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Before discussing these criticisms in detail, one should understand that most of the criticisms which were levelled against Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.) were either due to jealousy or due to lack of correct information about him.
Ibnu Abdil Barr Al-Maaliki (r.a.) mentions in Jaamiu Bayaanil Ilmi wa Fadlihi (pg.149): Those who narrated from Abu Haneefah (r.a.) and supported his authenticity are much more in number than those who criticised him.
Taaj-ud-Deen As-Subki (r.a.) has mentioned in Tabaqaat-ush-Shafi`iyyah Al-Kubra under the discussion of Ahmad ibnu Saalih Al-Misri (r.a.):
The correct view according to us is that when a person has been recognised as an imam and there are many who praise him, then one will not pay any attention to the little criticism that is levelled against him; otherwise there will be no one who would be free from any criticism. (Arba`u Rasaa-il fi U`loomil Hadeeth, pg.19)
Thus we understand that the little criticism that has been levelled against Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.) does not affect his high status in the least.
Due to the fact that many of the quotations that have been mentioned are recorded in Taareekh-ul-Baghdad, it is necessary for us to understand the authenticity of these narrations. Muhammad ibnu Yusuf As-Saalihi Ash-Shafi`ee (r.a.) writes in U`qoodul Jumaan:
Most of the narrations which Khateeb (r.a.) has mentioned against Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.) have mutakallam or majhool narrators. Let alone criticising an Imam of the Muslims with such narrations, it is not permissible for anyone to criticise any Muslim.
If we assume them to be authentic, then they are reported from those who came after Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.), and did not see him. They merely followed what they had read in books of those who had enmity for him. And if these criticisms are reported from his contemporaries who had prejudice for him, then it would be totally disregarded.
Allamah Zahabi (r.a.) and Hafiz Ibnu Hajar (r.a.) have mentioned that the criticism of contemporaries will be disregarded especially if it is based on prejudice or difference of mazhab. (Taneebul Khateeb, pg.59)
Let us now discuss the view of each scholar separately.
Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (r.a.):
Criticism No.1: Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (r.a.) was asked about Imam Maalik (r.a.). The reply was, his ahadeeth are correct but the narrators are weak. Then someone asked him about Imam Shafi`ee (r.a.). The reply was, his ahadeeth and opinion is correct. Then someone asked about Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.). He said Nu`maans opinions and his ahadeeth bear no value.
1) A similar narration has been recorded by Khateeb Baghdadi (r.a.). We find in the chain of narrators a person by the name of Muhammad ibnu Abdillah Ash-Shafi`ee, who was a muta`assib (prejudiced / biased) shafi`ee. Hence, that is why the only Imam that has been praised in this narration is Imam Shafi`ee (r.a.). Therefore, his narrations containing the criticism of other imams are not accepted by the scholars of hadith. (Taneebul Khateeb, pg.247)
2) The statement that the ahadeeth of Imam Maalik (r.a.) are correct but the narrators are weak cannot be understood, simply because Imam Shafi`ee (r.a.) who was the ustaad of Imam Ahmad (r.a.) had mentioned: I do not know of any kitaab besides the kitaab of Allah that is more authentic than the Muwatta of Imam Maalik (r.a.). (Sharhu Sharhi Nukhbatil Fikar, pg.268)
In fact, Imam Bukhaari (r.a.) has mentioned that the most authentic chain of narrators in hadith is that of Maalik from Naafi` from Ibnu Umar (r.a.). (Sharhu Sharhi Nukhbatil Fikar, pg.260)
3) In this allegation it is mentioned that Imam Abu Haneefahs (r.a.) opinions bear no value, whereas he is famously known as Imamu Ahlir-Rai, even according to those who criticise him. Hence, how can he be called an imam if his rai (opinion) bears no value? (Taneebul Khateeb pg.247)
Criticism No.2: Imam Ahmad (r.a.) cautioned Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.) because he would accept weak and fabricated Hadeeth.
Answer: Wakee` (r.a.) said: None was so cautious in Hadeeth like Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.). And Imam Ahmad (r.a.) had said regarding Wakee` (r.a.), I have not seen someone who had a greater memory than Wakee` (r.a.). (Ma Tamassu Ilaihil Haajah, pg.11)
Criticism No.3: Imam Ahmad (r.a.) said that a goats faeces is on par with the fatwas of Abu Haneefah (r.a.).
