Abu Hanifa

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Abu Hanifa_table_infobox_0

Abū Ḥanīfah

أبو حنيفة نعمان بن ثابت بن زوطا بن مرزبان ابوحنیفهAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_0_0

TitleAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_1_0 The Great ImamAbu Hanifa_cell_0_1_1
PersonalAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_2_0
BornAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_3_0 699 (80 Hijri)

Kufa, Umayyad CaliphateAbu Hanifa_cell_0_3_1

DiedAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_4_0 767 (150 Hijri)

Baghdad, Abbasid CaliphateAbu Hanifa_cell_0_4_1

ReligionAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_5_0 IslamAbu Hanifa_cell_0_5_1
EthnicityAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_6_0 PersianAbu Hanifa_cell_0_6_1
EraAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_7_0 Islamic golden ageAbu Hanifa_cell_0_7_1
RegionAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_8_0 KufaAbu Hanifa_cell_0_8_1
Main interest(s)Abu Hanifa_header_cell_0_9_0 JurisprudenceAbu Hanifa_cell_0_9_1
Notable idea(s)Abu Hanifa_header_cell_0_10_0 IstihsanAbu Hanifa_cell_0_10_1
Notable work(s)Abu Hanifa_header_cell_0_11_0 Al-Fiqh al-AkbarAbu Hanifa_cell_0_11_1
Muslim leaderAbu Hanifa_header_cell_0_12_0

Abū Ḥanīfa al-Nuʿmān b. Thābit b. Zūṭā b. Marzubān (Arabic: أبو حنيفة نعمان بن ثابت بن زوطا بن مرزبان‎; c. 699 – 767 CE), known as Abū Ḥanīfa for short, or reverently as Imam Abū Ḥanīfa by Sunni Muslims, was an 8th-century Sunni Muslim theologian and jurist of Persian origin, who became the eponymous founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni jurisprudence, which has remained the most widely practiced law school in the Sunni tradition, predominates in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Persia (until the 16th century), Balkans, Russia, Chechnya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Muslims in India, Turkey, and some parts of the Arab world. Abu Hanifa_sentence_0

Some followers call him al-Imām al-Aʿẓam ("The Greatest Imam") and Sirāj al-aʾimma ("The Lamp of the Imams") in Sunni Islam. Abu Hanifa_sentence_1

Born to a Muslim family in Kufa, Abu Hanifa is known to have travelled to the Hejaz region of Arabia in his youth, where he studied in Mecca and Medina. Abu Hanifa_sentence_2

As his career as a theologian and jurist progressed, Abu Hanifa became known for favoring the use of reason in his legal rulings (faqīh dhū raʾy) and even in his theology. Abu Hanifa_sentence_3

Abu Hanifa's theological school is claimed to be what would later develop into the Maturidi school of Sunni theology. Abu Hanifa_sentence_4

Life Abu Hanifa_section_0

Childhood Abu Hanifa_section_1

Abū Ḥanīfah was born in the city of Kufa in Iraq, during the reign of the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Abu Hanifa_sentence_5

His grandfather Zuta is said to have been brought as a slave from Kabul and transported to Kufa, where Abu Hanifa was born. Abu Hanifa_sentence_6

He studied at Kufa and gradually gained influence as an authority on legal questions, founding a moderate rationalist school of Islamic jurisprudence that was named after him. Abu Hanifa_sentence_7

It's being said that his family emigrated from Charikar north of Kabul to Baghdad in the eighth century. Abu Hanifa_sentence_8

His ancestry is generally accepted as being of Persian origin as suggested by the etymology of the names of his grandfather (Zuta) and great-grandfather (Mah). Abu Hanifa_sentence_9

The historian Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi records a statement from Imām Abū Ḥanīfah's grandson, Ismail bin Hammad, who gave Abū Ḥanīfah's lineage as Thabit bin Numan bin Marzban and claiming to be of Persian origin. Abu Hanifa_sentence_10

The discrepancy in the names, as given by Ismail of Abū Ḥanīfah's grandfather and great-grandfather, are thought to be due to Zuta's adoption of the Arabic name (Numan) upon his acceptance of Islam and that Mah and Marzban were titles or official designations in Persia, with the latter, meaning a margrave, referring to the noble ancestry of Abū Ḥanīfah's family as the Sasanian Marzbans (equivalent of margraves). Abu Hanifa_sentence_11

The widely accepted opinion, however, is that most probably he was of Persian ancestry . Abu Hanifa_sentence_12

Adulthood and death Abu Hanifa_section_2

In 763, al-Mansur, the Abbasid monarch offered Abu Hanifa the post of Chief Judge of the State, but he declined the offer, choosing to remain independent. Abu Hanifa_sentence_13

His student Abu Yusuf was later appointed Qadi Al-Qudat (Chief Judge of the State) by the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. Abu Hanifa_sentence_14

In his reply to al-Mansur, Abū Ḥanīfah said that he was not fit for the post. Abu Hanifa_sentence_15

Al-Mansur, who had his own ideas and reasons for offering the post, lost his temper and accused Abū Ḥanīfah of lying. Abu Hanifa_sentence_16

