Assessing the Status of Imām Abū Hanīfah According to the Methodology of the Hadīth Scholars


Assessing the Status of Imām Abū Hanīfah According to the Methodology of the Hadīth Scholars

By Shaykh Shākir Fayyād

With comments by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah

Translated by Shaykh Muntasir Zaman

[Translator’s Preface: the following is a summary by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah of a book which analyzes the allegation of weak memory leveled against Imām Abū Hanīfah. In this study, the author uses the methodology of the Hadīth scholars themselves, some of whom are reported to have made the above claim against the Imām. This article was translated from Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattāh’s footnotes on Mabādī ‘Ilm al-Hadīth wa Usūluhū of Mawlānā Shabbīr Ahmad al-‘Uthmānī (pp.237-240) – Muntasir Zaman]

More than twenty years ago, I came across an important and lengthy treatise entitled “Abū Hanīfah bayn al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dīl” by Ustādh Shākir Dhīb Fayyād from Jordan who at the time was a student at King Abdul Azīz University. This treatise was a Master’s dissertation in the aforementioned university under the supervision of Shaykh Muhammad al-Sādiq ‘Arjūn (Allah have mercy upon him) in the year 1396 AH.

The author writes in the introduction:

Despite the clear presence of these skills -that is, the skills to exercise ijtihād- in Imām Abū Hanīfah, there is an important skill that became an issue of contention and dispute among many scholars, the early, latter day, and contemporary among them. This skill relates to the retention of Abū Hanīfah of the Prophet’s Hadīth. Some leading scholars of al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dīl accused him of poor memory, and many afterwards followed them in this. Conversely, other leading scholars of the science have praised him and considered him reliable; thus, the supporters of Imām Abū Hanīfah and his adherents followed them and defended their Imām.

He mentions the statements of the early scholars, latter-day scholars, and contemporary scholars in criticizing and accrediting him in later sections of the treatise. [The author further writes:]

Thus, I intended to research this topic, far from the approach of both groups, far from fanaticism in support of him or against him, and treading thereby the methodology of the Hadīth scholars. The Hadīth scholars have several methods to assess narrators in terms of criticism and accreditation. Among these methods -and perhaps the most integral- is the analyses of a transmitter’s narrations in relation to the narrations of others: if his memory and retention is predominant, then he is reliable, and if poor memory is predominant, then he is weak. In Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar (p.25), Ibn Hajar writes, “Next is poor memory -and that is the tenth cause of criticism- and intended thereby is that narrator whose [percentage of] being correct does not exceed his errors.”

The methodology I have adopted can be summarized as follows: I collected the narrations of Abū Hanīfah from the authoritative works and then analyzed them with the narrations of others. These narrations can be categorized into three types: (1) narrations wherein he was corroborated and was correct, (2) narrations wherein he erred and conflicted with others, (3) and narrations he alone transmitted, for which there are neither supporting narrations to strengthen them or conflicting narrations.

This [study] was conducted on Prophetic narrations with continuous chains of transmission. As for mursalreports or reports with broken chains or with unknown narrators or liars not suitable for consideration, I did not study the status of their transmitters. I was able to locate seventy-two Prophetic narrations with continuous chains, among which sixty-five were corroborated, six were in conflict [with other narrations], and only one he was alone in transmitting, for which I did not find supporting or conflicting [narrations].

After mentioning the above statistics and the three types of Abū Hanīfah’s narrations, he concludes the treatise saying:

It is worth noting that a significant portion of the corroborated narrations have weak transmitters [in their chains], either from his teachers or his teachers’ teachers. Since their weakness was tolerable, I searched the various routes of their narrations for supporting reports. I felt -and I continue to feel- that by locating supporting reports the likes of these narrations will gain strength due to the multiplicity of routes and can be used as proof. The narrations that were in conflict were six: two were conflicts in the text, and four were conflicts in the chains of transmission. [From the conflicts in the chains:] In the first, he narrated it as a Prophetic narration with a continuous chain while others narrated it as mursal. In the second, he narrated it as a Prophetic narration while others narrated it as a Companion narration. In the third and fourth, he differed with others in the chain of his two teachers, and then he narrated them from both his teachers with one chain while others narrated them from the same teacher but via a different chain. Narrating such a number of hadiths disproves what is mentioned in Muqaddimat Ibn Khaldūn: “it is said that the narrations of Abū Hanīfah are seventeen.”

When we consider the statement of Ibn Hajar regarding poor memory, we will find what was attributed to Abū Hanīfah, that is, poor memory, is negated from the venerated Imām (Allah have mercy upon him). Ibn Hajar said, “Next is poor memory -and that is the tenth cause of criticism- and intended thereby is that narrator whose [percentage of being] correct does not exceed his errors.” As we have seen in this study with clear proofs, Imām Abū Hanīfah’s [percentage of] being correct exceeded his errors. And all praise is For Allah the Lord of the worlds.

