Imam Shafi The founder of the Shafi school of thought, Imam Shafi is reported to have said:
The person who wishes to excel in Fiqh is bound to be in need of Imam Abu Hanifa. He was a person who was divinely guided with Fiqh by Allah. I have not seen a greater Faqih then him.
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal The founder of the Hanabli school of thought, Imam Ahmad is reported to have said:
In terms of Ilm, piety, abstinence from this dunya and preference of the hereafter, Abu Hanifa occupied such a lofty position that no one else could reach. May Allah shower his mercy on him!
Yahya ibn Ma'een says that Yahya ibn Said al Qattan said:
By Allah! We sat in the company of Abu Hanifa and heard many religious issues from him. I swear by Allah! When I looked at his face I used to be overcome with firm conviction that this man is very fearful of Allah.
Hadhrat Yahya bin Ma'een رضي الله عنه writes, "I have heard Yahya bin Qattaan رضي الله عنه say, 'I do not speak a word of lie when I say that I have never heard anyone with a better opinion than Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه." Hadhrat Yahya bin Ma'een رضي الله عنه writes further, "In fact, he (Yahya bin Qattaan) followed most of the rulings passed by Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه." [Tahdheeb Vol.1 Pg.50]
Yahya ibn Mu'een رضي الله عنه stated: "Imam Abu Hanifa رضي الله عنه as extremely reliable in Hadith as he never narrated any Hadith which he had not memorized." Both Yahya ibn Mu'een and Ibn Sa'eed Qattan رضي الله عنه declared that they had applied many of his opinions. (Tadhkiratul Huffaz, Vol. 10 p. 450)
Someone once asked Yahya ibn Mu'een رضي الله عنه if Imam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه was reliable in Hadith to which he retorted: "Yes. very reliable, very reliable." (The virtues of The Great Imam (Imam Abu Hanifa), by Muwaffiq: vol.1, page 192)
Ibn Ma'in has been reported saying: "I would never place anyone above Waki'. He would issue his legal rulings [fatawa] according to the opinion of Abu Hanifa and would memorize all the hadiths from him. He has heard a great deal of hadiths from Abu Hanifa." (I'la' al-sunan 19:315)
Yahya ibn Ma'een (rahmatullahi alaih) attests to the great calibre of Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alaih) and says, "He is thiqa (reliable) and trustworthy and I have never heard anyone who regards him to be a weak narrator." [Umdatul Qaari, volume 3, page 66]
He also mentioned that the best Fiqh in his estimation is that of Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alaih).
"Salih ibn Muhammad said, I heard Yahya ibn Ma'in say, 'Abu Hanifah was reliable in hadith.' Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Qasim ibn Mihraz narrated from Ibn Ma'in, 'There is nothing wrong with Abu Hanifah.' And he said once, 'He is according to us from among the people of truth and was never accused of lying. Ibn Hubayrah imposed on him to take up the judiciary, but he refused to be a qadi...'
Al-Mawfaq has narrated hadiths with his chain until 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Abu Razmah and has mentioned the knowledge of Abu Hanifah in hadith and said, 'A hadith scholar would come to Kufa and Abu Hanifah would say to his companions, "See, does he have any hadiths that we don't?" He said, "Another hadith scholar would come to them so Abu Hanifah would say the same."'
Although Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه was primarily concerned with the principles of Fiqh, extracting rulings from the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth, and compiling these, he also narrated a large number of Ahadeeth. Haafidh Dhahabi رضي الله عنه writes, "Hammaad bin Zaid رضي الله عنه has narrated a great number of Ahadeeth from Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه." [Al Intiqaa Pg. 130] The Imaam of Jarh wa Ta'deel , Imaam Yahya bin Ma'een رضي الله عنه says that Imaam Wakee رضي الله عنه used to memorise all the Ahadeeth of Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه, which amounted to a large collection. [Al Intiqaa Pg. 150 and Jaami'u Bayaanil Ilm Vol.2 Pg.149]
Therefore, when one is studying a ruling of Fiqh, it will be incorrect to suspect that perhaps Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه never had knowledge of certain Ahadeeth. The Qur'aan declares that such types of suspicion are sinful. [Mulla Ali Qaari رضي الله عنه in his commentary of Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه's Musnad]
The Muhadditheen accept Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه's opinion concerning the narrators of Ahadeeth. Haafidh Ibn Hajar Asqalaani رضي الله عنه writes about the narrator Zaid bin Ayaash, "Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefa رضي الله عنه says that he is an unknown narrator." [Tahdheeb Vol.3 Pg.424]
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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