Compiled, Translated and Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansari
ʿAudhu Billāhi min ash-Shayṭān al-Rajīm
Bismillāh al-Rahman al-Rahīm
Alhamdullilahi Rabbil A’lamīn, Waṣalatu Wasalam Ala Rasūlillahil Karīm, Wa Ala Alihi Wa Ashabi Wa Man Tabiahum Bi-Ehsan Ila Yaum al-Din; Wa Ba’d
All Praise belongs and is directed to the Rabb of everthing
that exists, Praise and Salutations be upon His
Final beloved Messenger, his revered family
and his noble Companions and upon
those who follow them in good
until the end of times,
This is a short paper that shall examine the principles of the Ḥanafīs, more specifically, the Deobandīs and Barelwīs and their relationship with the divine ḥadīth of the Nabī ﷺ. The paper aims to discuss and comment on themes such as:
- The Ḥanafīs and their stance on Mawqūf narrations of the Ṣaḥābah.
- The Ḥanafīs and their attacks on the Ṣaḥābah.
- Ḥanafīs and the scathing attack on the rūwāt [narrators] of Bukhārī and Muslim. Why and to what end?
- The Ḥanafīs and the Nabī ﷺ
- Who criticised the narrations in Bukhārī and Muslim, Imām Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī رحمه الله or the Ḥanafīs and why?
By no means does this paper seek to delve into the issues of ʿAqīdah or Fiqh in which the Ḥanafīs, that is the Deobandīs and Barelwīs, have rejected the ḥadīth due to their tahazzub (partisanship) and blind following of their Madhhab.
Nor does this paper consider the absurdities of the Ḥanafī-Deobandīs vis a vis their ‘fiqh’ which begins and ends with a disarray of fragmented opinions and verdicts which not only oppose the divine texts but also oppose the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥīn and their verdicts. This is something which can be examined by those who have the time and patience to sift through Ḥanafī texts collating the evidences.
For centuries the people of misguidance have been hurling abuse at the Ahl al-Ḥadīth and the Ḥanafīs are no exception to this. It’s often been said by the Ḥanafīs more specifically the Deobandī sect, that the Ahl al-Ḥadīth are a group of people that reject the sayings and the aḥādīth of the Ṣaḥābah رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين and in doing so they have resembled the Shīʿah and people of misguidance.
Had the Ḥanafīs uttered their saying so as to not give precedence to a saying of a Ṣaḥābī which was not in line with al-ḥadīth al-marfūʿ from Rasūlullāh ﷺ himself then this would be correct and in sync with position of the Ahl al-Ḥadīth, for the Ahl al-Ḥadīth do not permit blind following or clinging to the opinion of anyone in opposition to the sacred ḥadīth from Rasūlullāh ﷺ.
However, the Ḥanafīs in their usual hypocritical way have alluded that such a position of the Ahl al-Ḥadīth is not only erroneous but also an attack on the Ṣaḥābah and the aḥādīth.
It’s interesting to note that the Deobandīs are at the foremost in rejecting ḥadīth. In fact, for the Ḥanafī Madhhab, Sunnah and ḥadīth are seen as a secondary source equalled and level on par to qiyās and opinion with the later many times being given precedence over the blessed ḥadīth, as shall be illustrated later on by the permission of Allāh ﷻ the Most High, free from His creation completely.
In so far as ḥadīth is concerned, one can observe a plethora of evidence to substantiate the fact that, the Ḥanafī-Deobandīs have not only rejected the mawqūf riwāyat, that is the traditions reported from the Ṣaḥābah that have not reached the Nabī ﷺ, in fact they’ve gone further by criticising certain Ṣaḥābah and even attacked the ʿAdālah (عدالة) and Ḍabṭ (ضبط), which means the uprightness and the precision and preservation of ʿilm from the Ṣaḥābah, only because the riwāyah of the Ṣaḥābah were in opposition to the Ḥanafī Madhhab or Ḥanafī analogy.
Therefore, it is in fact they, the Deobandīs, who have resembled the Shīʿah in their position and not the Ahl al-Ḥadīth and this chapter aims to substantiate that. One may ask why start with the Ḥanafīs and the Ṣaḥābah in this paper? The reply is due to the fact that the Deobandīs are the most vocal of sects that hoodwinks the masses into believing that they are the defenders of the Ṣaḥābah and have the utmost love for them, of course the opposite is the reality.
