Main: Muqbil bin Ḥādi al-Wādi’ī
Translation: Taher Noor

 

نشر الصحيفة في ذكر الصحيح من أقوال أئمة الجرح والتعديل في أبي حنيفة

Uncovering the scriptures which mention the authentic chains to the statements of the Imams of Jarh and Ta’dil regarding Abu Hanifa.

 

Introduction:

Praise be to Allah who said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاء لِلّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأَقْرَبِينَ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقَيرًا فَاللهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ اللهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to Allah, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, Allah can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly– if you distort or neglect justice, Allah is fully aware of what you do. [Surah al-Nisā 4:135]

May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, who had taken a pledge from his companions that they would say the truth for the sake of Allah and not to fear the blame of anyone for the truth. [Bukhari #7199 #7200 and Muslim #1709][1]. And he commanded Abu Dharr to tell the truth even if it be bitter. [Ahmad #20906 Saheeh Musnad mimma laysa fi Saheehayn][2]

And I bear witness there is none worthy of worship besides Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is his slave and messenger.

To proceed:

Allah had taken a pledge from the scholars of the Ahlul Kitab (people of the book) that they should convey the truth.

وَإِذَ أَخَذَ اللهُ مِيثَاقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلاَ تَكْتُمُونَهُ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاء ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْاْ بِهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً فَبِئْسَ

مَا يَشْتَرُونَ

Allah took a pledge from those who were given the Scripture– ‘Make the truth known to people; do not conceal it’– but they tossed the pledge over their shoulders, they bartered it for a small price: what an evil bargain they made! [Surah aal-‘Imrān 3:187]

According to the consensus of the scholars of Jarh wa Ta’dil, and they are the specialists in the application of Jarh wa Ta’dil, that at times it is an obligation and at times it is recommended, depending on the circumstances. And many people went into studying the condition of Abu Hanifa, some of them have criticised him (Jarh) and others had commended him (‘Adl). And some of them exaggerated extremely regarding him, stating that whoever spoke negatively of him was mistaken. In fact, they don’t stop there, rather they revile whoever speaks ill of him and they even slander them as is done by some of the ignorant Hanafis.

And whilst I was reading “Mushkil al-Āthār” by Al-Tahawi with the tahqeeq (hadith authenticity checking) of Shu’aib Al-Arnāūt, I came across the criticism of Shu’aib against Sheikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albāni since he stated that Abu Hanifah was weak, and Shu’aib was criticising Sheikh Al-Albāni as if no one had ever declared Abu Hanifah weak except for Sheikh Al-Albāni, may Allah protect him.

Rather, amongst the Hanafis, they have disparaged scholars who are greater than Al-Albāni, which you can find by referencing “Al-Tankeel bima fi ta’neeb al-Kawthari min al-Abātil” by Sheikh ‘Abdurrahman al-Mu’allimi. And you will find that al-Kawthari had reviled the scholars of Islam, the firsts and the lasts of them since they had criticised (Jarh) Abu Hanifa. So I saw that I should compile what I found to be the authentic chains of narration from the books of the Imams who had criticised Abu Hanifa so that those who are destroyed are destroyed due to a clear evidence. And those who live, live after a clear evidence. As such, I have named it:

نشر الصحيفة في ذكر الصحيح من أقوال أئمة الجرح والتعديل في أبي حنيفة

Uncovering the scriptures which mention the authentic chains to the statements of the Imams of Jarh and Ta’dil regarding Abu Hanifa.

And the son of Abū Dāwūd mentioned in Abu Hanifa’s biography that the scholars made consensus (Ijma’) upon criticising him and declaring him weak as will be mentioned later.

And I did not muddle with the statements of those who praised him since either their statements aren’t worth anything in comparison to the great scholars of Jarh and Ta’dil or they are extreme fanatics of Abu Hanifa. Or those statements are from some of the Imams like Sufyān al-Thawri and ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak and their likes except that they later retracted any praise they had and later warned of Abu Hanifah and even refuted him.

For example, the Imam of Jarh wa Ta’dil, Yahya bin Ma’een has praise and refutation of Abu Hanifa authentically reported from him, but as is clear to me, he explained himself in his own words. Yahya bin Ma’een was asked regarding Abu Hanifah and he said, “he is too high minded to lie.” Yet Yahya criticised him as will come in his biography with an authentic chain, and he criticised him severely due to his opinions (ra’i) and his grave errors in hadith. His only praise was that he considered he didn’t lie.

