Tag Archives: Imam Abu Hanifa

Are the Salafis “followers of Salaf Saaliheen”??

[Majlisul Ulama]

In a pamphlet issued by the modernist Salafi sect who has in reality no relationship with the Salaf Saaliheen, it is said:“…the first generation (the Companions (r) were called As-Salaf As-Saalih (The Pious Predecessors). The Messenger of Allah (s) and his Companions (r) and those that follow them in Ihsaan (beliefs, sayings andactions) are the Salaf of this Ummah.”

The deviant Salafi sect has vainly attempted to categorize its path (manhaaj) as the Path of the Salaf Saaliheen whereas they (the modernist Salafis) are far from the Manhaaj of the Salaf Saaliheen. Let us first explain who exactly the Salaf Saaliheen are. Explaining who they are, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The best of ages is my age, then the age of those who follow, then the next age. Then after them (i.e. after the Pious Men of these three ages) will come a nation (of people) who will testify without being called on to testify; they will vow without fulfilling (their vows); they will abuse trust and will not be trustworthy.……….. Then afterwards will come people who will love obesity (their opulent lifestyle will make them obese and ugly, physically and spiritually).”

In another Hadith, our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Honour my Sahaabah, for verily they are your noblest; then those after them, then those after them. After them falsehood will become rampant.”

The Salaf-Saaliheen comprise the Sahaabah, Taabi-een and Tab-e-Taabieen. These three ages are collectively referred to as Khairul Quroon (the Best Eras). It was in these three eras that the entire Shariah was structured on a solid basis and systematically codified.
All the Aimmah Mujtahideen, Muhadditheen, Mufassireen and the most illustrious Fuqaha of the Ummah flourished during the Khairul Quroon epoch.

Those who do not follow the Path of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen – who were all among Salaf Saaliheen – are never on the Path of the Salaf. Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shaafi’, Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal and all the other Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen were of this noble era. The Isnaad of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen links up with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) via the Link of the Sahaabah. Numerous among the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen were the direct Students of the Sahaabah.

These Aimmah Mujtahideen – the Students of the Sahaabah–were in turn the Asaatizah (Teachers and Mentors) of the Aimmah Mujtahideen of the Taabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen periods – all of them were the Salaf Saaliheen. Thus, the wicked contention  that those who follow the illustrious Aimmah Mujtahideen  such as Abu Hanifah, Maalik and  others are the ‘blind’ followers of  ‘ignoramuses’ and akin to the ‘mushrikeen‘ who blindly followed their forefathers, is the  whispering of Shaitaan who has  misled these modernist so called  Salafis whose Imaam is NOT any  one among the Salaf Saaliheen. Their Imaam is no other than Ibn  Taimiyyah who appeared on the  stage of Islamic history six  centuries after the Sahaabah.  Then their latest Imaam is Al-Albaani of this century. They  blindly follow every iota which Al-Albaani has acquired from the kutub of Ibn Taimiyyah. Then they deceive people into the  belief that they are mujtahideen who extract the masaa’il  directly from the Qur’aan and Ahaadith when in reality this claim is a momentous and a preposterous fraud.

All the famous Math-habs  existed during Khairul Quroon since all the Aimmah Mujtahideen  were of that glorious epoch of  Islam. Thus the Manhaaj of the Math-habs is the Manhaaj of the Salaf Saaliheen. On the contrary,  the of the manhaaj of the Salafi  sect of this age is the way of Ibn  Taimiyyah who had veered  sharply from the Manhaaj of the Salaf Saaliheen, hence he  deviated into error manifest.  Whilst the math-hab of Ibn  Taimiyyah was acquired from kutub (books), the Math-habs and Manhaaj of the Salaf Saaliheen who included the noble Imaams  of the Math-habs, were the  glorious products of authentic Naql (Narration) which they  acquired directly from the  Sahaabah and the illustrious  Aimmah Mujtahideen who were  the Students of the Sahaabah.  They did not acquire the Deen  from books which were compiled centuries after their era.

The Salaf Saaliheen among whom the illustrious Imaams of the  Math-habs occupy the highest  and most elevated pedestal after  the Sahaabah, verified and  authenticated every Hadith which  constitutes a Mustadal (Basis of  Deduction and Formulation of Masaail) on the authority of Ruwaat (Reliable  Narrators). Their Ilm of the Deen was FIRST HAND,  not third class. While Ibn  Taimiyyah’s sources were kutub compiled and written centuries  after the Sahaabah, the Sources  of the Aimmah Mujtahideen were  the noblest of the Ummah  and  of the highest category of  authenticity – Sahaabah  and  Taabieen.

The current term ‘salafi’ as it  applies to the Salafi sect of this  age is a misnomer. It is a deceptive term which is utilized  to mislead Muslims to believe  that this deviate sect is the  following of the Salaf Saaliheen when in the reality it is  something entirely different.  Whoever diverges from the  Manhaaj of the Four Math-habs, has diverged from the Manhaaj of  the Salaf Saaliheen, and fallen  into error manifest.

The implied claim of the errant  Salafis of this age is that the  illustrious Students of the  Sahaabah and their Students  had missed the Road, hence their  followers are ‘blind-followers of  baatil‘. Yet they themselves are  the blind followers of Ibn  Taimiyyah and Al-Albaani.  Substituting a golden, superior  Taqleed of Salaf Saaliheen
for an inferior taqleed – the  taqleed of Ibn Taimiyyah – is pure  self deception.

The Salafi contention that Ibn  Taimiyyah’s manhaaj was to  acquire the Shariah directly from  the sources implies that the  Students of the Sahaabah and  their Students – the Aimmah  Mujtahideen did not acquire their  Deen from the Sources, viz. the  Qur’aan and the Sunnah. There is  nothing more blatantly  audacious and false than this baatil propagation. The current  Salafi sect follows the manhaaj of Ibn Taimiyyah while the  Muqallideen of the Mathaahib follow the Manhaaj of the Salaf Saaliheen among whom were the  Imaams of the Math-habs – the  Aimmah Mujtahideen. Now what  does Aql dictate? Should we  follow the Manhaaj of the Salaf Saaliheen or the manhaaj of a  scholar who appeared six  centuries after the Sahaabah?

By having appropriated or  misappropriated the term ‘salafi’,  the deviates of the modern sect  labour to create the impression  that they are followers of the Salaf Saaliheen. But this is  palpably false, for if they were  truly on the Manhaaj of the Salaf Saaliheen, they would have  followed the Manhaaj of the  illustrious Aimmah Mujtahideen  who were part of the Salaf  Saaliheen. So, while they  deceptively claim they  are in reality the blind followers of Ibn Taimiyyah.

The deviate Salafis have no Isnaad (authoritative Chain) to link them  with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam). Their furthest point in  antiquity is Ibn Taimiyyah whereas the Pivot of the Shariah of the  Muqallideen of the Math-habs is  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam). All the Ahkaam of the  Shariah we adhere to are the effects and products of the  Shariah which the Aimmah  Mujtahideen acquired directly from the Sahaabah and from the  Scholars who sat at the feet of  the Sahaabah.

In their pamphlet, the Salafis  state: “So in these aayats we  have seen Allah’s promise of  reward of Paradise for those who  follow the way of the  Companions, & the threat of Hell-Fire for those who do not.”

Undoubtedly, this aayat applies  with precision to the deviate  Salafi sect because they have  abandoned the Way of the  Sahaabah who had imparted their Manhaaj to the Aimmah Mujtahideen and the Salaf Saaliheen in general. Thus those  who follow Imaam Abu Hanifah  and Imaam Maalik for example,  are following the Way of the Companions, not those who  follow the way of the seventh  century Ibn Taimiyyah. 

The vital question which the  modernist Salafis should answer  is: From whom did Imaam Abu  Hanifah and Imaam Maalik learn to perform Wudhu and Salaat, etc., etc.? Were the Asaatizah of these  illustrious Imaams deviates- Nauthubillaah!? Were their  Mentors not on the Manhaaj of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)? Were the Asaatizah of  these great Imaams not part of  the Salaf Saaliheen? In fact they were the Salaf Saaliheen.

The deviate Salafis say further in  their pamphlet:“However, in order to crush any doubts that may remain, we turn to the  authentic Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(s): “…So  whoever lives on amongst you  will see many differences, so  stick to my Sunnah & the  Sunnah of the Rightly Guided,  Right Minded Caliphs, and bite  onto it your molar teeth.” So the  Sunnah is of two affairs; that of  the Prophet(s) (Ahl us-Sunnah) & that of the Companions (wal Jama’ah).”  

The motive underlying the  citation of this Hadith is to imply that the Aimmah Mujtahideen among whom were the Four Imaams, were not following the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam). This is the only  construction which can be posited for this citation because  the Muqallideen blindly follow  these illustrious Men of the Salaf  Saaliheen. By stopping at the  ‘Companions’, the deviates have  attempted to peddle the idea  that the illustrious Aimmah  Mujtahideen were not part of the Salaf Saaliheen while Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself had declared unequivocally that  the Salaf Saaliheen were the  illustrious Men of Islam of the Khairul Quroon epoch. 

Furthermore, if these noble  members of the Salaf Saaliheen were not treading along the Path  of the Sunnah, what makes Ibn  Taimiyyah a follower of Sunnah  six centuries later, and what  makes Al-Albaani a follower of  the Sunnah 13 centuries later? It  is pure jahaalah to even dream  that Imaam Abu Hanifah and  Imaam Maalik, etc. were not  following the Sunnah, and that  each and every verdict issued by them was not the effect of the  Sunnah – of the Qur’aan and  Ahadith.

While the Muqallideen cite as  their grounds of reference Salaf  Saaliheen, the modernist deviate  Salafis of our times present as  their ‘proof’ the likes of the some  Sheikh Ashgar and Sheikh Bin  Ba’z, the Saudi government  scholar. We are not interested in what these government scholars  of this age say. The Salafis can  enjoy themselves by making  taqleed of Bin Ba’z and his likes.  Our Taqleed is the Taqleed of the Saaliheen Salaf who had  imparted to us the Shariah which  they had acquired from the Sahaabah who in turn obtained  it from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). About this Shariah  acquired from the Salaf, the Qur’aan Majeed declares:

“Then We have established you  on a Shariah with regard to (all  your) affairs. Therefore follow it,  and do not follow the vain  desires of those who do not  know (i.e. the juhala).”

Indeed these modernist Salafis  are most ignorant. They find issueand fault when we make Taqleed  of the Salaf Saaliheen, while their  compound ignorance blinds and bludgeons them into the taqleed  of Bin Ba’z and his likes.

In their pamphlet the Salafis say: “So now it should be clearly  understood that following the  Qur’an and the Sunnah according  to the understandings and  practical applications of the Salaf  (Companions & their followers) is  an obligation upon every Muslim.”

Just imagine! In this belated 14th century of Islam’s existence, the  deviate Salafis are stating a truth  which the Muqallideen have been  adhering to since the time of the Sahaabah. In addition to this  fact, only the Muqallideen of the  Four Math-habs are following the  Qur’aan and the Sunnah  according to the understandings  and practical applications of the  Salaf” while the Salafis of this  age are following the way of Ibn Taimiyyah the 7th century luminary. What the Salaf Aimmah  Mujtahideen acquired from the  Sahaabah and their followers has  been transmitted had by way of authentic narration to the  Ummah from one generation to  the other. On the other hand, the  modernist Salafis, ignore what  has come down to us from the  Salaf Saaliheen, and they subject  the Hadith to their personal  opinion and interpretations conspicuous isolation of the ‘understandings and applications’ of the Salaf. So, who are the true  followers of the Salaf Saaliheen:  The followers of the Four Math-habs or the modernist deviate  Salafis who do not follow that Manhaaj which was acquired from  the Sahaabah?

All the Ahadith which the  deviates quote in their pamphlet describe the followers of the  Four Math-habs as the Salaf  because only they are following  the Sunnah of the Rasool  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and  the Sunnah of his Sahaabah  (radhiyallahu anhum). There is  not a single Hadith which  supports the way of the  modernist Salafis. As long as the  Salafis of this era do not abandontheir way of personal opinion,  they will never qualify to be on  the Manhaaj of the Salaf  Saaliheen.

Brazenly and stupidly  contradicting and indicting  themselves, the deviate Salafis of our age say: “These elite  individuals from amongst the  Major Scholars & Great Imams of  the Muslims have been  undoubtedly recognized as the  leaders of Islam for centuries  now. They are the Mujaddids and  Upright Scholars that the  Prophet (s) instructed us to  honor & follow, and no sane  Muslim would ever begin to  dispute their status, station or  rank in this Deen. So I ask the  noble reader: If one does not take their advice, then whose  advice will one take??? Likewise, if one  does not take his/her  understanding of the Qur’an & Sunnah from the Salaf of this  Ummah, then from where do they  take their understanding???”

