Imam Abu Hanifah on the Uncreatedness of the Qur’an

Because some of the students of the companions of Imam Abu Hanifah supported and propogated the Mu’tazili doctrine of the createdness of the Qur’an, and campaigned for it during the infamous mihnah which began under the rein of caliph Abu al-‘Abbas al-Ma’mun (170 – 218), some began to suspect that this was the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah himself. In fact, in Orientalist circles, this view is still current, that Abu Hanifah originated the doctrine of the createdness of the Qur’an! But, Imam Abu Hanifah, is innocent of this heresy. In examining a few narrations from al-Khatib al-Baghdadi’s  biography of the Imam, I will show that the preponderant view amongst the companions of Abu Hanifah was that of the uncreatedness of the Qur’an, and this is in fact traced authentically to the Imam himself, while a few followers of his school strayed and adopted the Mu’tazili and Jahmi doctrine.

1. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrated with his chain to al-Hakam ibn Bashir that he said: “I heard Sufyan ibn Sa‘id al-Thawri and al-Nu‘man ibn Thabit say: ‘The Qur’an is the uncreated speech of Allah.’” (al-Qur’an kalam Allah ghayr makhluq) (Tarikh Baghdad 15:517) Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf comments: “Its isnad is hasan.”

This is, therefore, an authentic report establishing that Imam Abu Hanifah believed in the uncreatedness of the Qur’an in accordance with the position of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah. This is further corroborated by Imam al-Tahawi’s transmission of the beliefs of Imam Abu Hanifah in his famous creedal formula known as al-‘Aqidat al-Tahawiyyah, and by al-Fiqh al-Akbar which is either the work of Imam Abu Hanifah himself or at least accurately represents his views based on an early account from him – both of which state that the Qur’an is the uncreated speech of Allah.

2. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrated with a chain of trustworthy narrators, besides one narrator who is unknown, that Ibn al-Mubarak came to Abu Hanifah and Abu Hanifah said to him: “What is this thing that has crept amongst you [i.e. the people of Khurasan]?” He said to him: “A man called Jahm.” He said: “What does he say?” He said: “He says the Qur’an is created.” Thereupon, Abu Hanifah said [quoting the Qur’an]: “Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths! (Qur’an 18:5).” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:517)

Although there is some question over the authenticity of this report due to the unidentifiable narrator in the chain, it is known that Abu Hanifah opposed Jahm on the issue of the attributes of Allah and he also declared him a disbeliever as established elsewhere, so it is probable he addressed this false belief of Jahm also.

3. Al-Khatib narrated with his chain to Abu Bakr al-Marrudhi that he said: “I heard Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad ibn Hanbal say: ‘It is not authentic according to us that Abu Hanifah would say the Qur’an is created.'” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:517) Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf comments: “Its isnad is sahih.”

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was the champion of the Ahl al-Sunnah during the period of the mihnah, and his major enemies besides the ruling elite were some scholars of the Hanafi school, in particular the judge Ahmad ibn Abi Dawud; and even as the charge that Abu Hanifah supported the state doctrine was being propogated, Imam Ahmad did not buy into this false propaganda and defended the Imam.

4. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrated with his chain to al-Nakha‘i that he said: Muhammad ibn Shadhan al-Jawhari narrated to us: He said: I heard Sulayman al-Juzjani and Mu‘lla ibn Mansur al-Razi say: “Abu Hanifah did not speak about [the createdness of] the Qur’an, nor Abu Yusuf, nor Zufar, nor Muhammad, nor any of their companions. Only Bishr al-Marisi and Ibn Abi Dawud spoke about [the createdness of] the Qur’an, so they tarnished [the good beliefs of] the companions of Abu Hanifah.” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:518). Dr Bashshar says: “Its isnad is sahih.”

The scholars who are quoted in this report, Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani and Mu‘alla ibn Mansur, were major scholars of Hanafi jurisprudence, as known to muftis of the Hanafi school. They were authors of some Nawadir literature, and fatawa. They were also amongst the few scholars who openly opposed the view of the createdness of the Qur’an, although this was before al-Ma’mun’s inquisition.

Mu‘alla ibn Mansur al-Razi, Abu Ya‘la (150 – 211), is a narrator of hadith found in all the six famous collections of hadith. He narrated from the famous hadith-scholar Hammad ibn Zayd (98-179) as found in Sahih al-Bukhari, and he also narrated from ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak, Malik ibn Anas, al-Layth ibn Sa‘d, and from the students of Imam Abu Hanifah, Yahya ibn Zakariyya ibn Abi Za’idah, Qadi Abu Yusuf, ‘Ali ibn Mushir and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani. Abu Zur‘ah al-Razi said: “Al-Mu‘alla was the best of the group – meaning, the champions of juristic opinion (ashab al-ra’y) – according to the people of knowledge. That was because he was ardent in his search for knowledge and he travelled and gave attention [to it]…al-Mu‘alla is reliable.” Yahya ibn Ma‘in said he is trustworthy. Yahya ibn Ma‘in narrated: “Al-Mu‘alla ibn Mansur al-Razi was one day praying, when his head was stung by a wasp, and he did not move until he completed his salah. When they looked, his head had become extremely swollen.” Al-‘Ijli said: “Trustworthy, a champion of sunnah. He was noble. They asked him to take the position of judge and he refused multiple times.” Ya‘qub ibn Shaybah said: “Trustworthy…proficeint, reliable, a jurist.” Ibn Sa‘d said: “He resided in Baghdad, sought hadith, and he was reliable, a master of hadith, opinion and jurisprudence.” Abu Hatim al-Razi said: “He was reliable in hadith and a champion of juristic opinion.” Ahmad ibn Kamil al-Qadi said: “Mu‘alla ibn Mansur was from the senior companions of Abu Yusuf and Muhammad, and from their trustworthy ones in transmission and narration.” Abu Ahmad ibn ‘Adi said: “I hope there is no harm in him because I did not find any objectionable hadith from him.” It was narrated from him that he said: “Whoever says the Qur’an is created is according to me a disbeliever.” Al-Khatib said: “He was a jurist from the champions of opinion. He took from Qadi Abu Yusuf and he was trustworthy.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal 28:291-7) Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani wrote in al-Taqrib, “Mu’alla ibn Mansur al-Razi, Abu Ya’la, a resident of Baghdad, a trustworthy Sunni jurist, he was asked to become judge and he refused, those who claimed Ahmad accused him of lying erred.”

