Defending Imaam Abu Haneefa (rahimahullah)

Written by Asim ul Haq


1. Introduction.
2. Translation of an Urdu Article
3. Praises of Some Muhadditheen
4. Refutation of some accusations against Imam Abu Hanifa

  • Accusation that he was a Jahami (i.e He said Quran is Makhlooq)
  • Accusation that he was a Murji
  • Accusation that he rejected ahadeeth

1. Introduction

This article is refutation of those few lay people in the subcontinent who are accusing Imam Abu Hanifa day and night, and they even say he was a Kafir Naudhubillah, Their Dawah is only to criticise Imam Abu Hanifa, May Allah guide these people and may Allah fill their heart with true spirit of Islam ameen. In this article I will Insha`Allah prove from the scholars of the Salaf/Ahlul hadith/Ahlus sunnah that indeed Imam Abu Hanifa Rahimullah was pious and died as a Martyr.

2. Translation of an Urdu Article

Allah says “That was a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do.[al Baqarah ayah 134]

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “Don’t abuse the dead, because they have reached the result of what they forwarded.“صحیح بخاری :1393 ، الجنائز – سنن النسائی :1936 ، الجنائز – مسند احمد6/180، بروایت عائشہ }

In fact this is command on us that that we should hide the mistakes of dead and show the virtues of them.

Prophet peace be upon him said :” Remember the virtues of your dead and do not touch there mistakes“{ سنن ابو داود :4900، الادب – سنن الترمذی :1019، الجنائز – مستدرک الحاکم :1/358 ، بروایت ابن عمر }

Also see this story,

Aisha ra asked in one of the gatherings regarding Yazeed bin Qais May Allah curse him- How is he? (Note that yazeed bin qais openly abused Aisha ra and he was leader of people against UthmanPeople said he died. Listening this Aisha recited Astaghfar. People said you were criticizing him and now you are reciting astaghfar, what does that mean? Aisha repled that Prophet peace be upon him said: “Don’t abuse the dead, because they have reached the result of what they forwarded.”{ صحیح ابن حبان :5/43 ، نمبر :2010 }

The words of Sunan abu Dawud are Short:

When (one of) your companion die then leave him do not fall behind his faults“{ سنن ابو داود :4899، الادب }

Especially, When by abusing the dead living people feel hurt it is more worse.

Prophet peace be upon him said Do not abuse dead so that living suffers

{ سنن ابو داود :1983 ، الجنائز – مسند احمد :4/252 – صحیح ابن حبان :3011 ، 5/43 ، بروایت مغیرہ بن شعبہ }

By watching these ahadeeth If there is no reason then it is forbidden to accuse dead. In fact according to some scholars if by saying something wrong to Non Muslim dead person and if it is hurting living people then it is not allowed to say something against a Kafir. see فتح الباری :3/258-259

After this tamheed the personality of Imam Abu Hanifa May Allah be please with him is disputed among the scholars some of the scholars accused him due to some issues, There are some bad things attributed to Imam Abu Haneefah in the books. On the other hand some people go to extremes regarding him, If not by tongue, with their actions they make their creed that he was Infallible and they quote fabricated ahadeeth on his virtues. Both of these ways are rejected according to fair people of knowledge, The better opinion regarding Imam (abu haneefa) is that he was one of the great Imams of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamah, Follower of Quran and Sunnah and servant of Religion of Islam, and the scholar who defended Islam. He is not free from mistakes as well as he is not preacher of evil, kufr and innovation

see معیا ر حق کا مقدمہ از شیخ الکل میاں نذیر حسین محدث دہلوی

So In the era of books of trajim,history and seyar there is consensus of trustworthy Scholars of Ahlus sunnah, Whoever read the trustworthy books of history written in 6th and 7th Hijrah and after that he will agree with it.

I am quoting some references here:

Imam ad-Dahabee May Allah be please wil him said in his Book Tazkaratul Huffadh:

He was devoted, Practicing scholar, the one who worship, very Prestigious, never accepted the gifts from Kings but he himself did business and earn provisions.

