik  had  based  on  opinion.  All  of  them  were  in  conflict with  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam). I wrote to him by way of admonition.”

The  reality  is  that  there  is  not  a  single  one  among  the  Ulama  of  the  Ummah  who  had    diverted  from  the  Hadith of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  without  a  valid interpretation,  e.g.  Nuskh  (abrogation)  with  another Hadith,  or  Ijma’,  or  weakness  in  the  Sanad,  etc.  If  anyone rejects  a  Hadith  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) without  valid  interpretation,  his  adaalat  (integrity  as  a  just and  pious  person)  is  negated  and   fisq  is  confirmed  for him.  Thus,  it  is  not  conceivable  that  any  of  the  illustrious Aimmah    had  rejected  a  Saheeh  Hadith  on  the  basis  of mere  opinion.  Even  among  the  Sahaabah,  Raai’  (Opinion) is  authentically  confirmed.  In  brief,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah was  not  exclusive  in  the  employment  of  qiyaas.  All  the Fuqaha of all the lands of Islam have a share in  this.

Some  people  have  even  accused  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  of  having  been  a  Mur’jiyah.  This  too  is    blatant  falsehood. The  Shaarih  of  Al-Mawaaqif    said  that  Assaan  Al-Murji’ used  to  attribute  his  teachings  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  in order to gain acceptance.

Another  reason  for  this  baseless  attribution  to  Imaam  Abu Hanifah,  according  to  Al-Aamudi  is  that  the  Mu’tazilah during  the  first  century    referred  to  their  opponents  as Mur’jiyah.  Whoever  opposed  them  in  the  belief  of  Qadr, was  labelled  a  Mur’jiyah  by  them.  Furthermore,  since  it was  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  teaching  that  Imaan  neither increases  nor  decreases,  he  was  labelled  a  Mur’ji  because according  to  the  Mur’jiyah,  amal  is  antecedent  to  Imaan. But,  in  reality  this  is  not  the  case  because  in  the  sphere  of amal  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  is  famous.  He  accorded  great emphasis to A’maal.  

It is  also  well  known  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had numerous  detractors  who  always  denigrated  and disparaged  him.  They  used  to  baselessly  slander  him  with false attributions.

Imaam  Ali  Bin  Al-Madeeni  said:  “Thauri,  Ibnul Mubaarak,  Hammaad  Bin  Yazeed,  Hishaam,  Wakee’ Abbaad  Bin  Awaam  and    Ja’far  Bin  Aun    narrated  from Abu  Hanifah.  They  said  that  Abu  Hanifah  is  Thiqah. Shu’bah  too  entertained    a  good  opinion  of    Abu  Hanifah. Yahya Bin Ma-een  said: ‘Our  Companions  have committed excess regarding Abu Hanifah and his Companions.’

Shaikhul  Islam  At-Taaj  As-Subki,  in  his  Tabqaat, elaborates    in  considerable  detail  aspects  of  the  science  of  Jarah  wa  Ta’deel  (the  expertise  of    investigating  to establish  unreliability  or  reliability  and  authenticity narrators  of  Hadith).  In  a  nut  shell,  he  explained  that  when those    who  praise  and  vouch  for  the  integrity  of  one  whose Imaamate  and  Adaalat  are  established  facts,  are  more  than his  critics  and  detractors,  and  furthermore,    there  are factors  of  detraction  such  as  Ta-assub-e-Math-habi (religious  bigotry),  etc.,  then  their  criticism    should  be totally ignored. 

He  further  explains  that  the  jarah  (criticism)  will  not  be accepted  against  one  whose    virtues  are  in  excess  of  his deficiencies  (errors  and  sins),  and  those  who  praise  him and  vouch  for  his  integrity  are  more,  and  there  are    factors indicating  bigotry  or    rivalry  as  is  common    between contemporaries.  Thus,  in  this  kind  of  scenario  the  criticism of  Thauri    and  others    against  Abu  Hanifah,  and  that  of  Ibn Abu  Thi’m  and  others  against  Maalik,    and  of  Ibn  Ma-een against  Shaafi’,  of  Nasaai’  against    Ahmad  Bin  Saalih,  etc. will be ignored.

At-Taaj  Subki  states  that  if    jarah  is  accorded  priority,  then there   will  be  no  Imaam  left  untainted.  Every    great, illustrious  one  among  the  Aimmah  will  be  blemished  and will  have  to  be  discarded.  There  is  not  a  single  Imaam  who has  escaped    the  criticism  of  critics  who  had  destroyed themselves  by   such unwarranted, bigoted  indulgence.

Ibn Abdul  Barr said: “In  this  regard,  numerous  persons  (Ulama,  etc.)  have blundered and deviated into ignorance, without understanding  the  notoriety  committed  by  them.  Criticism against  the  Aimmah  whom  the  Jamhoor  (vast  majority)  of the  Ummah  has    accepted  as  Imaams,  will  not  be  accepted.   The  daleel (proof)  for  this  is  that  even  the  Salaf  had  made statements  of  criticism  against  one  another  in  anger.  Such  statements  uttered  in  anger  are  given  some  interpretation and set aside.

Mutual  criticism  in  the  state  of  anger  happened  in abundance  among  the  Sahaabah Taa-bieen  and  Tab-eTaabi’een.  The  Ulama  ignored  such  criticism.  After  all, they  (the  Sahaabah  and  Taabi’een)  were  human. Sometimes  they    became  angry  and  sometimes  pleased. Now,  whoever    intends  to  accept  the  criticism  of  a  Sahaabi  against  another  Sahaabi  or  of  a  Taabi’ee  against  another Taabi’ee  or  of  the  Aimmah  of  the  Ummah,  against  one another,  will  most  certainly  be    destroyed  and  ruined  in deviation  and    suffer  manifest  loss.  If  Allah  Ta’ala  guides someone,  never  shall  he    lapse  into    such    deviation.  What I  have    said  here  is  the  Haqq.  Whatever  is    besides  it  is baatil.”   (End of Ibn  Abdul Barr’s statement)

After  mentioning  the  above,  Ibn  Abdul  Barr  narrated  by way  of  example,    the  criticism  of    numerous  critics  against Imaam  Maalik,  and  the  criticism  of  Ibn  Ma-een  against Imaam  Shaafi’.

Refutation of the  Criticism  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  in the Compilation  of Khateeb

In  his  voluminous  compilation,  Taareekh  Baghdad,  Al Khateeb  has  compiled  many  vituperative    narrations slandering  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh).  In having    compiled  such    narrations,  it    never  was  the intention  of  Khateeb  to  denigrate  and  disparage  Imaam Abu  Hanifah.  He  simply  compiled    all  sorts  of  narrations available  on  the  subject  as  is  the  practice  of  historians.    In a  chapter  specially  devoted    to  the  praises  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah,   Khateeb    has  compiled  numerous  authentic narrations  in  which  are  recorded  glowing  praise  for  Imaam Abu  Hanifah.  After    having  compiled  the  narrations  of praise,  he    mentioned  the    disparaging  narrations  as  well thereby  showing  that  even  such  a  great  and  illustrious Imaam as Abu Hanifah was not spared  by the slanderers.

The  narrations  pertaining  to  vilification  are    so  defective and  obscure  that  even  an  ordinary  Muslim  may  not  be  disparaged  and  slandered  on    the  basis  of  such    reports, leave  alone  denigrating  and  disparaging  such  a  great Imaam as Abu Hanifah.

Commenting  on  the  danger  of    the  methodology  of  criticism  of  the  Muhadditheen,    Imaam  Taqi  Bin  Daqeeq Al-‘Eed  said:    “The  honour  of  people  is  one  of  the  pits  of Jahannam.  On  the  brink  of  this  pit  are  the  rulers  and  the Muhadditheen.”

On  the  assumption  that  the  narrations  of  vituperation compiled  by  Khateeb  are    authentic,  then  if  the  narrator  is not Imaam Abu Hanifah’s contemporary,  he  will  merely  be  following    what  the  detractors  and  enemies  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  had  said  and  fabricated.  If  the  narrator  happens  to be  a  contemporary  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  then  too  his narration  is  unacceptable  in  view  of  the  principle  that  the criticism  of  a  contemporary  is  not  valid.  Haafiz  Thahabi and  Ibn  Hajar  have    stated  this  fact  explicitly.  Ath-Thahabi observed:  “I  have  not  seen  any  age  in  which  a contemporary is safe (from the criticism of contemporaries)  except  the  ages  of  the  Ambiya  (Alayhimus salaam) and the Siddiqeen (Radhiyallahu anhum).”

Allaamah  Tajjuddeen  Subki  said:  “O  Seeker  of  Guidance! It  is  incumbent  upon  you  to  adopt  respect  for  the    Aimmah of  former  times.  Pay  no  heed  to  the  mutual  criticism  of  the one  against  the  other,  except  if  there  is  explicit  evidence. Even  then,  if  the  criticism  could  be    interpreted  and  a  good opinion  adopted,  then  do  so,  and  overlook  their  mutual differences.  You  have  not  been  created  for    this  (i.e.  for vilifying  the  Aimmah).  Involve  yourself  in  what  is  of benefit, and abstain from futility.

The  Seeker  of  Knowledge    will  remain  on  Rectitude  as long  as  he  does  not  delve  into  the  mutual    criticism    of  the Aimmah  of  former  times,  and  abstains  from  passing judgment  over  them.  Therefore  beware  of  embroiling yourself  in  what  had  transpired  between  Abu  Hanifah  and Thauri,  or  between  Maalik  and  Ibn  Abi  Zi’b,  or  between Ahmad  Bin  Saalih  and  Nasaai’,  or  between  Ahmad  and  AlHaarith  Bin    Asad  Al-Muhaasabi,  etc.,  etc.  ,  and  also    in  (the  later  era)  between    Al-Izz  Bin  Abdus  Salaam  and  Taqi Bin  As-Salaah.  If  you  become  embroiled  in  this,  I  fear  for you  destruction.  They  all  were  great  Aimmah.  There  is  a variety  of    interpretations  for  their  statements  which  are frequently misunderstood.

Make  dua  that  Allah  Ta’ala  becomes  pleased  with  them all,  and  adopt  silence    regarding  their  mutual  differences in  the  same  way  as  we  adopt  silence  regarding  the  mutual differences  of the Sahaabah.”

Refutation of the  charge that Abu Hanifah  baselessly rejects the authentic Ahaadith

Shaikh Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami Ash-Shaafi’ says:

The  summary  of  the  discussion  of  Haafiz  Ibn  Abdul  Barr (Rahmatullah  alayh)  is  that  the  People  of  Hadith  have transgressed  the  limits  in  criticizing  Abu  Hanifah  for giving  preference  to  Qiyaas  over  narration.  While  the majority  of  the  Ulama  say  that  in  the  presence  of  a  Saheeh Hadith,  opinion  is    baatil  (baseless  and  shunned),  only  a few  such  narrations  are  found  (which  have  been  set  aside), and for this there is (valid) interpretation.

In  the  majority  of  Qiyaasaat  others    surpass  him  (Imaam Abu  Hanifah)  while  others  follow  him.  Furthermore,  in most  of  his  Qiyaasaat  he  followed  the  Ulama  of  his  city such  as  Ibraaheem  An-Nakha’i    and  the  As-haab  of  Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu) ………..

Al-Laith  Bin  Sa’d  said:  ‘I  enumerated    seventy  masaa-il of  Maalik  Bin  Anas  which  he    based  on  his  opinion  and  all of them  are  are  in conflict with  the Sunnah.  I  wrote to  him in this regard and admonished him.

We  did  not  find  any  one  from  the  Ulama  of  Islam  who had  established  a  Hadith  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam),  then  rejected  it  except  with  proof  such  as Naskh  (Abrogation)  with    a  similar  narration,  or  because of Ijma’….…………….

In  fact,  Ijtihaad  with  opinion  and  statements  based  on Qiyaas  are  attributed  to  even  the  Sahaabah  and  the Taabi’een.  Numerous  are  the  Taabi’een    who  had  resorted to Qiyaas.” (End of Ibn Abdul Barr’s statement).

Thus,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  not  alone  in  the employment  of  Qiyaas.  All  the  Fuqaha  of  the  Lands  of Islam    resorted  to  Qiyaas.  Ibn  Abdul  Barr    has  greatly elaborated  on  this  topic  in  refutation  of  the  ignoramuses who baselessly accuse Imaam Abu  Hanifah.

Although  this  chapter  is  voluminous  and  difficult  to embark  on,  here  only  a  few  brief  principles  shall  be mentioned  for the benefit of those who probe this subject.

Among  the  Mutaqaddimeen  who  had  gained  this  erroneous  impression  were  Sufyaan  Thauri,  and  from  the  Muta-akhkhireen  were  Haafiz  Abu  Bakr  Ibn  Abi  Shaibah  and  the Shaikh  of  Bukhaari.  The  reason  for  them  having  gained this    erroneous  idea  was  their  lackadaisical  attitude.  They had    not  reflected    on  the  principles  and  rules  of  Imaam Abu  Hanifah.  In  this  regard,  Haafiz  Abu  Amr  Bin  Abdul Barr and others said:  

Khabrul  Waahid (i.e Khabrul Waahid  is a category of Hadith.  It is of a lower class than Mutawaatir  and  Mash-shoor  narrations.    It  is  a  Hadith  narrated  by  a single  narrator  from  a  single  source  or  from  a  group  source,  or  the narration  of  a  group  from  a  single  source.) is  not  accepted  when  it  is  in  conflict with  the  principles  on  which  there  is  Ijma’  (Consenus).  At this  juncture  Qiyaas  has  priority.  Furthermore  the accordance  of  priority  to  Qiyaas  over  Khabrul  Waahid  is constrained  by  a  valid  reason.  It  is  not    done  carelessly  or without  reason.  Either  a  Saheeh  Hadith  was  not  available to him or the Hadith was not Saheeh.”
Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    had  said:  “If  there    was  no  Riwaayat, then  I  would    decide  with  Qiyaas.”    It  is  also  well substantiated  that  Abu  Hanifah  said:    “We  submit    wholly to  whatever    has  come  from  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).”  Ibn  Hazam said  that  according  to  all  the  Companions  of  Abu  Hanifah,  his  Math-hab    was  to  accept even a Dha-eef Hadith and give it preference over opinion.

Among  the  many  valid  reasons  for  shelving  Khabrul Waahid are:

(1)  The  Sahaabi    narrator’s    practical  action  is  in  conflict with  his  narration.  Hence  his  practice  is  accorded preference to his narration.

(2)  Umoomul  Balwa:  Wide-scale  prevalence  constraining  indulgence.

(3)  It  is  in  conflict  with  Hadd  or  Kaffaarah  which  fall  away with doubt.

(4)  Qiyaas-e-Jali  is  corroborated  by  another  Hadith  which is in conlict with the Khabr.

(5)  Criticism  of  the  Khabrul  Waahid  by  some    Fuqaha  of the Salaf.

6)  The  differences  of  the  Sahaabah  regarding  the Mas’alah.

(7)  The  Khabr  is  in  conflict  with  the  well-known  Sunnah practice.

(8)  The Khabr is in excess of the Qur’aan.

When one  reflects  on  all  these  factors,  it  will  be understood  that  what  has  been  attributed  to  him  in  this regard  is  baseless.  He  did  not  abandon  a  Khabr  without solid  argument.    In  fact,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    accorded priority  to  Hadith  Mursal (i.e Hadith  Mursal  is  a  Hadith  from  which  a  narrator  has  been  deleted  at  the end  of    the  Chain) over  and  above  Qiyaas. Numerous  of  the  masaa-il  of  Abu  Hanifah  are  in  conflict with  Qiyaas  since  he  accorded  preference  to  even  Dhaeef and  Mursal  narrations.  (For  example:  laughter  in  Salaat breaks not only Salaat, but also Wudhu.)

It should  now  be  abundantly  clear  that  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  has  abstained  from  Khabrul Aahaad    on  the  basis  of  sound  principles  and  for  cogent reasons.  It  is  therefore  incumbent  to    exercise  extreme caution  and    not  to    lapse  into  the  same  error  of  deviation as  others  who  had  baselessly  condemned  this  great, illustrious  Imaam.  Entertaining  any  corrupt    opinion  about this  Imaam  will  ruin  one’s  A’maal  and  one  will  join  the ranks  of  all  those  who  are  losers  in  this  world  and  the Aakhirat.

The  one  who  ventures  to  condemn  Abu  Hanifah  will  be confronted  by  unbearable  calamity.  Such  a  person  will  be ushered  into  such  a  desolate  wilderness  from  which    there  shall  be  no  salvation.  Therefore  make  haste  towards  safety and    walk  along  the  path  of  salvation.  Those  who  fail  in this regard  will be  severely  disgraced by  Allah  Ta’ala. Numerous  were  those  who  had  abortively    striven  to disparage  and  denigrate  this  great,  illustrious  and  noble Imaam. They  had  endeavoured  to  belittle  him  among  his contemporaries  and  among  those  thereafter.  But  all  of them  failed.  No  one  can    ruin  the  august  reputation  of  one whom Allah Ta’ala has elevated and protected.

Allaamah  As-Shaikh  Shihaabuddin  Bin  Ahmad Al Haitami  As-Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah  alayh)   states  in  the conclusion  of  his  KitaabAl-Khairaatul  Hisaan  fi Manaaqibil  Imaamil  A’zam  Abi  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah alayh):

“…..They  (the  critics)  had    laboured  to  demote  this  great Hibr  (Aalim)  from  his  lofty  pedestal,  and  to  eliminate  the love  for  him  from  the  hearts  of  his  contemporaries  and  for those  thereafter.  They    laboured  to  prevent    people  from  following  and  obeying  him.  But  they  failed  in  this endeavour.  Their  criticism  in  this  regard  had  no  value. And  that  is  because  the  matter  of  Abu  Hanifah  pertains  to a  heavenly  issue.  All  attempts  and  schemes  against  him had  therefore  failed.  Whomever  Allah  Ta’ala  has  elevated and  has  bestowed  to  him  from  His  Treasures,  no  one  has the power to demote him from that lofty status.

May  Allah  Ta’ala  make  us  among  those  who  accept  and observe  the  rights  of  the  Aimmah  of  the  Muslimeen,  and may  He  save  us  from  indulging  in  their    denigration  and disparagement.  He  (Abu  Hanifah)  had  with  him  the    aid and  focus  of  Allah  Ta’ala.  The  critic  is  deprived  of  taufeeq. His  bigotry  has    deposited  him  in  a  deep  abyss  of  ruin.  The baseless  opinion  and  the    enmity  of  the  one  on  whom  is  the Wrath  (of  Allah  Ta’ala)  and  who  has  wandered  far  from the  status  of  justice  and  honour  was  not  feared  by  the Beacons  in  the  darkness  and  the  Stars  in  the  Heavens  (i.e. the Aimmah of the Muslimeen).” (End of extracts from   Al-Khairul  Hisaan of  Allaamah  Al Haitami Ibn Hajar As-Shaafi’)

IMAAM ABU HANIFAH WAS A TAABI’EE

Taabi’ee  is  a  Muslim  who  saw  any  of  the  Sahaabah  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).    The  denigrators are  at  pains  to  prove  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  never  saw any Sahaabih. However, the facts belie this contention. 

According  to  Ath-Thahabi  who  was  not  a  Hanafi,  it  has been  authentically  narrated  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh),  during  his  childhood,  had  seen Hadhrat  Anas  Bin  Maalik  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  In  one narration,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  himself  said:  “I  saw  him several  times  whilst  he  had  applied  red  dye  (to  his beard).”  According  to  the  majority  of  the  Muhadditheen,  a person    who  had  seen  any  Sahaabi  is  a  Taabi’ee    even  if  he had  not  been  in  his  companionship.  Imaam  Nawawi  has corroborated  this  view.

There  are  several  chains  of  narrations  which  assert  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    had  narrated  three  Ahaadith  from Hadhrat  Anas  Bin  Maalik  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  Imaam  Al-Baihaqi  says  in  his  Al-Mudkhal  that  Hadhrat  Anas (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  lived  for  many  many  years  after Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  His  teachings spread  all  over  and  also  in  Iraq.  Ibn  Sa’d,  Ad-Daar  Qutni, Abu  Nuaim  Al-Isfahaani,  Ibn  Abdul  Barr,  Al-Khateeb, Ibnul Jauzi, As-Sam’aani,  Abdul  Ghani  Maqdisi, Fadhiullaah  At-Toorbushti,  Nawawi,  Al-Yaafi-ee,  AthThahabi,  Az-Zainul  Iraqi,  Al-Waliyyul  Iraqi,  Ibnul Wazeer,  Badruddin  Al-Aini  and  Ibn  Hajar  in  his  Fataawa also    confirm  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  seen  Hadhrat Anas (Radhiyallahu anhu).

As-Suyuti  has    also  narrated  this  in  Tabyeedhus  Saheefah, and  so  have  Ash-Shihaabul  Qustulaani  and  Ibn  Hajar  Al Makki,  and  others.  Thus  it  is  only  due  to  either  gross ignorance  of    all  these    explicit  narrations  or  due  to  pride that   the  Taabi’iyyat  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  is  denied. Muslim  and  Ibn  Hibbaan  state  that  according  to  Al A’mash,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  seen  Hadhrat  Anas  Bin Maalik  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  Musa  Bin  Abi  Aishah  regards him  as  a  Tabi’ee  for  having  seen    Hadhrat    Amr  Bin Huraith (Radhiyallahu anhu).

Although  some  Muhadditheen   designate  the  three Ahaadith  unauthentic,  Abul  Muayyid  Al-Khawaarzimi narrates  them  in  Jaamiul  Masaaneed.    Al-Muwaffaq  Al Makki  records  them  in  Al-Manaaqib;  As-Suyuti  in Tabyeedhus  Saheefah;  As-Saalihi  in  Uqoodul  Jumaan.  The three Ahaadith which are popular are:

(1)  “The    quest    of  Knowledge  is  compulsory    on  every Muslim.”

(2)  “The  one  who  indicates  to  goodness,  is  like  the  one who practises it.”

(3)  “Verily  Allah  loves  the    call  (cry)  of  the    grief-stricken one.”

The  first  Hadith  is  recorded  by  Ibn  Maajah  in  his  Sunan, from    Hadhrat  Anas  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  Regarding  this Hadith,  Imaam  Suyuti  narrating  it  from  Al-Jamaal  Mizzi, says  in  Tabyeedhus  Saheefah:  “It  is  narrated  via  several chains.  It  reaches  the  status  of  Hasan.  But,  according  to me,  it    has  reached  the  status  of  Saheeh.  I  am  aware  of approximately  fifty  chains  of  narrations  for  this  Hadith..  .. It is also  narrated  from  Abdullah  Ibn  Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  It  is  also  narrated  from    Abu  Saeed, Ibn  Abbaas  and  Husain  Bin  Ali  (Radhiyallahu  anhum)  as Al-Haitami has mentioned in Majmauz Zawaaid.

The  second  and  third  Hadith  have  been  narrated  by  Al-Bazzaaz.  Al-Haithami  records  this  in  Majmauz  Zawaaid. At-Tabaraani  narrates  the  second  Hadith  from  Sahal  Bin Sa’d  as  mentioned  in  Majmauz  Zawaaid  immediately  after the Hadith of Hadhrat Anas (Radhiyallahu anhu).

Emphasizing  Imaam  Abu  Hanifa’s  Taabi’iyyat,  Ibn  Hajar Al-Haitami  states  in  his  Al-Khairaatul  Hisaan:    “Thus,  he is  among  the  A’yaan  of  the  Taabi’een  who  is  included  in Allah’s  statement  (the  Qur’aanic  Aayat):  ‘….And  those (i.e.  Taabi’een)  who  follow  them  (i.e.  the  Sahaabah)  in righteousness.  Allah  is  well-pleased  with  them  and  they are  well-pleased  with  Him.  And,  He  (Allah)  has  prepared for  them  Gardens  (in  Jannat)    beneath  which  flow  rivers. Therein  shall  they  dwell  forever  and  forever.  Indeed  that  is the  great success.”