Regarding Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani, al-Dhahabi says: “‘Allamah Imam Abu Sulayman Musa ibn Sulayman al-Juzajani al-Hanafi, the companion of Abu Yusuf and Muhammad. He narrated from them and from Ibn al-Mubarak. Qadi Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Birti, Bishr ibn Musa, Abu Hatim al-Razi and others narrated from him. He was reliable (saduq) and dear to the scholars of hadith. Ibn Abi Hatim said: “He would anathematise those who held the Qur’an was created.” (al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dil 8:145) It was said that al-Ma’mun offered him the position of judge and he refused, and he gave the excuse that he is not qualified for it so he excused him. He became noble in the eyes of the people due to his refusal. He authored books.” (Siyar A’lam al-Nubala 10:194 )

Al-Khatib described him as: “Musa ibn Sulayman, Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani. He heard ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak, ‘Amr ibn Jumay‘ and Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, the two companions of Abu Hanifah. He was a faqih with insight into juristic opinion. He adopted the methodology of the Sunnah regarding the Qur’an [i.e. that it is uncreated]. He lived in Baghdad and narrated therein. ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Hasan al-Hashimi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa al-Birti and Bishr ibn Musa al-Asadi narrated from him. Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘My father wrote from him and he said he was reliable.'” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:26-7)

Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani and Mu’alla ibn Mansur were of course more aware of the views of their teachers and their grand-teacher than others.

Therefore, although Bishr ibn Ghiyath al-Marisi (140 – 218) and Ahmad ibn Abi Dawud (full name: Ahmad ibn Faraj ibn Hariz) (160 – 240) stood as proponents of the Mu’tazili doctrine while claiming to belong to the Hanafi school, true followers of the madhhab opposed them, and clarified the position of their teachers and the teacher of their teachers. “Bishr” in Arabic means “joy” and “Ahmad” means “the most praised.” Based on this, Imam al-Dhahabi wrote under the biography of Bishr al-Marisi: “He was the bishr (joy) of evil while Bishr [ibn al-Harith] al-Hafi [the famous ascetic] (152 – 227) was the bishr of goodness, just as Ahmad ibn Hanbal was the ahmad (the most praised one) in the Sunnah and Ahmad ibn Abi Dawud was the ahmad in bid’ah.” (Siyar A’lam al-Nubala 10:202)

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Description of his Close Attachment to Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman

The following report from al-Khatib’s Tarikh illustrates the importance of the close apprenticeship to a master teacher in order to develop the ability of ijtihad and fiqh. Just as ‘Alqamah and Aswad closely accompanied Ibn Mas’ud and as a consequence acquired his adeptness at fatwa, and Ibrahim al-Nakha’i likewise earned this quality from his close companionship of them, and then Hammad as is clear from the biographical notices on him was the closest and most adept student of Ibrahim, Abu Hanifah gained the quality of faqahah by a close attachment to his shaykh. And, consequently, the group of fuqaha in this chain were the greatest jurists of their times as stated by Imam al-Dhahabi in his Siyar A’lam al-Nubala‘.

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrates:

Al-Khallal informed us: al-Hariri reported to us that al-Nakha‘i narrated to them: Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn Hazim narrated to me: al-Walid ibn Hammad narrated to us from al-Hasan ibn Ziyad from Zufar ibn al-Hudhayl: He said: I heard Abu Hanifah say:

“I would examine dialectical theology (kalam) until I reached therein a degree in which I could be pointed to with the fingers. We would sit close to the circle of Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman (d. 120 H) and a woman came to me one day and said to me: ‘A man has a slave-girl as a wife whom he wishes to divorce by the Sunnah method. How many times does he pronounce divorce on her?’  I did not know what to say so I instructed her to ask Hammad and then return and inform me. She asked Hammad and he said: ‘He issues one divorce to her when she is pure from menstruation and [in a period in which there was no] intercourse, and then leaves her until she experiences two periods of menstruation. When she bathes, she is lawful for [potential] husbands.’ Then she returned and informed me. Thereupon, I realised I have no need for dialectical theology.

“I took my shoes and sat next to Hammad and I would listen to his juristic opinions and memorise his speech. Then he repeated it the next day and I had it memorised, while his [other] companions erred. So he said: ‘None is to sit at the head of the circle next to me besides Abu Hanifah.’ Thereafter, I accompanied him for ten years. Then my soul incited me to seek leadership, so I wished to separate from him and sit in my own circle. I left one day in the evening with resolve to do this and then when I went to the mosque and saw him, my soul did not find it pleasing to separate from him so I came and sat with him. There came to him that night the news of the death of a relative of his who died in Basra who left behind some wealth and had no heir besides him. He ordered me to sit in his place. As soon as he left, questions came to me [the answers to] which I had not heard from him, so I would answer and write my answers. He was away for two months. When he returned, I showed him the answers and they were around sixty verdicts. He agreed with me in forty and disagreed with me in twenty. Then I insisted to my soul that I will not part from him until he dies, so I did not part from him until he died.” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:456-7)

A Brief Look at the Chain

Al-Khallal, al-Hariri and al-Nakha‘i are all trustworthy narrators. Al-Walid ibn Hammad is mentioned in Ibn Hibban’s Thiqat (9:226), indicating he is either saduq or thiqah according to him, and al-‘Asqalani mentions him in Lisan al-Mizan and refutes the claim that he is unknown (Lisan al-Mizan 8:382). Al-Hasan ibn Ziyad, a major disciple of Imam Abu Hanifah, was criticised by most muhaddithun although Maslamah ibn al-Qasim said he is thiqah and he is included in Abu ‘Awanah’s Mustakhraj, indicating he is thiqah or saduq according to him. Moreover, his narrations from Abu Hanifah in fiqh were accepted by the Hanafi jurists, which is an assessment from them of his reliability. Zufar ibn al-Hudhayl is thiqah according to Ibn Ma‘in, al-Fadl ibn Dukayn and Ibn Hibban. The narrator in the middle, Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn Hazim, is majhul al-hal (unknown in reliability), though not majhul al-‘ayn (unknown in identity), as at least two people have narrated from him [which removes jahalat al-‘ayn], Ibn Kas and Ibn ‘Uqdah.