Imam ad-Dahabee wrote fifteen pages in his Seyar al Ailam al Nubala and he wrote only good about Imam, and he did not mentioned any word of accusation against him in fact he did not even mentioned signals that there is some kalam on Imam, then he wrote in the end

Shafiee said: People are children of Abu Haneefa in fiqh. I say: Fiqh and Deducing rulings from fiqh is clear from this Imam. This is something where there is no doubt. (Then dahabee writes the arabic poetry which means) Even If there is a need to provide evidence for emittance of the day, Then according to the people who have this type of mind nothing is authentic. Two volumes can be written on the life of Imam, this was the life of Imam. May Allah be please with him and shower his mercy on him.He was martyred in 150 Hijrah because someone gave him poison. He was 70 years old at that time.{ السیر :6/403 }

2. In the era of Imam ad-Dahabee there is another Imam who is famous in the works of Tafsir,Hadeeth and History. I mean Hafiz Imad ud din Ibne Kathir Rahimullah he writes in his famous book Al Bidaya wal Nihaya:

Faqeeh of Iraq, one of the scholars of Islam, One of the leaders of Islam and one of those who seek, one of the four matbua Imams.

Then he wrote praises of scholars on him in approximately one page { البدایہ :10/110 }

3. Hafiz Ibne Hajar asqalani Rahimullah wrote approximately four pages in Tahzeeb at-Tahzeeb and he only mentioned good about Imam, he does not mentioned any bad thing against him. In fact he writes in the end

There are many virtues of Imam Abu Haneefa May Allah shower his mercy and grant him pradise ameen { تھذیب التھذیب :10/102}

Note that all of these three scholars we mentioned are not hanafis, and there is no doubt in that all those sayings were in front them in detail from which it is proven insult of Imam Abu Haneefa, But these scholars did not point out these sayings in fact leaving of these all the sayings is the proof, according to these researchers the sayings are not fit for The Imam, his knowledge, cautiousness and taqwa

4. Hafiz as-Suyuti also mentioned him in 5th tabqa in his book Tabqaat al-Huffaz and he didn’t quote single word against him

طبقات الحفاظ :80-81 }

5. In Fact see the co-incidence that Hafiz Dahabee ra wrote a short book on Tabqat ul Muhadditheen, in which he wrote the names of great Muhadditheen and Huffaz, he wrote ” فھذہ مقدمۃ فی ذکر اسماء اعلام حملۃ الآثار النبویہ

{ المعین طبقات المحدثین ،ص:17 }

This book has 27 tabqaat of Muhadditheen, The heading of 4th tabqa is “Tabqa of Al-Amash and Abi Haneefa” the name of Abu Haneefa is in this tabqa of muhadditheen {ص:51-57 }

6. Imam Ibne Khilkaan May Allah be please with him is the famous Imam and historian of the 7th Hijrah. He also mentioned only good about Imam Abu Haneefa May Allah be please with him in his book “Wafayat al-A’ayan”. He writes in one place

” وکان عالما عاملا زاھدا عابدا ، ورعا تقیا ، کثیر الخشوع دائم التفرع الی اللہ تعالی ” { 5/406
He was a practicing Scholar, ascetic worshiper, devoted Pious , He was always focused and turned towards Allah Tala [5/406]

He did not mention single word against him. In fact he wrote it was better if Khateeb Baghdadi would not mention those words against the Imam.

If we mention the quotes of other scholars then the topic would be too long, We only quoted five scholars who are trustworthy according to Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamah, specially weakness and authenticity of hadeeth is relied on the works of first three. Now these scholars did not even quote single word against the Imam is the evidence that these sayings against the Imam are worthy to be left. Allah knows best

This is the manhaj of great scholars of Ahlul hadeeth in Pakistan and India and we have seen our scholars on this manhaj, Shaykh ul Kul Mian Nazeer Hussain Muhaddith Dehalvi May Allah be please with him mentioned in his book “Meyar ul Haq” that Imam Abu Haneefa May Allah be please with him was his leader Mujtahid, Follower of Sunnah, Pious and devoted [Page 29]

Above article is Translation of an Urdu Article Translated by me from the blog of my brother in Islam Ikram Mohammadi


3. Praises of Some Muhadditheen


Imam Yazeed bin Haroon al wasti (d 206 h) said:

. أدركت الناس، فما رأيت أحدًا أعقل ولا أفضل ولا أورع من أبي حنيفة

“I have seen many people. However, I have not seen anyone more intelligent, better and pious person than Abu hanifa.[Tareekh baghdad vol 13 page page 364 Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said chain is authentic].

