Abu Hanifa

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Abu Hanifa

Abū Ḥanīfa al-Nuʿmān b. Thābit b. Zūṭā b. Marzubān (Arabic: أبو حنيفة نعمان بن ثابت بن زوطا بن مرزبان‎; c. 699 – 767 CE), known as Abū Ḥanīfa for short, or reverently as Imam Abū Ḥanīfa by Sunni Muslims, was an 8th-century Sunni Muslim theologian and jurist of Persian origin, who became the eponymous founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni jurisprudence, which has remained the most widely practiced law school in the Sunni tradition.



Abu Hanifa once engaged in a discussion with an atheist. It was reported that the scholar successfully used a variant of design argument:

  • ‘Before we enter into a discussion on this question, tell me what you think of a boat in the Euphrates which goes to shore, loads itself with food and other things, then returns, anchors and unloads all by itself without anyone sailing or controlling it?’ They said, ‘That is impossible; it could never happen.’ Thereupon he said to them, ‘If it is impossible with respect to a ship, how is it possible for this whole world, with all its vastness, to move by itself?'
    • Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz. (2000) Commentary on the Creed of At-Tahawi. Translated by Muhammad ‘Abdul-Haqq Ansari. Riyadh: Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, p. 9
  • Difficulties are the result of sin. The sinful therefore does not have the right to lament when difficulties befall him.
  • If you learned the sacred knowledge for the sake of this world, then the knowledge will be never rooted in your heart.
  • Stick to the narrations and the way of the salaf(pious predecessors) and beware of newly invented matters for all of it is innovation.
    • Jalal al-Din Sututi, Sawn ul- Muntaq p: 32
  • When a hadith is authentic, then that is my madhab.
  • For the attainment of knowledge satisfaction is useful and satisfaction is not gained by increasing information but by decreasing it.
  • If I ever say something that contradicts the book of Allah and the Prophet(Peace be upon him) then leave my statement.
  • It is unlawful for any person to accept my view without knowing the source from where we got them.

Quotes about

  • For centuries, scholars from the four different schools of Islam had taught in the Holy Mosque and crowds of students had traveled from near and far to gather in halaqas, circles of study, around their preferred teachers. The faithful prayed, at slightly different times, behind their imams; there was a prayer station for each school: Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali. When King Abdelaziz took control of Mecca in 1924, the Wahhabi clerics objected to the arrangement that had prevailed so far in the Holy Mosque. If the community of Muslims was one, and the call to prayer was one, why not pray behind one imam? The Wahhabi clerics won the debate, thereby dealing themselves all the power. But there was no rotation or compromise: the sole imam who would lead all five daily prayers in the Holy Mosque came from Wahhabi circles, with all that that entailed in puritanical intolerance. The number of halaqas dwindled rapidly, from several hundred to around thirty-five in the late 1970s. The Sufi sheikh that Sami had consulted that first day of the Mecca attack, Mohammad Alawi al-Maliki, was still drawing crowds, lecturing in his corner of the courtyard of the Holy Mosque, on the chair he had inherited from his father in 1971, the chair that been passed through generations. But few others were able to resist the onslaught of Wahhabi zeal. Harmony could be brought back, Sami thought, only if diversity was allowed to thrive again in the House of God. But this was not how the Al-Sauds would proceed. That was not the deal they had cut with Bin Baz to save their throne.
    • Kim Ghattas Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
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