"If I am lying," Abū Ḥanīfah said, "then my statement is doubly correct. Abu Hanifa_sentence_17

How can you appoint a liar to the exalted post of a Chief Qadi (Judge)?" Abu Hanifa_sentence_18

Incensed by this reply, the ruler had Abū Ḥanīfah arrested, locked in prison and tortured. Abu Hanifa_sentence_19

He was never fed nor cared for. Abu Hanifa_sentence_20

Even there, the jurist continued to teach those who were permitted to come to him. Abu Hanifa_sentence_21

On 15 Rajab 150 (August 15, 767), Abū Ḥanīfah died in prison. Abu Hanifa_sentence_22

The cause of his death is not clear, as some say that Abū Ḥanīfah issued a legal opinion for bearing arms against Al-Mansur, and the latter had him poisoned. Abu Hanifa_sentence_23

The fellow prisoner and Jewish Karaite founder, Anan Ben David, is said to have received life-saving counsel from the subject. Abu Hanifa_sentence_24

It was said that so many people attended his funeral that the funeral service was repeated six times for more than 50,000 people who had amassed before he was actually buried. Abu Hanifa_sentence_25

On the authority of the historian al-Khatib, it can be said that for full twenty days people went on performing funeral prayer for him. Abu Hanifa_sentence_26

Later, after many years, the Abū Ḥanīfah Mosque was built in the Adhamiyah neighbourhood of Baghdad. Abu Hanifa_sentence_27

Abū Ḥanīfah also supported the cause of Zayd ibn Ali and Ibrahim al Qamar both Alid Zaidi Imams. Abu Hanifa_sentence_28

The tomb of Abū Ḥanīfah and the tomb of Abdul Qadir Gilani were destroyed by Shah Ismail of Safavi empire in 1508. Abu Hanifa_sentence_29

In 1533, Ottomans conquered Baghdad and rebuilt the tomb of Abū Ḥanīfah and other Sunni sites. Abu Hanifa_sentence_30

Students Abu Hanifa_section_3

Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Mizzi listed 97 hadith scholars who were his students. Abu Hanifa_sentence_31

Most of them were famous hadith scholars and their narrated hadiths were compiled in the Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and other famous books of hadith. Abu Hanifa_sentence_32

Imām Badr al-Din al-Ayni included another 260 students who studied Hadith and Fiqh from Abu Hanifa. Abu Hanifa_sentence_33

His most famous student was Imām Abu Yusuf, who served as the first chief justice in the Muslim world. Abu Hanifa_sentence_34

Another famous student was Imām Muhammad al-Shaybani, who was the teacher of the Shafi‘i school of jurisprudence founder, Imām Al-Shafi‘i. Abu Hanifa_sentence_35

His other students include: Abu Hanifa_sentence_36

Abu Hanifa_ordered_list_0

  1. Abdullah ibn MubarakAbu Hanifa_item_0_0
  2. Abu Nuāim Fadl Ibn DukainAbu Hanifa_item_0_1
  3. Malik bin MighwalAbu Hanifa_item_0_2
  4. Dawood Taa’eeAbu Hanifa_item_0_3
  5. Mandil bin AliAbu Hanifa_item_0_4
  6. Qaasim bin Ma’nAbu Hanifa_item_0_5
  7. Hayyaaj bin BistaamAbu Hanifa_item_0_6
  8. Hushaym bin Basheer SulamiAbu Hanifa_item_0_7
  9. Fudhayl bin IyaadhAbu Hanifa_item_0_8
  10. Ali bin TibyaanAbu Hanifa_item_0_9
  11. Wakee bin JarrahAbu Hanifa_item_0_10
  12. Amr bin MaymoonAbu Hanifa_item_0_11
  13. Abu IsmahAbu Hanifa_item_0_12
  14. Zuhayr bin Mu’aawiyahAbu Hanifa_item_0_13
  15. Aafiyah bin YazeedAbu Hanifa_item_0_14

Sources and methodology Abu Hanifa_section_4

The sources from which Abu Hanifa derived Islamic law, in order of importance and preference, are: the Qur'an, the authentic narrations of the Muslim prophet Muhammad (known as hadith), consensus of the Muslim community (ijma), analogical reasoning (qiyas), juristic discretion (istihsan) and the customs of the local population enacting said law (urf). Abu Hanifa_sentence_37

The development of analogical reason and the scope and boundaries by which it may be used is recognized by the majority of Muslim jurists, but its establishment as a legal tool is the result of the Hanafi school. Abu Hanifa_sentence_38

While it was likely used by some of his teachers, Abu Hanifa is regarded by modern scholarship as the first to formally adopt and institute analogical reason as a part of Islamic law. Abu Hanifa_sentence_39

As the fourth Caliph, Ali had transferred the Islamic capital to Kufa, and many of the first generation of Muslims had settled there, the Hanafi school of law based many of its rulings on the prophetic tradition as transmitted by those first generation Muslims residing in Iraq. Abu Hanifa_sentence_40

Thus, the Hanafi school came to be known as the Kufan or Iraqi school in earlier times. Abu Hanifa_sentence_41