Author of Sunan Abu Dawood, Imam Abu Dawood said:

رحم الله مالكا كان اماما رحم الله الشافعى كان اماما رحم الله اباحنيفة كان اماما

May Allah bless Malik he was an Imam, May Allah bless Shafi’ee he was an Imam May Allah bless Abu hanifa he was an Imam[Al Inteqa Ibn e Abdul Barr page 32 authenticated by Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai].

Imam Haakim an-Nishaapuri mentioned the name of Imam Abu Hanifa in Itteba Tabiyeen[Ma’rifatu U’loomil Hadith, Page 255 Dar ul Kutb Ilmiyah Beirut Lebanon]

He compiled a section regarding the famous reliable Imams and muhadditheen from Tabiyeen and Itteba Tabiyeen, as He said in his kitab Ma’rifa-tu-U’loomil Hadith.

هذا النوع من هذه العلوم معرفة الأئمة الثقات المشهورين من التابعين وأتباعهم ممن يجمع حديثهم للحفظ والمذاكرة والتبرك بهم وبذكرهم من الشرق إلى الغرب.

And Under the muhadditheen of Iraq, he mentions the name of Imam Abu Hanifa Rahimullah [Ma’rifatu U’loomil Hadith, pg 259 Dar ul Kutb Ilmiyah Beirut Lebanon Page 245]

He mentioned his name with the likes of Imam Ahmad and Sufiyan Thawri.. [Ma’rifatu U’loomil Hadith, pg 259 Dar ul Kutb Ilmiyah Beirut Lebanon]

Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said:

The praise of Imam Abu Hanifa is also proven from Hakam bin Hasham,Qadhi Abdullah bin Shabrama, Shaqeeq al Balkhi, Abdul Razzaq bin Hammam author of Al-Musannif, Hafidh Ibn Abdul Barr, Dahabee and others[Majallah Al Hadeeth no: 64 page 11]

Shaykh ul Islam Ibne Tamiyah wrote whole book “رفع الملام عن الأئمة الأعلام” Refutation of accusations on famous Imams

Shaykh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz Al Shaykh has written whole fatwa on accusation on Imam Abu Hanifa and accused those who accuse Imam see here

4. Refutation of some accusations against Imam Abu Hanifa

1. Accusation that he said Qur`an is created i.e he was a Jahmi

2. Accusation that he was a Murji

3. Accusation that He rejected the hadith

1. Accusation that Imam Abu Hanifa said Qur`an is created

First of all this accusation was also on Imam Bukhari, Imam Musallama bin Qasim said The opinion of Bukhari (author of al saheeh) was that Qur`an is created, because of this wrong infrormation Imam of Ahlus sunnah Abu Zur`a al-Razi rejected the ahadeeth of Imam Bukhari [see Al Jarha wa tadeel 3/2/191]

Hafidh Ibn e Hajar Asqalani defended and said

Saying of Musallama that Bukhari said Qur`an is created is strange, No one said that before him .[Tahdeeb at tahdeeb 9/36]

Note: According to shaykh Zubair Ali Zai, Imam Abu Zur`a took back his sayings. And he quoted his other saying after knowing that Bukhari never said that and he praised Imam Bukhari.

Same way Shaykh ul Islam Ibn e tamiyah ra defended the creed of Imam Abu Haneefa ra by saying.

