In Defense of Abu Hanifa:Jahami, Murji or Munkire Hadith?

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الحمد للہ وحدہ الصلاۃ والسلام علی من لا نبی بعدہ ۔ اما بعد

Contents

1. Introduction.
2. Translation of an Urdu Article
3. Praises of Some Muhadditheen
4. Refutation of some accusations against Imam Abu Hanifa

5. Why some scholars criticised Imam Abu Hanifa
6. Abdullah bin Mubarak and Abu Hanifa
7. Imam Ibn Maeen and Imam Abu Hanifa
8. Imam al Amash praising Abu Hanifa 

9. Imam Ibn Uyaynah on Imam Abu Hanifah.
10. At-Thawri and Abu Hanifa

11. Advice of Imam Ibn Abdul Barr, Imam ad-Dahabee, Imam Ibn Asakir and an-Nawawi to lay people who criticise the scholars,
12. Final Verdict of Imam ad-Dahabee on Imam Abu Hanifa ra
13. Conclusion

 

1. Introduction

This article is refutation of those few lay people in the subcontinent who are accusing Imam Abu Hanifa day and night, and they even say he was a Kafir Naudhubillah, Their Dawah is only to criticise Imam Abu Hanifa, May Allah guide these people and may Allah fill their heart with true spirit of Islam ameen. In this article I will Insha`Allah prove from the scholars of the Salaf/Ahlul hadith/Ahlus sunnah that indeed Imam Abu Hanifa Rahimullah was pious and died as a Martyr. Before going further I would like to quote Shaykh al Albani who said:

" أبو حنيفة ، والأئمة الأربعة ، هم على الخط السلفي ، إلا أنه لا بد كل واحد له زلة ، لكن الأتباع في واد ، والأئمة أنفسهم في واد " انتهى .
Abu Hanifa and all the four Imams are on the way of following Salaf , the mistake from anyone among them is normal, But it is true that their followers are on one side and the scholars are on other side. [Islam qa: 158755]

 

2. Translation of an Urdu Article

Allah says "That was a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do.[al Baqarah ayah 134]

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Don't abuse the dead, because they have reached the result of what they forwarded."صحیح بخاری :1393 ، الجنائز – سنن النسائی :1936 ، الجنائز – مسند احمد6/180، بروایت عائشہ }

In fact this is command on us that that we should hide the mistakes of dead and show the virtues of them.

Prophet peace be upon him said :" Remember the virtues of your dead and do not touch there mistakes"{ سنن ابو داود :4900، الادب – سنن الترمذی :1019، الجنائز – مستدرک الحاکم :1/358 ، بروایت ابن عمر }

Also see this story

Aisha ra asked in one of the gatherings regarding Yazeed bin Qais May Allah curse him- How is he? (Note that yazeed bin qais openly abused Aisha ra and he was leader of people against Uthman) People said he died. Listening this Aisha recited Astaghfar. People said you were criticizing him and now you are reciting astaghfar, what does that mean? Aisha repled that Prophet peace be upon him said: "Don't abuse the dead, because they have reached the result of what they forwarded."{ صحیح ابن حبان :5/43 ، نمبر :2010 }

The words of Sunan abu Dawud are Short:

"When (one of) your companion die then leave him do not fall behind his faults"{ سنن ابو داود :4899، الادب }

Especially, When by abusing the dead living people feel hurt it is more worse.

Prophet peace be upon him said "Do not abuse dead so that living suffers

{ سنن ابو داود :1983 ، الجنائز – مسند احمد :4/252 – صحیح ابن حبان :3011 ، 5/43 ، بروایت مغیرہ بن شعبہ }

By watching these ahadeeth If there is no reason then it is forbidden to accuse dead. In fact according to some scholars if by saying something wrong to Non Muslim dead person and if it is hurting living people then it is not allowed to say something against a Kafir. see فتح الباری :3/258-259

After this tamheed the personality of Imam Abu Hanifa May Allah be please with him is disputed among the scholars some of the scholars accused him due to some issues, There are some bad things attributed to Imam Abu Haneefah in the books. On the other hand some people go to extremes regarding him, If not by tongue, with their actions they make their creed that he was Infallible and they quote fabricated ahadeeth on his virtues. Both of these ways are rejected according to fair people of knowledge, The better opinion regarding Imam (abu haneefa) is that he was one of the great Imams of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamah, Follower of Quran and Sunnah and servant of Religion of Islam, and the scholar who defended Islam. He is not free from mistakes as well as he is not preacher of evil, kufr and innovation

see معیا ر حق کا مقدمہ از شیخ الکل میاں نذیر حسین محدث دہلوی

So In the era of books of trajim,history and seyar there is consensus of trustworthy Scholars of Ahlus sunnah, Whoever read the trustworthy books of history written in 6th and 7th Hijrah and after that he will agree with it.

I am quoting some references here:

Imam ad-Dahabee May Allah be please with him said in his Book Tazkaratul Huffadh:

He was devoted, Practicing scholar, the one who worship, very Prestigious, never accepted the gifts from Kings but he himself did business and earn provisions.

Imam ad-Dahabee wrote fifteen pages in his Seyar al Ailam al Nubala and he wrote only good about Imam, and he did not mentioned any word of accusation against him in fact he did not even mentioned signals that there is some kalam on Imam, then he wrote in the end

Shafiee said: People are children of Abu Haneefa in fiqh. I say: Fiqh and Deducing rulings from fiqh is clear from this Imam. This is something where there is no doubt. (Then dahabee writes the arabic poetry which means) Even If there is a need to provide evidence for emittance of the day, Then according to the people who have this type of mind nothing is authentic. Two volumes can be written on the life of Imam, this was the life of Imam. May Allah be please with him and shower his mercy on him. He was martyred in 150 Hijrah because someone gave him poison. He was 70 years old at that time.{ السیر :6/403 }

2. In the era of Imam ad-Dahabee there is another Imam who is famous in the works of Tafsir,Hadeeth and History. I mean Hafiz Imad ud din Ibne Kathir Rahimullah he writes in his famous book Al Bidaya wal Nihaya:

Faqeeh of Iraq, one of the scholars of Islam, One of the leaders of Islam and one of those who seek, one of the four matbua Imams.

Then he wrote praises of scholars on him in approximately one page { البدایہ :10/110 }

3. Hafiz Ibne Hajar asqalani Rahimullah wrote approximately four pages in Tahzeeb at-Tahzeeb and he only mentioned good about Imam, he does not mentioned any bad thing against him. In fact he writes in the end

There are many virtues of Imam Abu Haneefa May Allah shower his mercy and grant him pradise ameen { تھذیب التھذیب :10/102}

Note that all of these three scholars we mentioned are not hanafis, and there is no doubt in that all those sayings were in front them in detail from which it is proven insult of Imam Abu Haneefa, But these scholars did not point out these sayings in fact leaving of these all the sayings is the proof, according to these researchers the sayings are not fit for The Imam, his knowledge, cautiousness and taqwa

4.Hafiz as-Suyuti also mentioned him in 5th tabqa in his book Tabqaat al-Huffaz and he didn't quote single word against him { طبقات الحفاظ :80-81 }

5. In Fact see the co-incidence that Hafiz Dahabee ra wrote a short book on Tabqat ul Muhadditheen, in which he wrote the names of great Muhadditheen and Huffaz, he wrote " فھذہ مقدمۃ فی ذکر اسماء اعلام حملۃ الآثار النبویہ "

{ المعین طبقات المحدثین ،ص:17 }

This book has 27 tabqaat of Muhadditheen, The heading of 4th tabqa is "Tabqa of Al-Amash and Abi Haneefa" the name of Abu Haneefa is in this tabqa of muhadditheen {ص:51-57 }

6. Imam Ibne Khilkaan May Allah be please with him is the famous Imam and historian of the 7th century. He also mentioned only good about Imam Abu Haneefa May Allah be please with him in his book "Wafayat al-A'ayan". He writes in one place

" وکان عالما عاملا زاھدا عابدا ، ورعا تقیا ، کثیر الخشوع دائم التفرع الی اللہ تعالی " { 5/406
He was a practicing Scholar, ascetic worshiper, devoted Pious , He was always focused and turned towards Allah Tala [5/406]

He did not mention single word against him. In fact he wrote it was better if Khateeb Baghdadi would not mention those words against the Imam.

If we mention the quotes of other scholars then the topic would be too long, We only quoted five scholars who are trustworthy according to Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamah, specially weakness and authenticity of hadeeth is relied on the works of first three. Now these scholars did not even quote single word against the Imam is the evidence that these sayings against the Imam are worthy to be left. Allah knows best

This is the manhaj of great scholars of Ahlul hadeeth in Pakistan and India and we have seen our scholars on this manhaj, Shaykh ul Kul Mian Nazeer Hussain Muhaddith Dehalvi May Allah be please with him mentioned in his book "Meyar ul Haq" that Imam Abu Haneefa May Allah be please with him was his leader Mujtahid, Follower of Sunnah, Pious and devoted [Page 29]

Above article is Translation of an Urdu Article Translated by me from the blog of my brother in Islam Ikram Mohammadi

source of urdu article translate above : http://ikrammuhammadi.blogspot.com/2011/02/blog-post.html

 

3. Praises of Some Muhadditheen

1. Imam Malik on Imam Abu Hanifa

Imam Malik used to criticise Imam Abu Hanifa but when he saw him, he started praising him.

The criticism of Imam Maalik.

Khateeb Narrated:

قال: قال لي مالك بن أنس: أيذكر أَبُو حنيفة ببلدكم؟ قلت: نعم! قال: ما ينبغي لبلدكم أن تسكن.

"Once Imam Malik asked Walid bin Muslim: 'do people listen to Abu Hanifa in your city? he said: 'yes.' Imam Malik replied 'its amazing that your city has not been destroyed" (Tarikh al Baghdad Volume 13 page 400, Dar ul Kutub Ilmiya) 

The praise of Imam Maalik when he saw him.

Khateeb Narrated
محمد بن أيوب بن الضريس، حدثنا أحمد بن الصباح، سمعت الشافعي قال: قيل لمالك: هل رأيت أبا حنيفة ؟ قال: نعم.
رأيت رجلا لو كلمك في هذه السارية أن يجعلها ذهبا لقام بحجته

Muhammad ibn Ayyub al-Duris said Ahmad ibn al-Sabah narrated to us, ‘I heard al-Shafi‘i say that Malik was asked, “Did you see Abu Hanifah?” He replied, “Yes, I saw a man if he were to speak to you regarding this pillar that he will make it gold then it would happen through his proofs.(i.e. his proof is powerful)’ [Tareekh Baghdad 15/463 Dr. Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic]

Above quote of Imam Malik is used in praises for Imam Abu Hanifa including Khateeb Baghdadi, Ibn Katheer and many others among the scholars, Another proof of the Love between Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifa is the following:

إبراهيم بن طهمان يقول أتيت المدينة فكتبت بها ثم قدمت الكوفة فأتيت أبا حنيفة في بيته فسلمت عليه فقال لي عمن كتبت هناك فسميت له فقال هل كتبت عن مالك بن أنس شيئا فقلت نعم فقال جئني بما كتبت عنه فأتيته به فدعا بقرطاس ودواة فجعلت أملي عليه وهو يكتب
Ibrahim bin Tahmaan rah said, I went to Madeenah and wrote their ahadeeth and after that i went to Kufa in the house of Abu Hanifa and said:Peace be on to you. He (Abu Hanifa) asked me (in Madeenah) from whom you have written ahadeeth? I told him the names. He asked: did you write anything from Malik bin Anas? I said Yes, then he said, bring to me what you have written and i brought. He then asked for paper and ink and i kept on dictating and he kept on writing ahadith (which I heard from Malik bin Anas). [Al Jarh wa Tad'eel 1/3 authenticated by Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai]

This is a proof that Abu Hanifa loved the ahadeeth narrated by Imam Maalik as they were authentic, and that He loved Imam Maalik.

2. Imam Shafiee said
قال أبو حنيفة - رضي الله تعالى عنه

Abu Hanifa RadhiAllahanho said [kitab al umm 7/338]

Imam Shafiee mentioned this in his very own book plenty of times, he used to pray for Imam Abu Hanifa rahimullah after his death, this is a proof that Imam Abu Hanifa rahimullah was not gumrah according to Imam ash-Shafiee as some people claim. This is a clear proof that even if Imam ash-Shafiee rahimullah said something against Imam Abu Hanifa rahimullah than he did ruju.

Imam ash-Shafiee also said:

الناس عيال على أبي حنيفة في الفقه
People are children of Abu Haneefa in fiqh. [Tarikh Baghdad 15/474 Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic]

He also said:
ما رأيت أحدا أفقه من أبي حنيفة.

I have not seen anyone who knows fiqh better than Abu Hanifa. [Ibid, Dr Bashar Awad said: Its chain is authentic]

Before someone tries to weaken the chain of this narration, let me quote Khateeb al Baghdadi and ad-Dahabi's comment on this narration.

ad-Dahabi said:
 الإمامة في الفقه ودقائقه مسلمة إلى هذا الإمام ، وهذا أمر لا شك فيه.
وليس يصح في الأذهان شيء إذا احتاج النهار إلى دليل 
وسيرته تحتمل أن تفرد في مجلدين ، رضي الله عنه ، ورحمه . توفي شهيدا مسقيا في سنة خمسين ومئة " 
 Fiqh and Deducing rulings from fiqh is clear from this Imam. This is something where there is no doubt. Even If there is a need to provide evidence for emittance of the day, Then according to the people who have this type of mind nothing is authentic. Two volumes can be written on the life of Imam, this was the life of Imam. May Allah be please with him and shower his mercy on him. He was martyred in 150 Hijrah because someone gave him poison. He was 70 years old at that time.[Seyar 6/403]
 
Khateeb also accepted the saying of ash-Shafiee and said:
قلت: أراد بقوله ما رأيت، ما علمت.
I say: His (Shafiee's) meaning with regards to the saying "I have not seen" was I don't know. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/474]

Shafiee also said:
الناس عيال على هؤلاء الخمسة، من أراد أن يتبحر في الفقه فهو عيال على أبي حنيفة قال: وسمعته- يعني الشافعي- يقول: كان أَبُو حنيفة ممن وفق له الفقه، ومن أراد أن يتبحر في الشعر فهو عيال على زهير بن أبي سلمى، ومن أراد أن يتبحر في المغازي فهو عيال على مُحَمَّد بن إسحاق، ومن أراد أن يتبحر فِي النحو فهو عيال على الكسائي ومن أراد أن يتبحر في تفسير القرآن فهو عيال على مقاتل بن سليمان.
People are children of five people in these matters, In Fiqh people are children of Abu Hanifa, He was among those people who were given taufeeq of fiqh, In poetry People are children of Zaheer bin abi Salma, And in Maghazi people are children of Muhammad bin Ishaq, In nahw people are children of al Kisaaee, and in Tafsir people are children of Muqatil bin Suleman. 
 
[Tareekh Baghdad 15/474-475 Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is Hasan, Harmalah bin Yahya is truthful.]
3. The prayer of mercy by Imam Ahmad for Imam Abu Hanifa.
 
Khateeb Baghdadi said:
ذكر إرادة ابن هبيرة أبا حنيفة على ولاية القضاة وامتناع أبي حنيفة من ذلك
Ibn Habeerah wished to give Imam Abu Hanifa the post of Judge but He rejected.
 
Then he narrated from Ubaidullah bin Amr al Raqqi, who said:
 
كلم بن هبيرة أبا حنيفة أن يلي له قضاء الكوفة ، فأبَى عليه ، فضربه مائة سوط وعشرة أسواط ، في كل يوم عشرة أسواط ، وهو على الامتناع ، فلما رأى ذلك خلى سبيله.
Ibn Habeera wished to make Abu Hanifa the judge of Koofa but he refused, due to that Ibn Habeera lashed him 110 times, every day he lashed 10 times and every day he refused, then He (Ibn Habeera) left him.

[Tareekh Baghdad 15/448, the Muhaqqiq dr. Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic, and the narration after this (quoted by Khateeb) back this (statement) and makes it more powerful]
 
Then Khateeb narrated other narrations regarding this matter and one of that is, Ismaeel bin Salim Baghdadi said:
 وكان أَحْمَد بن حنبل إذا ذكر ذلك بكى وترحم على أبي حنيفة ، وذلك بعد أن ضرب أَحْمَد
When Ahmad bin Hanbal remembered this story he would cry and say prayer of mercy for Abu Hanifa, because He (Ahmad) also went through the situation like this. (i.e. he was also lashed).

[Ibid 15/449, Dr Bashar remained silent but as he already said regarding the narration of Ubaidullah bin Amr al Raqqi that: "its chain is saheeh and the narrations after it (including the narration of Imam Ahmad) back this statement and makes it more powerful"]
 
4. Ibn Jurayj (One of the student of Ata bin abi Rabah) on Abu Hanifa

Khateeb Narrated
وعن بن عيسى بن الطباع سمعت روح بن عبادة يقول كنت عند بن جريج سنة خمسين ومائة فأتاه موت أبي حنيفة فاسترجع وتوجع وقال أي علم ذهب قال وفيها مات بن
جريج 
Ibn Isa ibn at-Tabba said: I heard Rawh ibn Ubada say: I was with Ibn Jurayj in 150 h and the news of Abu Hanifa's death reached us. He winced and pain seized him; he said: That means knowledge has departed. And he (Rawh) said: Ibn Jurayj died that same year.