1) There are many weak narrators in the chain of this narration viz. Ibnu Rizk, Nijaad, Abdullah ibnu Ahmad, and Mahna ibnu Yahya.
2) It is difficult to believe that a person with such a refined temperament like Imam Ahmad (r.a.) would use such foul language against a great Imam. (Taneebul Khateeb, pg.225)
Criticism No.4: Ahmad ibnu Hambal (r.a.) said that Abu Haneefah (r.a.) is a liar.
Answer: Yahya bin Ma`een (r.a.) stated regarding Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.): He was reliable and I did not hear anyone declaring him as weak. If Imam Ahmad (r.a.) had really regarded Abu Haneefah (r.a.) as a liar, then Yahya bin Ma`een (r.a.) would have definitely known about it, because they used to meet very frequently. So, the fact that Ibnu Maeen (r.a.) said that he had not heard anyone declaring him as weak, is a clear indication that this statement which is attributed to Imam Ahmad (r.a.) is not true. (Taneebul Khateeb, pg.254)
Thus, it is difficult to believe that Imam Ahmad (r.a.) had made such statements against Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.), whereas Imam Ahmad (r.a.) began his studies of Hadeeth under Abu Yusuf (r.a.) who was a leading student of Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.). Similarly, there are many statements of Imam Ahmad (r.a.) in praise of Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.).
View of Imam Maalik (r.a.):
Criticism No.1: Imam Maalik (r.a.) said, Abu Haneefah (r.a.) was the worst of people and that it would have been easier for him to raise his sword against the Muslims.
1) This has been mentioned in one article as you have stated, so what is the authenticity of it?
2) This narration seems incorrect, because Imam Maalik (r.a.) was such a personality who would have not slandered anyone.
Criticism No.2: Imam Maalik (r.a.) said that for the Muslims Abu Hanifas (r.a.) fitnah is more damaging than the fitnah of Shaytaan.
Answer: There are many weak narrators in the chain thereby rendering the narration totally weak viz. Ibnu Rizk, Ibnu Salam, and Al-Abaar, Habeeb ibnu Zuraiq. (Taneebul Khateeb, pg.169)
Criticism No.3: Imam Maalik ibnu Anas (r.a.) stated that in Islam, no one has damaged it more than Numaan.
Answer: There are many weak narrators in the chain viz. Abdullah ibnu Jafar, Hasan ibnu Sabbaah, and Ishaaq ibnu Ibraaheem. (Taneebul Khateeb, pg.167/ Makaanatu Abi Haneefah, pg.221)
Criticism No.4: Once Imam Maalik (r.a.) asked Waleed ibnu Muslim (r.a.): Do people listen to Abu Hanifa (r.a.) in your city? He said: Yes. Imam Maalik (r.a.) replied its amazing that your city has not been destroyed.
Answer: There are many weak narrators in the chain. Thus, this will render the narration totally unreliable viz. Ibnu Rizk, Abu Mamar Ismaaeel ibnu Ibraaheem Al-Huzaly, and Abdullaah ibnu Ahmad.
Thus we understand, that one cannot prove from such weak narrations that Imam Maalik (r.a.) had criticised such a great Imam of his time. Great Maaliki Ulama have even refuted these narrations. (See Taneebul Khateeb pg.185). On the contrary, there are many strong and famous narrations which prove that Imam Maalik (r.a.) had very high regards for Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.).
View of Imam Shafi`ee (r.a.):
Criticism No.1: Imam Shaafii (r.a.) said that no-one more mischievous has appeared than Abu Hanifa (r.a.).
Answer: In this narration Ash-Shaafi`ee does not refer to Imam Shaafi`ee (r.a.), rather it refers to one of the narrators Muhammad ibnu Abdillaah Ash-Shaafi`ee, who was a muta`assib (prejudiced) shafi`ee. Hence, his narration would not be accepted against the Imam of another mazhab. (Taneebul Khateeb, pg.176)
Criticism No.2: Imam Shaafii (r.a.) said that Imam Abu Hanifas (r.a.) fatwas are like a chameleon, they continually change their colours.
