The issue that we (the students of Deen) wish to enquire about is that Imaam A’zam Abul Hanifa (RA) is one of the four Imaams and it has reached us through tawaatur for which there is no doubt about. (The entire Ummah has accepted him as an Imaam)
We have also studied Dars-e-Tirmizi of Mufti Taqi Uthmaani (1st Volume), the entire section of objections against him, including what Imam Nasai and Imaam Daraqutni have mentioned and the response which Mufti Taqi has given regarding it, is satisfactory.
We have come across this Kitaab of Jarh Wat-Ta’deel and what has been mentioned regarding Imaam Abu Hanifa (RA) is disturbing, so could Mufti saheb please answer the following questions:-
1. What is the position of this Kitaab amongst the Muhadditheen?
2. Can an author from the 3rd century Hijri who is a contemporary of great Imaams of Jarh Wat-Ta’deel be accepted? (as is the author of this Kitaab)
3. How would we answer regarding what we read about Imaam Abu Hanifa (RA) in this Kitaab? (forwarding the copies to you).
4. Could you please advise us regarding further reading on the subject of Jarh Wat-Ta’deel. (We are currently in the sixth year)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Although generally the book ‘Al Jarh wat ta’deel’ is authentic and regarded as a basis for the science of Hadith criticism, it is not sufficient for every report to be accepted merely because it appears in this book. Every report will have to be scrutinized separately. This is similar to how Sunan Abi Dawood or Sunan at Tirmidhi are books which are generally accepted, however every narration in these books would not be accepted merely because of appearing in them. Rather they would have to be looked at separately. Likewise, every report of ‘Al Jarh wat ta’deel’ will have to be viewed at separately.
When we look at the reports quoted about Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him), we find that every report has some defect in it which would cause it to be dismissed.
At the outset, it is essential to understand a few basic principles in the science of Al Jarh wat ta’deel. One of the primary conditions for the Jarh or tadeel to be accepted is the scholar should not have any ta’assub against the one whom he is criticizing. Allamah Abdul Ali Laknawi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) mentions in Fawatih ar Rahmoot (2/154),
“It is essential for the Muzakki to be just and knowledgeable of the causes of Jarh and ta’deel. He should be fair, sincere, and he should not be a fanatic or self-conceited.”
Moulana Abdul Hay Laknawi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has said,
“That Jarh which emanates because of prejudice, enmity, rancor etc would be rejected.” (Ar Rafu wat takmeel, pg.409)
Shaykh Abdul Fattah (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) mentions in the marginalia,
“(Similarly is the case) with criticism which emanates because of jealousy or difference in Aqeedah” (Ibid)
Likewise, the vilification of a contemporary will not be accepted. Moulana Abdul Hay (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) mentions,
“Therefore, (Muhaddithoon) mention that the criticism of one contemporary will not be accepted against another contemporary if it has no proof…” (Ibid, 415)
Allamah Dhahabi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has said,
“All praise is due to Allah, majority of the criticisms of contemporaries are not accepted.”(Mizan al I’tidaal, 3/607)
He also said,
“The criticisms of contemporaries against one another are not accepted, especially when it comes to light that the criticism is because of enmity, different methodologies or jealousy…”Ibid, 1/111)
He also mentions in Tadhkirah al Huffadh (2/172), “No consideration is given to the criticisms of contemporaries against one another.”
Another law in the science of Jarh wat ta’deel is that no consideration will be given to that criticism which is against such person whose integrity has been firmly established. Allamah Ibn Hajar (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates in Tahdeeb at tahdheeb (7/273) that Imam Ahmad (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has said,
“Every person whose ‘adalah’ has been established, the criticism of no person will be accepted against that person until it is established with such solid evidence then only the criticism can be accepted.”
Having said the above, we now proceed to scrutinize the various reports which has been narrated…
· The first allegation which Ibn Abi Hatim has quoted is that Ibn al-Mubarak, in his later period, stopped narrating from Abu Hanifa. Ibn Abi Hatim says, “I heard my father say that.”
-There is inqitaa’ (interruption) in the chain of transmission of this report. The father of Ibn Abi Hatim [b. 195] was not even born when Abdullah bin Mubarak [d. 181!] passed away. Therefore, there is a missing link/links in the chain between the father of Ibn Abi Hatim and Abdullah bin Mubarak (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on them). (Makanah al-Imam Abi Hanifa lil Harithi, 230) How then can such a report constitute reliable evidence, when the chain of transmission of such a report is cut off and misses one, two, or more narrators?