[Tareekh Baghdad 15/463. Khateeb quoted it under the heading "What has been related regarding the faqahat of Abu Hanifa". dr Bashar Awad said: the chain is authentic,  the narrators are trustworthy]

5. Imam Yazeed bin Haroon al wasti (d 206 h) said
. أدركت الناس، فما رأيت أحدًا أعقل ولا أفضل ولا أورع من أبي حنيفة
"I have seen many people. However, I have not seen anyone more intelligent, better and pious person than Abu hanifa.[Tareekh baghdad vol 15 page 498, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic,  Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said chain is authentic in Majallah Al Hadeeth no: 64]

6. Yazeed bin Haroon al Wasati and Abu ‘Asim al-Nabil on Imam Abu Hanifa

al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali said:
 
قال سمعت يزيد بن هارون وسأله انسان فقال يا أبا خالد من أفقه من رأيت قال أبو حنيفة قال الحسن ولقد قلت لأبي عاصم يعني النبيل أبو حنيفة أفقه أو سفيان قال عبد أبي حنيفة أفقه من سفيان
I heard Yazid ibn Harun when a man asked him, “O Abu Khalid! Who is the best in fiqh from those you have seen?” He said, “Abu Hanifah.” Al-Hasan said: I asked Abu ‘Asim al-Nabil, “Is Abu Hanifah a better faqih or Sufyan?” He said, “The slave of Abu Hanifah is a better faqih than Sufyan!”

[Tarikh Baghdad Volume 15, Page: 468, Dr Bashar Awad said: Hasan bin Ali is al Waasati who is trustworthy among the narrators of at-Tahdeeb, Yaqub bin Ahmad is I think Ibn Asad died in 268 h, He is Hasan in Hadith see his biography in this book vol 16 biography no. 7530.]

Abu Asim Nabil also said:
كان أَبُو حنيفة يسمى الوتد لكثرة صلاته.
Abu Hanifa was give the name of "al Watad" (The one who frequently stand for prayer), due to his lots of prayers.
[Tareekh Baghdad 15/484 Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic and the narrators are trustworthy.]
 
7. The praise of Ayyub as-Sakhtiyani and Hammad bin Zaid.
 
Abu Sulayman al-Jozjani said:
 سمعت حماد بن زيد يقول: أردت الحج، فأتيت أيوب أودعه، فقال: بلغني أن الرجل الصالح فقيه أهل الكوفة- يعني أبا حنيفة- يحج العام، فإذا لقيته فأقرئه مني السلام.
I heard Hammad bin Zaid saying: I planned to do Hajj and went to meet Ayyub. He said: It has reached me that the pious man and the Faqeeh of the people of Kufa Abu Hanifa is also going to hajj this year. Say my salam to him if you meat him. 
[Tareekh Baghdad 15/468, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is Hasan,  Abu Sulayman Jozjani is the Hanafi Faqeeh, the truthful, he was loved by the people of Hadith (see Seyar A`lam an-Nubala 10/194), Muhammad bin Sa`dan is the trustworthy, And Ali bin Musa al Qummi was the Shaykh of Hanafiyah in Khurasaan, al Hakim praised him who died in 305 h (see Seyar 14/236)]
 
8. Author of Sunan Abu Dawood, Imam Abu Dawood said
رحم الله مالكا كان اماما رحم الله الشافعى كان اماما رحم الله اباحنيفة كان اماما
May Allah bless Malik he was an Imam, May Allah bless Shafi'ee he was an Imam May Allah bless Abu hanifa he was an Imam[Al Inteqa Ibn e Abdul Barr page 32 authenticated by Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai]
.
 
9. Imam Haakim an-Nishaapuri mentioned the name of Imam Abu Hanifa in Itteba Tabiyeen[Ma'rifatu U'loomil Hadith, Page 255 Dar ul Kutb Ilmiyah Beirut Lebanon]

He compiled a section regarding the famous reliable Imams and muhadditheen from Tabiyeen and Itteba Tabiyeen, as He said in his kitab Ma'rifa-tu-U'loomil Hadith.

هذا النوع من هذه العلوم معرفة الأئمة الثقات المشهورين من التابعين وأتباعهم ممن يجمع حديثهم للحفظ والمذاكرة والتبرك بهم وبذكرهم من الشرق إلى الغرب.

And Under the muhadditheen of Iraq, he mentions the name of Imam Abu Hanifa Rahimullah [Ma'rifatu U'loomil Hadith, page 245 Dar ul Kutb Ilmiyah Beirut Lebanon]

He mentioned his name with the likes of Imam Ahmad and Sufiyan Thawri.. [Ma'rifatu U'loomil Hadith, pg 259 Dar ul Kutb Ilmiyah Beirut Lebanon]

10. Praise of Imam Abu Hanifa from Imam Ibn Sireen
Shu‘ayb ibn Ayyub al-Sarifini said, Abu Yahya al-Himmani narrated to us, ‘I heard Abu Hanifah say, “I saw a dream that scared me. I saw I was digging up the grave of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). I came to Basrah and ordered a man to ask Muhammad ibn Sirin and he asked him. He said, ‘This man shall uncover the hadiths of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).’[Tareekh Bughdad Vol 15 page 459, the Muhaqqiq said "The chain of this is Hasan (good)", Shaykh Mubashar Ahmad Rabbani quoted this dream against Brailwis in his book Bidat e Meelaad page  37]

Scan:
Praise Of Imam Abu Hanifa From Imam Ibn Sireen


11. Ibn Abdul Barr

He said:

الذين رووا عن أبي حنيفة ووثقوه وأثنوا عليه أكثر من الذين تكلموا فيه، والذين تكلموا فيه من أهل الحديث، أكثر ما عابوا عليه الإغراق في الرأي والقياس, والإرجاء, وكان يقال: يستدل على نباهة الرجل من الماضين بتباين الناس فيه قالوا: ألا ترى إلى علي بن أبي طالب - عليه السلام، -أنه قد هلك فيه فتيان: محب أفرط, ومبغض أفرط, وقد جاء في الحديث أنه يهلك فيه رجلان محب مطر, ومبغض مفتر، وهذه صفة أهل النباهة, ومن بلغ في الدين والفضل الغاية .

“Those who narrated from Abu Haneefah and considered him trustworthy and praised him are more than those who criticized him. Most of what they criticized him for is his indulgence in Raye, Qiyaas and Irjaa. It used to be said that the nobility of a man from the past is indicated by the conflict of the people from him. They said: Do you not see that two kinds of people were destroyed concerning Ali ibn Abi Taalib – peace be upon him: An excessive lover, and an excessive hater. And it has been narrated in a hadeeth that two people were destroyed with regard to him: a lover who praised him excessively, and a hater who slandered him. And this is the characteristic of the people of nobility and those who reach to the peak in the religion and in virtues.”
[End quote, Translated by Brother Raza Hasan, Jaami’ Bayaan al-Ilm wa Fadlih Vol 1 page 1084, Dar Ibn al Jawzi with the research of Abul Ashbaal alZaheeri]

12) Ibn Dawud and Ali bin abi Rab`ee said:
إذا أردت الآثار- أو قال الحديث، وأحسبه قال والورع- فسفيان، وإذا أردت تلك الدقائق، فأبو حنيفة.
If you want to see the athaar or he said hadith, The pious and piety then see Sufiyan, If you want to see Daqaaiq then see Abu Hanifa. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/471]


13) Hafidh al Kabeer, Shaykh al Islam Abu Nuyeem Fadal bin al Daqeen said:
كان أَبُو حنيفة صاحب غوص في المسائل.

Abu Hanifa see the matters (of deen) very deeply. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/472, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic.]


14) Abdullah bin Dawud al Khuraybi said:
يجب على أهل الإسلام أن يدعوا الله لأبي حنيفة في صلاتهم قال: وذكر حفظه عليهم السنن والفقه.

It is obligation on the people of Islam to pray for Abu Hanifa in their prayers because He memorised Sunnah and Fiqh. 
[Tareekh Baghdad 15/472. Dr Bashar Awad said: Muhammad bin Saeed Abi Abullah al Katib, see his biography in this book vol 3 no. 849, I could not find his status, other narrators are trustworthy.]

15: Yahya bin Saeed al Qattaan

Ali bin al-Madeeni said that his teacher Yahya al-Qattaan said:
مر بي أبو حنيفة وأنا في سوق الكوفة، فلم أسأله عن شيء وكان جاري بالكوفة فما قربته ولا سألته عن شيء
“When I was in the market of Kufa, Abu Hanifa passed by me, I did not ask any question to him as He was heading to Kufa, so I did not accompany him nor did I ask him about anything (that time)”
[Al-Jarh wat Ta’deel 2/449 no. 2062]

See the respect given to Abu Hanifa by Ibn Al Qattan, He did not disturbed him when the Imam was going somewhere, otherwise he would take his opinions sometimses. as it is narrated in the following narrations.

Abbaas ad-Dauri narrates in his Taareekh (3/517) from Ibn Ma’een that Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qattaan said:
 
لا نكذب الله ربما رأينا الشيء من رأى أبي حنيفة فاستحسناه فقلنا به
“We do not belie Allah; sometimes we see the opinions of Abu Haneefah, so we appreciate it and opine for it” [This chain is authentic according to Salafi and Hanafi Ullema]

Yahya bin Maeen said:
سمعت يحيى بن سعيد يقول: كم من شيء حسن قد قاله أَبُو حنيفة.
I heard Yahya bin Saeed saying: There are many good sayings of Abu Hanifa [Tareekh Baghdad 15/473, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic]
 
Yahya bin Maeen said: Yahya bin Saeed Al Qattan

  لا نكذب الله ما سمعنا أحسن من رأي أبي حنيفة، ولقد أخذنا بأكثر أقواله. قال يحيى بن معين: وكان يحيى بن سعيد يذهب في الفتوى إلى قول الكوفيين، ويختار قوله من أقوالهم، ويتبع رأيه من بين أصحابه.
We do not lie upon Allah, We have not heard any better opinion then Abu Hanifa, we have taken most of the sayings from him.  Yahya bin Maeen said: Yahya bin Saeed would value the fatwa of Kufis, and He would take one of the opinion among their opinions, And he would follow Abu Hanifa's opinion among his companions.   [Tareekh Baghdad 15/473 Dr. Bashar Awad said: "Its chain is authentic" There is some dispute on the authenticity of this narration but it is proven that Yahya would take the opinions of Abu Hanifa sometimes if not most of the times.]

Yahya bin Maeen said: Yahya bin Saeed al Qattan said:
جالسنا والله أبا حنيفة وسمعنا منه، وكنت والله إذا نظرت إليه عرفت في وجهه أنه يتقي الله عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.

By Allah I would sit with Abu Hanifa and hear from him, By Allah my heart would say he fears Allah, whenever i would see his face. 
[Tareekh Baghdad 15/682, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is Hasan]
 
16. Imam Abdul Razzaq bin Hammam, The teacher of Imam Ahmad.
 
How Abu Hanifa reacted to the abuses.
 
Imam Abdul Razzaq said:
شهدت أبا حنيفة في مسجد الخيف فسأله رجل عن شيء فأجابه. فقال رجل: إن الحسن يقول كذا وكذا. قال أَبُو حنيفة: أخطأ الحسن، قال فجاء رجل مغطى الوجه قد عصب على وجهه فقال:
أنت تقول أخطأ الحسن يا ابن الزانية؟ ثم مضى، فما تغير وجهه ولا تلون، ثم قال:
إي والله أخطأ الحسن وأصاب ابن مسعود.
I am witness that in Masjid al Khayf a person asked a question to Abu Hanifa, He replied (which was in accordance with the fatwa of Ibn Mas`ood ra), The person said: But al Hasan (Tabiyee) say something else, Abu Hanifa said: Al Hasan is on mistake in this matter. A man came by veiling his face and abused O Son of Adulteress, you are saying al Hasan is on Mistake? And he ran away but NOTHING CAME ON THE FACE of Abu Hanifa rather he (politely) said: By Allah al Hasan is on mistake and Ibn Mas`ood is on right in this matter.
 
[Tareekh Baghdad 15/481: Dr Bashar Awad said: "The chain of this report is authentic and it in accordance with what is known regarding (usul) of Abu Hanifa" Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said that the praise of Abu Hnaifa is also  proven from Abdul Razzaq bin Hammam, Majallah Al Hadeeth no: 64 page 11

17. al Hasan bin Muhammad al Laythi said:
قدِمت الكوفة، فسألت عن أعبد أهلها، فدفعت إلى أبي حنيفة، ثم قدمتها وأنا شيخ، فسألت عن أفقه أهلها، فدفعت إلى أبي حنيفة.
When i came to Kufa I asked the people, who is the one who worsip Allah the most among you? They pointed towards Abu hanifa, When i became old again I went there and asked the people, who is the best faqeeh among you? And they pointed towards Abu Hnaifa.
[Tareekh Baghdad 15/482, Dr, Bashar Awad said: The chain is powerful]


18. Abu Mutee said:
كنت بمكة، فما دخلت الطواف في ساعة من ساعات الليل إلا رأيت أبا حنيفة وسفيان في الطواف.
I was in Mecca, and whenever i came for tawaf at night I saw Abu Hanifa and Sufiyan doing tawaf. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/483, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is Hasan]
 
19. Abu Ayyub al Zahid said:
كان أَبُو حنيفة لا ينام الليل.
Abu Hanifa would not sleep at night. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/483, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is Hasan ]

20: Abu Yusaf said:
بينا أَنَا أمشي مَعَ أَبِي حنيفة سمعت  رجلا يَقُولُ لرجل، هَذَا أَبُو حنيفة لا ينام الليل، فَقَالَ أَبُو حنيفة: والله لا يتحدث عني بما لا أفعل، فَكَانَ يحيى الليل صلاةً، ودعاءً، وتضرعًا.
I was going somewhere with Abu Hanifa, we heard a person saying to another person: He is Abu Hanifa who do not sleep at night, Abu Hanifa said: By Allah it should not happen that people say something regarding me which I do not practice, he started spending the night in the Salah, supplication and humility. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/481-482 Dr Bashar said: The chain is good.]

Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said: The praise of Imam Abu Hanifa is also proven from Hakam bin Hasham,Qadhi Abdullah bin Shabrama, Shaqeeq al Balkhi, Abdul Razzaq bin Hammam author of Al-Musannif, Hafidh Ibn Abdul Barr, Dahabee and others[Majallah Al Hadeeth no: 64 page 11]

Shaykh ul Ilsam Ibne Tamiyah wrote whole book "رفع الملام عن الأئمة الأعلام" Refutation of accusations on famous Imams
 

Khateeb Baghdadi himself said

قد سقنا عن أيوب السختياني، وسفيان الثوري، وسفيان بن عُيَيْنَةَ، وَأَبِي بَكْر بن عَيَّاش، وغيرهم من الأئمة أخبارا كثيرة تتضمن تقريظ أَبِي حنيفة والمدح لَهُ، والثناء عَلَيْهِ والمحفوظ عند نقلة الحديث عن الأئمة المتقدمين وَهَؤُلاءِ المذكورون منهم في أَبِي حنيفة خلال ذَلِكَ، وكلامهم فيه كثير لأمور شنيعة حفظت عَلَيْهِ، متعلق بعضها بأصول الديانات، وبعضها بالفروع، نَحْنُ ذاكروها بمشيئة الله، ومعتذرون إلى من وقف عليها وكره سماعها، بأن أَبَا حنيفة عندنا مَعَ جلالة قدره أسوة غيره من العُلَمَاء الَّذِين دونا ذكرهم في هذا الكتاب، وأوردنا أخبارهم، وحكينا أقوال النَّاس فيهم عَلَى تباينها، والله الموفق للصواب
(Rough translation)
I have quoted many narrations of praises by Ayub Sakhtiyani, Sufiyan at-Thawri, Sufiyan Ibn Uyayna, Abu Bakr ibn Iyaash and others among the scholars for Abu Hanifa . But for muhadditheen there are other sayings of these scholars which are against this (praise). And they talked about it in detail. The reason of this criticism is due to some of the issues of asool al din and furu, I will quote them with the will of Allah, those who don't like to hear these sayings against Abu Hanifa then (they should know) for me Abu Hanifa has a great status and I consider him like other scholars that whatever is said against him, should be mentioned here like I have mentioned like this with other scholars. (i.e. quoted the praise and criticism) [Tareekh Baghdad 15/502 Shamela]
 
 
Shaykh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz Al Shaykh has written whole fatwa on accusation on Imam Abu Hanifa and accused those who accuse Imam see here
 
 

4. Refutation of some accusations against Imam Abu Hanifa

a. Accusation that he said Qur`an is created i.e he was a Jahmi
b. Accusation that he was a Murji
c. Accusation that He rejected the hadith
d. Accusation that he degraded the status of Abu Bakr Ra

e. Accusation that he said worship shoe
 

4a. Accusation that Imam Abu Hanifa said Qur`an is created

First of all this accusation was also on Imam Bukhari, Imam Musallama bin Qasim said The opinion of Bukhari (author of al saheeh) was that Qur`an is created, because of this wrong infrormation Imam of Ahlus sunnah Abu Zur`a al-Razi rejected the ahadeeth of Imam Bukhari [see Al Jarha wa tadeel 3/2/191]

Hafidh Ibn e Hajar Asqalani defended and said
Saying of Musallama that Bukhari said Qur`an is created is strange, No one said that before him .[Tahdeeb at tahdeeb 9/36]
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Note: According to shaykh Zubair Ali Zai, Imam Abu Zur`a changed his verdicts on Imam Bukhari And shaykh quoted his (Abu Zura`s) praise to Imam Bukhari.

