en: Imam Abu Hanifa (d.150 in Baghdad)

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en: Imam Abu Hanifa (d.150 in Baghdad)

Postby nur.nu » 24 Nov 2011, 03:47

Excerpts from
The Greatness of Imam Abu Hanifa
(radiaAllahu `anhu)
by GF Haddad © 2001
Complete article:
http://www.abc.se/~m9783/ahanifa_e.html#gah
http://www.livingislam.org/ahanifa_e.html

As-Salamu `alaykum

(...) The Umma has long settled the issue that Imam Abu Hanifa are among those who are imitated in Islam. The unparallelled spread of his School to this day is a confirmation of this God-sanctioned acceptance. One should learn something of why his Madhhab spread so much: if not for curiosity in (the Divine conduct of) our intellectual history then at least for elemental acquaintance with the Fiqh followed by most Muslims. In this respect love of Abu Hanifa and his Madhhab is love and mercy for the Umma of Sayyidina Muhammad sallAllahu `alayhi wa Alihi wasallam.

The precondition of studenthood is adab - humility and poverty - which is not harmed by simply keeping quiet about what we do not know. However, actually slighting such a major Imam and the Ulema of his entire School shows arrogance and destroys works. Wal-`aqibatu lil-muttaqin.

(...) In fact, the one most-followed School among the major Imams of Hadith that were the teachers or peers of al-Shafi`i, Ahmad, and al-Bukhari, was apparently the Hanafi School.

A few names of the Hanafi *muqallids* in Fiqh among the early hadith Masters:

- Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan: Ahmad would not dare sit in his presence; Yahya ibn Sa`id said: "We have not heard better than Abu Hanifa's opinion and we have followed most of his positions."

- Yahya ibn Ma`in, he said of Abu Hanifa that he is not only thiqa (trustworthy) but thiqa thiqa. Al- Dhahabi even calls Ibn Ma`in a fanatic Hanafi.

- Al-Layth ibn Sa`d the Egyptian Mujtahid whom al- Shafi`i considered superior to Malik: Shaykh al- Islam Zakariyya al-Ansari (in his Sharh al-Bukhari) and Ibn Khallikan (in Wafayat al-A`yan) - both Shafi`is - class al-Layth among the Hanafis as do the Hanafi books of Tabaqat.

- Al-Fadl ibn Dukayn, one of the major authorities of Ahl al-Hadith. He said: " Muslims should make du`a to Allah on behalf of Abu Hanifa in their prayers, because the Sunan and the fiqh were preserved for them through him. "

- Waki` ibn al-Jarrah, he replied to some of them: "You barred us from Abu Hanifa, are you going to bar us from Zufar??" (Zufar took over the teaching of Hanafi Fiqh in Kufa and Basra after the Imam.)

- Abu Mu`awiya al-Darir, he said: " Love of Abu Hanifa is part of the Sunna ".

- Ibn Dawud al-Khuraybi: " Among the people [of learning] there are plenty of enviers and ignorant ones concerning Abu Hanifa ."

- Bishr al-Hafi, he said: " None criticizes Abu Hanifa except an envier or an ignoramus ".

- Ibn al-Mubarak. When al-Awza`i criticized Abu Hanifa, Ibn al-Mubarak copied a compilation of Abu Hanifa's fiqh under the name al-Nu`man. Al- Awza`i read it without interruption except for Salat al-Fard. Then he said: "This Nu`man is a grand master (hadha nabilun min al-ashyakh). Go to him and take as much as you can from him!" Ibn al-Mubarak said: "This is the Abu Hanifa you had forbidden me to see." Tarikh Baghdad. Ibn al-Mubarak considered one's hatred of Abu Hanifa a mark of Divine wrath. He also said: "If Allah had not rescued me with Abu Hanifa and Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the rest of the common people." Al-Dhahabi relates it as: "I would have been an innovator."

- Ibn `A'isha mentioned a fatwa of Abu Hanifa then said: "Truly, if you had seen him you would have wanted him [for your teacher]! Truly, his similitude and yours is as in the saying:
    Curse them much or not, I care little to blame you;
    But fill - if you can! - the space they left vacant.
This is not to mention Abu Hanifa's Fiqh students that were the teachers of subsequent Imams:

- Zufar (taught Ibn al-Mubarak);
- Abu Yusuf (taught Ahmad);
- Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (taught al-Shafi`i, Ahmad, Ibn Sallam)
- Asad ibn `Amr al-Bajali (taught Ahmad).

According to Shaykh Wahbi al-Ghawji, even Imam al-Bukhari began as a Hanafi. I would think that this is true of Imam al-Darimi also.