Ali and Abdullah, son of Masud formed much of the base of the school, as well as other personalities from the direct relatives (or Ahli-ll-Bayṫ) of Moḥammad from whom Abu Hanifa had studied such as Muhammad al-Baqir. Abu Hanifa_sentence_42

Many jurists and historians had reportedly lived in Kufa, including one of Abu Hanifa's main teachers, Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman. Abu Hanifa_sentence_43

Generational status Abu Hanifa_section_5

Abū Ḥanīfah is regarded by some as one of the Tabi‘un, the generation after the Sahaba, who were the companions of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Abu Hanifa_sentence_44

This is based on reports that he met at least four Sahaba including Anas ibn Malik, with some even reporting that he transmitted Hadith from him and other companions of Muhammad. Abu Hanifa_sentence_45

Others take the view that Abū Ḥanīfah only saw around half a dozen companions, possibly at a young age, and did not directly narrate hadith from them. Abu Hanifa_sentence_46

Abū Ḥanīfah was born 67 years after the death of Muhammad, but during the time of the first generation of Muslims, some of whom lived on until Abū Ḥanīfah's youth. Abu Hanifa_sentence_47

Anas bin Malik, Muhammad's personal attendant, died in 93 AH and another companion, Abul Tufail Amir bin Wathilah, died in 100 AH, when Abū Ḥanīfah was 20 years old. Abu Hanifa_sentence_48

The author of al-Khairat al-Hisan collected information from books of biographies and cited the names of Muslims of the first generation from whom it is reported that the Abu Hanifa had transmitted hadith. Abu Hanifa_sentence_49

He counted them as sixteen, including Anas ibn Malik, Jabir ibn Abd-Allah and Sahl ibn Sa'd. Abu Hanifa_sentence_50

Reception Abu Hanifa_section_6

He attained a very high status in the various fields of sacred knowledge and significantly influenced the development of Muslim theology. Abu Hanifa_sentence_51

During his lifetime he was acknowledged by the people as a jurist of the highest calibre. Abu Hanifa_sentence_52

Outside of his scholarly achievements Abu Hanifa is popularly known amongst Sunni Muslims as a man of the highest personal qualities: a performer of good works, remarkable for his self-denial, humble spirit, devotion and pious awe of God. Abu Hanifa_sentence_53

His tomb, surmounted by a dome erected by admirers in 1066 is still a shrine for pilgrims. Abu Hanifa_sentence_54

It was given a restoration in 1535 by Suleiman the Magnificent upon the Ottoman conquest of Baghdad. Abu Hanifa_sentence_55

The honorific title al-Imam al-A'zam ("the greatest leader") was granted to him both in communities where his legal theory is followed and elsewhere. Abu Hanifa_sentence_56

According to John Esposito, 41% of all Muslims follow the Hanafi school. Abu Hanifa_sentence_57

Abu Hanifa also had critics. Abu Hanifa_sentence_58

The Zahiri scholar Ibn Hazm quotes Sufyan ibn `Uyaynah: "[T]he affairs of men were in harmony until they were changed by Abù Hanìfa in Kùfa, al-Batti in Basra and Màlik in Medina". Abu Hanifa_sentence_59

Early Muslim jurist Hammad ibn Salamah once related a story about a highway robber who posed as an old man to hide his identity; he then remarked that were the robber still alive he would be a follower of Abu Hanifa. Abu Hanifa_sentence_60

Connection with the family of Muhammad and Shi'ism Abu Hanifa_section_7

See also: Ahl al-Bayt and Banu Hashim Abu Hanifa_sentence_61

As with Malik ibn Anas (who was a teacher of Imam Ash-Shafi‘i, who in turn was a teacher of Sunni Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal), Imam Abu Hanifah was a student of the Shi'ite Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, who was a descendant of the Islamic Nabi (Prophet) Muhammad. Abu Hanifa_sentence_62

Thus all of the four great Imams of Sunni Fiqh are connected to Ja'far from the Bayt (Household) of Muhammad, whether directly or indirectly. Abu Hanifa_sentence_63

In one hadith, Abu Hanifah once said about Imam Ja'far: "I have not seen anyone with more knowledge than Ja'far ibn Muhammad." Abu Hanifa_sentence_64

However, in another hadith, Abu Hanifah said: "I met with Zayd (Ja'far's uncle) and I never saw in his generation a person more knowledgeable, as quick a thinker, or more eloquent than he was." Abu Hanifa_sentence_65

Opposition to deviations in belief Abu Hanifa_section_8

Imam Abu Hanifa is quoted as saying that Jahm ibn Safwan (d. 128/745) went so far in his denial of anthropomorphism (Tashbih) as to declare that 'God is nothing (Allah laysa bi shay')'. Abu Hanifa_sentence_66

And Muqatil ibn Sulayman's extremism (d. 150/767), on the other side, likened God with His creatures. Abu Hanifa_sentence_67

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrated in his Tarikh Baghdad (History of Baghdad) that Imam Abu Hanifa said: Abu Hanifa_sentence_68


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu Hanifa.