In any event it is important to begin with the Ṣaḥābah as it is a principle of our ʿAqīdah that the entire understanding of our Dīn is based upon the understanding of the Ṣaḥābah as they learnt directly from the Nabī ﷺ and were thus the conveyors of truth and revelation to the ummah of the Nabī ﷺ. Simply put, if one attacks the Ṣaḥābah, as the Deobandīs do, then the attack is one upon the very foundation and acceptance of al-Islām.
The Ḥanafīs and their stance on Mawqūf narrations of the Ṣaḥābah.
The beginning of the ‘hoodwinking’ process.
The Ḥanafīs accuse us that we disrespect the Ṣaḥābah by not taking the mawqūf riwāyah over and above the marfūʿ riwāyah if it is in opposition to it. Then it should be noted that the Deobandīs hold a similar view in so far as only when it suits them. Some examples follow of the position that the Deobandīs present before the people which in essence may seem as them saying that they will not allow anyone, even a Ṣaḥābī to be followed if it is in opposition to the ḥadīth and actions of the Nabī ﷺ.
Of course, the position they retort is pointless as in reality it is nothing short of a sinister plot but to attack the validity of the Ṣaḥābah, reject them, abuse them and do whatever it takes to safeguard the position of their Imām Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله (d.150 Ah) regardless of the riwāyāt of the Ṣaḥābah or Rasūlullāh ﷺ himself. This is the actual reality and position of the Deobandī sect and the Ṣaḥābah as will follow.
First, some examples of the ‘official’ doctrinal position espoused by the Deobandīs, which one may be fooled into thinking was written by Ahl al-Ḥadīth ʿulamāʾ rather than Deobandīs.
- Sarfarāz Khān Ṣafdar Deobandī Ḥayātī (d. 1430 Ah)
He writes in his book, Rāh-e-Sunnat [رَاه سنت], page: 114, that:
“There is no doubt that the saying of a Ṣaḥābī specifically in this case, ʿAbd Allāh ibn Masūd رضي الله عنه is accepted and has weight to it, but when we look atʿulūm al-Ḥadīth then there is a difference between that which is marfūʿ (elevated to the Nabī ﷺ) to that which is mawqūf this cannot be put aside. The station which is deserving of the narrations, which are marfūʿ, cannot be given to the riwāyāt which only reach the Ṣaḥābah and are mawqūf even though they are authentic.”
Comment: Do the Deobandīs therefore advocate no taqlīd of the Ṣaḥābah in the presence of divine texts from the Rasūlullāh ﷺ? If so, do they also advocate no taqlīd of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله or other than him who are lesser in status than the Ṣaḥābah in the presence of the divine texts? If not, then why? Is Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله a greater mujtahid, faqīh or Imām than the Ṣaḥābah? Or, is Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله greater in trustworthiness than the Ṣaḥābah? Or, is Abū Ḥanīfa’s رحمه الله Ḍabṭ and ʿAdālah greater than the Ṣaḥābah?
Seeing as the ‘authentic’ mawqūf riwāyāt cannot reach the status of al-ḥadīth al-marfūʿ riwāyāt then what is the status of the sayings of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله and the Ḥanafī Maḏhab which on the most part if not entirety are based upon no ‘authentic’ asānīd (أسانيد)[mostly disconnected and weak asānīd] going back to Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله, spurious analogy and just opinions of men far lesser than any single Ṣaḥābī? Can one stick blindly to the Ḥanafī Maḏhab in the presence of the sayings of the Ṣaḥābah and Nabī ﷺ and what is the Islamic ruling upon this?
- The Shaykh al-Ḥadīth and the Shaykh al-Hind of the Deobandīs, Maḥmūd al-Ḥasan Deobandī, (d.1339 Ah)
He writes in his book, Taqārīr (تَقَارِيْر) Shaykh al-Hind, page: 30, that:
“As for the actions of a Ṣaḥābī then they are not binding upon us (they are not a ḥujjah)”.