Then on, the criticism of Abu Hanifah is very detailed (Jarh Mufassar), as we will see if Allah wills. And if a scholar gives a detailed criticism with his reasons for criticism then it is not to be overruled by any praise as is well known in the books of hadith sciences (mustalah al-hadith).

There are many ignorant bigots regarding Abu Hanifa. And I had seen a group of lecturers in the Islamic University (of Medina) getting enraged thinking that this was demolishing Islam. And these poor men did not know that those who criticised Abu Hanifa were not criticising one of the five pillars of Islam.

So we say to these ignoramuses, are you more protective of Allah’s religion or is Ahmad bin Hanbal?! Or Muhammad bin Ismā’īl al-Bukhāri or Muslim bin al-Hajjāj, or al-Dāruqutni or al-Khateeb?

So we say, do you know more about Abu Hanifa or does Mālik bin Anas? Or Shareek bin ‘Abdullah al-Nakha’i or Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qattān or ‘Abdullah bin Yazid al-Muqri’ and Sufyan al-Thawri and Sufyan bin ‘Uyaynah and ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak and whomsoever followed their way?.

I am astonished by Mustafa al-Sabā’ī and his book “The Sunnah and its place.” How does he stand up for Kitab as-Sunnah (by Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal) and its transmission yet at the end of the book it demolishes whatever stands to defend Abu Hanifa.

By Allah, the saying of Marwan bin Muhammad al-Tatari is a gem, who said, “Three types of people should never be trusted in the religion. The Sufi, the Mubtadi’ (innovator) who refutes an innovator and a fable-teller.” This was mentioned by Qādi ‘Iyyād in his book, ‘Tarteeb al-Mudārik’ under the biography of Marwan bin Muhammad al-Tatari, may Allah have mercy on him.

Also, since the Hanafis had dominated the judiciary during many periods of time, you will find that many of the people of knowledge were not able to publicly announce the criticism of Abu Hanifa. For example, al-Bayhaqi narrated in ‘Manaqib al-Shafi’ee’ from Ibn Abi Hātim a criticism of Abu Hanifa, but Ibn Abi Hatim could not explicitly state Abu Hanifa so he would say Abu Fulān (Abu somebody) said. Similar is Ibn Hajr who said in his book ‘al-Taqreeb’ in the biography of Abu Hanifa, “the famous jurist”. Ibn Hajr was being obscure, since he never stated what this definition meant as he did for all other forms of criticism in the introduction of the book. This grading for Abu Hanifa did not specify for him any criticism or praise.

Al-Wādi’ī, Muqbil bin Hādī., نشر الصحيفة في ذكر الصحيح من أقوال أئمة الجرح والتعديل في أبي حنيفة, Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, Dār al-Haramayn, pp. 4-6.

Footnotes:

[1] Arabic:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ إِدْرِيسَ، عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ سَعِيدٍ، وَعُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ عَنْ

عُبَادَةَ بْنِ الْوَلِيدِ بْنِ عُبَادَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ جَدِّهِ، قَالَ بَايَعْنَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى السَّمْعِ وَالطَّاعَةِ فِي الْعُسْرِ وَالْيُسْرِ وَالْمَنْشَطِ وَالْمَكْرَهِ وَعَلَى أَثَرَةٍ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى أَنْ لاَ نُنَازِعَ الأَمْرَ أَهْلَهُ وَعَلَى أَنْ نَقُولَ بِالْحَقِّ أَيْنَمَا كُنَّا لاَ نَخَافُ فِي اللَّهِ لَوْمَةَ لاَئِمٍ

 

[2] Arabic: حدثنا عفان حدثنا سلام أبو المنذر عن محمد بن واسع عن عبد الله بن الصامت عن أبي ذر قال أمرني خليلي صلى الله عليه وسلم بسبع أمرني بحب المساكين والدنو منهم وأمرني أن أنظر إلى من هو دوني ولا أنظر إلى من هو فوقي وأمرني أن أصل الرحم وإن أدبرت وأمرني أن لا أسأل أحدا شيئا وأمرني أن أقول بالحق وإن كان مرا وأمرني أن لا أخاف في الله لومة لائم وأمرني أن أكثر من قول لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله فإنهن من كنز تحت العرش