Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Great Imam-al-Azam Abu Hanifa R.A

Greatness of Imam Abu Hanifa(rah)

Nauman Bin Thabit(i.e Abu Hanifa Rahmah Ullah) as famously called Imam of east and the west. Imam Al Azam (the greatest Imam) has been honoured by the Prophet(saw) himself and from the mouths of righteous people

1. Book 031, Number 6177: (Sahih Muslim)

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If the din were at the Pleiades, even then a person from Persia would have taken hold of it, or one amongst the Persian descent would have surely found it.

►Imam as-Suyuti al Shafi'i (rah) remarked:"It has been communicated unanimously that this hadith refers to Imam Abu Hanifah2. Ibn Abu Dawud(the famous Hadith master) said on the authority of Nasr ibn `Ali:: "Among the people concerning Abu Hanifa there are plenty of enviers and ignorant ones.3. Ibn Hajar relates it in his Tahdhib, while Dhahabi relates it through Bishr al-Hafi in Tarikh al-Islam (6:142) and Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 32) with the wording: ma yaqa`u fi abi hanifa illa hasid aw jahil "None whatsoever inveighs against Abu Hanifa except an envier or an ignoramus."4. Abu Wahb Muhammad ibn Muzahim said: I heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: "The most knowledgeable of people in fiqh (afqah al-nas) is Abu Hanifa. I have never seen anyone like him in fiqh." Ibn al-Mubarak 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." [Dhahabi in Manaqib Abu Hanifa (p. 30) relates it as: "I would have been an innovator."]

Imam-al- Azam

Imam Dhahabi (rah) writes that Imam al-Adham Abu Hanifa (rah) saw Anas bin Malik (ra).....) Zarar bin Sard said Yazid bin Haroon asked me who is a bigger Fiqiyah Imam Abu Hanifah or Sufyan al-Thawri? they said Abu Hanifah Fiqhiyah (meaning having knowledge about every thing about religion) and Sufyan al-Thawri is Hafidh ul-Hadith, Ibn Mubarak said that Abu Hanifah (rah) is the Fiqhiya of the world (the one having most knowledge), Imam Shafi'i (rah) said that if you want to learn Fiqh learn from Abu Hanifa (rah), Yazid bin haroon (rah) said i didnt see a more knowledgeable person then Imam Abu Hanifah (rah), Imam Abu Dawud (rah) said Abu Hanifah is Imam al-Adham.
[Imam Dhahabi, Kitab Tadhkira al-Hufadh Volume 001, Page No. 168]

5. 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) (Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib 10:450 )

6. Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Sa`id al-Qadi said: I heard Yahya ibn Ma`in say: I heard Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan [Ahmad ibn Hanbal's greatest shaykh] say: "This is no lie on our part, by Allah! We have not heard better than Abu Hanifa's opinion, and we have followed most of his sayings." [This is also related by Dhahabi in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 32)]

7. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Yusuf that he said: "As I was walking with Abu Hanifa we heard a man saying to another: This is Abu Hanifa, he does not sleep at night. Abu Hanifa said: He does not say something about me which I do not actually do. He would -- after this -- spend the greatest part of the night awake."
8. Hadrat Ali Hajvery (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in his work Al-kashf al-mahjub that Yahya ibn Muaz ar-Razi (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) [who passed away in Nishapur in 258 A.H. (827)] saw Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) in his dream and said, 'Oh Rasul-Allah! Where shall I find you?' whereupon Rasulullah said, 'In Abu Hanifa's madhhab!'9. Shah Wali-Ullah Muhaddith-Dahlawi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in his book Al-'Iqd al-jayyid: 'A person who occupies a religious post but has not reached the degree of employing ijtihad is not permitted to practice according to what he himself understands of a Hadith ash-Sharif, for, he cannot distinguish mansukh, muawwal or muhkam hadiths from one another.' The same is written in Mukhtasar by Ibn Hajib. Again Shah Wali-Allah ad-Dahlawi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in his work Fuyud al-Haramain: 'The Hanafi madhhab is the most valuable madhhab. The one most suited to the Prophet's Sunnat10. Jalal ud din as-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 wilayah (Friendship with Allah)." (al-Suyuti, Tabyid al-Sahifa p. 94-95) 
Imam Abu Hanifa a TabiHafiz adh-Dhahabi and Ibn Kathir write:

"Imam Abu Hanifa was born in 80A.H, living in the time when there were still some Sahaba living.He saw the famous Companion, Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) and six other Companions too.He learnt ahadith from a group of Tabi'un, and spent much of his time in worship.