This narration therefore contains some degree of weakness, but is not very weak. In the narration of history and biography, the scholars of hadith were more relaxed than they were in narrating hadiths related to law and creed, so long as the narration is not very weak or fabricated. Later biographers and historians, like al-Mizzi and al-Dhahabi, included this narration in their notices on Imam Abu Hanifah.

In Siyar A’lam al-Nubala, after quoting this narration, al-Dhahabi says: “Allah knows best its authenticity!” (Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’ 6:398) Also in relation to this report, al-Dhahabi expressed his skepticism of the existence of the science of Kalam in this early period. However, Imam Abu Hanifah’s familiarity with the heresies of his day, of the Jahmiyyah, Mushabbihah, Rafidah and Mu’tazilah, and his nuanced criticism of them, indicates he probably did engage in some form of proto-Kalam, which he in his later life referred to as “Kalam.” Both al-Khatib and Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr have sections in their early biographies of the Imam on his views related to creed

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Hafiz ibn ‘Abd al-Barr narrated with an authentic chain to the trustworthy narrator, Sulayman ibn Abi Shaykh, that he said: “One of the Kufans informed me: Abu Hanifah was told that there is a circle in the mosque examining fiqh. He asked: “Do they have a head?” They said: “No.” He said: “These people will never attain fiqh!”” (al-Intiqa’ p. 257)

The Kindness of Imam Abu Hanifah to His Mother

As can be gleaned from many of the earlier posts, Imam Abu Hanifah was exemplary in many facets of an Islamic character, from his worship and piety, to his generosity, knowledge, patience and activism. The following narrations also display his exemplary character in his behaviour with his mother.

1. Al-Khatib narrates: Al-Khallal reported to us: He said: al-Hariri informed us that al-Nakha‘i narrated to them: He said: Abu Salih al-Bakhtari ibn Muhammad narrated to us: He said: Ya‘qub ibn Shaybah narrated to us: Sulayman ibn Mansur narrated to me: He said: Hujr ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar al-Hadrami narrated to me: He said: “In our mosque, there was a storyteller called Zur‘ah. The mosque of the Hadramites was associated with him. The mother of Abu Hanifah wanted to seek fatwa in a matter so Abu Hanifah issued her a fatwa but she did not accept. She said: ‘I will only accept what Zur‘ah – the storyteller – says.’ So Abu Hanifah brought her to Zur‘ah and he said: ‘This is my mother, she is seeking a fatwa in such and such a matter.’ He said: ‘You are more learned than me and have more knowledge of jurisprudence! So you issue her a fatwa.’ Abu Hanifah said: ‘I had given her such and such a fatwa.’ Zur‘ah said: ‘The [correct] opinion is as Abu Hanifah said.’ Then she was satisfied and returned.’”

The chain is hasan: Al-Khallal, al-Hariri and al-Nakha‘i are trustworthy narrators, as shown in earlier posts. Al-Daraqutni said about al-Bakhtari ibn Muhammad (d. 290) according to Su’alat Hakim “there is no harm in him” (Mawsu‘at Aqwal Abi al-Hasan al-Daraqutni, p. 145, Tarikh Baghdad 7:640-1); Ya‘qub ibn Shaybah (182 – 262) is the famous author of a Musnad and is thiqah (Tarikh Baghdad 16:410-12);  Sulayman ibn Mansur (d. 240) was declared thiqah by al-Nasa’i, and he narrated from ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak (d. 181) (Tahdhib al-Kamal 12:75); Hujr ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar was mentioned by Ibn Hibban in al-Thiqat. Al-Khatib also narrated the same incident through a second chain, giving it further support.

2. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr narrates: ‘Abd al-Warith ibn Sufyan narrated to us: He said: Qasim narrated to us: Ahmad ibn Zuhayr narrated to us: He said: Sulayman ibn Abi Shaykh narrated to us: He said: Hamzah ibn al-Mughirah – who died in the year 180 at the age of 90 or so – narrated to me: He said: “We would pray with ‘Umar ibn Dharr in the month of Ramadan the [night] vigil [of Tarawih], so Abu Hanifah would come and would bring his mother with him, though his place was very far and Ibn Dharr would pray till close to the pre-dawn [meal time].” (Al-Intiqa fi Fada’il al-A’immat al-Thalathat al-Fuqaha p. 256)

The chain is sahih: ‘Abd al-Warith ibn Sufyan al-Qurtubi (d. 395) is thiqah according to al-Dhahabi in Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala’ (Misbah al-Arib 2:297); al-Qasim ibn Asbagh al-Qurtubi (247 – 340) was called “the great hafiz” and “the muhaddith of Cordoba” by al-‘Asqalani and is saduq (Lisan al-Mizan); Ahmad ibn Zuhayr ibn Harb (205 – 299) is thiqah according to al-Daraqutni and al-Khatib (Tarikh Baghdad 5:265-7); Sulayman ibn Abi Shaykh (151 – 246) is thiqah according to Abu Dawud (Tarikh Baghdad 10:68)