A  group  of  Ulama  have  also    stated  in  their  writings  that Imaam  Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) had  met   a  whole Jamaa’at  (group)    of  the  Sahaabah.  One  among  them  was  Hadhrat  Amr  Bin  Huraith    (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  However, it  has  been  argued  that  he  (this  Sahaabi)  had  died  in  the year  85  Hijri  whilst  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  born  in  the year  80,  and  the  view  that  he  (the  Sahaabi)  had  died  in  the year 98 is not confirmed.

Firstly,  it  is  the  majority  view  that   Taabi’iyyat  is established  for  even  a  discerning  5  year  old.    Secondly, there  is  no  certitude    that  Hadhrat  Amr  Bin  Huraith  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  in  fact  died  in  the  year  85. Thirdly,  there  is  no  absolute  certitude  that  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  was  in  fact  born  in  the  year  80.  It  is  also    claimed that  he  was  born  in  the  year  61  while  another  view  is  the year  70.  On  the  basis  of  these  two  latter  views,  much  of  the  differences  pertaining  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  meeting Sahaabah are eliminated.

The  Author   of  Ta’neebul  Khateeb  mentions  that   according  to  Abu  Nu-aim  Al-Isfahaani,  among  the Sahaabah  whom  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  met  are      Anas Bin  Maalik,  Abdullah  bin  Al-Haarith  and    Ibn  Abi  Aufaa. This  is  based  on  the  view  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  having born  in  the  year  80.  However,  if  the  view  of  his  birth  in  the year  61  or  70  as    reported  by  Ibn  Zawaad  and  Ibn  Hibbaan, are  considered,  then  the  scope    for  having  seen  many Sahaabah  widens  substantially.  In  fact,  Abul  Qaasim  Ibn Abil  Awaam,  in  his  Kitaab,    Fadhaail-e-Abi  Hanifah  wa As-haabihi,  has  validated  the  wide  scope  even  on  the  basis of  the  first,  popular  view,  viz.,  the  year  80  Hijri  being  the  year of Imaam Abu Hanifah’s birth.

Among  the  Sahaabah  whom  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  met was  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Bin  Unais  Al-Juhani  (Radhiyallahu anhu). The objectors  claim that  this  Sahaabi had died  in the year  54  Hijri  while  Abu  Hanifah  was  born  in  the  year  80 Hijri.  The  response  is  that  there  were  five  Sahaabah  by  this name.  It  is  therefore  probable  that  the  one  whom  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  had  met  was  another  one  of  the  five  who  was still  alive  at  that  time.  In  refutation  of  this  contention,  the objectors  say  that    besides    Al-  Juhani  (Radhiyallahu anhu)  who  had  died  in  the  year  54,  no  other  Sahaabi  by the  name  Al-Juhani  had  entered  Kufah  where  Imaam  Abu Hanifah was.

In  response,  some  authorities    say  that  according  to  Imaam Abu  Hanifah,  himself,  Hadhrat    Abdullah  Bin  Unais Juhani  (Radhiyallahu  anhu),  the  Sahaabi  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)    had    come  to  Kufah  in  the year  94  Hijri.  Imaam  Abu  hanifah    narrated  the  following Hadith  from  him:  “Your  love  for  something    makes  you blind and deaf.”

Abu Daawood   has  recorded this  very  Hadith  from  Hadhrat Abu  Dardaa’  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  Marfoo-an,  i.e. with  an unbroken  Chain  of  Transmission    right    until  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Abu  Dawood,  upon  narrating this  Hadith,  maintained  silence.  He  did  not  denigrate  or find  fault  with  it.  Although  others  have    dismissed  this Hadith  as  unauthentic,  for  us  the  Sukoot  (Silence)  of  Abu Dawood  is  adequate  for  its  authenticity.  Neither  is  this Hadith  Maudhoo’  (a  fabrication),  nor  is  it  beset  with  severe Dhu’f (Weakness). In fact, its status is Hasan

The  Author  of  Jaamiul  Masaaneed  has  narrated  this Hadith  with  three  Chains  of  Transmission  from  Abu Daawood  At-Tiyaalisi,  from  Abu  Hanifah,  from  Abdullah Bin  Unais  (Radhiyallahu  Ta’ala  anhu).    Thus,  the    opposite view of the detractors is dismissed.

Another  Sahaabi  whom  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  met  was  Abdullah Al-Haarith Bin Jaz’i Az-zubaidi (Radhiyallahu  anhu).    In  refutation  of  this  claim,  it  is  said that  this  Sahaabi  died  in  the  year  86  in  Egypt  where  he  had resided.

In  another  narration  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  he  mentions having  met  and  sitting  in  the  Majlis    of    Hadhrat  Abdullah Bin  Haarith  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  in  Musjidul  Haraam  in Makkah.    This  narration  has  also  been  refuted  and    labelled unauthentic  by  the  objectors.  The  Author  of    Jaamiul Masaaneed   narrated  the  Hadith  of  Abdullah  Bin  Haarith (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  from  the    narrations  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah who said:

I  was  born  in  the  year  80  and  I  performed  Hajj  with  my father  in  the  year  96.  I  was  16  years  old.  When  I  entered Musjidul  Haraam  I  saw  a  huge    Halqah  (gathering  around a  person).  I  asked  my  father:    “Whose  Halqah    is  this?’  My father  said:  ‘The  Halqah  of  Abdullah    Bin  Jaz’i    AzZubaidi,  the  Sahaabi  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).’ Then  I  went  forward  and  heard  him  saying:  ‘I  heard Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  saying:  ‘He  who  makes  tafaqquh  (reflects)  in  the  Deen  of  Allah,  Allah suffices  for  his  problems,  and  Allah  will  provide  his  Rizq from an unexpected source.”

Ibn  Abdul  Barr  narrated  this  Hadith  in  his  KitaabJaamiu Bayaanil  Ilm  wa  Fadhlih  with  his  Sanad  from  Abu  Yusuf. Then  he  (Ibn  Abdul  Barr)  said:    ‘Muhammad  Bin  Sa’d,  the scribe  of  Al-Qaaqidi  said:  ‘Verily  Abu  Hanifah  saw  Anas Bin Maalik and Abdullah Bin Al-Haarith Jaz’i.’

Ibnul  Imaad  says  in  Shazraatuz  Zahab:    “Al-Haafiz  Al-Aamiri  mentions  in  his  Kitaab,  Ar-Riyaadhul  Mustataabah  that    in  this  manner  has  Saalih  Bin  Salaah  Al-Alaai’  summarized  it.  I  am  narrating  from  his  writings  that Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  saw  the  Sahaabi,  Abdullah  Bin  Al-Haarith  Bin  Jaz’i,  and  he  had  heard  from  him  Rasulullah’s statement: ‘Whoever makes tafaqquh in the Deen………..’.

In  Al-Mudkhal  Baihqi  says:  “It  is  said    that    he  (Abu Hanifah)  met    Abdullah  Bin  Al-Haarith  Bin  Jaz’i  Az-Zubaidi  and  Anas  Bin  Maalik  (Radhiyallahu  anhuma). These  narrations  affirm  the  fact  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) had  met these Sahaabah. Hadhrat  Jaabir  Bin  Abdullah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  was another  Sahaabi  whom  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  met.    In refutation  of  this  contention,  it    is  said  that  this  Sahaabi had  passed  away  in  79  Hijri  before  even  the  birth  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  that  the  Hadith  narrated  is Maudhoo’.   

In  response  we  say  that  this  Hadith  narrated  by Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  from  Jaabir  Bin  Abdullah (Radhiyallahu  anhu),  is  recorded  in  Jaamiul  Masaaneed. The  Author  says:  “Al-  Qaadhi  Abu  Bakr  Muhammad  Bin Abdul  Baaqi  narrated  it  in  his  Musnad,  and  also  Al-Haafiz Husain  Bin  Muhammad  Bin  Khusru  Al-Balkhi  in  his Musnad.

Among  the  Sahaabah  whom  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  met  was Hadhrat  Abdullah  Bin  Abi  Aufaa’  (Radhiyallahu  anhu). The  objection  raised    in  this  regard  is  that  he  had  died    either    in  the  year  85  or    87.  This  argument  is  putrid.  It  has already  been  dismissed  earlier  in  the    discussion  on    Amr Bin Huraith (Radhiyallahu  anhu),  Taabi’iyyat  is established for even a person of  5  and 7 years. Imaam    Abu  Hanifah  narrated  from    Hadhrat  Bin  Abi Aufaa’  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  the    Mutawaatir  Hadith: “Whoever  builds    for  the  Sake  of  Allah  a  Musjid  even  if  it is  the  size  of  a  hen’s  nest,  Allah  will  build  for  him  a mansion  in  Jannat.”   According  to  some  authorities, Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  must    have  heard  this  Hadith  when  he was  five  or  seven  years  old  from  the  Sahaabi.  This  Hadith has  been  narrated    by  Imaam  Bukhaari,  Imaam  Muslim and  others    in  similar  form    with  the  same  meaning.  It  is  a Hadith  narrated  from  numerous  Sahaabah.  The  author  of Jaamiul  Masaaneed  narrates  it  from  Abu  Hanifah  from  Abdullah  Bin  Abi  Aufaa’  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  with  four different  Asaaneed.

Furthermore,  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Bin  Abi  Aufaa’  passed away  in  Kufah  in  the  year  87  Hijri  when  the  age  of  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  was  7  years.  According  to  Ibn  Ulayyah  who maintains  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  born  in  the  year 61  Hijri,  he  was  15  years  when  the  Sahaabi  had  passed away.    The  Math-hab  of  the  Muhadditheen  is  that  the Simaa’  (Hearing)    of  a  five  year  old  is  reliable.  Thus,  there is  no  logical   reason  for  denying  the  authenticity  of  the Hadith  which  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  narrates  from  Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Abi Aufaa’ (Radhiyallahu anhu).

Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  also  met  Hadhrat  Waathilah  Ibnul Asqa’  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  from  whom  he  narrated  two Ahaadeeth.

(1)  “Do  not    express  joy  over  the  misfortune  of  your brother,  for  perhaps    Allah  will  save  him  and    afflict  you with it.”

(2)    “Shun  that  which  casts  you  into  doubt  for  that  which does not cast you into doubt.”

Tirmizi  has  narrated  the  first  Hadith  with  a  different variation.  He  has  designated  the  Hadith  Hasan.  The  second Hadith  has  been  narrated  by  a  group  of  Sahaabah.  The Aimmah  of  Hadith  have  authenticitated  it.  The  objection raised  is  that  this  Sahaabi  had  died  either  in  the  year  83  or 84  Hijri. This  objection  is  baseless. The  response  has already been  presented  twice above.

Another  Sahaabi  whom  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  met  was Hadhrat  Ma’qil  Bin  Yasaar  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  The objection  against    this  claim  is  that  this  Sahaabi    had  died during  the    Khilaafat  of  Hadhrat  Muaawiyah  (Radhiyallah anhu)  who  had  died  in  the  year  67  or  70  Hijri. It  should  be remembered  that  according  to  one  view  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  was  born  in  the  year  61  Hijri.  In  terms  of  this view he was  6 years old at the time.

Also  among  the  Sahaabah  whom  he  had  met  was  Hadhrat Abu  Tufail  Aamir    Bin  Waathilah.  He  died  in  the  year    102 Hijri  in  Makkah.  He  was  the  last  of  the  Sahaabah.  There  is no  problem  in  accepting  the  validity  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah’s  meeting    with  this  Sahaabi.    In  the  year  96, Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  went  for  Hajj  with  his  father.  There is no valid reason for  refuting this fact.

Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  also  met  Hadhrat  Aishah  Bint Ajrad  (Radhiyallahu  anha).  The  objection  lodged  against this  contention  is  that  according  to  Ath-Thahabi  and  Ibn Hajar  she  was  not  a  Sahaabiyyah,  hence  the  Saheeh  Hadith which  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  narrates  from  her  is  Mardood (Rejected).  They  label  her  ‘majhool’  (unknown). Predicating  her  with  jahaalat  (i.e.  being  an  unknown entity)  is  baseless.  The  great  Muhaddith,    Yahya  Bin  Ma’een  who  was  also  the  Ustaadh  of  Imaam  Bukhaari, enumerates  Aishah  Bint  Ajrad  among  the  Sahaabiyaat. While  there  is  difference  of  opinion  regarding  her  being  a  Sahaabiyah  or  among  the  Taabi’een,    the  fact  is  that  she  is well-known  despite  the  baseless  claims  of  her  being majhool.  It  is  established  on  the  basis  of  the  narration  of Ibn Atheer  that  Aishah  Bint  Ajrad  (Radhiyallahu  anha) was Ma’roofah (well-known).

The  Hadith  in  question  is:  “The  majority  of  Allah’s  armies on  earth  are  locusts.  Neither  do  I  (i.e.  Rasulullah  – Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  eat  them  not  do  I  say  that  they are  haraam.”  As-Suyuti  says  in  Tabyeedhus  Saheefah: “The  text  of  this  Hadith  is  Saheeh.  Abu  Daawood  narrated it from the Hadith of Salmaan. authenticitated it in  Al-Mukhtaarah.

Adh-Dhiyaa’ Al-Haafiz  Murtadha    Az-Zabeedi  narrating  this  Hadith  said that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  narrated  this  Hadith  from  Aishah Bint  Ajrad  (Radhiyallahu  anha).  He  adds:  “Abu  Hanifah heard  Aishah  Bin  Ajrad  (Radhiyallahu  anha)  saying:   “Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  ‘The majority  of  Allah’s  armies  on  earth  are  locusts.  I  neither eat  them  nor  do  I  make  them  haraam.”    Zabeedi  further says:  “  Ibn  Khusru  narrated  it.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  having heard  it  from  Bint  Ajrad  is  an  established  fact  as mentioned  by  Ibn  Abdul  Barr  in  Jaamiul  Bayaanil  Ilm  wa Fadhlihi,  attributing it to Yahya Bin Ma-een.

Ibnul  Atheer  says  in  Usdul  Ghaabah:  “Yahya  Bin  Ma-een narrated  that  the  Faqeeh,  Abu  Hanifah  heard  this  Hadith from  Aishah  Bint  Ajrad  (Radhiyallahu  anha).  It  has  also been  narrated  via  another  chain:  from  Abu  Hanifah  from  Uthmaan  Bin  Rashid,  from  Aishah  Bint  Ajrad (Radhiyallahu  anha),  from  Ibn  Abbaas  (Radhiyallahu anhu).

Other  Sahaabah  met  by  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  were  Sahal Bin  Sa’d  (d.88  H),  As-Saaib  Bin  Khallaad  (d.  91),    As-Saaib  Bin  Yazeed  Bin  Saeed  (d.  94),  ‘Abdullah  Bin  Busr (d.96), Mahmood  Bin  Ar-Rabee’ (d. 99), etc.

Some baseless contentions

(1)  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  did  not    hear  any  Hadith  from  any Sahaabi.  In  support  of  this  contention  it  is  said  that  the senior  Companions  (Students)  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah such  as  Abu  Yusuf,  Muhammad,  Ibnul  Mubaarak,  Abdur Razzaaq  and  others  did  not  narrate  any  such  Hadith  from him.

This  claim  is  baseless.  Yahya  Bin  Ma’een,  the  illustrious authority  of  Hadith  and  the  Ustaadh  of  Imaam  Bukhaari has  substantiated  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  heard  a Hadith  directly  from  Aishah  Bint  Ajrad  (Radhiyallahu anha). Ibn  Abdul  Barr  has  substantiated  Imaam  Abu Hanifah’s  meeting  with  Abdullah  Bin  Jaz’i  Az-Zubaidi (Radhiyallahu  anhu),  and  him  (Imaam  Abu  Hanifah) having  heard  a  riwaayat  from  him.  Similarly,  Ibnul  Imaad has substantiated this fact in Shathraatuth Thahab.

Other  authorities  have  also  substantiated  Imaam  Abu Hanifah’s meeting  other  Sahaabah  besides  the above mentioned  two.  A  group  from  the  Muhaqqiqeen  has substantiated  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  meeting  with  a Jamaa’t of Sahaabah.

There  is  no  gainsaying  in  the  fact  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah did  see  some  Sahaabah.  All  are  agreed  on  this.  How  is  it possible  for  a  great  Imaam  such  as  Abu  Hanifah  to  see Sahaabah, and  not  hasten  to  them  to   acquire  Ahaadith from  them?  Clear  evidence  of  his  enthusiasm  in  this  field is  his  meeting  in  Musjidul  Haraam  with  the  Sahaabi Abdullah  Bin  Al-Haarith  Bin  Jaz’i.  When  he  saw  this Sahaabi’s  majlis,    he  went  through  the  crowd  to  be  in  close proximity    of  the  Sahaabi  to  listen  to  his    bayaan.  It  is inconceivable  that  despite  having  met  Sahaabah,  he  did  not   acquire  Ahaadith  from  them.  Thus  the  claim  of    those  who concede  Abu  Hanifah’s  seeing  Sahaabah,  but  not  acquiring  Ahaadith  from  them,  is  utterly  baseless  and illogic.  While  some  Muhadditheen  refute  the  fact  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  having  met  Sahaabah,  his Companions  substantiate  that  he  did  in  fact  meet Sahaabah.

Abu  Ma’shar  Abdul  Kareem  (d.478  Hijri)  had  compiled  a book  of  the  narrations  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  from Sahaabah.  Imaam  As-Suyuti  has  reproduced  in  his Tabyeedhus  Saheefah  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  narrations from   Abu  Ma’shar’s compilation.

The Fallacy  of Imaam Abu Hanifah’s  Paucity  of   Hadith

It was  never  argued  that Imaam Abu  Hanifah  had compiled hundreds  of  thousands  of  Ahaadith  in  the  manner  in  which the  later  Muhadditheen  had  acquitted  themselves.  The  age of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  the  codification  and systematization  of  the  Shariah.  He  as  well  as  the  other illustrious Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen  of  his  era  were pre-occupied  with    the  masaa-il  and  dalaa-il  of  Fiqh.    The Ahaadith  on  which  he  based  the  masaa-il  were  impeccable in authenticity.

The  Ahaadith    of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  were  substantially less  than  the  narrations  compiled  by  the  Muhadditheen.  The    Tareeqah  of  the  Aimmah  Mujtahideen  and  Fuqaha  of his  era  was  not    like  the  way  of  the  later  Muhadditheen

The  illustrious  Students  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had compiled  in  the  format  adopted  by  the  Fuqaha  the Ahaadith which they  had heard from  him.  

Just  as  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  and Hadhrat  Umar  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  narrated  few Ahaadith  due  to  their  pre-occupation  with  the  affairs  of  the Ummah,  and  just  as  Imaam  Maalik  (Rahmatullah  alayh) and  Imaam  Shaaf’i  (Rahmatullah  alayh)    displayed  a marked  paucity  of  Hadith  narration,  due  to  their pre-occupation  with    the  formulation  of  Fiqhi  masaa-il,    so too  is  the  story  with  Imaam  A’zam  (Rahmatullah  alayh). However,  while  the  detractors  and  denigrators  are  silent about  the    display  of    Hadith  paucity    regarding    the  other  noble  authorities  of  the  Shariah,  they  are  most  vociferous, malicious  and  slanderous  in  regard  to  Imaam  Abu Hanifah’s display of paucity.

This  ‘paucity’  should  not  be  construed  as  ignorance  nor  should  it  be  hallucinated  that  the  great  Aimmah  had structured  their  Fiqhi  masaa-il    on  the  basis  of  opinion.  Far  from  this  fallacy,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  as  well  as  the other  Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen  provided  their  Hadith  and Qur’aan  substantiation  for  every  mas’alah  they  had propounded.  Qiyaas  was  utilized  restrictively  and subjected  to  Usool  (Principles).  There  was  no  haphazard  rejection  of  Ahaadith  for  according  preferentiality  to Qiyaas.

The  ‘paucity’  is  a  relative  issue.    Although  the  Aimmah were  Muhadditheen  in  their  own  right  and  having    the knowledge  of  thousands  of  Ahaadith,    relative  to  the compilations  of  the  later  Muhadditheen,  it  is  said  that  the Aimmah Mujtahideen had displayed  ‘paucity’  in this field.

Even  morons  can  understand  that  a  person  whose  gaze  on the  Kitaab  of  Allah  and  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  is  not  panoptic,  can  never  be considered  as  an  Imaam  or  a  Faqeeh,  least  of  all  a Mujtahid  Imaam.  But  the  lofty  status  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  is  acknowledged  by  the  authorities  of  all  Mathhabs.  Great  and  prominent  Fuqaha  were  his  students.  His  erudition  in    his  field  was  such  that  it    prompted  Imaam Shaafi’    to  say:  “In  Fiqh,  the  people  are  the  children  of Abu  Hanifah.”  The  ‘people’  in  this  context  included  the illustrious Mujtahideen of the first  Islamic century as well.

Furthermore,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  extremely  meticulous  in  accepting the  authenticity  of  Ahaadith.  His acid  criterion  transcended  the  rules  of  the  later Muhadditheen.    Imaam  Tahaawi  narrates:  “Sulaimaan  Bin  Shuaib  narrates  that    my  father  said:  ‘Abu  Yusuf  dictated  to  us  (for  us  to  write  down):  ‘Abu  Hanifah  said:  ‘It  is  not  proper  for  a  man  to  narrate  a  Hadith  except  that  at  the time  of  narrating  it,  he  remembers  it  just  as  he  had  heard it.”  That  is,  he  should  be  able  to  narrate  it  exactly  as  he had  heard  it.  Thus,  according  to  Abu  Hanifah,  Riwaaya  bil ma’na  (i.e.  narrating  the  gist/meaning)  was  not permissible.   This  stringent  criterion  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  is  in  conflict  with  the    view  of  the  Jamhoor Mufassireen.  According    to  them  Riwaaya  bil  ma’na  is permissible.  Due  to  this  very  stringent    principle,  the narrations of Imaam Abu Hanifah are comparatively  less.

However,  there  was  no  paucity  of  Ahaadith  for  structuring the  masaa-il  of  Fiqh  as  the  variety  of  the  Masaaneed  of Abu  Hanifah  confirms.    Furthermore  the  Asaaneed  of  the Ahaadith  on  which  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  deducted  the masaa-il  are  all  golden  as  is    evident    from  the  Masaaneed.   Any  one    having    expertise  in  this    sphere    can  verify  this fact  from  the  many  Masaaneed  attributed  to    Imaam  Abu Hanifah by  numerous Muhadditheen and Fuqaha. It  is  reliably  reported    that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  approximately  four  thousand    Shuyookh  from  who  he narrated.    Although  Imaam  Bukhaari  (Rahmatullah  alayh) had  approximately    ten  thousand  Shuyookh,  it  confers  no  superiority    over  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  There  is  a  vast difference  in  narration  of  Hadith  and  narration  of  Fiqhi Masaa-il.    It  is  imperative  for  the  narrator    of  Fiqh  to  be    an Aalim  and  a  Faqeeh,  whereas  the  narrator  of  Hadith  need be  only  a  layman.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  the  narrators  of   Ahaadith  were in such abundance.

Among  the  very  senior  Taabi-een  Shuyookh  of  Imaam Abu Hanifah were:

(1)  Ataa’  Ibn  Abi  Rabaah:    He  had  met  two  hundred Sahaabah. (2)  Aamir  Sha’bi:  About  him  Ath-Thahabi  said  that  he  was the  most  senior  Shaikh  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  He  had met  five hundred Sahaabah.
(3) Simaak  Bin Harb:   He had  met  eighty  Sahaabah.
(4) Abu Ishaaq  Subai’ee: He had  met thirty  eight Sahaabah.
(5)  At-Taaoos: He  had  met  fifty  Sahaabah.
(6)  Muhammad  Bin  Muslim  Bin  Shihaab  Az-Zuhri:  He narrated from  a great  number of  Sahaabah.
(7)  Rabeeah  Bin  Abi  Abdur  Rahmaan:      When  he  died, Imaam  Maalik  Bin  Anas  said:“The  sweetness  of  Fiqh  has departed.
(8) Naafi’ Maula Ibn  Umar
(9) Muhammad Bin Ali Bin Husain Al-Baaqir
(10) Qataadah Bin  Diaamah
(11)  Hishaam  Bin  Urwah
(12)  Yahya  Bin  Saeed  Al-Ansaari  about  whom  Abdur Rahmaan  Al-Jumahi  said:  “If  it  was  not  for  Az-Zuhri  and Yahya  Bin  Saeed  Al-Ansaari,  a  great  portion  of  the  Sunnah would have disappeared.