Furthermore, this contradicts the established position that Ibn al-Mubarak (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) never stopped taking hadith from Imam Abu Hanifah (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) whether in his early or his later period. Ali bin Madini (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) said:
“From Abu Hanifa narrated: al-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubarak…” (Al-Khayrat al-hisan, p. 74, Muqaddimah ta’leeq al mumajjad, 1/122 and Al-Qurashi in al-Jawahir al-mudiyya, 1/29).
This is also stated by Imam Mizzi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in his notice on Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in Tahdhib al-kamal and Imam Dhahabi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 20) and is confirmed by the following reports,
-Abu Wahb Muhammad ibn Muzahim (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) 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 through Abu Hanifa and Sufyan I would have been like the rest of the common people.” (Tahdheeb at tahdheeb, 10/450)
-In another narration, Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) said: “If Allah had not benefitted me through Abu Hanifa and Sufyan al-Thawri, I would have been an innovator.” (Manaqib al imam Abi Hanifa lil Kawthari, 19).
– In another place, Ibn al-Mubarak (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) praised Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) and called him a sign of Allah. (Ibid, Manaqib al Imam Abi Hanifa lidh Dhahabi, 30).
– He also said, “If there is any person whose opinion is worthy of being followed, it is that of Imam Abu Hanifa.” (ibid 31)
– Abdaan says that he heard Ibn Mubarak (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) saying, “When I hear people speaking ill of Imam Abu Hanifa, I become displeased and I fear the displeasure of Allah on them.” (ibid 36)
– Both Ibn al-Mubarak and Sufyan al-Thawri (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on both of them) said, “Abu Hanifa was the most knowledgeable of all people on the surface of this earth.” Ibn Hajar (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) related it in his notice on Imam Abu Hanifa in Tahdhib al-tahdhib and Ibn Kathir (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrated it in al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya (10:107).
– Hibban ibn Musa said: Ibn al-Mubarak (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) was asked, “Who is more knowledgeable in fiqh, Malik or Abu Hanifa?” He replied: “Abu Hanifa!” (Tarikh al-islam, 6/142 and Manaqib Abi Hanifa, p. 32).
– He also said, “Imam Abu Hanifa was the most knowledgeable in fiqh, I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable than him.” (Tarikh Baghdad, 13/343 and Al Khayraat al hisaan, p.75)
– It is further narrated from him, “If we do not find a hadith from Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم then the verdict of Imam Abu Hanifa is like a hadith for us.” (Uqood al jaman, 189)
And there are numerous other reports where Imam Abdullah bin Mubarak praised Imam Abu Hanifa. The following couplets are narrated from Ibn al Mubarak with an authentic chain in Tahdheeb al kamal:
تهذيب الكمال – (29 / 441)
رأيت أبا حنيفة كل يوم يزيد نبالة ويزيد خيرا وينطق بالصواب ويصطفيه
I’ve seen Imam Abu Hanifa on a daily basis he increases in nobility and in goodness he speaks the truth and that alone he chooses
إذا ما قال أهل الجور جورا يقايس من يقايسه بلب فمن ذا تجعلون له نظيرا
When the tyrants speak with oppression he engages them with academic proofs using acumen who will you put for him as a comparison
كفانا فقد حماد وكانت مصيبتنا به أمرا كبيرا فرد شماتة الأعداء عنا
The loss of Hammaad was a sufficient great calamity for us However, he has averted the taunting of the enemies from us
وأبدى بعده علما كثيرا رأيت أبا حنيفة حين يؤتى ويطلب علمه بحرا غزيرا
After him, he manifested a great deal of knowledge I’ve seen Abu Hanifa when he was brought and his knowledge was sought, he had a deep ocean of knowledge
إذا ما المشكلات تدافعتها رجال العلم كان بها بصيرا
When such intricacies come up which scholars cannot give solutions to
Imam Abu Hanifa has much insight in it
· The second report quoted by Ibn Abi Hatim is a narration where Sufyaan Thawri has criticized Imam Abu Hanifa.
There are numerous narrations which affirm that Sufyan (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) had great regard for Imam Abu Hanifa. He has mentioned in explicit terms,
“We were with Abu Hanifa like small birds in front of the falcon.” (Ar rafu’ wat takmeel (p. 395), Tabyid al-sahifa (p. 32) and Allamah Thanwi in his book Inja’ al-watan (1:19-22).
When someone returned from the gathering of Imam Abu Hanifa, Sufyaan (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) said to him,
“You have returned from the most knowledgeable person.” (Al Khayraat al hisaan, 72).
