Why is the name of the madhhab called Hanafi (the name of the daughter of the founder) though his real name of the iamam of the madhhab is Imam al-Azam?

Details of the Question
Why is the name of the madhhab called Hanafi (the name of the daughter of the founder) though his real name of the iamam of the madhhab is Imam al-Azam?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifa, who is the first one of the four great imams of Ahl as-Sunnah, was born in Kufa in 80 H. His real name is Numan.

There are not enough explanations in the old resources why he is famous for his nickname "Abu Hanifa". However, it is said that he is called so based on the word "hanif" (feminine form "hanifa") because he was a worshipper who devoted himself to Islam or because he always had an inkwell called "hanifa" by Iraqis with him.

It is also said that she had a daughter called Hanifa but it is not accepted very much. For, it is known that he had only one child called Hammad.

ABU HANIFA (Imam al-Azam)

(80/150 - 700/767)

Numan b. Thabit b. Zawta (Zuta) is an absolute mujtahid in fiqh and the imam of Hanafi madhhab who is known as Abu Hanifa and called by the nickname Imam al-Azam (the Great Imam).

Abu Hanifa was born in Kufa in 80 H. It is definite that Numan and his family were not of Arab origin; there are various views that he was Persian or Turkish. His grandfather, Zuta, who was a freed slave of the tribe of Sons of Taym b. Tha'laba, went to Kufa from Kabil during the caliphate of Hz. Ali. Zuta's son, Thabit, was engaged in silk and woolen cloth trade in Kufa. Numan b. Thabit, who was brought up in an environment where Islam was dominant, memorized the whole Quran at a very young age. It is reported that he learned to read the Quran from Imam Asim, who was one of the seven qurras. (Ibn Hajar Haytami, Khayratul-Hisan, 265) Numan was engaged in trade when he was young but he continued his education upon the advice and support of Imam Sha'bi (20/104). He learned Arabic, literature, sarf (morphology), nahw (syntax) and poetry. In the city of Kufa, in which he was born, and the whole Iraq, there were a lot of Muslim and non-Muslim thoughts, sects of creed and heated debates on creed. Abu Hanifa, who was brought up in a religious family, probably took part in these debates of creed. Abu Hanifa narrates how Sha'bi encouraged him to study ilm as follows: "Once, I was passing by Sha'bi. He called me and said, 'Where do you attend?' I said, 'To the market.' He said, 'I do not mean it. Which scholars' lessons do you attend?' I said, 'None.' He said, 'Never ignore learning and scholars. I see that you are a clever youngster.' This word of his affected me positively. I gave up trade and started to study ilm. Sha'bi's word helped me a lot with the permission of Allah." As Abu Hanifa said, Sha'bi's advice was a turning point for him. He handed his business to his partner Hafs b. Abdurrahman; he visited his shop from time to time but he was mainly engaged in learning. Numan was twenty-two years old then. (Muhammad Abu Zahra, Abu Hanifa, Trnsl. by Osman Keskioğlu. İstanbul 1970. 43)

In the place and time Abu Hanifa lived, sects of creed increased and many heretical sects emerged. The Umayyad kings continued oppressing Ahl al-Bayt. Numan b. Thabit, whose logic was very strong, developed his ilm and started to learn the science of kalam.  He often went to Basra to debate but he saw that kalam and debate was out of religion and started to study fiqh. He said, "He who says his friend is an unbeliever becomes an unbeliever himself." (Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikhu Baghdad, XIII, 333) He narrates the issue as follows: "The Companions and Tabiun understood the issues that came to us better than us. There were not heated debates and struggles among them; they encouraged people to learn fiqh with assemblies of fiqh; they issued fatwas and asked fatwa from one another. When I understood it, I gave up heated debates, struggles and kalam; I turned to the way of salaf. I saw that kalam scholars were not on the way of salaf, that the people of debate were hard-hearted, had rude spirits, did not avoid opposing nass (verses and hadiths) and were away from piety and taqwa." (Ibnul Bazzazi, Manaqibu Abi Hanifa, I, 111)