Besides  the  aforementioned    very  senior    Taabi’een,    there were    numerous  other  Taabi’een  Shuyookh  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  who  had  met  many  Sahaabah  from  whom  they narrated. Allaamah  Abdul  Wahhaab  Sha’raani  (Rahmatullah  alayh), the  illustrious  Shaafi’  authority,  testifying  to  the    Treasure of    Ahaadith  in  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  armoury,  said  in  his   Mizaan:    “The  Ahaadith    on  which  Imaam  A’zam  based  his deductions  (for   Fiqhi  masaa-il)  are  more  than  the Ahaadith  of  the  other  three  Imaams  (Maalik,  Shaaf’i  and Ahmad  Hambal).  This  will  be  apparent  to  anyone  who    studies  my  Kitaab,  Kashful  Ghummah  ilal  Haadi  liAdilatihi    lil Mathaahibil Ar-ba’ah.” (Sharh Musnad Abu Hanifah – Mulla Ali Qaari)

Allaamah  Sha’raani’s  vindication  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah shall be  presented in a  later chapter,  In sha-Allah.

The  contention  of  paucity  of  Hadith  or  that  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  was  a  ‘yateem’  (orphan)  or  a  ‘miskeen’  (destitute) in  Hadith  is  indeed    the  spurious  and  slanderous  assertion of   malicious  and envious juhala.   Imaam  Abu  Hanifah was the  greatest  of  the  Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.  Imaam  Maalik, Imaam  Shaafi’  and  innumerable  Fuqaha  of  all  Math-habs acknowledge  the  authority,  erudition  and  greatness  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  He  used  to  issue  Fatwa  in  an  age  in which  flourished  the  greatest  Fuqaha  and  Aimmah  of  the Taabi-een and Tab-e-Taabi’een.

The  contention  that  this  greatest  Imaam  of  the  Shariah built  the  structure  of  the  Shariah    on  the  basis  of  a  couple of  Ahaadith  is  ludicrous  and  an  insult  to  intelligence.  Only   his  malicious  and  envious  detractors  entertained  and propagated such a fallacy.

Muhammad  Bin    Mahmood  Al-Arabi  Al-Khawaarzimi compiled    fifteen  Masaaneed  (Hadith    compilations)  of  the  Ahaadith  narrated    by  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  in  a  Kitaab which  he  named  Jaamiul  Masaaneedil  Imaamil  A’zam.  The fifteen  Masaaneed  enumerated  hereunder,  were  compiled by  illustrious experts  (Muhadditheen) of Hadith.

(1)  Musnad  compiled  by    Imaam  Haafiz  Abu  Abdullah  Bin Muhammad  Bin  Ya’qoob  Bin  Al-Haarith  –Al  Haarithiyyul Bukhari  well  known  as    Abdullah  Al-Ustaadh  (d  348 Hijri).

(2)  Musnad  by  Imaam  Haafiz  Abul  Qaasim  Talhah  Bin Muhammad Bin Ja’far (d 291 Hijri).

(3)  Musnad  by  Imaam  Haafiz  Abul  Husain  Muhammad Bin  Muzaffar Bin Musa Bin Eesa Bin Muhammad.

(4)  Musnad  by  Imaam  Haafiz  Abu  Nu’aim  Ahmad  Bin Abdullah  Bin Ahmad Al-Isfahaani  (d 336 Hijri).

(5)  Musnad  by  Shaikh  Imaam  Abu  Bakr  Muhammad  Bin Abdul Baaqi Ibn Muhammad Al-Ansaari (d 535 Hijri).

(6)  Musnad  by  Haafiz  Imaam  Abu  Ahmad  Abdullah  Bin Adi  Al-Jurjaani.  He  was  an  expert  in  Jarh  wat  Ta’deel.  (d 365 Hijri).

(7)  Musnad  which  was  narrated  from  him  by  Imaam  Hasan Bin Ziyaad Al-Lu’lu’ee.

(8)  Musnad  by  Imaam  Haafiz  Umar  Bin  Hasan  Al-Ushnaani (d 339 Hijri).

(9)  Musnad  by  Imaam  Haafiz  Abu  Bakr  Ahmad  Bin Muhammad Bin Khaalid Bin Khali Al-Kalaa’ee.

(10)  Musnad  by    Imaam  Haafiz  Abu  Abdullah  Muhammad Bin  Husain  Bin  Muhammad  Bin  Khusru  Al-Balkhi  (d  522 Hijri).

(11)  Musnad  by    Imaam  Abu  Yusuf  Ya’qoob  Bin Ibraaheem  Al-Ansaari.  He  narrates  directly  from  Imaam Abu Hanifah.

(12)  Musnad  by    Imaam  Muhammad  Bin  Hasan    Ash Shaibaani.  He  too  narrated  directly  from  Imaam  Abu Hanifah.

(13)  Musnad  by  Imaam  Hammaad,  the  son  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah.   He  also  narrates  directly  from  Imaam  Abu Hanifah.

(14)  Musnad  by  Imaam  Muhammad  Bin  Hasan.  This Musnad is known as Al-Aathaar.

(15)  Musnad  by  Imaam  Haafiz  Abul  Qaasim  Abdullah Bin  Muhammad  Bin  Abil  Awaam  As-Saghadi  (d  335 Hijri).
_ (Sharh Musnad Abi HanifahMulla Ali Qaari)

Besides compilations of the above mentioned  Muhadditheen  and  Fuqaha,  there  were  other    illustrious  Muhadditheen  and  Fuqaha  who  had  also  compiled  the Ahaadith of Imaam Abu Hanifah. 

Haafiz  Muhammad  Bin  Mukhlid  Bin  Hafs  Dauri  (d  331 Hijri)  had  acquired   his  knowledge  of  Hadith  from  Shuyookh  such  as    Shaikh  Ya’qoob  Daurqi,  Shaikh  Zubair Bin  Bakaar,  Shaikh  Hasan  Bin  Arfah  and  Imaam  Muslim Bin  Hajjaaj.  Senior    Huffaaz  of  Hadith  such  as    Daar  Qutni and  Ibnul  Muzaffar  had  acquired  Hadith  from  him.  He  had  compiled  the Ahaadith narrated by Imaam Abu Hanifah.

Another  Muhaddith  who  had  also  compiled  Imaam  Abu Hanifah’s  narrations  is  Shaikh  Abul  Abbaas  Ahmad  Bin Muhammad  Bin  Saeed  Al-Kufi.  He  is  known  as  Ibn Uqdah.    Describing  him,  Allaamah  Ath-Thahabi  states: “Ibn  Uqdah  was  the  Haafiz  (of  Hadith)  of  the  era  and  a Muhaddith  like  an  ocean.  The  strength  of  memory  and abundance  of Hadith terminate in  him.“ He  was  among  the  Akaabir  HuffaazAkaabir  Huffaaz  such as  Abu  Bakr  Bin  Al-Ja-aani,  Abdullah  Bin  Adi,  Tabaraani, Ibn  Muzaffar,  Daar  Qutni  and  Ibn  Shaaheen  narrated Ahaadith  from  him.  In  his  Musnad  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah he  had  compiled  a  thousand  of  Imaam  A’zam’s  Ahaadith. He died in the year 332 Hijri.

Haafiz  Abul  Husain  Muhammad  Bin  Al-Muzaffar  (d  379 Hijri):  Great  Muhadditheen  such  as  Daar  Qutni,  Ibn Shaaheen,  Burqaani,  and  Abu  Nu’aim  Isfahaani  were among  his  Students.  Daar  Qutni  narrated  from  him thousands  of  Ahaadith.  Haafiz  Ibn  Hajar  Asqalaani    states regarding  him  in  his  Ta’jeelul  Manfa’ah  bi  Zawaaidir Rijaalil  Aimmatil  Arba’ah:  “The  Musnad  of  Abu  Hanifah which  he  had  compiled    equals  the  Musnad  of  Abu  Hanifah compiled  by  Haafiz  Abu  Bakr  Bin  Al-Muqri  in  which  are only the Marfoo’ Ahaadith of Imaam Abu Hanifah.”

Haafiz  Imaam  Abu  Bakr  Muhammad  Bin  Ibraaheem  Bin Ali Al-Khaazin  popularly  known  as   Haafiz  Ibnul  Muqri Isfahaani  (d  381  Hijri)  also  compiled  the  Musnad  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  According  to  Hafiz  Ibn  Hajar Asqalaani,    the  Musnad  which  he  had  compiled  consisted of only the Marfoo’ Ahaadith of Imaam Abu Hanifah.

Haafiz Abu  Hafs  Umar  Bin  Ahmad  Bin  Uthmaan  Al-Baghdadi,  known  as  Ibn  Shaaheen  (d  385),    Abul  Hasan Ali  Bin  Umar  Bin  Ahmad  Bin  Mahdi,  known  as  Haafiz Daar  Qutni  (also  died  in  385  Hijri),    Haafiz  Abul  Fadhl Bin  Taahir  Bin  Ali  Al-Qudsi,  known  as  Haafiz    Bin  Al-Qaisaraani  (d 507  Hijri),  Haafiz Ibn Asaakir  (d 571 Hijri) whom  Ath-Thahabi  describes:  “Al-Imaam  Al-haafizul Kabeer  Muhaddithush  Shaam  Fakhrul  Aimmah,  had  also compiled the Musaaneed of Abu Hanifah.

These  were  all  famous  and  great    Muhadditheen  who  had understood  the  greatness  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  the treasure  of  Ahaadith  he  had,  hence  they  all  compiled  his Musaaneed.

Among  the  Muta-akh-khireen  Muhadditheen  was  Muhaddith  Eesa  Al-Ja’fari  Al-Maghribi  (d  1080  Hijri).  The  Musnad  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  which  he  had compiled  enjoys    the  loftiest    status  of  authenticity.  Despite  almost  a  millennium  between  him  and  Imaam  Abu Hanifah,  the  Asaaneed  between  him  and  Imaam  Abu Hanifah    all  enjoy  the  quality  of  Ittisaal (continuity).   Regarding  this  wonderful  achievement,  Shah  Waliyullah (Rahmatullah  alayh)  says  in  his  Insaanul  Ain   fi Mashaaikhil Haramain:

He  (Muhaddith  Eesa)  had  compiled  such  a    Musnad  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  in  which  he  narrated  the  Asaaneed with  Ittisaal  from  himself    to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  This  thoroughly  debunks  the  claim  of  those  who  contend  that today  there  is  no  longer  Ittisaal  in  the  Asaaneed  of Hadith.”

Each  one  of  the  famours  and  illustrious  Muhadditheen hitherto  mentioned  had  prepared  his  own  Musnad  of  Abu Hanifah with his own Asaaneed

Qaadhi  Qudhaat  Muhaddith  Abul  Muayyid  Muhammad Bin   Mahmood  Al-Khawaarzimi  (d  655  Hijri)  had attempted  to    make  a compilation  of   fifteen  Musaaneed   of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  In  the  introduction  of  his    famous  Compilation,  Jaamiu Musaaneed Abi Hanifah, he states:

In  Shaam  I    heard  some  ignoramuses  claiming  that  there is  no  Musnad  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  and  that  he  is  the narrator  of  a  couple  Hadith.  Honour  of  the  Math-hab  impelled  me  to  compile  15  Musaaneed  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  which  famous  Ulama  and  Muhadditheen  had compiled.

The  names  of    the  15  Muhadditheen  who  had  compiled  the Musaaneed    have  already  been  mentioned   earlier  from Sharh Musnad Abi Hanifah by Mullah Ali Qaari.

Muhaddith  Khawaarzimi   has  classified  the  Hadith compilations  of  Imaam  Hammaad,  Imaam  Abu  Yusuf  and Imaam  Muhammad    also  as  Musaaneed.  However,  these  three  compilations  which  are    Hadith  narrations  of  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  are  manuscripts  of  Kitaabul  Aathaar. Furthermore,  Jaamiu  Musaaneed  of  Khawaarzimi  is  not  a faithful  reproduction  of    all  the  15  Musaaneed  he  has enumerated  in  his  introduction.    In  several  aspects  it  is defective.   Jaamiu  Masaaneed  contains  approximately 2000  Ahaadith  whereas  the    Ahaadith  narrated  by  Imaam Abu Hanifah  are    approximately  4000.  Nevertheless,   Jaamiu  Musaaneed  Abu  Hanifah  has  gained  considerable fame  among the Muta-akh-khireen.

The Status of Musnad  Abi Hanifah

Muhaddith  Muhammad  Bin    Ja’fah  Kitaani  Al-Maaliki states  in  his  Ar-Risaalatur  Mustatrafah  li  Bayaani  Mashhoori  Kutubis  Sunnatil  Musharrafah   in  which  he  presents a  unique  elaboration  on    the  Sihaah  Sittah,  Musnad  Abu Hanifah,  Muwatta  Maalik.  Musnad    Shaafi’  and  Musnad Ahmad, states: “These  Kutub  of  the  Four  Aimmah  added  to  the    six (Sihaah  Sittah)  are  the  ten  Kutub    which  are    the  basis  of  Islam and on which is its Structure.

Haafiz  Abu  Abdullah  Muhammad  Bin  Ali  Bin  Humzah Husaini Damishqi  Ash-Shaafi’  states  in  At-Tazkirah  bi Rijaalil  Ash’rah   which  discusses  elaborately  the  Narrators of  the  ten Kutub: “The  Musnad  of  Shaafi’  comprises  of  the    Adillah (Evidences)    on  the  basis    of  the  narrations  which  are authentic    according  to  him,  and  the  same  applies  to  the Musnad of Abu Hanifah.

Allaamah  Abdul  Wahhaab  Sha’raani  Ash-Shaafi’    states  in his famous Al-Meezaanul Kubra:  “Every  Hadith  which  we  found  in  the  three  Musaaneed of Abu Hanifah is Saheeh.

Furthermore,  all  these  Musaaneed  are  apart  from    Imaam Abu  Hanifah’s  outstanding  and  famous   Hadith compilation,  Kitaabul  Aathaar,    by  Imaam  Muhammad (Rahmatullah alayh).

In  the  Ta’leeqaat  (Commentary)  on  Al-Haithami  Ibn Hajar’s Al-Khairaatul Hisaan, Shaikh Aashiq Ilaahi says: “Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  held  an  extremely  elevated    status  in Hadith  just  as  his  lofty  rank  in  Fiqh  and  Ijtihaad.    He narrated  Ahaadith  from    the  most  senior  Taabi’een  whose  lofty  integrity  and  reliability  were  established  facts.  Great experts  in  Hadith  narrated  Hadith    from  him.  They  are well-known in the Kutub of Asmaaur Rijaal.

The   claims  of  the  bigoted    enemies  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  are  to  be  ignored.  These  detractors  have  not researched  the  Kutub  of  Asmaaur Rijaal.  They  are ignorant of  the praises  and  accolades which the  senior  Aimmah  laud on  Abu  Hanifah.  They    do  not  even  consider  the  fact  that the  very  senior  Muhadditheen  would   accept  his  statements and  issue Fatwa thereon.

If  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  views    were    pure  opinion  and  the  fabrications  of  his  nafs,    then  Wakee’  Bin  Al-Jarraah,  Yahya  Bin  Saeed  Al-Qattaan  and  others  among  the Muhadditheen would not have  issued Fatwa on such basis. Yahya  Bin  Ma-een,    the    Imaam  of    Jarah  wa  Ta’deel  was among  the  Ghullaat  Hanafis  (i.e.  extremists).    About  him, Ath-Thahabi  says  in  his    treatise,  Ma’rifatur  Ruwaat    Al-Mutakallam  Feehim:    “Ibn  Ma-een  said:  ‘I  wrote  with  my own  hands  thousands  of  Ahaadeeth.”    Imaam  Ahmad  Bin Hambal  said:  “Every  Hadith  which  is  not  known  to    Ibn Ma-een  is  not  a  Hadith.”  Al-Ijli  said:  “Allah  Ta’ala  did  not create any one  more aware of Hadith than Ibn Ma-een.”

If  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  lacked  knowledge  in  Hadith,  formulating    Fiqh    without  Qur’an  and  Sunnah,  then  an Imaam  of  this  calibre  (i.e.  Yahya  Bin  Ma-een)  would  not have become his Muqallid.”

IMAM ABU HANIFAH AND THE SUNNAH

The  detractors  contend  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh)  gave  preference  to  Qiyaas  and opinion  (Raai’)  over  Ahaadith.  This  claim  is  ludicrous  and fallacious.  Just  as  the  Muhadditheen  have  principles  and criteria  for  accepting  Ahaadith,  so  too  does  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  have  criteria  and  principles. 

The  following  are    the Usool  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    for    the  acceptance  of  narrations:

(1)    The  Mursalaat  of  Thiqaat  (authentic  narrators)  are acceptable  when  there  is  no  stronger  daleel  conflicting with  it.  Ihtijaaj  (i.e.  to    use  a  narration    for  formulating a    law)    with  Mursal  was  always  an  established  practice since  the  very  beginning.  Ibn  Hajar  states:  “The  total rejection  of  Mursal  is  a  bid’ah  which  developed  in  the beginning of the second century.

(2)  Viewing  Akhbaarul  Aahaad  in  the  light  of   principles  formulated  by  him…….  When  there  is  a  conflict  between   Khabrul  Aahaad    and  these  principles,  the  principle  will  be adopted  on  the  basis  of  it  being  the  stronger  daleel.  The conflicting  narration  is  then  labelled  Shaaz. In  this  method there is no conflict with a Saheeh narration.

(3)  Scaling  Akhbaarul  Aahaad    on  the  Umumaat  and Zawaahir  of  the  Qur’aan.  When  a  Khabr    is  in  conflict with    the  Aam    or  Zaahir of  Kitaabullaah,  the  Khabr  is  set aside  and  Kitaabullah  is  adopted  since  this  is  the  stronger of  the    the  two  Evidences. When  there  is  no  such  conflict, Khabr Waahid  is adopted.

(4)  Khabrul  Aahaad    should  not  be  in  conflict  with  Sunnat Mash-hoorah  whether  it  be    Sunnat  Fi’liyyah  or  Qauliyyah for this is the stronger of the two Evidences.

(5)  A  Khabr    should  not  be  in  conflict  with    another  Khabr of  the  same  status.  In  such  a  conflict,  one  of    the  two    is given  preference,  and    this  preference  is  dependent  on   different factors.

(6)  The  Raawi’s  (narrator’s)  practise  should  not  be  in conflict  with  the  Khabr  he  narrates,  e.g.  the  Hadith  of  Abu Hurairah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  pertaining  to  washing  a utensil  seven  times  if  a  dog  licks  it.  This  narration  has been  set  aside  because  it  is  in  conflict  with  the  Fatwa  of Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu anhu).

(7)    Discarding  superfluity  (Zaa-id)  as  a  precaution  in  the Deen of Allah.

(8)  Discarding  Khabrul  Aahad  on  the  basis  of  Balwa  (wide scale  prevalence)  in  such  issues  in  which  there  is  a  dire need for all people.

(9)  The  Khabrul  Aahad  should  not  cause  discardence  of  any  of   two different rulings  issued by  the Sahaabah.  

(10)  The  narrator’s  memory  remaining  intact  from  the time  of  having  heard  the  narration  to  the  time  of  its delivery.

(11)  Khabrul  Ahad  should  not  be  in  conflict  with  the popular practice of the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een.

It  should  be  abundantly  clear  from  the  aforementioned Usool  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  did not    haphazardly  or    without  rhyme  or  reason  or    merely  to placate  opinion  discard    Khabrul  Aahaad    narrations.    Such  narrations  were  set  aside  on  a  principled  basis  –  a  basis which  the  illustrious  Aimmah  and  Fuqaha    did  not  refute. Only  the  juhala  who  had  an  emotional    axe  of  malice  and hasad  to  grind,  criticized    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  on  this issue.

THE  TALAAMIZAH (STUDENTS) OF IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

A  barometer  for  gauging  the  status  of  a  Shaikh  /  Faqeeh  / Muhaddith  is  the  calibre  of  those  who  acquired  knowledge from  him  and  narrated  Hadith  and  Fiqh  from  him.  In  this regard,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  stands  out  as  a  glittering  Star.  While  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  acquired  Hadith  and  Fiqh from  over    four  thousand  Shuyookh,    his    Talaamizah    by far  exceed  this  number  –  a  number  which  the  Authorities say cannot be enumerated.

His  Talaamizah  came  from  almost  every  country  of  the Islamic  Empire.  Muhammad  Bin  Yusuf  As-Saalihi  Ad-Damishqi  mentions  in  his  KitaabUqoodul  Jumaan  that Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  Students  hailed  from    Makkah, Madinah,  Damascus,  Basrah,  Waasit,    Mousil,  Algiers, Raqqah,  Ramlah,  Misr,    Yemen,  Yamaamah,  Bahrain, Baghdad,  Ahwaaz,  Kirmaan,  Isfahaan,   Hulwaan, Hamdaan,    Rai’,  Tunisia,  Daamighaan,  Tabristaan,  Jurjaan, Nishapur,  Sarkhas,  Nisaa’,  Merw,  Bukhaara,  Samarkand, Tirmiz,  Hiraat,  Kohistaan,  Khawaarzim,   Sijistaan, Madaain,  Misseesah,  Hims  and    many  other  places    from all over the Lands of Islam.

In  Uqoodul  Jumaan  he  says:  

  “It  is  not  possible  to encompass  the  number  of  those  who  had  acquired (Knowledge) from Imaam Abu Hanifah.”

Al-Haafiz  Abu  Muhammad  Al-Haarithi  said:  “Those  who narrate  from  Abu  Hanifah  are  more  than  those  who narrate  from  Hakam  Bin  Utaibah,  Ibn  Abi  Laila,  Ibn Shubramah,  Sufyaan  Thauri,  Shareek,  Hasan  Bin  Saalih, Yahya  Bin  Saeed,    Rabeeah  Bin  Abi  Abdir  Rahmaan, Maalik  Bin  Anas,  Ayyoob  Sakhtiyaani,  Ibn  Aun,    Sulaiman At-Taimee,  Hishaam  Dastawaaee,  Saeed  Bin  Uroobah, Ma’mar  Bin  Raashid,  Ash-Shaafi’,  Ahmad  (Bin  Hambal), Ishaaq  and  others  besides  these  from  among  the  Aimmah of Islam.”

The  list  of  his  outstanding  Talaamizah  is  indeed impressive  and  testifies  for  the  lofty  status  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah.  Among  the    illustrious  Muhadditheen  and  Fuqaha who  acquired  Knowledge    and  narrated  Hadith  and  Fiqh from Imaam Abu Hanifah are:

Ibraaheem  Bin  Tuhmaan,  Asbaat  Bin  Muhammad,  Abdur Razzaaq,    Hafs  Ibn  Abdur  Rahmaan,  Humzah  Az-Zayyaat,  Zufar  Bin  Huzail,    Abdullah  Ibn  Mubaarak,    Sufyaan Thauri,   Fadhl  Bin  Dukain,    Wakee’  Bin  Al-Jarraah,  Yazeed  Bin  Zurai’,  Yazeed  Bin  Haaroon,    Muaafi  Bin Imraan,    Abu  Yusuf  Al-Qaadhi,    Muhammad    Ibnul  Hasan Ash-Shaibaani,  Makki  Bin  Ibraaheem,    Dhuhhaak  Bin Mukhlid,  Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Ansaari, etc., etc.