This averment rebounds against  the deviate Salafi sect of this age. They are the very people who do  not take their “understanding of  the Qur’aan and Sunnah from the Salaf“. They take it from a luminary (Ibn Taimiyyah-died 728  Hijri) who never was among the Salaf. The Muqallideen of the  Mathaahib on the other hand, take their understanding of the  Qur’aan and Sunnah from the Salaf-from Imaam Abu Hanifah, Maalik, Imaam Ahmad and Imaam  Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayhim) who  all are in close proximity to the  Sahaabah. Thus, whoever does  not acquire their understanding  of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah  from the illustrious Imaams of  the Four Math-habs is a deviate,  for he rejects the methodology  of the Salaf Saaliheen. All authorities, from the age of the Sahaabah to the present, unanimously declare that acquisition of understanding of  the Qur’aan and Sunnah from  the the Salaf Saaliheen is Waajib, yet  the modernist Salafi deviates  reject this methodology, and  resort to their personal and  whimsical opinions, subjecting  the Qur’aan and Hadith to their  own understanding century and  to the understanding of the 7th century Ibn Taimiyyah and the 14th century Al-Albaani who was  not even a qualified Aalim since he had no Isnaad to join his  knowledge to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Quite rightly has it been said that  it is only an insane Muslim who  would dispute the status of the Salaf Saaliheen among whom were the Aimmah of the Math-habs. These insane people are the modernist Salafi deviates who brand the superior and holy  Taqleed of the Aimmah Mujtahideen as ‘blind following’  akin to the following by the  mushrikeen of their idolater  forefathers. In their pamphlet the  modernist Salafis mention 25  illustrious authorities of the  Shariah from the age of the  Sahaabah to the 9th Islamic  century, who all unanimously proclaim the incumbency of following the Salaf Saaliheen.  Despite this concession, we find  the deviate Salafis of this age  rejecting each and every one of  these illustrious authorities. They  set aside the Taqleed of the Salaf  Saaliheen and blindly adopt the  taqleed of Ibn Taimiyyah as their manhaaj. Surely this is error and  deviation manifest.

There is no gainsaying that it is  gross jahaalah (ignorance) for  people in this age to extract  Ahadith from the Hadith kutub, then ignoring the understanding  of the Salaf Saaliheen and satanic  contumacy relative to these  Ahadith, adopt the opinion which  Ibn Taimiyyah offers for the  Ahadith.

Then they compound their  jahaalah with palpable falsehood  by claiming that such opinion is  the view of the Salaf. The final  limit of the knowledge of the  modernist Salafis of this era is Ibn Taimiyyah. Beyond this point  they have no entry into domain of  Ilm. They come within the scope of the Qur’aanic aayat: “That is the limit of their knowledge…”   

The slogan of the modernist Salafi sect is “the Qur’aan and the  Sunnah”. Under guise of this  appealing slogan they condemn  and brand the 14 century Taqleed  of the Salaf Saaliheen as ‘blind  following’, implying thereby that  these illustrious Aimmah of the Salaf Saaliheen plodded the path of error. Thus they accuse the  followers of the Four Math-habs  which constitute the Ahlus  Sunnah Wal Jama’ah to be in  conflict with the Manhaaj of the Salaf when in reality the only valid  Manhaaj of Haqq is the way of the Four Math-habs because this is  the Pathway of the Salaf  Saaliheen which is the Sunnah of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sunnah of his  Sahaabah. The Salafi slogan is  therefore a massive deception.

While they portray themselves as  followers of the Salaf Saaliheen,  they are extremely far from and  at violent odds with the Salaf. If  they had been truly following the Salaf they would never have veered away from the Path of the  Four Math-habs to adopt the inferior and incorrect taqleed of  Ibn Taimiyyah who was not at all  among the Salaf nor did he follow  the Manhaaj of the Salaf. If Ibn  Taimiyyah was a genuine follower of the Salaf he would not have  clashed with such Shar’i Ahkaam on which there exists consensus of the Salaf Saaliheen. By way of  example, consider just one example, the mas’alah of Three Talaaqs being THREE, not one.   According to the deviate Salafis of this age, Three Talaaqs issued at once or in one session are one Talaaq.

To substantiate their belief that  three talaaqs equal one talaaq, the deviate Salafis cite some  Ahadith and the practice during  the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) and the  practice which existed for two  years during the Khilaafat of  Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Despite the fact that  Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu  anhu) after the first two years of  his Khilaafat enacted the fatwa  that three Talaaq in a single  session equal three Talaaq, not  one, and despite the fact the Salaf viz. Sahaabah and the  Aimmah Mujtahideen and the Fuqaha of all Four Math-habs  upheld this fatwa unanimously,  the deviate Salafis ignore it and  revert to the ruling which had been abrogated by the Ijma’ of the Salaf from the era of Hadhrat Umar’s khilaafat

In so doing the deviate Salafis of  this age have submitted the  Ahadith to their own understanding or the  understanding and opinion of Ibn  Taimiyyah whereas the Ummah is  required to take their  understanding of the Qur’aan  and Sunnah from the Salaf  Saaliheen which is the Manhaaj of  the Four Math-habs. This  example conspicuously betrays the dishonesty of their slogan  which they raise to mislead ignorant and unwary Muslims.

There are many such examples  which substantiate the  contention that these deviates have ignored the Manhaaj of the  Salaf and are employing the  ‘Qur’aan and Sunnah’ slogan  deceptively. However, this is not  the occasion for discussing such  examples.

Of extreme and vital importance  is to ascertain who exactly were  the Asaatizah of the illustrious  Aimmah of the Four Math-habs.  How did these Aimmah  Mujtahideen acquire their  Knowledge of the Deen and from  whom? The entire edifice of the  Deen is structured on the Isnaad  of the Authorities. Just a cursory  glance at the Isnaad of Imaam  Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh)  will establish that his knowledge  was acquired directly from some  Sahaabah and from their  Students. In the Chain of Senior  Students of the Sahaabah and some of the Hadith narrations of  Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah  alayh) there is only ONE link  connecting him to Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

While some deny the Taabiiyyat  (being a Tabi’i) of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh), none  denies that he was a Tabe Taabee.  Being a Tabi’i (having linked up  with some Sahaabah) and also  having acquired his Ilm from some of the greatest Taabieen, Imaam  Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh)  occupies a truly unique and  golden pedestal in the firmament  of Islamic Uloom. But in their  private sessions, the deviate  Salafis scandal about this  illustrious Waarith (Heir) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This great Imaam  (Imaam A’zam) is in fact the Father of all the Aimmahe  Mujtahideen who followed him,  hence Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah  alayh) said: “We are the children of Abu Hanifah in Fiqh.” In the presence of knowledgeable Hanafis, the deviate Salafis  conduct themselves like Shiahs,  for they utilize the Shiah doctrine  of taqiyah and praise Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) in  public while they castigate him bringing themselves within the  scope in their private sessions,  thus of the Qur’aanic aayat:

“When they meet those who  believe, they (the Munaafiqeen)  say: ‘We believe.’ And, when they  are in privacy with their  shayaateen, they say: ‘We are with  you. Verily we are (only) mocking  (the Mu’mineen).” (Surah  Baqarah, Aayat 14)

This aayat was revealed to  castigate the hypocrites. Our  purpose for citing this verse is  not to declare the deviate Salafis munaafiqeen, but is to show that  they have an attitude similar to the munaafiqeen, and this is  dangerous. They speak much of and praise the Salaf, but they deliberately and  irrationally ignore the fact that these illustrious Aimmah Mujtahideen were the cream of the Salaf  and  after the Sahaabah.

Imaam Jalaaluddin Suyuti  (rahmatullah alayh), the illustrious  Shaafi authority of the 10th Islamic century, in his treatise, Tabyeedhus Saheefah fi Manaaqib  Abi Hanifah, enumerating the  excellences of Imaam Abu Hanifah  (rahmatullah alayh) records the statements of the Muhadditheen  in praise of Imaam A’zam:

* “Samaani said in Al-Asbaab: Abu Hanifah had totally engrossed himself in the quest of knowledge so much that he  acquired (knowledge) which no  one else had acquired. One day he  entered in the presence of (the  Khalifah) Mansoor while Isaa Bin  Musaa was present. He (Isaa Bin  Musaa) said to Mansoor: ‘Today  this is the greatest Aalim on earth”.

* “While Makki Bin Ibraaheem was  discussing about Abu Hanifah, he  said: ‘He was the most knowledgeable of his age. I never  saw a more pious person than  him among the people of Kufa.” 

* “Yusuf Al-Qaadhi said: I did not  see anyone more knowledgeable  in the tafseer of Hadith than Abu Hanifah.”

* “Yazeed Bin Haaroon said: ‘I met a thousand men (of Knowledge), and I wrote (Hadith) from most of them. Among them I did not see anyone more versed in fiqah, more pious and more  knowledgeable than five  persons.’ The first one he narrated was Abu Hanifah. Ibn  Abdul Barr narrated this episode  in Jaami Bayaanil Ilm.”

* “Al-Khateeb narrated that Shaddaad Bin Hakeem said: ‘I did  not see anyone with more  knowledge than Abu Hanifah.”  

* Muhammad Bin Sa’d Al-Kaatib  narrated: ‘I heard Abdullah Bin  Daawood Al-Khurubeeni saying:  ‘It is incumbent on the people of  Islam (the Ummah) to make dua for Abu Hanifah in their Salaat’.  Then he mentioned that Abu  Hanifah had guarded for them  the Sunnah and Fiqh.”

* “Abu Ja’far Shizaamaariyy narrated that Shaqeeq Balkhi said: ‘Imaam Abu Hanifah was the  most pious among men; the most  knowledgeable among men, and the greatest worshipper among men.”

* “Ibraaheem Bin Ikramah  Makhzoomi said: ‘I did not see  any Aalim more pious, more  abstemious, and more  knowledgeable than Abu Hanifah.”

*  “Abdullah Bin Mubaarak said: ‘I  entered Kufa and asked its Ulama:  “Who is the most learned in this  city? All of them responded: ‘Imaam Abu Hanifah.”

* Khalf Bin Ayyub said: ‘Knowledge was transmitted  from Allah Ta’ala to Muhammad  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), then  to his Sahaabah, then to the  Taabieen, then to Abu Hanifah  and his companions. There is  consensus of the Ummah (i.e. of the Ulama) that Abu Hanifah was a Faqeeh, a Mujtahid and a great  Imaam in Fiqh.”

* “Muhammad Bin Bishr said: Once when I visited Sufyaan Thauri, he asked: ‘From where do you come?’ I said: ‘From Abu Hanifah.’ He said: ‘Verily, you  have come from him who is the  greatest Faqeeh on earth.”

* “Muhammad Bin Mazaahim greatest narrated: ‘I heard Ibn  Mubaarak saying: ‘The Faqeeh  among mankind is Abu Hanifah. I  have not seen his likes in Fiqah.”

* “Yahya Bin Maeen said: ‘I heard  Yahya Qataan saying: ‘We did not  hear better opinions (in Deeni  matters) than the opinion of Abu  Hanifah. We have accepted most of his statements.”

* “Ali Bin Madini said: ‘I heard  Abdur Razzaaq saying: ‘Ma’mar  said: ‘I am not aware of anyone  after Hasan Basri who expresses  himself in Fiqah better than Abu Hanifah.”

* “The Fuqaha when they adopt  Qiyaas are the children of Abu  Hanifah.”

Imaam Suyuti said: “It is an  established fact that Fiqah is  pivoted on principles such as  Hadith, the statements of the  Sahaabah and the Taabieen, their  differences, the knowledge of  Naasikh and Mansookh of the  Sunnah, etc. We find consensus  of the Ulama that Abu Hanifah  being a Faqeeh was necessarily a  Haafiz of the Hadith of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Zahbi  has enumerated him among the Huffaaz of Hadith.

Ibn Khaldoon says in Al-Muqaddamah: “The Imaam of the  people of Iraq is Imam Abu Hanifah Nu’maan Bin Thaabit His rank in Fiqh is unattainable. The Fuqaha especially Imam Maalik and Imam Shaafi’, had testified to this.”

“Ibn Nadeem said: “He (Imaam Abu Hanifah) was among  the  Taabieen. He met several Sahaabah. He was among the Wara-een (men of great piety) and Zaahideen (those who  renounce the world).

Writing in his Tabyeedhus  Saheefah, Imaam Suyuti  (rahmatullah alayh) says: “Imaam  Abu Ma’shar Abdul Kareem Tabari  Shaafi’ has compiled a treatise on  such (Hadith) narrations which Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh)  narrated from the Sahaabah. In his treatise he mentions:

‘Abu Hanifah said: ‘I met seven  Ashaab of  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).- Anas Bin Maalik, Abdullah Bin-Juz’iz-Zubaidi, Jaabir Bin Abdullah, Ma’qal Bin Yasaar, Waathilah Bin  Asqa’, Aa’ishah Bint Ajrad and Abdullah Ibn ‘Aufa (radhiyallahu  anhum).’  

