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Abu Haneefah’s real name is Nu’man ibn Thabit. He was
born in the year 699 C.E, Kufah, (Iraq). He was born in the era of companion.
He was considered one of the Tabioon, the generation after the Sahabah because
he had met some of the sahabah i.e Anas ibn Malik and had transmitted hadith
from him. His physical features were he was tall, handsome, he had brown skin
and had a mark of sujood on his forehead. He had mark of tears, he wore best
clothes and was very well dressed. He was wealthy and high in society. His
father was silk merchant, he was righteous man and was known for his taqwa.
Imam Sha’bee advised Imam Abu Haneefah to associate himself with a scholar. Abu
Haneefah studied fiqh from his first teacher Hammad ibn Zayd, he was one of the
greatest scholars of hadith of his time. Abu Haneefah studied under him for 18
years. He became qualified to teach but still remained Hammad’s student till
his death. Hammad died in the year 742CE. Hammad was 49 years old when he
passed away and Abu Haneefah was 40 years old. Abu Haneefah took the position
of his teacher and became the most outstanding scholar in kufah. Umayyad
caliph’s offered Abu Haneefah the position of Qadi (Judge) of Kufah, but he
refused it. He was physically beaten for his refusal by the governor of kufah.
Abu Haneefah died in Baghdad in the year 767 CE. He was 60 years old when he
died. He has a great faith (Taqwa), was extremely pious, generous and self-respected,
he never asked a favor from anybody in his life, he shunned the company of
worldly minded people and spoke good things or he was silent.

Haneefah based his teaching methods on the principle of shoora (group
discussion). He was very intelligent and had profound learning abilities. No
one would debate with him. He followed a method similar to Socrates. He would
not give lecture’s, he would give problem to his students to solve it and
outline the principles that apply to it. Student’s would debate on it, everyone
was free to express their thoughts. Abu Haneefah would sum up the discussion
and give the final verdict. Law used by Hanafi Madhab are: –

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1.     Quran

2.     Sunnah

3.     Ijma
of the Sahabah

4.     Individual
opinion of the Sahabah

5.     Qiyas

6.     Istihsan

7.     Urf

He was a scholar of
highest caliber. He studied all different types of madhabs. In his lifetime he
did 55 hajj.

        In the individual opinion of the
sahabah of Abu Haneefah if they were different opinions on the sahabah. He
would choose the opinion which was most appropriate. He gave more weight to the
opinions of the sahabah than to his own.

     Three famous students of Abu Haneefah are:

ibn al – Hudhayl (732-774 CE)

got many attractive offers to be the judge but he refused it, following his
teacher’s example. He preferred to teach until he died at the age of 42 in


Yoosuf Ya’qoob ibn Ibraheem (735-795 CE)

hadith and became a hadith scholar and studied fiqh for 9 years under Imam Abi
Laila, later studied from Abu Haneefah for 9 years. After Abu Haneefah died, he
studied under Imam Malik for 3 years. He was appointed as a chief judge by the
Abbasid Caliphs, al Mahdi and Haroon ar Rasheed. All of his appointees were
followers of Hanafi Madhab. Abu Yoosuf said Abu Haneefah funded him and his
family for 10 years and supported them financially. He died in 182A.H.


ibn Al- Hasan, ash shaybani (749 – 805 CE)

was born in wasit and grew up in kufah. He studied hadith and fiqh under Abu
Haneefah until his death. Then continued to study under Imam Malik and Abu
Yoosuf for 3 years. He became the narrator of Malik’s hadith book al Muwatta.
Imam Shafii studied under him in Baghdad. He was appointed as a judge in the
reign caliph Haroon ar Rasheed, but soon gave it up and returned to his
teaching post in Baghdad.

       Abu Haneefah’s students who were
referred as Sahiban were Abu Yoosuf and Imam Muhammad.

        Abu Haneefah unique quality the
importance it attaches to personal freedom. He valued free choice of human
being. He gives an adult woman the authority to enter into marriage contract by
herself, without her guardian. Abu Haneefah was one of the greatest Mujtahideen.
The sunnah schools accepted mutuality of four major schools of fiqh namely
Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii and Hanbali. They differ in their emphasis of sources of
fiqh only.

principles upon which Abu Haneefah accepted hadith are: –

1.     If
the initial day of hearing the hadith is remembered in correct form to the time
of narration.

2.     It
must be reported by Prophet Muhammed (SAW) or with reliable person.

3.     Hadeeth
which contradicted the Quran are not acceptable.

Haneefah combined study of hadith with fiqh. He had a great amount of taqwa
fear of allah.  He used to make dua for
his teacher’s, student’s and for the people who doesn’t like him. During the
night he would devote his time to allah, he used to perform fajr salah with the
ablution of Esha.

They are 4 men in the
history who have completed the entire quran in 1 rakaah of salah, they are: –
Uthman Ibn Affan (R.A), Tameem Daari (RA), Sa’eed Ibn Jubair and Imam Abu

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