Imaam  Bukhaari  narrates  in  his  Compilation  23  Thulaathi Ahaadith  (i.e.  Narrations  with  only  three  links  in  its  Chain of  Transmission).  From  these  23  ,  twenty  Thulaathi Ahaadith    are  in  fact  from  the  Talaamizah  of    Imaam  Abu Hanifah  or  from  their  Talaamizah.  Imaam  Bukhaari acquired    eleven  from  Makki  Bin  Ibraaheem;    six  from Dhuhhaaq  Bin  Mukhlid  who  is  among  the  As-haab  of  Abu Hanifah.  Three    of    the  Thulaathiyaat,   Imaam  Bukhaari had  acquired  from  Muhammad  Bin  Abdullah  Al-Ansaari. According  to  Al-Khateeb,  he  (Muhammad  Al-Ansaari) was    from  the  Students  of  Imaam  Zufar  and  Imaam  Abu Yusuf.

By  virtue  of    these  great    and  innumerable  Talaamizah,  the Math-hab  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  spread  to  almost  all  the Lands  of  Islam.    If  it  were  not  for    all  these  noble  Stars  of Uloom  who  were  his    Students,    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s Math-hab  would  have  remained  in  Kufah.  The    elevated status  of    a  Shaikh  is    adequately  borne  out  by  the    calibre  and  number  of  his  Students  of  lofty  status.    Stating  this fact,  Imaam  Shaafi’  said  about    Al-Laith,  the  Imaam  of Misr:  “Al-Laith  is  a  greater  Faqeeh  than  Maalik  except that  his  Students  did  not  stand  with  him,  (i.e  they  did  not disseminate  his  math-hab).”  (page    61  Al-Khairaatul Hisaan)

WHAT IMAAM JALAALUDDIN AS-SUYUTI SAYS ABOUT  IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

Imaam  Jalaaluddin    Bin    Abi  Bakr  As-Suyuti  (died    911 Hijri)  was  among  the  very  senior  Shaafi’  Fuqaha  of  the  later  period.  Imaam  Suyuti  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  wrote  a KitaabTabyeedhus  Saheefah  bi  Manaaqib  Abi  Hanifah,  in which  he  vindicated  the  elevated    status  of  Imaam  A’zam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh).

4Some  severe  criticism  tantamount    to  slander  has  been levelled  against  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  allegedly  by    Imaam Al-Juwaini  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  who  was  among  the  very senior  Imaams  of  the  Shaafi’  Math-hab.  Imaam  Suyuti adequately  responds  to  the  criticism  rebutting  it  as baseless. In  a  nutshell,  the  alleged  criticism  of  Imaam  Juwaini    is proffered  in  the  following  statement  which  appears  in  the kitaab, Mugheethul Khalq authored  by Imaam Juwaini:
Although  the  focus  of    Abu  Hanifah  is    penetrating,  it does  not  conform  to  the  Usool.  It  is  in  conflict  with  the Usool  and  deviates  from  it.  Most  of  his  views    are  in conflict  with  the  Qur’aan,  the  Sunnah,  Aathaar  and  the Ijma’  of  the  Ummah  as  we  have  elucidated.  And  also  in meanings (his views are in conflict).

Responding  to  this  calumny  and  firmly  rebutting  it,  Imaam Suyuti  who  is  also  a  Shaafi’  authority  of  high  rank,  says  in his Tabyeedhus Saheefah:

Before    delving  into  this  argument,  two  factors    should be considered:
(1)  That  Imaam  Al-Juwaini  is  not  the  author  of  this  book (Mugheethul Khalq). This is overwhelmingly   my opinion.
(2)  Confirming   the  authorship  of  this  book  to  Imaam  Al-Juwaini  and  assigning the matter  to Allah Ta’ala.
For  verily,  there  is  Consensus    that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah is  among  the    Aimmah  of  the  Muslimeen  in  view  of  his uprighteousness,  integrity  and  the  compliance  of  his  Fatwa  with  the  gracious  Shariah.  His  Ijtihaadaat  do  not   conflict with the spirit of the Nusoos.

Ma-aadhallaah!  (Allah  forbid!)  that  Imaam  Al-Juwaini  would  make  these  statements  against  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah. It  is  not  possible  that    this  rubbish  (ghutha’)    could emanate  from  such  a  great  and  illustrious    Shaikh  (i.e. Imaam  Al-Juwaini).  Which  Usool  did    he  not  comply  with? Verily  his  Usool  were  the  Kitaab,  the  Sunnah,  Ijma’  and Qiyaas.
The  Ijma’  of  the  Ummah  confirms  that  Abu  Hanifah  was an  Aalim  who   ressorted  to  (valid)  analogical  reasoning, and  he  would    issue  decrees  according  to  what  Allah  has revealed. Thus, this is a baseless calumny  against him.
If  indeed  the  attribution  of  these  statements  to  Imaam  Al-Juwaini    is  correct,  then  the  best  is  to  adopt  silence  and  to assign the matter to Allah Azza Wa Jal.”

Indeed  it  is  not  possible  for  an  Imaam  of  the  calibre  of Imaam  Al-Juwaini  to  have  uttered  the    villainous  and slanderous    ghutha’  (rubbish)  which  has  been  attributed  to him.  How  is  it  possible  for  such  an  august  personality,  a Muqallid  of  Imaam  Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah  alayhi)  to  have written  such  slanderous  rubbish  when  he  was    fully  aware that  in  the  introduction  of  his  Kitaabul  Umm,  Imaam Shaafi’ (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

The Ulama are the  children of Abu Hanifah in Fiqh.”

It  is    inconceivable  that  Imaam  Al-Juwaini  was  not  aware of    Imaam  Shaafi’s  Kitaabul  Umm.    And,  likewise  it  is inconceivable that Imaam  Al-Juwaini regarded Imaam  Abu Hanifah  to  be  a  ‘kaafir’.  The  blasphemy    attributed  to Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  undoubtedly  renders  such  an exponent  a  kaafir.  The  one  who    refutes  or  who  is  in flagrant  conflict  with    the  Qur’aan,  the  Sunnah  and    the Ijma’  of  the  Ummah  cannot  be  a  Muslim.  When  there exists  unanimity    among  the    Ulama  of  Salafus  Saaliheen on  the  elevated  status  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  on  the fact  that  he  was    the  greatest    Mujtahid  Imaam,  and  the very  first  one  to  systematize  and  codify  the  Shariah,  then  it is  inconceivable  that    such  an  illustrious  Imaam  as  Al-Juwaini  would  venture  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  is  not even  a  Muslim.  Precisely  for  this  reason    does  Imaam Suyuti  say  that    the  villainous    statements  attributed  to Imaam  Al-Juwaini  are    a  conglomeration  of    ghutha’  – pure  fabricated  rubbish  unbefitting  even  ignoramuses, except  those  who  have  malicious  tendencies  and  villainous objectives.

Paying  glowing  tribute  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  in Tabyeedhus  Saheefah,  Imaam  Jalaaluddin  As-Suyuti  Ash Shaafi says:

Abu  Hanifah  was  the  first  to  compile    the  Ilm  of  the Shariah.  No  one  before  him  had  embarked  on  this  project. The  Sahaabah  and  the  Taabi’een  did  not   systematize  and chapterize    the  Knowledge  of  the  Shariah  nor  did  they  write  kutub.  They  relied  on  the  strength  of  their   understanding,  and  they  made  their  hearts    containers  of Knowledge.
After  them,  Abu  Hanifah  observed  that  Knowledge  had become  scattered.  He  therefore  feared  for  its  future destruction.  In  this  regard,  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  said:  ‘Verily,  Allah  Ta’ala  will  not    remove  Ilm by  snatching  it    from  (the  hearts)  of  people.  He  will    take away  Knowledge  by  the  death  of  the  Ulama.  Then  there will  remain  juhhaal  (ignoramus)  leaders.  They  will  issue fatwa  without  knowledge.  Thus  will  they    go  astray  and mislead others as well.” It  was  for  this  reason  that  Abu  Hanifah  compiled, chapterized  and  systematized  the  Knowledge  of  the Shariah.  He  had  kutub  prepared  beginning  with  the chapter  of  Tahaarat,  then  Salaat  and  chapters  on  all  the Ibaadaat  and  social  dealings.  He  completed    on  the chapter  of  Inheritance……..  Indeed  this  form  of chapterizing  (i.e.  beginning  with  Tahaarat  and  ending  with Inheritance)  is  most  beautiful,  most  skilful,  most  erudite and most discerning.
Then  after  him  came  other  Aimmah  who  derived  benefit from    his  Knoweldge.  They    followed  him  and    modelled their    kutub  on  the  system    of  his  kutub.  Hence,  we  narrate with  a  beautiful  (authentic)    chain  of  transmission  (Isnaad) from  Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  that,  verily,  he  said  in  a lengthy  discourse:  ‘The  Ulama  are  the  children  of  Abu Hanifah in Fiqh.

Now  how  could  it  ever  be  possible  and  even  conceivable that  this  great  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  in  conflict  with the  Qur’aanSunnah  and  Ijma’?  Justice,  sanity  and  fear  for Allah Ta’ala  preclude  such hallucination.

Rebutting another inconsiderate and  incongruent  attribution  to  Imaam  Al-Juwaini,  the  gist  of  which  is  a reckless  disparagement   of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and claiming  the  superiority  of  Imaam  Shaafi’  in  comparison to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  Imaam  Suyuti  says  on  the assumption that the attribution to Al-Juwaini is correct:

Perhaps  this  is  the  conclusion  of     the    ijtihaad  of Imaam  Al-Juwaini.  The  best  course  when  making  a comparison    among  the  Aimmah  is  to  prefer  a  (specific) opinion  over  another  (specific)  opinion  on  the  basis  of evidences.  In  the  absence  of  adillah  (evidence),  the  best course is to adopt  silence.”

The Shuyookh of Imam Abu Hanifah

It  has  already  been  mentioned  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah acquired    Ahaadith  and  Fiqh  from    approximately  four thousand  Mashaaikh.  In  Tabyeedhus  Saheefah,  Imaam Suyuti  enumerates  73  illustrious   Muhadditheen  and Fuqaha  from  whom  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  acquired Knowledge.
The Students of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah

From  the  thousands  of  Students  hailing  from  all  lands  of Islam,  Imaam  Suyuti  enumerated  the  names  of    91 Muhadditheen  and  Fuqaha  who  had  acquired  Knowledge from  Imaam Abu Hanifah.

Glad tidings of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) regarding  Abu  Hanifah

Imaam  Suyuti    presents  the  following  Ahaadith  which apply to Imaam Abu Hanifah:

Abu  Hurairah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  narrated  that Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  ‘If Knowledge  had  to  be    on  Thurayya  (the  star  Venus),  men from  the  sons  of  the  Persians  would    acquire  it  (from there).” (Narrated by  Abu Nu’aim in Al-Hilyah)
Ash-Shiraazi  narrates  in    Al-Alqaab  from  Qais  Bin Sa’d  Bin  Ubaadah  that  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  said:  ‘If  Knowledge  was  hanging    on  Thurayya, people from the sons of the Persians would acquire it.
The  Hadith  of  Abu  Huraira  is  in    Bukhaari  and  Muslim with  the  wording:  ‘If  Imaan  was    at  Thurayya,  men  from Persia would acquire it.
And  in  Muslim  it  appears:  ‘If  Imaan  had  to  be  in Thurayya,  then  a  man  from  the  sons  of  the  Persians  would go there until he acquires it.
In  another  version  in  Mu’jamut  Tibraani  Al-Kabeer,  the wording  is:  ‘If  Imaan  is  hanging    on  Thurayya,  the  Arabs will  not  acquire  it.  However,    men  from  Persia  will  acquire it.”    
These  are  authentic  narrations  on  which  reliance  is  reposed.”

Some  Manaaqib  of Abu Hanifah

The following are some  of  the  Manaaqib (virtues/excellences)  of  Abu  Hanifah  mentioned  by  Imaam Suyuti in his Tabyeedhus Saheefah:

(1)  Ibnul  Mubaarak  said:  “The  most  knowledgeable  in Fiqh is Abu Hanifah. I have not seen his likes in Fiqh.”

(2)  “Muhammad  Bin  Bishr  said:    ‘I  used  to  go  from  Abu Hanifah  to    Sufyaan.  Once  when  I  came  to  Abu  Hanifah, he  asked:  ‘From  whence  do  you  come?’  I  said:  ‘From Sufyaan.’  He  said:  ‘You  have  come  from  such  a  man whom even  Alqamah  would  have  been  in  need  of  if  he  was present.’   Then  I  went  to  Sufyaan.  He  asked:  ‘From whence    do  you  come?’  I  said:  ‘From  Abu  Hanifah.’  He said:  ‘You  have  come  from  him  who  is  the  most knowledgeable in Fiqh in  the world.”

(3)  Abdullah    Bin  Daawood    Al-Khuraibi  said:  “It  is incumbent  for  the  people  to  supplicate  in  their  Salaat  for Abu  Hanifah.”  Then  he    mentioned    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s   protection of the Sunnah and Fiqh.

(4)    Shaddaad  Bin  Hakeem    said:  “I  have  not  seen  anyone  more learned than Abu Hanifah.”

(5)  Khaarijah    Bin  Mus’ab  said:  “Four  persons  completed the Qur’aan  in one raka’t  – Uthmaan  Bin  Affaan,  Tameem  Ad-Daari,  Saeed  Bin  Jubair and Abu Hanifah (Radhiyallahu anhum).” 

(6)  Ibn  Abi  Daawood  said:  “People  are  ignorant  about  Abu Hanifah and  envious  of him.”

(7)  Yahyah  Bin  Adh-Dharees  said  that  a    man  came  to Sufyaan  who  said:  “I  have  heard  Abu  Hanifah  saying:  ‘I adhere  to  the  Kitaab  of  Allah.    When  I  don’t  find  it  in  the Kitaab  of  Allah,    I  adopt  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  When  I  do  not  find  anything in  the  Kitaab  of  Allah  nor  in  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),    then  I    take    whichever  statement  of    the  Sahaabah  I    prefer  and  leave    that  which  I do  not  prefer.  I  do  not  go  beyond  their  statements  towards the  statements  of  others.  However,  when  the  matter  comes to   Ibraaheem,  Sha’bi,  Ibn  Seereen,  Hasan,  Ataa’,  Saeed Bin  Musayyib  and  others,  then  they  are    people  of  Ijtihaad. I  then resort to Ijthaad as they  do.”

(8)    Khalf  Bin  Ayyoob  said  “Knowledge  was  transmitted from  Allah  Ta’ala  to  Muhammad  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam),  then  to  his  Sahaabah,  then  to  the  Taabi’een, then to Abu Hanifah and his Companions.”

(9)  Fudhail  Bin  Iyaadh  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  a  Faqeeh well-known  for  Fiqh,  famous  for  wara’,  generous  with wealth,  patient  in  imparting  Knowledge  night  and  day, constant  in  silence,  little  in  speech  unless  the  mas’alah  centred  around  halaal  and  haraam.  He  expended considerable  effort  on  the  truth.  He  fled  from  the  wealth  of the  Sultan.  If  there  was  a  Saheeh  Hadith  regarding  a mas’alah,  he  would  adopt  it,  even  if  the  narration  is  from the  Sahaabah    and  Taabi’een.  In  the  absence  of  such narration,  he  would  resort  to  Qiyaas,  and  his  Qiyaas  was beautiful.”

(10)    Imaam  Shaafi’  said:  “Whoever  desires  to  know  Fiqh, should    cling  to  Abu  Hanifah  and  his  Companions,  for verily, all people are  his children in Fiqh.”
(11)  An-Nadhr  Bin  Shumail  said:  “Regarding  Fiqh,  people were  asleep.  Abu  Hanifah  woke  them  (from  their slumber).”

(12)  Ibn  Abi  Daawood  said:  “Only  two  persons  criticize Abu  Hanifah.  One  who  is  envious  of  his  deeds  or  one  who is ignorant of  his Knowledge.”

(13)  Ar-Rabee’  said:  “Once  Abu  Hanifah  visited  the Khalifah  Mansoor.  Isaa  Bin  Musa  who      was  present  said to    Mansoor:  ‘Today,  this  is  the  Aalim  of  the  world.” Mansoor  said  to  Abu  Hanifah:  ‘From  whom  have  you acquired  knowledge?’  Abu  Hanifah  said:  ‘From  the Companions  of  Umar    who  narrate  from  him,  and  from  the Companions  of    Ali    who  narrate  from  him,  and  from  the Companions  of  Abdullah  Ibn  Mas’ood  who  narrate  from him.  During  the  time  of  Ibn  Abbaas  there  was  no  one  on the  surface  of  the  earth  more  knowledgeable  than  him.” The  Khalifah  Mansoor  said:  ‘You  have  solidified (Knowledge)  for  yourself  (i.e.  you  have  acquired Knowledge from the most powerful sources).”

(14)  Ismaaeel  Bin  Ayyaash  said  that  he  heard      Al-Auzaai’ and  Al-Umri  saying:  “Abu  Hanifah  is  the  most knowledgeable regarding  problematic masaa-il.”

(15)  Ali  Bin  Aasim  said:  “If  the  intelligence  of  Abu Hanifah  is  weighed  with  the  intelligence  of    half  of mankind, his intelligence will outweigh their intelligence.”

(16)    Yahya  Bin  Ma-een  said:  “For  me  is  the  Qiraa’t  of  Humzah and the Fiqh of  Abu Hanifah.”

The  information  in  this  chapter    has  been  extracted  from Imaam  Suyuti’s,  Tabyeedhus  Saheefah  which    he    devoted to  the  Manaaqib  (virtues  and  excellences)  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  in  the  endeavour  to  vindicate  this  illustrious Imaam  of  Islam  against  the  calumnies  and  slanders  of ignoramuses  and  malicious  persons  who  harboured  hasad   for Imaam A’zam. There  are  many  more  Manaaqib  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  in Tabyeedhus  Saheefah.  These  shall,  In sha-Allah,  feature  in a  separate  volume  which    shall  deal  with  the  anecdotes  of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh).

THE  SLANDER THAT ABU HANIFAH WAS AMONG THE MUR’JIYAH 

The  Murji’ah  is  one  of  the  deviate  sects.  Their fundamental  belief  is  that  Imaan  is  not  contaminated  by evil  deeds.  Judgment  is  deferred  to  Qiyaamah,  hence  a sinner  cannot  be  labelled  here  on  earth,  neither  is  he absolved  here  on  earth  nor  condemned.  They  also  believe that sin and transgression do not damage or weaken Imaan.

This  is  obviously  not  the  teaching  or  belief  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  has  been  baselessly criticized  with  the  slander  of  being  among  the  deviate Murji’ah.  There  are  two  types  of  Irjaa’  –  the  Irjaa’  of  the Ahlus  Sunnah  and  the  Irjaa’  of  the  Ahl-e-Dhalaah  (the people  of  deviation).  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  his  Students and  his  Shuyookh  are  among  the  Murji’ah  of    the  Ahlus Sunnah.

The  Mu’tazilah  who  believe    that  those  who  commit major  sins  will    remain  in  the  Fire  forever,    have  labelled their  opponents  among  the  Ahlus  Sunnah  as  Murj’iah. Sometimes  the  Aimmah  who    teach  that    A’maal  are    not an  integral    constituent  of  Imaan,    and  that  Imaan  neither increases nor decreases, are also labelled as  Murj’iah. The  Math-hab  of  Abu  Hanifah  is  that  Imaan  does  not increase  and  decrease.  Some  of  the  Muhadditheen  who believe  that  A’maal  are  integral  to  Imaan  and  that  Imaan increases  and  decreases,    have  labelled  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah a Murj’iah.

It  is  improper  and  erroneous  to    simply  accept    that  an Imaam  is  a  Murj’iah  from  the  deviates  simply  on  the  basis of  the  labelling  of    a  Muhaddith  regardless  of  his  lofty status.  It  is  incumbent  to    investigate    whether    the  Irjaa’  is of  the  deviate  class  or  of  the  Ahlus  Sunnah. In this regard, Al-Haafiz Ath-Thahabi says in  Meezaanul I’tidaal:  “Mis’ar  Bin  Kidaam  is  an  Authority.  The  statement  of  As-Sulaimaani,  viz.’  Mis’ar  Bin  Kidaam,  Hammaad  Bin Abi  Sulaimaan,  An-Nu’maan,  Amr  Bin  Murrah,  Abdul  Bin Abi  Rawaad,  Abu  Muaawiyah,  Umar  Bin  Thar,  etc.,  etc. are Murj’iah, has no validity.”

As-Sayyid  Muhammad  Murtaza  Az-Zabeedi  says  in  his KitaabUqoodul  Jawaahiril  Muneefah:  “The  attribution  of Irjaa’  (of  the  deviate    kind)  to  Abu  Hanifah  is  erroneous because    the  opinion  of  all  the  Companions  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  is  in  conflict  with  the  opinion  of  the  people  of Irjaa’.  If  Abu  Hanifah  had  been  a  Murj’iah,  then  his Companions    too  would  have    held  this  opinion.  However, they  are  present  today  and  are  in  opposition  to  this  (view of  the  Murj’iah).  When  the  people  have  enacted  consensus on  an  issue,  then    the  dissent  of  one  or  two  will  not  be accepted  nor  their  claim  be  acknowledged.  In  fact, according  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  Salaat  behind  a Murj’iah is not permissible.

A’maal  (virtuous  deeds)  are  not    an  integral  constituent  of Imaan  nor  does  Imaan    increase  or  decrease.  This  is  the Math-hab  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.    There  is  no  conflict with  Imaan  in  this  concept  propounded  by  Imaam  Abu Hanifah.  There  is  no  conflict  with  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah in  this  concept.  To  brand  him  Murj’iah  on  the  basis  of    the contrary  concept  propounded  by  the  Muhadditheen  is bigotry  and  irrational.  There  is  no  Shar’i  basis  for  denying the validity of  Imaam Abu Hanifah’s concept.

Both  concepts,  i.e.  of    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  of  the Muhadditheen,    are    the  effects  of  opinion.    They  are  not the  products  of  Wahi.  Hence,  the  holder  of  one  opinion may  not    label  the  other  one    a  deviate    and  a  Murj’iah  on account  of  any  similarity    or    corroboration  in  any  one   such  belief/concept  which    does  not    conflict  with  the essentials  of  the  Deen.    A  person  cannot  be  branded  a Murj’iah  or  a  Yahood   on  the  basis  of  his  belief  in  the Unity  of    Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal.  These    deviates  also   subscribe  to  the  doctrine  of  the  Unity  of    The  Creator.    If  the  similarity  is  in  a  belief  of  kufr,  then  undoubtedly,  the criticism and designation will be valid.

Ibn  Abdul  Barr  said:  “Envious  people  would  attribute what  is  not  in  him,  and  would  fabricate  which  is unbefitting  for him.

Allaamah  Abdul  Hayy  Luckhnowi  has    elaborated    in detail this issue in his Kitaab, Ar-Raf wat Takmeel.

WHAT ALLAAMAH ATH-THAHABI SAYS ABOUT ABU HANIFAH

In  his  introduction  to    the  chapter  dealing  with  the  virtues of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  Ath-Thahabi  says  in  his   Tazkiratul Huffaaz: “This  treatise    deals  with  the  Faqeeh  of  the  age,  the  Aalim of  the  time,  Abu  Hanifah.  He  was  of    a  noble  elevated  status,  of  purified  soul  and  of  an  extremely  lofty  rank  An-Nu’maan  Bin  Thaabit  Bin  Zuti,  the  Mufti    of  Kufa.  He, may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him,  was  born  in  the    year  80 Hijri.  He  had  pleased  Allah,  and  disseminated  whatever  he had  elaborated  of  the  Deen    of  Rectitude.  He  was  born during the  Khilaafat of   Abdul Malik Bin  Marwan in Kufa.

Note by  Allaamah Muhammad  Zaahid Al-Kauthari:

Zuti  is  not  the  name  of  Thaabit’s  father.  Thaabit’s  father was  An-Nu’maan  Bin  Al-Marzubaan  whose  father  was Zuti.  Imaam  Mas’ood  Bin  Shaibah  has  mentioned  this  in At-Ta’leem.  This  conforms  with  the  view  of  Ismaaeel  Bin Hammaad.

