The Imaam


Friday, 25 February 2011 23:00

Fiqhul ImaamImaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) was among the greatest jurists that the ummah has ever seen after the illustrious Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum). It was his distinguished position among the fuqaha (jurists) of his era that earned him the title “Imaam-al-Aa'zam” (The greatest Imaam of that era and the period thereafter).

Born in 80 AH, Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) had the good fortune of meeting Hadhrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhum) and several other Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum). Thus he joined the ranks of the Tabieen (those who met the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum)).




Imaam Abu Hanifa's (Rahmatullahi Alayh) contemporaries as well as the many great scholars who came after him all attested to his expertise in all the sciences of Deen. While he was more famously known for his expertise in fiqh (jurisprudence), he was an authority in the field of Hadith as well. He acquired Hadith from approximately four thousand ustaads, among them many Tabieen (the students of the Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum)). The Ahadith narrated by Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) have been recorded in 17 collections of hadith by his students. Among his famous and notable students was the great Muhaddith Abdullah bin Mubarak (Rahmatullahi Alayh).

Like many others who gained a distinguished position, Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) also became the target of envy and jealousy. Hence some of his enemies circulated baseless criticism against him, which was roundly refuted by some of the most senior authorities of Hadith. It is noteworthy that many high-ranking Shafi’ee scholars were among those who wrote entire books in support of the Imaam and in refutation of the baseless criticism against him.



Imaam Abu Hanifa is best known as the Imaam of the Hanafi Mazhab. While the Hanafi Mazhab is attributed to him, it was not his independent deduction of masaail (laws) from the Qur'an and Sunnah. Instead, it was the combined effort of a circle of 40 scholars. Among them were some of the highest ranking experts of Hadith, jurists, linguists, etc. Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) was their leader. They would often debate a single issue for days and at times for even a month before reaching a conclusion, which was then recorded as the law derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The laws which were codified in this manner became known as the Hanafi Mazhab.

The Hanafi Mazhab is therefore in reality a codification of the laws derived from the Qur'an and Sunnah by a pannel of experts of the highest calibre. One who follows such a mazhab is in reality following only the Qur'an and Sunnah.

May Allah Ta'ala keep us steadfast on Deen and save us from every form of deviation. Aameen.