Abu Hanifa Background


Harnam    26-Mar-01, 00:00 AM (GMT)


. "RE: The Shia and the Sahaba."


Nauman bin Thabit, famously known as Imam Abu Hanifah, was not a pupil of Imam Jafer Sadiq or Imam Mohammed Baqir in the sense that he did not attend the schools in which the two Imams of the Ahlul Bayat taught.


However, it is widely acknowledged by Sunni scholars that Abu Hanifa during his visits to Medinah did visit Imam Mohammed Baqir and gained knowledge from him. The question that whether he gained any knowledge from Imam Jafer Sadiq or not, was first notably made controversial by Imam Ibn Tamiyya who was an absolute anti-Shia. Curiously, Ibne Tammiya also argued that since Abu Hanifa and Jafer Sadiq were almost of the same age, therefore, in his opinion, it was most unlikely that Abu Hanifa gained any knowledge from Jafer Sadiq.


The great Indian Sunni Muslim Scholar Maulana Shibli Naumani has commented on the question of Abu Hanifa's teachers in his famous book 'Nauman Bin Thabit al-Imam Abu Hanifa'. Maulana Shibli Naumani says: "Imam Ibne Tamiyya's assertion that Imam Abu Hanifa could not have gained knowledge from Imam Jafer Sadiq is impudence.No matter how great a Mujtahid and Fiqii Imam Abu Hanifa may have been,what comparison does he have with Imam Jafer Sadiq. Comparing the two would be similar to compare a candle i.e.Abu Hanifa to the sun i.e. Jafer Sadiq. Imam Jafer Sadiq is from that House from where the seas of knowledge flow".


The political beliefs of Abu Hanifa firmly indicate that he supported the descendants of the Holy Prophet. When Zaid Bin Ali Zain ul Abideen Bin Hussain Bin Ali Ibn Abi Talib rose against the Ummyad rule, Abu Hanifa not only supported Zaid but also issued a fatwa that to fight alongside Zaid against the Ummyads was similar to fight alongside the Prophet in Badr. Later, when Nafs-e-Zakia and other descendants of Hasan Bin Ali Ibn Abi Talib attempted to topple the Abbassids, again Abu Hanifa fully supported the descendants of Hasan in their attempt to overthrow the Abbassids. After supporting the opponents of the Abbassids, how could have Abu Hanifa accepted the post of chief justice and compromised his earlier stance. He realized that the post was offered to him only to show his followers that he was with the Abbassid Government and that he had recanted his previous view about them. However, Abu Hanifa was a man of great integrity, instead of accepting the luxury of the office of chief justice, he chose jail and severe torture.


It is obviously clear that Abu Hanifa was fully aware of the central position of the Prophet's descendants in the framwork of Islam. He must have therefore, also been aware of the extent of the depth and width of Jafer Sadiq's knowledge on the Quran and other Islamic issues because Jafer Sadiq was the custodian of the 'ilm' of the House of the Prophet. It is logical that Abu Hanifa must have sought to acquire 'ilm'from Jafer Sadiq.


As far as the Hanfi School of thought is concerned, the real architect of this School was Abu Hanifa's pupil Imam Abu Yousaf. Abu Yousaf accepted the post of chief justce which his mentor and teacher had rejected. It is obvous that Abu Yousaf was a loyal employee of the Abbassid Government. The Abbassids had come to power on the promise that they would avenge the martyrdom of Hussain Bin Ali and restore the Caliphate to the descendants of the Prophet. After coming into power, they negated on their earlier pledge and thus lost the support of the Shia. To counter the Shia School of Thought, the Abbassids first tried to use Abu Hanifa and when they failed in that, they successfully used Abu Yousaf. Abu Yousaf's ideas were supported by the government's might, treasury and propaganda machinery and thus, were made the popular religion of the Ummah.





 "WHOEVER I AM HIS MASTER, ALI IS HIS MASTER. O God! Love those who love him. Be hostile to those who are hostile to him. Hate those who hate him. Help those who help him. And keep the truth with him wherever he turns." (repeating this paragraph three times). 

وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ {41:18}

But We delivered those who believed and practised righteousness


 Abu Hanifa with Imam Jaafar (as)

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وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ     اللهم صلى على محد و ال محد.... و عجل فرجهم