Thus, the claim that Imām Abū Hanīfah had weak memory has fallen apart according to the principles of the claimants themselves. This is without considering the accreditation of those who regarded Imām Abū Hanīfah as reliable from the eminent scholars whose leadership is accepted, such as Shu‘bah ibn al-Hajjāj, Ibn al-Mubārak, Yahyā ibn Sa‘īd al-Qattān, ‘Alī ibn al-Madīnī, Yahyā ibn Ma‘īn, Abū Dāwūd the compiler of al-Sunan, and others whose statements will be mentioned on page 451 under the heading “al-Imām al-A‘żam Abū Hanīfah al-Nu‘mān.”

It is worth mentioning at this juncture what will come on page 521 under the heading “Sifat Riwāyat al-Hadīth wa Adā’īhī.” The author al-‘Uthmānī (Allah have mercy upon him) quoted Hafiż al-Suyūtī and Hāfiż Ibn Hajar as follows:

A group was extreme in transmission so they exceeded the bounds, and a group was lenient so they were lax. Some of those who adopted extreme measures said: there is no proof save what a narrator transmits from his memory in detail from the time he heard it until he imparts it. This is related from Abū Hanīfah, Mālik, and Abū Bakr al-Saydalānī al-Shāfī‘ī. Hāfiż Ibn Hajar said, ‘As a result, the narrations of those who held this opinion were few in number although in fact they knew many narrations. And this is the apparent meaning of the statement of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb…’

When this is kept in mind in respect to the transmission and narrations of Abū Hanīfah, the reason for his narrations being few becomes clear in relation to those who narrated more than him among those who did not lay out such conditions to impart hadith.


Cut Off – The Snakes Head

Cut Off The Snakes Head -Wahhabiyyah

In Brief

General Muslims and non muslims of the world have now woken up to realise that they want to get rid of this vile creature (ISIS/ISIL) which has bitten their newborns with a highly toxic and extremely venomous poison.

newborns with a highly toxic and extremely venomous poison

This particular evil species is called Wahhabiyyah and has been kept alive by the Snake Charmers in the West.

The Snake Charmer does not really want to destroy this Snake due to its own Evil Dajjalic Agenda… when he himself re-introduced this Evil Breed  to the world in 1924, which has now grown into quite a large out of control vile Monster with its many Ugly Heads!

Snake Charmer

In 2013, $1.75 Trillion was spent on the military worldwide; with the top 100 arms companies selling over $402 Billion in weapons, but they still insisted to show us on TV Adverts: “How you can help the poor impoverished countries like Africa with food and clean water!”

don't forget to feed the poor

But Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Lebanon have all been bombed by The Snake Charmer and its pungi  since 9/11, with the apparent objective of destroying Radical Islamic Terrorism.


Yet whether it’s in the form of The Taliban, Al-Qaeda, or ISIS/ISIL…etc, the ideology behind all them  is the same vile species known as Wahhabism which is Hypnotized  by USA,UK,FRANCE,ISRAEL…etc.



It is an Extremely Venomous Species known to the Muslim world  as Wahhabi Not Sunni as the Snake Charmer led us to believe, TheSnake Charmer like its Master Dajjal will confuse and mesmerise us and our Parents, so that they will not able to use the right Vaccineagainst its Extremely Toxic and very Poisonous venom !

The original breed (Khawarij) of this species raised its ugly head around the year 1740CE in Najd to spread its highly poisonous venom across the Muslim world. For the past 270 years or so, its highly poisonous venom has been spreading across the Muslim world from within Saudi Arabia! (More info here)

Most of the Wahhabiyyah  call themselves:  “Salafi/Ahlehadith” (Inland Taipan) and not to forget their (Eastern Brown) who call themselves Deobandi /Tablighis…etc, have been breeding this venomous species for quite some time and they are now quite desperate to find a vaccine for its poisonous venom, which they wholeheartedly kept breeding until  their newborns became extremely Toxic with its poison.

Those Muslims living in the west for the past 50 years or so who adopted this species of the Wahhabiyyah “Salafi/Ahlehadith” and the Deobandi /Tablighi cults have also affected their newborns through the venomous teachings of  Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn abdul Wahhab Najd’s Ideology  due to their own Evil misguided Self Hatred of the Orthodox Sunni/Sufi Muslims!

 The Snakes Head!

The Ugly Heads of this breed are safely kept alive in Saudi Arabia in a hell hole called Najd

Where most of  its radicalised extreme evil teachings are produced and  bred daily
This vile creatures venom has been spread all around the world through Radical Wahhabi Preachers called: Tawhid” , “BidahandShirk“!

Recently a few Muslim countries as you already know vowed to exterminate all of Ibn Taymiyyah’s deadly venom but they forgot that this ugly monster has more than one head and the vaccine they were using was from Saudi Arabia which  had no effect on its newborns!

