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24 I SPECIAL FEATURE Passion Islam I April 2009
The Four School of thoughts
Part 1
[Judge] of Kufah, but he refused the unquestionable source of Islamic
post in spite of being physically beaten Law. In fact it was used to determine
for his refusal by the Ameer of Kufah, the accuracy of the other sources.
Yazeed Ibn Umar. Accordingly any other source that
Similarly, during the rule of the contradicted the Holy Qur’aan was
Abbaasids, he also refused royal considered inaccurate.
appointments, and for his refusal was
consequently imprisoned in Baghdad 2. The Sunnah”
by the Caliph Abu Ja’far al-Mansoor The Sunnah was consulted as
[754-775 CE]. He remained imprisoned the second most important source
until his death in 767 CE. Imaam Abu of Islamic Law, but with some
Haneefah R.A. was considered among qualification as to its use. They
the minor Taabi’oon [Students of the stipulated that it was not sufficient that
Sahaabah], because he had met a a Hadeeth be accurate [Saheeh], but
few of the Sahaabah and had related it had to be also widely known [Mash-
some Hadeeths from them. hoor], if it was to be used as a legal
proof. This condition was laid down as
INFORMATION OF THE HANAFEE a safeguard against false Hadeeths
MADH-HAB: which were cropping up frequently in
Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. based that region where only a few notable
The Founder: Imaam Abu Haneefah
his teaching method on the principle Sahaabah had settled [Alee and Ibn
R.A. (703-767 CE)
of Shooraa [group discussion]. He Mas’ood].
This Madh-Hab is named after its
would present a legal problem to his
founding scholar, Abu Haneefah,
students for debate and discussion 3. Ijmaa of the Sahaabah:
whose actual name was Nu’maan
and tell them to record its solution Third in importance as a source of
Ibn Thaabit. He was born in the year
whenever they arrived at a unified Islamic Law was the unanimous
702 CE, in Kufah, Iraq. His father
position. Because of this interactive opinion of the Sahaabah on any point
was a silk merchant of Persian
approach to making legal rulings, we of law not specified in the Most Holy
origin, who accepted Islam during
could say that the Hanafee Madh-Hab Qur’aan or the Sunnah. That is, Ijmaa
the reign of the Khulafaa Raashidoon
was as much a product of Imaam Abu of the Sahaabah was precedence
[Righteous Caliphs]. Abu Haneefah
Haneefah’s students’ efforts as it was a over the personal opinions of Imaam
began his earlier studies in the field
product of his own efforts. They would Abu Haneefah and his students in
of philosophy and dialectics known as
also debate on hypothetical problems their deduction of Islamic Law. The
“Ilm al-Kalaam”, but after mastering
and work out solutions, based on the Hanafee Madh-hab also recognized
its various disciplines, he left it and
principle of preparing for a problem the Ijmaa of Muslim scholars in any
went into an indepth study of Fiqh
before its occurrence. Because of age as valid and binding on Muslims.
and Hadeeth. He chose as his main
their leaning towards hypothetical
teacher, Hammaad Ibn Zayd, who
Fiqh which often introduced an issue 4. Individual opinion of the Sahaabah:
was among the greatest scholars of
with a question, “What if so and so If there were different opinions among
Hadeeth of his time.
happened?”, they became known as the Sahaabah on a particular point of
Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. studied
the “What-Iffers” or Ahl ar Ra’i [the law and no Ijmaa was subsequently
under him for eighteen years. During
opinion people]. formed, Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A.
this time he became qualified to teach,
would choose the opinion which
but instead remained Hammaad’s
SOURCES OF LAW USED BY THE appeared most appropriate to the
student until the latter died in the
HANAFEE MADH-HAB: case in question. In establishing this
year 742 CE. After Hammaad’s
The early jurists of this Madh-Hab as a vital principle of his Madh-hab,
death Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A.
deduced Islamic Laws from the Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. again gave
took up the position of teacher at the
following sources which are listed more weight to the opinions of the
age of forty and became the most
hereunder in the order of their Sahaabah than to his own. However,
outstanding scholar in Kufah. As such,
importance: he did apply his own reasoning in a
he appeared to be a valuable prize to
limited sense by choosing one of their
the Umayyad caliphs at that time. He
1. The Most Holy Qur’aan: various opinions.
was offered the position of Qaadee
They considered the Most Holy and
Noble Qur’aan to be the primary 5. Qiyaas [Analogical deduction].
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