It is reported that when Numan went to hajj at the age of sixteen with his father, he met Ata b. Abi Rabah and Abdullah Ibn Umar from Tabiun and listened to hadiths from them. (Ibnul Athir, Usdul-Ghaba, III, 133) He is regarded to be from Tabiun and is one of the notables of Atbaut-Tabiin. It is stated that he followed all of the movements of thought of his age when he was young and that he determined the disagreements very well. (Sha'rani, Tabaqatul-Kubra, I, 52-53). When he chose fiqh and started to follow the way of salaf, he chose a teacher for himself by following the tradition. He learned fiqh from Hammad b. Abi Sulayman (d. 120/737), the great fiqh scholar of Iraq, for eighteen years. He became Hammad's deputy. After being Hammad's student for ten years, he wanted to start his own assembly but when he saw that sixty of his fatwas were approved by Hammad and twenty of his fatwas were corrected, he gave up this idea. He remained as Hammad's deputy until he died. He learned the following four current fiqh schools of that time: Istinbat, fiqh of Hz. Umar, fiqh of Abdullah b. Mas'ud and fiqh of Abdullah b. Abbas. The first school (istinbat) was based on searching and presenting religious truths, the second one was based on maslahat (public interest), the third one on takhrij (researching and tracking hadiths) and the last one the Quranic ilm.  (Muhammed Abu Zahra, İslâm'da Fıkhi Mezhepler Târihi, Trnsl. by Abdulkadir Şener, II, 132)

His teacher, Hammad b. Abi Sulayman, learned fiqh from two great scholars: Ibrahim an-Nahai and Sha'bi. He made use of the fiqh of Qadi Shurayh, Alqama b. Qays and Masruq b. al-Ajda, who had the fiqh of Abdullah b. Mas'ud and Hz. Ali. The effect of the school of Ibrahim an-Nahai is seen more on the fiqh of Abu Hanifa. Dahlawi writes: "The source of Hanafi fiqh is Ibrahim Nahai's words." (Shah Waliyyullah Dahlawi, Hujjatullahil-Baligha, 1, 146). Besides, Abu Hanifa acquired indisputable knowledge in using "istihsan (judicial preference)". His being closely connected with people's daily life as a merchant, his traveling to the centers of ilm and speaking to many scholars there made him respectable in this issue. During his hajj travels, he talked to the notables of Tabiun scholars about ilm and listened to hadiths from them. Ata b. Abi Rabah, Atiyya al-Awfi, Abdurrahman b. Hurmuz al-A'raj, Ikrima, Nafi', Qatada are some of them. (Dhahabi, Manaqibu'l-Imam Abi Hanifa wa Sahibayhi Abi Yusuf wa Muhammad b. al-Hasan, Egypt). He himself states the following: "I acquired the fiqh of Hz. Umar, Hz. Ali, Abdullah b. Mas'ud and Abdullah Ibn Abbas from their companions." (M. Abu Zahra, Abu Hanifa, 44)

While studying ilm, Abu Hanifa did not abandon trade completely. Trade enabled him to earn halal sustenance and commercial profits, to meet the needs of his students and establish an independent ilm assembly. He checked Abu Yusuf and gave him money before he said he ran out of money. He also helped his poor students marry. (Dhahabi, ibid, 39) Many people likened Abu Hanifa to Hz. Abu Bakr in trade because when he bought something he acted as if he sold it; he put the low quality goods to the top and best quality to the bottom; he never exploited a seller who was in need. Once, a woman wanted to sell him a silk dress. He asked the price and the woman asked a hundred dirhams.  Abu Hanifa said it was worth more than a hundred dirhams. The woman increased the price by a hundred each time and asked four hundred dirhams in the end. When Abu Hanifa said it was worth more again, the woman said, "Are you kidding me?"  Abu Hanifa said, "Definitely not. Let us call somebody and determine its price. They called somebody and he said it was worth five hundred dirhams. Abu Hanifa bought it for five hundred dirhams. This incident has been narrated for centuries among people as an example of honesty in trade.

