Primarily, there are people who are exaggerating in praising Imam Abu Hanifa r.a. Our intention is not at all to lessen the status of Imam and it is not at all correct that we do not respect him. Alhamdulillah, we have refuted few lay people in the subcontinent who are accusing Imam Abu Hanifa day and night who, in their hatred, even say he was a Kaafir, Naudhubillah. Their Dawah is only to criticize Imam Abu Hanifa,
May Allah guide these people and may Allah fill their heart with true spirit of Islam. Ameen. For details check the article,
Secondarily, some people, who are over praising the Imam are mistaken and they quote the hadith which is not in favor of Imam abu haneefa r.h.In sha Allah we will explain here.
Prophet Muhammed (p.b.u.h) said,
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْغُلُوَّ فِي الدِّينِ فَإِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمُ الْغُلُوُّ فِي الدِّينِ
O people, beware of exaggeration in religious matters for those who came before you were doomed because of exaggeration in religious matters.’”
IBNE MAJAH (HADITH 3029)
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If the din were at the Pleiades, even then “A PERSON FROM PERSIA” would have taken hold of it, or one amongst the Persian descent would have surely found it.
SAHEEH MUSLIM (Book 031, Number 6177)
Imam Abdur Razzaq has narrated the same narration in his Musnaf Abdur Razzaq with these wordings:
لذهب إليه رجل –أو قال : رجال من أبناء فارس حتى يتنا ولو
(VOLUME 11,PAGE 65,HADEES 19923. & IN SECOND VERSION: VOLUME 10, PAGE 114, HADEES 20092)
The famous student of Imam Abdur Razzaq i.e Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal Rahimullah have narrated this Hadith with these wordings:
لذهب رجال من فارس—أو أبناء فارس حتى ياتنا ولوه
MUSNAD AHMAD (HADITH 8081)
1) THESE HADITH TALKS ABOUT TWO CATEGORIES.
A) “رجل” (A MAN FROM PERSIA)
B) “رجال” (MANY PERSONS FROM PERSIA)
2) NARRATION WHICH STATE THAT IMAM ABU HANIFA R.H WAS FROM PERSIA (FAARAS).
3) IMAM ABU HANIFA R.H WAS FROM KAABUL.
4) RESPONSE TO THOSE WHO INTERPRETE THE WORD “رجل” IN THE MENTIONED HADITH ON IMAM ABU HANEEFA.
1) THESE HADITH TALKS ABOUT TWO CATEGORIES. :-
A) “رجل” (A MAN FROM PERSIA).
The former i.e “رجل” refers to Salman Farsi (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) as evident from several proofs.
Abu Huraira reported: We were sitting in the company of Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) that Surah al-Jumu’a was revealed to him and when he recited (these words): “Others from amongst them who have not yet joined them,” a person amongst them (those who were sitting there) said: Allah’s Messenger! But Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) made no reply, until he questioned him once, twice or thrice. And there was amongst us Salman the Persian. “”””””””The Apostle of Allah (ﷺ) placed his hand on Salman and then said: Even if faith were near the Pleiades, a man from amongst these would surely find it”””””.
SAHEEH MUSLIM (Book 31, Hadith 6178)
Narrated Abu Hurairah: “Some people among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who are these people whom Allah mentioned, that if we turn away they would replace us, then they would not be like us?'” He said: “And Salman was beside the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), so the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) patted Salman’s thigh and said: ‘This one and his companions, and by the One in Whose Hand is my soul!”””””” If faith were suspended from Pleiades, then it would be reached by men from Persia.'”
SUNAN TIRMIDHI (Vol. 1, Book 44, Hadith 3261)
Narrated Abu Huraira:While we were sitting with the Prophet (ﷺ) Surat Al-Jumu’a was revealed to him, and when the Verse, “And He (Allah) has sent him (Muhammad) also to other (Muslims)…..’ (62.3) was recited by the Prophet, I said, “Who are they, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” The Prophet (ﷺ) did not reply till I repeated my question thrice. At that time, Salman Al-Farisi was with us. So Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) put his hand on Salman, saying, “If Faith were at (the place of) Ath-Thuraiya (pleiades, the highest star), even then (some men or man from these people (i.e. Salman’s folk) would attain it.”