Shaykh Maḥmūd al-Ḥasan says in Taqārīr Shaykh al-Hind, page: 43, in relation to an issue he said:
“This is mainly a saying of a Ṣaḥābī and therefore cannot be used as an evidence against the Ḥanafīyyah”.
- The father and Shaykh al-Ḥadīth of Dar al-ʿUlūm Deoband, ʿAllāmah Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī (d.1325 Ah)
He writes in his book, Bayān-e-Muqaddīmah Marzāʿī al-Bahawalpur, page: 445, volume: 1, that
“The saying of a Ṣaḥābī is not an dalīl for us in the way that the saying of the Nabī ﷺ is”.
- The Deobandī scholar and Imām which they refer to, Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī (d.1346 Ah)
He writes in his book which is an explanation of Abū Dāwūd Badhl al-Majhūd [بَذَلَ المَجْھُوْد] page: 39, volume: 5, he says in relation to an issue:
“وهو مذهب الصحابي لا يقوم بحجة على أحد”.
“And this is mainly a Maḏhab of a Ṣaḥābī which is not binding upon anybody”.
Comment: As per the above comment section with the addition if the Maḏhab of a Ṣaḥābī is not binding upon anybody then how can the Maḏhab of Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله be binding upon anybody else?
He writes in another place in the same book, page: 38, volume: 5, that:
“This is mainly the saying of Abū Huraīrah رضي الله عنه therefore it is not an evidence to be followed”.
- The Imām of the Ḥanafī-Barelwīs and the Deobandīs Mulla ʿAlī al-Qārī (d.1014 Ah)
He writes in his book, al-Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ Sharḥ Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ, [مرقاة المفـاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح], page: 549, volume: 2, that:
“And this is the Maḏhab of a Ṣaḥābī which is not a ḥujjah upon us”.
- The Deobandī Imām of jurisprudence of modern times Zafar Aḥmad al-ʿUthmānī Thānwī (d.1394 Ah)
He writes in his encyclopaedia of Fiqh Iʿlaʾ al-Sunan, page: 438, volume: 1, that:
“In comparison to al-ḥadīth al-marfūʿ the saying of a Ṣaḥābī is not a ḥujjah.”
Comment: all the unanswered questions from teh above comments in addition to what constitutes ‘ḥujjah’ an evidence to be followed in teh Ḥanafī Maḏhab and who decides upon this? Who decided upon Abū Ḥanīfa’s رحمه الله every statement to be a ‘ḥujjah’ for his ardent blind followers other than those very same ardent muqallidīn who were only blindly following in the first place due to their ignorance. In light of this, what legal value does the opinion of a people have who themselves are not worthy to have an opinion of any worth or value in the Islamic sciences?
- The Deobandī Imām of modern times and ex-Chief Justice of Pakistan, Taqī ʿUthmānī
He writes in his book, Dars -e- Tirmidhī, page: 169, volume: 2, concerning a riwāyah from Abū Huraīrah رضي الله عنه he would pray the Qūnut in the Fajr ṣalāh. Whilst commenting on this Taqī ʿUthmānī says the following:
“This riwāyah is mawqūf and it is not a dalīl for us”.
Taqī ʿUthmānī also in Dars -e- Tirmidhī, page: 319, volume: 1, that the Ḥanafī’s have replied to this by saying:
“This is not proven from the speech of Rasūlullāh ﷺ and that which is not proven from Rasūlullāh ﷺ then the saying or an action Ṣaḥābī is not sufficient to take”.
Comment: simply put, the Deobandī claims the benchmark to follow in all affairs is Rasūlullāh ﷺ himself and not the Ṣaḥābī. How truthful he is in this assertion shall be seen below.
Also in another place Dars -e- Tirmidhī, page: 191, volume: 1 he says:
“Therefore, the answer which should be given in this is, that this is the action and ijtihād of Ibn ʿUmar رضي الله عنه and there is no marfuʿ ḥadīth related in this regards. Furthermore, the ijtihād of a Ṣaḥābī is not a ḥujjah especially when are other riwāyāt from the Ṣaḥābah are in opposition to it.”