Abu Hanifa was a solemn person. He thought a lot but spoke a little. He was a very clever mujtahid who paid great attention to Allah's limitations, who kept away from the people who gave importance to the world only, who did not like useless and empty words and who gave concise answers to questions. He formed his doctrine by putting fiqh into a systematic state, presenting the favorable and unfavorable forms of worldly affairs and producing a strong principle of creed. Abu Hanifa had thousands of students; about forty of them reached the rank of mujtahid. (al-Kardari, Manaqibul-Imam Abu Hanifa, II, 218). the most famous ones among his mujtahid students are Abu Yusuf (158), Muhammad b. Hasan ash-Shaybani (189) Dawud at-Tai, (165), Asad b. Amr (190), Hasan b. Ziyad (204), Qasım b. Maan (175), Ali b. Mushir (168) and Hibban b. Ali (171). Abu Hanifa's fiqh school consists of his lessons he gave to his students and the fatwas he issued to the people who asked for fatwa. His teaching style is similar to the lessons of dialectic academy by old philosophers. An issue is put forward; it is discussed by his students and everybody expresses their views; finally the imam enables a decision to be made through evidence and istinbat, and dictates the decision in concise sentences by separating it from evidences. These words were later transformed into fiqh rules of the madhhab by his mujtahid students. His assembly of ilm was a consultation, a center of dialogue and a free school of thought. Abu Hanifa gained the love and respect of people because his fatwas were approved everywhere rightfully, he gave people knowledge by purifying ilm from disagreements as his salaf did, kept out of mischief and acted piously. There are important principles in his advice to his students like following the way of free thought and research in ilm and keeping away from ignorant and bigoted people: "Approach people; keep away from fasiqs. Treat people well and do not despise anybody. When somebody asks your view, repeat your view and tell him that there are also some other views mentioning them. Treat people mildly; do not get frustrated; act as if you are one of them." Abu Hanifa did not say "my view is the true one" to anybody; he even said he had a view but he would follow anybody who brought a better view. He told his students not to write everything they heard from him because it was possible for him to change his view. So, he was never in madhhab bigotry. He took part in the political movements of his period though not actively.  Part of his life was under the domination of Umayyads and part under the domination of Abbasids. In both periods, he opposed the political power. His policy was determined by supporting Ahl al-Bayt. He loved Ahl al-Bayt a lot. When Abbasids came to power, they said they would look after Ahl al-Bayt. However, when he saw that Abbasids also continued oppressing Ahl al-Bayt after a while when they came to power, he opposed them too. He criticized the political power in his lessons when there was an occasion. Those in power suspected him in both periods; they offered him the post of being the judge (qadi) in order to make him support them and make use of his popularity but he refused the offers in both periods; he was tortured and imprisoned because of it. (Ibnul-Athir, al-Kamil fit-Tarikh, V, 559) Abu Hanifa gained the love of people with his taqwa, foresight, honesty in ilm and expressing his views against the administration. He never agreed and compromised with the Abbasid administration. He supported his ilm with the halal money he earned. He even paid allegiance to the imamate of Zayd b. Ali indirectly. When the grandsons of Hz. Ali opposed one by one like him and were martyred, Abu Hanifa said the following for Imam Zayd: "This act of Zayd - his revolt against Hisham b. Abdulmalik- resembles the act of the Messenger of Allah at Badr." Abu Hanifa's togetherness with imams of Ahl al-Bayt and his attitude toward the Umayyad and Abbasid administration is a remarkable attitude. In 145, when Hz.  Hz. Ali's grandchildren, Muhammad an-Nafsuz-Zakiyya and his brother, Ibrahim, revolted against Abbasids and were martyred Abu Hanifa supported them in Iraq and Imam Malik supported them in Madinah; therefore, both of them were flogged, tortured and imprisoned. Consequently, Abu Hanifa died like a martyr at the age of seventy. It is also narrated that he was poisoned. (an-Namari, al-Intiqa, 170) He was buried in the cemetery of Hayruzan in Baghdad; thousands of people took part in his funeral.

After his death, his assembly of ilm was continued by Abu Yusuf. After his death, his fatwas were written and his doctrine was systematized. Hanafi madhhab spread all over the Islamic world with its laws and principles. The one who systematized the madhhab was Imam Muhammad ash-Shaybani. He wrote al-Asl, al-Jamius-Saghir, al-Jamiul-Kabir, az-Ziyadat and as-Siyarul-Kabir. These books are mentioned as reliable narrations and are regarded as the main resources of the madhhab by the name "Zahirur-Riwaya" or "Masailul-Usul". The book "al-Fiqhul-Akbar", which was compiled by his students, definitely belongs to Abu Hanifa and it is the basic book of the creed of Ahl as-Sunnah. (Imam Fakhrul-Islam Pazdawi, Usulul-Fiqh, I, 8; Ibnun-Nadim, Kitabul-Fihrist, I, 204) Besides, the books called al-Fiqhul-Absat, Kitabul- Alim wal Mutaallim, Kitabur-Risala, al-Wasiyya, al-Qasidatun-Numaniyya, Marifatul-Madhahib, Musnadul-Imam Abi Hanifa were narrated from the imam. Besides, other books whose copies were not found in the resources and research are also mentioned.