Same way Shaykh ul Islam Ibn taymiyah ra defended the creed of Imam Abu Haneefa ra by saying.
إن الأئمة المشهورين كلهم يثبتون الصفات لله تعالى ويقولن : إن القرآن كلام الله ليس بمخلوق , ويقولون : إن الله يُرى في الآخرة , هذا مذهب الصحابة والتابعين لهم بإحسان من أهل البيت وغيرهم وهذا مذهب الأئمة المتبوعين مثل مالك بن أنس والثوري والليث بن سعد , والأوزاعي , وأبي حنيفة , والشافعي , وأحمد

"Verily all of the famous four imaams affirmed the Attributes of Allaah the Exalted, and they said that the Qur'aan was the Word of Allaah, it was not created, and they said that Allaah will be seen in the Hereafter. This is the way of the Companions and those who followed them in goodness, from the Ahlu l- Bayt (family of the Prophet) and other than them; and this is the way of the imaams who came afterwards like Maalik Ibn Anas (d.179H), ath-Thawree (d.161H), and Layth Ibn Sa'd (d.175H) and al-Awzaa'ee (d.157H), and Abee Haneefah, and ash-Shaafi'ee, and Ahmad."[Minhaajus-Sunnah (2/106) of Ibn Taymiyyah]

Scan: http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y3h6JhqU8O4/TBqOkLr0fgI/AAAAAAAAAH4/ctNtIYFYwhU/s400/mujahid.jpg

Imam at-Tahawi Hanafi (321 h) wrote whole book on the aqeedah of Imam Abu Haneefa, he wrote
هذا ذكر بيان عقيدة أهل السنة والجماعة على مذهب فقهاء الملة أبي حنيفة النعمان بن ثابت الكوفي وأبي يوسف يعقوب بن إبراهيم الأنصاري وأبي عبدالله محمد بن الحسن الشيباني رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين وما يعتقدون من أصول الدين ويدينون به رب العالمين‏
“This is an explanation of the ‘aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah according to the view of the fuqaha’ of this madhhab: Abu Haneefah al-Nu’maan ibn Thaabit al-Kufi, Abu Yoosuf Ya’qoob ibn Ibraaheem al-Ansaari, and Abu ‘Abd-Allaah Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybaani, may Allaah be pleased with them all, and the beliefs concerning the fundamentals of Islam, on the basis of which they submit to the Lord of the Worlds.”  (Muqaddimah Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah page no: 1)

Imam at-Tahawi said regarding aqeedah of Imam Abu Hanifa

36: The Quran is the Word of Allah
.
Imam Ibn abi al Izz Hanafi commented on above statement page 96 of Sharah Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah
.....It is not created like the speech of Human being. Whoever hears it and Thinks it is the speech of Man is a Infidel(end quote)
.
Comment: Imam at-Tahawi and Imam Ibn Abi al Izz were great Hanafi Imams and they knew the stance of Imam Abu Hanifa. Now see explicit statements from Imam Abu Hanifa in refutation of Jahmiyah
.
Imam Dahabee said

اخرج ابو حاتم فى السنه قال حدثنا احمد بن محمد بن مسلم حدثنا على بن الحسن الكراعي قال قال ابو يوسف ناظرت ابا حنيفه ستة اشهر فاتفق راينا على ان من قال أن القرآن مخلوق فهو كافر

Abu Yusaf said I debated with Abu Hanifa 6 months" Our opinion matched on the statement that whoever says Qur`an is created is a disbeliever."[Al Uluw by Dahabee page 152. Shaykh Al-Bani said Chain is good in Mukhtasar al Uluw page 155,Shaykh Ali bin Rasheed al Ufree endorsed the words of Shaykh al-Albani in منة الرحمن ببيان موقف أبي حنيفة من القول بخلق القرآن , Shaykh Amr Abdul Munim Saleem said chain is hasan in Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur`an is created attributed to him page 38]

Scan from Mukhtasar al Uluw by Imam AL-Bani: http://images.orkut.com/orkut/photos/PQAAAAB1o6O7IFh34HBGeBhU0bGGvYqp6lfyaOvclOLT3N4ukj78x0-ej76jEj4lLihDi-sNlRW6YfyXdkmuqXaUFvcAm1T1ULXNlch-hmfSuPYE_aYzu8r-mDNH.jpg

There is another rout of this saying in Asma wal Siffaat of alBayhaqi where he quoted with his chain
وَأَنْبَأَنِي أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَافِظُ , إِجَازَةً , أنا أَبُو سَعِيدٍ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ يَعْقُوبَ الثَّقَفِيُّ , ثنا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الدَّشْتَكِيُّ , قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ أَبِي يَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ أَبَا يُوسُفَ الْقَاضِي , يَقُولُ: كَلَّمْتُ أَبَا حَنِيفَةَ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى سَنَةً جَرْدَاءَ فِي أَنَّ الْقُرْآنَ مَخْلُوقٌ أَمْ لَا؟ فَاتَّفَقَ رَأْيُهُ وَرَأْيِي عَلَى أَنَّ مَنْ قَالَ: الْقُرْآنُ مَخْلُوقٌ , فَهُوَ كَافِرٌ قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ رُوَاةُ هَذَا كُلُّهُمْ ثِقَاتٌ

Abu Yusaf said I spoke with Abu Hanifa .. regarding Quran is created or not" Our opinion matched on the statement that whoever says Qur`an is created is a disbeliever. Abu Abdullah said all the narrators are trustworthy".[Asma wal Siffaat of alBayhaqi hadeeth no: 551 page no: 251, Shaykh AlBani quoted this in his evidence see Mukhtasar alUluw page 155] 

Note 1: The saying of Abu Yusaf that Abu Hanifa died whith the belief that Quran is Makhlooq [Tareekh Baghdad 13/379] is not proven Shaykh Nasir ud din alBani rahimulah did kalam on this.

He said

وأما ما روى الخطيب (13/379) من طريق سعيد بن مسلم الباهلي قال: قلنا لأبي يوسف: لما لم تحدثنا عن أبي حنيفة؟ قال: ما تصنعون به؟ مات يوم مات يقول: القرآن مخلوق.
 
قلت: ففي ثبوته عن أبي يوسف نظر؛ لأن الباهلي هذا، لا يعرف بالرواية، ولذلك أغفلوه، ولم يترجموه في كتب الرجال، حتى ابن أبي حاتم لم يذكره في "كتابه" مع سعته وأحاطته، ولعل السبب في ذلك ما أشار إليه الخطيب في آخر ترجمته (9/74):
 
"بصري الأصل، وكان قد سكن خراسان، وولاه السلطان بعض الأعمال بمرو، وقدم بغداد وحدث بها، فروى عن محمد بن زياد بن الأعرابي، صاحب اللغة. وكان عالماً بالحديث والعربية، إلا أنه كان لا يبذل نفسه للناس".
 
لكن هنا في "التاريخ" روايات أخرى عدة أن أبا حنيفة كان يقول: "القرآن مخلوق"، إلا أنني دققت النظر في بعضها فوجدته لا يخلو من قادح، ولعل سائرها كذلك، لاسيما وقد روى الخطيب عن الإمام أحمد أنه قال: لم يصح عندنا أن أبا حنيفة كان يقول: "القرآن مخلوق".
 
قلت: وهذا هو الظن بالإمام أبي حنيفة - رحمه الله - وعلمه، فإن صح عنه خلافه، فلعل ذلك كان قبل أن يناظره أبو يوسف، كما في الرواية الثابتة عنه في الكتاب، فلما ناظره، ولأمر ما استمر في مناظرته ستة أشهر، اتفق معه أخيراً على أن القرآن غير مخلوق، وأن من قال: "القرآن مخلوق" فهو كافر.
 
وهذا في الواقع من الأدلة الكثيرة على فضل أبي حنيفة، فإنه لم تأخذه العزة، ولم يستكبر عن متابعة تلميذه أبي يوسف حين تبين له أن الحق معه، فرحمه الله تعالى ورضي عنه
[Mukhtasar al Uluw page 156]
 
Note 2: Some ignorant lay people claim that Abu Yusaf is weak in hadith so his saying is not evidence and they rely on the tehqeeq on Abu Yusaf by Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai. I want to tell those lay people that even Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai mentioned the good sayings of Abu Yusaf and said "Chain is authentic"[See Majallah al-Hadith no:19 page 55] 
 
Imam Bayhaqi mentioned 
561- وقرأت في كتاب أبي عبد الله محمد بن محمد بن يوسف بن إبراهيم الدقاق بروايته عن القاسم بن أبي صالح الهمذاني ، عن محمد بن أيوب الرازي ، قال : سمعت محمد بن سابق ، يقول : سألت أبا يوسف ، فقلت : أكان أبو حنيفة يقول القرآن مخلوق ؟ ، قال : معاذ الله ، ولا أنا أقوله ، فقلت : أكان يرى رأي جهم ؟ فقال : معاذ الله ولا أنا أقوله رواته ثقات
I Read in the book of Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Yusaf bin Ibraheem ad-Daqaaq that he narrated from Qasim bin Abi Saleh al Hamdani from Muhammad bin Ayud al-Razi said. I heard Muhammad bin Sabiq saying I asked abu Yusaf, I said, wether Abu Hanifa said Qur`an is created? He Said May Allah forbid, neither did i say. I(Muhammad bin Sabiq) said wether his opinion is with the opinion of Jaham? He (abu Yusaf) said May Allah Forbid. Neither i am He (Abu Abdullah said) Narrators are trustworthy.[Asma wa Siffat Behaqi no: 561, Shaykh Amr Abdul Munim Saleem said: Imam Abu Jafar At-Tahawi trusted this in the creed of of Abu Haneefa famous with the name of "Aqeedah at- Tahawiyah"(see Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur'an is created attributed to him page 38)]
.
Imam Abu Haneefa himself refuted Jahmis
أبا يوسف يقول قال أبو حنيفة صنفان من شر الناس بخراسان الجهمية والمشبهة وربما قال والمقاتلية
Abu Yusaf said Abu Haneefa said: There are two types of evil people in Khurasaan (1) Jahmiyah and (2) Mushabbiha..[Tareekh Baghdad 13/382 Authenticated by Amr Abdul Munim Saleem in Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur`an is created attributed to him page 24]
.
Ibn Abdul Barr quoted with his chain
: قال أبو يعقوب نا أبو حامد أحمد بن إبراهيم قال نا سهيل بن عامر قال سمعت بشر بن الوليد يقول : كنا عند أمير المؤمنين المأمون فقال إسماعيل بن أبي حنيفة القرآن مخلوق وهو رأيي ورأي آبائي قال بشر بن الوليد : أما رأيك فنعم وأما رأي آبائك فلا
Bashr bin Waleed said Ismaieel bin Abi Hanifa said "The Qur'an is created and that is my view and the view of my fathers," whereupon Bishr ibn al-Walid said to him: "It may be your view but it is certainly not the view of your fathers.[Al-Inteqaa Page 166]
.
Comment: The name of Ismaeel is, Ismaeel bin Hammad bin Abi Hanifa who was grand son of Imam Abu Hanifa, His opinion was rejected by Bashr bin Waleed who is direct student of Qazi Abu Yusaf and Imam Malik (see Seyar Ailam Nubala under his biography).
.
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said
وقال النخعي حدثنا أبو بكر المروذي قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله أحمد بن حنبل يقول لم يصح عندنا أن أبا حنيفة كان يقول القرآن مخلوق
It is not true according to me that Abu Haneefa said Qur`an is created[Tareekh Baghdad 13/384 Authenticated by Shaykh Ali bin Rasheed al Ufree in منة الرحمن ببيان موقف أبي حنيفة من القول بخلق القرآن, And Authenticated by Amr Abdul Munim Saleem in Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur`an is created attributed to him page 44]
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Note: Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said in as-Sunnah no:265 that I think Abu Hanifa said This (Quran) is creation, which is his dhan, But the narration presented above Imam Ahmad is telling with yaqeen that Abu Hanifa did not say this.

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn 'Abdur-Rahmaan al-Khumayyis said

Imaam Aboo Haneefah declared that the Qur'aan was sent down, it was not created. So he said, "And the Qur'aan is not created. And he also said, "And we affirm that the Qur'aan is the Speech of Allaah the Exalted, it is not created. However, al-Kawtharee said that the Qur'aan was created and that there was no difference between him and the Mu'tazilah with regards to its nature being created.[Taken from The Creed of the Four Imams]

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Dr. Muhammad al-Khamees, reads:
“Imaam Abu Haneefah's belief in the Quran is the belief of the Imaams of the salaf (righteous predecessors) of this nation, and this is what was authentically proven by the Quran and the Sunnah, that the Quran was revealed and not created; it began from Him and to Him it will go back. These are the words of the Imaam quoted from al-Fiqh al-Akbar: 'The Quran is not created;' and he said in Al-Wasiyyah, 'We acknowledge that the Quran is the speech of Allaah, and it is not created.
 
I have not come, in the books that are attributed to him, across a statement that is contrary to this view.

Based on the above, the scholars, such as Imaam Ahmad and Bishr ibn Al-Waleed, At-Tahaawy, Al-Laalikaa’i, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Ibn Hajar, have consecutively ignored the narrations that say that Abu Haneefah said that the Quran was created, and they decisively asserted that the view of Abu Haneefah is that he did not say that the Quran was created.

At-Tahaawi also held the same view, as he, when clarifying the belief of Abu Haneefah and his two companions, said, “They were convinced that the Quran is the speech of Allaah in reality and that it is not created.” At-Tahaawi did not refer to something that is contrary to this.” [Summarized, Islamweb   Fatwa No : 299545]
 
Comment: Above is clear cut reply, Abu Hanifa Rahimullah himself said Qur`an is not Creation, Shaykh ul Islam Ibne Taymiyah defended his aqeedah, what else these people who accuse him want now? Maybe he said that before but than he repented and agreed with his student Abu Yusaf after watching the truth.
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Here is another evidence
قال النخعي: حدثنا محمد بن شاذان الجوهري قال: سمعت أبا سليمان الجوزجاني، ومعلى بن منصور الرازي يقولان: ما تكلم أبو حنيفة ولا أبو يوسف، ولا زفر، ولا محمد، ولا أحد من أصحابهم في القرآن، وإنما تكلم في القرآن بشر المريسي، وابن أبي دؤاد، فهؤلاء شانوا أصحاب أبي حنيفة.
Muhammad bin Shazaan al-Johri said: I heard Abu Suleman Jozhani and Ma`li bin Mansoor al-Razi: They said Abu Hanifa did not talk about Qur`an, neither Abu Yusaf, nor Zafar nor Muhammad, not a single companion (of Abu Hanifa). Rather Bashar a;-Maraisi and Ibn Abi Dawood talked about Quran...[Tareekh Baghdad 13/384 Amr Abdul Munim Saleem said"Chain is authentic" in Al-Imam Abu Hanifa and saying of Qur'an is created attributed to him page 45]
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Comment: This is clear from students of Abu Yusaf that their teachers never spoke about Quran is created rather they were Ibn Abi Dawood and Bashar al-Maraisi who said Quran is created. Imam ad-Darami also wrote a refutation of Bashar al-Maraisi on this issue.
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Imam Yazeed bin Haroon did not cosider Abu Hanifa a Jahmi
حدثني إسحاق بن بهلول قال قلت ليزيد بن هارون أصلي خلف الجهمية قال لا قلت أصلي خلف المرجئة قال إنهم لخبثاء
Ishaaq bin Behlol said i asked Yazeed bin Haroon regarding praying behind Jahmiya, He replied: No. I asked regarding praying behing Murjiya. He replied: They are Khubatha.[Kitab al-Sunnah no:55] 
 
Comment: Here we can see that Imam Yazeed bin Haroon considered them Khubatha. How can he praise a person to whom he consider a khabeeth?
 

