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Imam Abu Hanifa was strong in hadith

Posted by muhammedm on January 9, 2009

Tawthiq (declaring someone thiqa) and ‘Adalat of Imam Abu Hanifa

“’Allama ibn Abdil Barr (in al-Intiqaa’) has listed the names of scholars from the Fuqaha’ and Muhadithin who praised Imam Abu Hanifa and thought of him as thiqa (trustworthy). The following are some of them:
1. Imam Abu Ja’far Muhammed bin Ali’ bin al-Husayn (d 118) says about Imam Abi Hanifa, “how excellent is his guidance, and his ways and manners, and how great (akthar) is his insight in fiqh.” The words used are Ism Mubalagha.
2. Yahya’ bin Ma’in does Tawthiiq by referencing Shu’ba, “(he is) thiqa, I have not heard anyone declaring him weak, Shu’ba would write to Imam Abu Hanifa requesting the Imam to narrate ahadith, and what to say of Shu’ba.”
3. Abdullah bin Shabarma would praise the Imam a lot, the following shows how much love he had for the Imam, he said, “Women are unable to give birth the likes of an-Nu’man.”
4. ‘Ali bin al-Ju’d said, a person came to Zuhayr bin Mu’awiya, Zuhayr asked the individual, “where have you come from? He said, “I’m coming from Imam Abu Hanifa.” Zuhayr replied, “Spending one day with Imam Abu Hanifa is better for you than you coming to me for a month.”
5. Abdullah bin Mubarak praised Imam Abu Hanifa abundantly. He’s composed poetry praising the Imam. (Which is quoted in the book but I’m not translating it).”
Imam Abdul Barr lists a total of 67 Ulema who are well known as Imams and Muhadithin. Some of them are Imam Sufyan at-Thawri, Hammad bin Abi Sulayman the Imam’s teacher (d 120), Sufyan bin ‘Uyayna, Shuraykh al-Qadi, Yahya bin Sai’d al-Qattan, ‘Abdur Razzaq bin Hummam Sin’ani, Imam Shafi’I, Waki’ bin al-Jarrah, Sulayman bin Mihran al-A’mash (d. 148), Yahya bin Mai’in (d.233), and others.

Some quotes by ‘Ulema of Jarh wa Ta’dil

1. Shaykh ‘Ali bin al-Madini (d. 234), Imam Bukhari’s Shaykh, says about Imam Abu Hanifa, “At-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubarak, Hammad bin Zayd, Hisham, Waki’, ‘Ubbad bin al-‘Awwam, Ja’far bin ‘Awn narrate from Imam Abu Hanifa, and he is Thiqa.” (Khayratul Hisan li ibn Hajar al-Makki)
2. Yahya bin Ma’in (d. 233) says about Imam, “he’s thiqa in Hadith.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal)
3. Imam Ahmed bin Abdullah ‘Ujli (d. 261) has mentioned Imam Abu Hanifa in his book, Tarikh at-Thiqat.
4. Imam Yahya bin Ma’in said, “Imam Abu Hanifa was thiqa, he would not narrate a hadith except if he had memorized it, and he wouldn’t narrate a hadith which he had not memorized.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal)
5. Imam Isra’il bin Yunus (d. 159) says, “How wonderful of a man is an-Nu’man, he memorized every hadith in which had fiqh (jurisprudence) and was the most inquisitive in it.” (Tarikh Baghdad)
6. Muhaddith Abu Hafs bin Shahin (d. 385) has included Imam in Tarikh Asma’a at-Thiqat.
7. Makki bin Ibrahim says, “He was the most knowledgeable people of his time.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal)
8. Imam Dhahabi places him in Tadhkira ul Huffadh.
9. Imam Dhahabi says about Imam, “Abu Hanifa, an-Nu’man bin Thabit, was one of the intelligent ones of mankind (Bani Adam).” (Al-‘Ibar)
10. ‘Allama Suyuti puts the Imam in Tabaqat al-Huffadh.