This is all to say that if one ignores the warnings of Abu Mu`awiya, Ibn Dukayn, Bishr, Ibn Dawud, Ibn `A'isha etc. then also fails to grasp the meaning of al-Shafi`i's statement about the Fuqaha' being all indebted to Abu Hanifa in Fiqh [including al-Layth, al-Awza`i, and Malik], let them consider the non-Hanafi hadith Masters' awe before him in the following works of "Merits":

- Manaqib al-A'immat al-Thalathat al-Fuqaha' by Ibn `Abd al-Barr [Maliki];
- Manaqib Abi Hanifata wa Sahibayh by al-Dhahabi [Hanbali...];
- Manaqib al-A'immat al-Arba`a by Yusuf ibn `Abd al-Hadi [Hanbali];
- Tabyid al-Sahifa fi Manaqib Abi Hanifa by al-Suyuti [Shafi`i];
- Al-Khayraat al-Hisaan fi Manaaqib al-Nu`maan by al-Haytami [Shafi`i];
- `Uqd al-Jumaan fi Manaqib al-Nu`man by al-Salihi [Shafi`i].

All in print.

If all this fails to show you that love of Abu Hanifa and his School is not for Hanafis but for Muslims as a whole , then consider the meaning of Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani's expression in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib about Abu Hanifa:
    "He is of those whose rank reaches over the firmament."
This expression means: try as you may, you cannot dent his name with the least aspersion; it is beyond dispute that Allah Most High has written acceptance for him in the Umma.

So the question is why Hanafis would consider these candidates to be more significant than Shafi'is whose works were of benefit to the whole Ummah. "More significant" - if claimed - might be true numerically from the start, even before the Hanafis emerged above the rest in the res publica.

Muslims of intellect today are like candlelights flickering on a cold, windy night, discussing galaxies. They should not, in addition, try to blow each other out. This Umma is rich enough to have not two, but ten Mujaddids per century. However, who is listening? Who is acting? Allah have mercy on all of them and us.

Hajj Gibril

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en: Imam Abu Hanifa (d.150 in Baghdad)

Postby nur.nu » 23 Dec 2011, 14:25

Greatness of Abu Hanifa
by GF Haddad
http://www.livingislam.org/ahanifa_e.html
As-Salamu `alaykum:
There is a current trend of slighting Imam Abu Hanifa and his School. To some people even in Arab lands, indulging this trend gives a sense of Madhhab identity ("We Such and-such" -pick a Madhhab-).

The Umma has long settled the issue that Imam Abu Hanifa are among those who are imitated in Islam. The unparallelled spread of his School to this day is a confirmation of this God-sanctioned acceptance. One should learn something of why his Madhhab spread so much: if not for curiosity in (the Divine conduct of) our intellectual history then at least for elemental acquaintance with the Fiqh followed by most Muslims. In this respect love of Abu Hanifa and his Madhhab is love and mercy for the Umma of Sayyidina Muhammad sallAllahu `alayhi wa Alihi wasallam.

The precondition of studenthood is adab - humility and poverty - which is not harmed by simply keeping quiet about what we do not know. However, actually slighting such a major Imam and the Ulema of his entire School shows arrogance and destroys works. Wal-`aqibatu lil-muttaqin.

What Hanafi has done for the Ummah what Al-Ash'ari and al-Ghazali have done?
Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Shah Muhammad Naqshband, Allah be well-pleased with them.

(Note: al-Ash`ari is claimed as a Maliki in their books cf. al-Dibaj al-Mudhahhab and Shajarat al-Nur al-Zakiyya. Further: the text of the Ibana attributed to al-Ash`ari states that he follows Imam Ahmad. Al-Ash`ari did have the Basrian Shafi`i Hafiz Zakariyya al-Saji, the student of al-Shafi`i's companions: al-Muzani and al-Rabi` ibn Sulayman, as his teacher in Fiqh.)

Is there any Hanafi imam whose works are more famed than Imam Nawawi's Riyadh al- Saaliheen and Forty Hadeeth, or Tafseer al-Jalaalain?
Is there any Shafi`i, Maliki, or Hanbali Imam whose works are more famed than the above?

(Nor does the fame of the Jalalayn denote an unanimous endorsement on the part of the Ulema.)

This is not to mention the major hadeeth imams (Buhkari etc) nearly all of whom were Shafi'is.
No. Not al-Bukhari, nor Muslim, nor Abu Dawud, nor al-Tirmidhi, nor Ibn Majah, nor al-Darimi. Just Ahmad, al-Tabari, and al-Nasa'i. But the former two became independent and the latter was also a Maliki.

