The Town of Jurists and Traditionalists – The City of Kufa

[Maulana Najeeb Qasmi]

After the conquest of Iraq during the caliphate of ‘Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu), Saad bin Abi Waqqaas (radhiyallahu anhu) founded the city of Kufa in 17 Hijrah, great linguists were settled from the Arab tribes here. Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) sent the great Companion ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) there so he could guide the people in the light of Holy Qur’an and Sunnah.

Hadhrat ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) held a distinctive intellectual position among the Companions (radhiyallahu anhuma). Even the Companions consulted him in the religious matters.

There are Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) sayings about him in the books of Ahadith: “Follow the way of Ibn Umm-e-‘Abd (means ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu))……Whoever wants to recite the Holy Qur’an in the same way as it was revealed, so he should recite it according to the Qir’at (of ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu))”…..

Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) commented about ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) that he is a vessel full of knowledge.

During the caliphate of Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) and Usman Ghani (radhiyallahu anhu), Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) taught the people of Kufa about Qur’an and Sunnah. When the capital was shifted to Kufa during the caliphate of Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), Kufa became the centre of knowledge. A group of Companions (radhiyallahu anhuma) and Tabi’een-e-Azam (rahimahumullah), especially ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) and his pupils filled this town with knowledge and application. Having the distinctive position of a ‘Faqeeh’ among the Companions (radhiyallahu anhuma), Abdullah Bin Mas’ud’s scholarly heritage was transferred to Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) through Shaykh Hammad (rahimahullah), the famous teacher of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) and the famous Tabi’een Shaikh Ibraheem Nakh’ee (rahimahullah) and Shaikh Alqama (rahimahullah). Shaikh Hammad (rahimahullah) was also the closest and most trusted pupil of the Companion Anas Bin Malik (radhiyallahu anhi). Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) stayed in the company of Shaikh Hammad (rahimahullah) for eighteen (18) years and after the passing of Shaikh Hammad, Imam Abu Hanifa was given his position in Kufa. Thus, Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) became the heir of the scholarly heritage of Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu). That is why Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) prefers the traditions and verdict of Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu). For example, Imam Abu Hanifa approved the matter of not performing “Rafah-yadain” before or after the Ruku in Salaat, on the basis of Abdullah Bin Mas’ud’s (radhiyallahu anhu’s) traditions given in the books of Ahadith. The name of Imam Abu Hanifa (radhiyallahu anhu) is Nauman and his ‘kunyat’ is Abu Hanifa. Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) was born in the same city i.e. Kufa in 80thHijrah, the glad tiding of which was given by Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in his life, as described with justification by Mufassir-e-Qur’an Shaikh Jalal-ud-din Suyuti Shafa’ I Misri (rahimahullah) (849 Hijrah – 911 Hijrah) in his book “Tabiyyad-As-Sahifa Fi Manaqib Al Imam Abi Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh)”.


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