Hamzah ibn al-Mughirah is Hamzah ibn al-Mughirah ibn Nashit al-Makhzumi al-Kufi. He is mentioned in Kitab al-Thiqat of Ibn Hibban. Al-Mizzi lists ‘Umar ibn Dharr amongst those he narrated from and Sulayman ibn Abi Shaykh amongst those who narrated from him. Yahya ibn Ma‘in said “there is no harm in him” which for him is equivalent to thiqah. (Tahdhib al-Kamal 7:340) ‘Umar ibn Dharr al-Hamdani al-Kufi (d. 153), who led the Tarawih prayer in this report, is a narrator found in the six collections besides Muslim and Ibn Majah, although the latter transmitted from him in his Tafsir. He narrated from his father, ‘Ata ibn Abi Rabah, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and others. Al-Mizzi lists Abu Hanifah amongst those who narrated from him and says “he was from his contemporaries.” Yahya ibn Sa‘id al-Qattan, al-Nasa’i, al-Daraqutni, al-‘Ijli and Ya‘qub ibn Sufyan said he is thiqah. (Tahdhib al-Kamal 21:334-40)

3. In an earlier post, I mentioned the following narration in which Imam Abu Hanifah expresses his love and concern for his mother:

Al-Khatib narrates: Al-Khallal reported to us: al-Hariri reported to us that al-Nakha‘i narrated to them: He said: Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Affan narrated to us: He said: Yahya ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid narrated to us from his father: He said: “Abu Hanifah would be brought out every day,” or he said, “amongst the days, and he was beaten, to [force him to] accept judgeship but he refused. He wept on some of the days, and when he was freed, he said to me: ‘The grief of my mother was more difficult on me than the beating.’” (Tarikh Baghdad15:449)

The chain is sound: the narrators al-Khallal, al-Hariri and al-Nakha‘i are trustworthy narrators (thiqat) as detailed in earlier posts; Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Affan (d. 277) was declared thiqah by al-Daraqutni (Misbah al-Arib 3:195); although some imams held negative opinions of Yahya ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid (d. 228), he was declared thiqah by Mutayyan, Yahya ibn Ma‘in, Ibn Numayr and Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Bushanji (204-290) [a great hadith-scholar whose narrations are found in Sahih al-Bukhari], and Ibn ‘Adi said: “I did not find in his Musnad or his hadiths anything objectionable (munkar), and I hope there is no harm in him” (Tahdhib al-Tahdhib 11:243-9); Abu Yahya ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Himmani (d. 202) is a narrator found in the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, and declared thiqah by Ibn Ma‘in, al-Nasa’i, Ibn Qani‘ and others, although some invalid criticism was levelled at him because of irja’. (Tahrir al-Taqrib 2:300-1)

The Generosity of Imam Abu Hanifah

Imam al-Dhahabi said: “Abu Hanifah al-Nu‘man ibn Thabit was from the geniuses of the sons of Adam. He combined fiqh, worship, scrupulousness and generosity.” (Al-Dhahabi, al-’Ibar, 1:214) He also said: “Regarding the generosity and kindness of Abu Hanifah many reports have been transmitted.” (Manaqib al-Imam Abi Hanifah, Zahid al-Kawthari ed. p. 18)

In the following, I will quote a few authentic narrations from al-Khatib al-Baghdadi’s Tarikh Baghdad on Imam Abu Hanifah’s generosity:

1. Al-Khatib narrates: al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali al-Hanifi reported to us: He said: ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan al-Razi narrated to us: He said: Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Za‘farani narrated to us: He said: Ahmad ibn Zuhayr narrated to us: He said: Sulayman ibn Abi Shaykh narrated to us: He said: Hujr ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar narrated to me: He said: “People have not seen a more noble sitting-companion than Abu Hanifah, nor [anyone] more generous to his companions.” Hujr said: “It used to be said: ‘Possessors of nobility are more intelligent than [those] besides them.’” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:493) Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf said: “Its isnad is hasan.”

The same narration from Hujr is also reported via a different authentic route by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Intiqa fi Fada’il al-A’immat al-Thalathat al-Fuqaha (p. 260). Hujr ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar ibn Wa’il ibn Hujr is the grandson of the Sahabi Wa’il ibn Hujr and is mentioned in Ibn Hibban’s Kitab al-Thiqat (6:235). His father ‘Abd al-Jabbar died in the year 112, thus Hujr was senior to most of Abu Hanifah’s students.

2. Al-Khatib narrates through the route of al-Khallal from al-Hariri: Al-Nakha‘i said: Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Affan narrated to us: He said: Isma‘il ibn Yusuf al-Shanbazi narrated to us: He said: I heard Abu Yusuf say: “Abu Hanifah would never be asked for any need except he fulfilled it. A man came to him and said to him that ‘I owe so-and-so 500 dirhams though it is difficult for me, so ask him to be patient with me and give me respite.’ So Abu Hanifah spoke to the owner of the wealth, and the owner of the wealth said: ‘It is for him, I have forgiven him for it.’ The one who was in debt said: ‘I have no need for this!’ Abu Hanifah said: ‘The need is not yours, but the need is mine that has been fulfilled.’

The chain is hasan: Al-Khallal, al-Hariri and al-Nakha‘i are trustworthy narrators as shown in earlier posts. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Affan (d. 277) was declared thiqah by al-Daraqutni (Misbah al-Arib 3:195). Isma‘il ibn Yusuf is probably Isma‘il ibn Yusuf ibn Sadaqah Abu Muhammad al-Azdi al-Himsi mentioned by Ibn Hibban in his Kitab al-Thiqat (Kitab al-Thiqat 8:94), as Ibn Hibban lists him amongst those who narrated from the Atba‘ al-Tabi‘in, and Abu Yusuf was from the Atba‘ al-Tabi‘in. Imam Abu Yusuf (113 – 182 H) was declared thiqah by Yahya ibn Ma‘in, al-Nasa’i and al-Bayhaqi and was declared saduq by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and ‘Ali ibn al-Madini.