In fact, the one most-followed School among the major Imams of Hadith that were the teachers or peers of al-Shafi`i, Ahmad, and al-Bukhari, was apparently the Hanafi School.

A few names of the Hanafi *muqallids* in Fiqh among the early hadith Masters:

- Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan: Ahmad would not dare sit in his presence; Yahya ibn Sa`id said: "We have not heard better than Abu Hanifa's opinion and we have followed most of his positions."
- Yahya ibn Ma`in, he said of Abu Hanifa that he is not only thiqa (trustworthy) but thiqa thiqa. Al- Dhahabi even calls Ibn Ma`in a fanatic Hanafi.

- Al-Layth ibn Sa`d the Egyptian Mujtahid whom al- Shafi`i considered superior to Malik: Shaykh al- Islam Zakariyya al-Ansari (in his Sharh al-Bukhari) and Ibn Khallikan (in Wafayat al-A`yan) - both Shafi`is - class al-Layth among the Hanafis as do the Hanafi books of Tabaqat.

- Al-Fadl ibn Dukayn, one of the major authorities of Ahl al-Hadith. He said: "Muslims should make du`a to Allah on behalf of Abu Hanifa in their prayers, because the Sunan and the fiqh were preserved for them through him."

- Waki` ibn al-Jarrah, he replied to some of them: "You barred us from Abu Hanifa, are you going to bar us from Zufar??" (Zufar took over the teaching of Hanafi Fiqh in Kufa and Basra after the Imam.)

- Abu Mu`awiya al-Darir, he said: "Love of Abu Hanifa is part of the Sunna".

- Ibn Dawud al-Khuraybi: "Among the people [of learning] there are plenty of enviers and ignorant ones concerning Abu Hanifa."

- Bishr al-Hafi, he said: "None criticizes Abu Hanifa except an envier or an ignoramus".

- Ibn al-Mubarak. When al-Awza`i criticized Abu Hanifa, Ibn al-Mubarak copied a compilation of Abu Hanifa's fiqh under the name al-Nu`man. Al- Awza`i read it without interruption except for Salat al-Fard. Then he said: "This Nu`man is a grand master (hadha nabilun min al-ashyakh). Go to him and take as much as you can from him!" Ibn al-Mubarak said: "This is the Abu Hanifa you had forbidden me to see." Tarikh Baghdad. Ibn al-Mubarak considered one's hatred of Abu Hanifa a mark of Divine wrath. He also said: "If Allah had not rescued me with Abu Hanifa and Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the rest of the common people." Al-Dhahabi relates it as: "I would have been an innovator."

- Ibn `A'isha mentioned a fatwa of Abu Hanifa then said: "Truly, if you had seen him you would have wanted him [for your teacher]! Truly, his similitude and yours is as in the saying:

Curse them much or not, I care little to blame you;

But fill - if you can! - the space they left vacant.

This is not to mention Abu Hanifa's Fiqh students that were the teachers of subsequent Imams:

Zufar (taught Ibn al-Mubarak); Abu Yusuf (taught Ahmad); Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (taught al-Shafi`i, Ahmad, Ibn Sallam) Asad ibn `Amr al-Bajali (taught Ahmad).

According to Shaykh Wahbi al-Ghawji, even Imam al-Bukhari began as a Hanafi. I would think that this is true of Imam al-Darimi also.

This is all to say that if one ignores the warnings of Abu Mu`awiya, Ibn Dukayn, Bishr, Ibn Dawud, Ibn `A'isha etc. then also fails to grasp the meaning of al-Shafi`i's statement about the Fuqaha' being all indebted to Abu Hanifa in Fiqh [including al-Layth, al-Awza`i, and Malik], let them consider the non-Hanafi hadith Masters' awe before him in the following works of "Merits":

- Manaqib al-A'immat al-Thalathat al-Fuqaha' by Ibn `Abd al-Barr [Maliki]; - Manaqib Abi Hanifata wa Sahibayh by al-Dhahabi [Hanbali...]; - Manaqib al-A'immat al-Arba`a by Yusuf ibn `Abd al-Hadi [Hanbali]; - Tabyid al-Sahifa fi Manaqib Abi Hanifa by al-Suyuti [Shafi`i]; - Al-Khayraat al-Hisaan fi Manaaqib al-Nu`maan by al-Haytami [Shafi`i]; - `Uqd al-Jumaan fi Manaqib al-Nu`man by al-Salihi [Shafi`i].