Imam Yazeed bin Haroon (d 206 h) said

. أدركت الناس، فما رأيت أحدًا أعقل ولا أفضل ولا أورع من أبي حنيفة

"I have seen many people. However, I have not seen anyone more intelligent, better and pious person than Abu hanifa.[Tareekh baghdad vol 13 page 364 Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said chain is authentic]

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4b. Accusation that Imam Abu Hanifa was a Murji

These people quote

حدثني أبو الفضل الخراساني ، حدثني إبراهيم بن شماس السمرقندي ، قال قال رجل لابن المبارك ونحن عنده « إن أبا حنيفة كان مرجئا يرى السيف » ، فلم ينكر عليه ذلك ابن المبارك

Someone Asked Abdullah bin Mubarak (rah) that Abu Hanifah (rah) was Murji who used to allow Sword against the Ruler of the time, so he didn't deny it.[Kitab Al Sunnah Vol 1 Page 201]

apart from that people quote from Tareekh al Kabir that Bukhari said Abu Hanifa was a Murji.

Response:

As for Revolt against leaders then it is mentioned in Fiqh Books that revolt against leader is not allowed according to Imam Abu Hanifa

Muhammad bin Hasan ash-Shaybani said:
وإن كان الناس في ذلك الأمر مختلفين فمنهم من يقول فيه الهلكة و منهم من يقول فيه النجاة فليطيعوا الأمير في ذلك إلا أن يأمرهم بأمر ظاهر لا يكاد يخفى على أحد أنه هلكة أو أمرهم بمعصية فحينئذ لا طاعة عليهم في ذلك ولكن ينبغي أن يصبروا ولا يخرجوا على أميرهم 
If the people differ in a matter, where a group says following it will doom us and the other group says it will save us, then follow the Ameer on that matter unless the Ameer order a person for a thing which is false without a doubt of all the people, or the Ameer order him to do a sin then it is not obligation on the people to follow him. But it is obligation on them to be patient and do not revolt against the Ameer. [Sharah Seyar al Kabeer 117-118]
 
Sarkhasi al Hanafi commented
لحديث ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: " من أتاه من أميره ما يكرهه فليصبر فإن من خالف المسلمين قيد شبر ثم مات ما ت ميتة الجاهلية.
Due to the hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas Radhi Allah anho that the Prophet peace be upon him said:
One who found in his Amir something which he disliked should hold his patience, for one who separated from the main body of the Muslims even to the extent of a handspan and then he died would die the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyya. [Ibid]

It is mentioned in the Hanafi fiqh books

وإذا قلد عدلا ثم جار وفسق لا ينعزل ; ولكن يستحب العزل إن لم يستلزم فتنة ; ويجب أن يدعى له ; ولا يجب الخروج عليه ; كذا عنأبي حنيفة ، وكلمتهم قاطبة

[المسايرة مع المسامرة, see also Radd al Mukhtar and Asool al Deen by Bazdawi page 190]

Imam at-Tahawi said regarding the stance of Imam Abu Hanifa in Aqeedah Tahawiyahregarding revolt

81: We do not believe in revolt against our leaders and rulers even if they commit injustice, nor do we pray against them, or defy their orders. On the contrary we believe that obedience is a duty and part of our obedience to Allah, so long as they do not order something sinful. We pray for their saftey and piety.[Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah]

Ali Ibn Abi al 'Izz al-Hanafi (731 h-792 h) Rahimullah said

"It is much better to stick to obeying the rulers even if they are oppressors, because rebellion against them will cause even greater strife. Being patient with them will be an expiation for misdeeds and increase rewards."[Commentary of Aqeedah Tahawiyah page339]

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn 'Abdur-Rahmaan al-Khumayyis and other scholars said he changed his opinion and this is accepted by Tahawi Hanafi and he quotes statements attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa on this issue see Asool al-Din According to Imam Abu Hanifa page 564 to 569 http://www.dorar.net/book_index/7078

This is also accepted by Allamah Aini Hanafi and he said
"This indicates that the ruler is not to be removed due to impiety or wrongdoing. It is not allowed to remove him from his rule for that."[Umdah al-Qaari, vol. 24, p. 178, taken from the article
 Criteria for revolt against a Muslim Ruler ]

As for Actions are included in Iman or not than Shaykh Muhammad Ibn 'Abdur-Rahmaan al-Khumayyis said
Indeed it has been mentioned by Ibn 'Abdul-Barr and Ibn Abil-'Izz that Imaam Aboo Haneefah retracted this statement, and Allaah knows best (Refer to at-Tamheed (9/247) of Ibn 'Abdul-Barr, and Sharhul-'Aqeedatit-Tahaawiyyah (p. 359) of Ibn Abil-'Izz al-Hanafee)[Taken from The Creed of the Four Imams THE STATEMENTS OF IMAAM ABOO HANEEFAH CONCERNING AL-EEMAAN]

In act The Imam of Ahnaf Anwar Shah Kashmiri denied that It is not proven with authentic chain from Abu Hanifa that he said Eeman can not increase or decrease.

 واعلم أن نفي الزيادة والنقصان وإن اشتهر عن الإمام الأعظم، لكني متردد فيه بعد. وذلك لأني لم أجد عليه نقلاً صحيحاً صريحاً، وأما مانسب إليه في «الفقه الأكبر» فالمحدِّثون على أنه ليس من تصنيفه. بل من تصنيف تلميذه أبي مطيع البلخِي، وقد تكلم فيه الذهبي، وقال: أنه جَهْمِيٌّ. أقول: ليس كما قال، ولكنه ليس بحجةٍ في باب الحديث، لكونه غير ناقد. وقد رأيت عدة نُسخ للفقه الأكبر فوجدتُها كلها متغايرة. وهكذا «كتاب العالم والمتعلم» «والوسيطين» الصغير والكبير، كلها منسوبة إلى الإمام، لكن الصواب أنها ليست للإمام.[فيض البارى: (1/ 63)]۔

Even if someone do not want to believe than it is called murji'at ul fuqahaa' and 'the murjiah of ahl us sunnah'. They are from ahl us Sunnah but this slight mistake occurred from them;And this does not decrease Imaam Abu Haneefah's status as said by Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan[Explanation of Lu'mat ul I'tiqaad p 312]

Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Tamiyah said
ولهذا دخل في إرجاء الفقهاء جماعة هم عند الأمة أهل علم ودين، ولهذا لم يكفر أحد من السلف أحدا من (مرجئة الفقهاء) بل جعلوا هذا من بدع الأقوال والأفعال، لا من بدع العقائد؛ فإن كثيرا من النزاع فيها لفظي، لكن اللفظ المطابق للكتاب والسنة هو الصواب. فليس لأحد أن يقول بخلاف قول الله ورسوله،

The opinion of Irja came into a group of fuqaha, These fuqaha are also people of Deen and knowledge according to the scholars. The righteous predecessors did not do takfir on this, rather it is an innovation of aqwaal and Af`aal, not the innovation of aqaaid, and most of it has the difference of the words only, And all of it is in accordance of Quran and Sunnah, and none of it is against the sayings of Quran and Sunnah [Majmoo Fatawa 7/297, Kitab al Iman by Shaykh ul Islam Ibne Tamiyah page 337]

He also said:
إذ كان الفقهاء الذين يضاف إليهم هذا القول؛ مثل حماد بن أبي سليمان، وأبي حنيفة، وغيرهما، هم، مع سائر أهل السنة، متفقون على أن الله يعذب من يعذبه من أهل الكبائر بالنار، ثم يخرجهم بالشفاعة، كما جاءت الأحاديث الصحيحة بذلك، 

When this saying (Murjiya) is attributed to the fuqaha like Hammas bin abi Sulayman and Abu Hanifa and others, All of them are in agreement of Ahlus sunnah that Allah will punish the sinners and will take them out from fire due to the shafa`ah as it is mentioned in authentic ahadith. 
[Majmu Fatawa 13/38]

Muftis of Islamweb states that "As regards what is attributed to Abu Haneefah  about Irjaa' (i.e. saying that ‘Eemaan [faith] is the affirmation of the heart and the saying the tongue, and that deeds [actions] are not an integral part of ‘Eemaan), then Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah had explained it in his book entitled Al-Eemaan Al-Kabeer, and he clarified that the difference of opinion between him (Abu Haneefah) and the majority of the scholars is a verbal difference (i.e. it is just in wording and merely in form and not in meaning); although he did not include the deeds in the term of ‘Eemaan, yet he agreed with the majority of the scholars in making the obligation obligatory and the prohibition prohibited and that one deserves a reward for fulfilling an obligation and refraining from a prohibition like he deserves a punishment for doing the opposite.(Islamweb fata "The status of Imam Abu Haneefah"

Ali Ibn Abi al 'Izz al-Hanafi (731 h-792 h) Rahimullah said

والاختلاف الذي بين أبي حنيفة والأئمة الباقين من أهل السنة - اختلاف صوري . فإن كون أعمال الجوارح لازمة لإيمان القلب ، أو جزءا من الإيمان ، مع الاتفاق على أن مرتكب الكبيرة لا يخرج من الإيمان ، بل هو في مشيئة الله ، إن شاء عذبه ، وإن شاء عفا عنه - : نزاع لفظي ، لا يترتب عليه فساد اعتقاد . والقائلون بتكفير تارك الصلاة ، ضموا إلى هذا الأصل أدلة أخرى . وإلا فقد نفى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الإيمان عن الزاني والسارق وشارب الخمر والمنتهب ، ولم يوجب ذلك زوال اسم الإيمان عنهم بالكلية ، اتفاقا .

The difference between Imam Abu Hnaifa and others imams of Ahlus sunnah is not substantial. For Abu Hanifa the action of the body are necessary consequences of faith in the heart; for others they are part of faith; but all of them believe that one who commits a major sin does not thereby cease to be a Muslim; he is at the mercy of Allah, who may forgive him or punish him, as He wills. Their difference is merely a matter of semantics, which does not materially affect Iman. Those who judge that one who does not offer prayer is an infidel cite other reasons besides reiterating this principle, for the Prophet peace be upon him denied Iman for the fornicator, the adulterer, the thief, the drinker and the fornicator they were not dubbed non believers. This is point on which all are agreed.[Commentary of Aqeedah Tahawiyah page 283-284]

Source: http://www.islamweb.net/newlibrary/display_book.php?flag=1&bk_no=106&ID=218

He also said :
فالإمام أبو حنيفة رضي الله عنه نظر إلى حقيقة الإيمان لغة مع أدلة من كلام الشارع . وبقية الأئمة رحمهم الله نظروا إلى حقيقته في عرف الشارع ، فإن الشارع ضم إلى التصديق أوصافا وشرائط ، كما في الصلاة والصوم والحج ونحو ذلك .

Source : http://www.islamweb.net/newlibrary/display_book.php?bk_no=106&ID=253&idfrom=217&idto=231&bookid=106&startno=3

See Biography of Imam Ali bin Abi al Izz Rahimullah here http://ahlalhdeeth.cc/vbe/showthread.php?t=12870
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Comment: So we have 
 
1. Those scholars who say that It is not authentically proven DIRECTLY from Abu Hanifa that Eeman can not increase or decrease so this accusation is false.
 
2. Those Scholars who say that even if it is proven than this is Murjiyah tu Fuqaha or Murjiya Ahlus sunnah, no one ever did takfeer on these people rather they just did slight mistake.
 
3. Those Scholars who say that Abu Hanifa ra did ruju from his statements regarding Eeman. 
 

 

4c. Accusation that Imam Abu Hanifa rejected the hadith

Some people quotes the following

أَخْبَرَنَا الْفَضْلُ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ بِهَمَذَانَ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَاهَانَ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُيَيْنَةَ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثْتُ أَبَا حَنِيفَةَ بِحَدِيثٍ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاةُ وَالسَّلامُ ، فَقَالَ : بَلْ عَلَى هَذَا

Sufiyan bin Uyanah said I narrated a hadith in front of abu haneefa he said بَلْ عَلَى هَذَا.[Kitab Al Majroheen Ibn e Hibban]

Response
1) Yahya bin Abdullah bin Mahan is disputed over, Ibne Hajar said

Abul Fath Azdi said he is not evidence [Lisan Al-Mizan] plus Yahya is not in the students of Sufiyan, he is narrating from (an) so it is munqata i.e. It is not proven that Yahya lived at the time of Sufiyan and it is not proven that he met him. Same is said by Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai in Anwar Okarwi k jaizay ka jaiza page no: 11. He said this is Munqata and mentioned same reason Alhumdulillah.

shyakh zubair ali zai

Note: Even Shaykh Muqbil never authenticated this athar by saying it is authentic rather he just quoted that Fadal bin alHusayn was trustworthy [Nashr alSaheefa page 346 dar alHaramayn bil Qahirah] even though he said in the Muqaddima he will only mention authentic chains. And we know that if narrators are trustworthy that does not mean the athar is also saheeh because there can be some Inqita or it can be odd etc.

2) The text is very Odd because not even a child would say things like this,

3) No where it says it was an authentic hadeeth, it was surely a fabricated hadith,
 
a) Imam at-Tawahi in support of above claim
 

He said:
وكان من الحجة لهم في ذلك أن هذا الحديث الذي يحتج به عليهم مخالفهم ، حديث منقطع

His (Abu Hanifa`s) evidence in going against this hadeeth is that this hadith is Munqata. [Sharah Ma`ani al athaar 6/112]
 
b) Dr Qahtani said

He mentioned same thing under the narration like this in his tehqeeq of Kitab al-Sunnah pp.217-218 Narration 369. He says

"had the hadith been proven to him he would have followed it. In fact he finds evidence for such logical and expected attitude of the Imam towards hadith in the very same book and refers the reader to Narration 380."  that's why abu Hanifa rejected that because in his authentic narrations Abu Hanifa accepted the hadith and left his fatwa, proof for that is

It is Narrated by Imam Abu Awana Wazah bin Abdullah that he was in the company of (Imam) Abu Haneefa, A letter came from a Qadhi To him (Abu Haneefa ra) in which there were some Questions (regarding when the hands of theif should be cut off)

Abu Haneefa ra said Write, cut off, Cut off (the hand). He(Abu haneefa)  even said Regarding(theif of) Palm Tree and dates, Write Cut off (the Hands). I (Abu Awanah) Said wait, Prophet Peace be upon him said: لا قطع في ثمر ولا كثر Hands should not be Cut in the Theft of Fruit... He (Abu Haneefa) said: Cut this (my Fatwa) and Write (Hand) Should not be cut off. 
[الطيوريات vol 3 page 971 hadeeth 903 The Muhaqqiqeen of the Book الطيوريات says: In This Chain Abu Al Hasan Deebaji, Darqutni said He is Shaykh Saleh, And other Narrators are Trustworthy and then Muhaqiqeen went on and said This narration is evidence that Hadeeth has priority over Fatwa (taken from Al Hadeeth by Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai no:52 page 50 under the Topic True Stories (Sachay Qissay))]

Scan of الطيوريات http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y3h6JhqU8O4/THr1pZQ8pnI/AAAAAAAAAO0/Wv0FdRCDCo8/s400/scan0004.jpg

Another true story of Imam Abu Hanifa and his love for authentic ahadith.

إبراهيم بن طهمان يقول أتيت المدينة فكتبت بها ثم قدمت الكوفة فأتيت أبا حنيفة في بيته فسلمت عليه فقال لي عمن كتبت هناك فسميت له فقال هل كتبت عن مالك بن أنس شيئا فقلت نعم فقال جئني بما كتبت عنه فأتيته به فدعا بقرطاس ودواة فجعلت أملي عليه وهو يكتب
Ibrahim bin Tahmaan rah said, I went to Madeenah and wrote their ahadeeth and after that i went to Kufa in the house of Abu Hanifa and said Salaam to him. He (Abu Hanifa) asked me (in Madeenah) from whom you have written ahadeeth? then I told him the name. He asked: did you write anything from Malik bin Anas? I said Yes, then he said, bring to me what you have written and i brought. He then asked for paper and ink and i kept on dictating and he kept on writing ahadith.[Al Jarh wa Tad'eel 1/3 authenticated by Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai]
 
Shaik Zubair(May Allah preserve him) says :
Three things are proven from this true story
1) Imam Abu Hanaifa considered Imam Mailk trustworthy and favourite
2) Imam Abu Hanifa used to love ahadeeth
3) Imam Abu Hanifa was student of students of Imam Malik. May Allah have mercy on him. [Majallah no.96 page no 10]

Shaykh Nasir ad din al-AlBani Rahimullah said

The first of them is Abu Haneefah Nu'maan ibn Thaabit, whose companions have narrated from him various sayings and diverse warnings, all of them leading to one thing: the obligation to accept the Hadeeth, and to give up following the opinions of the imaams which contradict it:
1. "When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab."

2. "It is not permitted for anyone to accept our views if they do not know from where we got them."

In one narration, "It is prohibited for someone who does not know my evidence to give verdicts on the basis of my words."

Another narration adds, "... for we are mortals: we say one thing one day, and take it back the next day."

In another narration, "Woe to you, O Ya'qub! Do not write down everything you hear from me, for it happens that I hold one opinion today and reject it tomorrow, or hold one opinion tomorrow and reject it the day after tomorrow."