- The Muftī from the current day Deobandīs, Jamīl Aḥmad Nazīrī
He writes in his book, Rasūlullāh ﷺ Ka Tarīqah e Namaz (The Methodology of Prayer of Rasūlullāh ﷺ), page: 259, he says:
“Whilst it is acknowledged that some of the Ṣaḥābah who agreed and performed one Witr and riwāyāt are found in this regards, however this was their own ijtihād. Such ijtihād whilst it is against many marfūʿ riwāyat from the Nabī ﷺ cannot be taken as a ḥujjah.”
Comment: why are the Deobandīs hypocritical enough to ferously attack the Ahl al-Ḥadīth who say that the saying of anyone, not even a Ṣaḥābī can be taken which is in opposition to the Nabī ﷺ? Do they apply the same ruling to Abū Ḥanīfa’s رحمه الله ijtihād as they do to the Ṣaḥābah? If so, then why not apply that not only to the ijtihādāt of Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله but to all his Maḏhab?
- Sarfarāz Khān Ṣafdar
He writes in this book, Aḥsan al-Kalām fī Tark al-Qirāʾah Khalaf [أَحْسَنُ الكَالام في ترْكِ القِراءَة خَلَفَ], page: 142, volume: 2, that:
“The ḥadīth of ʿUbādah ibn al-Ṣāmit رضي الله عنه concerning Fātiḥah behind the Imām, whether ʿUbādah understood it correctly or not there is no doubt that he ʿUbādah رضي الله عنه would pray the Fātiḥah behind the Imām and this was his position, and this is what his research led him to and this was his Maḏhab. However, the understanding of a Ṣaḥābī and a riwāyah that is mawqūf from a Ṣaḥābī is not a ḥujjah for us especially since it is in opposition to the Qurʾān, the authentic ḥadīth and the majority of the Ṣaḥābah”.
In another place Sarfarāz Khān Ṣaftar, writes in his book, Khazāʾin al-Sunan [ُخَزَائِن السنن] a commentary of Jāmīʿ al-Tirmidhī, page: 64, volume: 3, that:
“No doubt ʿĀʾishah رضي الله عنها did not believe the dead had the ability to hear but we have read the Kalimah Shahādah of Rasūlullāh ﷺ and he has informed us that the dead can hear, so should we now follow the Nabī Muḥammad ﷺ or the Ṣaḥābī ʿĀʾishah?”
Comment: do you apply the same to Abū Ḥanīfa رحمه الله and his Maḏhab or have you read his kalimah? Do you agree that if one were to take the saying of someone in opposition to the prophet then this tantamount to reading a kalimah of other than the Nabī ﷺ? What is the Islamic ruling for the one who does this action?
If only the ardent Ḥanafī-Deobandīs and Barelwīs could afford the same courtesy to the Ṣaḥābah رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين and Rasūlullāh ﷺ when it comes to leaving their Maḏhab, when it contradicts a authentic ḥadīth or a ḥadīth from the Ṣaḥābah, they continue to blindly follow their Maḏhab”.
- Ashraf ʿAlī Thānwī (d.1362 Ah) his khalīfah, ʿAbd al-Mājid Darīabādī Deobandī (d.1397 Ah)
He writes in his book, Ḥakīm al-Ummat, page: 275, that:
“The Ṣaḥābah were not free from mistakes in their ijtihād even though it is accepted that the other pious scholars are less in station to the Ṣaḥābah.”
One can see clearly that the Ḥanafī-Deobandīs themselves and their forefathers have advocated that a saying of a Ṣaḥābī is to be left if it’s in opposition to a marfūʿ ḥadīth of Rasūlullāh ﷺ, yet when the Ahl al-Ḥadīth past and present have made this claim, they have tried to fool the people into saying that the Ahl al-Ḥadīth are against the Ṣaḥābah and the Ahl al-Ḥadīth are small or lesser Shīʿah’s by not following the Ṣaḥābah.
Yet everybody knows that it is only the Ahl al-Ḥadīth who propagate the understanding of the Qurʾān and Sunnah by the way of the Ṣaḥābah as understood by the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥīn of this ummah who make taqlīd of nobody, whereas the Deobandīs and Barelwīs have clearly stuck to the sayings of their Imāms in opposition not only to the Ṣaḥābah but the aḥādīth of Rasūlullāh ﷺ.
by the two weak slaves of Allah
Abū Khuzaimah Anṣārī & Abū Ḥibbān
Jumāda al-ʿUla /January 2018