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What was Imam Al-Hakim’s position regarding Imam Abu Hanifa?

Posted by muhammedm on December 26, 2009

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

Contention – “Al-Haakim quotes in ‘Ma`rifah al-Ulum al-Hadith’ [pg. 256] amongst a group of narrators of the Atbaa` at-Taabi`een and those who came after them – whose ahadith are not accepted in the Sahih concluding by saying, “so all those we have mentioned are people well known for having narrated – but are not counted as being amongst the reliable precise memorizers.”

Imam al-Hakim mentions Imam Abu Hanifa in his work, ‘Ma’rifatu ‘Ulum al-Hadith’, he also mentions Imam Abu Hanifa in ‘al-Mustadrak ‘ala as-Sahihayn’.

In al-Mustadrak, Imam al-Hakim says while presenting the different chains for the hadith, ‘There’s no Nikah without a Wali’, “A group from the Imams of the Muslims, other than those whom we have mentioned have narrated this hadith, from them Abu Hanifa An-Nu’man bin Thabit, Raqabah bin Masqalah al-‘Abdi, Mutarraf bin Tarif al-Harithi, ‘Abdul Hamid bin al-Hasan al-Halali, Zakariya bin Abi Zaidah and others, and we have mentioned them in the chapter” Chapter on Nikah, 2:171.

Imam Abu Hanifa is from the Thiqat

-Regarding his statements in Ulum al-Hadith, he says, ‘from the sciences is the knowledge of the famous Thiqat Imams from the Tabi’in and the atba’ Tabi’in, whose hadith are collected for memorization, remembrance and blessing…then mentions the imams from difference cities, and when he gets to Kufa he says, ‘Mis’ar bin Kidam al-Hilali, Abu Hanifa an-Nu’man bin Thabit at-Taymi, Sufyan bin Sa’id ath-Thawri…

Imam Abu Hanifa not from the Reliable Huffadh (A contradiction?)

-In another section he says, ‘from the sciences are the knowledge of a group from the narrators of the tab’ in and those after them, whose hadith aren’t used as proof in the Sahih, nor are they discarded. Then he gives names from the Sahabas and Tabi’in and those after them. He includes Imam Abu Hanifa from the atba tab’ in, and not from the Tabi’in, as is established. He goes on to mention Imam Abu Hanifa in the atba tab’ in. He also includes Qadi Abi Yusuf (who is thiqa) and Imam Zufar, whom he mentions in the above quote with Imam Abu Hanifa as well. Then he ends the section by saying, “Whoever we mentioned in this category after the Sahabah and tab’ in (then those after them), they are well known for narrating, and they’re not considered from amongst the group of reliable, precise (mutqin) Huffadh. (Allah ta’ala knows best).

As for the contentious quote that is presented above, instead of ‘not accepted’ it’s ‘not used’ since he also gives names of Sahabas and Tabi’in, and atba’ Tabi’in.

There are a number of things that need to be addressed in the second quote, first off he said he’s going to mention those whom Shaykhayn, Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, have not used. But some of those whom he mentioned are used by Imam Bukhari and Muslim. Second, he (Imam al-Hakim) placed Imam Abu Hanifa in this category of those who are not considered from the Huffadh, which contradicts his initial quote. There could be several explanations for this inclusion of Imam Abu Hanifa, first off it could be that instead of ‘not considered from amongst’, it could be that they are considered from amongst as one of the nuskha states. If that’s not possible, it could be said that this is the opinion of Shaykhayn and not Imam al-Hakim, since the discussion in this part concerns those whom Shaykhayn have not used, since he himself has placed Imam Abu Hanifa amongst the Thiqat as the first quote indicates. And he also says they’re not discarded either, as opposed to the quote, ‘not accepted’, there’s a big difference between, while ‘not discarded’ means they are accepted, though it might be with reluctance, while ‘not accepted’ means they are rejected or discarded.

