by GF Haddad ©
AL-NU`MAN IBN THABIT al-Taymi, al-Imam Abu Hanifa
(d. 150 AH), called "The Imam" by Abu Dawud, and "The Imam, one of
those who have reached the sky" by Ibn Hajar, he is known in the
Islamic world as "The Greatest Imam" (al-imâm al-a`zam) and his
school has the largest number of followers among the four schools
of Ahl al-Sunna. He is the first of the four mujtahid imams and the
only Successor (tâbi`i) among them, having seen the Companions
Anas ibn Malik, `Abd Allah ibn Abi Awfa, Sahl ibn Sa`d al-Sa`idi,
Abu al-Tufayl, and `Amir ibn Wathila.
Abu Hanifa is the first in Islam to organize the writing of fiqh
under sub-headings embracing the whole of the Law, beginning
with purity (tahara) followed by prayer (sala), an order which was
retained by all subsequent scholars such as Malik, Shafi`i, Abu
Dawud, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and others. All these and their
followers are indebted to him and give him a share of their reward
because he was the first to open that road for them, according to the
hadith of the Prophet:
"He who starts something good in Islam has its
reward and the reward of those who practice it until the Day of Judgement,
without lessening in the least the reward of those who practice it.
The one who starts something bad in Islam will incur its punishment
and the punishment of all those who practice it until the Day of Judgement
without lessening their punishment in the least." Al-Shafi`i
referred to this when he said: "People are all the children of Abu
Hanifa in fiqh, of Ibn Ishaq in history, of Malik in hadith, and of
Muqatil in tafsîr."
Al-Khatib narrated from Abu Hanifa's student Abu Nu`aym that the
latter said: "Muslims should make du`a to Allah on behalf of
Abu Hanifa in their prayers, because the Sunan and the fiqh were preserved
for them through him. Al-Dhahabi wrote one volume on the life of each
of the other three great Imams and said: "The account of Abu Hanifa's
life requires two volumes." His son Hammad said as he washed his
father's body for burial: "May Allah have mercy on you! You have
exhausted whoever tries to catch up with you."
Abu Hanifa was scrupulously pious and refused Ibn Hubayra's offer
of a judgeship even when the latter had him whipped. Like al-Bukhari
and al-Shafi`i, he used to make 60 complete recitations (khatma)
of Qur'an every Ramadan: one in the day, one in the night, besides his
teaching and other duties. Ibrahim ibn Rustum al-Marwazi said: "Four
are the Imams that recited the entire Qur'an in a single rak`a:
`Uthman ibn `Affan, Tamim al-Dari, Sa`id ibn Jubayr, and
Ibn al-Mubarak said: "Abu Hanifa for a
long time would pray all five prayers with a single ablution."
Al-Suyuti relates in Tabyid al-Sahifa that a certain visitor came
to observe Abu Hanifa and saw him all day long in the mosque,
teaching relentlessly, answering every question from both the
scholars and the common people, not stopping except to pray, then
standing at home in prayer when people were asleep, hardly ever
eating or sleeping, and yet the most handsome and gracious of
people, always alert and never tired, day after day for a long time, so
that in the end the visitor said: "I became convinced that this was
not an ordinary matter, but wilâya (Friendship with Allah)."
Al-Shafi`i said: "Knowledge revolves around three men: Malik,
al-Layth, and Ibn `Uyayna." Al-Dhahabi commented: "Rather, it
revolves also around al-Awza`i, al-Thawri, Ma`mar, Abu Hanifa,
Shu`ba, and the two Hammads [ibn Zayd and ibn Salama]."
Sufyan al-Thawri praised Abu Hanifa when he said: "We were in
front of Abu Hanifa like small birds in front of the falcon," and
Sufyan stood up for him when Abu Hanifa visited him after his brother's
death, and he said: "This man holds a high rank in knowledge, and
if I did not stand up for his science I would stand up for his age,
and if not for his age then for his Godwariness (wara`), and if
not for his Godwariness then for his jurisprudence (fiqh)." Ibn
al-Mubarak praised Abu Hanifa and called him a sign of Allah. Both Ibn
al-Mubarak and Sufyan al-Thawri said: "Abu Hanifa was in his time
the most knowledgeable of all people on earth." Ibn Hajar also related
that Ibn al-Mubarak said: "If Allah had not rescued me with Abu
Hanifa and Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the rest of the
common people." Dhahabi relates it as: "I would have been an
An example of Abu Hanifa's perspicuity in inferring legal
rulings from source-texts is his reading of the following hadith:
said: "Your life in comparison to the lifetime of past nations is
like the period between the time of the mid-afternoon prayer (`asr)
and sunset. Your example and the example of the Jews and Christians
is that of a man who employed laborers and said to them: "Who will
work for me until mid-day for one qirât (a unit of measure, part
of a dinar) each?" The Jews worked until mid-day for one qirât
each. Then the man said: "Who will work for me from mid-day until
the `asr prayer for one qirât each?" The Christians worked
from mid-day until the `asr prayer for one qirât each. Then
the man said: "Who will work for me from the `asr prayer until
the maghrib prayer for two qirât each?" And that, in truth,
is all of you. In truth, you have double the wages. The Jews and the
Christians became angry and said: "We did more labor but took less
wages." But Allah said: "Have I wronged you in any of your rights?"