Having  been  born  in  the  year  80  Hijri  is  the  preferred  and more  cautious  view.  This  is  the  majority  view.  However, this  conclusion  will  apply  when  other  views  in  this  regard are  not  considered  with  (their)  evidences.  According  to  Ibn Zawwaad,  the  birth  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was    in  61 Hijri.  It  is  stated  in  Ansaab  of  As-Sam’aani  that  he  was born  in  70  Hijri.  This  is  also    said  in    Kitaab  Al-Jarh  wat Ta’deel  of  Ibn  Hibbaan,  and  in    Raudhatul  Qudhaat  of Abul  Qaasim  As-Simnaani,  the  contemporary  of    Al-Khatib  Al-Baghdaadi.  This  latter  view  is  further corroborated  by  the  narration  of  Hammaad  Bin  Abi Hanifah  recorded  by  Al-Haafiz  Muhammad  Bin  Mukhlad Al-Attaar.  (End of note)

Abu  Hanifah’s  birth  was  during    the  era  of    a  Jamaa’t  of Sahaabah  (Radhiyallhu  anhum).  He  was  among  their Taabi’een,  for  verily  it    is  authentically  reported  that  he had  seen  Anas  Bin  Maalik  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  when  he (Anas)  visited  Kufa.  Muhammad  Bin  Sa’d  said:  “Saif  Bin Jaabir  said  that  he  heard  Abu  Hanifah  saying:  ‘I  saw  Anas (Radhiyallahu anhu).’

Imaam Abu  Hanifah’s Akhlaaq (Character) and Wara’ (Piety)

Once   when  Imaam  Abu  Yusuf    came  to    Khalifah  Haroon Rashid,  the  latter  enquired:  “Describe    for  me  the  character of  Abu  Hanifah.”  Abu  Yusuf    said:  “Wallaah!  He  was extreme  in  abstention  from  haraam;  aloof  from  the  people of  the  dunya;    of  enduring  silence,  and    perpetually    in rumination.  He  was  not  a  talkative  person.  If  he  was  asked about  a  mas’alah,  he  would  answer  if  he  had  its knowledge.  O  Ameerul  Mu’mineen!  I  know  of  him  only that  he  would  protect    himself  and  his  Deen  by    means  of seclusion.  He  never  mentioned    anything  about  anyone except  what was good.

Some  people  in  the  presence  of  Sufyaan  Bin  Uyainah  were  criticizing  Abu  Hanifah.  Sufyaan  said:  “Stop!  Abu Hanifah  surpassed  all  people  in    abundance  of  Salaat.  He was  the  greatest  of  them  in  observance  of  Amaanat  (Trust), and the best of them as far as  culture.

Shareek  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  of  enduring  silence, perpetually in reflection, and abstemious  in conversation.”

Al-Hasan  Bin  Ismaaeel  Bin    Mujaalid  said:  “I  heard Wakee’  saying:    Al-Hasan  Bin  Saalih  Bin  Huyyayy  said: “Abu  Hanifah’s    fear  for  Allah  was  profound.  He  was dreadful of haraam being  made lawful.

Ibnul  Mubaarak  said:  “I  never  saw  a  man  more  dignified  in a  gathering  nor  more  beautiful  in  silence  and  tolerance than Abu Hanifah.

Al-Muthanna  Bin  Rajaa’  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  had  imposed on  himself    to  give  Sadqah  of  one  dinar    if  he  should    take an  oath  by  Allah  to  emphasize  the  truth  of  the  Hadith  he presented.  Whenever  he      spent  on  his  family,  he  would give the same amount in Sadqah.

Qais  Bin  Rabee’  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  a  man  of profound piety and generous to his brethren.”

Muhammad  Bin  Jaabir  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  spoke  very little except  when asked. He  laughed little, reflected much, and  was  always  in  grief  as  if  a  calamity  had  just  befallen him.”

The Shuyookh  and  Students of  Abu  Hanifah

Abu  Hanifah  acquired  Fiqh  from  Hammaad  Bin  Abu Sulaimaan,  the  Companion  of  Ibraaheem  Nakha’i,  and from  others.  According  to  one  narration,  he    was  in  the companionship  of  Hammaad  for  ten  years.  According  to another narration, fifteen years.

Note by Allaamah Kauthari

The  correct  version  is  that    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    joined Hammaad  Bin  Abi  Sulaimaan  during  the  era  of    Ibraaheem An-Nakh’i,  then  remained  with  him  until  his  (Hammaad’s) demise in the year 120 Hijri.

He  acquired  Hadith  from    Ataa  Bin    Rabaah  in  Makkah.  Abu Hanifah said:  “I  did not  see anyone better than  Ataa.” He    also  heard  Ahaadith  from  Atiyyah  Al-Aufi,  Abdur Rahmaan  Bin  Hurmuz  Al-A’raj,  Ikrimah,  Naafi’,    Adiyy Bin  Thaabit,  Amr  Bin  Dinaar,  Salmah  Bin  Kuhail,  Qataadah  Bin  Di-aamah,  Abi  Az-Zubair,    Mansoor,  Abu Ja’far  Muhammad  Bin  Ali  Bin  Husain,  and  from    a  great number of other Taabi’een.
Jamaa’t  from  the  seniors  had  acquired  Fiqh  from  Abu Hanifah.  Among  them  are  Zufar  Bin  Huzail,  Abu  Yusuf Al-Qaadhi,    Hammad  Bin  Abi  Hanifah,  Nooh  Bin  Abi Maryam),    Abu  Mutee’,  Al-Hakam  Bin  Abdullah  Al-Balkhi,  Al-Hasan  Bin  Ziyaad  Al-Lu’lu’i,  Muhammad  Bin Al-Hasan  and  Asad  Bin  Amr  Al-Qaadhi  (and  innumerable others). A  large  number  of  Muhaditheen  and  Fuqaha  whose number  cannot  be  enumerated  narrate  from  Abu  Hanifah. 

From  his  contemporaries    were  Mugheerah  Bin  Miqsam,  Zakariyya  Bin  Abi  Zaaidah,  Mis’ar  Bin  Kidaam,  Sufyaan Ath-Thauri,  Maalik  Bin  Mighwal    and  Yunus  Bin  Abi Ishaaq.

From  Narrators  after  him were  Zaaidah,  Shareek, Al-Hasan  Bin  Saalih,    Abu  Bakr  Ayyaash,    Isaa  Bin  Yunus,  Ali  Bin  Mushir, Hafs  Bin  Ghiyaath,  Jareer  Bin  Abdul Hameed,    Abdullah  Bin  Al-Mubaarak, Abu  Muaawiyah,  Wakee’,  Al-Muhaaribi, Abu  Ishaaq  Al-Fazaari,  Yazeed Bin  Haaroon,    Ishaaq  Bin  Yusuf  Al-Azraq,  Al-Muaafi  Bin Imraan,    Zaid  Bin  Al-Hubaab, Sa’d  Bin  As-Salt,  Makki Bin  Ibraaheem,  Abu  Aasim  An-Nabeel,  Abdur  Razzaaq Bin  Hammaam, Hafs  Bin  Abdur  Rahmaan  Al-Balkhi, Ubaidullah  Bin  Musa,  Abu  Abdur  Rahmaan  Al-Muqri,  Muhammad  Bin  Abdullah  Al-Ansaari, Abu  Nuaim, Hauthah  Bin  Khalifah,  Abu  Usaamah,  Abu  Yahya  Al-Himmaani,  Ibn  An-Numair,    Ja’far  Bin  Aun,  Ishaaq  Bin Sulaimaan Ar-Raazi, and  numerous from creation.

Note by Allaamah Kauthari

Those    who    narrated  from  Abu  Hanifah,  enumerated  by Al-Haafiz  Abul  Hajjaaj  Al-Mizzi  in  Tahzeebul  Kamaal   are  approximately  a  hundred.  This  is  no  where  near  to  the  large  number  of  thousands  who  narrated  from  Abu Hanifah.

The Ibaadat of  Abu Hanifah

Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  Qiyaamul  Lail  (staying  awake  in Ibaadat  the  entire  night),  Tahajjud  and  Ibaadat  are  established  by  Tawaatur  (abundance  of  narration  incessantly  and  continuously  narrated  in  all  eras).

Ya’qoob Bin  Shaibah  said:  “I    heard    Abu  Aasim  An-  Nabeel  say: “Abu  Hanifah  was  known  as  Al-Watad  (a  stake  or  a  peg driven  firmly  into  the  ground)  because    of  the  abundance of his Salaat.

The  father  of    Yahya  Al-Himmaani    said:  “I  was  in    Abu Hanifah’s  company  for  six  months.  I  saw  him  performing Fajr  Salaat  with  the  Wudhu  of  Isha’,  and  he  used  to complete the Qur’aan every night by the time of Sahr. 

Abdur  Rahmaan  Al-Muqri  said:  “If  you  had  seen    Abu Hanifah  performing  Salaat,  you  would  understand  that Salaat is his profession.”

Ibraaheem  Bin  Rustum  Al-Marwazi  said:  “I  heard Khaarojah  Bin  Mus’ab  say:  “Four     persons  from  the Aimmah  had  completed  the  whole  Qur’aan  in  one  Raka’t:  Uthmaan  Bin  Affaan,  Tameem  Ad-Daari,  Sa-eed  Bin Jubair and Abu Hanifah (Radhiyallahu anhum).

Al-Qaasim  Bin  Al-Ma’n  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  stood  one night (in Salaat) repeating the aayat  “In fact, the Hour  (Qiyaamat)  is their promised time, and the Hour is most catastraphic and  most unpleasant.” (Aayat 46 Surah Al-Qamar) and weeping until the morning.” 

Yazeed  Bin  Kumait  said  that  a  man  once  said  to  Abu  Hanifah:  “Fear  Allah!”.    He  fell  down,  became  pale  and shivered,  and  he  said:  “Jazaakallaah  khairan!  (May  Allah reward  you    munificiently).  People  are  always  in  need  of  one who  say so.”

Haamid  Bin  Aadam  Al-Marwazi  said:  “I  heard  Ibnul Mubaarak  say:  “I  did  not  see  anyone  more  pious  than  Abu Hanifah.  Verily,  he  was  tested  with  whipping  and  with wealth.”

Once    Ismaaeel,  the  grandson  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  with  his  father,  Hammaad  passed  by  Al-Kunaasah  (a market-place).  He  (Ismaaeel)  said:  “My  father  cried.  I asked:  ‘O  my  father!  What  causes  you  to  cry?’  He  said:  “O my  son!  At  this  place  Ibn  Hubairah  (the  governor)  had  your  grandfather  (Imaam  Abu  Hanifah)  whipped  for  ten days  –  every  day    ten  lashes  to  compel  him  to  become  the Qaadhi, but he refused.”

Abdur  Razzaaq  said:  “I  did  not  see  anyone  more  tolerant than  Abu  Hanifah.  Once  we  were  seated  with  him  in Musjidul  Khaif.  A  man    asked  a  mas’alah  and  he  (Abu Hanifah)    gave  the  fatwa.  The  man  said:  ‘Hasan  Basri  said  so  and  so.’  Abu  Hanifah  said:  ‘Hasan  had  erred.’    Then  a man  with  his  face  masked  entered  and  said:  ‘O  son  of    an adultress!  You  say  that  Hasan  has  erred!’  Then  the  people attempted  to  attack  him  (the  masked  man).  Abu  Hanifah said:  ‘I  say  that  Al-Hasan  has  erred,  and    Ibn  Mas’ood  has said what is correct.”

A  man    abusing  and  vilifying  Abu  Hanifah  said:  ‘O  kaafir! O  zindeeq!’  Abu  Hanifah  responded:  “May  Allah  forgive you.  He    knows    of  me  the  contrary  of  what  you  are saying.”

Al-Qaasim  Bin  Ma’an  said:  “Ibn  Hubairah  apprehended  Abu  Hanifah  intending  to  appoint  him    as  the  Qaadhi.  Abu Hanifah  refused  and  was  imprisoned.  It  was  said  to  Abu Hanifah    that  Ibn  Hubairah  had  taken  an  oath  not  to   release  you  as  long  as  you  refuse  to    become  the  Qaadhi. He  intends  to  construct  a  building    and    you  should  calculate  the  number  of  bricks  he  will  require.    (If  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  had  agreed,  it  would    free  Ibn  Hubairah  of his  oath  and    he  (Abu  Hanifah  would  be  released).  Then He  (Abu  Hanifah)  said:  “Even  if  he  asks  me  to  count  the the  doors of the Musjid, I shall not do so.”

Someone  mentioned  Abu  Hanifah  to  Ibnul  Mubaarak.  He said:  “What  could  be  said  about  a  man  to  whom  the  world and  wealth  were  presented,  but  he    shunned  it.  He  was lashed,  and  he    patiently  bore  it.  He  did  not      pursue  that which others hanker after.

Once  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said  to  a  group  of  his  select, senior  Students:  “If  any  one  of  you  is  offered  the  post  of  the  Qaadhi,  and  if  he  is  aware  of    a  corruption    within himself  which  Allah  has  concealed,  then  it  is  not permissible  for  him  to  be  the  Qaadhi.  His  wage    will  not  be  lawful  for  him.     If  one    becomes  a  qaadhi  by  force  of circumstances,    then  he  should  not  keep  himself  aloof  from the  people.  He    should  perform  the  five  Salaat  in  the Musjid,  and    at  the  time  of  every  Salaat,  he  should proclaim:  “Does  anyone  have  a  need?’  After  performing Isha’,  he  should  proclaim    thrice    in  a  raised  voice:  “Does anyone  have  a  need?”  Thereafter  he  should  enter  into  his home.” If  he  is    incapacitated  by  a  sickness  which  precluded  him from   attending  to his duty,  then  he should   deduct from his salary according to the  days of sickness.”

Hasan  Bin  Ziyaad  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  said:  ‘When    the qaadhi  takes  a  bribe,  he  is  dismissed  (automatically)  even if  he is not dismissed (by  the authorities).

Imaam Abu Hanifah’s Fiqh

Yusuf  Bin  Musa  said:  “I  heard  Jareer  saying:  ‘When  Al-A’mash  was  questioned  about    subtleties,  he  would    send them  to  Abu  Hanifah.  Mugheerah  said:  ‘Why  do  you  not go  to  Abu  Hanifah?’  (i.e.  for  acquiring    knowledge  in Fiqh).”

Yahya  Bin  Aktham  said  that    Jareer  narrated  to  him: ‘Mugheerah  said  to  me:  ‘Sit  with  Abu  Hanifah  and  you will  understand  Fiqh.    Verily,    even  if  Ibraaheem  was  alive he would have sat with him.”

Shabaabah   Bin  Sawwaar  said:  “Shu’bah  held  Abu Hanifah  in  very  high  esteem.  He  was    very  affectionate towards him.”

Ubaidullah  Bin  Musa  said:  “I  heard  Mis’ar  saying:  ‘May Allah  have  mercy  on  Abu  Hanifah.  Undoubtely,  he  was  a Faqeeh and an Aalim.”

Abu  Bakr  Bin  Ayyaash  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  the greatest Faqeeh of  his era.”

Rauh  Bin  Ubaadah  said:  “I  was  by  Ibn  Juraij.  It  was  said  to him  that    Abu  Hanifah  has  died.’  He  said:  “May  Allah have  mercy  on  him.  With  him  has  departed    considerable knowledge.”

Yazeed  Bin  Haaroon  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  the  greatest Faqeeh whom I saw.”

Shaddaad  Bin  Hakeem  said:  “I  did  not  see    a  man  with more knowledge than Abu Hanifah in his  age.”

Ibnul  Mubaarak  said:  “If  Allah  had  not  linked  me    with  Abu Hanifah and  Sufyaan, I would have been a bid’ati.”

Yahya  Bin  Aadam  said:  “  I  heard  Hasan  Bin  Saalih  saying: Abu  Hanifah  was  most  understanding  in  his  Knowledge and  most  grounded  in  it.    When  a  Hadith  was  authentic  by him, he would not  deflect from it to  something else.”

Al-Muzani said:  ‘I  heard  Shaafi’  saying:  “The  people  are the children of Abu Hanifah in Fiqh.”

Ibraaheem  Bin  Abdullah  Al-Marwazi  Al-Khallaal  said: “Abu Hanifah was a Beacon (of Knowledge).”

Ahmad  Bin  As-Sabaah  said:  “I  heard  Shaafi’  saying:    ‘It was    said  to  Maalik:  ‘Have  you  seen  Abu  Hanifah?’  He said:  ‘Yes.  If  he    converses  with  you  regarding  this  pillar, saying that it is  of gold, then he will prove it to be so.

Bishr  Haafi  said:  “Only  a  jaahil  (ignoramus)  or  a  haasid (jealous person) will criticize Abu  Hanifah.”

Abu  Muslim  Al-Kajjee  said  that  Muhammad  Bin  Sa’d  AlKaatib    narrated  that  Al-Khuraibi  said:    ‘It  is  incumbent  on the  People  of  Islam  to  make  dua  for  Abu  Hanifah    after their Salaat.”

Makki  Bin  Ibraaheem  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  the  greatest Faqeeh of his era.”

Yahya  Bin  Ma-een  said:  “I  heard  Yahya  Bin  Saeed  AlQattaan saying: ‘We  do not belie  Allah!  We have not heard  a  better  opinion  than  the  opinion  of  Abu  Hanifah.  We  have adopted most of his views.”

Yahya  Bin  Abi  Taalib  said:  “I  heard  Ali  Bin  Aasim  saying: “If  the  Knowledge  of  Abu  Hanifah  is  weighed  against    the Knowledge  of  the  people  of  his  era,  his    Knowledge  will outweigh it.”

Talq  Bin  Ghannaam  An-Nakha’i  said:  “I  heard  Hafs  Bin Ghiyaath  saying:  “The  speech  of  Abu  Hanifah  is  more subtle than poetry. Only a jaahil  finds fault with it.”

ABU HANIFAH AND RAAI’ (OPINION)

The often  heard  slander  of  the  Salafis and  of  detractors, old  and  new,  is  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  would  accord  preference  to  self-opinion  (raai’) over  the  Hadith  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam). Allaamah  Thahabi,  and   many  other authorities of  the  Shariah  of  all  Math-habs  have  firmly  debunked  this fallacy.  In  his  biography  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh),  Allaamah  Thahabi  enumerates  the statements  of  many  Authorities  to  confirm  the  falsity  of  the raai’  slander  levelled  against  Imaam  A’zam  (Rahmatullah alayh). Some extracts appear hereunder.

Nuaim  Bin  Hammaad  said:  “I  heard  Abu  Ismah  saying:  ‘I heard  Abu  Hanifah  saying:  ‘Whatever  comes  from Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  it  is    alar  ra’s  wal ain  (on  our  head  and  eyes).  Whatever  comes  from  the Sahaabah,  we  select  (therefrom).  And,  that  which  comes from others, then they are Rijaal and we too are Rijaal,” (Alar  ra’s  wal  ain:  This  is  an  expression  meaning wholehearted  and  happy  acceptance  and  submission without  the  slightest  hesitation.  ‘Rijaal’  (Men)  in  the context  means  qualified Ulama.)

Ibn  Ma-een  said  that  Thauri  said:  “I  heard  Ubaid  Bin  Abi Qurrah  say:  ‘I  heard  Yahya  Bin  Ad-Dhurais  saying:  ‘I  was present  by    Ath-Thauri  when  a  man  came  and  said:  ‘What is    your  complaint  against  Abu  Hanifah?’  He  (Thauri)  said: What  about  him?’.  The  man  said:  ‘I  heard  Abu  Hanifah saying:    ‘I  cling  to  the  Kitaab  of  Allah.  When  I  do  not  find  anything    (pertaining  to  an  issue)  therein,  then  (I  adopt)  the Sunnah  of    Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  If  I  do not  find  (it  in  the  Sunnah),  then  I  adopt  the  view  of  any  Sahaabi  I  wish.  However,  when  the  issue    stops  at  Ibraaheem,  Sha’bi,  Hasan  and  Ataa’,  then  I  resort  to Ijtihaad just as they  had  resorted to Ijtihaad.’ Then  Sufyaaan  Thauri  remained  silent  for  a  long  while. Then  he  spoke  some  words  which  everyone  in  the gathering  wrote  down.  He  said:  ‘We  hear  from  Hadith some  severe  narrations  which  we  fear.  And,  we  hear    some tender  narrations  which  please  us.  We  do  not  take  a reckoning  from  those  who  are  alive  nor  do  we  make  a judgment  of  those  who  have died.  We accept  what we  have heard.  We  assign  what  we  do  not  know  to  its  knower,  and we  fault our opinion (in preference) for their opinion.

Muhammad  Bin  Shujaa’  Ath-Thalji  said:  ‘I  heard  Ismaaeel Bin  Hammaad  Bin  Abi  Hanifah  saying:  ‘Abu  Hanifah said:  ‘We  do  not  compel  anyone  to  submit  to  our  opinion nor  do  we  say  that  it  is  incumbent  on  anyone  to  accept  it. Whoever  has  a  better  opinion  should  come  forward  with it.”

Hasan  Bin  Ziyaad  Al-Lu’lu’i  said:  Abu  Hanifah  said: ‘This,  our  opinion  is  the  best  of  our  effort.  If  a  better opinion is forthcoming, we accept it.”

Ibn  Hazam  said:  “All  the  Companions  of  Abu  Hanifah  are unanimous  that  the  Math-hab  of  Abu  Hanifah  is  that  even a  Dhaeef  Hadith  is  preferred  by  him  over    qiyaas  and raai’.”

Ubaidullah  Bin  Amr  Ar-Raqqi   said:  “We  were  by  Al-A’mash  when  Abu  Hanifah  was  present.  Someone  asked Al-A’mash  a  mas’alah.  He  said:  ‘Give  the  fatwa,  O Nu’maan!’  Abu  Hanifah  answered.  Al-A’mash  then  asked: ‘From  whence    do  you  say  this?  (That  is,  what  is  the evidence?).  Abu  Hanifah  said:  ‘The  Hadith  which  you  had narrated  to  us.’  Then  he  narrated  the  Hadith  to  Al-A’mash who  commented:  ‘You  (the  Fuqaha)  are  the  doctors  whilst we (the Muhadditheen)  are  pharmacists.”

Ibn  Abi  Rizmah  said  that  Abdaan  said  that  he  heard  Ibn Mubaarak  say:  ‘When  I  hear  people  speaking  ill  of  Abu Hanifah,  it grieves me. I fear Allah’s Wrath for them.

WHAT IMAAM GHAZAALI SAYS OF ABU HANIFAH

In  his  Ihyaaul  Uloom,  Imaam  Ghazaali  (Rahmatullah alayh) says: “The  Fuqaha  who  are  the  Authorities  of  Fiqh  and  whom the  vast  majority  of  people  follow  are  five:  Shaafi’, Maalik,    Ahmad  Bin  Hambal,  Abu  Hanifah  and  Sufyaan Ath-Thauri  (Rahmatullaah  alayhim).  Each  one    of  them was  an  Aabid,  Zaahid  and  an  Aalim  of  the  Knowledge  of the  Aakhirah,  and  a  Faqeeh  regarding  the    needs  of    people in  this  world.  With    his  Fiqh,  he    intended  to  acquire  the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

We  shall    narrate    from  these  four  attributes  of  these Fuqaha.   As  for  their    knowledge    of  Fiqh  it  is  an established   and  obvious  fact  (which    does  not  need elaboration).

Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  was  also  an  Aabid, Zaahid  fearful  of  Allah  Ta’ala,  intending  to  acquire  the pleasure  of  Allah  with  his  knowledge. Regarding  him being  an  Aabid,  it  is  known  from    the  narration  of    Ibnul Mubaarak  who  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  one  of  Murawwat(refined  culture)  and    one  who  performed  Salaat in  abundance.”  Hammaad  Bin  Abi  Sulaimaan  narrated  that he would  remain awake the entire night.

It  has  been  narrated  that  he  used  to  remain  awake  half  the night.  Then  once  whilst  walking  in  the  road  someone pointed  towards   him  (Abu  Hanifah)  and  said  to  another person:  “He  remains  awake  the  entire  night.”  Abu  Hanifah therafter    commented:  “I    feel  shame    for  Allah  Ta’ala  that I am      praised  with  an  attribute  which  is  not  in  me.” (Henceforth, he would remain awake the entire night.)

