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Passion Islam I April 2009 SPECIAL FEATURE I 25
Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. felt no [735-795 CE]. Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. until the
obligation to accept the deductions Abu Yoosuf was born into a poor latter’s death, then continued his
of the students of the Sahaabah family in Kufah. He studied Hadeeth studies under Abu Yoosuf. for three
[Taabi’oon] in areas where no clear extensively until he became a years. During this period he became
proof was available from any of noteworthy Hadeeth scholar then one of the main narrators of Imaam
the above mentioned sources. He studied Fiqh in Kufah for nine years Maalik’s Hadeeth book Al-Muwatta.
considered himself equal of the under Imaam Ibn Abee Lailaa [died Imaam Shaafi’ee R.A. was among
Taabi’oon and would make his own 765 CE] whose father was a famous the many scholars who later studied
Ijtihaad based on the principles of Sahaabee from Madinah. Abu under Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan in
Qiyaas which he and his students Yoosuf later studied under Imaam Baghdad.
established. Abu Haneefah R.A. for nine years, Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan also
and when Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. accepted appointment as Qaadee
6. Istihsaan [Preference]. died, he went to Madinah and studied during the reign of Caliph Haroon
Istihsaan, in short, is the preference of for a short period under Imaam Maalik ar-Rasheed, but soon gave it up
one proof over another proof because R.A. because of the many compromises
it appears more suitable to the Abu Yoosuf was appointed chief it demanded, and returned to his
situation, even though the preferred judge of the state by the Abbaasid teaching post in Baghdad.
proof may be technically weaker than Caliphs, al-Mahdee [775-785 CE], Followers of the Hanafee Madh-
the one it is preferred to. This may al-Hadee [785-786] and Haroon hab: Those who now follow the
involve the preference of a Hadeeth ar-Rasheed [786-809 CE]. In his Hanafee Madh-Hab are found mostly
which is specific over a general one, capacity as chief judge, he used to in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria,
or it may even involve the preference appoint judges for the various cities Turkey, Guyana, Trinidad, Surinam
of a more suitable law over the one and all his appointees were followers and to some extent Egypt and South
deduced by Qiyaas. of the Hanafee Madh-hab. Thus he Africa. When the Ottoman rulers
was instrumental in the spread of the codified Islamic Law according to the
7. ‘Urf [Local Custom]: Hanafee school of thought throughout Hanafee Madh-Hab in the nineteenth
Local customs were given legal the Muslim empire. century CE and made it state law, any
weight in areas where there were no Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan, ash- scholar who aspired to be a judge
binding Islamic customs available. Shaybaane [749-805 CE]: was obliged to learn it. As a result,
It was through the application of this Imaam Muhammad was born in the Madh-hab spread throughout the
principle that various customs found Wasit, but grew up in Kufah. Like Abu Ottoman Islamic State during the last
in the multiplicity of cultures within the Yoosuf, his early studies were also part of the nineteenth century.
Islamic world entered the legal system in Hadeeth. He studied briefly under Continued next month
and became mistakenly classified as
Main Students of the Hanafee Madh-
hab: The most famous of Imaam Abu
Haneefah’s students were Zufar Ibn al-
Hudhayl, Abu Yoosuf and Muhammad
Ibn al-Hasan.
Zufar Ibn al-Hudhayl [732-774 CE].
Zufar was one of those who followed
Imaam Abu Haneefah’s example and
refused to accept appointments as
Qaadee even though many attractive
offers were made to him. He preferred
to teach, which he did until he died at
the age of 42 in the city of Basrah.
Abu Yoosuf Ya’qoob Ibn Ibraaheem
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