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The Learning of Imam Abu Hanifa (rh)
Imam Abu Hanifa (rh) had many chains of learning in different cities and under many teachers
(with some accounts reporting up to 4000 teachers in total). A few of these chains are illustrated below with some background of the constituents.
Chain of Kufa
500 Sahaba Anas ibn Malik (RA)
Abdullah ibn Masood(RA) Alqamah
Abu Hurayra (RA)
Sha’bi Hisham ibn Urwah
Met in his lifetime(rh)
‘Ain ibn Abdullah (rh) Ibrahim Nakhai
Hammad Imam Malik Sufyan Thawri Sufyan b. Uyaynah
The above central chain is one of the most well-known of the chains of learning of Imam Abu Hanifah(rh). It comprises of: a) Abdullah ibn Masood(RA) – He was a Mujtahid Mutlaq who was guaranteed Jannah in the lifetime of Rasoolillah(SAW). He was very close to the family of Rasoolillah(SAW) being mistaken as part of Ahl ul Bait by some bediouns. Abu Musa Ashari says, ‘When we came from Yemen, we thought for some time that Abdullah was a member of the Blessed Household, because Abdullah and his mother were constantly coming and going in the Prophet presence. He was regularly of the first in the row for salaah behind Rasoolillah(SAW) and was first to recite the Quran to the Quraysh publicly. The Prophet had always desired to make Ibn Masood a leader of men, as it is clear
Based in Makkah and one of the most prominent teachers of Imam Shafie(rh)
Kanz ul Hudaa
Page 1 of 5
4th Oct 2003
"Do you fear poverty for my children? I have commanded them to read Surah alWaqiah every night for I have heard the Prophet saying. the Yemen by Tawus ibn Qaysan. in particular. in practising Islam as a whole. Uthman asked. during the time of the blessed generation succeeding the Companions. frequently suggested to those near him: ‘Come and let us go to the one who resembles Ibn Mas‘ud the most in conduct and attitudes” It is said that Basra was honored. ‘Amr ibn Shurahbil. by. I would make Ibn Masood a leader. d) Hammad began teaching Imam Abu Hanifah at the age of 22 and on his passing away Imam Abu Hanifah took over his majlis (circle) at the age of 40. Uthman came to visit him and said: "What is your ailment?" "My sins". Madina by Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyib. replied Ibn Masud. ‘If I was to make anyone a leader over someone without consulting anyone." b) Alqama (rh) – Ibn Masood (RA) said of him ‘Whoever has met Alqamah has met ibn Masood’ Alqama was the founder of the School of Kufa in Islamic religious sciences. "Shall I not give you your stipend which you have refused to take for years now?" Ibn Masud replied. Abdullah Ibn Masud asked. e) Sha’bi(rh) – Imam Shafie(rh) said of him that the science of hadith owes a debt to him. Kanz ul Hudaa Page 2 of 5 4th Oct 2003 .’ Of his piety.Ahkaam al-Fiqh Module 2 from the following words of the Prophet . c) Ibrahim Nakhai (rh) – He was the main student of Alqama (rh) with an outstanding memory. Despite his having been giving permission to teach in the lifetime of Hammad(rh) the Imam never did so out of respect for his teacher. he replied. which is why he was known as the Pillar of Hadith. Uthman said. Alqama followed in the footsteps of Ibn Mas‘ud in praying and conduct." "Let it be for your daughters after you". "The mercy of my Lord". who was among the great scholars who narrated Traditions from Alqama. "I have no need of it. Uthman asked. "And what do you desire?". Hasan al-Basri. He was also the main teacher of Hammad who was in turn the main teacher of Imam Abu Hanifah. and Kufa by Alqama ibn Qays al-Nakha’i. "Whoever reads AlWaqiah every night shall not be afflicted by poverty ever. it is narrated that under the Khilaafah of Uthman (RA) on his deathbed.
"It is obvious that this hadith ash-Sharif refers to al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa. it was Abdullah ibn Umar(RA) who often used to day “Why do people come to me when ‘Ata ibn Abi Rabahis there for them to go to?”." He went on to say "The great fiqh scholar Shams al-aimma 'Abd al-Ghaffar al-Kardari (d. Ibn 'Abidin.D.) said.Ahkaam al-Fiqh Module 2 Imam Ibn ul Abideen in his sharh (commentary) of Durr ul Muktar quotes from Ibn Hajar Makki (rh) "Al Khairat al Hisan" on the authority of Ibn Sulayman (rh) that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "The splendour of the world will be lifted in the year 150 AH" Imam Quduri (rh) commented on this saying that this is none other than Abu Hanifah (rh). Kanz ul Hudaa Page 3 of 5 4th Oct 2003 . Of the other muhaditheen of Makkah whose classes the Imam attended was ‘Ikrimah (the slave and pupil of Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas). since he passed away in 150. in his commentary on Durr al-mukhtar. 562/1166 A. quoted the following hadith ash-Sharif from the book Al-khairat al-hisan by Ibn Hajar al-Makki: "The ornament of the world will be taken away in the year 150. Here. he studied from the likes of ‘Ata bin Rabah (a famous Tabie who in his own lifetime had assocaited with more than 200 Sahaba). Indeed." Rasoolillah(SAW) Ali (RA) Al-Hassan Al-Husayn Ali Zayn al Abideen Imam Baqir Imam Jafar al Sadiq Anas ibn Malik (RA) Abdullah ibn Masood(RA) Alqamah Qatadah Ibrahim Nakhai Chain of Basr a Hammad Imam Awzai (Egypt) Met Imam Malik (Madina) Met Abu Hanifa As is illustrated by the above chains Imam Abu Hanifahs quest for knowledge took him to Makkah at a time when it was a busy centre for learning.