He narrated from Anas  (radhiyallahu anhu) Hadith; three  Ahadith;  from Ibn Juz’i one Hadith; from Waathilah two  Hadith; from Jaabir one Hadith;  from Abdullah Bin Anas one  Hadith; from Aa’ishah Bint Ajrad  one Hadith, and from Abdullah  Bin Abi Aufa one Hadith.”

The illustrious authorities of the  Shariah of all Math-habs, Fuqaha and Muhadditheen, have lauded numerous accolades on Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). Although all the Aimmah  Mujtahideen have been  applauded by the authorities, mention here in this brief article  is made of only Imaam Abu  Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) in  view of him being specifically  targeted by Salafis for their venom.

Since the Imaams of the Math-habs are among the greatest and  noblest members of the Salaf, and the Ummah has been making  their Taqleed for the past almost  fourteen centuries, it is pure  satanic deception to propagate  abandonment of this superior Taqleed in this age of corruption,  kufr, bid’ah and dhalaal. The  Salafis of this age with their  ideology of abandoning the Taqleed of the Math-habs and  adopting the taqleed  of Ibn  Taimiyyah are implying that for  the first almost seven centuries of Islam’s existence, the entire  Ummah  was astray and in error,  and this error was discovered by  Ibn Taimiyyah. This conclusion is  contumacy at its highest. While believing that Ibn Taimiyyah had  erred in his methodology is  compliant with intelligence, the  belief that the Salaf had been  plodding the path of deviation  with the Math-habs is, revolting  to intelligence and Imaan.

The only path of Najaat  (Salvation) for the Ummah in  these times is firm adherence to the Math-habs. Beyond the  confines of the four Mathhabs is  the way of dhalaal and kufr. The  Ahlus Sunnah in this age comprises the followers of the  Four Math-habs which are as old  as Islam while the math-hab of  the Salafis – the math-hab of Ibn  Taimiyyah is not an integral  constituent of the Way of the Salaf Saaliheen. It is infinitely safer for the masses to be firm on  the perceived and alleged ‘errors’ of their Imaam of the Math-hab they are following, than the supposed ‘rectitude’ of Ibn Taimiyyah.

Prophetic sayings about the Imams of the Madh-habs

Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh)

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also said, according to an authentic narration “If the  Religion were at the Pleiades (in  Persia), even then a person (muslim) from Persia would have  taken hold of it, or one amongst  Persian descent would surely  have found it” [al-Ajluni, Kashfu’l-Khafa

Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu)  narrated: “We were sitting in the  company of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  when Surat al-Jumu’ah was  revealed to him and when he  recited (it) amongst them, (those  who were sitting with the  prophet) said “Allah’s Messenger?” but Allah’s Apostle  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made  no reply, until he was questioned once, twice or thrice, and there  was amongst us Salman the  Persian. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu alayhi wasllam)  placed his hand on Salman and then said: “Even if faith were near  the Pleiades (in Persia), a man  from amongst these would surely  find it.”

When Muslim’s conquered Persia  it became a great centre for  knowledge and many of the  worlds greatest scholars came  from there like Imam al Ghazali, Imam Abu Dawud, Imam Bukhari, Ibn Sina, Ibn Haytham one could name well over 200 prominent  and well known Islamic figures, Scholars, Scientists, Philosophers, and Physicians in  world history that came from  Persia, but Imam as-Suyuti (rahimahullah) remarked: “It has been communicated unanimously that this hadith refers to Imam Abu Hanifah (who was a Persian) and founded the Hanafi Madhhab (School of Law)” which 45% of  muslims around the world follow  today.

Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh d.150) is the first in Islam to organize and categorize fiqh (Islamic Law), at a time when it was simply the Qur’an and the Narrations so information could be easily researched and found. This was a Sunnah (example) he began and as the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said regarding those who begin beneficial Sunnah’s they will have the reward of all  those who adopt it after them  and indeed the entire Ummah adopted this after Him.

He gave rulings on matters  relating to various topics, and organized the religion under sub-headings, categorizing everything  and embracing the whole of Law, beginning with purity (tahara)  followed by prayer (salah), an  order which was retained by all  subsequent scholars such as  Imam Malik, Shafi’i, Abu Dawud, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and others.

Imam Ash-Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh)

The Prophet once made a dua’, “O  Allah! Guide (the tribe of)  Quraysh, for the science of the  scholar that comes from them  will encompass the earth. O  Allah! You have let the first of  them taste bitterness, so let the  latter of them taste reward.”

The Scholars agreed that this Dua’ was referring to Imam al Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh) whose work “al Risal fi Usul al Fiqh” (The Treatise on the  Principles of Legal Jurisprudence) was the first work to define and develop the Legal science of Usul al Fiqh (Principles of Law). This legal science is at the heart of all  modern legal systems on earth today.

“In its comprehensive character, legal science developed among  Muslims very early. They  were  the first in the world to entertain  the thought of an abstract  (theoretical and conceptual)  science of law, distinct from the  codes of the general laws of the  country. The ancients had their  laws, more or less developed and even codified, yet a science which  should treat the philosophy and sources of law, and the method of  legislation, interpretation, application, etc, of the law was  wanting, and this never struck  the minds of the jurists before  Islam”. Since the second century of the Hijrah (800 C.E.) many  Islamic works of this kind began  to be produced, called Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Law).
In addition, the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “A scholar from Quraysh will fill  all regions of the earth with  learning.”  [al-Ajluni]

The entire Ummah utilized and benefited from the work of Imam  Shafi’i, it systemized Law itself  for the other Schools of Law that  emulated it’s structure.

The Prophet also said: “Truly, Allah shall send forth for this  Community, at the onset of every  hundred years, someone who will  renew their Religion for them.”

The  scholars  agreed, among  them Imam Abu Qilaba (d. 276) and Imam Ahmad, that the first  narration above signified Imam  al-Shafi’i, and the second signified Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, a  just Khalif who opposed the  tyrants around him, as the first person Allah sent for the Ummah  and then Imam al-Shafi’i after  him as the second person Allah  sent.

Imam Malik Ibn Anas (rahmatullah alayh)

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Very soon will  people beat the flanks of camels  in search of knowledge, and they  shall find no-one more  knowledgeable than the knowledgeable scholar of  Madinah.” 

Imam Tirmidhi, al-Qadi ‘Iyad, Dhahabi and others relate from  Sufyan ibn Uyaynah, Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn Mahdi, Yahya Ibn Ma’in, Dhu’ayb ibn ‘Imama, Ibn al-Madini (rahimahumullah), and others that they considered that scholar to be Malik ibn Anas (rahimahullah) the founder of the  Maliki Madhhab.

Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh) was responsible for preserving the Sunnah of Madinah for later generations, this was the way of life the people of Madinah lived shortly  after the prophets (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) death, it gave the clearest picture of life in  those times we have today and the Imam and his Madhhab (school of Law) are famous for  taking the actions of the people  of Madinah as a source of  legislation in Islamic law because  it was the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself who established that community.

Thus in this way the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  foretold the Madhhab’s (Islam’s  Schools of Law) and all the  scholars they would be named after, the Hanafi Madhhab, Shafii, Maliki and Hanbali, all of whom adopted the science of  Imam Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh) that the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned specifically and is the method by which they derive Laws from the Qur’an and Sunnah, this is in contrast to the Deviant sects who lie and say the  Madhhab’s are an evil innovation  that has no basis in Islam rather they seek to dismantle Islam as  the Yahud’s dismantled their own  faith. These sects are a product  of the “Ruwaibidah” a group of  people the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) gave this name  to and said would come towards  the end of time. History has  occurred as the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  mentioned, the entire world adopting the methods of Imam  Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh), which makes the authenticity of the narration’s self  evident.

He (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said “My nation will be divided into seventy-three sects, and only  one among them will attain  salvation” He was asked, “Who are  they?” He replied, “Those who follow me and my Companions,” (Abu Dawud); thus, he mentioned the sects of innovation that  would emerge afterwards and stated that the muslims should stick to the main body of the  Ummah, it’s largest group. He  (sallallaahu alayhi wasllam)  described the reality after this  time clearly, He said “One who defected from obedience and separated from the main body of  the Muslims-if he died in that  state would die the death of one  belonging to the days of Jahiliyya  (before Islam)”  [Muslim]

He advised “My community will  not come together on  misguidance”;

”You have to follow  the congregation for verily Allah  will not make the largest group of Muhammad’s community agree  on error.”,

“Whoever among you wants  to be in the middle of Paradise, let  him cling to the congregation.”,

“Shaytan is a wolf like the wolf  that preys on sheep, taking the  isolated and the stray among  them; therefore, avoid factionalism and keep to the  congregation and the collective  and the masjid.”,

“Allah’s hand is over the group, and whoever dissents from them  departs to hell.”

Thus he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) advised Muslim’s should stick to Islam’s four schools of Law and they would attain the middle of Paradise if they did so. Islam’s four schools of Law have  been the main Body of the Ummah from the beginning of  Islam until our time, almost 90% of Islam’s 1.7 billion Muslim’s around the world today follow them.

The Schools of Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence): A Brief Introduction

[Translated and partly prepared by: Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi, Maulana Afzal Qasmi, Mufti Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi]

Meaning of Fiqhi Schools

Fiqhi School is basically the name of different trends which have been adopted to derive solution of matters from the principal Shariah sources. The concept of Fiqhi schools was not prevalent in the period of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the companions as it is today, but the basis of these trends was found and they were known in the period of the companions. These trends turned in to the form of Fiqhi schoos in the last period of the Sahaba (companions) and their successors. These trends got more accurate and new building erected at the foundation of separate rules and regulations.

Background of Fiqhi Schools

In the previous lines, it has been mentioned that at the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) sometimes two different companions used to differ in understanding the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In these examples, there was possibility of taking different meanings since these examples were related to non-principal and partial matters. There is no place for such difference of understanding in the basic principles of religion. Therefore, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) held right two opposite meanings of a guidance. Even, in the Glorious Qur’an, at many places there was possibility of taking various meanings. This difference of understanding sometimes was based on the word having two opposite meanings. Sometimes, the word had two meanings; one real and the other metaphor.

Sometimes, the outer condition of the word gave a meaning and after contemplating the word or looking in to the context it gave another meaning. Some of the companions have adopted the first trend, so they used to stick to the outer meaning of the verses and Hadith. While some others tried to go in to the depth of the matter keeping the spirit of the Shariah and context in their view, and they used to issue orders accordingly. There is a famous account that once the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered a group of the companions to offer the prayer of Asr in the locality of the Banu Quraizah. The companions went out and the time of ‘Asr approached in the mid way. A group of the companions said that the Prophet meant that we reach quickly, so they offered ‘Asr prayer in the mid way. While the rest, acting upon the outer meaning of the order, first reached to Banu Quraizah and they could only offer ‘Asr prayer after Isha. When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was apprised of the incident, he objected none of the two.
When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left for his heavenly abode, the companions faced new issues about which there were no clear orders in the Glorious Quran and Hadith. So, the companions contemplated in to those matters in the light of the Quran and Hadith. As before, this contemplation was of two kinds and their opinions differed because of the difference in trends. The Tab’een (those who followed the companions) learnt the knowledge of Islam from the companions and thus theses trends shifted to them. The new issues and matters came up in abundance and they solved them according to their trends. Basically, it was this difference of trends which was associated with some other reasons that caused the formation variant jurisprudential interpretations. These Fiqhi scholars were in different cities of the Muslim rule and each had a circle of students and followers around him. Thus, their interpretations got the shape of a Fiqhi Maslak.

Logic of the Prevalent Fiqhi Schools

In the beginning, there were many Fiqhi schools and their followers. But as the time passed by, the followers of some schools, under various reasons, got lesser and lesser. All of their Fiqhi opinions and interpretative judgments were not compiled, and they became a part of the history. Only some of their opinions are found in few books and writings of the early authors. The other Fiqhi schools succeeded to win such scholars and jurists who compiled all the opinions and findings the particular school. They set up the rules and regulations and propagated them. Later, these Fiqhi schools enjoyed such scholars of Fiqh who transferred this asset to their successors and rendered a marvelous service to safeguard this treasure. These schools survived. In Ahlus Sunnah, there are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali Fiqhi schools, while in the Shiites there are Ja’fariyah and Zaidiyah Fiqhs.