From the Manaqib of Imam

1. He’s was Tabi’i.
2. Has narrated ten ahadith from seven companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), mentioned in the Jami’ al-Masanid by Imam Khwarizmi. Several treatise (sections in books) have been written devoted to his narrating directly from the companions by the following Muhaddithin: Abu Hamid Hadrami (d. 321), Abu al-Husayn ‘Ali bin Ahmed ‘Isa al-Nahqafi, Abdur Rahman bin Muhamed Sarakhsi (d. 439), Hafidh Abu Sa’d as-Simtan (d. 443), Abu Ma’shar ‘Abdul Karim Tabari (d. 478), and ‘Allama Abdul Qadir Qurashi (d. 775).
3. ‘Allama Khuwarizmi mentions about 250 ahadith narrated by Imam via a Tabi’i and a companion.

‘Allama Abdul Wahhab as-Sha’rani in al-Mizan al-Kubra says, “Allah ta’ala has indeed blessed me in reading three of the authentic copies of Musnad of Imam Abu Hanifa. It had writings (Khatt) of the Huffadh; the last of them was Al-Hafidh ad-Dimyati. I noticed that the Imam only narrates from the best of Tabi’i, who are ‘Udall, Thiqa, who are from the best of generations as testified by the Prophet (peace be upon him), the likes of al-Aswad, ‘Alqama, ‘Ata, ‘Ikarma, Mujtahid, Makhul, al-Hasan al-Basra, and others like them (Allah ta’ala be pleased with them all). For all of the narrators who are between the Imam and the Prophet (peace be upon him) are ‘udul, Thiqa, well known, the best, there is no liar in it, nor one who is charged with lying. It’s is enough for you, O brother, as an ‘adalat (him (the Imam) being thiqa) that the Imam chose them (for narrating) for he (the Imam) chose them while acting cautiously, being wary and with have compassion for the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Ummah.”