I think it’s safe to say that Imam al-Hakim considered him from the Thiqat, and that the position of Shaykhayn is that he’s not from the reliable Huffadh, which will be dealt later, Inshallah.

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam
More to follow regarding other Ulema.


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Imam Nasai’ took back his Tad’ if of Imam Abu Hanifa.

Posted by muhammedm on December 24, 2009

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

“Imam an-Nasaa`ee says at the end of ‘ad-Du`afaa wal Matrookeen’ [pg. 57], “he is not strong in hadith and he makes many mistakes despite the fact that he only narrates a few narrations.”
From the edition that I looked into, Imam Nasai’ only said, “Nu’man bin Thabit: Abu Hanifa, he’s not strong in hadith, he’s Kufi”. Page 240

Whatever the actual quote might be, there are number of things that need to be said especially regarding ‘he only narrates a few narrations’ which is reiterated by a number of Imams. In actuality Imam Nasai’ himself quotes a hadith with Imam Abu Hanifa in the chain. Hafidh ibn Hajar says in at-Tahdhib in the biographical note on Imam Abu Hanifa, “in the book of An-Nasai’ is a hadith on the authority of ‘Asim on the authority of Abi Razin, on the authority of ibn ‘Abbas, he said, “there is no hadd on the one who comes upon an animal”, I say, “ and also in the narration of Abi ‘Ali al-Usyuti and al-Magharaba on the authority of an-Nasai’, he said, “’Ali bin Hujr narrated to us that ‘Isa, Ibn Yunus, narrated to us on the authority of an-Nu’man (Imam Abu Hanifa), on the authority of ‘Asim, he mentioned him but didn’t give his full name “Sufyan ath-Thawri on the authority of ‘Asim followed (has a narration?) same as that of Imam Abu Hanifa”.

I say (‘Allama Nu’mani) he might have taken back his ruling on Imam Abu Hanifa when he met Imam Tahawi in Egypt. An-Nasai’ would ask Imam Tahawi regarding ahadith, it comes in the Zawaid (additional narrations) of Sunan as-Shafi’I which is narrated by Imam Tahawi on the authority of al-Muzani, “Abu Ja’far at-Tahawi narrated to us, he said, “Bahr narrated to us”, he said, “Ibn Wahb narrated to us”, he said, “’Umar narrated to us” on the authority of al-Hakam, on the authority of Zuhayr bin Muhammed, on the authority of Suhayl on the authority of his father, on the authority of Zayd bin Thabit…. Abu Ja’far said, “An-Nasai’ asked me regarding it (the narration), meaning Ahmed bin Shu’ayb (Imam Nasai’). And Tahawi was a student of an-Nasai’ and took from him.

Imam Nasai’s work As-Sunan al-Kubra narration of Ibn al-Ahmar was printed in the year 1411, the narration was in the book of Ta’zirat wa ash-Shuhud, in the chapter, ‘whoever comes upon an animal’, the text is, “’Ali bin Hujr informed us, he said, “’Isa bin Yunus informed us, on the authority of an-Nu’man meaning bin Thabit Abi Hanifa, on the authority of ‘Asim, ibn Umar, on the authority of Abi Razin on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, he said, “there is no hadd upon the one who comes upon an animal”. Abu ‘Abdir Rahman (Imam Nasai’) said, “This is not authentic, ‘Asim bin Umar is Da’if in hadith”. So an-Nasai’ weakened the narration because of ‘Asim, if he held Abu Hanifa to be the same as he did in ad-Du’afa he would have weakened the narration first with Abi Hanifa then with his Shaykh ‘Asim (Imam Abu Hanifa is the student and so he’s closer to Imam Nasai’), but he sufficed himself with weakening thru ‘Asim only, this emphasizes the fact that he took back his tad’ if of Imam Abi Hanifa, And Allah ta’ala knows best.

