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[A Sect which is Attacking Islam From Within.]

Abu Hanifa Not Only Accepted Hadith, but even Mursal Hadith and Narrations of Sahaba
Process of Ijtihad is Available in Hadith Itself

Question and Answer
[The following is from a series of questions asked by Mahjabeen in Canada. The questioner is refusing to give any information about her location and address but as her questions seem to be legitimate, they will be answered.]

[For previous discussion, look to our study of ZIKR in the Qur'an. G.A. Parvez, leader of the anti-Hadith sect had contended that Allah has promised to protect and safeguard only the Qur'an. As we pointed out, ZIKR is not only the Qur'an but also the teachings and example of the Prophet, pbuh, and of his Companions (r.a.) which altogether constitute the authentic way of life known as Islam.]

[In another segment, we pointed out that G.A. Parvez's conspiracy theory about the scholars of Hadith being Iranians was bogus. Among the greatest scholars of Hadith were Imam Malik, Imam Ahmed and Imam Shafii', all Arabs. In fact, both Arabs and non-Arabs have worked together to insure the integrity and authenticity of Hadith.]

Continuation from M. in Canada: Allama Parvez has shown us the weakness of Hadith by taking the example of Abu Hanifa whose School of Thought has the most followers in the Muslim world. Allama Parvez says that Abu Hanifa hardly ever used Hadith, no more than 18 Hadith in his life time. The Allama quotes page after page, nine pages, from the Tarikh of Khateeb Baghdadi (volume 13) which show that Abu Hanifa rejected Hadith as source of Islam and instead used the Qur'an and did Qiyas on its basis. All the scholars of that time were upset with Abu Hanifa, as you are upset with Allama Parvez, and accused him of starting a "new Islam." Allama Parvez ends the discussion of Abu Hanifa with these points:
"1. In DEEN, only the principles and laws of Qur'an do not change, and it is this Book which is above doubt and suspicion.
2. Traditions have a historic value which can help in doing Ijtihad but they cannot be declared a permanent and unchanging part of DEEN.
3. In the light of principles of the Qur'an, we should organize Fiqh by our Ijtihad but this Ijtihad too cannot be declared unchanging till the Day of Judgement." [Maqame Hadith by Parvez, p.170]

This will help you to understand Parvez and stop attacking him.
Note: The three points from Maqame Hadith were photocopied by the writer from the original Urdu. We have translated them with great care and we hope the writer will have no problem with the translation.

Discussion of Imam Abu Hanifa is relevant at this time because his mosque in Baghdad was hit in the recent U.S. bombing. I have a photo of it just received from Baghdad. The top of the mosque's turret has been blown of. It has also received damaged to its front entrance and to various parts of its structure.

The followers of the Parvezi sect should protest to the U.S. over the damage if they think Imam Abu Hanifa was a supporter of their line of thinking. I notice that the Parvezis are among the few people in the Muslim world who have not come out against the U.S. bombing of Iraq.

Parvez was a dishonest writer and hence tied himself into knots while trying to mislead the Muslims. We should pay attention to the FITNA he started because he now has followers in America trying to use his bogus arguments in their attempts to help the Zionists by undermining the Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh). [One recent "gem" the Parvezis have produced is that Masjid al-Aqsa, mentioned in the Qur'an, is not in Jerusalem!]

Let's look at the absurdities of Parvez as evidenced in M's question:
1. Does M. know that Imam Abu Hanifa was a non-Arab? In fact his grandfather, Zuti, was a fireworshiper from KABUL, who embraced Islam and, to avoid persecution by his family, traveled to Iraq and settled in Kufa where Abu Hanifa's father Thabit was born.

Parvez's theory was that there was a "PERSIAN Hadith conspiracy" against Islam, as evidenced by the non-Arab origins of the six famous collectors of Hadith. So, if Abu Hanifa was a Persian and an OPPONENT of Hadith, according to Parvez's way of thinking, then obviously the conspiracy theory is again seriously damaged.

2. I have MAQAME HADITH by Parvez, and you are right: he does have nine pages of quotes from Khateeb Baghdadi which indicate that Imam Abu Hanifa rejected (most) Hadith. Here Parvez has undermined himself owing to his dishonesty and lack of scholarship. Note:

i. Parvez does not tell his readers that Khateeb Baghdadi died in 463 (H). [He does not even mention the full name of the author, Ahmad bin Ali al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, nor the title of his work, TARIKH BAGHDAD, though he quoted nine pages from him.] Perhaps Parvez was banking on the non-availability of the book he was quoting from for most Pakistanis.

ii. Notice that Parvez has created suspicion about Hadith owing to the 3rd century productions of six of the collectors of Hadith. Here he wants to use a FOURTH CENTURY collection of history-related narrations [no comparison in quality to the books of Hadith] and bases a major argument upon it.

