Many people with little knowledge give the perception that Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alaih) came out of nowhere, and people following his interpretation of the Quran and Sunnah are in error. This can easily be refuted by Ibn Abidin's (rahmatullahi alaih) statement, he gives the analogy of the evolution of the Hanafi fiqh as bread, he says:
"Abdullah ibn Masood (radiallahu anh), who sowed the seeds of this knowledge, was one of the greatest and best learned ones of the Sahaba (radiallahu anhum). Alqama (rahmatullahi alaih), his disciple, watered these seeds and turned them into crops, and Ibrahim Nakha'i (rahmatullahi alaih), his disciple, reaped the harvest, that is, gathered the pieces of this knowledge together. Hammad Kufi (rahmatullahi alaih) threshed it, and his disciple, Imam A'zam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullahi alaih), ground it, that is, he classified the knowledge into sections; Imam Abu Yusuf (rahmatullahi alaih) made dough from it, and Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani (rahmatullahi alaih) baked it. Muslims have been eating the morsels prepared in this procedure."
Another claim which this lecture answers is, why do you only follow one man, surely he can make mistakes? The short answer being, that it is not only one man, he had a circle of 40 top scholars. Some times the opinion of his students are taken and sometimes his.
This lecture is an except from "Legacy of Abdullah ibn Masood" by Sheikh Riyadh Ul Haq