Regarding  his  Zuhd,  Ar-Rabee’  Bin    Aasim  said:    “Yazeed Bin  Umar  Bin  Hubairah  (the  governor)  sent  me  to  Abu Hanifah  to    inform  him  that  he  is  being  appointed    as  the treasurer  of  the  Baitul  Maal.  He  declined  and  was  flogged twenty  lashes.”  Reflect,  how  he  fled  from  leadership.  He rather  suffered  to  be  punished.  Al-Hakam  Bin  Hishaam Ath-Thaqafi  said  that  it  became    well-known  in  Shaam  that Abu  Hanifah  was  the  most  trustworthy  person.  Thus  the Sultan    intended  to  entrust  the  keys  of    his  treasury  to  Abu Hanifah.  Either  he  accepts  or  he  would  be  flogged.  Abu Hanifah  chose  the  option  of  flogging  (and  he  was  flogged) rather than the  punishment of  Allah Ta’ala.

When    Abu  Hanifah  was  mentioned  to  Ibnul  Mubaarak,  he commented:  “You    speak  about  a  man  to  whom  the  world with all its  treasures was presented,  but he fled  from  it.

On  another  occasion  it  was  said  to  Abu  Hanifah:  “Ameerul Mu’mineen  Abu    Ja’far  Al-Mansur  had  ordered  that  a  gift of  10,000  dirhams  be  presented  to  you.”  Abu  Hanifah    was not  pleased  (as  he  detested  the  wealth  of  the  rulers).  On  the day  appointed  for  the  delivery  of  the  gift,  Abu  Hanifah, after  performing  Fajr  Salaat,  covered  himself  with  his shawl  and  did  not  speak  to  anyone.  Then    Al-Hasan  Bin Quhtabah,  the  messenger  (of  the  Khalifah),  arrived  with the  wealth.  He  entered,  but  Abu  Hanifah  did  not  speak with  him.  Then    some  of  those  who  were  present  (fearing  the  repercussions  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  rebuff)  said  to the  messenger:  “This  is  his  usual  habit.  He  does  not  speak to  us  except  a  word  or  two.”  Then  he  said:  “Put  the  money in  this  bag  in  the  corner  of  the  room.”  Thereafter,  Abu Hanifah    said  to  his  son:  “When  I  die  and  after    you  have buried  me,  then  take  this  pile  of  money    to  Al-Hasan  Bin Quhtabah  and    say  to  him:  “Take  your  trust  which  you  had entrusted to Abu Hanifah.”

His  son  said:  “I  did  so.  Al-Hasan  then  commented:  “May Allah  have  mercy  on  your  father.  Verily  he  was  extremely zealous about his Deen.”

It  is  narrated  that  Abu  Hanifah  was  summoned  to  become the  Qaadhi.  He  said:  “I  lack  the  ability  for  this  post.”  It was  said  to  him:  ‘Why?’  He    said:  “If  I  am  speaking  the truth  (i.e.  “I   lack  the  qualifications  for  being  the Qaadhi.”),  then  obviously  I  am  unfit  for  the  position.  On the  other  hand,  if  I  am  speaking  a  lie,  then  (obviously)  a liar  is  unfit  for  this  position  of  Qadhaa’”.    (In  his  response, Imaam Abu Hanifah  said that  his statement:  ‘I  am not  fit to be  the  Qaadhi.’,  is  either  true  or  false.  There  is  no  third option.  If  true,  then  the  answer  is  obvious,  viz.,  that  he  is not  qualified.  If  his    statement  is  false,  then  a  liar  too  is  not fit  for the lofty  post of Amaanat.)

“Regarding  his    Knowledge  of  the  Way  of  the  Aakhirah and  the  affairs  of  the  Deen,  and  the  Ma’rifat  of  Allah  Azza Wa  Jal,  his  excessive  fear  for  Allah  Ta’ala  confirms  this. Also,  his  Zuhd  (abstemiousness)  in  the  dunya  confirms this.  Ibn  Juraij  said:  “It  has  reached  me  that    this  Nu’maan Bin  Thaabit    from  your  Kufa  was  extreme  in  his  fear  for Allah Ta’ala.” 

Shareek  An-Nakha’i  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  prolonged  in silence,  perpetually  in  reflection  and    of  little  speech  with people.  These  are    the  clearest  signs  of    esoteric  (baatini) Knowledge  and    engrossment  with  the    objectives  of  the Deen.  Whoever  has  been  granted  silence  and    Zuhd,  verily he has been granted  all Knowledge.

Abul  Juwairiyyah  said:  “I    was  in  Abu  Hanifah’s  company for  six  months.  Not  a  single  night  did  he  lie  down.  Abu Hanifah  used  to  stay  awake  half  the  night.  Then  once  he passed  by  some  people  who    commented  that  he    remained awake  the  entire  night.  Abu  Hanifah  then  said:  ‘I  feel  shy (for  Allah  Ta’ala)  that  I  be  praised  for    a  quality/act  which is  lacking  in  me.’    Thereafter  he  would    remain  awake  the entire night.”

Ibn  Abi  Laila  said  to  Ibn  Shubramah:  “Do  you  not  see  that this  son  of  a  weaver  (sarcastically  referring  to  Imaam  Abu Hanifah)  refutes  every  mas’alah  on  which  we  issue  a fatwa?”   

Ibn  Shubramah  said:  “I  do  not  know  if  he  is  a  son of  a  weaver  or  not.  But  I  know  that  the  dunya  came running  to  him,  but  he  fled  from  it,  and  the  dunya  fled from us while we  went searching for it.”

MALFOOTHAAT OF IMAAM ABU HANIFAH (RAHMATULLAH ALAYH) AND OF OTHER AUTHORITIES OF THE SHARIAH

1.    It  is  not  permissible  for  anyone  to  present  his  personal opinion  in  opposition  to   Kitaabullaah  (the  Qur’aan Hakeem),  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  or  the  Ijmaa’  (Consensus)  of  the  Sahaabah.    If there    are  differences  among  the  Sahaabah,  then  we  (from their  different  views)  adopt  the  view  which  appears  to  be closest  to  Kitaabullaah  or  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  This    (latter  course)  is  the substratum for Ijtihad.

2.  If  it  was  not  for  the  fear  of  narrowness  developing  in  the Deen,  I  would  never  venture  to  issue  Fatwa.  Of  the  issues which leads to Jahannam, the most dangerous is Fatwa.

3.  (Whenever  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  –Rahmatullah  alayh  –  was cast  into  a  quandary  regarding  any  mas’alah,  he  would say  to  his  Companions/Students):  “This  is  the  effect  of  some  sin  which  I  have  committed.”  (Then  he  would  lapse into   Istighfaar,  then  renew  wudhu  and  perform  two raka’ts   Salaatut  Taubah.  The  problem  would  then  be solved,  and  he  would  comment:  “This  is  a  kind  of bashaarat  (glad  tiding).  I  have  hope  that  my  Taubah  has been  accepted,  hence  I  have  understood  the  mas’alah.   When  the  renowned  Wali,  Hadhrat  Fudhail  Bin  Iyaadh (Rahmatullah  alayh)  was  informed  of  this  practice,  he  shed tears  in  profusion,  and  he  commented:  “O  Allah!  Have mercy  on  Abu  Hanifah.  Due  to  the  paucity  of  his  sins,  he has  been  able  to  recognize  his  error.  Others  will  not  realize this because they are drowned in sin.”

4.  Once  while  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  was walking  in  the  road,  accidently,  he  placed  his  foot    on  the foot  of  a  child  who  was  close  by.  The  child  said:  “O Shaikh!  Are    you  not  afraid  of  the compensation  of  the Day  of  Qiyaamah?”  The  effect  of  the  boy’s  words overwhelmed  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh), and  he  fell  down  unconscious.  When  he  revived,  someone asked  in  surprise  about  the  overwhelming  effect  of  the boy’s  statement.  He  said:  “I  fear  that  Alah  Ta’ala  had inspired into the boy’s heart that statement.”

5.  An  adversary  of    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said  in  anger:  “O  bid’ati!  O  zindeeq!  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh)  responded:  “May  Allah  forgive  you. Allah  Ta’ala  knows  that  you    have  spoken  erroneously.  After  having  recognized  Allah  Ta’ala,  I  am  not  concerned with  anyone  else.  I  petition  Him  for  forgiveness  and  I  fear His  punishment.”  The  adversary  said:  “Forgive  me.”  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “Whatever  a jaahil  says  to  me,  I  forgive  him.  But,  when  an  Aalim attributes  such  things  to  me  which  are  not  in  me,  then  his affair  is  extremely  delicate  because  the  effects  of  making gheebat  of  the  Ulama  are  enduring  (even  after  having  been forgiven).”

6.  Whenever  a  person  would  narrate  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (rahmatullah  alayh)  anything  about  others,  he  would immediately  debar  that  person  and  say:  “Abandon  narrating  the  detestable  things  of  people.  May  Allah forgive  any  person  who  says  something  ill  about  me,  and may  Allah  have  mercy  on  the  one  who  says  something good  about  me.  Instead  of  delving  into  the  affairs  of people,  acquire  Tafaqquh  (Understanding  of  the  Deen). Leave others.”

7.  Someone    asked:  “Is  Alqamah    better  or  Aswad?  (Both were    among  the  very  senior  students  of  Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh) responded:  “I    do  not  consider  my  self  worthy  of  even mentioning  their  names  besides  making  Dua  for  them. How  is  it  possible  for  me  to   prefer  any  one  of  them  over the other?”

8.  Someone  said  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah alayh):  “People  are  criticizing  you  in  abundance,  but  you  say  nothing  in  response.”  He  replied:  “This  is  the  fadhl (grace) of Allah. He  awards it to whomever He wishes.”

9.  “If  it  was  not    for  the  fear  that  Ilm  (Knowledge  of  the Deen)  would  be  lost,  I  would  not  issue  Fatwa.  It  is  Allah’s fear  which  constrains  me  to  issue  Fatwa.  (If  it  was  not  this fear),  then    why  should    others  be  in  comfort  while  the  sin (of unnecessary issuance of fatwa) settles on me.”

10. “I  have  never  repaid  evil    with  evil  nor  have  I  ever  cursed anyone.  I  never    oppressed  any  Muslim  or  even  a    Zimmi Kaafir nor did I deceive anyone or  abuse trust.”

11. Whoever  desires  a  status  before  being  deserving  of  it  will be disgraced.”

12. “If  the  Ulama  are  not  Auliya,  then  there  will  be  no  Wali  of Allah  in  this  dunya  and  the  Aakhirah.”  (In  other  words,  if  a learned  man  is  not  a  Wali,  then  he  is  not  an  Aalim.  He  remains a jaahil.)

13. “If  a  man’s  Ilm  does  not  prevent  him  from    prohibitions (haraam things), he is then in a  great loss.”

14.  Someone  asked  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh): “What  aids  in  the  acquisition  of  Tafaqquh?  He  said:  “The adoption  of  solitude.”  The  person  asked:  “How  is  solitude acquired?”  He  replied:  Reduce  relationships  (abstain  from unnecessary  intermingling  with  people).”  The  man  said: “How  should  this  be  reduced?”  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said: “Do not take more than what is necessary.”

15. “What greater  goodness is there than teaching  people about halaal  and  haraam.  We  seek  Allah’s  protection  from   being  disobedient  to  Him.  We  prevent  people  from  His disobedience.”

16. “Allah  Ta’ala  has  taken  a  pledge  from  the  Ulama  that  they will    impart  Ilm  to  people  and  not  conceal  it.  An  Aalim  teaches  solely  for  the  Pleasure  of  Allah.  He  has  no  special confidantes.”

17. Someone  asked  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  about  the  conflict  and war  between  Hadhrat  Ali  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  Hadhrat Muaawiyah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  He  responded:  “When Allah  Ta’ala  orders  me  to  stand  in  His  Presence  (in Qiyaamah),  He  will  not  question  me  about  that.  I  shall  be questioned  about  that  which  had  been  imposed  on  me.  I therefore  am  contented  to  be  involved  in  only  such  matters about which I shall be questioned.”

18. “I  am  bewildered  by  people  who  speak  about  Deeni  issues on the basis of conjecture.”

19. A  person  who  acquires  knowledge  for  the  sake  of  the world,  is  deprived  of  the  barkat  (Noor)  of  Ilm.  He  does  not become  grounded  in  Knowledge.  The  creation  of  Allah does  not  benefit  from  him.  He  who  acquired  Knowledge for  the  sake  of  the  Deen,  gains  the  barkat  of  Ilm.  He becomes  grounded  in  Ilm,  and  he  derives  benefit  from  his Knowledge.”

20. Once  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  advised  Hadhrat  Ibraahim  Bin Adham  (Rahmatullah  alayh):  “O  Ibraahim!  You  are  the recipient  of  a  great    and  virtuous    share  of  ibaadat.  You should  also    focus  on  Knowledge  of  the  Deen,  for  it  is  the basis  of  Deen.  All  worldly  and  Deeni  affairs  are  rectified by means of Ilm of the Deen.”

21. The  Khalifah  Mansoor  once  asked  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah: “Why  do  you  not  visit  me?”  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  replied: “I  have  no  fear  of  you  regarding  any  of  my  possessions.  If I  frequent  you,  I  shall  be  cast  into  fitnah  (trial)  and  the consequence will be humiliation.”

22. Responding  to  a  similar  question  of    the  governor  of Kufah,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said:  “A  piece  of  bread,  some water  and  cloth  to  cover  the  body  are  better  than  the disgrace  and  shame    which  will  follow  afterwards  (i.e.  in Qiyaamah).”

23. Acquire  Tafaqquh  in  the  Deen  and  leave  the  people  (do  not hanker  after  them).  Allah  Ta’ala  will   make  them dependent on you (the true Ulama).”

24.  “The  hardships  of  the  world  pale  into  oblivion  for  him   who  wants  to  be  saved  of  the  punishment  of  the  Aakhirah. He  who saves  himself  from  disgrace  (the  disgrace  of  sin and  disobedience),  the  world  is  humiliated   in  his presence.”

25. “Do  not  accumulate  mounds  of  sins  for  yourself  and mounds of wealth for your heirs.”

26. Some  questions  were  put  to  the  famous  Taabi’ee,  Hadhrat  A’mash  (Rahmatullah  alayh),  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was present  at  that  session.  Hadhrat  A’mash  instructed  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  to  answer  the  questions.  After  he  had responded,  Hadhrat  A’mash  asked:  “From  whence  did  you acquire  these  masaa-il?”    Imaam  Abu  Hanifah:  “From  the very  same  Ahaadith  which  I  have  narrated  from  you.” Then  he  narrated  all  the  Ahaadith  which  he  had  heard  from Hadhrat  A’mash.  Then,  Hadhrat  A’mash  said:  “You  have presented  to  me  in  a  short  time  the  summary  of  the Ahaadith  which  I  had  narrated  to  you  in  a  hundred  days.  It had  not  crossed  my  mind  that  you  would  have  been  able  to implement  these  narrations  in  this  manner.”  Thereafter, Hadhrat  A’mash  said:  “O  Honourable  Fuqaha!  You  are physicians  while  we  (the  Muhadditheen)  are  only   pharmicists.  O  Abu  Hanifah!  You  have  combined  both these  professions”.  In  other  words,  you  have    riwaayat (narration)  as  well  as  diraayat  (understanding)  of  the meanings.
27. “When  I  commenced  my  pursuit  of  Knowledge,  I    made  a study  of  all  branches  of  Knowledge.  I  pondered  in  every subject  of  Knowledge,  and  I  took  an  account  of    their advantages  and  consequences.  I  discerned  some  deficiency in  every  branch  of  Knowlege  except  Fiqh.  I  investigated  it thoroughly.  The  more  I  probed  it,  the  greater  became  my reverence  for  it.  I  realized  that  by  virtue  of  this  Knowledge  one    gains  the  fortune  of  the  company  of  the  Fuqaha, Mashaaikh  and    Men  of  Wisdom.    One  acquires  the opportunity  of  emulating  their  noble  character.  The fulfilment  of  the  obligations  of  the  Deen,  the  correct    effort for  establishing  the  Deen  and  discharging  Ibaadat  correctly are  not  possible  without  the  Knowledge  of  Fiqh.  By  means of  Fiqh,  both  the  dunya  (worldly  life)  and  the  Aakhirah (spiritual  life)  are    reformed.  Thus,  I  became  engrossed  in Fiqh.”

28. In  the  beginning,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  would  not  answer questions.  He  was  very  aloof.  He  says:  “I  did  not participate  in  this  Knowledge  as  I  am  now  doing.    One night  I  saw  myself  in  a  dream  digging  the  blessed  Qabr  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  I  retrieved  bones from  the  grave,  and  after  arranging  them  I  placed  them  on my  chest.  When  I  woke  from  my  sleep,  I  was  stricken  by grief.  Only  Allah  Ta’ala  knew  what  my  lamentable condition  was.  Tears  flowed  in  profusion.  The  thought  of digging  a  grave,  and  that  too,  the  blessed  Qabr  of  Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was devastating. I  remained  at  home  and  abandoned  going  to  the  majlis (the  Ilmi  class).  My  health  suffered  severely.  Friends  came to  visit  me.  One  companion    said  that  he  could  not  see  any ailment  in  me.  He  said:  “I  perceive  no  sickness.  What  is the  story?”  After  I  narrated  my  dream,  he  said:  “In sha Allah,  this  dream  is  good.  A  companion  of  Muhammad Ibn  Seereen  is  nearby.  Let  us  call  him.”    (Ibn  Sireen  is Islam’s  famous    interpreter  of  dreams.  He  was  also  a Muhaddith.)  I said that  I, myself would go to him. When  I  narrated  my  dream  to  him,  he  asked:  “Is  this  your dream?”  I  said:  “Yes,  I  have  seen  it.”  He  said:  “You  will acquire  the  taufeeq  to  disseminate  the  Sunnah  in  a  manner which  no  one  before  you  had  accomplished.  You  shall  be  grounded soundly in Ilm.” Henceforth,  I  applied  myself  with  greater  diligence  in  the Knowledge  (of  Fiqh).  O  Allah!  Let  the  end  be  with goodness.”

29. “It  is  indeed  queer  that  people  say  that  I  issue  fatwa  on  the basis  of  opinion  when  in  reality  my  fataawa  are  based  on Naql  (narrational  evidence  –  Qur’aan,  Ahaadith, Aathaar).”

30  “It  is  not  permissible  for  anyone  to  present  his  personal opinion  in  opposition  to    the  Qur’aan,  the  Sunnah  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  Ijma’  of the  Sahaabah.  However,  when  there  is  a  difference  of opinion  among  the  Sahaabah,  then  we  adopt  one  of  their views which is closer to Kitaabullah and the Sunnah.”

31. Imaam  Abu  Yusuf  said  that  he  would  make  dua  first  for Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  then  for  his  parents.  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  said:  “Whenever  I  make  dua,  I  include  my  Ustaad, Hammaad Bin Abu Sulaimaan.”

32. “If  it  was  not  for  the  fear  of  narrowness  (bigotry) developing  in  the  Deen,  I  would  not  have  issued  fatwas. The  most  dangerous  entity  to  lead  one  into  Jahannam  is  the issuance of fatwa.”

33. Hadhrat  Fadhl  Bin  Thukain  said  that  he  heard  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  say  about  a  person  who  harboured  malice  for  him: “May Allah make him a Mufti.”

34. A  man  said  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah:  “Fear  Allah!”  Imaam Saahib  lowered  his  head  and  lapsed  into  deep  reflection. Then  he  said:  “O  my  Brother!  May  Allah  Ta’ala  reward you  with  goodness.  When  the  knowledge  of  a  man  gains prominence,  then  it  is  necessary  to  remind  him  of  Allah Ta’ala  so  that  he  renders  all  his  deeds  solely  for  the  Sake of Allah Ta’ala.”

35. Hadhrat  Shaqeeq  Balkhi  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “Once  I accompanied  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  to  visit  a  sick  person. Along  the  way  a  man  who  was  at  a  distance,  on  seeing Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  attempted  to  hide  himself.  As  he  was about  to  take  another  route,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah proclaimed  loudly:  “Do  not  change  your  route!”  When  the man  realized  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  seen  him,  he felt    embarrassed,  and  halted.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  asked him  to  explain  his  attitude.  He  said:  “I  am  indebted  to  you for  a  sum  of  money.  Even  after  lapsing  of  a  considerable period  of  time,  I  have  been  unable  to  repay  you.  I  was ashamed, therefore, I wanted to avoid you.” Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said:  “Subhaanallaah!  Has  the  matter   reached  such  a  level  that  you    hide  from  me  whenever  you see  me.  I  have  waived  the  debt.  Don’t  ever  hide  from  me. Do  forgive  me  for  the  inconvenience  and  distress  which  I have   caused  to  you.”    Hadhrat  Shaqeeq  commented: “From  this  episode  I  understood  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah was  a  genuine  Zaahid  (one  who    was  devoid  of  worldly love and attachment).”

36. Imaam  Abul  Khattaab  Jurjaani  (rahmatullah  alayh) narrates:  “Once    a  youth  came  and  posed  a  question.  When Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  answered,  the  youth  said  sharply: “You  are  wrong!”    Everyone  in  the  gathering  was  silent. Imaam  Jurjaani  commented:  “Don’t  all  of  you  understand the  honour  of  this  Shaikh  (Imaam  Abu  Hanifah)?  You remain  silent  while  this  young  man  acquitted  himself disrespectfully.”  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said:  “Don’t reprimand  them  in  any  way.  I  have  instructed  them  to adopt this attitude.”

37. “Due  to  the  honour  of  my  Ustaad,  Hammaad  Bin  Abi Sulaimaan,  I  never  stretched  my  legs  in  the  direction  of his  home.”  (The  distance  between    the  two  homes  was  7 kilometres.)

38.  “He  who  has  garlanded  himself  with  Knowledge  and imparts  it  to  people  without  realizing  that  Allah  Ta’ala  will question  him  about  his  fatwas, verily, his   Deen and his life are in danger.”

39. Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said  to  his  companions:  “If  your motive  for  pursuing  this  Knowledge  is  not  the  Deen.  Then you will never acquire the taufeeq for goodness.”

40. “The  greatest  act  of  obedience  is  Imaan,  and  the    worst  sin is  kufr.  The  hope  of  forgiveness  for  sins  is  for  him  who  is steadfast  in  obedience  with  Imaan,  and  who  abstains    from the worst sin (of kufr).”

41. Once  the  Imaam  of  the  Musjid  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was not  present.  Imaam  Sahib’s  son,  Hammaad  stepped forward  to  lead  the  Salaat.  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  grabbed him  by  his  kurtah  and  prevented  him  from  proceeding. Someone  else  then  led  the  Salaat.  At  home,  Hammaad said:  “Beloved  father!  Today  you  have  humiliated  me.” Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  commented:  “No!  On  the  contrary, when  you   had  attempted  to  disgrace  yourself,  I  prevented you  therefrom.  If  you  had  led  the  Salaat  and  thereafter  if just  one  person  said  that  the  Salaat  should  be  repeated,  you would  have  been  thoroughly  humiliated.  Do  not  meddle  in the affairs of the public.”

42. “When  I  was  16  years  of  age,  I  accompanied  my  father  for Hajj.  I  saw  a  Buzrug  (a  saintly  person)  giving  a  discourse. Numerous  people  had  gathered  around  him.  When  I  asked my  father  about  the  Buzrug,  he  said  that  he  was Rasulullah’s  Sahaabi,  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Bin  Al-Haarith (Radhiyallahu  anhu),  and  he  was    narrating  to  the  people what  he  had  heard  from  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  My  father  instructed  me  to  go  forward.  Due  to the  large  crowd  I  was  unable  to  reach  the  front.  Finally, my  father  opened  a  path  for  me  and  I  reached  in  close proximity  to  the  Sahaabi.  I  heard  him  say:  “I  have    heard Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  saying:  “Allah Ta’ala  suffices  for  the  worries  of  a  person  who  acquires Tafaqquh  (understanding)  in  the  Deen,  and  He  bestows  to him  (Rizq)  from  such  sources    which  he  had  not  even imagined.”