Hafidh Abu Nu’aym has narrated with a linked (muttasil) chain in Musnad of Abi Hanifa on the authority of Yahya bin Nasr bin Hajib that he said, “I entered upon Imam Abu Hanifa’s place which was filled with books, so I said, “what is this”? He (Imam) said, “These are all ahadith, I narrate only a few of them from which benefit can be derived.”
Ibn Ahmed Makki in Manaqib Imam A’adham says, “Abu Hanifa chose from 1,040 ahadith to put in Kitab al-Aathar.”
Imam Sufyan at-Thawri said about Imam Abu Hanifa, “He takes from the ahadith that are authentic, from narrators who are trustworthy, and the actions done last by the Prophet (peace be upon him). (Al-Intiqaa’)
Imam Hasan bin Salih bin Yahya says about the Imam that if a sahih hadith is mentioned regarding an issue, Imam would take it. (Al-Intiqa’)
Imam A’adham and science of Jarh wa ta’dil
1. Imam Hammad bin Zayd says, “We didn’t know the kunya of ‘Amr bin Dinar except through Abi Hanifa. (Once) we were in the Masjid al-haram and Amr’ was with Abu Hanifa. We said to him, “O Abu Hanifa, talk to him, and tell him to relate ahadith to us,” Imam Abu Hanifa said, “O Aba Muhammed, narrate ahadith to them, and he didn’t say ya Muhammed.” (Al-Jawhar al-Madiyya Fi Tabaqat al-Hanafiya)
2. Hammad bin Zayd is a student of Imam Abu Hanifa, and Ibn Abdil Barr says, Hammad narrates copiously from Imam Abu Hanifa. (Al-Intiqaa’)
3. Imam Bayhaqi narrates that Imam Abu Hanifa says regarding Imam Sufyan at-Thawri through Abu Sa’d Sighani, “O Abu Hanifa, what do you about narrating from Sufyan at-Thawri, Allah ta’ala have mercy on him.” Imam said, “Write from him, for he is trustworthy, except for what he narrates from Abi Ishaq on the authority of al-Harith, and the ahadith of Ja’far al-Ju’fi.” (Jawhar al-Madiyya)
4. Imam Dhahabi in Tadhkira ul Huffadh on the section of Imam Ja’far Sadiq narrates from the Imams of Jarh wa Ta’dil the likes of Yahya bin Ma’in, and Abu Hatim concerning the Tawthiq of Imam Ja’far, and cites the ta’dil of Imam Abu Hanifa, “I have not seen a better Faqih than Ja’far bin Muhammed.”
5. “The first one to make me (Sufyan bin ‘Uyayna) sit in ahadith session was Imam Abu Hanifa, and when Sufyan bin ‘Uyayna came to Kufa, the Imam told the people that Sufyan took ahadith from ‘Amr bin Dinar, then the people of kufah flocked to Sufyan to hear his ahadith.”(Jawhar al-Madiyya) This shows the Imam’s weighty words regarding someone’s ‘adalat, as the people of Kufah went to Sufyan after the Imam told them about him.
6. ‘Allama ibn Hajar quotes Imam Abu Hanifa in regards to Zayd bin ‘Ayyash, “Abu Hanifa said, “Zayd bin ‘Ayyash is unknown (majhul).” (Tahdhib at-Tahdhib)
7. ‘Allama Qurashi quotes Imam Abu Hanifa in regards to Talq bin Habib, “Abu Hanifa said, “Talq bin Habib had leanings/was from the Qadariyya (a sect).” (Jawhar)
8. ‘Allama Qurashi quotes Imam Sahib in regards to ‘Amr bin ‘Ubayd, “May Allah ta’ala curse ‘Amr bin ‘Ubayd, he opened the door to ‘Ilm ul Kalam for people.” (Jawhar)
9. ‘Allama ibn Hajar quotes Imam Sahib in regards to Jarh of Jahm bin Safwan and Muqatil bin Sulayman, “Abu Hanifa said, “There has come two distorted, evil opinions from the east, one of them Jahm’s Ta’tiil (from a particular sect), and Muqatil’s Tashbih” (another sect’s attribute). In a narration from Abi Yusuf, on the authority of Abi Hanifa, “Jahm went too far in negating (Allah ta’ala’ attributes) to such an extent, he said, “He is nothing”, and Muqatil did excess in affirming, to such an extent that he made Allah ta’ala like his creation.” (Tahdhib at-Tahdhib).
10. Imam Dhahabi, the historian, Muhaqqiq, added Imam Sahib in his list of those whose opinion is taken in the field of Jarh wa Ta’dil, he mentioned Imam Sahib in the book “Dhikru man Yu’tamadu Qawluhu Fi al-Jarh wa at-Ta’dil.” Mentioning those whose sayings are relied on in the science of Jarh wa Ta’dil.
11. Muhyi ud Din ‘Allama Qurashi says about Imam Abu Hanifa, “Know that Imam Sahib’s words are accepted in the science of Jarh wa Ta’dil, The scholars of this science have accepted Imam’s words and have acted accordingly, just like they have taken the opinions of Imam Ahmed, Bukhari, Ibn Ma’in, Ibn al-Madini, and others from the scholars of this science. This should tell you of his (Imam’s) greatness, his vast knowledge, and his leadership.”
12. ‘Allama Sakhawi has included Imam Sahib in his list of those whose opinion is taken in the science of Jarh wa Ta’dil, and he places the Imam at the end of the list of Tabi’in in this science.

Imam Sahib’s Methodology

Imam Sahib said, “I take from the book of Allah ta’ala, and if I find it (proof for an issue, I take it) and if I don’t find it in there, I take from the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) and the authentic narrations which is spread out in the hands of those who are trustworthy who narrate from those who are trustworthy (Scholars who are thiqa). Then if I don’t find it in the Quran, or the Sunnah, I take from the sayings of the Companions, and I leave those which I don’t want (are weak), and I don’t leave their sayings (the companions) for someone else’s sayings. And if the matter reaches to Ibrahim (Nakhi’i), Sha’bi, Al-Hasan, ‘Ata, ibn Sirin, Sai’d bin al-Musayyib, and others, so they were those who did ijtihad, and just like how they did ijtihad, I have the right to do ijtihad just like them.”

All of the above taken from (Ahnaf Huffadh Hadith Ki Fan Jarh wa Ta’dil main khidmaat – Service of the Hanafi Ulema’ who were Huffadh in the field of Jarh wa Ta’dil).

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One Response to “Imam Abu Hanifa was strong in hadith”

  1. annon said

    translation of Fiqh Hanafi Ki Usul wa Dawabit is available http://www.alislam.co.za/uploads/download.php?file=The%20Principles%20And%20Codes%20Of%20Law%20Of%20Hanafi%20Fiqh.pdf

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