إن الأئمة المشهورين كلهم يثبتون الصفات لله تعالى ويقولن : إن القرآن كلام الله ليس بمخلوق , ويقولون : إن الله يُرى في الآخرة , هذا مذهب الصحابة والتابعين لهم بإحسان من أهل البيت وغيرهم وهذا مذهب الأئمة المتبوعين مثل مالك بن أنس والثوري والليث بن سعد , والأوزاعي , وأبي حنيفة , والشافعي , وأحمد

“Verily all of the famous four imaams affirmed the Attributes of Allaah the Exalted, and they said that the Qur’aan was the Word of Allaah, it was not created, and they said that Allaah will be seen in the Hereafter. This is the way of the Companions and those who followed them in goodness, from the Ahlu l- Bayt (family of the Prophet) and other than them; and this is the way of the imaams who came afterwards like Maalik Ibn Anas (d.179H), ath-Thawree (d.161H), and Layth Ibn Sa’d (d.175H) and al-Awzaa’ee (d.157H), and Abee Haneefah, and ash-Shaafi’ee, and Ahmad.”[Minhaajus-Sunnah (2/106) of Ibn Taymiyyah]


Imam at-Tahawi Hanafi (321 h) wrote whole book on the aqeedah of Imam Abu Haneefa, he wrote

هذا ذكر بيان عقيدة أهل السنة والجماعة على مذهب فقهاء الملة : أبي حنيفة النعمان بن ثابت الكوفي وأبي يوسف يعقوب بن إبراهيم الأنصاري وأبي عبد الله محمد بن الحسن الشيباني رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين وما يعتقدون من أصول الدين.
This is the representation of Aqeedah of Ahlus sunnah wal Jama’ah on the school of thought of Jurists like Imam Abu Haneefa an-Noman bin Thabit al-Kufi, Abu Yusaf Yaqoob bin Ibraheem al-Ansari and Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin al-Hasan ash-Shaibani May Allah be pleased with them all, and what is the aqeedah of these (scholars) on Asool al deen (Muqaddimah Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah page no: 1)

Imam at-Tahawi said regarding aqeedah of Imam Abu Hanifa

36: The Quran is the Word of Allah

Imam Ibn abi al Izz Hanafi commented on above statement page 96 of Sharah Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah 

…..It is not created like the speech of Human being. Whoever hears it and Thinks it is the speech of Man is a Infidel(end quote)

Comment: Imam at-Tahawi and Imam Ibn Abi al Izz were great Hanafi Imams and they knew the stance of Imam Abu Hanifa. Now see explicit statements from Imam Abu Hanifa in refutation of Jahmiyah

Imam Dahabee said

اخرج ابو حاتم فى السنه قال حدثنا احمد بن محمد بن مسلم حدثنا على بن الحسن الكراعي قال قال ابو يوسف ناظرت ابا حنيفه ستة اشهر فاتفق راينا على ان من قال أن القرآن مخلوق فهو كافر

Abu Yusaf said I debated with Abu Hanifa 6 months” Our opinion matched on the statement that whoever says Qur`an is created is a disbeliever. [Al Uluw by Dahabee page 152. Shaykh Al-Bani said Chain is good in Mukhtasar al Uluw page 155,Shaykh Ali bin Rasheed al Ufree endorsed the words of Shaykh al-Albani in منة الرحمن ببيان موقف أبي حنيفة من القول بخلق القرآن , Shaykh Amr Abdul Munim Saleem said chain is hasan in Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur`an is created attributed to him page 38]

Scan from Mukhtasar al Uluw by Imam AL-Bani:

Imam Behaqi mentioned with his chain

561- وقرأت في كتاب أبي عبد الله محمد بن محمد بن يوسف بن إبراهيم الدقاق بروايته عن القاسم بن أبي صالح الهمذاني ، عن محمد بن أيوب الرازي ، قال : سمعت محمد بن سابق ، يقول : سألت أبا يوسف ، فقلت : أكان أبو حنيفة يقول القرآن مخلوق ؟ ، قال : معاذ الله ، ولا أنا أقوله ، فقلت : أكان يرى رأي جهم ؟ فقال : معاذ الله ولا أنا أقوله رواته ثقات