All in print.

If all this fails to show you that love of Abu Hanifa and his School is not for Hanafis but for Muslims as a whole, then consider the meaning of Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani's expression in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib about Abu Hanifa: "He is of those whose rank reaches over the firmament." This expression means: try as you may, you cannot dent his name with the least aspersion; it is beyond dispute that Allah Most High has written acceptance for him in the Umma.

So the question is why Hanafis would consider these candidates to be more significant than Shafi'is whose works were of benefit to the whole Ummah.
"More significant" - if claimed - might be true numerically from the start, even before the Hanafis emerged above the rest in the res publica.

Muslims of intellect today are like candlelights flickering on a cold, windy night, discussing galaxies. They should not, in addition, try to blow each other out. This Umma is rich enough to have not two, but ten Mujaddids per century. However, who is listening? Who is acting? Allah have mercy on all of them and us.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©
[2001]

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Posts: 782
Joined: 19 Mar 2011, 11:53

en: The Greatest Imam Abu Hanifa

Postby nur.nu » 23 Dec 2011, 14:26

The Greatest Imam Abu Hanifa
by GF Haddad ©
http://sunnah.org/publication/khulafa_r ... hanifa.htm
http://www.livingislam.org/ahanifa_e.html

Al-Nu`man ibn Thabit al-Taymi, al-Imam Abu Hanifa (d. 150), called "The Imam" by Abu Dawud, and "The Imam, one of those who have reached the sky" by Ibn Hajar, he is known in the Islamic world as "The Greatest Imam" (al-imâm al-a`zam) and his school has the largest number of followers among the four schools of Ahl al-Sunna. He is the first of the four mujtahid imams and the only Successor (tâbi`i) among them, having seen the Companions Anas ibn Malik, `Abd Allah ibn Abi Awfa, Sahl ibn Sa`d al-Sa`idi, Abu al-Tufayl, and `Amir ibn Wathila.

Abu Hanifa is the first in Islam to organize the writing of fiqh under sub-headings embracing the whole of the Law, beginning with purity (tahara) followed by prayer (sala), an order which was retained by all subsequent scholars such as Malik, Shafi`i, Abu Dawud, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and others. All these and their followers are indebted to him and give him a share of their reward because he was the first to open that road for them, according to the hadith of the Prophet:

"He who starts something good in Islam has its reward and the reward of those who practice it until the Day of Judgement, without lessening in the least the reward of those who practice it. The one who starts something bad in Islam will incur its punishment and the punishment of all those who practice it until the Day of Judgement without lessening their punishment in the least." Al-Shafi`i referred to this when he said: "People are all the children of Abu Hanifa in fiqh, of Ibn Ishaq in history, of Malik in hadith, and of Muqatil in tafsîr."

Al-Khatib narrated from Abu Hanifa's student Abu Nu`aym that the latter said: "Muslims should make du`a to Allah on behalf of Abu Hanifa in their prayers, because the Sunan and the fiqh were preserved for them through him. Al-Dhahabi wrote one volume on the life of each of the other three great Imams and said: "The account of Abu Hanifa's life requires two volumes." His son Hammad said as he washed his father's body for burial: "May Allah have mercy on you! You have exhausted whoever tries to catch up with you."

Abu Hanifa was scrupulously pious and refused Ibn Hubayra's offer of a judgeship even when the latter had him whipped. Like al- Bukhari and al-Shafi`i, he used to make 60 complete recitations (khatma) of Qur'an every Ramadan: one in the day, one in the night, besides his teaching and other duties. Ibrahim ibn Rustum al- Marwazi said: "Four are the Imams that recited the entire Qur'an in a single rak`a: `Uthman ibn `Affan, Tamim al-Dari, Sa`id ibn Jubayr, and Abu Hanifa."

Ibn al-Mubarak said: "Abu Hanifa for a long time would pray all five prayers with a single ablution."

Al-Suyuti relates in Tabyid al-Sahifa that a certain visitor came to observe Abu Hanifa and saw him all day long in the mosque, teaching relentlessly, answering every question from both the scholars and the common people, not stopping except to pray, then standing at home in prayer when people were asleep, hardly ever eating or sleeping, and yet the most handsome and gracious of people, always alert and never tired, day after day for a long time, so that in the end the visitor said: "I became convinced that this was not an ordinary matter, but wilâya (Friendship with Allah)."

Al-Shafi`i said: "Knowledge revolves around three men: Malik, al-Layth, and Ibn `Uyayna." Al-Dhahabi commented: "Rather, it revolves also around al-Awza`i, al-Thawri, Ma`mar, Abu Hanifa, Shu`ba, and the two Hammads [ibn Zayd and ibn Salama]."