HANAFI FIQH

Introduction of Hanafi School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Fiqh Hanafi is the oldest of all four Sunni Fiqhi schools. The Fiqhi rules and matters were first compiled in this school. This school spread the most in the Islamic world and it is followed by a majority of the Muslims. This Fiqh is attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah and therefore is called Hanafi. It came in to being at Kufa and the compilation was carried out by collective research and interpretations. This Fiqh is originally based on the opinions, fatwas, judgments and thinking methods of the outstanding Companion Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) and fourth Caliph Hadhrat Ali bin Abu Talib (radhiyallahu anhu). These opinions, fatwas, judgments and thinking methods reached Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) by the channel of Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman, Hadhrat Ibrahim Nakh’ee and Hadhrat Alqamah. (Rahimahumullah) Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani (rahimahullah), the renowned disciple of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah), recorded the thousands of mas’alas (issues or cases) in to form of a book which were derived and compiled by a panel of forty ablest students and friends of Imam Abu Hanifah. Imam Abu Yusuf Ya’qub bin Ibrahim Ansari, the other student of Imam Abu Hanifah, played a prominent role in compiling and spreading Fiqh Hanafi.

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh)

The name of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) is Nu’man bin Sabit. Abu Hanifah is his nickname. He was born in 80 Hijri in Kufa, a city of present day Iraq. As a profession, his family was cloth merchant and he also took in the same profession. A famous scholar of Kufa, Sha’bi apprehended his sharp-mindedness and sought him to achieve education. So, he joined the prominent circle of Hadhrat Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman (rahimahullah) and remained in his company till his demise. He benefited from all the scholars of Hadith in Kufa. He traveled Hijaz many a times and learned from the scholars and other educated ones. He benefited from Imam Malik (rahimahullah) in Madinah and Imam Malik (rahimahullah) also benefited from him. He had so many teachers; among them are senior Tab’een (the successor of the companions of Prophet) from Makkah, Madinah, Iraq and Syria. He himself was a Tab’ee, since he had the honour of visiting some companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), though he did not narrate from them. After the demise of Hadhrat Hammad (rahimahullah) , all of his students agreed that Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) , the youngest of them, is ablest among them to succeed their Shaikh. So they forced him to take over his position. This circle had the grand collection of the derivation method of Hadhrat Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu), traditions and fatwas of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), rulings and thoughts of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) and the Hadiths and traditions of scholars of Hadith in Kufa. Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) was bestowed matchless mind, power of understanding and derivation, expansion and depth in knowledge. He had good moral characters and held a high position in fearing Allah, piety, righteousness and nobility. He was prosperous, so he used to spend wealth wholeheartedly in the path of Allah. He was famous in honesty in dealings and business. Because of these virtues, his circle of teaching earned fame far and wide and prominent scholars started to attend his classes where this generous teacher encouraged them and discussed the academic matters openly. He observed the Umayyad sultanate and witnessed its decline. The Abbasid caliphate was established before his eyes. Some Alvis also made armed efforts to gain power. Realizing them as able for the position, he extended oral and financial support to them. When the Abbasid caliphate was established the Caliph Mansoor offered him the post of Qazi, most probably, in order to test his loyalty to his government. He denied it and as a punishment was whipped lashes at public place and was put in to prison. He was then about seventy years old. He continued teaching while he was in prison and the punishment of whips also continued. Ultimately, he died in prison in 150 H in the month of Rajab and was buried in the graveyard of Khaizuran.

Method & Characteristics

The Fiqh of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) bears this characteristic that it was collectively formulated. Hadhrat Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) populated the city of Kufa with keen interest and sent Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) as teacher and Qazi with this letter: “O people of Kufa! I prefer you on myself by sending Ibn Mas’ood.” So much of the companions turned to Kufa that it accommodated more than one thousand companions. Hadhrat Ali Murtaza (radhiyallahu anhu), the fourth Caliph of Islam, made it his capital. Later, this city competed the cities of Makkah and Madinah in Hadith and Islamic sciences. This city was newly built, therefore the new coverts, who were from urban background and brought with them an asset of Greek and Persian sciences and philosophy, inhabited there in a big number. The mixing of Arabs with Iranian culture created countless many new problems and issues. On the other side, there came up so many sects due to political differences and amalgamation of religions and nations. Some of them were secretly involved in anti-Islamic efforts. One of these phenomena was to forge false Hadith. Every sect forged Hadith to support its view. The cities of Hijaz; Makkah and Madinah, were secure from such kinds of special cases to an extent.

Hadhrat Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) had a special relation with Iraq. He himself sent Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) to Kufa. Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was given the title of Muhaddith from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) i.e. ‘his tongue and heart spoke according to the revelation‘. There were several verses in the Glorious Quran which were revealed according to his opinion. Hadhrat Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) prevented the companions to go out of Madinah in his time of caliphate. He formed two groups among the companions. He used to consult smaller group of the elder companions in special cases. And, whenever there happened to occur any important matter he used to assemble all of the companions for consultations. His style of derivation was that he used to deliberate in the depth of the Qur’an and Hadith, used to keep the objectives of Shariah and the interest of the Muslims before his eyes, observed the circumstances and used to reach a conclusion by collective decision. His interpretative judgments and Awwaliyaat (pioneering judgments) are well known, and they not only played a key role to enliven the Islamic Shariah in the wide Islamic caliphate but also provided a firm basis for his successors. This style of derivation was circulated in Kufa by Hadhrat Ali and Abdullah bin Mas’ood (rashiyallahu anhum). Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)and his disciples, Alqamah and Ibrahim Nakh’ee (rahimahumullah), on one hand applied strict laws in accepting narrations so that no false Hadith is accepted. On the other hand, they avoided attributing Hadith directly to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and liked to narrate attributing to companions and Tab’eens lest an incorrect meaning is associated to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Thirdly, they applied their reasons and issued fatwas. These were the characteristics and styles that Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) inherited.

Collective Compilation of Fiqh

When Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) formed his penal to compile Fiqh he selected forty people from among his students. They were experts of Qur’anic exegesis, Hadith, Asma ur Rijal (complete record of the narrators), language, literature, logic, philosophy, analogy, history, mathematics and several other sciences. He himself had the experience of trade and marketing. He started this noble mission of compiling Fiqh. It was thus that a matter was presented before the panel and each member used to express his view, and he himself put his opinion. Sometimes, the discussion continued till a month on a single matter. When a decision was reached on he ordered to record it down. The matter was discussed in the light of Quran and Hadith. If they did not find any evidence in any of them, they turned to the sayings of the companions. Having failed they used to apply analogy. All the members also sometimes discussed analogy and some times discrete in legal matters. The conclusions of the discussion were written down in registers. Thus, the Mas’alas of Fiqh were compiled in a new order. This order was known as Fiqhi order; starting from chapter of prayers, dealings and ending at inheritance. It is said that thus 500,000 matters were compiled and 38000 matters of them were related to prayers.

Method of Derivation

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) himself describes his method of derivation: “First of all I look in to the Noble Quran, then search the matter in the Hadith of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and take the narrations of the Faqeeh (jurist) narrators. If the matter is not found in the Quran and Hadith, then I turn to the sayings of the companions. If their opinions differ then I prefer any of them. If the opinions of the companions contradict the opinions of others I never go against the opinions of the companions. And, when it come to the opinions of Ibrahim Nakh’ee, Hasan Basari, Ibn Seereen, Saeed bin Musayyib and others then I also apply mind and interpret as they do.

Principle Books

After the collective compilation of the Fiqh matters, some companions of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) wrote books. There is no book recorded on Fiqh by Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) . But, the books of his disciple Imam Muhammad Shaibani (rahimahullah) are considered to the first and foremost source of Hanafi Fiqh. In Fiqh Hanafi there are three types of books:

(1) Books of ‘Zahir Al-Riwayah’
(2) Books of ‘Nawadir’
(3) Fatawa and Waqiaat.

The contents of Zahir Al-Riwayah are most trusted ones. Zahir Al-Riwayah is a collection of six books written by Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah).

1. Al-Jami’ Al-Sageer: Eesa bin Aban and Muhammad bin Sama’ah narrated this book from Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah). In this book, Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) through Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah) . But, this book does not contain proofs.

2. Al-Jami’ Al-Kabeer: This book is like the previous one, but it deals with the subjects in details.

3. Ziyadaat: This is the complementary of Al-Jame’ Al-Kabeer.

4. Al-Mabsoot: This is also known as ‘Al-Asl’. In this book, Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) has collected the thousands of Mas’alas that were derived by Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) . This book deals with Ahadith that is followed by Mas’alas and the variant opinions of the contemporary Ulama.

5. Al-Siyar Al-Sageer: This book deals with the subject of Jihad and international laws.

6. Al-Siyar Al-Kabeer: This is his last Fiqhi book that was narrated by Abu Sulaiman Jauzjani.

Muhammad bin Ahmad Marwazi, known as Hakim Shahid, amassed all of Imam Muhammad’s (rahimahullah) books with the name of ‘Al-Kafi’ after the deletion of repeated matters.
Imam Sarkhasi has written its detailed commentary named as ‘Al-Mabsoot’.

Nawadir comprises the matters that are found in books other than the books of Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) or in the books of Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah) or Imam Hasan bin Ziyad (rahimahullah) . The collection of Nawadir consists of:

1. Harooniyaat: Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) dictated it in the reign of Caliph Haroon Al-Rashid, this book is attributed to the Caliph.

2. Kisaniyaat: The narrations of his student Shoaib bin Sulaiman Kisani.

3. Ruqyaat: These are the matters that he expressed while he was Qazi in Ruqa area.

4. Kitabul Mujarrad: It is written by Hasan bin Ziyad.

5. Kitabul Amali: It is attributed to Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah).

Nawazil were the Mas’alas about which there was no mention in the aforementioned books and the succeeding scholars of Fiqh derived solutions keeping these books before them. Kitab Al-Nawazil of Abul Lais Samarqandi, Majmoo’un Nawazil wal Waqi’aat of Natifi and Al-Waqi’aat of Sadr Shahid are well known among scholars.

                     MALIKI FIQH

Introduction of Maliki School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Fiqh Maliki came in to being after the Fiqh Hanafi in historical order. This was a good mixture of Hadith and reason. It was founded in the city of the Prophet Madinah and was called Maliki after the name of Imam Malik bin Anas (rahimahullah) . Madinah was the holy city where each and every house was enlightened with the rays of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The citizens of Madinah had the honour to accompany the Prophet for a long time and they were directly addressed in the revelations and the matters of Shariah. When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left for his heavenly abode, there were a many companions who stayed at Madinah. Specially, the environment of Madinah was resounding with the traditions, narrations and fatawa of Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar, Hadhrat Aaishah, Hadhrat Zaid bin Sabit, Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhum) and so on. The Fiqh Maliki is based on the traditions and opinions of these companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Imam Malik (rahimahullah)

Imam Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abu Aamir Asbahi (rahimahullah) was born in Madinah in 93 Hijra. His father, uncle and grandfather were great scholars of Hadith. His great grandfather Abu Aamir (radhiyallahu anhu) was a companion of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who embraced Islam in second year of Hijra and participated all the battles with the Messenger except Badr. The environment of Madinah was resonating with the voices of Hadith when Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was born. The elder Tab’een and their students were busy in teaching and learning Hadith. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) obtained the knowledge of Hadith from senior Tab’een and their successors. First of all, he attended Abdur Rahman bin Hurmuz and benefited from him for a long period. From among his prominent teachers is Hadhrat Nafe’ (rahimahullah) , (the freed slave of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar and his academic heir), Muhammad bin Shihab Zuhri, Imam Jaffar bin Sadiq, Muhammad bin Yahya Ansari (rahimahumullah) etc. He gained the knowledge of Fiqh exclusively by Rabi’ah bin Abdur Rahman (rahimahullah) who is known as Rabi’atur Rai. Apart from these scholars of Hijaz, selected Ulama, Scholars of Hadith and sheikhs would come from every nook and corner of the Islamic world to Madinah at the time of Hajj and there would hold circles and classes of learning and narration. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) benefited greatly from these occasions and attended the circles of great scholars. When he reached the scholarly position that, according to Sufyan bin Uyainah (rahimahullah) , the foretelling of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) befitted him that ‘people will travel the world for knowledge and they will not find any scholar greater than that of Madinah’ and seventy other sheikhs certified that he became able to start his own circle, then he started his circle in the Mosque of the Prophet with a elegance that his circle was an ideal of staidness and sedateness. He would take bath and put on best of dresses, apply perfume and then would go to class. Scented woods and perfumes also were incensed occasionally. He used to give lectures with such an elegance that no noise was heard when the pages were turned. He would not tolerate even a petty improper movement or noise. When anyone posed him a question he used to answer him. Generally, his students used to read out and he would rectify the mistakes. His lectures were attended by many of his significant teachers as well.

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was bestowed with special privileges. On one hand, he was a great Muhaddith and has a high and authentic chain of narration. Those who narrated from him were Rabi’atur Rai, Yahya bin Sa’eed and Musa bin Uqbah (from among his teachers), Imam Abu Hanifah, Sufyan Sauri, Lais bin Sa’d, Awza’ee, Imam Abu Yusuf etc (from among his coetaneous). Among his prominent students are Imam Shafi’i, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani (rahimahumullah) and so on. His second characteristic was that he was a great scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence and Mujtahid (authority to interpret in Islamic matters). Outstanding Ulama and Imams of Fiqh have benefited from his Fiqhi views. The Caliphs Haroon Al-Rasheed, Abu Jaffar Mansoor and Mahdi and Mamoon also attended his lectures. In the beginning of Abbasid period he also had to pass through troubled conditions. In the reign of Caliph Mansoor, when Nafs Zakiyyah raised the claim of caliphate, Imam Malik supported him. Mansoor disliked it and tried to look for a pretext to catch him. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was of the opinion that forced Bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) conditioned with divorce is unacceptable. The Governor of Mansoor in Madinah asked him to avoid issuing such fatwas. When he did not stop he was so lashed at his naked arms that it was disjointed.