000 ahadith by memory Kanz ul Hudaa Page 4 of 5 4th Oct 2003 . Yet in doing this.)يهتج بحديثه Many well known shuyukh narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah. who for the matters that were not dealt with by the founder of the Madhhab. No less than Shu’ba (amir al mu’mineen fil hadith) wrote to him for narrations and ordered him to narrate hadith. The mujtahids of Islam.Asbaab al-Nuzul .Usool al Fiqh . Some of the Sahabah were Mujtahid Imams whom other Sahabah would refer to for understandings of ahkaam al Shariah such as Ali(RA). 'Abdullah ibn Husain alKarkhi (340). derived rules from the four sources. and derived tenets in accordance with the principles they established. who.Lugha & Nahw / Sarf . 2 Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal(rh) was of the opinion that this had a lower limit of 700. derived rules using the methods and principles of the Madhhab. Hammad ibn Zayd and ‘Abd al-Razzaq (one of the teachers of Imam Bukhari).Ijma al-Sahabah . There are a vast number of criterion which must be fulfilled to reach the level of Mujtahid requiring knowledge in fields such as: . Mujtahid Murajjih and Mujtahid Mutlaq (complete). such as al Thawri. 2. The mujtahids of matters (masala). Ibn Hajar said in in Kharija ibn al Salts’ notice in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib. Shams al-aimma as-Sarahsi (483) (RAA). ‘Abd Allah ibn Ahmad alDawraqi said: “Ibn Ma’inn was asked about Abu Hanifah as I was listening. Shams al-aimma al-Halwani (456). Hassaf Ahmad ibn 'Umar (d.H. ibn al Mubarak.).Tafseer . The mujtahids in a Madhhab. The mams of the four madhahib were of this category. Scholars of this type included Imam atTahawi (238-321 A.Ilm ul Hadith2 . Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr relates in al-Intiqa.Usool al hadith . Types of mujtahid 1. 261). I never heard that anyone had weakened him’. Abdullah ibn Abbas.Amal of the Sahaba These sciences were studied to high levels of perfection before the acts of deriving ahkaam from the Sacred Texts could begin. following the principles formulated by the imam of the Madhhab. so he said ‘He is trustworthy (thiqatun). ibn Abi Khaythama said:”If al-Shubi narrates from someone and names him. Abdullah ibn Masood etc. that man is thiqa and his narration is used as proof (. they had to follow the imam. who constructed the methods and principles of deriving tenets from the four sources of the religion (Adilla-i arba'a).Ahkaam al-Fiqh Module 2 Indeed the trustworthiness of Imam Abu Hanifah was attested by many just based upon his permissions to teach. including Mujtahid fee Madhab. What are the criterion of a mujtahid Imam This is the pinnacle of learning and shares categories and levels. Examples of such were Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani 3.
Husam ad-din ar-Razi 'Ali ibn Ahmad (d. 710 A. who was martyred by the soldiers of Genghis in the Bukhara Massacre of 593 A.H.H. 593 A. They were scholars who explained in brief. 694). who preferred one of the several riwayas (narrations or opinions of the mujtahids as narrated) coming from mujtahids.). the author of Mukhtar. Ashab at-takhrij. in Damascus) was one of them. the author of Kanz addaqaiq.. 673). 'Abdullah ibn Mahmud al-Musuli (d. 683). Arbab at-Tarjih. Those who wrote various riwayas about a matter in an order with respect to their reliability were called muqallids.) and Burhan ad-din 'Ali al-Marghinani. the author of Al-hidaya. 6.Ahkaam al-Fiqh Module 2 4. They were Abu l'Hasan al-Quduri (362428 A. the author of Al-wiqaya. They did not include any refused riwaya in their books. and Ibn as-Sa'ati Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-Baghdadi (d. Burhan ashSharia Mahmud ibn Sadr ash-Sharia 'Ubaid-Allah (d. He (rh) wrote a commentary to AlQuduri. who are not able to employ ijtihad. Abu 'l-Barakat 'Abdullah ibn Ahmad an-Nasafi (d. [1198 A. the author of Majma' al-bahrain.].H. are of these (RAA).H. Kanz ul Hudaa Page 5 of 5 4th Oct 2003 . unclear rules derived by mujtahids. 5.D.
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