In actuality, the hadith is Sahih without any hidden defect, An-Nasai’ is mistaken in thinking that ‘Asim is Ibn Umar, when in reality he is ‘Asim bin Buhdalah ibn Abi an-Nujud al-Muqri’, as has come explicitly in Kitab al-Athar of Imam Muhammed, regarding ‘Asim bin Bahdalah Imam Nasai’ says, “there’s nothing wrong with him,” and others have praised him, even if some of the scholars have spoken about him (with defect), the six imams have narrated his narrations in their work.

Conclusion: The above shows that he did take his initial ruling back, and Ulema have discussed the criticism of those who are extreme in their Jarh, as ‘Allama Lucknawi has pointed out in his Raf’ wa at-takmil. As for the criticism that he has only a few hadith, this is completely false, and without proof. I have linked few books of Imam Abu Hanifa’s students, which are filled with Imam Sahib’s narration. Anyone can glance through and see the fallacy of the statement that ‘he had only a few hadith’ or ‘many of the hadith are full of mistakes’.

1. Kitab al-Athar li Imam Muhammed –
2. Al-Hujjah ‘ala Ahlil Madina li Imam Muhammed
3. Kitab al-Athar li Qadi Abi Yusuf –
4. Commentary on Musnad Imam Abi Hanifa by Mulla ‘Ali Qari –
5. Kitab al-Asl by Imam Muhammed –

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam
More to follow regarding other Ulema.
In need of your dua’.

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Imam Dhahabi considered Imam Abu Hanifa to be Thiqa

Posted by muhammedm on December 23, 2009

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

Imam ad-Dhahabi included Imam Abu Hanifa in his book Tadhkiratul Huffadh; He says in the beginning of the work, “This book includes the names of those who are the carriers of the prophetic knowledge, and those whose Ijtihad is sought in regards to Tawthiq and Tad’if, Tashih and Tazyif.

In his ‘Tahdhib Tahdhib al-Kamal’ Hafidh Dhahabi narrates the Tawthiq of Ibn Ma’in, as was mentioned in the earlier post regarding ‘Allama Mizzi’s opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa. In the end of the portion on Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Dhahabi says, “Our Shaykh Abul Hajjaj (al-Mizzi) has done great for he didn’t mention anything that would result in his Tad’if”. This gives more strength to Hafidh Dhahabi’s position on Imam Abu Hanifa, and doesn’t leave any doubt whatsoever.

Correcting a misunderstanding

In some of the printed works of al-Mizan, a book by Hafidh Dhahabi, the biographical note on Imam Abu Hanifa is inserted by someone else. For he says in his introduction to Mizal al-‘Itidal, “and likewise I won’t mention in my book anyone from the Imams who are followed, for their high rank in Islam and the greatness that people have for them, such as Imam Abu Hanifa, As-Shafi’I, and al-Bukhari”.

‘Allama Nu’mani says, “the one who printed the work excused himself by saying, “when this biographical note wasn’t in one of the copy, and it was in another copy, I placed it in the Hashiya (on the bottom of the page)”. And the supplier of al-Mizan in Egypt placed it in the text without any excuse. The truth is that this biographical note is tainted and fabricated, for he didn’t give any biographical note in al-Mizan, what’s conjectured is that some of those who read the Mizan wrote these words in the bottom of the page, then some of the transcribers placed it in the actual text. ‘Allama Lucknawi in his Gayth al-Ghammam ‘ala Hawashi Imam al-Kalam says, “this paragraph isn’t in some of the relied upon copies from what I have myself seen with my eyes.”

Many scholars, from them ‘Allama Iraqi, Suyuti, Sakhawi, said regarding his method in al-Mizan, “he didn’t mention any of the Sahabas or any of the Imams that are followed”.
‘Allama Muhammed bin Isma’il al-Amir al-Yamani, the author of SubalasSalam, in his work, ‘Tawdih ul Afkar li Ma’ani Tanqih al-Anthar’, “Imam Abu Hanifa wasn’t given a biographical note in al-Mizan, Nawawi wrote a biographical note in at-Tahdhib, and he prolonged his biographical note, and he didn’t mention him being Da’if”.

