Answered by: Moulana Tahsin Alam
please an “alim” munajid says on his website:
I am currently studying Tawheed. Is the book AL FIQH AL AKBAR connected to Imam Abu Hanifah? and what is the status of this book amongst the salaf? By which I mean, is there any difference of opinions?
Praise be to Allah.
The book al-Fiqh al-Akbar that is attributed to Imam Abu Haneefah an-Nu’maan (may Allah have mercy on him), was narrated by Hammaad ibn Abi Haneefah or Abu Mutee’ al-Hakam ibn ‘Abdullah al-Balkhi. Neither of them is a sound narration from Abu Haneefah (may Allah be pleased with him). Moreover, they both include opinions that are contrary to the view of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, as was explained by Dr. ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Ahmad al-Humaydi in his book Baraa’ah al-A’immah al-Arba’ah min Masaa’il al-Mutakallimeen al-Mubtadi’ah, p. 46-71. But the book is well-known among the Hanafis and is followed by most of them, and it contains good affirmation of some of the divine attributes, such as exaltedness. Hence Ibn Qudaamah, Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn al-Qayyim and adh-Dhahabi (may Allah have mercy on them) quoted from it.
Dr Muhammad ibn ‘Abdar-Rahmaan al-Khamees wrote a commentary on it entitled ash-Sharh al-Muyassar ‘ala al-Fiqhayn al-Absatwa’l-Akbar al-Mansoobayn li Abi Haneefah. Refer to this commentary to find out what is correct and what is not in the original book. Alternatively, you could read the books of the early generations (the salaf) which are correctly attributed to them, the contents of which are free of anything that is contrary (to sound belief), such as I’tiqaad as-Salaf Ashaab al-Hadeeth by as-Saabooni; at-Tawheed by Ibn Khuzaymah; at-Tawheed by Ibn Mandah; ash-Sharee’ah by al-Aajurri; SharhUsool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnahwa’l-Jamaa’ah by at-Tabari al-Laalkaa’i; Ithbaat Sifat al-‘Uluw by Ibn Qudaamah; al-‘Uluw by
adh-Dhahabi; al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, and others that are available in printed form, praise be to Allah.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Shaykh Salih Munajid is free to hold whatever opinion he wants. The book ‘al-Fiqh al-Akbar’ has been authentically attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa by numerous ‘UIama (scholars). The most prominent riwayah (narration) being from his own son Imam Hammad ibn Abi Hanifa; therefore we have no reason to doubt its ascription to him. For more details on this topic, one may read the introduction written by Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera in the beginning of his translation of ‘al-Fiqh al-Akbar.’
As for the book containing opinions contrary to the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, this is another mistake by the Shaykh, as the book has been accepted by many being one of the earliest texts ever to be written on creed. The Ottoman scholar, Maghnisawi writes, “The treatise AI-FiqhaI-Akbar; which the Great Imam authored, is a reliable and accepted work.” (Sharh al-FiqhaI-Akbar, 2) We also find it strange that great luminaries such as Ibn Qudamah, Ibn Taymiyah and al-Dhahabi (all non-Hanafies) would quote from a book that potentially contains heretic views outside the fold of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah in the very field of ‘aqidah(creed), whilst no statement has been made from them regarding warning their readers about the very book they quoted from.
We can recommend Mufti Mangera’s translation of the book for reading and study.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Moulana Tahsin Alam
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.