Sufyan al-Thawri praised Abu Hanifa when he said: "We were in front of Abu Hanifa like small birds in front of the falcon," and Sufyan stood up for him when Abu Hanifa visited him after his brother's death, and he said: "This man holds a high rank in knowledge, and if I did not stand up for his science I would stand up for his age, and if not for his age then for his Godwariness (wara`), and if not for his Godwariness then for his jurisprudence (fiqh)." Ibn al-Mubarak praised Abu Hanifa and called him a sign of Allah. Both Ibn al-Mubarak and Sufyan al-Thawri said: "Abu Hanifa was in his time the most knowledgeable of all people on earth." Ibn Hajar also related that Ibn al-Mubarak said: "If Allah had not rescued me with Abu Hanifa and Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the rest of the common people." Dhahabi relates it as: "I would have been an innovator."

An example of Abu Hanifa's perspicuity in inferring legal rulings from source-texts is his reading of the following hadith:

The Prophet said: "Your life in comparison to the lifetime of past nations is like the period between the time of the mid- afternoon prayer (`asr) and sunset. Your example and the example of the Jews and Christians is that of a man who employed laborers and said to them: "Who will work for me until mid-day for one qirât (a unit of measure, part of a dinar) each?" The Jews worked until mid-day for one qirât each. Then the man said: "Who will work for me from mid-day until the `asr prayer for one qirât each?" The Christians worked from mid-day until the `asr prayer for one qirât each. Then the man said: "Who will work for me from the `asr prayer until the maghrib prayer for two qirât each?" And that, in truth, is all of you. In truth, you have double the wages. The Jews and the Christians became angry and said: "We did more labor but took less wages." But Allah said: "Have I wronged you in any of your rights?" They replied no. Then He said: "This is My Blessing which I give to whom I wish."

It was deduced from the phrase "We did more labor" that the time of mid-day to `asr must always be longer than that between `asr and maghrib. This is confirmed by authentic reports whereby:

The Prophet hastened to pray zuhr and delayed praying `asr. The Prophet said: "May Allah have mercy on someone who prays four rak`as before `asr. `Ali delayed praying `asr until shortly before the sun changed, and he reprimanded the mu'adhdhin who was hurrying him with the words: "He is trying to teach us the Sunna!"

Ibrahim al-Nakha`i said: "Those that came before you used to hasten more than you to pray zuhr and delay more than you in praying `asr." Al-Tahanawi said: "Those that came before you" are the Companions. Ibn Mas`ud delayed praying `asr.

Sufyan al-Thawri, Abu Hanifa, and his two companions Muhammad ibn a-Hasan and Abu Yusuf therefore considered it better to lengthen the time between zuhr and `asr by delaying the latter prayer as long as the sun did not begin to redden, while the majority of the authorities considered that praying `asr early is better, on the basis of other sound evidence to that effect.

Like every Friend of Allah, Abu Hanifa had his enemies. `Abdan said that he heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: "If you hear them mention Abu Hanifa derogatively then they are mentioning me derogatively. In truth I fear for them Allah's displeasure." Authentically related from Bishr al-Hafi is the statement: "No-one criticizes Abu Hanifa except an envier or an ignoramus." Hamid ibn Adam al-Marwazi said: I heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: "I never saw anyone more fearful of Allah than Abu Hanifa, even on trial under the whip and through money and property." Abu Mu`awiya al-Darir said: "Love of Abu Hanifa is part of the Sunna."

Main sources: al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad 13:324-356; al-Dhahabi, Manaqib Abi Hanifa 22-36 and Tabaqat al-Huffaz 1:168; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib 10:450; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 10:114; al-Suyuti, Tabyid al-Sahifa p. 94-95; al-Haytami, al-Khayrat al-Hisan.

Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

by GF Haddad ©

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en: The Life of Imam Abu Hanifah / Maida Malik

Postby nur.nu » 24 Jan 2012, 09:33

The Life of Imam Abu Hanifah
Nu'man ibn Thabit, 80-150 A.H.
by Maida Malik
http://sunnah.org/publication/khulafa_r ... anifah.htm

Better known as `Imam-e-`Adham' (The Greatest Imam), or by his kunyah `Abu Hanifah', Nu'man ibn Thabit was born in the city of Kufa (modern day Iraq) in the year 80 A.H (689 A.D). Born into a family of tradesmen, the Imam's family were of Persian origin as well as descending from the noble Prophet's (saw) Companion Salman al-Farsi (ra). Imam Abu Hanifah's father, Thabit, had met in Kufa Imam `Ali Ibn Abi Talib (ra) who made dua for him and his progeny, and some say that Abu Hanifah was a result of this dua.