He stayed throughout of his life in Madinah. He was so conscious about the honour of Prophet’s city that he did not even like to ride at places where the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) set his steps. He died in Madinah in 179 Hijra and was buried in Jannat-ul Baqee, the famous graveyard of Madinah.

Characteristics & Salient Features

Fiqh Maliki has acquired this prominence that it is a beautiful composite of narration and reason. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) , on one hand, was a great Muhaddith and has absorbed the Ahadith of the companions of Madinah. He himself compiled the pioneering Hadith book named ‘Muwatta’. While, on the other hand, he is a torchbearer of Fiqh. He has recorded his Fiqhi views with the views and opinions of the companions and their successors. He derived Mas’alas keeping the commonweal and objective of Shariah in view. He gave commonwealth so importance that it is counted one of the characteristics of Fiqh Maliki.

The Style of Derivation

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) obtained knowledge staying in Madinah and there he started teaching. He benefited fully from the Ahadith and fatwas of companions in Madinah and get enlightenment from them. He was well aware of the Ahadith of the companions of Madinah and he used to trust them more. So this impression seems to overshadow Fiqh Maliki. The people of Medina witnessed the life of Prophet very closely and were directly trained by the Prophet. Hence, a general practice of people of Madinah was very important to him and he used to consider their practice as Ijma (consensus). He gave it such importance that if Khabr-e-Wahid (narration of single person) contradicted their practice he would not trust the Hadith of the single narrator.

The style of his derivation was that first of all he looked in to the Qur’an, then in the traditions of the Prophet. In traditions he used to rely more on the scholars of Hadith from Hijaz and practice of Madinite citizens. He preferred the fatwas and rulings of Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), then the fatwas of the other companions of Madinah and then those of the seven Scholars of Fiqh in Madinah. When he did not find any proof in Hadith he would turn to analogy. Also, he tried his level best to shut the door of evil sources. Instead of looking in the incident he would look in to the cause of the matter and prevent the causes that may lead to Haram or evil.

Fundamental Books

The first and foremost of Fiqh Maliki books is Muwatta of Imam Malik (rahimahullah) in which he collected Hadith with Fiqhi views. The second book is ‘Al-Mudawwnatul Kubra’ that contains matters that were answered by Imam Malik (rahimahullah) . First, his pupil Asad bin Furat (rahimahullah) recorded it from Abdur Rahman bin Qasim (rahimahullah) . But, Abdus Salam Saeed Sahnoon (rahimahullah) prepared a copy of it and presented it to bin Qasim (rahimahullah) who made corrections. This manuscript was known as Mudawwanah. Among the early books of Fiqh Maliki are ‘Al-Waziha’ of Abdul Malik bin Habib, ‘Utaibah’ of Muhammad bin Abu Bakr and ‘Muwaziyah’ of Muhammad bin Muwazi Misri. Among his promninent pupils are Abdullah bin Wahab, Abdur Rahman bin Qasim, Ashhab bin Abdul Aziz and Abdul Malik bin Majishoon.

                    SHAFI’I FIQH

Introduction of Shafi’i School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Fiqh Shafi’i is the third Fiqhi school of Islamic Jurisprudence attributed to Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah). Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah), on one hand, is a student of Imam Malik (rahimahullah) , he learnt the Fiqh Maliki and Hijazi thoughts from him. On the other hand, he attended Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani (rahimahullah) and learnt Fiqh Hanafi and Iraqi style of Fiqh. Apart from having acquired these two Fiqhs, he directly benefited from other Fiqhi trends and the Imams. So, he benefited from Umar bin Abu Salma (rahimahullah) , a disciple of Imam Awzai (rahimahullah) whose Fiqh was prevalent in Syria. In Egypt, the Fiqh of Imam Lais bin Sa’d (rahimahullah) was followed so he benefited from his disciple Yahya bin Hassaan (rahimahullah). Thus, the Fiqh Shafi’i accumulated all the virtues of all known Fiqhi schools and trends. Being a towering Islamic Jurist, Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) was a great Muahaddith. He had aquired the narrations of the Muhaddith of Makkah Sufyan bin Unainah (rahimahullah) and the narrations of Muhaddith of Madinah, Imam Malik bin Anas (rahimahullah). The Fiqh of Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) was founded at Makkah. Then, passing from Madinah, Iraq and Baghdad it arrived in Egypt. There it reached its peaks. As the Fiqh Hanafi is greatly impressed by the views of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood and Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallah anhum)and the Fiqh Maliki has heavily benefited from the opinions of Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhum), the Fiqh Shafi’i has drew inspiration from the views of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu).

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah)

The name of Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) is Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Idrees. His family tree joins that of the Prophet at his ninth great-grandfather Muttalib bin Abd Munaf. He was a member of Quraish tribe. He was born in 150 Hijra in Gaza city of Palestine. This was not his native place but his father happened to visit that place and expired there. At the age of two, his mother took him to his ancestral home at Makkah. He learnt the eloquence and nuance of Arabic language in the tribe of Huzail and memorized the Holy Qur’an. Then, he associated himself with Muslim bin Khalid Zanji (rahimahullah), the Sheikh and Mufti of Haram, and completed his education. Then, he came in Madinah to Imam Malik (rahimahullah) to learn the Qur’an and Hadith. He had already memorized the Muwatta of Imam Malik. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was very impressed by him. Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) was not financially well so he looked for a source of income. Eventually he was given the governorship of Najran. He went to Najran and discharged his duties with much honesty and trustworthiness. Haroon Al Rashid was then Caliph and he was disturbed on the account of Alvis’ uprisings. Somebody complained him that Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah)  tends to the Alvis. As a result, he was summoned to Baghdad and later discharged after clarification and some recommendations. Utilizing his presence in Iraq, he joined the circle of Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) and learnt Hanafi Fiqh. He held discussions with Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) and studied the books of Hanafi Fiqh. Then, he returned to Hijaz and stayed there for nine more years. In this span of time, he busied himself in learning and teaching. He used to meet the selected scholars of Islamic world who visited Makkah at the time of Hajj. He would narrate from them as they narrate from him. Again, he visited Baghdad. Till this time his method of derivation and interpretation had been set up. So, many scholars joined him and he dictated some of his books to them. These opinions are called ‘Old Maslak’ or Iraqi Views. After about two years, he left Baghdad and till that time there came up a team of scholars who followed his Fiqh. Thrice, he returned to Baghdad and after a few months’ stay proceeded to Egypt. Here, he reviewed his previous opinions and in many matters he retracted and adopted new opinions. In Egypt, he authored his new books and with the power of his interpretations spread his school of Islamic Jurisprudence. Previously, the Maliki School of Fiqh was prevailing in Egypt, but with the advent of Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) his Fiqhi School dominated there. The new books he compiled in Egypt and the new ideas which he expressed there are called ‘New Maslak’. He died in Egypt in 204 Hijri and was buried therein.

Characteristics & Distinguishing Qualities

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) was luckiest among all the Imams that he was bestowed ‘comprehensiveness’. Due to stay in Hijaz. He gathered a pile of Ahadith and traditions. Makkah was his native place; he attended Imam Malik (rahimahullah) in Madinah. Then, he explored Iraq and Egypt. Thus, he became a great scholar of Hadith in his age. In the field of Fiqh, he learnt the derivation style of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) in Makkah and that of Hadhrat Umar and Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in Madinah from Imam Malik (rahimahullah) . Then, in Iraq he learnt Hanafi Fiqh from Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) , in Syria he learnt the Fiqh of Imam Awza’ee (rahimahullah) and in Egypt the Fiqh of Imam Lais bin Sa’d (rahimahullah) . Besides, he was conferred with a tremendous power of imagination and accumulation and best of interpretative styles. So he absorbed the virtues of all the Fiqhi schools and avoided the positions that were not up to his standard. Till his age, the compilation of Hadith had begun and he himself had collected Ahadith exploring different cities. He observed that the other schools of Fiqh have applied analogy in matters about which Hadith is found so he extracted rulings according to Hadith. So, the tendency to support and defend Hadith overpowered him. The scholars of Fiqh in Iraq had conditioned that only the Ahadith will be accepted that are narrated by a number of people, and the scholars of Madinah were of the opinion that only the Ahadith will be accepted that match the practice of Madinite citizens. He opposed them and did not allow widening the area of analogy.

The Fiqh Shafi’i bear this characteristic that the founder of this Fiqh himself compiled a big part of his School. Thus, he recorded the rules and regulations and the derivation method of his Fiqhi School in the shape of a book. And, with his best power of interpretation he proved his methods and styles. The other distinct feature of this Fiqh is that the founder himself spread and publicized his Fiqh traveling in different cities. This was the reason that great Islamic scholars were among his followers and students. Great scholars of Hadith and compilers of Hadith books tended to this Fiqh and genius personalities of Islamic history followed it.

Principle Books

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) himself authored the principle books of his Fiqh. His master piece of work is “Al-Umm‘ which he wrote in Baghdad and made some modifications while his stay in Egypt. His second famous book is ‘Al-Risalah‘ that deals with the rules of derivation and inference. It is the first book on the subject. This book contains the complete compiled principles of Fiqh Shafi’i. There are some other books that are attributed to him but the aforementioned two books are well known. The other significant books on Fiqh Shafi’i are ‘Mukhtasar‘ of Imam Buwaiti (student of Imam Shafi’i) and the book of Imam Muzani (rahimahullah) . Among his distinguished students are Rabi bin Sulaiman Muradi (rahimahullah) who narrated and propagated his books, Ismail bin Yahya Muzani (rahimahullah) whose books are considered base for Fiqh Shafi’i and Yusuf bin Yahya Buwaiti (rahimahullah) . The trio benefited from him in Egypt. His students in Iraq were Ibrahim bin Khalid Kalbi, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Hasan bin Muhammad bin Sabbah bin Zafrani and Ahmad bin Yahya bin Abdul Aziz Baghdadi (rahimahumullah).

Derivation Method

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) has described his derivation method in his book ‘Al-Umm‘ in detail. Concisely, it is that first of all he looked in to the Glorious Qur’an and took the outer meaning unless there is a proof that the outer meaning is not intended. Then, he would turn to Hadith. In Hadith, he used to take Khabr Wahid (traditions narrated by one to one person). Then, he would opt for Ijma (consensus) and finally he would go for analogy.

                  HANBALI FIQH

Introduction of Hanbali School of Fiqh

This is fourth Fiqhi school of Ahlus Sunnah attributed to Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) . Fiqh Hanbali falls in the last in historical order. The personality of Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) is more Muhaddith than Faqeeh, therefore this aspect seems to dominate his Fiqh. Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) who accumulated all the Fiqhi trends and interpretations, was his main teacher. He paid most of his attention to Hadith. So he became a genius Muahaddith and compiled the great encyclopedia of Hadith ‘Al-Musnad‘. Despite the fact that he was enjoying the virtues of Fiqh and Ijtehad, he did not like to compile his opinions and interpretations. But, it was destined that his Fiqhi School not only survived but also developed in the Islamic world as one of the dominant Fiqhi schools of Ahlus Sunnah. The Hanbali Fiqh was evolved and passed through all the stages of development in Iraq.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah)

His name is Ahmad bin Hanbal bin Hilal Zuhli Shaibani (rahimahullah). He was born in 164 Hijri in Baghdad and grew up in orphan-hood. His father was a prominent soldier, but he died in Imam Ahmad’s (rahimahullah) childhood. He was not financially strong, so he inherited hard work, determination and firmness against troubles. To begin with, he memorized the Glorious Qur’an. Then, he busied himself in learning in Baghdad and paid special attention to Hadith. He attended the famous Muhaddith of Baghdad Hushaim bin Bashir (rahimahullah). Then, he started traveling from place to place in search of Hadith. He journeyed five times to Basra and five times to Hijaz. He learnt from Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) in Baghdad and acquired the knowledge of Fiqh and Hadith. When Imam Shafi’i was leaving Baghdad he said that Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) has a leading position in seven things: Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, Linguistics, asceticism, dispense with the world and piety. Similarly, he learnt from Sufyan bn Uyainah, Abu Bakr bin Ayyash, Waki bin Jarrah, Abdur Rahman bin Mahdi and Saeed bin Qattan (rahimahumullah) .The historic incident of his life is the matter of ‘Khalq-e-Quran‘ which he faced with determination and courage. The Caliph, Mamoon asked him to believe that Qur’an is a creation of Allah’ with so strictness that the most valorous people were shaken. But, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) demanded proof from the Qur’an and Hadith. He was given severest of punishments and put in trouble for a long period, but he stood firm. This incident was written with golden ink in the History of safeguarding the beliefs and faith of Muslims.