3. "When I say something contradicting the Book of Allaah the Exalted or what is narrated from the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), then ignore my saying."[Siffat as-Salaat an-Nabi]

 

 
Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said
This is reality and proven from Imam Abu Hanifa that he went with ahadith.[Deen me Taqlid ka Masla page 21]
.

4. The point above is proven by the following story of Imam Ahmad where he rejected the hadith as mentioned by Imam at-Tirmidhee

 
سَمِعْتُ أَحْمَدَ بْنَ الْحَسَنِ، يَقُولُ كُنَّا عِنْدَ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ فَذَكَرُوا عَلَى مَنْ تَجِبُ الْجُمُعَةُ فَلَمْ يَذْكُرْ أَحْمَدُ فِيهِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم شَيْئًا . قَالَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ فَقُلْتُ لأَحْمَدَ بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ فِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم . فَقَالَ أَحْمَدُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قُلْتُ نَعَمْ . قَالَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ حَدَّثَنَا حَجَّاجُ بْنُ نُصَيْرٍ حَدَّثَنَا مُعَارِكُ بْنُ عَبَّادٍ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ الْمَقْبُرِيِّ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " الْجُمُعَةُ عَلَى مَنْ آوَاهُ اللَّيْلُ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ " . قَالَ فَغَضِبَ عَلَىَّ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَنْبَلٍ وَقَالَ لِي اسْتَغْفِرْ رَبَّكَ اسْتَغْفِرْ رَبَّكَ .
I heard Ahmad bin Hasan saying: "We were with Ahmad bin Hanbal, so they mentioned the one upon whom the Friday prayer is obligatory. Ahmad did not mention anything about it from the Prophet." Ahmad bin Al-Hasan said: "I said to Ahmad bin Hanbal: 'There is something about it from Abu Hurairah, from the Prophet.' So Ahmad bin Hanbal said: 'From the Prophet?' I said: 'Yes.'" Ahmed bin Hasan (narrated a hadith with his chain saying): "Hajjaj bin Nusair narrated to us; Mubarik bin `Abbad narrated to us from Abdullah bin Sa'eed Al-Maqburi, from his father, from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: "The Friday prayer is required from whomever can return to his family by the night." He said: "So Ahmad [bin Hanbal] became angry with me, and he said to me: 'Seek forgiveness from your Lord, seek forgiveness from your Lord.'"
 
Imam Tirmidhi explains why he got angry :
قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى إِنَّمَا فَعَلَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَنْبَلٍ هَذَا لأَنَّهُ لَمْ يَعُدَّ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ شَيْئًا وَضَعَّفَهُ لِحَالِ إِسْنَادِهِ .
I.e the hadeeth presented (and acted upon) was dha`eef [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 502]

Comment: This is a proof that whenever any Imam Rejects the hadith that means the hadith is dhaeef or abrogated according to him. 

Ibn Taymiyah defended him and said:
ومن ظن بأبي حنيفة أو غيره من أئمة المسلمين أنهم يتعمدون مخالفة الحديث الصحيح لقياس أو غيره فقد أخطأ عليهم وتكلم إما بظن وإما بهوى فهذا أبو حنيفة يعمل بحديث التوضي بالنبيذ في  السفر مخالفة للقياس وبحديث القهقهة في الصلاة مع مخالفته للقياس لاعتقاده صحتهما وإن كان أئمة الحديث لم يصححوهما وقد بينا هذا في رسالة ” رفع الملام عن الأئمة الأعلام ” وبينا أن أحدا من أئمة الإسلام لا يخالف حديثا صحيحا بغير عذر بل لهم نحو من عشرين عذرا
“Whoever thinks that Abu Hanifah or others from the Imams of the Muslims oppose a sahih hadith because of qiyas or another [principle] then he is mistaken regarding them and has either spoken based on conjecture or his whims and desires. Abu Hanifah would act on the hadith of performing wudu’ with nabidh [s: a drink made from certain fruits] while on a journey in opposition to qiyas and would act on the hadith of laughing out loud in salah in opposition to qiyas because he believed both narrations to be authentic even though the scholars of hadith did not consider them to be authentic. We have explained this in more detail in our treatise Raf` al-Malam `an al-A’immat al-A`lam and we have also explained how none of the Imams opposed an authentic hadith without a valid reason; in fact they had many reason to oppose it…”[al-Majmu` al-Fatawa, 20:304-305. translation taken from external link]
 

Imaam Ibn Khuzaimah said,

“Imaam Ahmad bin Nasr narrated a hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam). So I asked him, “Do you deduce evidence from this hadeeth (ie do you take it.) Imaam Ahmad bin Nasr said, “Do you see me wearing a waistband/girdl? So do not say to me if I take the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasalam) or not! Rather say is this hadeeth authentic because when a hadeeth is established from the Messenger (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasalam) with an authentic chain then I accept it whether you wish to accept it or not.” (Dhamm Kalaam Waa Ahluh (2/178).

and ash-Shoabi said:
 ما حدثوك عن أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم رضي الله عنهم فخذه، وما قالوا برأيهم فبل عليه.
Take whatever they tell you from the Companions of Prophet peace be upon him, and whatever they say according to their opinions than  فبل عليه.[Jame Byan al Ilm 2/22, quoted by Shaykh Badi al-Din Shah ar-Rashidi in his book Tanqeed e Sadeed page 100]
 
Comment: so for Imam Abu Haneefa that was not a hadeeth rather a fabrication that is why he used those words. Abu Haneefa ra was not biased in his opinion, when ever he found authentic hadeeth he immediatly left his Fatwa as peoven above and he used same words like ash-Shoabi on fabricated opinions and ahadeeth. 

 

4d. Accusation that he degraded the status of Abu Bakr Ra

.
Abu Ishaq al Fazari says that Abu Hanifa use to say that faith of Ibless and faith of Abu bakar are one. Abu Bakar said: o God. and Ibless said: o God
Source:Al-Sunnah by Abdullah bin Ahmad ibn Hanbal,Vol 1,Pg 219,H 370 & 371  
 
Response
 
Same narration is mentioned by Khateeb from Abu Ishaq Fazari that
 
أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْد الله بن جَعْفَر ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوب بن سُفْيَان ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْر الحُمَيْدِيّ ، عن أَبِي صالح الفَرَّاء ، عن الفزاري ، قَالَ : قَالَ أَبُو حنيفة : إيمان آدم ، وإيمان إبليس واحد.
 
قَالَ إبليس : رَبِّ بِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي سورة الحجر آية 39 وَقَالَ : رَبِّ فَأَنْظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ سورة الحجر آية 36 وَقَالَ آدم : رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنْفُسَنَا سورة الأعراف آية 23 
Fazari said Abu Hanifa said the eeman of Adam and Iblees was one. Iblees said ( "My Lord, because You have put me in error,) and Iblees said  "My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected." and Adam said  "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves" 
 
First thing, is that there is some problem in the text of the narration. Abu Tooba from Abu Ishaq Fazari narrated the words of Abu Bakr ra whereas Abu Saleh narrated from Abu Ishaq fazari the words of Adam peace be upon him. 
 
And it is said that Abu Ishaq Fazri hated Imam Abu Hanifa ra because his brother was martyred when he went to jihad according to the fatwa of Abu Hanifa (This story has to be checked I just read it)
 
Second thing is that Iblees did believe in existence of God because he asked permission by saying "MY LORD", but he is perished because he rejected to follow Allah. While Adam peace be upon him believed in the existence of God plus He followed Allah`s orders. So as far as Eeman in existence of Allah even a child knows that even Shaitan Mal`oon believes that.
 

How can Imam Abu Hanifa ra say these things to the likes of Abu Bakr ra when  Abu Hanifa r.a himself said

 
" What comes to us (directly)from the Allah the Almighty (i.e. in the Qur’an) is held themost supreme by us, and what reaches us from the Messenger of Allah -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- we (simply) listen and obey, and what reaches from the Companions -Allah be pleased with them- we chose the best from their opinions and do not leave them all (i.e. we stick to one of their opinions) and what comes to us from the opinions of the Followers (tabi’un), so they are men like us."[Ibn Hazm, Al-Ahkam fi Usool al-Ahkam, Dar al-Afaq al-Jadida, Beirut n.d. vol.4 p.188]
 

4e. Accusation that he said worship shoe

If somebody worships this sole (or shoe) to get closer to Allah, I did not see any prevent or wrong with that. Then Saeed said : This is the explicit kufr.[Tarikh Bagdad 15/509]
 
Response:
 
Criticism on chain of narrators:
 
a) One of the narrator Abdullah bin Jafar is disputed over he is trustworthy according to Ibn Mandah and Khateeb on the other hand he is weak according to Imam Lalkaai and Burqani
 
b) Shaykh Muhammad Harathi said Yahya bin Hamza was a famous qadhi and he is Damishqi, He did not meet Abu Hanifa because he never came to Koofa and neither Abu Hanifa went to ash-Shaam.

c) Shaykh Muhammad Harathi mentioned another narration of this type and said: 

 وهاتان الروايتان المضطربتان تنطقان بالكذب الواضح والافتراء من الذي لا يخشى الله

These two narrations are Mudhtarib and clear lies and slanders by whom who does not fear Allah."Makanatul Imam Abi Hanifa Bayn al Muhadditheen" [see also Islamweb Arabic Fatwa no. 214978]
https://islamweb.net/ramadan/index.php?page=ShowFatwa&lang=A&Id=214978&Option=FatwaId
 
Criticism on text
 
Following is the response by Ibn Najjar  (d. 643 AH) who was one of the great Muhaddith 
 
He writes:
 
وأما ما نقله عن محمد بن الحسين بن الفضل القطان إلى يحيى بن حمزة أَنَّ أَبَا حنيفة قَالَ: لو أَنَّ رجلا عبده هذه النعل يتقرب بها إلى الله لم أر بذلك بأسا. فَقَالَ سَعِيد: هَذَا الكفر صراحا
 
فهذا لم ينقله أحد من أصحاب أبى حنيفة واعلم أن أصحاب الإنسان أعرف به من الأجنبى، ثم اعلم أن مذهب أبى حنيفة له أصول وقواعد وشروط لا يخرج عنها، فأما أصول مذهبه رضى الله عنه فإنه يرى الأخذ بالقرآن والآثار ما وجد وقواعده أن لا يفرق بين الخبرين أو الآي والخبر مهما أمكن الجمع بينهما إلا إن ثبت ناسخا أو منسوخا وشروطه أن لا يعدل عنهما إلا أن لا يجد فيهما شيئا فيعدل إلى أقوال الصحابة الملائمة للقرآن والسنة وإن اختلفوا تخير ما كان أقرب إلى الكتاب والسنة. فهذا عليه إجماع أصحاب أبى حنيفة وهو إذا عددت المدرسين منهم في عصر واحد وجدتهم أكثر من إسناد الخطيب منه إلى أبى حنيفة رحمه الله.
واعلم أن أخبار الآحاد المروية عن النبي صلّى الله عليه وسلّم توجب العمل لأجل الاحتياط في الدين ولا توجب العلم. وأخبار التواتر توجب العلم والعمل معا فكيف بك عن أخبار الخطيب هذه التي لا تكاد تنفك عن قائل يقول فيها، فإذا نازلنا الأمر وساوينا قلنا أخباره أخبار آحاد وأخبار أصحاب أبى حنيفة متواترة والعمل بالمتواترة أولى؛ وقد ثبت مذهب أبى حنيفة وأصوله وقواعده فإذا ثبت أن هذه أصول أبى حنيفة فكيف يسوغ له أن يقول هذا مع علمه بقوله تعالى: ما نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفى
فهذا لا يصح عن أبى حنيفة
 
“As to what is narrated from Muhammad bin al-Hussain bin al-Fadl al-Qatttan through Yahya bin Hamza that Abu Hanifa said: ‘If a man were to worship this shoe to get closer to Allah I do not find anything objectionable with this.’ Sa’id said: This is clear disbelief.
 
This is not narrated by any of the companions of Abu Hanifa and know that a person’s companions know him better than the strangers. Further, remember that the madhhab of Abu Hanifa has its rules and principles that it does not divorce with. And the principles of his madhhab is to first seek evidence with whatever one finds in Qur’an and Sunnah. And [his] madhhab‘s principle is not to see variance between two reports or an ayah or a report when reconciliation between the two is possible except when proof of one being abrogated and other the abrogator is established . Their principle in (science of seeking evidence) is not to turn away from Qur’an and Sunnah except when nothing is found in these two sources in which case the sayings of the Companions that are closest to Qur’an and Sunnah are to be referred to and if they differ then the one closest to Qur’an and Sunnah is to be adopted. This is something on which the companions of Abu Hanifa have agreed and when I counted the teachers among them at a given time I found them to be more than the links of al-Khatib back to Abu Hanifa, may Allah have mercy on him.And know that the isolated reports (akhbar al-ahaad) narrated from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, necessitate practice by the way of cautiousness in religion but they do not give certain knowledge whereas continuously reported narrations (akhbaar al-tawatur) lead to certain knowledge and mandate practice as well. Then how can you refer to the narrations of al-Khatib (al-Baghdadi) that you will hardly ever find someone saying. Therefore, when it comes to it we say his narrations are isolated and the reports of the companions of Abu Hanifa are continuously reported (mutawatir) and going by what is continuous is the best, and the principles, rules and essentials of the madhhab of Abu Hanifa are established and when these principles of Abu Hanifa are proven how is it possible for him to say so with his knowledge of the word of Allah, “(the mushrikin say) We worship them for no other reason but because they would bring us near to Allah closely”?
The report, therefore [we say], is not proven from Abu Hanifa.”[Ibn an-Najjar al-Baghdadi, Kitab ar-Radd ‘alaa Khatib al-Baghdadi, (included in) Tarikh al-Baghdad wa Zuyulihi, (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, 1417 AH), vol.22 pp.46-47, The response by Ibn Najjar ra is translated by Brother Waqar Akbar Cheema.]
 
In fact Dr Bashar Awad said
"The chain is authentic But It is not possible that even a lay person say this thing, (how can a) virtuous Imam like Abu Hanifa say this. [Tareekh Madeenatul Islam vol 15 page 509]

Note that when the chain is authentic that does not mean hadith or saying is also authentic as I have mentioned in many of the articles. Secondly according to Shaykh Muhammad Harathi even chain is weak.
 
Imam Abu Hanifa was against asking help from dead, how can he say things like worshiping the shoe?
 

Now i want to quote Summary of Biography of Imam Abu Hanifa mentioned by the great student of Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Tamiyah,

Imam ad-Dahabee
Imam Abu Haneefah is the great faqeeh and scholar of Iraq, Abu Haneefah al-Nu'maan ibn Thaabit al-Taymi al-Kufi. He was born in the year 80 AH, during the lifetime of some of the younger Sahaabah and saw Anas ibn Maalik when he came to them in Kufa. He narrated from 'Ata' ibn Abi Rabaah, who was his greatest Shaykh, and from al-Shu'bi and many others.

He was concerned with seeking reports and he traveled for that purpose. With regard to fiqh and examining and analyzing reports, he was the ultimate and people depended on him in that, as Imam al-Dhahabi said: "It would take two volumes to tell the story of his life, may Allaah be pleased with him and have mercy on him."

He was an imam who was eloquent and well spoken. His student Abu Yoosuf described him as follows: "He was the most well-spoken of the people and the most clear in expressing himself. He was pious and very protective with regard to transgression of the sacred limits of Allaah. He was offered worldly gains and a great deal of wealth, but he turned his back on it. He was whipped to force him to accept the position of judge or controller of the bayt al-maal (treasury of the Islamic state) but he refused.

Many people narrated reports from him, and he died as a martyr of dropsy in 150 AH at the age of seventy. [Siyar A'laam al-Nubala by ad-Dahabee, 6/390-403; Usool al-Deen 'inda al-Imam Abu Haneefah, by Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman al-Khamees p. 63].

Imam ad-Dhahabee said:
إن الكبير من أئمة العلم إذا كثر صوابه وعُلمَ تحرِّيه للحق ، واتسع علمه وظهر ذكاؤه ، وعُرفَ صلاحُه وورعه واتباعه ، يُغفَرُ له زَلَلُه ، ولا نُضلِّلُه ونطرحه وننسى محاسنَه ، نعم ولا نقتدي به في بدعته وخطئه ، ونرجو له التوبة من ذلك
If a major imam is mostly correct and is known for seeking the truth, and he has deep knowledge and is known to be intelligent, righteous, pious and keen to follow the Sunnah, he will be forgiven for his mistakes, and we should not regard him as misguided or shun him and forget about his good points. But we should not follow him in his innovations and mistakes, and we hope that he will repent from them.[Siyar A'laam al-Nubala' (5/271).]

He again said:
And if—every time an Imaam made a mistake in his ijtihaad in some issues which he can be forgiven in—we rose up against him and declared him to be an innovator, and boycotted him, then Ibn Nasr would not be safe with us, nor Ibn Mandah, and nor people greater than both of them.