A hadith given by al-Bukhari and Muslim states that Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated Allah's Messenger (saw) as saying:"If the Religion were at the Pleiades, even then a person from Persia would have taken hold of it, or one amongst the Persian descent would surely have found it." Abu Hurairah (ra) also narrates:"We were sitting in the company of Allah's Apostle (saw) when Surat al-Jum`a was revealed to him and when he recited amongst them, (those who were sitting there) said `Allah's Messenger?' but Allah's Apostle (saw) made no reply, until he was questioned once, twice or thrice, and there was amongst us Salman the Persian. Allah's Apostle (saw) placed his hand on Salman and then said:"Even if faith were near the Pleiades, a man from amongst these would surely find it."

Imam as-Suyuti a Shafi'i alim (rh) remarked:"It has been communicated unanimously that this hadith refers to Imam Abu Hanifah."

Kufa at the time of the Imam's birth was a great center of knowledge and learning, with many of the noble Prophet's (saw) Companions (ra) having taken residence there. Due to the presence of these venerable people who had engendered so much interest in hadith and riwayat that practically every house in Kufa had become a center of these disciples and their disciplines.

At first, Imam Abu Hanifah was not a student of knowledge. However, by coincidence, while one day passing by the house of Sha'bi (an acclaimed "Great Scholar among the Successors (rh)"), Abu Hanifah was called in by the shaykh who mistook him for a student. "Where are you going young man?" asked Sha'bi. Abu Hanifah named the merchant he was going to see. "I meant to ask," asked Sha'bi, "Whose classes you attend?" "Nobody's," replied the Imam regretfully. "I see signs of intelligence in you," began Sha'bi,"you should sit in the company of learned men."

It was after this encounter that the young Imam began his quest for knowledge. Imam Abu Hanifah acquired knowledge from over four thousand people. His teachers included many prestigious men of the time whose sanad went back to a number of Companions (ra). He himself was blessed with the meeting of the Companions: Anas ibn Malik, Abdullah ibn Afwa and Sahl ibn Sa'ad (ra), thus gaining him the rank of being a Tabi'i (Successor to the Companions).

Amongst Imam Abu Hanifah's shayukh was Hammad ibn Sulayman, he joined his circle at the age of 22, having already become a well-known debater and studied with this shaykh until the latter's death, whereupon he took over his majlis (circle) at the age of forty. Shu'ba, a leading muhaddith who knew-by-heart two thousand traditions was also a teacher of Imam Abu Hanifah. Shu'ba was greatly attached to Imam Abu Hanifah saying: "Just as I know that the sun is bright, I know that learning and Abu Hanifah are doubles of each other."

The Imam's quest for knowledge inevitably took him to the Holy Sanctuaries, at a time when Makkah was a busy center for learning. A number of acknowledged masters of hadith, who had had access to the Prophet's (saw) Companions (ra) had established their own schools there. Of these was `Ata bin Rabah's (rh) school. `Ata was a famous Tabi'i who had associated with most of the Companions (ra) and acquired from this association a status of authority. He himself claimed to have met two hundred men who had associated with the Noble Prophet (saw). The leading Companions (ra) all acknowledged his learning. Abdullah ibn `Umar (ra), son of the Caliph `Umar (ra) often used to say:"Why do people come to me when `Ata ibn Abi Rabah is there for them to go to?" Of the other Muhaddithin of Makkah whose classes the Imam attended was `Ikrimah. He was the slave and pupil of Abdullah ibn `Abbas, who educated him with great care and attention, making him so proficient that he, during his own lifetime gave Imam Abu Hanifah the authority to exercise personal judgement and rulings. "Imam Abu Hanifah was the first to analyze Islamic jurisprudence, divide it into subjects, distinguish its issues and determine the range and criteria for analytical reasoning (qiyas)."

Al-Hafiz al-Kabir Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Harizmi wrote in his book"Musnad":

`Saif al-Aimma' reports that when Imam Abu Hanifah derived a matter from the Qur'an and Hadith, he would not give the answer to the inquirer unless all of them [his students] confirmed it. One thousand of Abu Hanifah's disciples attended all his classes when he taught in the Mosque of Kufa City. Forty of them were mujtahids. When he would find an answer for a matter, he would suggest to his students who would study it together, and when they reached an agreement of it being consistent with the Qur'an and Hadith, and with the words of the Sahabah (ra), he would be delighted and say, "Al-hamdu li'llah wallahu Akbar," and all those who were present would repeat his words. Then he would tell them to write it down.