43. “I  heard  Hadhrat  Anas  Bin  Maalik  (a  famous  Sahaabi  – Radhiyallahu  anhu)  saying:  “I  have  heard  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  saying:  “The  one  who  guides (someone)  towards  goodness  receives  the  reward  of  the one  who  practises  that  goodness,  and  Allah  Ta’ala  loves  to aid  those who are suffering.”

44. Imaam  Abu  Yusuf  said  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was extremely  generous.  He  would    bestow    many  favours  on his  acquaintances.  If  any  of  them    expressed  gratitude,  he would  say:  “You  express  gratitude  to  me  while  this  is  the Rizq  bestowed  to  you  by  Allah  Ta’ala.  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:    “I  neither  give     you anything  nor  prevent  you  from  anything.  I  am  merely  a treasurer. I spend wherever Allah Ta’ala commands me.

45. When  Hammaad  Bin  Abi  Sulaimaan,  the  Ustaadh  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  passed  away,  all  the  students  asked him  to  occupy  the  position  of    the  Ustaadh.  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  said  that  he  would  do  so  on  condition    that  ten Ulama    give  him  a  guarantee  that  they  will  ensure  that  he remains steadfast on the Sunnah.

46. Once  in  the  Musjid,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  giving  a discourse  on    the  Shar’i  process  of  Qiyaas.  A  man  sitting in  one  corner  rudely  shouted:  “Abandon  qiyaas.  The  first being  who  had  employed  qiyaas  was  Iblees.”    Imaam  Abu Hanifah  responded:  “You  have  mis-manipulated  a  correct premiss.  Iblees  had  employed  qiyaas  to  reject  the command  of  Allah  Ta’ala  while  we  are  employing  Qiyaas for  the  sake  of    practising  on  a  hukm  of  the  Shariah.  We  analogize  a  mas’ala  on  the  basis  of  another  ma’salah.”  The man  called  out:    “I  repent.  May  Allah  Ta’ala  brighten  your heart,  for  you  have  brightened  my  heart.”  (A  sincere person readily accepts his error).

47. “Erroneous  qiyaas    (i.e.  personal  opinion)  is  worse  than urinating in the Musjid.”

48. “A  moment  which  a  Sahaabi  had  spent  in  the  company  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  is  superior  to    a lifetime of our  good deeds.”

49. In  his  quest  for  Knowledge,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  went  to Hadhrat  Ataa  Bin  Abi  Rabaah.  He  asked  Imaam  Abu Hanifah:  “From  where  are  you?”  Imaam    Sahib:  “From Iraq.”   Ataa’:  “Who  are  the  people  with  whom  you associate?  Imaam  Sahib:”They  do  not  deny  Taqdeer.  They do  not  proclaim  anyone  kaafir  on  the  basis  of  only  sin,  and they  are  not  disrespectful  to  the  Salafus  Saaliheen.”  Ataa’: “I  found  the  Salafus  Saaliheen  (Sahaabah  and  Taabi’een) on these beliefs.”

50. “Amal  (practising  good  deeds)  is  subservient  to  Ilm     just as  the  limbs  are  subservient  to  the  eyes.  Ilm  is  beneficial even  with  a  little  Amal,  unlike  much  Amal  with  jahaalat. Its  similitude  is  like    a  traveller  in  the  desert  who  has    little provisions,  but  knows  the  road.  He  is  better  than  a  traveller with  much  provisions,  but  who  does  not  know  the  way  out of the desert.”

51. When  someone  posed  a  question  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  it was  his  practice  to  procrastinate.  He  would  not immediately  answer.  After    some  time,  he  would  draw  a deep  breath  and  say:  “O  Allah!  Do  not  apprehend  me.” Then he would answer the question.

52. When  the  Khawaarij  heard  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  does not  proclaim  a  person  a  kaafir    on  the  basis  of  sin,  they sent  a  group  of  70  persons  to  him.  When  they  reached Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  majlis,  they  said:    “O  Abu  Hanifah! We  and  you  are  related  to  the  same  Millat  (Deen).  Allow us to be near to you.”  Imaam    Abu  Hanifah    instructed  his  students  to  give  way to  allow  the  group  to    come  close  to  him.  As  soon  as  they   had  surrounded  him,  they  drew  their  swords  and  after insulting  him  said:  “To  slay  you  is  better  than  waging Jihaad  for  70  years  for  each  one  of  us.  But  we  do  not  want to  be  unjust  to  you.”  Imaam  Sahib  said:  “Are  you  prepared to  mete  out  justice  to  me?”  They  said:  “Yes,  why  not?” Imaam  Sahib:  “First  sheathe  your  swords.”    Khawaarij: “We  have  unsheathed  these  swords  specifically  for  dying them red with your blood.” Imaam  Sahib:  “Take  Allah’s  name  and  proceed  with  your talk.” Khawaarij:  “Assume  that  outside  the  Musjid  are  two janaazahs.  One  is  of  a  man  who  had  died  as  a  consequence of  excessive  consumption  of  liquor.  The  second  one  is    of an  adultress  who  had  committed  suicide  after  having become  pregnant.  What  is  the  ruling  pertaining  to  their janaazah?” Imaam  Abu  Hanifah:  “With  which  Millat  are  these  two related?  Are they  Yahudi? Khawaarij: “No!” Imaam  Sahib: “Are  they  Nasaara?” Khawaarij: “No!” Imaam  Sahib: “Are  they  Majoosi?” Khawaarij: “No!” Imaam  Sahib: “Then with which  Millat are  they  related?” Khawaarij:  “With  the  Millat  which  recites  Laa-ilaaha illallaahu  Muhammadur Rasulullah.” Imaam  Sahib:  “Tell  me  –  what  portion  of  Imaan  is  this testimony?” Khawaarij:  “Division  of  Imaan  is  not  valid.  Either  one  has perfect Imaan  or no Imaan.” Imaam  Sahib:  “It  is  indeed  surprising  that  you  are  asking me  about  such  persons  to  whose  Imaan  you,  yourselves, have testified.”

Khawaarij (feeling  somewhat  embarrassed):  “Tell  us,  are they  of  the inmates  of  Jannat or of  the Fire?” Imaam  Sahib:  “If  you  constrain  me,  then  I  shall  say  about them  what  Hadhrat  Ibraaheem  (Alayhis  salaam)  had  said about  his  people.  He  said:  “Whoever  follows  me  is  of  me, and  whoever  disobeys  me,  then  verily,  You  (O  Allah!)    are the Most Forgiving , The Most Merciful.” And,  I  shall  say  what  Hadhrat  Isaa  (Alayhis  salaam)  had said  about  his  people:  “If  You  (O  Allah!)  punish  them, verily,  they  are  Your  servants.  And,  if  You  forgive  them, verily You are Mighty  and Wise.” And,  I  shall  say  what  Hadhrat  Nooh  (Alayhis  salaam)  had said:    “And  why  should  I  be  concerned  with  their  deeds? Verily,  their  reckoning    is  only  for  my  Rabb,  if  indeed  you can understand.” On  hearing  this,  the  attackers  sheathed  their  swords, renounced  their  erroneous  beliefs  and  entered  the  fold  of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.

53. “In  sin  I  saw  disgrace.  I  abandoned  it  for  the  sake  of honour. This then was the way for gaining piety.”

54. “If  in  this  world  and  in  the  Aakhirat  the  Ulama  and  the Fuqaha  are  not  among  the  Auliya  of  Allah,  then    they  will have  no  friend    (and  protector).”  (The  Qur’aan  says: “Verily,  of  His  servants, the  customary  molvi/sheikh  lacks  khashiyat,  he  will  not  be  in the roll of the Ulama. He will be friendless.)

55. “For  the  fear  of  my  Amr  Bil  Ma’roof  Nahyi  Anil  Munkar being  defective,  I  have  been  seeking  forgiveness  (making Istighfaar) for fifty years after every Salaat.”

56. Ibraahim  Bin  Suwaid  asked  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah:  “After the  Fardh  Hajj  is  Nafl  Hajj  better  or  Jihad?  “  Imaam  Sahib said:  “After  performing  the  Fardh  Hajj,    one  Jihad  is superior  to   

50  Nafl  Hajj.”  (Note:  Jihad  here  refers  to  a valid  Shar’i  Jihad,  not  to  the  type  of  fraudulent,  satanic ‘jihad’  which  American  surrogates  such  as  ISIS,  are executing at the behest and directive of the CIA.)

57.  Abdul  Aziz  Abu  Rawwaad  said  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah: “The  Khalifah  has  summoned  me.  How  should  I  acquit myself  in  his  presence?”  Imaam  Sahib  said:  “Make Salaam,  then  be  silent.  It  is  his  responsibility  to  initiate  a conversation.  When  he    says  something  and  asks  you,  then if you know, respond.”

58. Abdul  Aziz  Abi  Muslim  said:  “Once  while  walking  with Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  I  asked  him  about  the  Hadith narrated  by  Qais  Bin  Muslim.  He  said:  “Subhaanallaah!   The  desire  for  Knowledge  has  deprived  you  of  beautiful etiquette.  Ilm  has  awe  and  honour.  Dignity  and  calm  are necessary  requisites  for  a  man  of  Knowledge.  The  one  who  searches  for  Knowledge  should  humble  himself  in  the presence  of    the  Ustaadh.  Come  to  me  tomorrow  (with your question).”    

Ilm  is a   lofty  subject. It  is  not a  hobby.  It should  not  be  accompanied  by  a  lackadaisical    attitude, hence  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  ordered  him  to  come  the following  day  specifically  to  gain  knowledge  about  the Hadith.”

59. “A  compiler  of  Hadith  who  is  without  Tafaqquh  is  like  one who  accumulates  medicine  (but  lacks  the  ability  to correctly utilize it).”

60. Someone  informed  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  that  in  the  Musjid of  Kufah  some  people  had  gathered  to  discuss  Fiqh.  He said:  “Is  there  a  qualified  and  experienced  Faqih  among them?”  The  reply  was  in  the  negative.  He  said:  “Never  will they  be  blessed  with  Tafaqquh.”    This  is  an    adequate commentary  for  the  study  circles/groups  of  modernists  and unqualified  personnel  who  have  set  themselves  up  as Mujtahids.

61. Hadhrat  Makki  Bin  Ibraaheem  (rahmatullah  alayh)  is among  the  Jaleelul  Qadr  (exceptionally  great  and outstanding)  Asaatizah  of  Imaam  Bukhaari  (Rahmatullah alayh).  Most  of  the  Thulaathiyaat  (Chains  with  only  three narrators  linking  to  Rasulullah  –Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  of  Imaam  Bukhaari  have  been  acquired  from  him.  He  says:  “I  used  to  be  involved  in  trade.  Once  when  I was  in  the  presence  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  he  said  to  me: “O  Makki,  I  see  that  you  are  involved  considerably  in trade.  Trading  without  the  Ilm  of  the  Deen  culminates  in much  corruption.  Why  do  you  not  pursue  Knowledge  of the  Deen.”   As  a  result  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s persistence,  Allah  Ta’ala  bestowed  to  me  the  taufeeq  to become  involved  in  the  acquisition  of  Ilm.  I  have  thus acquired  a  substantial  portion  of  Ilm.  Now,  after  every Salaat  I  make  dua    for  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  It  was  by virtue  of  his  barkat  that  Allah  Ta’ala  had  opened  up  the portal of Ilm for me.”

62. Fadhl  Bin  Atiyyah  said  that  while  giving  naseehat  to  his (Atiyyah’s)  son,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  said:  “O Muhammad!  If  you  do  not  acquire  the  tafseer  from  the Ulama  of  a  Hadith  which  you  have  learnt,  your  effort  will go wasted and Knowledge will then become a  calamity.

63. Imaam  Abdullah  Ibn  Mubaarak  said:    “Abu  Hanifah    was Afqahun  Naas  (the  one  who  had  the  greatest understanding  of  Fiqh).  I  did  not  see  the  likes  of  him.” (Manaaqib, Muwaffaq wal Intisaar)

64. Imaam  A’mash  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  was  aware  of  such masaa-il  of  which  Hasan  Basri,  Ibn  Seereen  and  Qataadah  nor any one else besides them, were not aware.  (Intisaar wa Manaaqib Kurduwi)

65. Sa-eed  Bin  Uroobah  said  to  Sufyaan:  “From  the information  reaching  us  from  your  city  it  appears  that  there is  no  greater  Faqeeh  than  Abu  Hanifah.  I  wish  that  the Knowledge  which  Allah  Ta’ala  has  bestowed  to  him  be granted  to  all  Muslims.  Allah  Ta’ala  has  granted  him victory  in  Fiqh.  It  is  as  if  he  was  created    for  this. (Muwaffaq, Intisaar Kurduwi)

66. Yahyah  Bin  Saeed  Al-Qattaan  would  frequently  comment: “Regarding  developing  expediencies,  besides  Abu  Hanifah there is no one else to  explain the Hukm of the Shariah.”

67. Uthmaan  Al-Madeeni  said:  “Abu  Haneefah  is  a  greater Faqeeh  than  Hammaad,  Ibraahim,  Alqamah    and  Ibn Aswad  (they  were  jaleelul  qadr  Fuqaha  and  Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen  who  were  the  Asaatizah  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah).”   (Muwaffaq,  Intisaar)

68. Jareer  Bin  Abdullah  said:  “Mugheerah  advised  me: ‘Remain  in  the  Circle  of  Abu  Hanifah,  and  you  will become  a  Faqeeh.  Even  Ibraaheem  Nakha’i  would    be  in his Circle if he was here.” (Muwaffaq, Kurduri)

69. Mis’ar  said:  “I  did  not  see  in  Kufah  a  greater  Faqeeh  than Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  I  envy  his  fiqaahat.”  (Muwaffaq, Intisaar)

70. Muqaatil  said:  “I  have  seen  the  Taabi’een  and  Tab-e-Taabi’een,  but  I  did  not  see  anyone  with  such  Baseerat spiritual  insight)  and  intellectual  discernment  as  Abu Hanifah.”  (Muwaffaq, Intisaar)

71. Yahya  Bin  Aadam  said:    “There  is  consensus    of  all  the Fuqaha  and    Men  of  Wisdom  that  there  is  no  greater Faqeeh  than  Abu  Hanifah.  No  one  before  him  has  laboured so  much  in  this  field  (of  Fiqh),  hence  Allah  Ta’ala  has opened  up  the  Way  for  him.”  (Muwaffaq,  Intisaar, Kurduri)

72. Imaam  Shaafi’  said:  “Whoever  desires  the  Knowledge  of Fiqh  should  cling  to  Abu  Hanifah  and  his  As-haab (Students).  All  are  his  children  in  Fiqh.”  (Muwaffaq, Intisaar)

73. Wakee’  said:  “I  did    not  meet  an  Aalim  who  is  a  greater Faqeeh  than  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.”  (Muwaffaq,  Intisaar, Kurduri)

74. “If  someone  after  visiting  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  went  to Sufyaan  Thauri,  he  would say:   ‘There is  no  greater Faqeeh on  the  surface  of  the  earth  than  the  one  from  whom  you have come.” (Al-Khairaatul Hisaan)

75. Imaam  Ja’far  Saadiq  said:  “Abu  Hanifah  is  the  greatest Faqeeh of Kufah.”

76. Hasan  Bin  Ammaarah  was  the  Ustaadh  of    Sufyaan  Thauri. Abdullah  Ibn  Mubaarak  narrated,  that  Hasan  Bin Ammaarah  whilst  holding  the  reins  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah’s  horse  said:  “By  Allah!  I  have  not  seen  a  greater Faqeeh  and  a  more  eloquent  and  intelligent  person  than you.  You  are  the  chief  of  all  the  Fuqaha.  Those  who criticize  you,  do  so  because  of  envy.”  (Tabyeedhus Saheefah and Al-Khairaatul Hisaan)

77. Ishaaq  Bin  Raahwaih  who  was  among  the  very  senior Shuyookh  of  Imaam  Bukhaari  said:  “I  have  not  seen  a  man who  is  more  aware    of  Ahkaam  and  Qadhaaya  than  Imaam Abu Hanifah.”  (Muwaffaq, Intisaar)

78. Isaa  bin  Yunus  advised  his  Students: “Never  believe anyone  who  speaks  ill  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  By  Allah!  I have  not  seen  a  superior  person  and  a  greater  Faqeeh  than him.”  (Al-Khairaatul Hisaan)

79. Al-Khateeb  narrated  from  Ahmad  Bin  Muhammad  Al-Balkhi  who  said:  “I  heard  Shaddaad  Bin  Hakeem  say:  “I did not see anyone more learned than Abu Hanifah.”

80. Khalf  Bin  Ayyub  said:  “Knowledge  was  transferred  from Allah  Ta’ala  to  Muhammad  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam), then  to  his  As-haab,  then  to  the  Taabi’een,  then  to  Abu Hanifah and his Ashaab.”

81. Muhammad  Bin  Sa’d  Al-Kaatib  said:  “I  heard  Abdullah Bin  Daawood  Al-Khareebi  saying:  “It  is  incumbent  on  the People  of  Islam  to  supplicate  to  Allah  Ta’ala  for  Abu Hanifah in their Salaat (i.e. after Salaat).”

82. Imaam  Abu  Ja’far  Ash-Sheezamaaru  narrated  that  Shaqeeq Balkhi  said:  “Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was   the  most  pious  of people, the most learned and the greatest worshipper.”

83. Abdullah  Ibn  Mubaarak  said:  “I  entered  Kufah  and  asked  the  Ulama: “Who  is    the  most  learned  in  your  city?”    All  of them  said:  “Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.”  I  said  to  them:  “Who  is the  greatest  Aabid  (worshipper  in  your  city)  and  the  one who  is  most  engrossed  in  Ilm?”  They  all  said:  “Imaam Abu  Hanifah.”  I  asked  them  about  moral  character,  and they  all  said:  “We  do  not  know  of  anyone  with  the  best moral character other than Imaam Abu Hanifah.”

84. Al-Hasan  Bin  Al-Haarith  said:  “I  heard  An-Nadhr  Bin Shumail  saying:  “The  people  were  asleep  regarding  Fiqh until Abu Hanifah woke them (from their slumber).”

85. Abu  Wahab  Muhammad  Bin  Nazaahim  said:  “I  heard  Ibnul  Mubaarak  saying:  “The  most  learned  in  Fiqh  is  Abu Hanifah. I did not see the likes of him in Fiqh.”

86. Abu  Daawood  said:  “May  Allah  have  mercy  on  Abu Hanifah. Indeed he  was  an Imaam.”

87. Sufyaan  Bin  Uyainah  who  is  one  of  the  greatest  Imaams and  Muhadditheen  said:  “The  first  person  who  had initiated  me  into  teaching  Hadith,  and  who  made  me  a Muhaddith was Abu Hanifah.”

88. Ibn  Hajr  Al-Makki  says  in  Al-Khairaatul  Hisaan  that Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  acquired  Knowledge  from  4000 Mashaaikh  who were from  the  Aimmah  of  the Taabi’een.

89. Abu  Hafs  Umar  Bin  Al-Imaam  Bakr  Bin  Muhammad  Bin Ali  Az-Zarnaji  narrated  that  his  father  said:  “There  was  a debate between the  As-haab of  Imaam  A’zam  Abu Hanifah and the  As-haab  of  Imaam  Muazzam  Shaadi’ (Rahimahullah).  Each  group  gave  prominence  to its  Imaam.  Then,  Abu  Abdullah  Bin  Abu  Hafs  Al-Kabeer  who  was  the  Imaam  of  the  Shaafi’  Aimmah  of  Hadith, said:    “Count  the    Mashaa-ikh  of  Shaadi’  (Rahimahullah). How many  were  they?  They  counted  and  said  that  the number  is  80.  Then  he  said  to  them:  “Count  the  number    of the  Mashaaikh  of  Abu  Hanifah.”  The  number  reached    four thousand.”    This  established  the  superiority  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh).  In  fact,  there  was  no  need  to even  enumerate  the  number  of  their  respective  Mashaaikh for  determining  this  issue.    Imaam  Shaafi’  (Rahmatullah alayh)  himself  said:  “We  all  are  the  children  of  Abu Hanifah  in  Fiqh.”  Furthermore,  Imaam  Shaafi’  was  the student  of  Imaam  Muhammad    who  was  a  very  senior student of Imaam Abu Hanifah.

90. Sadrul  Aimmah  Muwaffaq  Bin  Ahmad  narrated  that  730 senior  Mashaaikh  of  the  Muslimeen  narrated  from  Imaam Abu Hanifah.

91. Sufyaan  Thauri  said:  “In  front  of  Abu  Hanifah,  we  were like  sparrows  in  front  of  an  eagle.  Verily,  Abu  Hanifah  is the Sayyid (Chief) of the Ulama.”

92. Yahya  Ibn  Maeen  said:  “Qiraa’t  by  me  is  the  Qiraa’t  of Humzah, and Fiqh (by me) is the Fiqh of Abu Hanifah.”

93. Al-Haafiz  As-Sam’aani  says  in  Al-Ansaab,  Mis-ar  said: “He  who  puts  Abu  Hanifah  between  himself  and  Allah,  I  have  the hope that he shall not fear.”

These  few  comments  of  illustrious  Authorities  of  the Shariah  more  than  suffice  to  testify  to  the  greatness  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.

STUDENTS OF THE  SAHAABAH AND THE POSITION IMAAM  ABU HANIFAH

The  following    chart    presents  a  simple  and  a  concise account  of  the  Students  of  the  Sahaabah.   The  names  in bold  print  are  Sahaabah.  The  name/s  in  the  second  line is/are  the  direct  Student/s  of  the  Sahaabi/Sahaabah,  and  the names    in  the  third  line  are  the  Fuqaha  and  Aimmah Mujtahideen    of  these  Students,  all  of  whom  are  Taabieen. In  actual  fact,  it    may  be  said  without  exaggeration  that they  all were  the Students of  the Sahaabah.