Answer: There are two weak narrators in the chain viz. Ibnu Rizk and Abu Amr ibnu Simaak. (Taneebul Khateeb, pg.219)
Again, it is extremely difficult to believe that Imam Shaafi`ee (r.a.) had criticised Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.), because there are numerous narrations in which Imam Shaafi`ee (r.a.) had praised Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.). Furthermore, Imam Shaafi`ee (r.a.) was a student of Imam Muhammad (r.a.), who was considered to be among the leading students of Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.).
For more information about the narrations of Taareekh-ul-Baghdad against Imam Abu Haneefah (r.a.), refer to Taneebul Khateeb a`la maa saaqahu fi tarjamati Abi Haneefah min-al-akazeeb by Allamah Zaahid Al-Kawthari.
View of Imam Sufyan Thauri :
The criticism of Imam Sufyan Thauri levelled against Imam Abu Haneefah cannot be accepted for the very reason that it has been proven that he had actually praised Imam Abu Haneefah. Hereunder are some of the reasons why his criticism cannot be accepted:
1) The illustrious scholar of his time A`llamah Taaj-ud-Deen As-Subki (r.a.) writes: The criticism of Sufyan Thauri regarding him (Imam Abu Haneefah) should be ignored. (Qawaa`id fi U`loom-il-Hadith, pg 195)
2) Sufyan Thauri is reported to have said:
(Imam) Abu Haneefah was the most knowledgeable person on the surface of the earth in his lifetime. (Ta`leeq a`la Al-Intiqaa li Ibni A`bdil Barr Shaikh Abdul Fattah, pg 24)
3) Abu Yusuf was heard saying:
Sufyan Thauri is a more ardent follower of (Imam) Abu Haneefah than myself. (Al-Intiqaa li Ibni A`bdil Barr, pg 198)
4) Abu Mutee` says: I was once sitting with (Imam) Abu Haneefah when a group of ulama amongst whom was Sufyan Thauri came to discuss some issues with Imam Abu Haneefah. After a very long discussion they said to Imam Abu Haneefah:
You are the leader of the ulama. Please forgive us for anything that we might have said regarding you in the past. (Abu Haneefah wa As-habuhu-al-Muhaddithoon, pg 59)
View of Yahya bin Ma`een
The criticism of Yahya bin Ma`een cannot be accepted for the following reasons:
1) It is narrated from Ibnu Ma`een that he said:
There is no problem (laa ba`s) regarding Abu Haneefah. (ta`leeq a`la Al-Intiqaa, pg 246)
Ibnu Ma`een has explained:
Whenever I use the words laa bas I mean that the particular narrator is authentic and reliable. (Qawaa`id fi U`loomil Hadith, pg 250)
2) Salim bin Muhammad (r.a.) said, I personally heard Ibnu Ma`een saying:
Abu Haneefah was thiqah (reliable) in hadith. (ta`leeq a`la Al-Intiqaa, pg 246)
3) Yahya bin Ma`een stated:
Abu Haneefah (r.a.) was totally reliable and truthful in hadith and fiqh, and a guardian of Allahs deen.
4) He also mentioned regarding (Imam) Abu Haneefah (r.a.):
I have not heard anyone classifying him as dha`eef (weak). (Muqaddamah Aujaz-ul-Masaalik, pg 58)
View of Imam Bukhari
The criticism of Imam Bukhari will not be accepted for the following reasons:
1) Firstly, it is an accepted principle of Jarh and Ta`deel that the criticism of the latter ulama against the former will not be accepted, as explained by Taaj-ud-Deen As-Subki which we have discussed at the beginning.
It is quite evident from the previous statements that Imam Abu Haneefah is from amongst those whom the vast majority of ulama supported his authenticity. Thus, the criticism of a few individuals will not affect his position.
2) It has been proven in many instances where Imam Bukhaari (r.a.) said regarding some narrators: feehi nazr (there is some deficiency in him).
However, the imams of Jarh and Ta`deel have not accepted his verdict, rather they accepted those narrators.