Imam Abu Yusuf (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has said,
“Sufyaan Thawri follows Imam Abu Hanifa more than me.” (Uqud al jaman, 191)
It was because of this great regard that Sufyan Thawri (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) had for Imam Abu Hanifa that he always took hadith from Imam Abu Hanifa. Ali ibn al-Madini (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) said:
“From Abu Hanifa narrated: al-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubarak…” (Al-Khayrat al-hisan (p. 74) and Al-Jawahir al-mudiyya (1:29).
The aforementioned are some of the reasons why any criticism attributed to Sufyan al-Thawri (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) regarding Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) is rejected. Allamah al-Subki (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) said, as narrated in Qawa`id fi `ulum al-hadith (p. 195) as well as his Qa`ida fi al-jarh wa al-ta`dil (p. 53-55),
“No regard whatsoever is given to Ath-Thawri’s criticism of Abu Hanifa or that of other than al-Thawri against him.”
The same statement is also found in Allamah Haytami’s al-Khayrat al-hisan (p. 74) and is echoed by Moulana `Abd al-Hayy al-Lacknawi in his al-Raf` wa al-takmil (p. 425),
“Beware, beware of paying any attention to what supposedly took place (of enmity) between Abu Hanifa and Sufyan al-Thawri!”
This is also enunciated in Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda’s marginalia on Allamah Subki’s and Allamah Lacknawi’s works.
Nevertheless, even if we do assume Imam Sufyan al-Thawry’s accusations on Imam Abu Hanifa are true, then too, it would be rejected, since the criticisms of a contemporary are not valid. (Ar rafu’ wat takmeel (p. 395)
Furthermore, the reliability of Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) is proven and accepted by the vast majority of scholars. To challenge this with a report as feeble as the above would be absurd and irrational.
· Next Ibn Abi Hatim quotes a narration where Imam Waki criticized Imam Abu Hanifah.
Waki (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) used to ardently follow Imam Abu Hanifa in his Fiqhi rulings; Allamah Dhahabi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) relates in his Tadhkirat al-huffaz (1/306) under the biography of Waki` that Imam Yahya ibn Ma`in (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has said,
“I have not seen anyone better than Waki`, he spends his night in prayer, fasts without interruption, and issues fatwa according to the verdict of Abu Hanifa, and Yahya al-Qattan also used to give fatwa according to what Abu Hanifa said.” (Also narrated in Al-Intiqa, 1/136)
Hafiz Al-Qurashi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in his Al-Jawahir al-mudiyya fi manaqib al-hanafiyya (2/208-209) said,
“Waki` took the Science from Abu Hanifa and received a great deal from him.”
Besides fiqh, Waki (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) also took many narrations from Imam Abu Hanifah (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him). It is mentioned in Tahdhib at tahdhib, “From him narrated: ….Waki` (ibn al-Jarrah al-Kufi)…”
Likewise, Allamah Al-Haytami (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in al-Khayrat al-hisan (p. 74) and Allamah Al-Qurashi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in al-Jawahir al-mudiyya (1/29) narrated that Ali ibn al-Madini (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) said:
“From Abu Hanifa narrated: ….al Waki.”
In fact, once when someone spoke ill of Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in the presence of Waki (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) , the latter scolded him and said,
“Whoever says this (speaks ill of Imam Saheb), he is like an animal and even worst…” (Al Khayrat al hisaan, p. 72)
Waki (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) also said,
“I have not met anyone more knowledgeable than Imam Abu Hanifa, nor anyone who prayed better salah than him.”(Tareekh Baghdad, 13/345)
Again, even if we have to assume that the criticisms of Waki (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) are true, then too, they would have to be dismissed since Waki (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) was a contemporary of Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him).
Hence, to challenge the integrity of Imam Abu Hanifa with such a flimsy report would be against logic.
· The next report which Ibn Abi Hatim quotes is where Yahya bin Saeed mentioned that he did not go close to Imam Abu Hanifa and he did not ask him anything in spite of being his neighbor.
This again goes against the established narration from Yahya bin Saeed (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him). There are numerous reports which show that he did not only hold Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in great esteem, but he also followed Imam Abu Hanifa in all his fiqhi rulings. Allamah Dhahabi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) relates in his Tadhkirat al-huffaz (1:306) under the biography of Waki` that Imam Yahya ibn Ma`in (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has said,
“…and Yahya al-Qattan also used to give fatwa according to what Abu Hanifa said.”
Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Sa`id Al-Qadi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) said,
I heard Yahya ibn Ma`in (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) say,
I heard Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan (Imam Ahmad bin 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.” (Tahdheeb at tahdheeb, 10/450, Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 32).