And Allaah is the One who guides the creation to the Truth, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy, and we seek refuge with Allaah from desires and coarseness.”[Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa, 14/40 tranlsation provided by Br Raza Hasan]
 
Shaykh Saaleh bin Abdul Aziz mentioned Imam at-Tahawi
أجمع أهل العلم على أن لا ينقلوا ذلك، وعلى أن لا يذكروا الإمام أبا حنيفة إلا بالخير والجميل
(now) This is consensus (Ijma) of THE PEOPLE OF KNOWLEDGE not to mention Imam Abu Hanifa but with the good and beautiful.[quoted by Shaykh Saaleh bin Abdul Aziz aal e Shaykh Rahimullah in his Majaalis Sharah aqeedah Tahawiya] 
 
Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said:
وقال طائفة: بل من استفاض من بين الناس إيمانه وتقواه, واتفق المسلمون على الثناء عليه - كعمر بن عبد العزيز, والحسن البصري, وسفيان الثوري, وأبي حنيفة, ومالك, والشافعي, وأحمد, والفضيل بن عياض, وأبي سليمان الداراني, ومعروف الكرخي, وعبد الله بن المبارك - رضي الله تعالى عنهم - وغيرهم شهدنا له بالجنة.
 “And a group has said: In fact those whose Eemaan and Taqwa is well known among the people and the Muslims are agreed upon praising them – such as Umar bin Abdul Azeez, Al-Hasan al-Basri, Sufyaan ath-Thawree, Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’ee, Ahmad, Al-Fudayl bin Iyaadh, Abu Sulemaan ad-Darani, Ma’roof al-Karkhee, Abullah bin al-Mubaarak – radiallahu ta’ala anhum – and others, we testify of Jannah for them. [Translated by Brother Raza Hasan, Majmoo Fatawa(11/282)]

Dr Salah as-Saawi said
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله  وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه، أما بعد: فأبدأ بإيراد هذه الكلمة للتاج السبكي لتتأملها ثم أعقبها بتعليقي على سؤالك [ينبغي لك أيها المسترشد أن تسلك سبيل الأدب مع الأئمة الماضين، وألا تنظر إلى كلام بعضهم في بعض إلا إذا أتى ببرهان واضح، ثم إن قدرت على التأويل وحسن الظن فدونك، وإلا فاضرب صفحاً عما جرى بينهم؛ فإنك لم تخلق لهذا، فاشتغل بما يعنيك ودع ما لا يعنيك، ولا يزال طالب العلم عندي نبيلاً حتى يخوض فيما جرى بين السلف الماضين ويقضي لبعضهم على بعض، فإياك ثم إياك أن تصغى إلى ما اتفق بين أبي حنيفة و سفيان الثوري ، أو بين مالك و ابن أبي ذئب ، أو بين أحمد بن صالح و النسائي أو بين أحمد و الحارث بن أسد المحاسبي. ففي كل زمن هناك شيء من تغاير العلم، ومن طبيعة البشر بين بعض العلماء، ولكنهم نسور في الفضاء ونحن أفراخ على الأرض. وهلم جراً إلى زمن العز بن عبد السلام، والتقي ابن الصلاح ؛ فإنك إذا اشتغلت بذلك خشيت عليك الهلاك، فالقوم أئمة أعلام، ولأقوالهم محامل، وربما لم تفهم بعضها، فليس لك إلا الترضي عنهم، والسكوت عما جرى بينهم، كما نقول فيما جرى بين الصحابة رضي الله عنهم. أي: نقول بقوله تعالى:  تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُمْ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَلا تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ  [البقرة:134]. 
 وبعد فلا يقع في أبي حنيفة إلا جاهل أو حاسد، والأسنايد التي نقلت بها أقوال الطاعنين فيه لا تخلو من مقال ، واسمع ثناء الأئمة عليه رحمه الله:
عن يحيى بن معين قال: سمعت يحيى القطان يقول: جالسنا والله أبا حنيفة وسمعنا منه، وكنت والله إذا نظرت إليه عرفت في وجهه أنه يتقي الله عز وجل. ويحيى بن معين ، هو إمام الجرح والتعديل. وقال سفيان بن عيينة : ما قدم مكة رجل في وقتنا أكثر صلاة من أبي حنيفة . وروى الخطيب بسنده أبياتاً مدح فيها ابن المبارك مدح فيها أبا حنيفة رحمه الله فقال: رأيت أبا حنيفة كل يوم يزيد نبالة ويزيد خيراً وينطق بالصواب ويصطفيه إذا ما قال أهل الجور جوراً يقايس ما يقايسه بلب فمن ذا يجعلون له نظيراً كفانا فقد حماد وكانت مصيبتنا به أمراً كبيراً وهو حماد بن أبي سليمان شيخ أبي حنيفة . فرد شماتة الأعداء عنا وأبدى بعده علماً كثيراً رأيت أبا حنيفة حين يؤتى ويطلب علمه بحراً غزيراً إذا ما المشكلات تدافعتها رجال العلم كان بها بصيراً فهذا من مدح عبد الله بن المبارك إمام المسلمين لأبي حنيفة رحمه الله.
أرجو أن يكون لك في هذه النقول كفاية وأن تشتغل بما يعينيك بارك الله فيك، والله تعالى أعلى وأعلم
 
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings of Allah are upon the Messenger and upon his family, companions and his followers.
I'll start quoting from Al-Taj Al-Sabki words hoping you read it carefully and then I'll comment on your question:
 
[O' truth seeker, you must be polite with the previous scholars. And you must not look at what they said about each other, only if it comes with clear evidence, and only if you can interpret with good understanding. If you can't then don't matter on what has gone between them because you were not created for these things. Go for things that concern you and let other things that don't concern you.

I look at any knowledge seeker as a noble person till he start thinking about what happened between previous scholars and he start to make some are right and others are wrong (with his own ijtihaad). I say never ever look at what happened between Abu Hanifa and Sufian Al-Thauri, Malik and Ibn Abi Al-Thi'b, Ahmed bin Salih and Al-Nassa'i or between Ahmed and Al-Harith bin Asad Al-Muhasibi. In any time there is some difference in knowledge, and human nature in scholars. But all of them are like falcons in the sky and we are just like little chickens on the ground as compared to them. Till the time of Al-Iz bin Abdul Salam and Al-Taqi bin Al-Salah.

I am afraid you will be lost if you keep thinking about these things, because those scholars were great and there may be other meanings for what they said, you may not exactly understand what they are talking about in some points.

You have nothing to do with what happened between them, like what we say about Sahaba (رضي الله عنهم أجمعين)] [end quote of as-Subki Tabqaat ash-Shafiya (2/ 39)],  As Allah Almighty say in the glorious Quran: "That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do." Al-Baqara 134].
 
Then I say that there in no one say anything about Abu Hanifa like that only if he is ignorant or jealous. And the Asanid (narrations) which came with what they said (who said about what happened between the scholars), are not good and have many bad points about them.
Listen to other scholars who' tribute to Abu Hanifa:
Yahya bin Ma'in said: I heard Yahya al-Qattan said: We sat with Abu Hanifa and we listened to him and by Allah when I look at his face, I see how he fears Allah Almighty.[Author`s note: Tareekh Bughdad vol 15 page 482. The Muhaqqiq of the book said chain is hasan Muhammad bin Saad alOofi is truthful as his tarjuma can be seen in this book 3/866, Accordin to Darqutni there is no harm in him See: Sawalaat al-Haakim: 178, Ibn Jawzi said he is Layyan (slightly weak) but we can say that Ibn Jawzi is not comparable to adDarqutni. The most can be said that he was enough reliable to trust him as a source of his teacher's verdict even though he might not be that strong while narrating Hadith.] Yahya bin Ma'in is Jarh wa Ta'dil scholar.
 
And Sufyan bin Uyaina said: There is no one came to Mecca in our life time who prays more than us but only Abu Hanifa.[Author`s Note: Tareekh Bughdad vol 15 page 483, Muhaqqiq of the book said in the chain Ahmad bin Sallat is a liar]
And Al-Khatib said with his sanad some poetry verses of Ibn Al-Mubarak tribute Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله): ""I’ve seen Imam Abu Hanifa on a daily basis he increases in nobility and in goodness he speaks the truth and that alone he chooses, When the tyrants speak with oppression he engages them with academic proofs using acumen who will you put for him as a comparison, The loss of Hammaad was a sufficient great calamity for us However, he has averted the taunting of the enemies from us,  After him, he manifested a great deal of knowledge I’ve seen Abu Hanifa when he was brought and his knowledge was sought, he had a deep ocean of knowledge, When such intricacies come up which scholars cannot give solutions to Imam Abu Hanifa has much insight in it""
I hope that was enough for you and I hope you think in things that concerning you, May Allah bless you.
And Allah is the most knower.[Amjaonline fatwa id 86949]

Above translation is taken from 
http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/showpost.php?p=97544&postcount=2

5. Why some scholars criticised Imam Abu Hanifa?

 
Many lies were spread against Abu Hanifa by many liars, for example a non reliable person Muhammad Ibn Jabir al Yamami said:
 سرق ابو حنيفة كتب حماد منى
Muhammad bin Jabir bin siyaar al yamami said "Abu Hanifa stole Hammad's books from me."[Al Jarh wa tadeel 8/450 no: 2062]
 
a) Shaykh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz Aal e Shaykh Rahimullah replied
 وعبد الله بن الإمام أحمد في وقته كانت الفتنة في خلق القرآن كبيرة، وكانوا يستدلون فيها بأشياء تنسب لأبي حنيفة وهو منها براء، خلق القرآن، وكانت تنسب إليه أشياء ينقلها المعتزلة من تأويل الصفات إلى آخره مما هو منها براء، وبعضها انتشر في الناس ونقل لبعض العلماء فحكموا بظاهر القول
At the time of Abdullah bin Imam Ahmad: the Fitna of Khalaq alQuran was at its peak. And people would deduce rulings from the things attributed to Abu Hanifa, in fact abu hanifa was completly innocent from the creed of Aqeeda Khalq al Quran. There were some other things attributed to him used by Mutazilla for taweel of siffaat (of Allah)from which Abu Hanifa was completly innocent. And some things (attributed to him) were widely spread in the awaam that even scholars quoted them and criticised on the apparent sayings.[From Majalis sharah aqeedah tahawiyah of Shaykh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz All e Shaykh] 
 

b) Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyah said

"There is no doubt regarding Imam Abu Hanifah's(Rahimahullah) knowledge, people later attributed many lies to Imam Abu Hanifah (Raheemullah), which were all untrue. The aim of such writings was to taint Imam AbuHanifah(Raheemullah)."[Minhaaj As Sunnah Al Nabawiyah, Vol./1, page. 259]

c) Imam Ibn Abdul Barr.

Ibn Abdil Barr has explained the reason of the occurrence of these defaming statements upon Imaam Abu Haneefah in his book al-Intiqa, He said:

كَثِيرٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْحَدِيثِ اسْتَجَازُوا الطَّعْنَ عَلَى أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ لِرَدِّهِ كَثِيرًا مِنْ أَخْبَارِ الآحَادِ الْعُدُولِ؛ لأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَذْهَبُ فِي ذَلِكَ إِلَى عَرْضِهَا عَلَى مَا اجْتَمَعَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الأَحَادِيثِ وَمَعَانِي الْقُرْآنِ, فَمَا شَذَّ عَنْ ذَلِكَ رَدَّهُ وَسَمَّاهُ شَاذًّا, وَكَانَ مَعَ ذَلِكَ أَيْضًا يَقُولُ: الطَّاعَاتُ مِنَ الصَّلاةِ وَغَيْرِهَا لَا تُسَمَّى إِيمَانًا, وَكُلُّ مَنْ قَالَ مِنْ أَهْلِ السُّنَّةِ الإِيمَانُ قَوْلٌ وَعَمَلٌ يُنْكِرُونَ قَوْلَهُ وَيُبَدِّعُونَهُ بِذَلِكَ, وَكَانَ مَعَ ذَلِكَ مَحْسُودًا لِفَهْمِهِ وَفِطْنَتِهِ .اهـ.

Many among the Ahl ul-Hadeeth allowed the vilification of Abu Haneefah due to his rejection of many of the Ahaad reports of the reliable narrators. That is because he was of the opinion of presenting the ahaad reports upon what the ahadeeth and the meanings of the Qur’aan have both agreed on. So whatever deviated from that, he would reject it by naming it Shaadh (Abnormal). And along with that he also used to say that the Obedience (of Allaah) through Prayers and other acts are not included in Eemaan. And all those among the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah who say that Eemaan is the name of Qawl and Amal, reject his statement and make his tabdee’ due to that. And besides that he was also envied upon due to his intelligence and cleverness. (al-Intiqa 1/149 Translated by Brother Raza Hasan)

He agains said

قال ابوعمر:وافرط اصحاب الحدیث فی ذم ابوحنیفۃ رحمہ الہ وتجاوزاالحد فی ذلک ( جامع بیان العلم وفضلہ ،باب ماجاء فی ذم القول فی دین اللہ بالرای والظن والقیاس علی غیراصل 1080)
 
d) Imam Mur`ee bin Yusaf al Hanbalee (d 1032 h) said:
وأكثروا من الخوض في أبي حنيفة رحمه الله، حتى أنه رُئي في المنام فقيل له: ما فعل الله بك فقال: غفر لي بكلام الناس فيّ ما ليس فيه. هذا وشيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية رحمه الله امتحن بمحن وخاض فيه أقوام ونسبوه للبدع والتجسيم وهو من ذلك بريء.
A lot of criticism has been done on Abu Hanifa Rahimullah so much that I saw him in a dream, he was asked: What Allah has done to you? He said: Allah forgave me because of what people said regarding me, those (false things) were not in me. Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah rahimullah was wronged and tested, people spoke bad about him, and attributed innovations and tajseem, Rather He is free from these accusations. [quoted by al Alusi in Ghayat al Eemani 2/221]

Comment:  Because of the false propaganda against Imam Abu Hanifa some scholars issued fatwa against him while on the other hand some scholars praised him because they knew that Imam Abu Hanifa is follower of authentic sunnah. There are some other scholars who used to praise Imam Abu Hanifa but after the false propaganda they issued fatwa against him as can be seen below.

6. Abdullah bin Mubarak and Abu Hanifa

The sayings of Ibn Taymiya ra and Shaykh Saaleh ra is supported by the example of Abdullah bin Mubarak. He used to praise Imam Abu Hnaifa but when people attributed lies on Imam Abu Hanifa that he said Quran is created and he allowed sword on Muslims then he rejected his hadith. Below are the sayings:

a) Abdullah bin Mubarak said:
 كان أَبُو حنيفة آية. فقال له قائل: في الشر يا أبا عَبْد الرَّحْمَن أو في الخير؟ فقال: اسكت يا هذا فإنه يقال: غاية في الشر، وآية في الخير، ثم تلا هذه الآية: وَجَعَلْنَا ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ آيَةً
Abu Hanifa is a sign (of Allah), someone asked, O Abu Abdul Rahman (Ibn al Mubarak), He is sign in good or evil? He said: SILENT, the word "Ghayat" is used for evil, the wird "Ayah" (Sign) is used for good (al Khayr).  then he recited the verse "And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign" [23:50] [Tareekh Baghdad 15/461 Dr Bashar Awaad Maruf said: The chain is Hasan]

b) Abdullah bin Mubarak used to say
 أفقه الناس فأبو حنيفة ثم قال ما رأيت في الفقه مثله
The biggest faqeeh in the people is Abu Hanifa I have never seen anyone like him in fiqh [Tareekh Baghdad 13/343]

c) He also said
 إذا اجتمع سفيان وأبو حنيفة فمن يقوم لهما على فتيا
When Sufiyan and Abu Hanifa gather together (in a fatwa) then who has the power to give fatwa against them? [Tareekh Baghdad 15/470]

d) He again said
 إذا اجتمع هذان على شيء فذاك قوي يعني الثوري وأبا حنيفة
When they gather together in anything then it is powerful meaning Sufiyan and Abu Hanifa[Tareekh Baghdad 15/470, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic, The narrators are trustworthy.]

e) 
Abu Kurayb and Abu Wahb Muhammad bin Mazahim said:

سمعت عبد الله بن المبارك يقول رأيت أعبد الناس ورأيت أورع الناس ورأيت أعلم الناس ورأيت أفقه  الناس فاما أعبد الناس فعبد العزيز بن أبي رواد وأما أورع الناس فالفضيل بن عياض وأما أعلم الناس فسفيان الثوري وأما أفقه الناس فأبو حنيفة ثم قال ما رأيت في الفقه مثله
They heard ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak say: “I saw the most pious of people, the most scrupulous of people, the most learned of people, and the best faqih of people. The most pious of people is ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Abi Rawwad; the most scrupulous of people is al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad; the most learned of people is Sufyan al-Thawri; and as for the best faqih of peoplehe is Abu Hanifah.” Then he said “I have not seen the like of him in fiqh.” 
 