Shaikh Abdul Fattah makes reference to such narrators whom the ulama of jarh have accepted but Imam Bukhari regarded them as weak and not suitable. (ta`leeq a`la Arraf`u wat Takmeel, pg 389 391)
3) Hafiz Sakhawi writes:
the kalam of Ibnu Hayyan (r.a.) regarding some of the imams, the words of Ibnu A`diy, Khateeb Al-Baghdadi and the ulama before them like Ibnu Abi Shaymah, Bukhaari, and Nasai (r.a.) with regards to some of the aimmah is such that it is Wajib not to follow them in their views although their intentions may have been correct. (Ma Tamassu ilaihi al-Hajah, pg 20)
View of Imam Nasai:
We cannot accept the criticism of Imam Nasai due to the following reasons:
1) The words of Imam Nasai are laisa bil qawi. This does not mean in any way that Imam Abu Haneefah was weak as far as his memory was concerned. It is only an indication to a few errors which were made by Imam Abu Haneefah according to the opinion of Imam Nasai. However, we cannot accept this criticism of Imam Nasai since it was not explained as to what he is referring to in this situation.
2) This criticism cannot be accepted for the mere fact that it contradicts the detailed authentication of Imam Abu Haneefah. (Makanatu Abi Haneefah, pg 233)
3) Shaikh Abdurrasheed Nu`mani writes in Ma Tamassu Ilaihi al-Hajah, pg 38:
Imam Nasai has enlisted Imam Abu Haneefah and three other of his students under the dua`faa (weak narrators). In spite of this, he has reported a hadith on the authority of Imam Abu Haneefah in his Sunan. Hafiz Ibnu Hajar has stated in At-Tahzeeb (vol 10, pg 403) under the discussion of Imam Abu Haneefah: the following appears in Sunan An-Nasai:-
A`asim narrates from Abu Razeen who narrates from Ibnu Abbas that he said, there is no hadd (punishment) for one who engages in sexual intercourse with an animal.
It appears in the narration of Abu Ali Asyuti and the Magharibah from Imam Nasai:- Nu`man narrated from A`asim, and the chain of narrators continues the same. However, in the narration of Ibnul Ahmar from Imam Nasai it is stated:
Nu`man i.e. Abu Haneefah.
Shaikh Abdurrasheed thereafter comments:
I say: it is highly possible that he (Imam Nasai) retracted from his criticism on Imam Abu Haneefah and this could have been at the time when Imam Nasai met Imam Tahawi in Egypt and after sitting in his company.
View of Daaraqutni:
The allegations of Daaraqutni will not be accepted for the following reasons:
1) Allamah Lucknowi states in Ar-Raf`u wat Takmeel:
The opinions of Daaraqutni and his likes regarding Imam Abu Haneefah are not deserving of being accepted. (pg 76)
2) As far as Daaraqutni regarding Imam Abu Haneefah as weak then this is possibly due to ta`assub. If one carefully studies the Sunan of Daaraqutni he will realise that he is in support of the mazhab of Imam Shaafi`ee, and in trying to do so he comments on some reliable narrators as weak.
For example, the famous muhaddith Muhammad bin Abdirrahman bin Abi Layla al-Qadhi. After narrating the hadith regarding the taharah of mani (semen) with a chain of narrators containing Ibnu Abi Layla, Daaraqutni comments: he (Ibnu Abi Layla) is thiqah (reliable), but there is a slight weakness in his memory.
Later in the kitab, after narrating the hadith regarding the shafa` (repeating) of the words of iqamat on the authority of Ibnu Abi Layla, Daaraqutni comments: da`eef and he has a poor memory.
Yet further in the kitab after narrating the hadith regarding the qaarin performing two sa`ees on the authority of Ibnu Abi Layla, Daaraqutni comments: he has a very bad and poor memory and he errs a lot. (ta`leeq a`la Nasb-ur-Rayah, Shaikh Muhammad Awwamah, vol 2, pg 8)
Thus, we understand that the opinion of Daaraqutni regarding Imam Abu Haneefah holds no weight since it was due to ta`assub (prejudice) that he commented in such a manner regarding Imam Abu Haneefah.
View of Imam Muslim:
The criticism of Imam Muslim cannot be accepted for the following reasons:
1) We cannot accept that Imam Abu Haneefah had a weak memory since great luminaries and contemporaries of Imam Abu Hanifah had acknowledged his profound and excellent memory and authenticity. Ulama like Shu`bah, Ibnu Ma`een and Yahya ibnu Sa`eed Al-Qattan etc. had approved of the memory of Imam Abu Haneefah. Imam Muslim only came a century later. Hence, how could his criticism ever be accepted in the presence of the approval and acknowledgement of such great ulama?