3. Al-Khatib narrates through the route of al-Khallal from al-Hariri: Al-Nakha‘i said: Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Bakka’i narrated to us: He said: I heard Ja‘far ibn ‘Awn al-‘Umri say: A woman came to Abu Hanifah requesting from him a garment of silk. He took out a garment for her and she said to him: “I am a weak woman and indeed it is a trust, so sell this garment to me as it is valued on you.” He said: “Take it for four dirhams.” She said: “Do not mock me! I am a very old woman.” He said: “I bought two garments, and I sold one of them for the price with which I bought both of them besides four dirhams, so this garment remains [valued] on me at four dirhams.” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:495) Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf comments: “Its isnad is hasan.”

4. Al-Khatib narrates through the route of al-Khallal from al-Hariri: Al-Nakha‘i said: Al-Husayn ibn al-Hakam al-Hibari narrated to us: He said: ‘Ali ibn Hafs al-Bazzaz narrated to us: He said: “Hafs ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman was a business partner of Abu Hanifah, and Abu Hanifah would prepare [the goods] for him. He sent him amongst a group with some items and he informed him that in a certain garment there is a defect, so when you sell it clarify [this defect to the buyer]. Hafs sold the item and forgot to explain, and he couldn’t remember who he sold it to. When Abu Hanifah learnt [of this] he gave in charity the price of all the items.” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:490). Dr Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf comments: “Its isnad is excellent (jayyid).”

Narrations of Imam Abu Hanifah from the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah has over forty reports in his renowned al-Musannaf with Abu Hanifah in their chains. There is always only one narrator between him and Abu Hanifah, and these single intermediaries give us an excellent insight into those who would narrate hadiths from Abu Hanifah. The number and calibre of hadith scholars who narrate from a shaykh after hearing from him is an indication of the shaykh’s rank and reliability. As Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah said, Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated from Abu Hanifah “through the medium of 12 of his most eminent shuyukh.” (al-Musannaf li Bni Abi Shaybah, Muhammad ‘Awwamah ed. 20:6)

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah (159-235 H), the name with which he is better known, is ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim. He was a contemporary of Imams Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Ma‘in, Ishaq ibn Rahwayh and ‘Ali ibn al-Madini. His narrations are found in all six of the famous collections of hadith besides the collection of Imam al-Tirmidhi. Abu Hatim, Ibn Khirash and al-‘Ijli said: “[He was] trustworthy,” and al-‘Ijli added: “He was hafiz of hadith.” ‘Amr ibn ‘Ali said: “I have not seen [anyone who] had memorised more than Ibn Abi Shaybah.” Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qasim ibn Sallam said: “[Knowledge of] hadith culminates at four: Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Ma‘in and ‘Ali ibn al-Madini. Abu Bakr was the most retentive of them, Ahmad the most understanding of them, Yahya the most prolific of them and ‘Ali the most learned of them.” Ibn Hibban said: “He was a proficient and trustworthy master [of hadith], of those who wrote and collected and compiled, and he was the most retentive from the people of his time.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal, Bashshar ‘Awwad ed. 16:34-42) His work al-Musannaf is one of the largest collection of narrations including marfu‘, mawquf and maqtu‘ reports.

Based on Muhammad ‘Awwamah’s edition, I will list those who narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah and those who he narrated from according to the reports found in al-Musannaf, with reference to the hadith numbers in parentheses where those narrations can be found in the book:

Narrators from Abu Hanifah:

1. Ja‘far ibn ‘Awn (no. 1710)

His full name is Ja‘far ibn ‘Awn ibn Ja‘far ibn ‘Amr ibn Hurayth al-Makhzumi al-Kufi (120 – 206), and he is a narrator found in all six of the famous collections of hadith. His great grandfather, ‘Amr ibn Hurayth (d. 85) was from the young Sahabah, and is also a narrator found in the six collections. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: “[He was] a pious man, there is no harm in his [narrations],” and Ahmad would recommend those who visit Kufa to take from Ja‘far. Yahya ibn Ma‘in, al-‘Ijli, Ibn Shahin, Ibn Qani‘, al-Dhahabi and others said he is “trustworthy” (thiqah). Ibn Sa‘d said: “He was trustworthy, with many hadiths.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal, Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf ed. 5:70-3)

2. Yazid ibn Harun (no. 5400)

Yazid ibn Harun Abu Khalid al-Wasiti (118 – 206) is also a narrator found in all six collections. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: “He was a proficient master of hadith.” Yahya ibn Ma‘in, ‘Ali ibn al-Madini, Abu Hatim, Ibn Sa‘d and others all said he is trustworthy. Ibn al-Madini said: “I have never seen a man who had memorised more than Yazid ibn Harun.” Yazid ibn Harun said about himself: “I memorised 24,000 hadiths with their chains, and this is no boast!” Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah said: “I have not seen [anybody] with a more accurate memory than Yazid ibn Harun.” Al-‘Ijli said: “He was trustworthy and firm in hadith; and he was pious, with extremely wonderful Salah.” Ahmad ibn Sinan said: “I have not seen a scholar with more beautiful Salah than Yazid ibn Harun. He would stand as though a pillar praying from Zuhr to ‘Asr, and from Maghrib to ‘Isha’, he would not tire from Salah in the day and night.” Al-Mizzi states: “His excellences and virtues are very many.” (ibid. 32:261-70)

In earlier posts, I quoted Yazid’s praise of Abu Hanifah:

He said: “I comprehended the people and I have not seen anyone more intelligent, nor more virtuous, nor more scrupulous than Abu Hanifah!” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:498) Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf comments, “Its isnad is sahih.” Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali reported: I heard Yazid ibn Harun when a man asked him, “O Abu Khalid! Who is the best in fiqh from those you have seen?” say, “Abu Hanifah.” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:468) Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf comments, “Its isnad is hasan.” The weight of such praise from Yazid ibn Harun of Imam Abu Hanifah can be gauged from this brief account of his qualities.