They replied no. Then He said: "This is My Blessing which I give
to whom I wish."
It was deduced from the phrase "We did more labor" that the
time of mid-day to `asr must always be longer than that between
`asr and maghrib. This is confirmed by authentic reports whereby:
hastened to pray zuhr and delayed praying `asr. The Prophet said:
"May Allah have mercy on someone who prays four rak`as before
`asr." `Ali delayed praying `asr until shortly before the
sun changed, and he reprimanded the mu'adhdhin who was hurrying him
with the words: "He is trying to teach us the Sunna!"
Ibrahim al-Nakha`i said: "Those that came before you used
to hasten more than you to pray zuhr and delay more than
you in praying `asr." Al-Tahanawi said: "Those that came
before you" are the Companions.
Ibn Mas`ud delayed praying `asr.
Sufyan al-Thawri, Abu Hanifa, and his two companions
Muhammad ibn a-Hasan and Abu Yusuf therefore considered it
better to lengthen the time between zuhr and `asr by delaying the
latter prayer as long as the sun did not begin to redden, while the
majority of the authorities considered that praying `asr early is
better, on the basis of other sound evidence to that effect.
Like every Friend of Allah, Abu Hanifa had his enemies. `Abdan
said that he heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: "If you hear them mention
Abu Hanifa derogatively then they are mentioning me derogatively. In
truth I fear for them Allah's displeasure." Authentically related
from Bishr al-Hafi is the statement: "No-one criticizes Abu Hanifa
except an envier or an ignoramus." Hamid ibn Adam al-Marwazi said:
I heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: "I never saw anyone more fearful of
Allah than Abu Hanifa, even on trial under the whip and through money
and property." Abu Mu`awiya al-Darir said: "Love of Abu
Hanifa is part of the Sunna."
Main sources: al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad 13:324-356; al-Dhahabi, Manaqib Abi
Hanifa 22-36 and Tabaqat al-Huffaz 1:168; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib
10:450; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 10:114; al-Suyuti, Tabyid al-Sahifa
p. 94-95; al-Haytami, al-Khayrat al-Hisan.
Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions
by GF Haddad ©
Greatness of Abu Hanifa
There is a current trend of slighting Imam Abu Hanifa and his School. To some people even in Arab lands, indulging this trend gives a sense of Madhhab identity ("We Such and-such" -pick a Madhhab-).
The Umma has long settled the issue that Imam Abu Hanifa are among those who are imitated in Islam. The unparallelled spread of his School to this day is a confirmation of this God-sanctioned acceptance. One should learn something of why his Madhhab spread so much: if not for curiosity in (the Divine conduct of) our intellectual history then at least for elemental acquaintance with the Fiqh followed by most Muslims. In this respect love of Abu Hanifa and his Madhhab is love and mercy for the Umma of Sayyidina Muhammad sallAllahu `alayhi wa Alihi wasallam.
The precondition of studenthood is adab - humility and poverty - which is not harmed by simply keeping quiet about what we do not know. However, actually slighting such a major Imam and the Ulema of his entire School shows arrogance and destroys works. Wal-`aqibatu lil-muttaqin.
What Hanafi has done for the Ummah what Al-Ash'ari and al-Ghazali have done?
Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Shah Muhammad Naqshband, Allah be well-pleased with them.
(Note: al-Ash`ari is claimed as a Maliki in their books cf. al-Dibaj al-Mudhahhab and Shajarat al-Nur al-Zakiyya. Further: the text of the Ibana attributed to al-Ash`ari states that he follows Imam Ahmad. Al-Ash`ari did have the Basrian Shafi`i Hafiz Zakariyya al-Saji, the student of al-Shafi`i's companions: al-Muzani and al-Rabi` ibn Sulayman, as his teacher in Fiqh.)
Is there any Hanafi
imam whose works are more famed than Imam Nawawi's Riyadh al-
Saaliheen and Forty Hadeeth, or Tafseer al-Jalaalain?
Is there any Shafi`i, Maliki, or Hanbali Imam whose works are more famed than the above?
(Nor does the fame of the Jalalayn denote an unanimous endorsement on the part of the Ulema.)