1.  Sayyidina  Umar  bin  Al-Khattaab  (Radhiyallahu Anhu)   *Aswad    

Ibraheem  –  Hammaad  –  Abu Hanifah

*Alqamah  Bin  Waqqaas  Al-Laithi  (Student  of    Umar  Bin Khattaab) 

Muhammad  Bin  Ibraheem  At-Taimi  –  Yahya  Al-Ansaari –  Abu Hanifah

2. Sayyidina Uthmaan (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  

*Humraan  

Ataa Bin Abi Rabaah  –   Abu
Hanifah

3. Sayyidina  Ali  Bin  Abi  Taalib  (Karramallahu Wajhahu)

* Abul Hallaas   

Al-Haarith  Bin Abdir  Rahmaan  –  

Abu Hanifah

4.  Sayyidina  Abdullah  Bin  Mas’ood  (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  

*Alqamah  Bin Qais/Aswad  

Ibraheem  An-Nakha’i  – 

Hammaad  Bin  Abi  Sulaimaan  –

Abu Hanifah

5. Sayyidina Abu  Zarr (Radhiyallahu  Anhu)

*Al-Haitham   Hasan Al-Basri   – 

Abu  Hanifah

6. Sayyidina Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu  Anhu)  

*Ataa Bin  Abi Rabaah     

Abu Hanifah

*Abdur  Rahmaan  Bin  Al-Hurmuz  Al-A’raj  (Student  of Abu Hurairah)  –    Abu Hanifah

*Sa’eed Bin Al-Musayyab  (Student of  Abu Hurairah)–  

Ibn Shihaab Az-Zuhri  – 

Abu Hanifah

*Abu Saalih (Student of  Abu Hurairah)  –    Haitham  Bin Habeeb  –  Abu Hanifah

7. Sayyidina Anas Bin  Maalik (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  

*Haitham  Bin Habeeb Abu Hanifah

*Muhammad  Bin  Al-Munkadir  (Student  of  Anas  Bin Maalik)  –

Abu Hanifah

*Ibn  Shihaab  Az-Zuhri/Muhammad  Bin  Al-Munkadir (Students  of  Anas Bin  Maalik)-

Abu Hanifah

8. Sayyidina Abdullah Bin Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu)

*Naafi’ Abu Hanifah

*Abdullah Bin Dinaar  (Student of Ibn Umar) – Abu Hanifah

*Ataa Bin Abi Rabaah (Student of Ibn Umar) – Abu Hanifah

*Ataa Bin Yasaar (Student of Ibn Umar) – Abu Hanifah  

*Abu  Bakr  Bin  Abdillah  Bin  Abil  Jahm  (Student  of    Ibn Umar)- Abu Hanifah

*Ibn Ya’mur (Student  of  Ibn Umar)–   Alqamah Bin Marthad  –  Abu Hanifah

*Sa’eed Bin Jubair  (Student of  Ibn Umar)  –   Alqamah  –  Ibraheem  An-Nakha’i  –  Hammaad  Bin  Abi Sulaimaan  –  Abu  Hanifah

9. Sayyidina  Abdullah  Bin  Abbaas  (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  

*Ataa Bin  Abi Rabaah  –   Abu Hanifah

*Ma’n Bin  Abdur  Rahmaan (Student of  Ibn Abbaas)   Abu Hanifah

*Sha’bi  (Student  of  Ibn Abbaas)–   Hammaad  –  Abu Hanifah

*Sa’eed Bin Jubair  (Student of  Ibn Abbaas)  –  

Alqamah  – 

Ibraheem  An-Nakha’i  – 

Hammaad  Bin  Abi Sulaimaan  – 

Abu  Hanifah

10.  Sayyidina  Abu  Sa’eed  Al-Khudri  (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  

*Atiyyah  Al-Awfi  

Abu Hanifah

*Ataa Bin Yasaar (Student of  Abu Saeed Khudri) –  Abu  Hanifah

11.  Sayyidina  Abu  Musa  Al-Ash’ari  (Radhiyallahu Anhu) 
 
*Abu Burdah  

12.  Sayyidina  Jaabir  Bin  Abdullah  (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  

*Abuz Zubair  

Abu Hanifah

*Hammaam  Bin  Al-Haarith  (Student  of  Jaabir  Bin Abdullah)   Ibraheem  An-Nakha’i 
–  Hammaad  Bin  Abi  Sulaimaan 
– Abu Hanifah

13. Sayyidina Abu Qataadah (Radhiyallahu  Anhu)

*Muhammad Bin Al-Munkadir – 

Abu Hanifah

14.  Sayyidina  Mugheerah  Bin  Shu’bah  (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  

*Sha’bi   Hammaad  –  Abu Hanifah

15. Sayyidina Buraidah (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  

*Abdullah  Bin Buraidah/Sulaimaan Bin  Buraidah  

Alqamah Bin Marthad –

Abu Hanifah

16. An-Nu’maan Bin  Basheer (Radhiyallahu Anhu)

*Sha’bi    Hasan Al-Basri  –  Abu  Hanifah

17. Sayyidina  Jareer  Bin  Abdullah  Al-Bajali (Radhiyallahu  Anhu)  

*Hammaam Bin Al-Haarith –  Ibraheem  –  Hammaad  –  Abu Hanifah

18. Sayyidina Mu’aaz  Bin Jabal (Radhiyallahu Anhu)

*Abu Muslim Al-Khaulaani Al-

Haarith  Bin Abdir  Rahmaan  – 

Abu Hanifah

19. Sayyidina  Abdullah  Bin  Haarith  Bin  Jaza (Radhiyallahu  Anhu)

*Abu  Hanifah  (Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  heard  directly  from this Sahaabi)

20. Sayyidatina Aishah (Radhiyallahu Anha)  

*Alqamah/Aswad  – Ibraheem  – 

Hammaad  –  Abu Hanifah

*Ataa Bin  Abi Rabaah   (Student of  Aishah)–   Abu Hanifah

*Masrooq (Student of Aishah) –
Sha’bi  –  Abu Hanifah

*Masrooq Sha’bi  –  Haitham  Bin  Habeeb  –  Abu Hanifah

21. Sayyidatina Umm  Haani (Radhiyallahu  Anha)

* Abu Saalih Az-Zayyaat  Al-Haarith  Bin Abdur  Rahmaan  – 

Abu Hanifah

The  above  chart  is  simply  a  sample  indicating  the  glorious link  which  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    enjoyed  with  the Sahaabah.  There  are  innumerable  such  short,  glorious  links in  the  Golden  Isnaad  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  linking  him to  the  Sahaabah.  Among  the  Aimmah  Mujtahideen  of  the Four  Math-habs,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  the  greatest  and most  important  bearer  of  the  Knowledge  of  the  Shariah imparted by  the Sahaabah.  

Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  Isnaad  is  in  fact  Asab-hul  Asaaneed (the  most  authentic  Chain  of  Narrations).  His  Asaaneed are  more  authentic  than  the  Chains  of  even  Imaam Bukhaari  and  Imaam  Muslim.  While    Imaam  Bukhari  had to  contend  with    an  intervening  gap  of    two  centuries  in  his exercises  to  establish  authenticity  by  sifting  through deluges  of  names,    the  Asaaneed  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah were  all  glorious  and  golden  –  short  and  solid  –  Sahaabi  to Taabi’ee to himself.

CRITICISM AGAINST IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

The  following  dissertation    regarding  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh)  appears in I’laaus Sunan:

“It  has  been  on  the  wagging  tongues  of  some  mutaassibeen  (bigots)  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  had  little awareness  of  Hadith.  Only  a  few  Ahaadith  had  reached him.  Undoubtedly,  this  is  a  heinous  fabrication  which makes  one  quiver  with  abhorrence,  and  makes  one’s  hair stand on edge.

None  but  a  brainless  jaahil  or    a  convoluted  bigot  will make  this  averment.  On  the  contrary,    the  statements  of  the  Muhaqqiqeen  among  the  Fuqaha  and  Muhadditheen confirm  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  the  repository  of Ahaadith  in  abundance.  Such  a  huge  quantity  of  his Ahaadith  has  been  compiled    that  only  one  of  his  status will be able to encompass them. The  evidence  for  this  is  firstly  the  testimony  of  prominent and  famous    Muhadditheen  such  as    Makki  Bin  Ibraaheem (a  very  senior  Shaikh  of  Imaam  Bukhaari),  Abdullah  Bin Mubaarak  and  Yazeed  Bin  Haaroon.  They  have acknowledged  that  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  the  most learned of his era.

Secondly  is  the  Consensus  (Ijma’)  of  these  authorities  that Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  was  a  FaqeehMujtahid  and  an Imaam  in  Fiqh. Al-Khateeb  narrated  from  Muhammad Bin  Bishar  who  said: I  visited    Abu  Hanifah  and  Sufyaan (Thauri).  When  I  came  to  Abu  Hanifah,  he  asked:    From where  have  you  come?”  I  said:  “From  Sufyaan.”    He  said: “You  have  come  from  such  a  man    on  whom  would  be dependent    Alqamah  and  Aswad  if  they  had  been  present.”    Then  I  went  to    Sufyaan  who  asked:  “From  where  have you  come?”  I  said:  “From  Abu  Hanifah.”  He  said:  “Indeed you  have  come  from  the  one  who  is  the  most  learned  in Fiqh on earth.”

Muhammad  Bin  Mazaahim  said:  “I  heard  Ibnul  Mubaarak say:  “If  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal  had  not  aided  me  with  with Abu  Hanifah  and  Sufyaan,  I  would  have  been  like  the  rest of  the  people.”  It  was  said  to    Al-Qaasim  Bin  Ma’n  Ibn Abdur  Rahmaan  Bin  Abdullah  Bin  Mas’ood:  “Are  you pleased  to  be  of  the    servants  (ghilmaan  –  students)    of Abu  Hanifah?”  He  responded:  “People  have  not  sat  in  a more  beneficial  company  than  the  company  of  Abu Hanifah.”  All  of  this  has  been  narrated  by  As-Suyuti  in Tabyeedhus Saheefah, page 16 and 17.

Ar-Rabee’  and  Hurmalah  said:  “We  heard  Ash-Shaafi’ saying:  “The  people  (i.e.  the  Ulama  and  Fuqaha)  are  the children  of  Abu Hanifah in Fiqh.”  …….

“It  is  not  hidden  upon  anyone  who  has  the  slightest understanding    that  Fiqh  and  Ijtihaad  are  not  possible without  Hifz  of  AhaadithAathaar  and  the  statements  of the  Sahaabah  and  Taabi’een,  and  of  their  differences, awareness  of  Naasikh  and  Mansookh  of  the  Qur’aan  and Sunan…….  Thus,  when  the  Muhadditheen  and  their Akaabir  have  submitted  to  the  Fiqh  of  Imaam  Abu Hanifah,  and  in  fact  have  conceded  that  he  is  Afqahun Naas  (most  learned  of  the  Fuqaha  in  Fiqh),  and  when  they have  acknowledged  that  he  is  an  Imaam  among  the Aimmah  of  the  Muslimeen,  they  have  then  (logically) accepted  that  he  was  a  Haafiz  of  Hadith  –  having  mastery and being grounded in it.

Thirdly,  Ath-Thahabi  has  enumerated  him  (Imaam  Abu Hanifah)  among  the  Huffaaz  of  Hadith……..  Ibn al Qayyim  said  in  I’laamul  Muwaqqi’een:  “Yahya  Bin  Aadam  (who was  among  the  Shuyookh  of  Imaam  Bukhaari)  said: “Nu’maan  (Imaam  Abu  Hanifah)  had  compiled  all  the Ahaadith  of  his  city  (Kufah).  Thus,  he  focused  on  such narrations  which  which  were  last  at  the  time  of  the  demise of  the  Nabi  (Alayhis  salaam).  Some  Ulama  of  the  era mentioned  this  in  the  Kitaab,  Tazkiratul  A’zam.   Ibn  Hajr Al-Makki  narrated  in  Al-Khairaatul  Hisaan   from  Al-Hasan  Bin  Saalih  (who  was  Saheeh  and  an  Imaam  of Hujjat):  “Verily,  Abu  Hanifah  was  thorough  in  scrutinizing Naasikh  and  Mansookh.  He  was  an  expert  of  the  Hadith  of the  people  of  Kufah.  He  was  strict  in  obeying    that  on which  the  people  were  (i.e.  following  the  Ahaadith).  He was  a  Haafiz  of    the  Ahaadith    which  had  reached    the people of his city.”

Kufah  was  the  headquarters  of  Ilm  at  that  time.    In  Kufah there  was  a  great  assembly  of  senior  Muhadditheen  such  as  Ibn  Uyainah,  Sufyaan  Thauri,  Hafs  Bin  Ghiyaath,  AlA’mash  Wakee’  and  others. Abu Hanifah had  compiled  the Ahaadith of all of them.

Yahya  Bin  Ma-een  said:  “I  did  not  see  anyone  who surpassed  Wakee’  in  issuing  fatwa  according  to  the opinion  of  Abu  Hanifah.  He  had  memorized  all  of  his Ahaadith,  and  he  had  heard    an  abundance  of  Ahaadith from  Abu  Hanifah.  This  statement  of  Yahya  Bin  Ma-een confirms  that  Abu  Hanifah    was  not  a  man  of    a  few Hadith.

Abu  Bakr  Bin  Ayyaash  said:  Umar  Bin  Saeed,  the  brother of  Sufyaan  had  died.  We  went  to  visit  him  (Sufyaan).  A gathering  was  present.  Among  them  was    Abdullah  Bin Idrees.  Then  Abu  Hanifah  with  his  group  arrived.  When Sufyaan  saw  him,  he    shifted    from  the  place  where  he  was seated.  Then  he  stood  up  and  embraced  Abu  Hanifah,  and  made  him  sit  on  his  place.  Then  he  sat  in  front  of  Abu Hanifah  (like a student).

I  said  to  him  (Sufyaan):  “O  Abdallaah!  Today  I  saw  you doing  something  which  I  and  my  companions  dislike  of you.”  He  said:  “And  what  is  that?”    I  said:  “Abu  Hanifah came  and  you  stood  up  and    made  him  sit    in  your  place and  you      dealt  with  him  in  an  extraordinary  manner.”  He said:  “And,  what  do  you  dislike  about  this?  This  is  a  man of  Ilm  of  a  lofty  status.    If  I  do  not  stand  for  his  Ilm,  then  I stand  for  his  age.  If  I  don’t  stand  for  his  age,  I  stand  for  his Fiqh.  If  I  don’t  stand  for  his  Fiqh,  I  stand  for  his  piety.” Thus  he  silenced  me.  I  had  no  response.  Narrated  by  As-Suyuti in Tabyeedus Saheefah.

The  statement  of  Sufyaan,  i.e.  “He  is  a  man  of  lofty  Ilm”, refers  to  the  Ilm  of  Hadith,  not  to  Fiqh  because    he mentioned  Fiqh  after  this.  Sufyaan  Thauri  also  said:  “It  is necessary  for  the  one  who    opposes  Abu  Hanifah  to  be  higher  than  him  in  status  and  possess  greater  Knowledge than  him.  To  find  this  is  rare.  When  the  two  of  them  went for  Hajj,  he  would  walk  behind  Abu  Hanifah,  and  not  in front  of  him.  When  they  were  questioned  (about  anything), he  would  not  answer.  It  would  be  Abu  Hanifah  who  would answer. (Al-Khairaatul Hisaan)

Imaam  As-Sam’aani  narrated  from  Hilaal  Bin  Yahya  Al-Basri  who    narrated  that  Bin  Khaalid  As-Samti  said:  “In Basrah  I  used  to  frequent    Uthmaan  Al-Batti,  the  Faqeeh (of    Basrah).  He  had  adopted  the  Math-hab  of    Al-Hasan Basri  and  Ibn  Seereen.  I  adopted  their  Math-hab. Thereafter  I  sought  permission  to  go  to  Kufah  to  meet    its Mashaaikh  and  to  look  at  their  Matha-hib,  and  to  benefit from  them.  They  directed  me  to  Sulaimaan  Al-A’mash because  he  was  the  most  prominent  in  Hadith.    I  had  with me  some  Masaa-il  in  Hadith  about  which  I  asked  the Muhadditheen. However, no one could  solve them for me.

I  mentioned  these  in  the  Circle  of  Al-A’mash.  This  was mentioned  to  him.  He    told  them  (his    companions)  to bring  me  to  him.  I  then  went  to  him.  He  said:  “Perhaps  you say  that  the  people  of  Basrah  are  more  learned  than  the people  of  Kufah.  Never!  By  the  Rabb  of  Baitul  Haraam!  It is  not  so.   Basrah  did  not  produce  anything  except  a  storyteller  or  a  dream-interpreter  or  a  mouner. Wallaah!  Even  if  in  Kufah  there  was  no  one  except  a  man  who  is  not  of  its Arabs,  but  is  from  its  Mawaali,  he  is  aware  of  the  Masaa-il of  which  Al-Hasan,  Ibn  Seereen,  Qataadah,  Al-Barri  and others  besides  them  are  not  aware.”    Then  he  expressed profound  anger  for  me,  so  much  so  that  I  thought  he  would strike  me  with  his  staff.  Then  he  said  to    someone  who  was present.  Take  him  to  the  majlis  of  Nu’maan  (Abu Hanifah).  Wallaah!  If  he  sees    the  smallest  of  his  (Abu Hanifah’s)    Ashaab,  he  will  know    that  if  Ahl-e-Mauqaf (i.e.  the  vast  assembly  at  Arafaat),  he  (the  smallest  one) will  suffice  for  answering……….    An-Nu’maan    is  more knowledgeable and better equipped for these Masaa-il.”

After  As-Samati  met  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah,  he  (Imaam Sahib)  asked:  “Perhaps  you  are  a  traveller  from  Basrah  and you  have  been  prohibited  from  our  gathering?”  I  (AsSamati) said: “Yes.” Imaam Abu  Hanifah said:   “Would  you  frequent  Al-Batti?”  I  said:  “Yes.”  He  then said:  “If  Al-Batti  had  met  me  he  would  have  abandoned numerous  of  his  views.”  ……I  then  asked  him  about  the Masaa-il which were difficult for me, and he answered.”

Muhammad    Bin  Samaa’ah  narrated:  “Verily,    In  his  books  are   narrated    more  tham  70,000  Ahaadith.  He  selected  Aathaar from  forty thousand Ahaadith….”

The  Author  of  Jaamiul  Masaaneed    narrated  that  the “Masaa-il  of  Abu  Hanifah  are  approximately    five  hundred thousand.  His  kutub  and  the  kutub  of  his  Ashaab    record these  masaa-il.”    He  also    said:  “It  is  well-known  that    Al Ummam  Al-Kaamil  Al-Munsif  Ibn  Sareej  (rahimahullah) who  was  among  the  prominent  Ashaab  of  Imaam  Shaafi’ once  heard    a  jaahil  (ignoramus)  criticizing    Abu  Hanifah. He  (Imaam  Sareej)  said:  “O  man!  You  criticize  Abu Hanifah  whilst  it  is  acknowledged  that  three  quarters  of Knowledge    is  for  him  whilst  he  has  not  conceded  one quarter for them (for others)……..”

Ibn  Hajar  Al-Makki    says  in  Al-Khairaatul  Hisaan:  “It  is mentioned  that  he  (Abu  Hanifah)  acquired  (Hadith)  from four  thousand  Mashaaikh  from  the  Aimmah  of  the  Taaba’ieen,  hence  Ath-Thahabi  and  others  listed  him  (Abu Hanifah)  in   Tabaqaatul  Huffaaz   among  the Muhadditheen.  Whoever  attributes  paucity  of  Hadith  to him, does so because  of his carelessness or his envy.”

Numerous  are  the  Ahaadith  of  Abu  Hanifah,  whose  Isnaad is    linked  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  From them  are  the  narrations  which  the  Huffaaz  have  compiled in  their  Masaaneed.  And  from  them  are  the  narrations  of his  Companions,  Muhammad  Bin  Al-Hasan  in    Al-Aathaar,  Al-MuwattaKitaabul  HajjAl-MabsootAz-ZiyaadaatAl-jaamius  Sagheer,  Al-Kabeer,  etc.,  and  by Abu  Yusuf,  Ibnul  Mubaarak  Al-hasan  Bin  Ziyaad  and others  in  their  respective  kutub,  and  by  Wakee’  Ibnul Jarraah  in  his  Musnad,  and  by  Ibn  Abi  Shaibah  and    Abdur Razzaaq  in  their  respective  Musannafs,  and  by  Al-Haakim in  his  Mustadrak,  and  by  Ibn  Hibbaan  in  his  Saheeh  ,  and by  Al-Baihqi  in  his  Sunan,  and  by  At-Tibraabi  in  his  three Muaajam,  and  by  Ad-Daaraqutni  in  his  Sunan,  and  in  the Gharaaib  of  Maalik,etc.  ……      Ibn  Hajar  Al-Makki  said  in Al-Khairaatul  Hisaan:  “Verily,    the  Huffaaz  have  sourced numerous  Ahaadith  of  Abu  Hanifah  in  many  Masaaneed.  Numerous  of  it  have  reached  us,  and  this  is  narrated  in  the Musannadaat  of  our (Shaafi’) Mashaaikh.”

WHAT ALLAAMAH SHA’RAANI SAID ABOUT IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

“Illustrious  Muhadditheen  treasured    in  their  possession the  Masaaneed  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  Imaam  Sha’raani had  stated  with  considerable  pride  that  he  had  the  good fortune  of    making  ziyaarat  of  several  Masaaneed  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah    which  bore  the  confirmatory signatures  of  many  Huffaaz  of  Hadith.  The  Asaaneed  of the   Ahaadith  were  extremely  authentic.  All  the  Rijaal were  Thiqah.  Not  a  single  one  of  them  had  the  blemish  of kithb  (lies/falsehood).  The  Isnaad  is  very  close  to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).  [Anwaarul Baari]

In  his  Kitaabul  Meezaan,  Imaam  Abdul  Wahhaab  Ash-Sha’raani,  who was  a senior Shaafi’ Authority, says:

“My  Sayyid  (Master),  Ali  Al-Khawwaas  (rahima  hullaahu ta’ala)  said:  ‘If  the  Muqallidoon  (followers)  of  Imaam Maalik  and  Imaam  Shaafi’  (radhiyallahu  anhuma)  acquit themselves  with  justice,  then    none  of  them  would    find any  fault  (weakness)  in  any  of  the  statements  of  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  after  they  have  heard  the  praises of  their Imaams  for him  (Abu Hanifah).

Imaam  Maalik  had  said:  ‘If  Abu  Hanifah  had  to  debate with  me,  arguing  that  half  of  this  pillar  is  of  gold  and  half of  silver,  most  certainly  he  would  be  able  to    establish proof  for  it.’  Imaam  Shaafi’  said:  ‘All  people  (i.e.  all  the Fuqaha  of  all  Math-habs)  are  the  children    of  Abu  Hanifah (radhiyallahu anhu)  in  Fiqh.’

If  there  was  nothing  else    to  vouch  for  the  loftiness  of  his (Abu  Hanifah’s)  status  except  that  Imaam  Shaafi’  had omitted    the  Qunoot  in    the  Subh  (Salaat)  when  he  had performed  Salaat  by  the  Qabr  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah despite   Imaam    Shaafi    maintaining  the  Istihbaab  of Qunoot,  then  this  would  have  sufficed  for  the  incumbency of   respecting  him  and  his Muqallideen.  

While  I  was  writing  the  kitaabAdillatul    Mathaahib,  I searched  by  the  grace  of  Allah  for  the  statements  of  Imaam Abu  Hanifah  and  his  Ashaab  (Students).  I  did  not  find  any statement  (or  view)  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  or  of  his followers  except  that  it  was  based    on  an  Aayat  (of  the Qur’aan)  or  on  a  Hadith  or  on  an  Athar  (of  a  Sahaabi)  or   a  Dha’eef  Hadith  of    many  Turuq  (Chains  of  Narration)  or Saheeh  Qiyaas  based  on    a  valid  principle.  Whoever wishes  to  become  aware  of  this,  should  study  my   aforementioned  Kitaab.  In  brief,   the  respect  of  the  Aimmah  Mujtahideen  for  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  has  been confirmed.  Therefore,  no  consideration  should  be  accorded to  the  statements  of  others  regarding  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah and his  followers.

Know,  O  my  Brother!  Verily,  by  the  grace  of  Allah,  I  have  researched    the  Adillah  (proofs  and  evidences)  of  the  Four Math-habs,  particularly  the  Adillah    of  the  Math-hab  of Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  I  selected  it  (his Math-hab)    with  greater  care.  I  researched  in  this  regard the  Kitaab  Takhreej  Ahaadithil  Hidaayah  of  Haafiz Zaila’ee,  and  other    Kutub  of  Shurooh  (Commentaries).   I found  the  Adillah  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and    the  Adillah of  his  Ashaab  being  Saheeh    or  Hasan  or    Dha’eef  of multiple  Turuq  (chains  of  narrations)  elevating  the  status to Hasan  or  Saheeh  for  validity  of  Ihtijaaj.  The (corroborating)  Turuq  were  either  three  or  more  until ten.”

THE TAQWA AND ADAALAT OF IMAAM ABU HANIFAH

There  is  absolutely  no  doubt  in    the    Wara’,  ZuhdTaqwa and  Adaalat  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah.  No  one    can  ever entertain  any    doubt    in  this  sphere.  All  the  Aimmah unanimously  laud praises on him in this regard.

Regarding  his  Thiqah  (Reliability)  in  Hadith,  Al-Haafiz says  in  At-Tahtheeb:  “Muhammad Bin  Sa’d  Al-Ufi said: ‘I heard  Ibn  Ma-een  saying:  ‘Abu  Hanifah  is  Thiqah.  He would  not  narrate  except  what  he  had  memorized,  and  he would  not  narrate  that   which  he    had  not  memorized.’   Saalih  Bin  Muhammad  Al-Asadi  narrated    from  Ibn  Maeen: ‘Abu Hanifah is Thiqah in Hadith.”