Characteristics & Important Features

Fiqh Hanbali owns some characteristics as other Fiqhi schools have special qualities. Though, Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) was expert of Hadith and Fiqh, but Hadith was his favourite subject. Therefore, instead of compiling his Fiqhi views and fatwas he took interest in compiling Hadith. From his early age, he started compiling Hadith. His ‘Musnad‘ consists of more than forty thousand traditions. His interest in Sunnah was so established that it dominated his school of Fiqh. So, he regarded the Holy Qur’an and Hadith as basic source and benefited from the fatwas of the companions. Then, he would refer to Weak and Mursal Ahadith (that were not directly narrated by the Prophet). Finally, he resorted to analogy.

The main characteristic of Fiqh Hanbali is that they, unlike other Fiqhi Schools, have regarded wisdom (Hikmat) more important than reason (Illat). They have utilized the rule of ‘Isteshab‘ which means that the already proved matter will be maintained until there happens something contradictory. Then, they have the principles of ‘public interest’ and ‘shutting down the door of evils’.

Principle Books

As mentioned above, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) did not like to compile his Fiqhi opinions and interpretative judgments. But, his able students, among whom are his two sons as well; Salih bin Ahmad and Abdullah bin Ahmad (rahimahumullah) , who recoded it. The most brilliant among his students are Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hani, Ahmad bin Hajjaj Marwazi and Ishaq bin Ibrahim known as Ibn Rahwaih (rahimahumullah) . The trio have authored ‘Kitabus Sunan‘ in Fiqh. But, the credit of recording and compiling all the fatwas and views of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal goes to Abu Bak Khallal who compiled his fatwas in two hundred parts. This was later summarized by Abul Qasim Kahrqi and Abdul Aziz bin Jaffar Ghulam Khallal. The summary of Kharqi earned so popularity that three hundred commentaries were written on it, among which the ‘Al-Mughni‘ of Ibn Qudamah (rahimahullah) stands out as most distinguished one.

Style of Derivation

Imam Ahmad’s (rahimahullah) style of derivation was so that he used to put the Qur’an and Hadith foremost. Thereafter, he preferred the fatwas of the companions. Then, he would turn to Weak and Mursal Ahadith (that were not directly narrated by the Prophet). At last, he resorted to analogy. To him analogy was the last option in unavoidable circumstances. He used to state: I like Weak Hadith in comparison to applying reason.

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Shiite contention: Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) studied under Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahullah)

[By Shaykh Taha Karaan d.b,
Darul Uloom al-Arabiyya al-Islaamiyyah, Western Cape]

Regarding Imam Abu Hanifah’s (rahmatullah alaih) allegedly having studied under Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahmatullah alaih), please be informed as follows:

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alaih) was the pupil and intellectual successor of his mentor, Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman (rahimahullah), who was the successor to Ibrahim an-Nakha’i (Rahimahullah), who was the successor to his uncle ‘Alqamah ibn Qays an-Nakha’i (rahimahullah), who was the successor to Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, (radhiyallahu anhu) who was sent as a teacher to the city Kufah by Amir al-Mu’minin Sayyiduna ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu). This chain of intellectual descent is known to anyone knowledgeable of the legislative history of Islam.

In fact, Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) held his dicourses at the very same place in the masjid of Kufah where Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) used to teach. This teaching circle was passed down generation after generation, by the men whose names you have just read: From Ibn Mas’ud to ‘Alqamah; from ‘Alqamah to Ibrahim; from Ibrahim to Hammad; and ultimately from Hammad to Abu Hanifah, after whom it was occupied by three of his students successively: firstly Zufar ibn Hudhayl; then Abu Yusuf; and then Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (rahimahumullah).

Now, regarding the link between Abu Hanifah and Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahumullah), you need to keep in mind the following:

FIRSTLY

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) was born in the year 80 AH

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahullah) was born in the year 83 AH

In other words, not only were they contemporaries; but Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) was 3 years older than Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahullah).

SECONDLY

Imam Abu Hanifah’s (rahimahullah) education took place in Kufah, in the school originally established by Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu). Like other ‘ulama of his time, he used to go to Hijaz for Hajj, and passing through Madinah, he used to benefit from the knowledge of eminent men of learning, such as the father of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahullah), namely Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (rahimahullah). Many of the ahadith he narrates from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (rahimahullah) are documented in the books of his pupils Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (rahimahimullah)

THIRDLY

It is true that Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) does narrate some ahadith from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahullah). But that was according to the habit of the ‘ulama to narrate from even their contemporaries. If that alone is to be taken as evidence that Imam Abu Hanifah “studied” under Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, then we will be bound to conclude that Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq similarly learnt from people other than his father, such as Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri, ‘Ata ibn Abi Rabah, ‘Urwah ibn Zubaur and Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq has narrated hadith from all of these men, and even others besides them. (Tahdhib al-Kamal vol. 5 p. 75)

FOURTHLY

In the year 132 A.H the Abbasids came to power, having ousted the Umayyads. Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) was then 52 years of age. The Abbasid khalifah Abu Ja’far al-Mansur wanted Abu Hanifah as his chief justice, which post he refused. In order to escape the vengeance of the khalifah, Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) betook himself to the Hijaz where he spent the next 2 years. It is in terms of this sojourn in the Hijaz that he is reported to have said, “Were it not for the 2 years, Nu’man (i.e. Abu Hanifah) would have been destroyed”. Creative Shi’i imaginations would have us believe that what he actually meant thereby was that it was during this period that he gained his knowledge at the feet of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahullah)(Also read: Ja’fari Madhhab: The So -called “Fifth Madhhab” is a Shiite Myth ). The absurdity of this can be seen from the fact that by that time he was already so famous as a man of learning, that he was sought by the khalifah as the chief justice. Apart from that, he was, as already shown, over 50 years of age.

FIFTHLY

There is a famous story in circulation about Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahullah)posing certain questions to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah)regarding the use of Qiyas (analogy). You should be informed that the story appears in this form in Shi’i books such as al-Kafi. In the Sunni literature it appears with significant changes.

First of all, the discussion is not between Abu Hanifah and Ja’far as-Sadiq (rahimahumullah), but between Abu Hanifah and Muhammad al-Baqir (rahimahumullah).

Secondly, the story goes as follows:

Al-Baqir (rahimahullah) asks Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) if he is the one who is changing the Deen of his (al-Baqir’s) grandfather (Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wasallam) through the use of Qiyas (analogy). Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) denies that he is changing the Deen. In order to demonstrate the falsehood of the rumours, he then goes on his knees in front of Imam al-Baqir (rahimahullah) and uses the comparison between (1) the share of a man and a woman in the spoils of war; (2) fasting and prayer with regard to a woman in menstruation having to pay in the former and not the latter; (3) urine and semen in respect of the method of purification for either one.

After this lucid demonstration of his usage of Qiyas only where there is no textual evidence, and strictly adhering to the authority of text where it exists, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (rahimahullah) stands up and kisses Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah)on his forehead. (Manaqib Abi Hanifah by al-Kardari, p. 99)

It was only later that the Shi’ah would adapt the story to suit their own particular needs.

________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

What the Sheikh is doing is rightly refuting the wrong idea that is promoted by Shiahs
that Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alaih) learned his Islam at the feet of Imam Jafar as Sadiq (ramatullah alaih)
when if fact he learned his understandings of Fiqh according to the teachers of the school of Iraq.

No Sunni says that Jafar as Sadiq (rahmatullah alaih) was Imam Abu Hanifa’s (rahimahullah) main teacher or anything along this line of thought,
but this is not to say that he did not benefit or learn from Imam Jafar as Sadiq (rahimahullah),
however he benefited from him in the way that one scholar may learn from another and still count them amongst their teacher
when one of them is considered as more senior at the time of learning.

Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) was indeed chronologically older than Imam Jafar as Sadiq (rahimahullah),but he turned to the study of Fiqh as a grown man
whilst Jafar as Sadiq (rahimahullah) was of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) family and learned it from his infancy.

Because of this Imam abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) came to his peak of Islamic knowledge later in life than Imam Jafar as Sadiq (rahimahullah) – therefore his learning from him and counting him amongst his teachers is no strange thing even though Imam Jafar (rahimahullah) was chronologically a little younger than himself(especially as Imam Jafar as Sadiq (rahmatullah alaih) was from the blessed family of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)

Imam Abu Hanifah [ rahmatullah alaih] on the Uncreatedness of the Qur’an

Because some of the students of the companions of Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih supported and propogated the Mu’tazili doctrine of the createdness of the Qur’an, and campaigned for it during the infamous mihnah which began under the rein of caliph Abu al-‘Abbas al-Ma’mun (170 – 218), some began to suspect that this was the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih himself. In fact, in Orientalist circles, this view is still current, that Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih originated the doctrine of the createdness of the Qur’an! But, Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih, is innocent of this heresy. In examining a few narrations from al-Khatib al-Baghdadi’s biography of the Imam, I will show that the preponderant view amongst the companions of Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih was that of the uncreatedness of the Qur’an, and this is in fact traced authentically to the Imam himself, while a few followers of his school strayed and adopted the Mu’tazili and Jahmi doctrine.

1. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrated with his chain to al-Hakam ibn Bashir that he said: “I heard Sufyan ibn Sa‘id al-Thawri rahimahullah and al-Nu‘man ibn Thabit rahimahullah say: ‘The Qur’an is the uncreated speech of Allah.’” ( al-Qur’an kalam Allah ghayr makhluq) ( Tarikh Baghdad 15:517) Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf comments: “Its isnad is hasan .”

This is, therefore, an authentic report establishing that Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih believed in the uncreatedness of the Qur’an in accordance with the position of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah. This is further corroborated by Imam al-Tahawi’ rahimahullah’s transmission of the beliefs of Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih in his famous creedal formula known as
al-‘Aqidat al-Tahawiyyah , and by al-Fiqh al-Akbar which is either the work of Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih himself or at least accurately represents his views based on an early account from him – both of which state that the Qur’an is the uncreated speech of Allah.

2. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrated with a chain of trustworthy narrators, besides one narrator who is unknown, that Ibn al-Mubarak rahmatullah alaih came to Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih and Abu Hanifah  rahimahullah said to him: “What is this thing that has crept amongst you [i.e. the people of Khurasan]?” He said to him: “A man called Jahm.” He said: “What does he say?” He said: “He says the Qur’an is created.”

Thereupon, Abu Hanifah rahmatullah Alaih said [quoting the Qur’an]: “Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths! (Qur’an 18:5).” ( Tarikh Baghdad 15:517)

Although there is some question over the authenticity of this report due to the unidentifiable narrator in the chain, it is known that Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih opposed Jahm on the issue of the attributes of Allah and he also declared him a disbeliever as established elsewhere , so it is probable he addressed this false belief of Jahm also.

3. Al-Khatib narrated with his chain to Abu Bakr al-Marrudhi that he said: “I heard Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad ibn Hanbal rahmatullah alaih say: ‘It is not authentic according to us that Abu Hanifah would say the Qur’an is created.’” ( Tarikh Baghdad 15:517) Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf comments: “Its isnad is sahih .”

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal rahmatullah alaih was the champion of the Ahl al-Sunnah during the period of the mihnah, and his major enemies besides the ruling elite were some scholars of the Hanafi school, in particular the judge Ahmad ibn Abi Dawud; and even as the charge that Abu Hanifah rahmatullah alaih supported the state doctrine was being propogated, Imam Ahmad rahmatullah alaih did not buy into this false propaganda and defended the Imam.

4. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrated with his chain to al-Nakha‘i that he said: Muhammad ibn Shadhan al-Jawhari narrated to us: He said: I heard Sulayman al-Juzjani and Mu‘lla ibn Mansur al-Razi say: “Abu Hanifah did not speak about [the createdness of] the Qur’an, nor Abu Yusuf, nor Zufar, nor Muhammad, nor any of their companions. Only Bishr al-Marisi and Ibn Abi Dawud spoke about [the createdness of] the Qur’an, so they tarnished [the good beliefs of] the companions of Abu Hanifah.” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:518).

Dr Bashshar says: “Its isnad is sahih .”

The scholars who are quoted in this report, Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani and Mu‘alla ibn Mansur, were major scholars of Hanafi jurisprudence, as known to muftis of the Hanafi school. They were authors of some Nawadir literature, and fatawa. They were also amongst the few scholars who openly opposed the view of the createdness of the Qur’an, although this was before al-Ma’mun’s inquisition.