Nevertheless, even if we accept this narration of Yahya bin Saeed (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him), it would still have to be dismissed since it is an accepted fact in that the criticism of a contemporary is not accepted. (Makanah al-Imam Abi Hanifa lil Harithi, 230)
Thus, the above narration does not hold any weight in comparison to those narrations which proves the integrity of Imam Abu Hanifa and is established through tawatur.
· Ibrahim ibn Ya`qub al-Jawzajani (d. 259) wrote on the authority of Abd al-Rahman al-Muqri’ (d. 185) that the latter said, Abu Hanifa would talk to us, after which he would say, “All that you have heard is wind and null and void” (hadha al-ladhi sami`tum kulluhu rih wa batil).
This is one of those reports which is defective, both because of its sanad (chain of transmission) as well as for its matn (text).
As for the matn, it is absurd and highly farfetched to think that such a great scholar like Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) will waste his time by narrating hadith and then he himself will say that everything is null and void.
As for the sanad, many great scholars, the likes of Ibn Hibbaan and Allamah Dhahabi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on them both) have graded Ibrahim bin Yaqoob al-Jawzjani as being weak. (Al Wafi bil wafayaat (5/130), Mizan al I’tidaal (4/161).
Shaykh Al-Harithi has further suggested that there is inqitaa’ (interruption) in the transmission of this narration. He mentions that Yaqoob al-Jawzjani passed away in the year 259 A.H whereas Abu Abdur Rahman al-Muqri passed away long before; in the year 185. Hence the inqitaa is apparent. (Makanah al-Imam Abi Hanifa lil Harithi, 231)
Finally, Ibrahim bin Yaqoob was bias against the people of Kufa. Allamah Kawthari (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) mentions, “There is consensus that his verdict regarding the people of Kufa is not accepted” (Taneeb al kateeb 183).
How then can we rely on such a feeble narration and degrade a great scholar like Imam Abu Hanifa?
· Ibn Abi Hatim further claims on the written authority of the same Ibrahim ibn Ya`qub al-Jawzajani that Ishaq ibn Rahawayh said: I heard Jarir say: Muhammad ibn Jabir al-Yamami said: “Abu Hanifa stole Hammad’s books from me”!
This is another report which is defective, both because of its chain as well as its text.
In the chain there is a narrator, Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Yamani with regards to whom Ibn Abi Hatim (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) himself mentioned in al-Jarh (1/219),
“Da`if kathir al-wahm, ‘He is weak and many times imagines things’!”
Other scholars who declared him as weak are:
1) Imam Yahya bin Ma`in in his Tarikh (1/201),
2) Imam Nasa’i in al-Du`afa’ wa al-matrukin (p. 533),
3) Imam `Uqayli in al-Du`afa al kabeer’ (4/41),
4) Imam Ibn Hibban in al-Majruhin (2/270),
5) Imam Ibn `Adi in al-Kamil fi al-du`afa’ (6/2158),
6) Imam Bukhari in At Tarikh al kabeer (1/53) and Adh Dhu;afa as sagheer (1/103)
7) Imam Dhahabi in al-Mughni fi al-du`afa’ (#5349) and majority of the scholars.
Its text is defective since Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) would not need any of the books of fellow students since he remained closely attached to Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) for close to twenty years.
Furthermore, he could have easily attained the books of Hammaad directly from him, since he had an extremely close bond with Hammaad (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him). Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) was also blessed with much wealth; hence, there was no need for him to steal what he could easily obtain by purchase.
Finally, Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) was reputed for his piety and extreme fear of Allah (wara`), which precludes him, in accordance with all those who testified to his character, from committing such a contemptible action. (See Makanah al-Imam Abi Hanifa lil Harithi, 232)
The science of Al Jarh wat ta’deel is based on ijtihaad and therefore, every verdict it is susceptible to error. We have seen from the aforementioned on what weak basis’s Ibn Abi Hatim has based his view about Imam Abu Hanifa. His verdict about Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) could be likened to his verdict of Imam Bukhari; the entire Ummah have accepted Imam Bukhari (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) as being a giant in the field of hadith yet Ibn Abi Hatim has dismissed him as being weak. Imam Kawthari (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) says,
“He did not hesitate in saying about Bukhari, who was the leader of the Huffaadh of this Ummah: ‘Abu Zurah and Abu Hatim dismissed him.”