Muhammad bin Sabiq said I asked abu Yusaf, I said, wether Abu Hanifa said Qur`an is created? He Said May Allah forbid, neither did i say. I(Muhammad bin Sabiq) said wether his opinion is with the opinion of Jaham? He (abu Yusaf) said May Allah Forbid. Neither i am (Behaqi said) Narrators are trustworthy.[Asma wa Siffat Behaqi no: 561, Shaykh Amr Abdul Munim Saleem said: Imam Abu Jafar At-Tahawi trusted this in the creed of of Abu Haneefa famous with the name of “Aqeedah at- Tahawiyah”(see Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur’an is created attributed to him page 38)]


Imam Abu Haneefa himself refuted Jahmis

أبا يوسف يقول قال أبو حنيفة صنفان من شر الناس بخراسان الجهمية والمشبهة وربما قال والمقاتلية

Abu Yusaf said Abu Haneefa said: There are two types of evil people in Khurasaan (1) Jahmiyah and (2) Mushabbiha..[Tareekh Baghdad 13/382 Authenticated by Amr Abdul Munim Saleem in Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur`an is created attributed to him page 24]

Ibn Abdul Barr quoted with his chain

: قال أبو يعقوب نا أبو حامد أحمد بن إبراهيم قال نا سهيل بن عامر قال سمعت بشر بن الوليد يقول : كنا عند أمير المؤمنين المأمون فقال إسماعيل بن أبي حنيفة القرآن مخلوق وهو رأيي ورأي آبائي قال بشر بن الوليد : أما رأيك فنعم وأما رأي آبائك فلا

Bashr bin Waleed said Ismaieel bin Abi Hanifa said “The Qur’an is created and that is my view and the view of my fathers,” whereupon Bishr ibn al-Walid said to him: “It may be your view but it is certainly not the view of your fathers.[Al-Inteqaa Page 166]

Comment: The name of Ismaeel is, Ismaeel bin Hammad bin Abi Hanifa who was grand son of Imam Abu Hanifa, His opinion was rejected by Bashr bin Waleed who is direct student of Qazi Abu Yusaf and Imam Malik (see Seyar Ailam Nubala under his biography). 

Imam Ahmad bin Humble said

  وقال النخعي حدثنا أبو بكر المروذي قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله أحمد بن حنبل يقول لم يصح عندنا أن أبا حنيفة كان يقول القرآن مخلوق

It is not true according to me that Abu Haneefa said Qur`an is created [Tareekh Baghdad 13/384 Authenticated by Shaykh Ali bin Rasheed al Ufree in منة الرحمن ببيان موقف أبي حنيفة من القول بخلق القرآن, And Authenticated by Amr Abdul Munim Saleem in Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur`an is created attributed to him page 44]

Comment: People quote As-Sunnah by Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Humble, Most of the chains against Abu Hanifa in the book are weak Shaykh Amr Abdul Munim talked in detail about those narrations in his Book Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur`an is created attributed to him, Imam Ahmad bin Humble himself said Abu Haneefa did not say this.

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Khumayyis said

Imaam Aboo Haneefah declared that the Qur’aan was sent down, it was not created. So he said, “And the Qur’aan is not created. And he also said, “And we affirm that the Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah the Exalted, it is not created. However, al-Kawtharee said that the Qur’aan was created and that there was no difference between him and the Mu’tazilah with regards to its nature being created.[Taken from The Creed of the Four Imams]

Comment: Above is clear cut reply, Abu Hanifa Rahimullah himself said Qur`an is not Creation, Shaykh ul Islam Ibne Tamiyah defended his aqeedah, what else these people who accuse him  want now? Maybe he said that before but than he repented and agreed with his student Abu Yusaf after watching the truth.

Here is the Crux from Imam Ahmad,  Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said

فالإمام أحمد رضي الله تعالى عنه ترحم عليهم ( يعني الخلفاء الذين تأثروا بمقالة الجهمية الذين زعموا القول بخلق القرآن ، ونصروه ) واستغفر لهم ، لعلمه بأنه لم يتبين لهم أنهم مكذبون للرسول ، ولا جاحدون لما جاء به ، ولكن تأولوا فأخطأوا ، وقلدوا من قال ذلك لهم
Imam Ahmad (may Allaah be pleased with him) prayed for mercy for them (i.e., the caliphs who were influenced by the view of the Jahamis who claimed that the Qur’aan was created, and supported it) and prayed for forgiveness for them, because he knew that it was not clear to them that they were disbelieving the Messenger and denying what he had brought, rather they misinterpreted and erred, and followed those who said that to them.[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (23/349)]

Comment: Now these people should learn from Imam of Ahlus Sunnah Ahmad bin Humble Rahimullah. There is nothing to clear now Alhumdulillah everythis is clear in itself i.e Imam Abu Hanifa was not a Jahmi, he himself refuted Jahmies and even for Jahmies Imam Ahmad Prayed for forgiveness for them.