Ibn `Abd al-Barr relates in"Al-Intiqa'":

`Abd Allah ibn Ahmad al-Dawraqi said:"Ibn Ma'inn was asked about Abu Hanifah as I was listening, so he said"He is trustworthy (thiqatun), I never heard that anyone had weakened him." No less than Shu'ba wrote to him [for narrations], and ordered him to narrate hadith.'

Ibn Hajar said in Kharija ibn al-Salt's notice in"Tahdhib al-Tahdhib":

Ibn Abi Khaythama said:"If al-Shu'bi narrates from someone and names him, that man is trustworthy (thiqa) and his narration is used as proof (yuhtajju bi hadithihi)".

Many well-known shuyukh narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah, to name but a few: al-Thawri, ibn al-Mubarak, Hammad ibn Zayd and `Abd al-Razzaq (one of Imam al-Bukhari's shaykhs.) Al-Mizzi in"Tahdhib al-Kamal" names about one hundred names of those who narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah.

Imam as-Shafi'i (rh) is recorded to have stated:"All men of fiqh are Abu Hanifah's children" and"I would not have acquired anything of knowledge had it not been for my teacher. All men of knowledge are children of the ulema of Iraq, who were the disciples of the ulema of Kufa, and they were the disciples of Abu Hanifah."

The Hanafi madhhab, entitled after the Imam, spread far-and-wide during the time of the Ottoman Empire. Today, more than half of the Muslims on the earth perform their `ibabadah according to the Hanafi madhhab. The Hanafi school has decided court cases in the majority of Islamic lands for the greater part of Islamic history, including the `Abbasid and Ottoman periods.

Not only was Imam Abu Hanifah's extraordinary mind and knowledge something to be admired, but so too was his exemplary character and piety. Al-Dhahabi writes:"Accounts of his piety and devotion have reached a degree of tawatur (i.e., an unbroken chain of uncontradicted narrations)."

He was given the title of"The `Peg'" by some, for his continuous standing in prayer, often reciting the entire Qur'an in his nightly rakahs. He performed the Fajr prayer with the ablution made for the Isha prayers for forty years (due to him praying the whole night through). It is reported that he had recited the whole Qur'an seven thousand times in the place where he died.



He earned his living through trade (sending goods to other places), and with the earnings he made, he met the needs of his students. He gave much to charity and every Friday he would distribute twenty gold coins to the poor for his parents' souls.

In the year 146 A.H, Abu Hanifah was sent to prison by Mansur, the leader at the time, after the Imam's refusal to state that Mansur was the rightful khalifa, as well as refusing the position of presidency of the Supreme Court in recompense. While in prison, Imam Abu Hanifah was thrashed with a stick. Mansur repented and sent the Imam money, only to be refused again. By now, Imam Abu Hanifah had become well-known and thousands flocked to meet and seek his opinion wherever he went. His imprisonment far from reduced his popularity, and Mansur realized that he would have to treat the Imam carefully, thus he allowed him to teach while still in prison. Mansur finally decided to do away with the great Imam and had him poisoned. Abu Hanifah, feeling the effects of the poison, bent down in prayer and died in the month of Rajab. News of the Imam's death reached far-and-wide, and thousands gathered at the prison. The city Qadi washed his body, and kept repeating:"By God, you were the greatest faqih and the most pious man of our time ..."

By the time the bathing was finished, so many people had assembled that the funeral prayer was performed attended by fifty thousand people.

The Great Imam died in Baghdad in 150 A.H at the age of seventy. May Allah (swt) be pleased with him. Ameen.

© Qalam All rights reserved.

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Re: en: Imam Abu Hanifa (d.150 in Baghdad)

Postby nur.nu » 24 Jan 2012, 09:38

A Wise Young Muslim Boy
by: Anonymous
[Adapted into English from "Manâqib Abî Hanîfah" written by Imâm Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad al-Makki (d. 568 Hijri). Dar al - Kitâb al-'Arabiy, Beirut, 1981/1401H.]
http://sunnah.org/publication/khulafa_r ... iseboy.htm

Many years ago, during the time of the Tâbi'în (the generation of Muslims after the Sahâbah), Baghdâd was a great city of Islam. In fact, it was the capital of the Islamic Empire and, because of the great number of scholars who lived there, it was the center of Islamic knowledge.