Abu Hanifa was engaged with the ilm of kalam and took part in some debates but he kept away from the assertive style of the people of debate. He stated the following while mentioning his ijtihads: "This is a conclusion we reached with our own view. We will not force anyone to accept our view. This is what we have been able to find; this is the best in our opinion. If anyone finds something better, he should bring it; we will accept it." (Dhahabi, ibid, 21) He warned and advised those who followed him as follows: "To issue fatwa with our view without searching the evidence and resource of our word is not halal for anybody." He knew that it was impossible for one person or madhhab to encompass Islam. Neither Abu Hanifa nor another imam made such a claim about their ijtihad. They always advised their students and followers that sahih sunnah was essential and that when sahih sunnah contradicted their words it was necessary to act in accordance with sahih sunnah.

The first madhhab whose views and fatwas were collected in books among the four madhhabs of Ahl as-Sunnah that lived up to now was Hanafi madhhab. This madhhab, which originated in Iraq, spread to almost all over the Islamic world. Most of the judges (qadis) in the period of Abbasids were Hanafi. The madhhab of Seljukis and Khawarazm Shah Dynasty was Hanafi. During the Ottoman period, the official madhhab was Hanafi. (İzmirli İsmail Hakkı, Yeni İlm-i Kelâm, Ankara 1981, 127)

Abu Hanifa is one of the greatest mujtahids brought up by the Islamic world who spent his life of seventy years to issue fatwas, to bring up students in his assembly of ilm, travelling for ilm and worshipping. It is narrated that he went to hajj fifty-five times. (İzmirli, İ. Hakkı, ibid, 127) Accordingly, he went to hajj every year.

Abu Hanifa explains his method as follows: "We accept what comes from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) as the most welcome; we choose among the ones coming from the Companions and choose one of them but we do not abandon the others as a whole. As for the decrees and ijtihads made by others, we are scholars like them."

"I take and accept what is in Allah's book. If I cannot find in it, I will act in accordance with the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) that is reliable, known by scholars and famous. If I cannot find in it, I will choose among the views of the Companions that I wish. However, as for the scholars like Ibrahim, Sha'bi, al-Hasan, and Ata, I make ijtihad like them." (al-Makki, Manaqib, I, 74-78; Dhahabi, Manaqib, 20-21; M. Abu-Zahra, Tarikhul-fiqh, II, 161; A. Emin, Duha'l Islam, II, 185 ff)

Imam Muhammad states the following "There are four kinds of ilm: What is in Allah's book and what resembles it; what is definite in the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) reported by a strong chain of narrators and what resembles it, the decrees that are definite by the consensus of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah and what resembles them; what is accepted as sound and nice by the majority of Islamic fiqh scholars and what resembles it." (Ibn Abdilbar, al-Jami', II, 26)

Abu Hanifa was criticized related to hadiths. It can be summarized as follows: Abu Hanifa is weak in hadith. (Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqatul-Kubra, VI, 368) He rejects sound hadiths by his view. (M. Zahidul-Kawthari, Ta'nib, 82 ff.) According to him the number of sound hadiths is about seventeen or fifty. (Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddima, 388,)

In fact, Abu Hanifa was not a specialist like famous hadith scholars in hadith but there were hafizes of hadith who helped him in "the council of ijtihad".  (M. Zahidul-Kawthari, ibid, 152). In his ijtihads, he used about four thousand hadiths that he himself learned from his teachers. (Makki, Manaqib, II, 96) He rejected some hadiths because he doubted whether they belonged to the Prophet (pbuh), in other words, they were not in compliance with the conditions he put forward for the soundness of hadiths. (Ibn Taymiyya, Raf'ul-Malam, 87 ff.) Otherwise, let alone rejecting sound hadiths, Abu Hanifa aplied mursal and weak hadiths, preferring them to analogy (qiyas). (Ibn Hazm, al-Ihkam, 929)