2. Accusation that Imam Abu Hanifa was a Murji

These people quote

حدثني أبو الفضل الخراساني ، حدثني إبراهيم بن شماس السمرقندي ، قال قال رجل لابن المبارك ونحن عنده « إن أبا حنيفة كان مرجئا يرى السيف » ، فلم ينكر عليه ذلك ابن المبارك

Someone Asked Abdullah bin Mubarak (rah) that Abu Hanifah (rah) was Murji who used to allow Sword against the Hakim e Waqt, so he didn’t deny it. [Kitab Al Sunnah Vol 1 Page 201]

Apart from that people quote from Tareekh al Kabir that Bukhari said Abu Hanifa was a Murji.


As for Revolt against leaders then it is mentioned in Fiqh Books that revolt against leader is not allowed according to Imam

وإذا قلد عدلا ثم جار وفسق لا ينعزل ; ولكن يستحب العزل إن لم يستلزم فتنة ; ويجب أن يدعى له ; ولا يجب الخروج عليه ; كذا عن أبي حنيفة ، وكلمتهم قاطبة

[المسايرة مع المسامرة, see also Radd al Mukhtar and Asool al Deen by Bazdawi page 190]


Imam at-Tahawi said regarding the stance of Imam Abu Hanifa in Aqeedah Tahawiyah regarding revolt

81: We do not believe in revolt against our leaders and rulers even if they commit injustice, nor do we pray against them, or defy their orders. On the contrary we believe that obedience is a duty and part of our obedience to Allah, so long as they do not order something sinful. We pray for their saftey and piety.[Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah]

Ali Ibn Abi al ‘Izz al-Hanafi (731 h-792 h) Rahimullah said

“It is much better to stick to obeying the rulers even if they are oppressors, because rebellion against them will cause even greater strife. Being patient with them will be an expiation for misdeeds and increase rewards.”[Commentary of Aqeedah Tahawiyah page339]

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Khumayyis and other scholars said he changed his opinion and this is accepted by Tahawi Hanafi and he quotes statements attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa on this issue see Asool al-Din According to Imam Abu Hanifa page 564 to 569

This is also accepted by Allamah Aini Hanafi and he said

“This indicates that the ruler is not to be removed due to impiety or wrongdoing. It is not allowed to remove him from his rule for that.”[Umdah al-Qaari, vol. 24, p. 178.]

As for Actions are included in Iman or not than Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Khumayyis said

Indeed it has been mentioned by Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr and Ibn Abil-‘Izz that Imaam Aboo Haneefah retracted this statement, and Allaah knows best (Refer to at-Tamheed (9/247) of Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr, and Sharhul-‘Aqeedatit-Tahaawiyyah (p. 359) of Ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafee)[Taken from The Creed of the Four Imams THE STATEMENTS OF IMAAM ABOO HANEEFAH CONCERNING AL-EEMAAN]

Even if someone do not want to believe than it is called murji’at ul fuqahaa’ and ‘the murjiah of ahl us sunnah’. They are from ahl us Sunnah but this slight mistake occurred from them;And this does not decrease Imaam Abu Haneefah’s status as said by Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan [Explanation of Lu’mat ul I’tiqaad p 312]

Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Tamiyah said no one from the salaf ever did takfir on Murjia al-Fuqaha [see Kitab al Iman by Shaykh ul Islam Ibne Tamiyah page 337, See also Majmoo Fatawa 7/297]  