[Tarikh Baghdad Volume 15, Page: 469. Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic]

f) Imam Abd al-Razzaq said:
 
أخبرنا أبو نعيم الحافظ حدثنا محمد بن إبراهيم بن علي حدثنا أبو عروبة الحراني قال سمعت سلمة بن شبيب يقول سمعت عبد الرزاق يقول سمعت بن المبارك يقول إن كان أحد ينبغي له أن يقول برايه فأبو حنيفة ينبغي له أن يقول برأيه
 I heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: “If anyone has the right to issue [a legal verdict] using his opinion, Abu Hanifah has the right to issue [a legal verdict] using his opinion.” 
 
[Tarikh Baghdad Volume 15, Page: 471, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain of this report is authentic, and its narrators are trustworthy.]

g)  That is why Imam Ibn Abdul Barr said:

وَعَنِ ابْنِ الْمُبَارَكِ رِوَايَاتٌ كَثِيرَةٌ فِي فَضَائِلِ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ ذَكَرَهَا ابْن زُهَيْر فِي كِتَابِهِ وَذَكَرَهَا غَيْرُهُ 

There are many narrations from Abdullah bin Mubarak in praise of Abu Hanifa. Ibn Zuhayr and others mentioned those in the books [al-Inteqa Ibn Abdul Barr 207]
 
But after the propaganda of some mutazilies and other people Abdullah bin Mubarak left Imam abu Hanifa in his last days. There is even a narration where Abdullah bin Mubarak said "whoever reads Kitab ul hayl of Abu Hanifa, he will consider haram things made by Allah as halal and halal things as haram"[Tareekh Baghdad 13/404]

This is a clear proof that after reading a false book attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa he changed his stance regarding Imam. Otherwise he used to say "I have not seen anyone like him in fiqh".

Examples

1. This is same like when some people asked some questions from Ibn Abbas ra, he asked to give him the orders of Ali ra. But after reading them Ibn Abbas ra said, These are not his orders. If he would order these then he would be a deviant.[Muqaddima Sahih Muslim] At the time of Ali ra people considered those orders as if they were really from Ali ra, But it was wrong.

2. It was famous at the time of Imam Ibn Tamiyah that he said visiting grave of Prophet peace be upon him is prohibited, and that is why he was prisoned. But Ibn Kathir said this is a forgery against Imam Ibn Tamiyah, as he just said Travelling to visit the graves is Prophibited, as for visiting the grave than it is recommended according to shaykh Ibn Tamiyah. [see our article defense of Ibn Tamiyah by Ibn Kathir]

7. Ibn Maeen and Abu Hanifa

 

Ibn Maeen praised Imam Abu Hanifa in many places.

Yahya bin Ma’een said:  
حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو الْفَضْلِ ثنا يَحْيَى بْنُ مَعِينٍ، قَالَ «كَانَ أَبُو حَنِيفَةَ مُرْجِئًا وَكَانَ مِنَ الدُّعَاةِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ فِي الْحَدِيثِ بِشَيْءٍ وَصَاحِبُهُ أَبُو يُوسُفَ لَيْسَ بِهِ بَأْسٌ
“Abu Hanifah was a Murji’ee, and was a caller (towards it), and There was nothing in his Hadeeth (some translated as There was nothing wrong in his hadeeth), and There is no harm in his companion Abu Yusuf” [Kitaab as-Sunnah: 402; Chain: Sahih] 
 
In above narration then Imam Ibn Maeen Praised Imam abu Hanifa ra, He did not say, Abu Hanifa is (لیس بشی) which is Jarh, rather he said: وَلَمْ يَكُنْ فِي الْحَدِيثِ بِشَيْءٍ, i.e. There is nothing wrong in his hadith.

a) Ibn Maeen said 
لا نكذب الله ربما سمعنا الشيء من رأي أبي حنيفة فاستحسناه فأخذنا به
We do not lie upon Allah, sometimes we hear a thing from the Opinion of Abu Hanifa and it is good than we take it[Tareekh Ibn Maeen riwayah of ad-Dori 4/283]

This clearly proves that Imam Ibn Maeen praised him, as opinions of Imam Abu Hanifa were based on authentic ahadeeth and I have provided refrences for that above, and those opinions which were not based on authentic ahadeeth. He used to tell his students that do not right them as he said to Qadhi Abu Yusaf mentioned in Tareekh Ibn Maeen:

قال أبو نعيم وسمعت زفر يقول كنا نختلف إلى أبي حنيفة ومعنا أبو يوسف ومحمد بن الحسن فكنا نكتب عنه قال زفر فقال يوما أبو حنيفة لأبي يوسف ويحك يا يعقوب لا تكتب كل ما تسمع مني فإني قد أرى الرأي اليوم وأتركه غدا وأرى الرأي غدا وأتركه بعد غد 
Zafar said: One day Abu Hanifa said to Abu Yusaf "Woe to you O Yaqub, do not write everything from me. Because i take one opinion today and leave it tomorrow. [Tareekh Ibn Maeen riwayah ad-Dori 3/504]


b) He knew the opinions of Abu Hanifa very deeply
«قال يحيى: قال ابن وهب عن مالك بن أنس في المرأة يكون وليها ضعيفا أو يكون غائبا أو لا يكون لها ولي فتولي أمرها رجلا فيزوجها، قال: "جائز". وقال ابن وهب: "لا إلا بولي". قلت ليحيى: "هذا يوافق قول أبي حنيفة؟". قال: "نعم"، يعني قول مالك»

[Tareekh Ibn Maeen 4/461]

c) Khateeb al-Baghdaadi said:

عن عبيد الله بن عمر الواعظ إلى جعفر بن أبي عثمان قال سمعت يحيى - وسألته عن أبي يوسف وأبي حنيفة - فقال كان أبو يوسف أوثق منه في الحديث.
قلت فكان أبو حنيفة يكذب؟ قال كان أنبل في نفسه من أن يكذب
Ubaidullah bin Umar Al-Waa’iz informed us, (he said), My Father narrated to us, (he said), Muhammad bin Yunus al-Azraq narrated to us, (he said), Ja’far bin Abi Uthmaan (Alat-Tayalsi) narrated to us, (he said), I asked Yahya bin Ma’een regarding Abu Yoosuf and Abu Hanifah? So he said: “Abu Yoosuf was more Thiqah than him in Hadeeth, I (Ja’far) asked: Did Abu Hanifah use to lie? He said: ‘He was much higher than speaking a lie’” [Taareekh Baghdaad Vol 13 Pg 449]

Imam Ibn Najjar Commented:
 من لا يكذب كيف يكون غيره أوثق منه؟ مع أن أبا يوسف رحمه الله لم يكن له شئ إلا من أبي حنيفة،
The one who does not lie , how can he lie upon someone who is more trustwrothy than him. Along with that Abu Yusaf Rahimahullah is nothing without Abu Hanifa. [inRadd al Abi Bakr Khateeb al Baghdadi by Imam Ibn Najjar Baghdadi page no: 99]


d)It is also mentioned in al Intaqa

 
Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Ibraheem ad-Daurqi said that Yahya ibn Ma’een said about Abu Hanifah: “He was Thiqah, I have not heard anyone declaring him Da’eef, and it was Shu’bah bin Al-Hajjaj who used to write to him that he should narrate hadith, and he used to command him, and Shu’bah was Shu’bah.” [Al-Intaqa by Ibn Abil Barr Pg 127, Al-Jawahir al-Mudiyah Vol 1 Pg 29, Maqam Abi Hanifah Pg 130]
 
Note 1: This narration is rejected by some scholars because one of the narrator is Abu Ya’qoob Yoosuf bin Ahmed bin Yoosuf al-Makki asSaydalaani. He is unknown according to them but Imam Dahabee said regarding him that he is Muhaddith of Makkah [Seyar Ailam an-Nubala Vol 17 page 28]
 
 
Comment: Even though saying Muhaddith of Makkah is just a praise and its not tawtheeq but still Imam adDahabee did not criticise him and accepted the praise of Ibn Maeen as can be seen below
 
Imam adDahabee also said Abu Yaqoob Yusaf bin Ahmad is narrator of Kitab al Duafa al Uqaylee [Taareekh alIslaam by Al-Dhahabi (178/27)]
 
 
Comment: There are other narrations from Ibn Maeen regarding Imam Abu Hanifa where he called him trustworthy.
 
e) According to Imam al-Mizzee and ad-Dahabee the praise of Ibn Maeen is proven to Abu Hanifa
 
1. Dahabee said that It was asked to Ibn Maeen that one should act upon the Ijtihaad of Abu Hanifa or Shafiee? He replied:
مَا أَرَى لأَحَدٍ أَنْ يَنْظُرَ فِي رَأْيِ الشَّافِعِيِّ، يَنْظُرُ فِي رَأْيِ أَبِي حَنِيْفَةَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ...قُلْتُ: قَدْ كَانَ أَبُو زَكَرِيَّا -رَحِمَهُ اللهُ- حَنَفِيّاً فِي الفُرُوْعِ، فَلِهَذَا قَالَ هَذَا، وَفِيْهِ انحِرَافٌ يَسِيْرٌ عَنِ الشَّافِعِيِّ
I don`t find it correct for someone to act upon the sayings of Shafiee, It is better according to me that one may act upon the sayings of Abu Hanifa. I (ad-Dahabee) say: Indeed Abu Zakariya (Ibn Maeen) Rahimullah was Hanafi in Furu thats why he said this[Seyar Ailaam an-Nubala]

See how according to ad-Dahabee the praise of Abu Hanifa is proven from Ibn Maeen.
 
Note: This narration of Ibn Maeen is mentioned in Sawaalaat Ibn Junaid li Ibn Maeen page 295, which states:
قلت ليحيى بن معين: ترى أن ينظر الرجل في شيء من الرأي؟ فقال: «أي رأي؟» ، قلت: رأي الشافعي وأبي حنيفة، فقال: «ما أرى لمسلم أن ينظر في رأي الشافعي، ينظر في رأي أبي حنيفة أحب إلي من أن ينظر في رأي الشافعي
I asked Yahya bin Maeen that What do you say regarding the one who see the opinions? He asked, opinion of who? I said: The opinion of Abu Hanifa and Abu Hanifa? He said: For a Muslim there is nothing in the opinion of ash-Shafiee, But for me to know about the opinion of Abu Hanifa rathen than ash-Shafiee is more beloved. (end quote)

Note 2: Do not think that Imam Ibn Maeen criticised Imam ash-Shafiee because Yahya bin Maeen said regarding Imam ash-Shafiee
الشافعي صدوق لا بأس به 
Shafiee was truthful, there is no harm in him [Manaqib ash-Shafiee by Imam al Bayhaqi 2:249, al Bidaya wal Nihaya 10/309]
 

2. Imam alMizzee also mentioned the narrations from Yahya bin Maeen that he said Abu Hanifa was thiqah and according to him these narrations are authentic because he said in Tahzeeb ul Kamal

وما لم نذكر إسناده فيما بيننا وبين قائله: فما كان من ذلك بصيغة الجزم، فهو مما لا نعلم بإسناده عن قائله المحكي ذلك عنه بأسًا، وما كان منه بصيغة التمريض، فربما كان في إسناده إلى قائله ذلك نظر
“When we did not mention the chain between me upto the speaker: I mention it with the form of certainty (sighat al-jazm) , it is that which we know of no harm in its isnad from its speaker from whom it is related; and that thereof in the form of uncertainty (sighat al-tamreedh) , then probably there is a problem in its isnad upto its speaker...”  [Tahzeeb ul Kamal, volume 1, Page no: 153]
 
And Imam alMizzee mentioned the quotes of Yahya bin Maeen with the mode of certainty Alhumdulillah.
 
f) Imam of Hanabalah Mar'i b. Yusuf al-Hanbali, He said: 
فصل في كون أبي حنيفة من كبار المحدثين
"A chapter on Abu Hanifa being amongst the leading Muhadditheen
 
Be certain! - may God give you the ability - that Imam Abu Hanifa was from the leading Huffadh of Hadeeth, contrary to the claim of those who envy him.... The great Imams such as Ibn Ma'in, Ibn al-Madini, al-A'mash and Yazid b. Harun testified for his memorisation, his knowledge of hadeeth and his trustworthiness, as it has already preceded us in the chapter listing the laudatory comments about him by various Imams"[Tanweer Basa'ir al-Muqallidin: p. 82]
 
In short.
 
1. First Ibn Maeen said There is nothing wrong in his hadeeth and there is no problem in taking hadeeth from Abu Yusaf.
2. Then he said Abu Hanifa is trustworthy in hadeeth but Abu Yusaf is better than him in hadeeth.
3. Then he praised Abu Hanifa`s opinions which were based on authentic ahadeeth because he was not his Muqallid.
4. Then Ibn Maeen said Abu Hanifa is even more better than Imam ash-Shafiee and we know that Imam ash-Shafiee was thiqqa in hadeeth.
 
All this proves Ibn Maeen praised his opinions and praised the Imam,  because how can someone take the opinions of those who are gumrah, kaafir? 

 

8. The praise of Imam al Amash on Abu Hanifa

Imaam Ibn Abdil Barr (D. 436) narrated
"أخبرني خلف بن قاسم، ثنا محمد بن القاسم بن شعبان، ثنا إبراهيم بن عثمان بن سعيد، ثنا علان بن المغيرة، ثنا علي بن معبد بن شداد، ثنا عبيد الله بن عمرو، قال: كنت في مجلس الأعمش فجاءه رجل فسأله عن مسألة فلم يجبه فيها، ونظر فإذا أبو حنيفة فقال: «يا نعمان، قل فيها» قال: القول فيها كذا، قال: «من أين؟» قال: من حديث كذا، أنت حدثتناه، قال: فقال الأعمش، «نحن الصيادلة وأنتم الأطباء»"
“Ubaidulla ibn Amr said: I was sitting in the gathering of al Amash a man came and asked a question but al Amash did not replied. He looked around and found Abu Hanifa so he said: O Nu’maan what do you say? He (Abu Hanifa) said, the answer in this matter is such and such. al Amash asked, ‘Where from?’ He (Abu hanifa) replied, From that hadeeth which you narrated to me. So He (al Amash) said to him: ‘We are the pharmacists and you are the doctors.’” [Jame Byan al Ilm 2/1030 no. 1973]
 
Ibn Adi narrated
"حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمد بن عبيدة، حَدَّثَنا المزني إسماعيل بن يَحْيى، حَدَّثَنا علي بْن معبد عن عُبَيد اللَّه بْن عَمْرو الجزري، قَال: قَال الأَعْمَش يَا نعمان يعني أَبَا حنيفة ما تقول فِي كذا قَالَ كذا قَال: مَا تقول فِي كذا قَالَ كذا قَالَ من أين قلت قَالَ أنت حدثتني عن فلان عَنْهُ فَقَالَ الأَعْمَش يَا مَعْشَر الفقهاء أنتم الأطباء ونحن الصيادلة"

“Ubaidullah ibn Amr al Jazri said that al Amash said: O Numaan i.e. Abu Hanifa, what do you say about such and such.’ He replied, such and such. He asked, ‘What do you say about such and such.’ He replied, such and such. A’mash asked, ‘Where did you say this from?’ Abu Hanifa replied, ‘You have narrated to us from so and so.’ So Al-A’mash said (to Abu Hanifa), ‘O group of Fuqaha, you are the doctors and we are the pharmacists.’” [Al-Kaamil by Ibn Adi (8/238)]

This proves Imam Abu Hanifa was a Faqeeh who used ahadeeth for his fatwas, he was praised by one of the greatest faqeeh Imam al Amash.

 

  • 9. Imam Ibn Uyaynah on Imam Abu Hanifah 
a) It is proven from Ibn Uyaynah rahimullah that he praised Imam Abu Hanifa as he said
  ما مقلت عيني مثل أبي حنيفة
My eyes have not seen the likes of Abu Hanifa[Tareekh Bughdad vol 15 page 460, Dr Bashaar Awad said chain is authentic]
 
b) He also said:
 
علي بن سلمة، يقول: سمعت سفيان بن عيينة، يقول: رحم الله أبا حنيفة، كان من المصلين، أعني: أنه كان كثير الصلاة
May Allah have mercy on Abu Hanifa as he was among those who pray, I mean he used to pray abandonedly.
[Tareekh Bughdad vol 15 page 482, The Muhaqqiq dr Bashaar Awad said khabar is saheeh, all the narrators in chain are trustworthy. Ahmad bin Nasr bin Muhammad alBukhari is trustworthy as said by Musannif (Khateeb) 6/2901. and his shaykh Abu Ishaq Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Sufiyan`s narrations are in saheeh muslim. And Ali bin Salma he is Ibn Uqba alBulqi is trustworthy..]
 
c) It is mentioned in Tareekh Baghdad
علي بن المديني قال سمعت سفيان بن عيينة يقول كان أبو حنيفة له مروءة وله صلاة في أول زمانه
‘Ali ibn al-Madini narrated: I heard Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaniya saying: “Abu Hanifah was an honorable person, and he would perform his prayers from early in his life.”