As far as Imam Abu Haneefah not having any authentic hadith, then this is totally baseless. It is a proven fact that Imam Abu Haneefah has more than a hundred thunaaiyyat (there are only two narrators between him and Rasulullah). Among them are the silsilatuz zahab i.e. Naafi` from Ibnu Umar. They can be located in Jaami`ul Masaaneed lil Imam Al-A`zam.
Hence, how can one ever have the slightest doubt in the authenticity of the narrations of Imam Abu Haneefah.
View of Ibnu Hibban
The criticism of Ibnu Hibban levelled against Imam Abu Haneefah is not something which attention should be paid towards due to the following reasons:
1) Hafiz Zahabi and Hafiz Ibnu Hajar A`sqalani (r.a.) have stated regarding the criticism of Ibnu Hibban:
Many a time Ibnu Hibban criticises a reliable person to such an extent that at times it seems that he himself was totally unaware of what he was uttering. (Al-Intiqaa, pg 236)
2) Hafiz Ibnu Salaah mentioned: Ibnu Hibban committed a grave error by levelling criticism against Imam Abu Haneefah. (Ta'neeb-ul-Khateeb, pg 146)
3) Allamah Kauthari stated: In reality, the criticism of Ibnu Hibban is as a result of his ta`ssub (prejudice). (Taneeb-ul-Khateeb, pg 146)
View of Abdullah bin Mubarak:
1) Allamah Kauthari explains that the statement of Abdullah bin Mubarak where he said: Abu Haneefah is miskeen in hadith, in no way implies that Imam Abu Haneefah had very little knowledge in the science of hadith. Rather, being miskeen in hadith refers to the fact that Imam Abu Haneefah's focus was not directed towards relating many turuq (chain of narrators) when narrating a hadith as is the habit of those muhadditheen who have devoted themselves solely for the transmitting of hadith.
Being a mujtahid, Imam Sahib's attention was focused to a greater extent to the deducing of ahkaam (laws and verdicts) from the various ahadeeth. (Taneeb-ul-Khateeb, pg 235)
2) Hafiz Zahabi writes regarding Abu Haneefah's vastness in the science of hadith: Indeed Imam Abu Haneefah pursued hadith and he compiled plenty of ahadeeth in the year 100 A.H. and thereafter as well. (Al-Intiqaa, pg 205)
3) Hafiz Muhammad bin Yusuf as-Saalihi ad-Damishqi Ash-Shafi`ee writes in his kitab U`qood-ul-Jumaan:
Note well that Imam Abu Haneefah is from amongst the very senior ranking huffaz (those who memorised many ahadeeth) of hadith.
In yet another place he mentioned:
Imam Abu Haneefah had obtained hadith from 4000 mashaaikh. (Some of whom were tabi`een) (Al-Intiqaa, pg 205)
4) Yahya bin Ma`een mentioned:
Abu Haneefah was thiqah in the science of hadith. He would only quote such ahadeeth which he had committed to memory. Never would he quote a hadeeth which he had not committed to memory. (Al-Intiqaa, pg 246)
Views of other ulama regarding the status of Imam Abu Haneefah:
After discussing the allegations of the ulama against Imam Abu Haneefah we will discuss the views and statements of other ulama and contemporaries of Imam Abu Haneefah in order to get a better understanding of the status and rank of Imam Abu Haneefah.
1) Abdullah bin Mubarak (r.a.) mentioned:
If Allah Ta`ala did not assist me through Abu Haneefah and Sufyan Thauri, My condition would have been the same as that of the rest of the people. (Tabyeed-us-Saheefah, pg 101)
2) In another place he (Abdullah bin Mubarak) states:
By the qasm of Allah! Abu Haneefah was totally immersed in his pursuit for knowledge, abstained from unlawful things, followed the ulama of his era, only accepted that which was authentically recorded from Rasulullah (s.a.w.), had a very strong link with the science of naasikh and mansookh, searched for ahadeeth from reliable narrators and followed the latter practices of Rasulullah. Whatever haqq he found the Ahl-e-Kufah practising he followed that method and adopted that as his mazhab. Some people have criticised him, but we will remain silent with regards to them. We will seek Allahs forgiveness on their behalf. (Muqaddamah Aujaz-ul-Masalik, pg 58)
3) Yahya bin Sa`eed Al-Qattan who is an accepted personality in the field of Jarh and Ta`deel stated:
We have not heard of opinions better than that of Abu Haneefah and we accept majority of his opinions, (Muqaddamah I`laa-us-Sunan, pg 14, vol 21)
4) He (Yahya bin Sa`eed) also mentioned:
By the qasm of Allah! Abu Haneefah is the most knowledgeable person of the ummat with regards to the injunctions that have been conveyed to us from Allah Ta`ala and Rasulullah (s.a.w.). (Abu Haneefah an-Nu`man li Wahbi Sulaiman, pg 183)
5) When the news of the demise of Imam Abu Haneefah reached Ibnu Juraij he recited inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji`oon. He then expressed his remorse and said:
i`lm (knowledge) has departed from our midst.
