An Example of a Hadith Transmission from Imam Abu Hanifah

In our classes of Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar by Imam al-Tahawi, we were honoured today to read a hadith via the transmission of Imam Abu Hanifah. In Bab al-Mustahadatu kayfa Tatatahharu li al-Salah (Chapter on how the Woman in Post-Menstrual Bleeding Purifies Herself for Salah), Imam al-Tahawi narrates:

حدثنا صالح بن عبد الرحمن قال ثنا عبد الله بن يزيد المقرىء قال ثنا أبو حنيفة رحمه الله ح وحدثنا فهد قال ثنا أبو نعيم قال ثنا أبو حنيفة رحمه الله عن هشام بن عروة عن أبيه عن عائشة رضي الله عنها أن فاطمة بنت أبي حبيش أتت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقالت إني أحيض الشهر والشهرين فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إن ذلك ليس بحيض وإنما ذلك عرق من دمك فإذا أقبل الحيض فدعي الصلاة وإذا أدبر فاغتسلي لطهرك ثم توضئي عند كل صلاة


Salih ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman narrated to us: He said: ‘Abd Allah ibn Yazid al-Muqri’ narrated to us: He said: Abu Hanifah narrated to us – ha [a sign for the start of a new chain] – and Fahd narrated to us: He said: Abu Nu’aym narrated to us: He said: Abu Hanifah narrated to us from Hisham ibn ‘Urwah from his father from ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) that Fatimah bint Abi Hubaysh came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and she said: “I was menstruating for a month or two months.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “That is not menstruation, but that is a [ruptured] vessel of your blood. Therefore, when the menstruation comes, leave Salah, and when it leaves [and post-menstrual bleeding begins], then bathe for your purification and then perform wudu for every Salah.” (Amani al-Ahbar fi Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar, Idaratu Ta’lifat Ashrafiyya, 2:91-2)

Brief Analysis of the Chain

Imam al-Tahawi transmits this hadith from Abu Hanifah through two routes, both containing two narrators between him and Abu Hanifah. After that the chain is the same, through the famous link of “Hisham from his father from ‘A’ishah.” Salih ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman, the first shaykh of al-Tahawi, was declared truthful by Ibn Abi Hatim in al-Jarh wa al-Ta’dil (ibid. 1:33). Fahd ibn Sulayman, the second shaykh, was declared “thiqah thabt” by Ibn Yunus (Misbah al-Arib, 2:491), one of the highest grades of reliability.

The two narrators from Imam Abu Hanifah are eminent narrators found in all six of the famous collections of hadith (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i and Ibn Majah). Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abd Allah ibn Yazid al-Muqri’ (120 – 213) was a famous scholar of hadith and readings of the Qur’an (qira’at). Abu Nu’aym al-Fadl ibn Dukayn (130 – 219) was a direct teacher of Imam al-Bukhari, and he narrates many of his hadiths in the Sahih.

The teacher of Abu Hanifah, Hisham ibn ‘Urwah (61 – 146), was a major narrator from the generation of the Tabi’in who heard and narrated from the Sahabah. His narrations, particularly through the route of his father from ‘A’ishah which is found here, are common in the six books of hadith.

(Al-Tahawi also narrated this hadith with the same two chains in his later unparalleled work Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (no. 2732, 7:157, Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut ed.))

This is one amongst many examples which illustrate the eminence of both those who took from Imam Abu Hanifah and those he took from, and puts to rest the claim that hadiths were alien to Abu Hanifah and his fiqh.

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