" 'Abdullah ibn Mubarak said:'He was the greatest of all those who was well versed in Islamic laws.' Imam ash-Shafi'i said:'All those who study Fiqh[Islamic law] are children of Imam Abu Hanifa.' Imam Yahya ibn Mu'in said:'There are no accusations on Imam Abu Hanifa, and he is clean from all lies.'Whoever wants to learn Fiqh, he is dependent upon Imam Abu Hanifa. The people should pray for Imam Abu Hanifa after their prayers.He was the one of the greatest scholars on the earth.When he used to recite the Qur'an at night, he used to cry so much that his neighbours used to pity him. Imam Abu Hanifa read the Qur'an 70, 000 times at the place where he died.He died on the 15 Rajab, 150 A.H. At his funeral there were so many people that the salat of Janazahad to be read six times.May Allah grant him peace and blessings

[adh-Dhahabi, Tadhkira al-Huffaz; Ibn Kathir, Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Imam Abu Hanifa] 
Amongst the Muhaditheen which are famously known today (i.e Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud n others) none of them collected ahadith directly from Sahaba ikram R.A, but Imam Abu Hanifa did Here is proof of that

Ibn `Abd al-Barr mentions in his Jami` Bayan al-`Ilm [Vol. 1, 35], after he mentioned, alongside its sanad, a piece of news which Imam Abu Hanifa heard from Abdullah ibn al-Harith ibn al-Juz’, the Sahabi, "Ibn Sa`d, author of al-Waqidi, mentioned that Abu Hanifa saw Anas ibn Malik and Abdullah ibn al-Harith ibn al-Juz’." Counting on this, Ibn al-Juz’ is considered to have died late, and in priority, that Abu Hanifa saw Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa since he was Kufi with regards to his residence and place of death.Ibn Taymiyya writes:

"There is no doubt regarding Imam Abu Hanifa's knowledge. People later attributed many lies to Imam Abu Hanifa, which were all untrue. The aim of such writings was to taint Imam Abu Hanifa"[Ibn Taymiyya, Minhaj as-Sunna An-Nabawiyya, vol.1, page 259] 
Imam Abu Hanifa the great Sufi

It is an accepted fact in light of both Sunni's and Shi'ites that Imam Abu Hanifa learnt from 2 great Imams (i.e Imam Jafar Sadiq and Imam Baqir)

Imam Abu Hanifa the great Imam Himself learnt deen gradually and with company of righteous people .. his way was that of sufis as he clearly said

"If it were not for two years, I would have perished." He said, "for two years I accompanied Sayyidina Ja'far as-Sadiq and I acquired the spiritual knowledge that made me a gnostic in the Way." [Ad-Durr al-Mukhtar, vol 1. p. 43]

The Authenticity of this is accepted by Sunnis and Shias both. Here is what famous shi'ite scholar used to say

Ibn Mutahhir al-Hilli, a famous Shi’i scholar, wrote in his books Nahjul-Haqq and Al-Minhaj al-Karamah Fi Tariqat al-Imamat that Imam Abu Hanifah learned from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (Radhi Allahu 'Anh) as well as from his son, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (Radhi Allahu 'Anh), attaining high grades in his company.
A Great Conversation of Abu Hanifa R.A
الأوزاعي: مالكم لا ترفعون عند الركوع والرفع منه ، فقال: لأجل أنه لم يصح عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم فيه شيء. أي لم يصح معنى ، إذ هو معارض وإلا فإسناده صحيح. فقال الأوزاعي: كيف لم يصح وقد حدثني الزهري عن سالم عن أبيه ابن عمر أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم كان يرفع يديه إذا افتتح الصلاة وعند الركوع وعند الرفع منه ، فقال أبو حنيفة: حدثنا حماد عن إبراهيم عن علقمة والأسود عن عبد الله بن مسعود أن النبي كان لا يرفع يديه إلا عند الإفتتاح ثم لا يعود ، فقال الأوزاعي: أحدثك عن الزهري عن سالم عن أبيه ، وتقول: حدثني حماد عن إبراهيم ، فقال أبو حنيفة: كان حماد أفقه من الزهري وكان إبراهيم أفقه من سالم وعلقمة ليس بدون ابن عمر أي في الفقه ، وإن كان لابن عمر صحبة فله فضل صحبته ، فالأسود له فضل كثير وعبد الله
عبد الله فرجح بفقه الرواة ، كما رجح الأوزاعي بعلو الإسناد ، وهو أي الترجيح بالفقه المذهب المنصور عندنا
Imam Awzai asked: Why don’t you people do Rafa al Yadain while going into Ruku and rising from it?