One day, the ruler of Rome at the time sent an envoy to Baghdad with three challenges for the Muslims. When the messenger reached the city, he informed the khalîfah that he had three questions which he challenged the Muslims to answer.

The khalîfah gathered together all the scholars of the city and the Roman messenger climbed upon a high platform and said, "I have come with three questions. If you answer them, then I will leave with you a great amount of wealth which I have brought from the king of Rome." As for the questions, they were: "What was there before Allâh?" "In which direction does Allâh face?" "What is Allâh engaged in at this moment?"

The great assembly of people were silent. (Can you think of answers to these questions?) In the midst of these brilliant scholars and students of Islam was a man looking on with his young son. "O my dear father! I will answer him and silence him!" said the youth. So the boy sought the permission of the khalîfah to give the answers and he was given the permission to do so.

The Roman addressed the young Muslim and repeated his first question, "What was there before Allâh?"

The boy asked, "Do you know how to count?"

"Yes," said the man.

"Then count down from ten!" So the Roman counted down, "ten, nine, eight, ..." until he reached "one" and he stopped counting

"But what comes before 'one'?" asked the boy.

"There is nothing before one- that is it!" said the man.

"Well then, if there obviously is nothing before the arithmetic 'one', then how do you expect that there should be anything before the 'One' who is Absolute Truth, All-Eternal, Everlasting the First, the Last, the Manifest, the Hidden?"

Now the man was surprised by this direct answer which he could not dispute. So he asked, "Then tell me, in which direction is Allâh facing?"

"Bring a candle and light it," said the boy, "and tell me in which direction the flame is facing."

"But the flame is just light- it spreads in each of the four directions,

North, South, East and West. It does not face any one direction only," said the man in wonderment.

The boy cried, "Then if this physical light spreads in all four directions such that you cannot tell me which way it faces, then what do you expect of the Nûr-us-Samâwâti-wal-'Ard: Allâh - the Light of the Heavens and the Earth!? Light upon Light, Allâh faces all directions at all times."

The Roman was stupified and astounded that here was a young child answering his challenges in such a way that he could not argue against the proofs. So, he desperately wanted to try his final question. But before doing so, the boy said,

"Wait! You are the one who is asking the questions and I am the one who is giving the answer to these challenges. It is only fair that you should come down to where I am standing and that I should go up where you are right now, in order that the answers may be heard as clearly as the questions."

This seemed reasonable to the Roman, so he came down from where he was standing and the boy ascended the platform. Then the man repeated his final challenge, "Tell me, what is Allâh doing at this moment?"

The boy proudly answered, "At this moment, when Allâh found upon this high platform a liar and mocker of Islam, He caused him to descend and brought him low. And as for the one who believed in the Oneness of Allâh, He raised him up and established the Truth. Every day He exercises (universal) power (Surah 55 ar-Rahmân, Verse 29)."

The Roman had nothing to say except to leave and return back to his country, defeated. Meanwhile, this young boy grew up to become one of the most famous scholars of Islam. Allâh, the Exalted, blessed him with special wisdom and knowledge of the deen. His name was Abu Hanîfah (rahmatullâh 'alayhi- Allâh have mercy on him) and he is known today as Imâm-e-A'dham, the Great Imâm and scholar of Islam.

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Re: en: Imam Abu Hanifa (d.150 in Baghdad)

Postby nur.nu » 24 Jan 2012, 09:42

Abū H.anīfa's Foresight
by GF Haddad
http://sunnah.org/history/Scholars/AbuH ... esight.pdf
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Re: en: Imam Abu Hanifa (d.150 in Baghdad)

Postby nur.nu » 24 Jan 2012, 09:43

Sagacity of Imam Abu Hanifah
[source: The Four Imams: Their Lives, Works, and their Schools of Thought, Muhammad Abu Zahra’s book.]
http://sunnah.org/history/Scholars/Abu% ... gacity.htm

A man by the name of Ad-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Kharji, who rebelled during the time of the Ummayyads, entered the mosque in Kufa and told Imam Abu Hanifa, “Repent!”
“From what?” asked Abu Hanifa.
He answered, “From your having permitted arbitration.”
“Will you kill me or debate with me?” asked the Imam.
“I will debate with you.”
“And if we disagree on anything in the debate, who will decide between us?”
“I will accept whomever you wish.”
“Sit and judge between us if we disagree,” Abu Hanifa said to one of ad-Dahhak’s companions.
“Are you content for this one to decide between us?” asked Abu Hanifa to ad-Dahhak.
“Yes”
“You have allowed arbitration, so desist.”

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