N.B. When the muhadditheen speak of i`lm they refer to the knowledge of hadith. (Tabyeed-us-Saheefah, pg 102)
6) Yazeed bin Haroon mentioned:
I have met a thousand ulama of hadith and I recorded hadith from most of them. However, I have not seen anyone possessing more faqahat (understanding of deen), more fear for Allah and more knowledge (of Quran and hadith) than five people. He then named the five and the first was Imam Abu Haneefah. (Al-Intiqaa / Abu Haneefah an-Nu`man, pg 182)
7) Wakee` ibn Al-Jarrah used to issue fatawa according to the mazhab of Imam Abu Haneefah and he memorised the ahadeeth narrated from Imam Abu Haneefah some of which he had heard directly from Imam Sahib. (Minan-ur-Rahman, pg 23)
8) Yahya bin Adam stated: Nu`man had gathered all the ahadeeth of his city (Kufah). (Minan-ur-Rahman, pg 21)
9) Al-Muhaddith Al-Faqeeh Muhammad bin Yusuf As-Saalihee mentioned:
Abu Haneefah was among the greatest huffaz of hadith.
He has also established kathrah of hadith for Imam Abu Haneefah which means that Imam Abu Haneefah had many narrations. (Abu Haneefah An-Nu`man, pg 172)
10) Al-Imam Hafiz Zahabi, one of the greatest scholars in hadith of the past had compiled a kitab, Tabaqaat-ul-Huffaz wherein he makes mention of the various huffaz of hadith. In this book Imam Zahabi makes special mention of Imam Abu Haneefah and his two famous students, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad. This indicates that Allamah Zahabi counted Imam Abu Hanefah from among the huffaz of hadith. (Abu Haneefah An-Nu`man, pg 181)
11) Imam Haakim an-Nishaapuri compiled a section regarding the famous reliable muhadditheen, in his kitab Ma`rifa-tu-U`loomil Hadith. Under the muhadditheen of Kufah, he mentions the name of Imam Abu Haneefah. (Ma`rifatu U`loomil Hadith, pg 323 329)
12) Ali ibnu Al-Madeeni stated:
Thauri and Ibnu Al-Mubarak have narrated from him and he is thiqah (reliable). (Minan-ur-Rahman, pg 22)
13) Israeel bin Yunus mentioned:
What a pleasant person is Nu`man (Abu Haneefah). Nobody had memorised more ahadeeth containing aspects of fiqh than him. (Minan-ur-Rahman, pg 21)
14) Imam Shu`bah mentioned:
Wallahi! He (Imam Abu Haneefah) had a very good understanding and an excellent memory. (Minan-ur-Rahman, pg 20)
15) Hasan bin Saalih mentioned:
Abu Haneefah was acquainted with the field of naasikh and mansookh, knew the ahadeeth of the people of Kufah, very stringently followed the practise of the people of Kufah and memorised the ahadeeth that had been reported by the people of Kufah. (Minan-ur-Rahman, pg 21)
We will end our discussion with the statement of Hafiz Ibnu Hajar A`sqalani. Hafiz stated:
It is better to leave out discussions of this nature (regarding the authenticity of the aimmah of the past) because Imam Abu Haneefah and those in his rank have crossed over the bridge. No persons criticism will affect their status. Instead, they hold an esteemed position which has been conferred to them by Allah, for they have been appointed as leaders. (Al-Jawahir wad-Durar, pg 946 947)
May Allah Ta`ala safeguard us from speaking ill of any great scholar of the past and may He grant us the ability to follow in the footsteps of these great personalities so that we may be successful. Aameen.
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