Mu‘alla ibn Mansur al-Razi, Abu Ya‘la (150 – 211), is a narrator of hadith found in all the six famous collections of hadith. He narrated from the famous hadith-scholar Hammad ibn Zayd (98-179) as found in Sahih al-Bukhari , and he also narrated from ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak, Malik ibn Anas, al-Layth ibn Sa‘d rahimahumullah, and from the students of Imam Abu Hanifah, Yahya ibn Zakariyya ibn Abi Za’idah, Qadi Abu Yusuf, ‘Ali ibn Mushir and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani. Abu Zur‘ah al-Razi said: “Al-Mu‘alla was the best of the group – meaning, the champions of juristic opinion ( ashab al-ra’y ) – according to the people of knowledge. That was because he was ardent in his search for knowledge and he travelled and gave attention [to it]…al-Mu‘alla is reliable.” Yahya ibn Ma‘in rahimahullah said he is trustworthy. Yahya ibn Ma‘in narrated: “Al-Mu‘alla ibn Mansur al-Razi was one day praying, when his head was stung by a wasp, and he did not move until he completed his salah. When they looked, his head had become extremely swollen.” Al-‘Ijli said: “Trustworthy, a champion of sunnah. He was noble. They asked him to take the position of judge and he refused multiple times.” Ya‘qub ibn Shaybah said: “Trustworthy…proficeint, reliable, a jurist.” Ibn Sa‘d said: “He resided in Baghdad, sought hadith, and he was reliable, a master of hadith, opinion and jurisprudence.” Abu Hatim al-Razi said: “He was reliable in hadith and a champion of juristic opinion.” Ahmad ibn Kamil al-Qadi said: “Mu‘alla ibn Mansur was from the senior companions of Abu Yusuf and Muhammad, and from their trustworthy ones in transmission and narration.” Abu Ahmad ibn ‘Adi said: “I hope there is no harm in him because I did not find any objectionable hadith from him.” It was narrated from him that he said: “Whoever says the Qur’an is created is according to me a disbeliever.” Al-Khatib said: “He was a jurist from the champions of opinion. He took from Qadi Abu Yusuf and he was trustworthy.” ( Tahdhib al-Kamal 28:291-7) Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani wrote in al-Taqrib , “Mu’alla ibn Mansur al-Razi, Abu Ya’la, a resident of Baghdad, a trustworthy Sunni jurist, he was asked to become judge and he refused, those who claimed Ahmad accused him of lying erred.”

Regarding Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani, al-Dhahabi  rahimahullah says: “‘Allamah Imam Abu Sulayman Musa ibn Sulayman al-Juzajani al-Hanafi, the companion of Abu Yusuf and Muhammad. He narrated from them and from Ibn al-Mubarak. Qadi Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Birti, Bishr ibn Musa, Abu Hatim al-Razi and others narrated from him. He was reliable ( saduq) and dear to the scholars of hadith. Ibn Abi Hatim said: “He would anathematise those who held the Qur’an was created.” ( al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dil 8:145) It was said that al-Ma’mun offered him the position of judge and he refused, and he gave the excuse that he is not qualified for it so he excused him. He became noble in the eyes of the people due to his refusal. He authored books.” ( Siyar A’lam al-Nubala 10:194 )
Al-Khatib described him as: “Musa ibn Sulayman, Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani. He heard ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak, ‘Amr ibn Jumay‘ and Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, the two companions of Abu Hanifah. He was a faqih with insight into juristic opinion. He adopted the methodology of the Sunnah regarding the Qur’an [i.e. that it is uncreated]. He lived in Baghdad and narrated therein. ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Hasan al-Hashimi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa al-Birti and Bishr ibn Musa al-Asadi narrated from him. Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘My father wrote from him and he said he was reliable.’” ( Tarikh Baghdad 15:26-7)

Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani and Mu’alla ibn Mansur were of course more aware of the views of their teachers and their grand-teacher than others.

Therefore, although Bishr ibn Ghiyath al-Marisi (140 – 218) and Ahmad ibn Abi Dawud (full name: Ahmad ibn Faraj ibn Hariz) (160 – 240) stood as proponents of the Mu’tazili doctrine while claiming to belong to the Hanafi school, true followers of the madhhab opposed them, and clarified the position of their teachers and the teacher of their teachers. “Bishr” in Arabic means “joy” and “Ahmad” means “the most praised.” Based on this, Imam al-Dhahabi rahimahullah wrote under the biography of Bishr al-Marisi: “He was the bishr (joy) of evil while Bishr [ibn al-Harith] al-Hafi [the famous ascetic] (152 – 227) was the bishr of goodness, just as Ahmad ibn Hanbal was the ahmad (the most praised one) in the Sunnah and Ahmad ibn Abi Dawud was the ahmad in bid’ah.” ( Siyar A’lam al-Nubala 10:202)

The Methodology of Imam Abu Hanifa ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ in Fiqh

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One indication to Imam Abu Hanifa’s ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ vast knowledge of the sources of the Shari’ah is his methodology in deriving rulings from the Shari’ah, since one of his primary sources is the authentic sunnah and the opinions of the Sahabah, as he himself explicitly stated:

Hafiz Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr narrates: ‘Abd al-Warith narrated to us: Qasim narrated to us: Ahmad ibn Zuhayr narrated to us: Yahya ibn Ma‘in narrated to us: ‘Ubayd ibn Abi Qurrah narrated to us from Yahya ibn Durays, he said: I was present with Sufyan al-Thawri ( ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ) when a man of great knowledge and piety came to him, and he said: “O Abu ‘Abd Allah! What do you have against Abu Hanifa?” He said: “And what does he have?” He said: “I heard him [i.e. Abu Hanifah] say a statement in which there is balance and proof: ‘Indeed I take [legal opinions] from the Book of Allah when I find it. That which I do not find therein, I take from the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger and the authentic narrations from him which have spread between the hands of trustworthy people from trustworthy people. If I do not find it in the Book of Allah, nor the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger, I take the opinion of his companions, [adopting the opinion of] whoever [of them] I wish, and I leave the opinion of whoever [of them] I wish. Moreover, I do not leave their opinion for another’s opinion. If the [legal] issue reaches [only] to Ibrahim, al-Sha‘bi, al-Hasan, ‘Ata, Ibn Sirin, Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab – and he enumerated [other] men – then, [they are] a people who performed ijtihad , so I may perform ijtihad just as they performed ijtihad .’” Thereupon, Sufyan remained silent for a long period, and then he said some words of which there remained none in the gathering but he wrote them: “We hear harshness in speech and we fear it. We hear softness and we desire it. We do not judge the living; nor do we judge the dead. We accept what we hear. And we entrust what we do not know to its knower, and we put our opinion in doubt in favour of their opinion.” (Al-Intiqa’ fi Fada’il al-A’immati l-Thalathat al-Fuqaha’ , pp. 264-5)

This sanad is authentic: ‘Abd al-Warith ibn Sufyan al-Qurtubi (d. 395) is thiqah according to al-Dhahabi ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ  in Siyar A’lam al-Nubala (Misbah al-Arib 2:297); al-Qasim ibn Asbagh al-Qurtubi (247 – 340) was called “the great hafiz ” and “the muhaddith of Cordoba” by al-‘Asqalani  ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ  and is
saduq (Lisan al-Mizan (6:367-8); Ahmad ibn Zuhayr ibn Harb (d. 299) is thiqah according to al-Daraqutni and Khatib; ‘Ubayd ibn Abi Qurrah is a shaykh of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ    and is thiqah according to Ya‘qub ibn Shaybah and Yahya ibn Ma‘in ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ (Tarikh Baghdad 12:386-9); Yahya ibn al-Durays (d. 203) is a narrator of Muslim, and is thiqah according to Ibn Ma‘in ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ (Tahrir al-Taqrib 4:89).

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi transmitted the same narration with a different chain leading up to Yahya ibn Ma‘in ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ  after which the chain is the same, and Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf commented on it, “This is a report with a sahih isnad, and its narrators are trustworthy and well-known.” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:504)

Several other narrations with similar wordings from Imam Abu Hanifa ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ about his methodology have been reported in al-Intiqa’ by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (pp. 266-7). These narrations from Imam Abu Hanifa ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ   regarding his methodology in deriving laws reveal the baselessness of the allegation that in most of his opinions he relied on analogy and parted from the transmitted sources of the Shari’ah. In fact, the Qur’an, well-known sunnah and narrations from the Sahabah were the primary foundations of his madhhab.

Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ criticizes Imam Abu Hanifa ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ: An Analysis

The claim is a matter of much bravery and courage because no such saying of Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ can be presented which can back up this claim. This claim is but a result of jealousy, malice and enmity where whatever the heart desires is said. What can one call this if not a result of malice?

Hafidh Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Ibn Abi Rawaad ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ spoke the truth with sagacity which was noted down by Ibn Hajar Makki ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ in Khayraatul Hisaan pg.35:
“Hafidh Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Ibn Abi Rawaad said that whosoever loves Imam Abu Hanifah is a Sunni and whoever has malice in his heart for him does Bid’ah. It is stated in a narration that Imam Abu Hanifah is between us and the people of the past. Thus whosoever loves him is from the People of Sunnah and whosoever has malice against him is from the People of Innovation.”

Some Ghair Muqallideen lead astray the common layman by saying that Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has written in his book Kitab al-Dhu’afaa:
“(Imam Abu Hanifah) was Murjee and people adopted silence from narrating from him.”

In reply to this I say that firstly the book al-Dhu’afaa by Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , published in Agra Allahabad, does not contain any such sentence. The same is not found in Adab al-Mufrad, Juzul Qira’ah and Khalqul ‘Ibad either. Even if it is taken to be true, the reply is that Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ had enmity of mathhab towards Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ which is apparent in the writings of Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ . Thus this jarh cannot be accepted on the basis of enmity of mathhab. That is why Thahabi, Ibn Hajar, Wasiuddin Khizaji and others ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﮭﻢ did not give any importance to this Jarh and did not even mention it by considering it “ ﻻ ﯾﻌﺒﺎ ﺑﻪ”.

Secondly, regarding the saying that Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ was a Murjee, the meaning has to be established. If by Murjee those were referred on whom be Allah’s Curse, then this is absolutely wrong because it is stated in Fiqh al-Akbar:
“We do not say like the Murjeeah that it is for certain that our good deeds are accepted and sins are forgiven. We say that whosoever does good deeds with all the right conditions, provided he does not make them void and dies in the state of Iman, then Allah will not let go his good deeds to waste and will reward him accordingly by accepting his deeds.”

It is stated in Khayrat al-Hisaan, pg 73, it is stated:
“The Commentator of al-Muwaqif mentions that Ghisaan Murjee used to say things so that it would seem that Imam Abu Hanifah was a Murjee and he used to include Imam Abu Hanifah in the Murjeeah sect. Ghisaan deliberately accused Imam Abu Hanifah to legitimize his mathhab.
Shehristani, in al-Mlal wal Nihal, has said that it is astonishing how Ghisaan used to attribute the teachings of his Murjeeah sect to Imam Abu Hanifah and would call him a Murjeeah. He has lied.”
And if by Murjeeah it is meant Murjeeah Marhoomah then all of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah is included in it. It is mentioned in al-Tamheed of Abu Shakoor Salimi:
“There are two types of Murjeeah. One is Murjeeah Marhoomah and it is the Companions of Rasulullah ﷺ . The second is Murjeeah Mal’oonah and these are those who say that sins do not matter and there is no punishment for them. ‘Uthman bin Abi Laila once wrote a letter to Imam Abu Hanifah asking if he is from the Murjeeah. Imam Abu Hanifah replied that there are two types of Murjeeah. One is Murjeeah Mal’oonah and I am not from them. The other is Murjeeah Marhoomah and I am from them. In fact, the Anbiya ﻋﻠﯿﮭﻢ ﺍﻟﺴﻼﻡ were also the same. Do you not know the saying of ‘Isa ﻋﻠﯿﻪ ﺍﻟﺴﻼﻡ , ‘If You (Allah) punish them, they are Your slaves after all, but if You forgive them, You are the Mighty, the Wise.’

Thus it is learnt that Imam Bukhari’s ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ saying regarding people not accepting the Hadith and opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ is absolutely false and baseless.

Thirdly, in ‘Uqud al-Jawahir al-Manifa, the book of Hafidh Mosuli, al-Du’afah is quoted to state:
“Yahya bin Mu’een has said, ‘I have not found anyone superior to Waqi’ and he used to give fatwa on the qawl of Abu Hanifah and would memorize all his Ahadith. He heard a lot of Ahadith from Abu Hanifah.’”

And it is stated in Manaqib Kurdi, pg 100:
“Sa’eed bin Yahya bin Humayri Wasti was an Imam and Hafidh of Hadith from Wasta. He has narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah and has acquired knowledge from him. He used to say that Imam Abu Hanifah is an ocean of knowledge.”

And in the same Manaqib on pg 19 it is stated:
“’Abdullah bin Yazeed al-Muqri Makki heard 900 Hadith from Imam Abu Hanifah.”
In Khayrat al-Hisaan, pg 23, it is stated:

“Ibn al-Mubarak said, ‘He (Abu Hanifah) used to be the one with most knowledge in Fiqh, and I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable than him in Fiqh. .