3. Waki‘ (no. 6147, 6222, 9580, 10125, 15124, 16941, 17599, 18841, 21925, 25743, 27713, 29599/33443)

Waki‘ ibn al-Jarrah al-Kufi (129 – 196) is also a narrator found in the six collections of hadith. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: “I have not seen a greater container of knowledge than Waki‘, nor [one who] memorised more than Waki‘.” He also said: “I have never seen a man like Waki‘ in knowledge, memory, chain and chapters, along with humility and scrupulousness.” He also said: “Waki‘ was the Imam of Muslims in his time.” Yahya ibn Ma‘in said: “I haven’t seen anyone with a greater memory than Waki‘.” Ibn ‘Ammar said: “There was no one in Kufa in the time of Waki‘ greater in fiqh and more knowledgeable of hadith than him. Waki‘ was a luminary.” ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-San‘ani who was a contemporary of Waki‘ said: “I saw al-Thawri, Ibn ‘Uyaynah, Ma‘mar, Malik, and I saw and I saw, and my eyes have never seen the like of Waki‘.” ‘Ali ibn Khashram asked Waki‘ the method of acquiring such a proficient memory, and he said: “Abandoning sins, I have not experienced [anything] equal to it in [perfecting] memory.” Yahya ibn Aktham said: “I accompanied Waki‘ in journey and residence, and he would fast continuously and complete the Qur’an every night.” Waki‘’s son narrates: “My father would pray the entire night, and there did not remain in our house anybody except he would pray [in the night], and even our black slave girl would pray.” Al-‘Ijli said: “[He was] Kufan, trustworthy, a worshipper, pious, eloquent, from the memorisers of hadith, and he would issue fatwa.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal 30:462-84)

As shown in an earlier post, Waki‘ would issue fatwa according to the opinions of Imam Abu Hanifah. Al-Mizzi also quotes this from Yahya ibn Ma‘in in Tahdhib al-Kamal (30:474-5). Some of the fatwas Waki‘ reported from Abu Hanifah are recorded in the Musannaf; see numbers 10713 and 32152. The hadith narrations of Waki‘ in the Musannaf include a number of reports reaching the Sahabah.

4. ‘Isa ibn Yunus (no. 5876, 29099)

‘Isa ibn Yunus al-Kufi (d. 187) is also a narrator found in the six collections of hadith. He was the grandson of the famous narrator from the Tabi‘in, Abu Ishaq al-Sabi‘i (d. 127), who he saw. He was the brother of the famous narrator Isra’il ibn Yunus (100 – 160). Ahmad ibn Hanbal, ‘Ali ibn al-Madini, Abu Hatim, al-Nasa’i and others said he is trustworthy. Abu Zur‘ah said he was a “master [of hadith]” (hafiz). (Tahdhib al-Kamal 23:62-76)

Number 29099 is a narration from Imam Abu Hanifah that reaches ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab.

5. Hafs ibn Ghiyath (no. 5881, 17775, 21106, 24313)

Abu ‘Umar Hafs ibn Ghiyath al-Kufi (117 – 194), a narrator found in all six collections of hadith, was the Qadi of Kufa for thirteen years under Harun al-Rashid, and he was Qadi of Baghdad for two years. Yet, when he died, he did not leave behind any wealth. Yahya ibn Ma‘in, al-Nasa’i, Ibn Sa‘d and others said he is trustworthy. Al-‘Ijli said: “[He was] trustworthy, reliable, a jurist. Waki‘ was often asked about something, and he would say: ‘Go to our Qadi and ask him.’” Yahya ibn Sa‘id al-Qattan said: “The most trustworthy of the companions of al-A‘mash is Hafs ibn Ghiyath.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal 7:56-70)

Waki‘ ibn al-Jarrah listed Hafs amongst the companions of Imam Abu Hanifah as mentioned here. This is also recognised in the books of later non-Hanafi authorities, as for example, Imam al-Nawawi refers to him as “Hafs ibn Ghiyath al-Hanafi” in his work on Usul al-Hadith called al-Taqrib of which al-Suyuti’s Tadrib al-Rawi is a commentary (Tadrib al-Rawi, Muhammad Ayman al-Shabrawi ed., p. 374). The narrations recorded in the Musannaf are all Hafs’s narrations from Abu Hanifah from Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman, either from Hammad’s own opinion or narrating from Ibrahim al-Nakha‘i or Sa‘id ibn Jubayr.

6. ‘Abd Allah ibn Numayr (no. 9434, 9437, 12388, 12401, 12602, 18685, 27562)

‘Abd Allah ibn Numayr al-Hamdani al-Kufi (115 – 199) is also a narrator found in all six collections of hadith. He was declared thiqah by Yahya ibn Ma‘in, Ibn Sa‘d, al-Daraqutni and others. Al-‘Ijli said: “Trustworthy, sound in hadith, a champion of the Sunnah.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal 16:225-9).

7. Abu Mu‘awiyah (no. 11053, 11124, 28902)

Abu Mu‘awiyah Muhammad ibn Khazim al-Tamimi al-Sa‘di al-Kufi (113 – 195) is also a narrator found in all of the six collections. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: “Abu Mu‘awiyah is the most retentive of the companions of [Sulayman ibn Mihran] al-A‘mash.” Yahya ibn Ma‘in was asked who is the strongest of the narrators from al-A‘mash, and he replied: “After Sufyan and Shu‘bah, Abu Mu‘awiyah, the blind.” Al-‘Ijli said: “[He was] a Kufan, trustworthy (thiqah).” Al-Nasa’i, Ya‘qub ibn Shaybah, Ibn Sa‘d and al-Daraqutni said he was thiqah. However, many authorities discovered some errors in his narrations. He was criticised because of irja’, but this was from the acceptable category of irja’ discussed in detail in an earlier post. (Tahdhib al-Kamal 25:123-34)

8. ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak (no. 12532, 28611)

‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak (118 – 181) was one of the imams and luminaries of Islamic scholarship and piety, and also a narrator found in the six collections. ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi said: “The four imams are Sufyan al-Thawri, Malik ibn Anas, Hammad ibn Zayd and Ibn al-Mubarak.” Shu‘ayb ibn Harb said: “Ibn al-Mubarak did not meet any man except Ibn al-Mubarak was more virtuous than him.” Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: “There was none in the time of Ibn al-Mubarak more ardent in gaining knowledge than him.” Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah: “I inspected the condition of the companions [of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)] and I did not find any excellence in them over Ibn al-Mubarak except their companionship of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and their battles with him.” When the news of his death reached Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah, he exclaimed: “Allah have mercy on him! Indeed he was a jurist, a scholar, a worshipper, an ascetic, generous and brave, a poet.” ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi would not favour anyone in hadith over Malik and Ibn al-Mubarak. When Ibn al-Mubarak’s students recounted his virtues, they would say: “He combined knowledge, jurisprudence, literature, grammar, language, poetry, eloquence, asceticism, scrupulousness, fairness, night-prayer, worship, pilgrimage, battles, bravery, insight, physical strength and avoiding talk about what did not concern him.” Yahya ibn Ma‘in said: “Ibn al-Mubarak was more learned than Sufyan al-Thawri.” Mu‘adh ibn Khalid ibn Shaqiq said: “I do not know that Allah has created a characteristic from the characteristics of virtue but Allah has put it in ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak.” Al-Mizzi said after collecting these narrations and others: “His virtues and excellences are very many.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal 16:5-24)

It has been mentioned in earlier posts that it was transmitted with authentic chains from ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak that he said: “When the opinion of Abu Hanifah and Sufyan concur on something, that is strong,” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:471) “the greatest faqih of people, is Abu Hanifah,” “I have not seen the like of him in fiqh,” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:469) “If anyone has the right to issue [a legal verdict] using his opinion, Abu Hanifah has the right to issue [a legal verdict] using his opinion.” (Tarikh Baghdad 15:471) According to another report with a good (hasan) chain, ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak said Abu Hanifah was a “sign” (ayah) in “virtue” (khayr) (Tarikh Baghdad 15:461).

9. ‘Abbad ibn al-‘Awwam (no. 12909, 13092, 16257, 26182)

‘Abbad ibn al-‘Awwam (115 – 185) Abu Sahl al-Wasiti is also a narrator found in the six collections of hadith. Ibn Sa‘d said: “He was from the nobles amongst men in all his affairs.” Yahya ibn Ma‘in, Abu Dawud, al-‘Ijli, al-Nasa’i, Abu Hatim and al-Bazzar said he is thiqah. (Tahdhib al-Kamal 14:140-5)

10. ‘Amr ibn Muhammad (no. 18274)

Amr ibn Muhammad al-‘Anqari al-Kufi (d. 199) is also a narrator found in all six books, although in Sahih al-Bukhari his narration is only used for support (istishhad). Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Nasa’i and al-‘Ijli said he is trustworthy. (Tahdhib al-Kamal 22:220-3)

11. ‘Abd al-Rahim ibn Sulayman (no. 29599/33443)

‘Abd al-Rahim ibn Sulayman al-Kinani (d. 187) is a narrator found in all six collections. Yahya ibn Ma‘in, Abu Dawud and al-Daraqutni said he is thiqah. Al-‘Ijli said: “Trustworthy, pious, with many hadiths.” He was also known to have authored a number of books. (Tahdhib al-Kamal 18:36-9)

12. Abu Usamah (no. 30561, 35688)

Hammad ibn Usamah ibn Zayd (120 – 201) is also a narrator found in all six collections. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said he is thiqah and “the most learned of people about the conditions of people.” He also said: “How strong he was! He almost never erred.” Yahya ibn Ma‘in, Ibn Sa‘d, al-‘Ijli and al-Daraqutni said he is thiqah. It was reported from Abu Usamah that he said: “I wrote with these two fingers of mine 100,000 hadiths.” He was known to be from the constant worshippers (nussak) and and to have been extremely intelligent (Tahdhib al-Kamal 7:217-24).

Teachers:

1. Hammad (no. 1710, 5400, 5876, 5881, 6222, 9434, 9437, 9580, 10125, 11053, 12388, 12401, 12532, 12602, 12909, 13092, 15124, 16257, 17599, 17775, 18685, 21106, 24313, 27562, 27713, 28611, 29099, 30561)

Abu Isma‘il Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman al-Ash‘ari (d. 120) was the first and primary teacher of Imam Abu Hanifah. His narrations are found in all six collections of hadith, although in Sahih al-Bukhari they are without chain (mu‘allaq). He narrated from the Sahabi Anas ibn Malik (d. 93), and from the famous Tabi‘i, Sa‘id ibn Jubayr (38-95 H), and others. His primary teacher was Ibrahim al-Nakha‘i, a major scholar of hadith and fiqh from the Tabi‘in, who was the most learned regarding the opinions of ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud and his students. Ibn Abi Hatim narrated with his chain from ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Iyas: “I asked Ibrahim [al-Nakha‘i]: ‘Who should we ask after you?’ He said: ‘Hammad.’” Yahya ibn Ma‘in and al-Nasa’i said he is thiqah. Al-‘Ijli said: “Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman, a Kufan, trustworthy. He was the greatest jurist from the companions of Ibrahim.” Dawud al-Ta’i said: “Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman was generous with food and he was generous with dinars and dirhams.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal 7:269-79)

Al-Dhahabi said under the biography of Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman in Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala’: “The greatest faqih from the inhabitants of Kufa were ‘Ali and Ibn Mas’ud. The greatest faqih from their companions was ‘Alqamah. The greatest faqih from his companions was Ibrahim [al-Nakha’i]. The greatest faqih from the companions of Ibrahim was Hammad [ibn Abi Sulayman]. The greatest faqih from the companions of Hammad was Abu Hanifah. The greatest faqih from his companions was Abu Yusuf. The companions of Abu Yusuf spread to the furthest regions, and the greatest faqih from them is Muhammad [ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani]. The greatest faqih from the companions of Muhammad is Muhammad Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Shafi’i. Allah (Exalted is He) have mercy on them all.” Siyar A’lam al-Nubala (5:236)

2. ‘Ata’ (no. 6147, 21925)