 Ali Ibn Abi al ‘Izz al-Hanafi (731 h-792 h) Rahimullah said

 والاختلاف الذي بين أبي حنيفة والأئمة الباقين من أهل السنة – اختلاف صوري . فإن كون أعمال الجوارح لازمة لإيمان القلب ، أو جزءا من الإيمان ، مع الاتفاق على أن مرتكب الكبيرة لا يخرج من الإيمان ، بل هو في مشيئة الله ، إن شاء عذبه ، وإن شاء عفا عنه – : نزاع لفظي ، لا يترتب عليه فساد اعتقاد . والقائلون بتكفير تارك الصلاة ، ضموا إلى هذا الأصل أدلة أخرى . وإلا فقد نفى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الإيمان عن الزاني والسارق وشارب الخمر والمنتهب ، ولم يوجب ذلك زوال اسم الإيمان عنهم بالكلية ، اتفاقا .

The difference between Imam Abu Hnaifa and others imams of Ahlus sunnah is not substantial. For Abu Hanifa the action of the body are necessary consequences of faith in the heart; for others they are part of faith; but all of them believe that one who commits a major sin does not thereby cease to be a Muslim; he is at the mercy of Allah, who may forgive him or punish him, as He wills. Their difference is merely a matter of semantics, which does not materially affect Iman. Those who judge that one who does not offer prayer is an infidel cite other reasons besides reiterating this principle, for the Prophet peace be upon him denied Iman for the fornicator, the adulterer, the thief, the drinker and the fornicator they were not dubbed non believers. This is point on which all are agreed.[Commentary of Aqeedah Tahawiyah page 283-284]


He also said :

فالإمام أبو حنيفة رضي الله عنه نظر إلى حقيقة الإيمان لغة مع أدلة من كلام الشارع . وبقية الأئمة رحمهم الله نظروا إلى حقيقته في عرف الشارع ، فإن الشارع ضم إلى التصديق أوصافا وشرائط ، كما في الصلاة والصوم والحج ونحو ذلك .

Source :

See Biography of Imam Ali bin Abi al Izz Rahimullah here:

Comment: Imam Ibn abi al Izz and Ibn Abdul Barr knew more than these people who are criticizing Imam Abu Hanifa Rahimullah, Even Shaykh Nasir ud-din Al-alBani Rahimullah was accused for Irjaa, But Muhadditheen and scholars and Jurists defended him, for example Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen Rahimullah defended him, see here :

Same is the case here, people attributed lies on Imam Abu Hanifa Rahimullah and scholars issued the fatwa based on the things attributed to Imam.

Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Tamiyah said

“There is no doubt regarding Imam Abu Hanifah’s(Raheemullah) knowledge, people later attributed many lies toImam Abu Hanifah (Raheemullah), which were all untrue. The aim of such writings was to taint Imam AbuHanifah(Raheemullah).”[Minhaaj As Sunnah Al Nabawiyah, Vol./1, page. 259]

See also:〈=A&Id=43484

3. Accusation that Imam Abu Hanifa rejected the hadith

Some people quote this

أَخْبَرَنَا الْفَضْلُ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ بِهَمَذَانَ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَاهَانَ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُيَيْنَةَ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثْتُ أَبَا حَنِيفَةَ بِحَدِيثٍ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاةُ وَالسَّلامُ ، فَقَالَ : بَلْ عَلَى هَذَا

Sufiyan bin Uainiyah said I narrated a hadith in front of abu haneefa he said بَلْ عَلَى هَذَا.[Kitab Al Majroheen Ibn e Hibban]


1) Yahya bin Abdullah bin Mahan is disputed over, Ibne Hajar said

Abul Fath Azdi said he is not evidence [Lisan Al-Mizan] plus Yahya is not in the students of Sufiyan, he is narrating from (an) so it is munqata.