[Tarikh Baghdad Volume 15, Page: 483   المحقق: بشار عواد معروف said the chain is powerful and narrators are trustworthy..  Haroon bin Sulaiman I did not find any jarah or tadeel on him.. He narrates from Yahya bin Saeed alQattan and others]   
 
d) Muhammad bin Bashr said:
كنت أختلف إلى أبي حنيفة وإلى سفيان فآتي أبا حنيفة فيقول لي من أين جئت؟ فأقول من عند سفيان فيقول لقد جئت من عند رجل لو أن علقمة والأسود حضرا لاحتاجا إلى مثله، فآتي سفيان فيقول لي من أين؟ فأقول من عند أبي حنيفة. فيقول لقد جئت من عند أفقه أهل الأرض.
I used to visit Abi Hanifa and Sufiyan, When used to visit Abu Hanifa, he would ask, where are you coming from? I would say, I was with Sufiyan. He would say: Indeed you have come from the company of the man, that if ‘Alqamah and al-Aswad were present, they would need the like of him., they would require Sufiyan, And when i would visit Sufiyan and he would ask me, where are you coming from? And when i said: I was with Abu Hanifa, He would reply: Indeed, you have come from the company of the best faqih from the inhabitants of earth.. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/471, Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is authentic]

e) al Humaydi said that Ibn Uyanah said:

شيئان ما ظننت أنهما يجاوزان قنطرة الكوفة وقد بلغا الآفاق:
قراءة حمزة، ورأي أَبِي حنيفة.
I used to think that The Qir`at of Hamza and The opinion of Abu Hanifa would not go outside of Kufa, but It has reached me that they have been widely spread all over. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/475 Dr Bashar Awad said: Its chain is sahih]

f) Ali bin Madeeni said that Ibn Uyanah said:
كان أَبُو حنيفة له مروءة، وله صلاة في أول زمانه. قال سفيان: اشترى أبي مملوكا فأعتقه، وكان له صلاة من الليل في داره، فكان الناس ينتابونه فيها يصلون معه من الليل، فكان أَبُو حنيفة فيمن يجيء يصلي.
 “Abu Hanifah was an honourable person, and he would perform [much] Salah from early in his life, My father bought a slave and freed him, He (my father) would pray Salaat al Layl in his house, People would join him in the prayer. Abu Hanifa was also among them.” 
[Tareekh Baghdad 15/489 Dr Bashar Awad said: The chain is Powerful and the narrators are trustworthy.]

Note: It is also narrated by Ibn Uyaynah ra that he criticised Abu Hanifa ra but he changed his mind (if those criticism are proven) because his teacher Abdul Kareem al Jazri advised him not to take knowledge from everyone everyone without tehqeeq.
 
حَدَّثَنا يَحْيَى بْنُ يُوسُف - أَبُو زكريا الزَّمِّي، قال: حدثنا سُفْيَان بْن عُيَيْنَة, قَالَ: قَالَ عَبْد الكريم الجزري: يَا أبا مُحَمَّد! تدري ما حاطب ليل؟ قلت: لا؛ إِلا أن تخبرني, قَالَ: هو الرجل يخرج فِي الليل فيحتطب فتقع يده عَلَى أفعى فتقتله, هَذَا مثل ضربته لك لطالب العلم، وإن طالب العلم إذا حمل من العلم ما لا يطيقه قتله علمه كما قتلت الأفعى حاطب الليل

(تاریخ ابن ابی خیثمہ1/269)
 

10. Sufiyan at-Thawri and Abu Hanifa

Some people quotes the following 

"When Sufyan ath-Thawri [a great scholar of Islam] heard news about the death of Imam Abu Hanifa, he said: 'Praise beto Allah that such a man had died as he was gradually destroying Islam. There could not be a worse person born in Islam' " [Ta'rikh Saghir, Biography of Imam Abu Hanifa]

Response

Ruju of Sufiyan at-Thawri on criticism of Abu Hanifa, after knowing his usul.
أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو سَعِيد مُحَمَّد بن موسى بن الفضل الصَّيْرَفِيّ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو العَبَّاس مُحَمَّد بن يَعْقُوب الأصم، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّد بن إِسْحَاق الصاغاني، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بن معين، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ عُبَيْد بن أبي قرة، يَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ يَحْيَى بن ضريس، يَقُولُ: شهدت سُفْيَان وأتاه رجل، فَقَالَ لَهُ: ما تنقم عَلَى أَبِي حنيفة؟ قَالَ: وما لَهُ؟ قَالَ: سَمِعْتُهُ يَقُولُ: آخذ بكتاب الله، فما لم أجد فبسنة رَسُول الله، فإن لم أجد في كتاب الله ولا سنة رَسُول الله، أخذت بقول أصحابه، آخذ بقول من شئت منهم، وأدع من شئت منهم، ولا أخرج من قولهم إلى قول غيرهم، فَأَمَّا إِذَا انتهى الأمر، أَوْ جاء إلى إِبْرَاهِيم، وَالشَّعْبِيّ، وابن سيرين، وَالحَسَن، وعطاء، وَسَعِيد بن المسيب، وعدد رجالا، فقوم اجتهدوا فأجتهد كما اجتهدوا، قَالَ: فسكت سُفْيَان طويلا ثُمَّ قَالَ كلمات برأيه ما بقي في المجلس أحد إِلا كتبه: نسمع الشديد من الحديث فنخافه، ونسمع اللين فنرجوه، ولا نحاسب الأحياء، ولا نقضي على الأموات، نسلم ما سمعنا، ونكل ما لا نعلم إلى عالمه، ونتهم رأينا لرأيهم.
Yahya ibn Darees said, I was with Sufyan and a man came to him and said, Why are you hostile with Abu Hanifa? He said What's the matter with him? He said, I heard him saying, I take from Qur'an and if i didn't find(in Qu'ran), I take from the Sunnah of Messenger of Allah and if i didn't find in Qur'an or Sunnah, I take from the saying of companions. I take the saying of whomever i wish, and leave the saying of whomever i wish. (But) I don't go outside of their saying and take saying of other than them (if) the matter ends here but if comes down (Tabi'een, like) Ibraheem, ash-Sha'bi, Ibn Sireen, al-Hasan, Ataa, Sa'eed bin Musayyib and others, Then they did Ijtihad and i do Ijtihaad as they did. (After hearing this) Sufyan was silent for long time and then said some words from his opinion and everyone in the gathering wrote it. (He said) We hear severe(thing/punishment) in Hadeeth and we fear that, we hear tenderness and we hope for that, we don't hold the (one's who are) living accountable and we don't pass judgement over the dead, we accept what we hear and entrust what we don't know to the one who knows it and leave our opinion for their opinion. [Tareekh Baghdad 15/504, (passage translated by Abdul Raheem Salafi) Dr Bashar Awad Maruf said: The chain of this narration is authentic, the narrators are famous and known]
 
Khateeb Baghdadi said after narrating this narration,
قد سقنا عن أيوب السختياني، وسفيان الثوري، وسفيان بن عُيَيْنَةَ، وَأَبِي بَكْر بن عَيَّاش، وغيرهم من الأئمة أخبارا كثيرة تتضمن تقريظ أَبِي حنيفة والمدح لَهُ، والثناء عَلَيْهِ والمحفوظ عند نقلة الحديث عن الأئمة المتقدمين وَهَؤُلاءِ المذكورون منهم في أَبِي حنيفة خلال ذَلِكَ، وكلامهم فيه كثير لأمور شنيعة حفظت عَلَيْهِ، متعلق بعضها بأصول الديانات، وبعضها بالفروع، نَحْنُ ذاكروها بمشيئة الله، ومعتذرون إلى من وقف عليها وكره سماعها، بأن أَبَا حنيفة عندنا مَعَ جلالة قدره أسوة غيره من العُلَمَاء الَّذِين دونا ذكرهم في هذا الكتاب، وأوردنا أخبارهم، وحكينا أقوال النَّاس فيهم عَلَى تباينها، والله الموفق للصواب
(Rough translation)
I have quoted many narrations of praises by Ayub Sakhtiyani, Sufiyan at-Thawri, Sufiyan Ibn Uyayna, Abu Bakr ibn Iyaash and others among the scholars for Abu Hanifa . But for muhadditheen there are other sayings of these scholars which are against this (praise). And they talked about it in detail. The reason of this criticism is due to some of the issues of asool al din and furu, I will quote them with the will of Allah, those who don't like to hear these sayings against Abu Hanifa then (they should know) for me Abu Hanifa has a great status and I consider him like other scholars that whatever is said against him, should be mentioned here like I have mentioned like this with other scholars. (i.e. quoted the praise and criticism) [Tareekh Baghdad 15/505]

Taba15 0503
Taba15 0504

11. Advice of Imam Ibn Abdul Barr, Imam ad-Dahabee, Ibn Asakir and an-Nawawi to the lay people who criticise the scholars

a) Ibn Abdul Barr said
وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْفَظْ مِنْ أَخْبَارِهِمْ إِلَّا مَا نَذَرَ مِنْ بَعْضِهِمْ فِي بَعْضٍ عَلَى الْحَسَدِ وَالْهَفَوَاتِ وَالْغَضَبِ وَالشَّهَوَاتِ دُونَ أَنْ يَعْنِيَ بِفَضَائِلِهِمْ وَيَرْوِي مَنَاقِبَهُمْ حُرِمَ التَّوْفِيقَ وَدَخَلَ فِي الْغِيبَةِ وَحَادَ عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ جَعَلَنَا اللَّهُ وَإِيَّاكَ مِمَّنْ يَسْمَعُ الْقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُ أَحْسَنَهُ

From their (scholars) lives Whoever collected only those sayings (of scholars) which includes jealousy, anger  and desires and left the (sayings of) Manaqib. This person has no taufeeq. His way (of quoting only criticism) is gheebah and he is not on true path.[Jame Byan al-Ilm Ibn Abdul Barr vol 2 chapter Hukam of some scholars on the other]
 

b) He quoted from Ayub as-Sakhtiyani (d. 131 AH) that he said:
أجسر الناس على الفتيا أقلهم علما باختلاف العلماء، وأمسك الناس عن الفتيا أعلمهم باختلاف العلماء
"The most bold among the people in giving verdicts is the one with the least knowledge of the differences among the scholars, and the most careful of the people in giving verdicts is the one with the most knowledge of the differences among the scholars." 
[Jami' Bayan al-'Ilm wa Fadlihi, Narration No. 1525]
 
c) Imam ad-Dahabee said
قلْتُ: كَذَا كَانَ وَاللهِ أَهْلُ الحَدِيْثِ العِلْمَ وَالعِبَادَةَ وَاليَوْمَ فَلاَ عِلْمَ، وَلاَ عِبَادَةَ بَلْ تَخْبِيْطٌ وَلَحنٌ، وَتَصْحِيْفٌ كَثِيْرٌ وَحِفْظٌ يَسِيْرٌ، وَإِذَا لَمْ يَرْتَكِبِ العَظَائِمَ، وَلاَ يُخِلَّ بِالفَرَائِضِ فَلِلَّهِ دَرُّهُ.
I (ad-Dahabee) say: By Allaah Ahl al-Hadeeth is the name of knowledge and Ibaadah but today there is neither knowledge nor Ibaadah rather blunders and gramattical errors and a lot of distortion, and only a little Hifdh, and if they don’t commit major sins and not stingy with regard to the Faraaid then it is great. [Seyar Ailam an-Nubala vol 8 page 299]

d) Imam an-Nawawi said:

Imam An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, allocated a chapter in his book At-Tibyaan page 26 entitled ‘Ikraam Ahl Al-Quran wa An-Nahi ‘an Athaahum, citing a number of verses of the Quran and Hadeeth in this regard.
 
He then said,
 

“Imam Al-Haafith Abu Al-Qaasim ibn ‘Asaakir, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: ‘You should know my dear brother – may Allah guide us and you to earning His pleasure and render us among those who fear Him as due- that the the flesh of the scholar is poisonous. The divine norm of Allah in (disclosing the secrets and) removing the screens from those who seek to belittle them is well-known; and that whoever speaks ill of the (righteous) scholars, Allah will give death to that person’s heart before He will give death to him. Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {… So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet's order, lest Fitnah strike them or a painful punishment…}[Quran 24:63].” 

12. Final Verdict of Imam Ad-Dahabee and Ibn Shaheen on Abu Hanifa

Imam ad-Dahabee said

اختلفو فی حدیثیہ علی قولین فمنھم من قبلہ وراہ حجۃ ومنھم من لینہ لکثرۃ غلطہ فی الحدیث لیس الا
قال علی بن المدینی : قیل لیحیی بن سعید القطان کیف کان حدیث ابی حنیفۃ قال:لم یکن بصاحب حدیث 
قلت: لم یصرف الامام ھمتہ لضبط الالفاظ والاسناد ،وانماکانت ھمتہ القران والفقہ ،وکذلک حال کل من اقبل علی فن فانہ یقصر عن غیرہ 
ومن ثم لینوا حدیث جماعۃ من ائمۃ القراء کحفص،وقالون،وحدیث جماعۃ من الفقہاء کابن ابی لیلی ،وعثمان البتی،وحدیث جماعۃ من الزہاد کفرقد السبخی،وشقیق البلخی ،وحدیث جماعۃ من النحاۃ ،وماذاک لضعف فی عدالۃ الرجل،بل لقلۃ اتقانہ للحدیث،ثم ھوانبل من ان یکذب
وقال ابن معین فیمارواہ عنہ صالح بن محمد جزرۃ وغیرہ،ابوحنیفہ ثقہ ،
وقال احمد بن محمد بن القاسم بن محرز،عن یحیی بن معین: لاباس بہ۔وقال ابوداؤد السجسستانی:رحم اللہ مالکاکان اماما،رحم اللہ اباحنیفہ کان اماما۔
There are two sayings of scholars regarding the ahadith (of Abu Hanifa). Some of them accepted them while others said there is some weakness because there are lot of mistakes in his ahadith. Ali bin Madeeni said that Yaha bin Saeed alQataan was asked regarding the hadith of Abu Hanifa. He replied that He is not Sahib of hadith. 
 
I (adDahabee) say: He (Abu Hanifa) did not pay attention towards monitoring the chain (of narrators). His all efforts were on Quran and Fiqh. And this situation is for all those people who learn one thing and leaves other thing. Like scholars of jarh wa tadeel weakened Hafs and Qaloon who were the scholars of Qir`aat. And from the jamah of Fuqaha they (Muhadditheen) have weakened Ibn Abi Laila Uthman alBatti. And from the Jamah of Zuhaad they (muhadditheen) have weakened Farqad and Shaqeeq al Balkhi. And they (muhadditheen) have weakened from the people of Nahw, The reason (of their weakness) is not because there is some weakness in their adalah, But they were lacking in Mastering the hadith, and they were free from telling lies. 
 
Salih bin Muhammad and others narrated from Ibn Maeen that he was trustworthy. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Qasim bin Muharrar said that Ibn Maeen said there is no harm in him. Imam Abu Dawood said: May Allah bless Malik he was an Imam, May Allah bless Shafi'ee he was an Imam May Allah bless Abu hanifa he was an Imam. [Manaqib Imam Abu Hanifa page 45]
 
Ibn Shaaheen said regarding Imam Abu Hanifah after quoting the statements of those who criticized him:

“These statements about Abu Haneefah refer to the trustworthiness of the chains of narrators and the mistakes they may include, not that he used to fabricate Hadeeth or impose a chain of narrators on the text of a Hadeeth or impose a text on a chain of narrators or claim to have met those whom he did not meet, as he was far above and much nobler than to do such an act… The scholars preferred him in Fiqh. Among those who did so were Al-Qaasim, Ibn Ma‘een, Ash-Shaafi'i, Al-Muqri’, Ibn Mutee’, Al-Awzaa'i and Ibn Al-Mubaarak and many others. But there were isues regarding his transmission of Hadeeth, and he did not narrate much, and he had more insight in Fiqh than in Hadeeth...” [End of quote taken from Islamweb fatwa no.245815].

 

13.Conclusion

Imam Abu Hanifa was one of the great Imams, People attributed lies on him that is why some scholars of the salaf like Ibn Hibban and Darqutni and others went against him. They issued fatwa according to what has been reached to them or they issued fatwa against him on his(Abu Hanifa's) earlier position which later he changed. Imam Abu Hanifa died as a Martyr and Martyrs are alive in Jannah. And we pray as Hafidh Ibn Hajr asqalani prayed that:
مناقب الإمام أبي حنيفة كثيرة جدا فرضي الله تعلى عنه واسكنه الفردوس آمين
There are Too Many merits of Imam Abu Hanifa May Allah be pleased with him and Grant him Firdous (The highest Paradise) Ameen [Tahdhib al-Tahdib Volume 10, Page: 452]


Related Links:

الكلام عن اعتقاد الإمام أبي حنيفة النعمان رحمه الله
http://www.islam-qa.com/ar/ref/158755


http://www.islamweb.net/fatwa/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=120446

 
 
 

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