Note: Don’t just cut off one head (al sheikh) cut off all its headsperiod!


For those who are  infected by its deadly venom there is a  vaccine available… 

vaccine for Wahhabis

Imam Al-Daarmi in his Musnad has recorded that two misguided men came to Imam Ibn Seereen and said: “We shall recite a Hadith to you.”

Imam Ibn Seereen said: “No (you shall not).”

They said: “We shall recite a verse from the book of Allah to you.”

He again, replied: “No, either you both stand and leave otherwise I shall stand and leave.”

The narrator said: “They both left and one (or some) of the people said: “O Abu Bakr, what harm would come to you, if they recited a verse from the book of Allah?”

The Imam replied: “Indeed, I feared that if they recited a verse and interpreted it incorrectly, then that (incorrect interpretation) could have become established in my heart.”

Imam Al-Daarmi also recorded in his Musnad that a man from the deviated people asked Sayyiduna Ayyub Sakhtiyaani regarding (the meaning of) a word.

The narrator says: “He (Sayyiduna Ayyub Sakhtiyaani) turned away and gestured with his finger- not even half a word.”

Imam Al-Daarmi also recorded regarding Sayyiduna Sa’eed Bin Jubayr that a man asked him a question and he did not reply. Someone asked why he did not answer so he replied: “He is from amongst them (the deviants).”

Imam Badr Al-Deen Al-Ayni writes in his ‘sharah’ of Bukhari Sahreef:
“Abd-Allah Bin Amr,

Ibn Abbaas,

Ibn Abi Awfaa,

Jaabir, Anas Bin Maalik,

Abu Hurayrah,

Uqbah Bin Aamir and their peers (Allah is pleased with them all)used to advise their forthcoming generation that they must notdo salaam to the Qadriyyah (a group of nominal Muslims in their time who were deviants), they must not visit them (when they are unwell), they must not perform Salah behind them and they must not perform Salah of Janazah on them when they die.”

Imam al Ghazali said: “The Salaf of the Ummah of Sayyiduna Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe-e-wa-sallam) agreed to condemn people with deviant ideas, and to abandon them, and to cut relations with them, and be hard in rebuking them, but to be mild in disagreements of juristic details” [Mustasfa, page,350]

Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Jilani (d. 561AH) stated in his commentary to the above Hadith in Ghunyat at-Talibin (page, 90):
“The Believer should adapt himself to the Sunnah and to the Jama’ah. The Sunnah is the way shown by Rasulullah (Peace be upon him). The Jama’ah is composed of the things done unanimously by the Sahaba al-Kiram who lived in the time of the four caliphs called Khulafa’ ar-Rashidin (and others in their path). A Muslim must prevent the multiplication of the men of bid’ah and keep away from them, and should not greet them (as given in many Hadith on this issue). Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah), the Imam of our Madhhab, said that greeting a man of bid’ah meant loving him since it had been declared in a Hadith, ‘Disseminate (your) greeting (salaam)! Love one another in this way!” He also said (pg. 143): “The title, Ahl as-Sunnah, which the innovators have expressed for themselves is not appropriate for them.”  [Ghunyat at-Talibin]

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari: “The Prophet informed us that towards the end of times, there will be Harj!

I (Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari) asked: “And what is Harj?” He(s) said: “Lies (deceit) and killings!”

We said: “Even more than now?”

He(s) said: “It will not be the kuffaar killing you, rather, you will be killing each other, until a person kills his neighbor, and his uncle and his cousin and his relatives!”

We said: “And while the book of Allah (Qur’an) will be still with us?!” He(s) said: “While the book of Allah will be still with you.”
We said: “Subhan’Allaah!! And while our intellects will be conscious?!”
He(s) said: “No, no, the intellects of the general masses at that time will be deceived! They will be following fools that have no intellects themselves. Most of them will be assuming they have a (legitimate) cause, but they will not have a (legitimate) cause.”

[Ahmad, 19492, Ibn Majah, 3959, Ibn Hibban, 1870 – Silsilah Sahihah, 1682 – Authentic]

Anas Ibn Malik said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
There is no town that Dajjal will not enter except Makkah and Madinah. There is no entrance of its entrances that is not guarded by angels in rows. Dajjal will camp at a salty barren area, then Madinah will shake three times, and then every kafir and munafiq (hypocrite) will come out of it to join him. In a similar narration with the same final chain of transmission, he says instead: He shall come to the barren salty area of Juruf and set up his camp. And he also said: And then every male and female hypocrite will come out to join him. [Sahih Muslim]

The Blessed Prophet(s)(peace and blessings be upon him) advised: “The man is on the religion of his friend. So each one of you must take care in selecting who he befriends.” (Sunan Abu Dawood)

This vaccine is always available to you

Edited by ADHM



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