2) The text is very Odd

3) No where it says it was an authentic hadeeth, it was surely a fabricated hadith, that’s why abu Hanifa rejected that because in an authentic narration Abu Hanifa accepted the hadith and left his fatwa

It is Narrated by Imam Abu Awana Wazah bin Abdullah that he was in the company of (Imam) Abu Haneefa, A letter came from a Qadhi To him (Abu Haneefa ra) in which there were some Questions (regarding when the hands of theif should be cut off)

Abu Haneefa ra said Write, cut off, Cut off (the hand). He(Abu haneefa) even said Regarding(theif of) Palm Tree and dates, Write Cut off (the Hands).  I (Abu Awanah) Said wait, Prophet Peace be upon him said: لا قطع في ثمر ولا كثر Hands should not be Cut in the Theft of Fruit… He (Abu Haneefa) said: Cut this (my Fatwa) and Write (Hand) Should not be cut off

[الطيوريات vol 3 page 971 hadeeth 903 The Muhaqqiqeen of the Book الطيوريات says: In This Chain Abu Al Hasan Deebaji, Darqutni said He is Shaykh Saleh, And other Narrators are Trustworthy and then Muhaqiqeen went on and said This narration is evidence that Hadeeth has priority over Fatwa (taken from Al Hadeeth by Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai no:52 page 50 under the Topic True Stories (Sachay Qissay))]

Scan of الطيوريات

Shaykh Nasir ud din al-Bani Rahimullah said 

The first of them is Abu Haneefah Nu’maan ibn Thaabit, whose companions have narrated from him various sayings and diverse warnings, all of them leading to one thing: the obligation to accept the Hadeeth, and to give up following the opinions of the imaams which contradict it:
1. “When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab.”

2. “It is not permitted for anyone to accept our views if they do not know from where we got them.”

In one narration, “It is prohibited for someone who does not know my evidence to give verdicts24 on the basis of my words.”

Another narration adds, “… for we are mortals: we say one thing one day, and take it back the next day.”

In another narration, “Woe to you, O Ya’qub! Do not write down everything you hear from me, for it happens that I hold one opinion today and reject it tomorrow, or hold one opinion tomorrow and reject it the day after tomorrow.”

3. “When I say something contradicting the Book of Allaah the Exalted or what is narrated from the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), then ignore my saying.”


Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said

This is reality and proven from Imam Abu Hanifa that he went with ahadith.[Deen me Taqlid ka Masla page 21]

Comment: Abu Haneefa ra was not biased in his opinion, when ever he found authentic hadeeth he immediatly left his Fatwa ALHUMDULILLAH


Lastly I want to quote Summary of Biography of Imam Abu Hanifa mentioned by the great student of Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Tamiyah, Imam ad-Dahabee

Imam Abu Haneefah is the great faqeeh and scholar of Iraq, Abu Haneefah al-Nu’maan ibn Thaabit al-Taymi al-Kufi. He was born in the year 80 AH, during the lifetime of some of the younger Sahaabah and saw Anas ibn Maalik when he came to them in Kufa. He narrated from ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabaah, who was his greatest Shaykh, and from al-Shu’bi and many others.

He was concerned with seeking reports and he traveled for that purpose. With regard to fiqh and examining and analyzing reports, he was the ultimate and people depended on him in that, as Imam al-Dhahabi said: “It would take two volumes to tell the story of his life, may Allaah be pleased with him and have mercy on him.”

He was an imam who was eloquent and well spoken. His student Abu Yoosuf described him as follows: “He was the most well-spoken of the people and the most clear in expressing himself. He was pious and very protective with regard to transgression of the sacred limits of Allaah. He was offered worldly gains and a great deal of wealth, but he turned his back on it. He was whipped to force him to accept the position of judge or controller of the bayt al-maal (treasury of the Islamic state) but he refused.

Many people narrated reports from him, and he died as a martyr of dropsy in 150 AH at the age of seventy. [Siyar A’laam al-Nubala by ad-Dahabee, 6/390-403; Usool al-Deen ‘inda al-Imam Abu Haneefah, by Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman al-Khamees p. 63].


Imam Abu Hanifa was one of the great Imams, People attributed lies on him that is why some scholars of the salaf like Ibn Hibban and Darqutni and others went against him. They issued fatwa according to what has been reached to them or they issued fatwa against him on his(Abu Hanifa’s) earlier position which later he changed. Imam Abu Hanifa died as a Martyr and Martyrs are alive in Jannah. May Allah Grant him highest paradise with Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him ameen.

Author: Islamic Treasure

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  1. kindly send this fatwa concerning imam abu hanifa in to my e mail box;

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