On the other hand, those who criticize Abu Hanifa due to analogy do wrong. For, analogy was applied beginning from the Companions and the other imams also used this method to a certain extent. Abu Hanifa: 1- systematized analogy, 2- used it frequently, 3- applied it to the cases that had not happened yet. (Ibn Abdilbar, ibid, II, 148; Ibnul-Qayyim, Ilamul-Muwaqqim, 1, 77-277, M. Abu-Zahra, Abu Hanifa, 324; A. Emin, ibid, II, 187)

The method of "istihsan" was condemned by many scholars especially by Shafii; and some people attributed it to Abu Hanifa only. In fact, when the issue is studied comparatively, it will be seen that those who reject istihsan and those who accept it define it differently.

According to Imam Shafii, istihsan means "somebody liking something and regarding it nice based on his own wish". Even a person who wants to determine the price of a slave does it by comparing this slave to a similar one. If he determines a price without taking similar ones into consideration, he will do something wrong.  Allah's halals and harams are much more important than it. If a person makes a decree without basing it on a hadith or analogy, he will be a sinner. (ar-Risala, 507-508) A person who decrees with istihsan is regarded to have abandoned Allah's orders and prohibitions and acted based on his own desire. (al-Umm, VII, 267-272)

Ibn Hazm says istihsan means to decree as one's soul wishes. (al-Ihkam, 42). "This is wrong because there is no evidence for it; it means to follow one's desires; desires change from person to person." (Ibtalul-Qiyas, 5-6)

According to these imams, istihsan is the way of drawing a conclusion and making a decree based on the desire of the soul, not on any valid evidence like the Book, the Sunnah, consensus or analogy. There is no clear expression about how Abu Hanifa understands istihsan in their books but it is definite that the method of decree and ijtihad adopted by Abu Hanifa is not in compliance with the kind of istihsan mentioned above. Besides, the definitions made by his followers based on the decrees he made in accordance with istihsan are completely different from the ones above. (Hayreddin Karaman, İslâm Hukukunda İctihad, p.137)

Istihsan has two meanings:

1- To use our view in determining the amounts that are left to our ijtihad and view, like determining the amount of nafaqah, compensation, and the animal to be sacrificed for forbidden hunting.

2- To abandon analogy in favor of stronger evidence and indication. Razi divides the second one into two and gives detailed explanations and examples; according to the outcome, the second type of istihsan consists of abandoning analogy due to nass, consensus, necessity or a stronger analogy.   

In this sense, istihsan is not an invalid method of ijtihad and it is not peculiar to Abu Hanifa only. Imam Shafii used the word istihsan in the first sense. (al-Makki, Manaqib, I, 95). Imam Malik says, "Istihsan is nine-tenths of ilm." He used istihsan a lot in his ijtihads. (Amidi, al-Ihkam, 242; al-Makki, Manaqib, I, 95 ff)

Some examples from ijtihads of Abu Hanifa:

1- Awzai asks Abu Hanifa:

-Why do you not raise your hands while going to ruku' and standing up from ruku'?

-For, there is no sound narration coming from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) that he did so.

-How is this narration not sound: Zuhri reported to me from Salim, who reported from his father, that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) raised his hands while starting prayer, going to ruku' and standing up from ruku'?

-Hammad reported me from Ibrahim, who reported from Alqama and al-Aswad, who reported from Abdullah b. Mas'ud: "The Messenger of Allah raised his hands while starting prayer; he did not raise after that. 

-I tell you Zuhri reported it through Salim, who reported from his father, who reported from the Prophet but you tell me Hammad and Ibrahim told you.

-Hammad b. Abi Sulayman is better in fiqh than Zuhri and Ibrahim than Salim. It is a different virtue that Ibn Umar is a Companion but Alqama is not behind him in fiqh. Al-Aswad has many virtues. As for Abdullah, he is Abdullah!

Upon this answer, Awzai preferred to keep silent. (Karaman, ibid, 138-139)

In this istinbat, Abu Hanifa based his decree on hadith but he preferred one hadith to the other because he knew the narrators better since they were his teachers. 