iii. Did you notice that ALL the quotes he has given are by OPPONENTS of Imam Abu Hanifa. These are no more than the polemical writings of scholars of that era. Many of them opposed Abu Hanifa because he used Qiyas (reasoning by analogy). [Some of these opponents were great scholars like Ahmed ibn Hanbal who considered Hadith sufficient to answer all exigencies.] They were trying to put him down by saying that he opposed Hadith, which only shows that Hadith was valued by all scholars in the golden era of Islam.

iv. Parvez, being dishonest, left out what Imam Abu Hanifa said about his own position on Hadith. This will surprise you, because it's from the same volume of Khateeb Baghdadi's book from which Parvez quoted page after page of what Abu Hanifa's opponents said. Here are Abu Hanifa's words:

"When I find some command in the Book of Allah, I grasp it, and when I do not find it in the Qur'an, I take the example of the messenger of Allah, pbuh, and I grasp what has been narrated about him correctly by honest people. Then if I find it neither in the Book of Allah nor in the example of the messenger of Allah, I take the words of the Companions of the Messenger, and if there is a difference among the Companions, I take the word of the Companion I prefer to over that of another. I do not go outside the words of all of these to take anyone else's word. As for people other than these, I have the right to Ijtihad just as they have." [Tarikh Baghdad, vol.13, p. 368]

v. A Shafi'ite scholar, Sha'arani, in his classical work Al-Meezan, has quoted from Imam Abu Hanifa. Note that Abu Hanifa not only accepts Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) but even the narrations of the Khulafa as BINDING before using his Qiyas:

"I first act on the Qur'an, then on the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), then on the teachings of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Usman and ‘Ali." [Al-Meezan, vol. 1, page 61]

vi. Study the life of Imam Abu Hanifa. After learning the Qur'an, he went to the city of Basra and learned Hadith from two famous people in the generation after the Companions (tabain), Qatada and Sho'ba. Then at the age of 24, he went to Makka and learned Hadith from another eminent scholar named ‘Ata. Then he went to Madinah and learned Hadith from Imam Baqir (from the line of the Prophet, pbuh). Imam Baqir also accused him of putting Qiyas above Hadith and Imam Abu Hanifa gave an example to show that this was not so. He said:

"Obligatory prayer is more important than fasting. If I were using Qiyas first, I would have said that a menstruating woman should make up for the prayers missed. I don't: instead I say that she should make up for the missed fasts."

Imam Baqir died in 114 Hijri and then Imam Abu Hanifa learned Hadith from Imam Jafar Sadiq, also from the line of the Prophet (pbuh). Then he went back to Kufa to learn from Imam Hammad.

vii. Imam Abu Hanifa went on to become one of the greatest teachers of Hadith. He was so well versed that instead of writing it down, he narrated Hadith orally to his students. His students, giants of Islamic scholarship like Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, wrote down the Hadith he narrated to them verbally. Of the 4,000 Hadith, he narrated, one MUSNAD of Imam Abu Hanifa exists even in Urdu with 523 Hadith in it. Incidentally, it begins with the same Hadith with which the Sahih of Bukhari begins.

viii. The Musnad of Imam Hanifa, and all his narrations of Hadith, have been collected and transmitted by numerous scholars of Hadith. One of the greatest tributes which can be paid to him is that his MUSNAD was transmitted even by differing scholars from non-Hanafi schools of thought. I will mention only one: Ibn Asakir, a Shafi'ii, from Damascus, 499-571 H.


Let alone rejecting or opposing Hadith, Imam Abu Hanifa even accepted Mursal Hadith in which the name of the Companion who narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) is not given. Such Hadith from Abu Hanifa can be seen in the Kitab al-Athar by Abu Yusuf (famous student of the Imam). Such Hadith would be a problem for later collectors, like Imam Bukhari, who would usually reject them. Imam Abu Hanifa was able to accept them because he got them via great scholars of Hadith like Nakha'i and Hasan Basri who had met the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh).

In conclusion, Parvez's entire story about Imam Abu Hanifa and Hadith is BOGUS. As for the principle of Ijtihad (independent reasoning), it is already given in the Hadith and is based on the Qur'an and the Hadith. I'll quote it from a good book of Hadith which I have in my personal library:

"Ma'az narrates that when the messenger of Allah (peace be on him) sent him to Yemen to become its governor, he asked Ma'az: Tell me, when something happens, how will you decide about it? (Ma'az replied) I will judge it according to the Qur'an. (The Prophet asked) If it is not in the Qur'an? (Ma'az replied) Then I will judge according to the hadith of the messenger of Allah. (The Prophet asked) If it is not in the hadith of the messenger of Allah? (Ma'az replied) Then I will use my own thinking and do my best. (Ma'az narrates) Then the messenger of Allah hit Ma'az on the chest with his hand and said: thanks be to Allah Almighty that He gave Ma'az the inspiration which pleased His messenger." (Darimi's Sunan, chapter 20, hadith 12. Darimi died 255 H.]

2003-07-13 Sun 16:37ct