SAHEEH BUKHARI (Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 420)
Hafiz Ibn e Abdul Bar has mentioned this Hadith in the virtues of Salman Farsi (May Allah Be Pleased with him).
(AL-ISTEAAB 382/1 ت 1013)
B) “رجال” (MANY PERSONS FROM PERSIA).
The later i.e “رجال” refers to the Honorable,Exalted,glorious and devout Muhaditheen of Persia.
Hafiz Ibne Hijr has quoted Qurtubi: “ People (Persians) are famous for memorizing Ahadith, unlike others”.
(FATHUL BARI VOLUME 8,PAGE 643 UNDER HADITH 4898)
IBNE TAYMIYA SAID :-
ومصداق ذلك: ما وجد في التابعين ومن بعدههم من أبناء فارس الاحرار والموالي مثل : الحسن وإبن سيرين وعكرمة مولى ابن عباس وغير هم–الخ
“ And it refers to those Tabieen and the people who came after them who were the free men and emancipated slaves of Persia, such as Hasan Basri, Muhammad Bin Sireen, Akramah Mawla Ibne Abaas and others.”
(IQTIDAA’ SIRAT AL MUSTAQEEM PAGE 145)
2) NARRATION WHICH STATE THAT IMAM ABU HANIFA R.H WAS FROM PERSIA (FAARAS). :-
أخبرنَا أَبُو حَفْص عمر بن إِبْرَاهِيم المقرىء قَالَ أَنا مكرم بن أَحْمد قَالَ ثَنَا أَحْمد ابْن عبيد الله بن شَاذان الْمروزِي قَالَ حَدثنَا أبي عَن جدي قَالَ سَمِعت إِسْمَاعِيل ابْن حَمَّاد بن أبي حنيفَة يَقُول أَنا إِسْمَاعِيل بن حَمَّاد بن النُّعْمَان بن ثَابت بن النُّعْمَان ابْن الْمَرْزُبَان من أَبنَاء فَارس الْأَحْرَار وَالله مَا وَقع علينا رق قطّ ولد جدي فِي سنة ثَمَانِينَ وَذهب ثَابت إِلَى عَليّ بن أبي طَالب رَضِي الله عَنهُ وَهُوَ صَغِير ودعا لَهُ بِالْبركَةِ فِيهِ وَفِي ذُريَّته وَنحن نرجو من الله ان يكون قد اسْتَجَابَ الله ذَلِك لعَلي بن أبي طَالب رَضِي الله عَنهُ فِينَا قَالَ والنعمان بن الْمَرْزُبَان أَبُو ثَابت هُوَ الَّذِي أهْدى إِلَى عَليّ بن أبي طَالب رَضِي الله عَنهُ الفالوذج فِي يَوْم النيروز فَقَالَ نوروزنا كل يَوْم
وَقيل كَانَ ذَلِك فِي المهرجان فَقَالَ مهرجونا كل يَوْم
As-Saymree said in Akhbaar Abi Haneefah: Abu Hafs Umar bin Ibraaheem al-Muqri informed us, he said: Makram bin Ahmed narrated to us, he said: Ahmed bin Ubaydullah bin Shaazaan al-Marwazi narrated to us, he said: My father narrated to us, from my grandfather, he said: I heard Ismaa’eel bin Hammaad bin Abi Haneefah saying:“I am Ismaa’eel bin Hammaad bin an-Nu’maan bin Thaabit bin an-Nu’maan ibn al-Marzubaan from the free people of Faaras. By Allaah, we were never enslaved. My grandfather (Abu Haneefah) was born in the year 80 H. Thaabit went to Ali bin Abi Taalib radiallah anhu when he was small and he prayed for blessings for him and his children. We hope from Allaah that he accepts this Du’aa from Ali bin Abi Taalib radiallah anhu for us.” Ismaa’eel further said: “An-Nu’maan bin al-Marzubaan, the father of Thaabit, was the one who gifted Ali bin Abi Taalib radiallah anhu with Faaluzaj (Called Al-Faaloozaj in Arabic, but Faaloodah in Persian and Urdu) on the day of Nawroz (The Persian new year; Arabicized into Nayroz in Islamic literature). Ali said, ‘May every day be like Nawroz!’ It was also said, ‘This is done as part of Mehregan (A Persian harvest festival with origins possibly pre-dating Iranian culture).’ So he replied: ‘May every day be as Mehregan’”.