2- If somebody makes a "mudaraba contract" with a person by giving him a dress to sell with the condition of sharing the profit or a house to rent with the same condition, this contract is not valid according to Abu Hanifa. For, a person is hired with an unknown price in this contract. According to Abu Hanifa, this is not a partnership contract but a renting contract; and it is not valid since it is not in compliance with a renting contract. (Abu Yusuf, Ikhtilafu Abi Hanifa wa Ibn Abi Layla, 30; as-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, XXII, 35 ff.)

The same contract is regarded as permissible by Ibn Abi Layla by being likened to   "mudaraa" contract.

In this ijtihad of analogy, the two mujtahids reached two different conclusions/decrees because they based their analogy on different things.

3- If a person rents his land or date grove to a person in return for half  or one-third or one fourth of the crops, that is, if he does a mudaraa or muamala contract, these contracts are invalid according to Abu Hanifa. For, the owner of the land rents his land in return for an unknown amount. According to the narration of Abu Yusuf, Abu Hanifa said, "If nothing is harvested from the field or grove, will the man not have worked for nothing?" Abu Yusuf and Ibn Abi Layla regarded this transaction permissible comparing it to a mudaraba contract. (Abu Yusuf, ibid, 41-42)

4- According to Abu Hanifa, it is permissible for the non-Muslims like Jews and Christians to be witnesses or inheritors to one another because "all unbelievers are like one nation." However, Ibn Abi Layla did not regard it permissible for them to be witnesses or inheritors to one another because they were two different nations following two different religions. (Abu Yusuf, ibid, 73)

The pioneering of Abu hanifa in the tadwin (collecting views and fatwas in books) of fiqh

It is an important turning point in Islamic sciences for fiqh topics to be determined regularly and to be written by being separated into books, chapters and parts. These regular texts, which were formed by the compilation of Imam Muhammad ash-Shaybani, decreed on five hundred thousand issues including decrees of revelations and the worldly-religious life with fine details. They have been indispensable resources of Islamic culture and law as written universal fiqh laws; their explanations have been made for hundreds of years. Even the accusation by Abu Hanifa's contemporaries of his extreme support of ra'y (views) did not prevent his views from being accepted under the name of different concepts by them. Another property of Abu Hanifa is that he drew half of the reports of the scholars before him, all issues from scratch from the resources of adillah (proofs) ash-Shar'iyyah. He rejected khabar al-wahid that did not comply with the principles of Islam. He preferred the view of the Companions more than many musnads. Instead of taking the view of Tabiun, he used his own view because he was of Tabiun. Abu Hanifa went to Hejaz from Iraq until the caliphate was undertaken by Abbasids in 132. He talked to the notable imams like Imam Malik b. Anas (179) and Sufyan b. Uyayna; he contacted the scholars of various centers that came to hajj; he returned to Kufa in 136, when Abu Jafar al-Mansur of Abbasids came to power. However, he did not approve of Jafar either; he issued fatwas in favor of Ahl al-Bayt. (M. Zamakhshari, al-Kashshaf, 11, 232) When he died in 150 H, he asked his relatives not to bury him anywhere that the caliph seized.  

According to some narrations, Abu Hanifa was killed by being poisoned when he was tortured. According to the report of Dawud b. el-Wasiti, he was offered to be the chief judge every day in prison but he refused it each time. Finally, he was martyred with the poison added into his food. Ibn al-Bazzazi states that Abu Hanifa went out of prison and returned home but he was prevented from seeing and talking to people and that he was held under custody in his house. (al-Bazzazi, Manaqibul-Imamil-A'zam, II, 15) Fifty thousand people took part in janazah prayer of Abu Hanifa; it is stated that even the caliph, Abu Mansur, took part in the prayer.

