And His Two Companions : Abu Yusuf & Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan
Al-Imam al-A’zam Abu Hanifa, may Allah be pleased with him, was the founder of the Hanafi madhhab (School of Jurisprudence) that bears his name, which was given its fullest expression by his ‘Two Companions,’ Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan. It is the largest of the four madhhabs and is most extensive in the East, but with a sizeable presence in Europe and the West with the presence of immigrant Turkish and Pakistani Muslim communities.
Imam Abu Hanifa’s systematization of Islamic legal doctrine was to have an integral part in the development of many areas of the Shari’ah and would pave the way for the spread of Islam in many parts of the world resulting most notably in the Ottoman Empire and Mughal rule in the Indian sub-continent.
With the onslaught of colonialism over the last few centuries, and with Muslim rule in general decline; events were further exacerbated when the rebellious Wahhabi tribes of the Najd joined with the British agent T.E.Lawrence to disrupt Ottoman supplies to their army. This resulted in defeat for the Ottomans and for his part Ibn Saud was not only knighted but also made a king. The land known simply as Arabia during the Prophet’s, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, life and for over thirteen centuries thereafter, became – courtesy of the British – ‘Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.’
Criticism of the Hanafi school is nothing new but the hostility towards the School in recent times (particularly through the internet in English) has increased to such an extent that lies are now being peddled questioning the basis of the School whilst also making spurious baseless accusations against the founder. We hope the translation of this work by Imam al-Dhahabi who was not only an outstanding hadith scholar (and not a Hanafi – he was a follower of the Shafi’i School) but also a student of Ibn Taymiyya, who many of the critics of Imam Abu Hanifa hold in high regard.
Imam Al-Dhahabi, شمس الدين ابي عبد الله محمد بن احمد بن عثمان الذهبي
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