‘Ata ibn Abi Rabah (ca. 27 – 115) was the greatest of Imam Abu Hanifah’s teachers as he himself mentioned (see here), and he has many narrations found in all six of the famous collections of hadith. One of the scholars said: “‘Ata’ was black, blind in one-eye, snub-nosed, lame and limp and then he became blind after this, yet he was trustworthy [in transmitting hadith], a jurist and a scholar possessing many hadiths!” (Tahdhib al-Kamal, 20:76) He met 200 companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and he would issue fatwa in the presence of the companions, such that Ibn ‘Abbas would say to questioners: “O people of Makkah! Do you gather your questions to me, when Ibn Abi Rabah is amongst you?!” (ibid. 20:77) (Tahdhib al-Kamal 20:69-86)

The two reports of Abu Hanifah reporting from him in the Musannaf are in the form of fatwas which he took from him. In the first, Abu Hanifah asked ‘Ata’ about an illegitimately born man leading the people in prayer, and he replied: “There is no harm in it – is there not from amongst them those who pray and fast more than us?” This indicates that Imam Abu Hanifah took both fiqh and hadith (an example was given in the previous post) from ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah.

3. ‘Alqamah ibn Marthad (no. 11124)

‘Alqamah ibn Marthad al-Hadrami’s (d. 126) hadiths are also found in all six collections.  (Tahdhib al-Kamal 20:308-11)

4. Kathir al-Rammah (no. 16941)

Ibn Hibban mentions him in his Kitab al-Thiqat as follows: “Kathir ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Aslam al-Rammah, a Kufan who narrated from Nafi‘ from Ibn ‘Umar…Isma‘il ibn Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman narrated from him.” (Kitab al-Thiqat 7:353)

5. Al-Haytham (no. 18274, 25743, 28902)

His full name is al-Haytham ibn Habib al-Kufi al-Sayrafi. He was declared trustworthy by Ibn Ma‘in, Abu Zur‘ah and Abu Hatim. He was recommended by Shu‘bah ibn al-Hajjaj for those wishing to narrate from Kufan scholars. His narrations are found in the Marasil of Abu Dawud.  (Tahdhib al-Kamal 30:369-70)

6. ‘Ammar ibn ‘Imran al-Hamdani (no. 18841)

He is probably ‘Ammar ibn ‘Imran al-Ju‘fi who was declared thiqah by al-‘Ijli (Misbah al-Arib 2:410)

7. Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn al-Muntashir (no. 26182)

He is a narrator found in the six collections of hadith. He narrated from Anas ibn Malik, and this particular report of Abu Hanifah from him is from Anas ibn Malik (see below). Ja‘far al-Ahmar said: “He was from the most virtuous of those we saw at Kufa in his time.” He was declared thiqah by a number of authorities, including al-Nasa’i, Ahmad, Abu Hatim, Ibn Hibban, al-‘Ijli and others. (Tahdhib al-Kamal 2:183-4)

8. ‘Asim ibn Bahdalah (no. 29599/33443)

‘Asim ibn Bahdalah or ‘Asim ibn Abi al-Najud al-Kufi is the famous founder of one of the seven readings of the Qur’an, and the commonest reading known as “Hafs from ‘Asim” is from the narration of his student from him. He is a narrator of hadith found in the six collections.  He acquired his knowledge of Qur’an recitation from Zirr ibn Hubaysh who acquired it from ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud who said: “I took more than seventy chapters [of the Qur’an directly] from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace)” (Sahih al-Bukhari) and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever it pleases to recited the Qur’an freshly as it was revealed, then let him read according to the recitation of Ibn Umm ‘Abd [i.e. ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud].” (Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Ibn Majah) (Tahdhib al-Kamal 13:473-80)

9. ‘Awn ibn ‘Abd Allah (no. 35688)

‘Awn ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Utbah ibn Mas‘ud al-Kufi al-Zahid (ca. 50 – ca. 115) was the grandson of the Sahabi ‘Utbah ibn Mas‘ud, and he is a narrator found in the six collections of hadith besides Sahih al-Bukhari. He was a Tabi‘i who narrated from a number of the younger companions. Al-‘Ijli, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Ma‘in, Ibn Sa‘d and al-Nasa’i said he is thiqah. ‘Awn ibn ‘Abd Allah said he prayed behind Abu Hurayrah (d. 59) situating his birth around the middle of the first century. He was known as an ascetic who would frequently remember the afterlife and weep. Musa ibn Abi ‘Isa narrated that when ‘Awn would narrate to them, his beard would become wet with tears. Maslamah ibn Ja‘far narrated that ‘Awn would say: “May I be destroyed! How can I become heedless of my soul while the Angel of Death is not heedless of my soul?! May I be destroyed! How can I claim I have my intellect while I put to waste my share of the afterlife?! May I be destroyed! May I be destroyed! Nay, woe to me! Woe to me! Destruction is inevitable for me if I die proceeding upon the disobedience of my Lord.” Then he would cry until his beard became wet with tears. At his death, he distributed all his properties to the poor. It was reported from ‘Awn that he said: “Those before us would assign for their worldly life whatever was left over from their afterlife, while you assign for your afterlife whatever is left over from your worldly life.” He also said: “I don’t think a person looks at the faults of men but from a heedlessness which has made him to forget himself.” (Tahdhib al-Kamal 22:453-61)

The Marfu‘ Narrations of Abu Hanifah from the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah

1. Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates: ‘Abbad ibn al-‘Awwam narrated to us from Abu Hanifah from Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn al-Muntashir from Anas ibn Malik: He said: “No one ever sat with Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and then stood up until he stood up.” (no. 26182, vol. 13:169-70)

2. Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates: Abu Mu‘awiyah narrated to us from Abu Hanifah from ‘Alqamah ibn Marthad from Ibn Buraydah from his father, he said: When Ma‘iz was stoned, they said: “O Messenger of Allah! What shall we do with him?” He said: “Do with him as you do with your dead, of bathing, shrouding, perfuming and praying over him.” (no. 11124, vol. 7:115)