(AS-SAYMREE IN AKHBAAR ABI HANEEFAH 4)
CRITICISM ON CHAIN OF NARRATION. :-
1) AHMED BIN UBAYDULLAH BIN SHAAZAAN IS MAJHOOL.
2) HIS FATHER IS MAJHOOL.
3) HIS GRANDFATHER IS MAJHOOL.
4) ISMAA’EEL BIN HAMMAAD IS DAEEF.
IBN ADEE SAID ABOUT ISMAA’EEL, HIS FATHER HAMMAAD, & HIS GRANDFATHER ABU HANEEFAH:
وثلاثتهم قد ذكرتهم في كتابي هذا في جملة الضعفاء
“All three of them, that I have mentioned in this book of mine, are among the weak narrators”
IMAAM SAALIH AL-JAZRAH SAID :-
إسماعيل بن حماد بن أبي حنيفة كان جهميا، ليس هو بثقة
“Ismaa’eel bin Hammaad bin Abi Haneefah was a Jahmi, he was not Thiqah”
(TAAREEKH BAGHDAAD 7/216)
IMAAM DHAHABI MENTIONED ISMAA’EEL IN DEEWAAN AD-DU’AFA (1/32).
5) THIS NARRATION SEEKS TO SUGGEST THAT ALI BIN ABI TAALIB (R.A) CELEBRATED THE BID’AH OF NEW YEAR WHICH CANNOT BE EXPECTED FROM SUCH A GREAT SAHAABI.
This narration suggests that Ali bin Abi Taalib (radiallah anhu) celebrated the Bid’ah of New Year which cannot be expected from such a great Sahaabi. On the contrary, it is narrated that
أخبرنا ) أبو عبد الله الحافظ ، ثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، ثنا الحسن بن علي بن عفان ، ثنا أبو أسامة ، عن حماد بن زيد ، عن هشام ، عن محمد بن سيرين قال : أتي علي – رضي الله عنه – بهدية النيروز ، فقال : ما هذه ؟ قالوا : يا أمير المؤمنين ، هذا يوم النيروز . قال : فاصنعوا كل يوم فيروز .
قال أبو أسامة : كره أن يقول نيروز . ( قال الشيخ ) : وفي هذا كالكراهة لتخصيص يوم بذلك لم يجعله الشرع مخصوصا به .
Imam Muhammad bin Sireen said that Ali bin Abi Taalib (radiallah anhu) was once given a gift of Nawroz (New Year). He asked: “What is this?” The people said: “O Leader of the Believers today is Nayroz.” Ali (radiallah anhu) (rejected it and and said angrily), “𝗗𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘂𝗽 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗮 𝗙𝗮𝘆𝗿𝗼𝘇?” Abu Usaamah (the narrator) said: “Ali even disliked taking its (correct) name Nayroz”
SUNAN AL-KUBRA LIL BAYHAQI (HADITH 18865)
After narrating it, Imaam Bayhaqi said: “And this contains dislikeness to specify a day for that purpose which the Sharee’ah did not specify”. Hence, this narration which is supposed to be in favor of Abu Haneefah is no doubt, a Fabrication!
3) IMAM ABU HANIFA R.H WAS FROM KAABUL. :-
Firstly It is not proven at all through an authentic chain that Imam Abu Hanifa was a Persian. Whatever the Hanafees, Ibne Hijr Makki says about this is nothing but a bunch of lies and is rejected. Secondly Imam Abu Hanifa was the resident of Kabul.
