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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’.


One Response to “Imam Nasai’ took back his Tad’ if of Imam Abu Hanifa.”

  1. Hasan said

    Assalamu Alaikum

    Other articles like this would be highly beneficial, especially clarifications on other muhaddithin who weakened Abu Hanifa, such as Daraqutni, Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Hibban, Uqayli, Ibn Adi, etc. Jazakullah for your work in showing that Nasa’i in reality rescinded his opinion.

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