Sources: Makantul Imam Abi Hanifa fil Hadith and al-Imam Ibn Majah both by ‘Allama Nu’mani.

Conclusion: Hopefully the above clarifies the matter of al-Mizan, to summarize, Hafidh Dhahabi mentioned him in Tadhikiratul Huffadh, Tahdhib Tahdhib al-Kamal, and only in the introduction to Mizan in which he states he won’t mention the Imams, from them he explicitly mentioned Imam Abu Hanifa, all of this leads to one conclusion, he considered Imam Abu Hanifa to be thiqah.

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam
More to follow regarding other Ulema.
In need of your dua’.

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Hafidh Mizzi’s Tawthiq, even after reading ‘Allama Khatib Baghdadi’s work!

Posted by muhammedm on December 22, 2009

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

I recently received an email from a brother regarding this issue of Imam Abu Hanifa being weak in hadith. So I thought I should add a few more words from different authors: Hafidh Mizzi doesn’t need an intro, if someone does want to know about him, it’s enough to say he was the Shaykh of Imam Dhahabi and is considered from amongst the greatest of scholars in the science of hadith narrator criticism.

“Hafidh Abul Hajjaj al-Mizzi says in his intro to Tahdhib al-Kamal: ‘Know that what is in this book from the sayings of the Imam of Jarh wa ta’dil and others like it for a good portion of them are taken from ‘Kitab al-Jarh wa’ ta’dil’ of Abi Muhammed ‘Abdir Rahman bin Abi Hatim ar-Razi al-Hafidh bin ul Hafidh, and from the book ‘Al-Kamil’ of Abi Ahmed ‘Abdillah bin ‘Adi’ al-Jurjani al-Hafidh, and from the book ‘Tarikh Baghdad’ of Abi Bakr Ahmed bin ‘Ali bin Thabit al-Khatib al-Baghdadi al-Hafidh, and from the book ‘Tarikh Dimishq’ of Abi Qasim ‘Ali bin al-Hasan bin Hibatillah known as Ibn ‘Asakir ad-Dimishqi al-Hafidh, and what is written from other than these four works are fewer than what is narrated from those works…

“This work comprises of those who carried knowledge, and narrations, and the Imams of the Din, and people of fatwa, Zuhd, War’, Nusuk, and commonly famous individuals from every group of people of knowledge who are depended on from those various groups and only a few are excluded. So whoever wants more information, then he should look at after reading the four works mentioned above, At-Tabaqat al-Kubra…

In the Muqaddimah Hafidh al-Mizzi writes, “Whatever narration isn’t mentioned with an isnad between us and the narrator, if that is with the grammatical form of decisiveness {such as Qala (he said) or Sami’tu (I heard) as opposed to Qila (it was said) and this is the case with the quotes below}then we don’t have any problem with those in the isnad from whom it is related from, and whatever is in the grammatical form of weakness, then sometimes there is doubt in the isnad going back to the narrator.”

He writes in Tahdhib, “Muhammed bin Sa’d al-‘Awfi said, I heard Yahya bin Ma’in say, “Abu Hanifa was Thiqa, it would only narrate what he had memorized, and wouldn’t narrate anything he didn’t memorize”, Salih bin Muhammed al-Asadi al-Hafidh said, ‘I heard Yahya bin Ma’in say, “Abu Hanifa was thiqah in hadith”, Ahmed bin Muhammed bin al-Qasim bin Muhriz said on the authority of Yahya bin Ma’in, ‘There was nothing wrong (La Ba’s) with Abu Hanifa”, and once he said, “Abu Hanifa according to us is from the people of truth, he hasn’t been accused of lying”.

It’s established from this explicit statement that the Tawthiq of Imam Abu Hanifa is established by Ibn Ma’in, and it is Sahih without a doubt.

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam
More to follow regarding other Ulema.
In need of your dua’.

Source for the above: Makanatu Imam Abi Hanifa fil Hadith li ‘Allama Nu’mani

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