Imam Abu Hanifa replied: Because it is not soundly established from Prophet (Peace be upon him) either in its meaning nor in its attribution to him through proper Chain

Imam Awzai: How is it not soundly established? Here I will show you a sahih hadith regarding this practice and he narrated the hadith from Zuhri, from Salim, from his father who said that Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to raise his hands when beginning the prayer, when going in Ruku and raising from it.
Imam Abu Hanifa replied: I heard from Hammaad, who heard from Ibrahim Nakhai’i, who heard from Alqama and Al-Aswad, and they heard from Abdulllah Ibn Masud (ra) saying: The Propht (Peace be upon him) used to raise his hands only in the beginning of prayer and did not repeat it afterwards.

Imam al-Awzai: How does the hadith from Hamad from Ibrahim supercede the hadith which I had shown from Zuhri and Salim?

Imam Abu Hanifa: The reason is that Hammad is bigger Faqih than Zuhri, also Ibrahim al Nahkai’i is greater Faqih than Salim, and Alqama is second after fiqh than Ibn Umar, so is Aswad greater than many, and above all Abdullah Ibn Masud (ra) is far superior than Ibn Umar (ra) because he used to take part i(n Qiraat) in Suhbah of Prophet (Peace be upon him) and unlike Ibn Umar he stayed with Prophet (Peace be upon him) [since childhood].

Hearing this Imam Al-Awzai turned towards (Imam al Adham) and accepted that these people are (indeed) superior in Fiqh (than the ones which he had mentioned himself) [Mullah Ali Qari in Mirqaat Sharh al Misqaat, Volume No. 2, Page No. 439, Published by Dar ul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon] 
11. Imam Bukhari in his Sahih Bukhari, took riwayat from many different people, among them 32 of whom are students of Imam e Azam Abu hanifa. 12. There are 22 "Sulasiyat" [Three chain of Narrators, reaching Nabi Kareem Sallahu Alihe Wasalam] in Sahih Bukhari. Out of them 20 are students of Imam e Azam Abu Hanifa R.A and are Hanafi.13. Abu hanifa R.A has 12 riwayat, only from One person [in the chain], which no other Imam has till now, and more than 600 riwayat from only Two people[ in the chain], i guess this also no one has

14. Imam Shafi asked Imam Malik about Imam e Azam R.A: He said "Subhana'Allah, my eyes haven't seen better person like him" [Al Qairatul lisan by ibn hajr al Makkhi

15. Imam Shafi said: "If someone intends to learn fiq, then it is compulosory for him to sit in the Majlis[session] of Imam Abu Hanifa [Jalaluddin Sayuti in Tabzizul Sahifa] 
The great Imam of Hadith

Some people falsely attribute to Imam Abu Hanifa (rah) that he was not a Muhadith, here are proofs from books written on Jarh wa Tadil which Prove Imam Abu Hanifa to be "THIQA" in hadith which proves him to be a Muhadith.

Sheikh ul Islam Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) said:

رأى أنساً
قال صالح بن محمد الأسدي عن ابن معين: كان أبو حنيفة ثقة في الحديث
وقال أبو وهب، ومحمَّد بن مزاحم: سمعت ابن المبارك يقول: أفقه الناس أبو حنيفة، ما رأيت في الفقه مثله
Translation: He saw the (Sahabi) Anas (ra).. Salih bin Muhammad al-Asadi narrates from (Yahya) bin Ma’een who said: Abu Hanifa is “THIQA IN HADITH” Abu Wahb and Muhammad bin Mazaham said that they heard Imam Ibn al-Mubarak say: Abu Hanifa is a greater faqih than all people and I have not seen anyone of his match in Fiqh [al-Asqalani in Tahdhib ut Tahdhib, Volume No.1, Page No. 73]

Imam al Ajli (rah) mentioned him in his “THIQAAT” [Thiqat al Ajli: Volume No. 5, Page No. 94] 
Imam Dhahabi (rah) allocates the title in his book Tadhkiratul Hufaadh as: Abu Hanifa "AL-IMAM AL-ADHAM" i.e. the greatest Imam. Then he said: Abu Hanifa saw Anas bin Malik (i.e. Abu Hanifa was a Tabi'i)..... Zarar bin Sard said Yazid bin Haroon asked me who is greater Faiqh amongst the two i.e. Imam Abu Hanifah or Sufyan al-Thawri? He replied: Abu Hanifah is greater (i.e. having knowledge about all details of religion) and Sufyan al-Thawri is Hafidh ul-Hadith, Ibn Mubarak said that Abu Hanifah (rah) is greater in Fiqh than all people. Imam Shafi'i (rah) said: We are all like children of Abu Hanifa in Fiqh. Yazid bin haroon (rah) said i didnt see a more knowledgeable person then Imam Abu Hanifah (rah), Imam Abu Dawud (rah) said Abu Hanifah is our Imam

[Imam Dhahabi, Kitab Tadhkira al-Hufadh Volume 001, Page No. 168-169] 


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