Great imams like Malik, Awzai, Abdullah b. Mubarak, Ibn Jurayh, Ja'far as-Sadiq and Wasil b. Ata that belonged to various schools were among the contemporaries of Abu Hanifa. The following incident between Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad Baqir is narrated: Muhammed Baqir asked Abu Hanifa, "Are you the person who changed my grandfather's way and hadiths by analogy?" Abu Hanifa said, "Sit in your place as is your right until I sit by my right. I respect you as your grandfather, Muhammad (pbuh), was respected by his Companions when he was alive.  Will you tell me if a man or a woman is weaker, the share of a woman in inheritance compared to man, if prayer or fasting is better, if urine or sperm is more impure?" Imam Baqir said a man had two shares and a woman one, a woman was weaker than a man, prayer was better than fasting and urine was more impure than sperm. Abu Hanifa said to him, "If I had made analogy, I would have given a woman two shares in inheritance because she is weaker, I would have ordered ghusl for urine and wudu for sperm. I seek refuge with Allah from changing the religion of your grandfather by analogy." (Muhammad Abu Zahra, İslâm'da Fıkhi Mezhepler Târihi, II, 66-67)

Abu Hanifa imposed arbitrary fiqh decrees by supposing that problems occurred, used tradition and istihsan a lot and deduced decrees for the first time in his ijtihads in commercial contracts. One of his most important characteristics is defending personal rights and freedoms. He made a great reform in fiqh by defending the view that nobody could interfere in personal actions. He held the view that a sane girl/woman who reached the age of puberty had the right of deciding in marriage herself and did not need a guardian and said that nobody including her father could interfere in her rights in marriage. Similarly, he refuses the interdiction of insane and debauched people and debtors. In most of his views and in the issue of freedom, he opposes the majority of fiqh scholars and even Abu Yusuf. According to him, guardianship limits and harms freedom. A young girl should have free guardianship just like a young boy has. It is necessary except in public interest. Abu Hanifa connected ownership with freedom, defended a person's right of using, buying, selling, renting his property and opposed the court interfering in this freedom and limiting it.  If a person's using his own property harms others, he refers to a conscious religious conscience. For, the intervention of the court in issues like that causes more enmity and conflict, weakening religious feelings and even oppression and mischief. If man's religious feeling weakens, nothing can compensate it; his heart hardens, he moves away from religion; hatred and enmity become widespread; transgression and conflict increase; good deeds disappear and bad deeds appear. Thus, while defending personal freedom against the oppression of the administrators, he put forward the civilian development style of the religion for the first time in a systematized fiqh.

Another important view of Abu Hanifa is that he regards it permissible for a Muslim who enters Dar al-Harb by permission to receive interest. For, Islamic decrees are not applied there; so it is permissible for a Muslim to take the goods of Muslims with their permission.  Awzai opposed him in this issue and said interest is haram everywhere and all the time; he also drew the conclusion that the property and lives of unbelievers are haram for Muslims. Abu Yusuf, Imam Shafii and the majority of the scholars do not agree with this view of Abu Hanifa's. The main principle of Abu Hanifa is that necessity/obligation makes haram things permissible. When there is a necessity, special and exceptional states are in question. Therefore, he introduced ease in many issues. His conditions for Dar al-Islam to be transformed into Dar al-Harb are different from those of the majority of the scholars. Along with enemy invasion, he lays it as a condition for the laws of unbelief to be applied, the place to be adjacent to another Dar al-Harb, and not to have any Muslim or dhimmi living in safety there. The majority of fiqh scholars, Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad regards it enough for the laws of unbelief to be applied there.

Regarding waqf (foundation), Abu Hanifa holds the view that the owner is not restricted with any conditions in his land, that in the foundation that the owner himself does, it is not an absolute foundation for him or for his inheritors and that it is like a loan. That is, a foundation is as permissible as a loan. Its raqaba (material entity) is the property of the foundation and its income is spent for the foundation. If a person changes his mind and retracts the foundation when he is healthy, it is makruh but permissible. Abu Hanifa decreed based on the hadiths narrated from Ibn Abbas regarding the issue. He said, "When the chapter of an-Nisa was sent down and the decrees on inheritance were stated there, I heard the Messenger of Allah say, 'There is no deprivation from the inheritance Allah ordains.' That is, inheritors cannot be deprived of inheritance. Hz. Umar said, "If I had not mentioned this foundation to the Prophet, I would have retracted." His third evidence is his evidence based on reasoning that imprisoning the property with foundation and preventing it from being used is against fiqh rules. The property is based on the right to use it and freedom; all kinds of deeds that prevent freedom are wrong unless there is clear evidence from the Quran and the Sunnah. If something like that becomes the possession of a person, it does not leave him without an owner.

Questions on Islam

Questions on Islam
Subject Categories:
Read 1.273 times
In order to make a comment, please login or register