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Status of Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) (part2)

Status of Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) (part2)There is really no need of addressing the topic of Imam Abu Hanifah’s knowledge of Hadith because there is a unanimous opinion (Ijima’) of the scholars that he was a Mujtahid [(a legist formulating independent decisions in legal or theological matters based on the interpretation and application of the four Usool (Quran, Hadith, Ijma’, i.e. scholarly consensus, and Qiyaas (i.e. analogical reasoning) as opposed to a Muqallid)].

There is really no need of addressing the topic of Imam Abu Hanifah’s knowledge of Hadith because there is a unanimous opinion (Ijima’) of the scholars that he was a Mujtahid [(a legist formulating independent decisions in legal or theological matters based on the interpretation and application of the four Usool (Quran, Hadith, Ijma’, i.e. scholarly consensus, and Qiyaas (i.e. analogical reasoning) as opposed to a Muqallid)]. Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahimahullah) was not only a Mujtahid, but he was a Mujtahid of the highest rank. An individual will not become a Mujtahid unless he is an expert in the science of Quran, Hadith, Al – Aathaar (Traditions of the Companions), the Arabic Language, Qiyaas (Analogical Reasoning), and Islamic history. These requisites of becoming a Mujtahid are accepted requisites of all of the ‘Ulama. (See Muqaddimah of Aujaz al – Masaalik: Sharh of Al – Muwatta for Imam Malik, page 58, by Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Zakariyyah (died 1402)


So as we can see, there is really no need of addressing the issue of Al – Imam’s [Al-Imam in this article refers to Imam Abu Hanifah (May the mercy of Allah be upon him)].  rank in the sciences of Hadith. However, due to ignorance and lack of thorough research in this topic, some people have spoken against Al – Imam (Rahimahullah). Therefore, first we will bring forth quotes from the elite Muhadditheen (Hadith experts) in regard to Al – Imam’s rank in the sciences of Hadith.

Abdullah Ibnul Mubarak (Rahimahullah) who is a famous scholar of Hadith and Imam of the past said that, “If Allah did not help me with Abu Hanifah and Sufyan, I would have been like the rest of the people.” (See Tabyeed-us-Sahifah fi Manaqib il-Imam Abi Hanifah An-Nu’maan, p. 113, by Shaikh ul Mashaaikh Jalaalud-din As-Suyuti;see also Tareekh Baghdad 337/13.)
 In other words, he is thanking Allah for placing him in the position so that he was able to learn from Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahimahullah) and Imam Sufyan Thawri (Rahimahullah), thus elevating him from the likes of the masses and making him one of the great scholars of the past.

In another place, Abdullah Ibnul Mubarak  (Rahimahullah) also said “Wallaahi (by Allah), Al – Imam (Rahimahullah) was severe in his pursuit of knowledge, staying away from forbidden things following the ‘Ulama of his place, took only what is authentic from the messenger of Allah Ta’ala (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and he had a very strong recognition (Shaheed ul Ma’rifah) in regards to Nasikh (abrogating) and Mansookh (abrogated) of Hadith (the knowledge of those abrogated Hadith), and sought out the narrations of reliable narrators only and the last practice of the messenger of Allah Ta’ala (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam). The practice of the ‘Ulama of Koofah in following the truth, he took it and he made it his Deen. Some people have said harsh words against him. We will stay silent in regards to those people. And we will seek forgiveness from Allah from it.” From this quote of Abdullah Ibnul Mubarak (Rahmahullah), we can understand that not only was Al – Imam (Rahimahullah) knowledgeable in Hadith, but he was even knowledgeable in a special department of Hadith the Nasikh and Mansookh.

Darul Ihsan Centre

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