.And he is the most knowledgeable amongst them (Imam Malik and Sufyan) and better Muhaqqiq and Mudaqqiq.’”

“Abu Yusuf al-Thawri says, ‘I follow Imam Abu Hanifah in majority of issues.’”

“Yahya bin Sa’eed Qattan says, ‘We have not heard an opinion better than that of Imam Abu Hanifah and thus we give fatwa on his qawl.’”

“Ibn al-Mubarak says, ‘I have seen Mus’ir ask questions and benefit from the study circles of Imam Abu Hanifah.’”

In Khayrat al-Hisaan, pg 26, it is stated by Ibn Jarir ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ :
“The second chapter is regarding those who acquired Hadith and Fiqh from Abu Hanifah and to assess their number is impossible.”

“This is the reason why some ‘Ulema state that amongst the A’immah of Islam, no one has as many students as Imam Abu Hanifah.”

Look at this with justice and without any bias. Waqi’, Ibn Yahya al-Wasti, Ibn al-Mubarak, Sufyan al-Thawri, Mus’ir bin Kudam, Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qattan and others have spoken so highly about the Fiqh and Opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ . Thousands have acquired Hadith and Fiqh from Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ and have become famous by his blessing in the world.
As is seen in Manaqib al-Kurdari and Manqib Mawafiq of Ibn Ahmad al-Makki.

Despite of this, Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ says,

“ ﺳﮑﺘﻮﺍ ﻋﻦ ﺭﺃﻳﻪ ﻭ ﺣﺪﯾﺜﺎ ”

If this is not out of malice due to Mathhab then what is it?

Fourthly, If, according to Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , a narrator should be left and nothing should be taken from him if he is a Murjee, then due to what reason did Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ include in his Sahih Bukhari Ahadith from the deviant sects like Murjeeah, Nasibiyah, Kharijiyah, Shi’a, Jahmiyah, Qadariyah and others. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, in Muqaddamah Fath al-Bari, has written this in detail name by name. Over here we will mention the total number of people from four of these deviant sects. Murjeeah 31; Shi’a 2; Qadariyah 28; Nasibiyah 5.

Then according to the standards of Ghair Muqallideen, does Sahih Bukhari not become the weakest of all books?

Now that the topic of the narrators of Bukhari has been touched, it is only appropriate to talk about some of these narrators. The world knows that Sahih Bukhari has been accepted as ‘Asahhul Kutub’ unanimously (which means that as a collection it has collectively more sahih ahadith; this does not mean that each and every hadith of Bukhari is most authentic when compared to other ahadith found in different collections). It is without any doubt that Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has put in a lot of effort in it which is worthy of much praise. May Allah (swt) accept his effort.

However, it has many narrators on whom different types of Jarh have been done. Examples are given below:

(a) Kathhab: Extreme liar
(b) Yakthibul Hadith: Lies in matters of Hadith
(c) Yasriqul Hadith: Steals Hadith
(d) Yadha’ul Hadith: Invents Hadith
It is seen that the highest form of Jarh is also included. Fathul Bari and Meezanul I’tidaal can be referred for more details. They list more than 100 such narrators.
Despite these Jarh, Imam Bukhari did not consider these narrators among those from whom Hadith should not be taken. Instead, he accepted Ahadith from them. And despite this, other Muhadditheen did not deny Sahih Bukhari to be Asahhul Kutub.

Then what is the reason apart from Mathhabi malice that Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ did not take from Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ although no Jarh can be done on him according to the principles of this science?

Thus when this malice is established by clear evidence then what weight can the Jarh of Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ have in regards to Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ .
Fifthly, if the Hadith of narrators, on whom Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has done Jarh, is to be rejected then there are many such narrators taken by Imams Muslim, Nasai, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood and others ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﮭﻢ who should be rejected according to this rule. But Muhadditheen did not consider such narrators as rejected.
Then why should Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ be rejected due to the Jarh of Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ ?

In ‘Kitab al-Dhu’afa’, Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has said that Ovais Qarni’s sanad is doubtful ( ﻓﯽ ﺍﺳﻨﺎﺩﮦ ﻧﻈﺮ ) and this Jarh, according to the rules of Bukhari, is a serious one. However, Ovais Qarni cannot be considered to be Majruh.

Sixthly, if Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ relied on his own Jarh, then he would not have narrated from narrators on whom he has done Jarh. There are many such narrators in Bukhari whom Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has declared Majruh. Such narrators are listed below:

1. Usayd bin Zayd al-Jalal – Imam Dhahabi ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has mentioned in al-Meezan, “It is strange that Imam Bukhari has taken narrations from this narrator in his Sahih and has also mentioned him in al-Dhu’afa.”

2. ‘Ayub bin ‘Aa’id – Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has mentioned in his book al-Dhu’afa, “He used to prefer the beliefs of Murjeeah despite being truthful.

3. Thabit bin Muhammad – Imam Dhahabi ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has stated, “Although Imam Bukhari has narrated from this narrator, he has included him in his al-Dhu’afa.”
4. Zuhayr bin Muhammad – Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has said in his al-Dhu’afa, “People of Shaam have narrated Munkaraat from him.”
5. Ziyad bin Rasigh – Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ said his sanad is doubtful as is also found in al-Meezan.

6. ‘Ataa Ibn Maimoona – Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ mentioned in his al-Dhu’afa, “He used to like the beliefs of Qadariyyah.” And it is mentioned in the Muqaddama of Fathul Bari that many narrators were inclined towards Qadariyyah e.g. Hams bin Minhala. Imam Dhahabi ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has said that he has been accused of being a Qadariyyah and he has Munkar Hadith and that is why Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has included him in al-Dhu’afa.

Look at this from an unbiased perspective. If Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ trusted his own Jarh, then why did he narrate from these people? When Imam Bukhari himself does not trust his own Jarh, then it is strange that the Muqallideen of Bukhari trust his Jarh and call Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ weak in Hadith.
Seventhly, if near those who object, the Jarh of Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , despite being inaccurate and against ‘usuls, is valid in the case of Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , then why would Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ not be Majruh and rejected? Is Jarh on Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ not established by A’imma of Hadith? Of course they are. Some of them are listed below:

1. Imam Thehli ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , the teacher of Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , has done serious Jarh on him. In Tabqat al-Shafi’iyyah, Vol.12, pg 12, it is stated, “Imam Thehli said, ‘He who visits the study circle of Imam Bukhari should not come to us as people of Baghdad have written to us that Imam Bukhari does kalam in the case of the words of the Qur’an (being created or uncreated) and we told him not to do so. However, he did not listen. Thus do not go to him.’”

Note that not only did Imam Thehli ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ tell people not to visit Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ but also said that he is an innovator who thinks that the words of the Qur’an, coming out of his mouth are words of the creation. Neither should anyone sit with him nor talk to him.

This warning of Imam Thehli ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ had such a huge impact on people that many stopped meeting Imam Bukhari.

In Tarikh Ibn Khalkaan, Vol.2 pg 123, it is stated, “When a difference arose between Imam Bukhari and Muhammad bin Yahya regarding the words of the Qur’an, he stopped people from going to Bukhari. So much so that Imam Bukhari was compelled to migrate from Nishapur and, apart from Imam Muslim, many people boycotted him.”

2. Imam Muslim ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , despite his closeness to Imam Bukhari, has not narrated a single Hadith from him in his Sahih Muslim. In fact, in the discussion of “’an’ana” Hadith, he has referred to Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ with the word “’asawna” (which means he opposes him in this matter) and has severely criticized him. For reference see Muslim Vol. 1, pg 21.

3. Abu Thur’ah and Abu Hatim ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﮭﻤﺎ have not taken from Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ either. In Tabqaat al-Shafi’iyyah, Vol.1 pg 190, it is mentioned, “Abu Thur’ah and Abu Hatim have left Imam Bukhari because of the difference in the case of the Words of the Qur’an.”

In Meezanul I’tidaal it is stated, “. . . .Abu Thur’ah and Abu Hatim did not narrate from the Imam Bukhari, the student of ‘Ali Ibn al-Madini, because of the dispute regarding the Words of the Qur’an.”
And Abdur Rahman Ibn Abi Hatim ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ says, “Abu Thur’ah left Imam Bukhari due to this reason.”
4. Ibn Mundah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has categorized Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ amongst the Mudalliseen (such a narrator who conceals the name of his Shaykh or the Shaykh of his Shaykh) in Shurutul A’immah. Thus he stated, “Bukhari has narrated in his books in these ways: ‘I said to fulan (an unnamed person)’ which is permitted, and ‘Fulan has said this,’ and this is Tadlees.”

It is obvious that Tadlees is a greater defect when compared to weak memory as it is a voluntary act and there is fraud and deception in it. That is why Shamsi has said, “Tadlees is Haram near the A’immah.” (Muqaddama Usul al-Shaykh al-Muhaddith al-Dehalawi ‘alal Mishkat, pg 2)

Please note, Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has narrated about 30 Ahadith from Imam Thehli ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ but has not mentioned the name with which he was famous because was strict aggression between Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ and Imam Thehli ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ . In Tareekh Ibn Khalqan vol.2 pg 134, it is stated, “Imam Bukhari narrated from Imam Thehli in 30 places and has not mentioned his name anywhere. He should have said, ‘Muhammad bin Yahya Thehli narrated to me’ but instead said ‘Muhammad narrated to me.’ And in some places he has mentioned him as Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah’ (‘Abdullah was the name of his grandfather) and in some places he attributed it to his great grandfather.”
5. Darqutni and Hakim ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﮭﻤﺎ have said that Imam Bukhari’s ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ narrating Hadith from Ishaq bin Muhammad bin Ismail has been considered to be something with defect. In Muqaddama Fathul Bari pg 451 it is stated, “Darqutni and Hakim said that there is an allegation on Bukhari in narration of Hadith.”

Darqutni and Hakim ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﮭﻤﺎ mean that Ishaq bin Muhammad has been considered trustworthy by Bukhari whereas he is weak. He could not differentiate between Thiqah and Da’eef. And Isma’il ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has shown astonishment that Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ considers the Munqata’ narration of Abu Salih Juhani as Sahih but considers Mutassil as Da’eef.
It is written in Muqaddama Fathul Bari pg 483, “Ismail accused Bukhari and was surprised that why does Bukhari consider the Ahadith of Abu Salih Juhani as evidence when it is not Mutassil.”
He added, “It is more astonishing that Bukhari considers Munqata’ Hadith as authority and Mutassil as Da’eef.”

6. Thahabi ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ has also shown bewilderment on some of his works. He writes in the biography of Usayd bin Zayd al-Jamal, “It is astonishing that Bukhari considers him to be Da’eef yet narrates from him.”
What can one say about the memory of a person who considers a narrator as weak and yet narrates from him in Asahhul Kutub!

Those who object should do some justice. If Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ is weak due to the Jarh of Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ then why would Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ not be Majruh on the basis of the Jarh of Ibn Mundah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ and Thehli ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ ?

7. By the yardstick used by those who object (on Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ ), Imam Bukhari himself is proven to be Majruh. Thus what effect can the Jarh of a Majruh have on Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ ?

It is sad that Ghair Muqallideen attack Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ due to mere jealousy and do not realize that they live in glass houses.

If Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ will be called Da’eef, then all the Muhaditheen of the world will become Da’eef and rejected in matters of Hadith.

Note: It should be clear that these Jarh have been noted down just to answer the opponents. This is just how Mawlana Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Muhaddith Dehlawi ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , in his book “Tohfa” has adopted an offensive position (as opposed to defensive) against Shi’a. Otherwise, in truth, our Aqeedah is that Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ and Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ are trustworthy, truthful, just, with strong memory and devout worshippers (of Allah). None of them is Majruh. And Hadith narrated by them is accepted. The reasons due to which we do not accept the Jarh on Imam Bukhari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ are the same due to which we do not accept the Jarh on Imam Abu Hanifah ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ .

ﺭَﺑَّﻨَﺎ ﺍﻏْﻔِﺮْ ﻟَﻨَﺎ ﻭَﻟِﺈِﺧْﻮَﺍﻧِﻨَﺎ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺳَﺒَﻘُﻮﻧَﺎ ﺑِﺎﻟْﺄِﻳﻤَﺎﻥِ ﻭَﻻ ﺗَﺠْﻌَﻞْ ﻓِﻲ ﻗُﻠُﻮﺑِﻨَﺎ ﻏِﻼًّ ﻟِﻠَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺁﻣَﻨُﻮﺍ ﺭَﺑَّﻨَﺎ ﺇِﻧَّﻚَ ﺭَﺅُﻭﻑٌ ﺭَﺣِﻴﻢٌ

The above material is an excerpt from the book, ‘Imam Abu Hanifah par Ai’terazaat kay Jawabaat’ (Responding to the Objections against Imam Abu Hanifah) pg 41-54