Imam Abu Hanifah on Following the Ahadith and Abandoning Taqlid

Compiled, Translated & Annotated

Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

Someone asked Abu Hanifah,

“if you say something in opposition to the Book of Allah.” He replied reject my statement when it contradicts the book of Allah.” He was asked if his statement contradicts the Hadith. He replied, “reject my statement when it contradicts the saying of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam). He was asked again how about if it opposes the statement of the companions, he replied, “Reject my statement in contradiction of the statements of the companions.” (Iqd il-Jid pg.53)

Imam Abu Hanifah said,

“whatever reaches you from the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) it is to be accepted and whatever reaches me from the companions we will collect them and whatever reaches us from other than the companions ie the tabi’n and others then they are men and we are men.” (Mizan al-Kubra 1/29 of Sha’rani)

Imam Abu Hanifah said,

“If a Hadith is authentic then that is my madhab.” (Kalimat Tayibat (1/30)

Imam Abu Hanifah said,

“People will remain upon guidance up until they have students in Hadith (ie acquiring and using them.) when they leave ahadith and seek other things they will be corrupted.” (Mizan al-Kubra 1/49 of Sha’rani)

Imam Abu Hanifah said,

“ground yourself with the athar and the path of the salihin, beware of every new thing because it is an innovation. Someone asked imam Abu Hanifah, “people have abandoned acting on the ahadith and they just read them for blessings.” He said, “Reading the Hadith is also acting upon the Hadith.” (Mizan al-Kubra 1/49 of Sha’rani)

According to the madhab of imam Abu Hanifah the mursal ahadith are a proof for them. (Ah I Sharh Hidayah 1/253)

Imam Abu Hanifah would say,

“weak ahadith are more beloved to me than the opinion of people.” (Rad al-Mukhtar Sharh Dar al-Mukhtar (1/51)

Imam Abu Hanifah said,

“The person who is not familiar with my proofs, it is not befitting that he issues fatawa based on my statements.” (Iqd al-Jid pg.70)

Imam Abu Hanifah said,

“It is not lawful for anyone to take my statements up until he does not know where I have taken it from.” Hence he prohibited taqlid and encouraged knowing the evidences.” (Muqaddimah Hidayah (1/93) the same has been mentioned in Umdah ar-Ra’yah Hashiyyah Sharh Waqayah (1/9)

Hamad the son of Imam Abu Hanifah said,

“My father Abu Hanifah would say a man cannot be a faqih up until he does not leave qiyas at the required time. At a time there will be a judge in a gathering and people will say we curse such a thing that without rejecting it a man cannot be a faqih.” (A’lam al-Muwaqqi’n (1/93)

Imam Abu Hanifah said,

“Beware of the opinion of people.” (Mizan al-Kubra 1/48 of Sha’rani)

Imam Waki said to Yahya bin Saleh, I heard from Abu Hanifah he would say,

“it is better to urinate in the masjid then use the qiyas of some of the people.” (A’lam al-Muwaqqi’n (1/93)

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