If this is his attitude with those of his field-in the field of riwayah-what will be his attitude with those involved in fiqh and diraayah.” (Ta’neeb al khateeb, p. 182)
What further shows that most of the criticisms of the contemporaries are false is the statement of Yahya bin Ma’een (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him),
“I have not heard any person weakening him.” (Al-Intiqaa, 1/127)
The great merits of Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has been established through tawatur. Thousands of kitabs have been written on his manaqib. However, there were also accusations levelled against him which were also false. Ibn Taymiyyah says:
There is no doubt regarding Imam Abu Hanifah’s knowledge; people later attributed many lies to Imam Abu Hanifah which were all untrue. The aim of such writings was to taint Imam Abu Hanifa. [Minhaaj Al Sunnah Al Nabawe’ah, 1/259)
Imam Ibn Abdil Bar (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him), a Maliki scholar, has said,
“Such things were attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa which were not in him and such things were fabricated against him which were not suitable.”(Al Khayraat al hisaan, 157)
He also says,
“Those who narrate from Imam Abu Hanifa and regard him as authentic are much more than those who criticized him. And those who criticized him from the scholars of Hadith mostly only criticized him for engaging in opinion and qiyaas; but it has already passed that this is not a defect.” (Jami bayan al Ilm wa fadhlihi, 2/149)
Nasr bin Ali al-Khareebi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has said,
“People were either jealous or ignorant of Imam Abu Hanifa…” (Tahdheeb al kamal, 29/441)
Allamah Taj as Subki (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) mentions in Tabaqaat al kubra,
“Beware of misconstruing their statement that ‘jarh is preferred over tadeel’ is in its generality. The correct view is that that person whose imamah and ‘adaalah has been firmly established, and majority of the scholars praised him and those who criticized him were very few, and there is also a clear indication that the jarh is initiated because of being prejudice etc, no consideration will be given to the jarh. If we regard the principle that ‘jarh is preferred’ as being general, no scholar would be saved, since there is hardly an Imam except that there are some people who criticized him.” (At Tabaqaat al kubra, 1/187)
Moulana Abdul Hay Lacknawi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) writes in his introduction to At Ta’leeq al mumajjad,
“If mere criticism was a defect which would cause the one criticized to be abandoned, then Bukhari, Muslim, Shafi, Ahmad, Malik, Muhammad bin Ishaq and other senior Scholars would have to be dismissed. Each of them have some condemnation and criticism attached to him. In fact, no one was free from criticized beside the companions of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.” (Muqaddimah At Ta’leeq al mumajjad, 1/125)
It is precisely for the above reasons that Allamah Mizzi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) did not relate anything derogatory of Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) in his Tahdeeb al kamaal. Allamah Dhahabi (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) has said,
“May Allah have mercy on our Shaykh Abul Hajjaaj (Al-Mizzi) for not narrating any of those narrations which will portray Imam Abu Hanifa as being weak.” (Tadheeb at tahdheeb, 9/225)
N.B- Both; Allamah Dhahabi and Allamah Dhahabi are Shafia.
We conclude with the golden statement of the great scholar of Hadith, Hafidh Ibn Hajar (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him); when he was asked about Imam Nasai’s vilification of Imam Abu Hanifa, he replied by saying,
“An Nasai is a great scholar of hadith. The statements which he has mentioned is in accordance to what became manifest to him and are the conclusion of his ijtihaad. There is no being whose every statement is accepted (besides Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم). A group of Muhadithoon has agreed with Imam Nasai. Imam Khateeb has written in much detail concerning Imam Abu Hanifa in his Tarikh. Some statements which he cited are accepted and some are rejected.
A possible excuse for Imam Abu Hanifa is that he was of the view that one of the conditions of narrating a hadith is that a person should remember the hadith from the time he heard it until he narrates it. Therefore, his narrations are relatively less because of this. Otherwise, he had many Ahadith.
In short, it is better not to engage in this. Imam Abu Hanifa and others have already crossed the bridge and as a result nothing that anyone says against any of them can have any effect. They are in the highest level, where Allah Ta’ala has raised them, through their being Imams that are followed and through whom one reaches guidance. Let this be clearly understood, and Allah is the Giver of success. (Al Jawahir wad durar 2/946-947)
4) The best would be to start with the book Qawaa’id fi uloom al hadith. Second is the book Ar Raf wat takmeel. However, you would only get the true benefit of these books if you study them under a competent Ustadh.
And Allah knows best
Ml. Ismail Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah
We have attached a copy of a book ‘Introduction to hadith’ which has been compiled by our honourable Ustadh, Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb (d.b). We pray that you would derive maximum benefit from this work.
Follow the link to get the book