IMAM ABU NAEEM AL-FAZAL BIN DAKEEN AL KOOFI (DEATH. 218 HIJRI) SAID :-
Abu Haneefa Nu’man Bin Thabit, He actually belonged to Kabul.
(TAREEKH.E.BAGHDAD 325-324/13 WITH AUTHENTIC CHAIN)
Kabul and Persia are two separate countries.
(MU’JAM UL BALDAN (226/4,426/3) AND TAUDHEE UL AHKAAM 402/2).
Making a “kabuli” a “Persian” is a historical fraud.
4) RESPONSE TO THOSE WHO INTERPRETE THE WORD “رجل” IN THE MENTIONED HADITH ON IMAM ABU HANEEFA. :-
The interpretation of the word “رجل” in the mentioned hadith, on Imam Abu Haneefa Abu Abaas Ahmed Bin Muhammad Bin Muhammad….Ibne Hijr Al Haithmi Al Makki & imam suyuti r.h is rejected the reason are as follows.
Ghulam Rasool Saeedi Barelvi has quoted from Ainee Hanafi that “ There is a disagreement regarding who is including in “أخرين منهم”? And this regard there exist the following opinions:
2. Ajam. (Non Arabs)
3. Ibna’ Ajam. (Children of Ajam)
4. People who came after Sahaba.
5. Muslims till the day of Qiyamah
6. Allama Qurtubi said that “ It is better to interpret it as “Ibna’ Faras” (Children of Persia).
It has been proved by observation that Persia was dominated by religious knowledge and many scholars emerged there and this Hadith of The Prophet Peace be Upon Him is a truthful evidence of Prophetic prediction.
(SHARAH SAHEEN MUSLIM VOLUME 6 PAGE 1242-1243 UNDER HADITH 6374-6375 WITH REFERENCE TO UMDATUL QARI VOLUME 19 PAGE 235)
Despite being a biased Hanafi, Ainee Hanafi did not interpret this Hadith on Imam Abu Hanifa but Ghulam Rasool Saeedi in pursuance of saving his Barelviat has quoted as Suyuti of 10th century saying:
“There is an indication towards Imam Abu Hanifa in this hadith”.
And wrote after it:
“ The student of Hafiz Suyuti Allama Shami has written that the interpretation of our teacher is absolutely correct, there is no doubt about it that this hadith is about Imam Abu Hanifa, because no one reached to the level of knowledge of Imam Abu Hanifa in the children of Persia”.
(SHARAH SAHEEH MUSLIM VOLUME 6 PAGE 1243)
The statement of Saeed Barelvi is rejected on four reasons.
1. Imaam Suyuti died in 911.A.H and Ibne Abideen Shami was born in 1198 A.H.
(SEE MU’JAM UL MU’LIFEEN 145/3 ت 12274)
So a person born after 287 years after the death of Suyuti went to his grave to study from him?
2. Imam Abu Hanifa was not a Persian.
3. Imam Abu Hanifa was a Kabuli.
4. This narration refers to the Salman Farsi May Allah Be Pleased With Him and the Persian scholars of Ahadith, Uloom ul Ahadith, Tafaseer and the authors of biographies of Chain of narrators (Asmaa u Rijal).
If all of the Hanafis do not get offended, would they like to tell us that the book “Saheeh Abi Haneefa” written by Imam Abu Hanifa, where is it?Where is the “Kitab ul Tafseer” written by Abu Hanifa?Where is the Book of “Usool Ul Fiqa and Usool ul Hadith” written by Imam Abu Hanifa? Where is the Book of Biographies of chain of narrators “Asma ur Rijal” written by Abu Hanifa?
5) CONCLUSION. :-
This narration refers to Salman Farsi (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) and the Persian scholars of Ahadith, Uloom ul Ahadith, Tafaseer and the authors of biographies of Chain of narrators (Asmaa u Rijal) it does not refer to Imam Abu Hanifa r.h.