This is not to
mention the major hadeeth imams (Buhkari etc) nearly all of whom were
No. Not al-Bukhari, nor Muslim, nor Abu Dawud, nor al-Tirmidhi, nor Ibn Majah, nor al-Darimi. Just Ahmad, al-Tabari, and al-Nasa'i. But the former two became independent and the latter was also a Maliki.
In fact, the one most-followed School among the major Imams of Hadith that were the teachers or peers of al-Shafi`i, Ahmad, and al-Bukhari, was apparently the Hanafi School.
A few names of the Hanafi *muqallids* in Fiqh among the early hadith Masters:
- Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan: Ahmad would not dare
sit in his presence; Yahya ibn Sa`id said: "We have
not heard better than Abu Hanifa's opinion and we
have followed most of his positions."
- Yahya ibn Ma`in, he said of Abu Hanifa that he is
not only thiqa (trustworthy) but thiqa thiqa. Al-
Dhahabi even calls Ibn Ma`in a fanatic Hanafi.
- Al-Layth ibn Sa`d the Egyptian Mujtahid whom al-
Shafi`i considered superior to Malik: Shaykh al-
Islam Zakariyya al-Ansari (in his Sharh al-Bukhari)
and Ibn Khallikan (in Wafayat al-A`yan) - both
Shafi`is - class al-Layth among the Hanafis as
do the Hanafi books of Tabaqat.
- Al-Fadl ibn Dukayn, one of the major authorities
of Ahl al-Hadith. He said: "Muslims should make
du`a to Allah on behalf of Abu Hanifa in their
prayers, because the Sunan and the fiqh were
preserved for them through him."
- Waki` ibn al-Jarrah, he replied to some of them:
"You barred us from Abu Hanifa, are you going to
bar us from Zufar??" (Zufar took over the teaching
of Hanafi Fiqh in Kufa and Basra after the Imam.)
- Abu Mu`awiya al-Darir, he said: "Love of Abu
Hanifa is part of the Sunna".
- Ibn Dawud al-Khuraybi: "Among the people [of
learning] there are plenty of enviers and ignorant
ones concerning Abu Hanifa."
- Bishr al-Hafi, he said: "None criticizes Abu
Hanifa except an envier or an ignoramus".
- Ibn al-Mubarak. When al-Awza`i criticized Abu
Hanifa, Ibn al-Mubarak copied a compilation of
Abu Hanifa's fiqh under the name al-Nu`man. Al-
Awza`i read it without interruption except for
Salat al-Fard. Then he said: "This Nu`man is a
grand master (hadha nabilun min al-ashyakh). Go
to him and take as much as you can from him!"
Ibn al-Mubarak said: "This is the Abu Hanifa
you had forbidden me to see." Tarikh Baghdad.
Ibn al-Mubarak considered one's hatred of Abu
Hanifa a mark of Divine wrath. He also said:
"If Allah had not rescued me with Abu Hanifa and
Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the
rest of the common people." Al-Dhahabi relates
it as: "I would have been an innovator."
- Ibn `A'isha mentioned a fatwa of Abu Hanifa
then said: "Truly, if you had seen him you
would have wanted him [for your teacher]!
Truly, his similitude and yours is as in the
Curse them much or not,
I care little to blame you;
But fill - if you can! -
the space they left vacant.
This is not to mention Abu Hanifa's Fiqh students that were the teachers of subsequent Imams:
Zufar (taught Ibn al-Mubarak);
Abu Yusuf (taught Ahmad);
Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (taught al-Shafi`i, Ahmad, Ibn Sallam)
Asad ibn `Amr al-Bajali (taught Ahmad).
According to Shaykh Wahbi al-Ghawji, even Imam al-Bukhari began as a Hanafi. I would think that this is true of Imam al-Darimi also.
This is all to say that if one ignores the warnings of Abu Mu`awiya, Ibn Dukayn, Bishr, Ibn Dawud, Ibn `A'isha etc. then also fails to grasp the meaning of al-Shafi`i's statement about the Fuqaha' being all indebted to Abu Hanifa in Fiqh [including al-Layth, al-Awza`i, and Malik], let them consider the non-Hanafi hadith Masters' awe before him in the following works of "Merits":
- Manaqib al-A'immat al-Thalathat al-Fuqaha' by Ibn `Abd al-Barr [Maliki];
- Manaqib Abi Hanifata wa Sahibayh by al-Dhahabi [Hanbali...];
- Manaqib al-A'immat al-Arba`a by Yusuf ibn `Abd al-Hadi [Hanbali];
- Tabyid al-Sahifa fi Manaqib Abi Hanifa by al-Suyuti [Shafi`i];
- Al-Khayraat al-Hisaan fi Manaaqib al-Nu`maan by al-Haytami [Shafi`i];
- `Uqd al-Jumaan fi Manaqib al-Nu`man by al-Salihi [Shafi`i].
All in print.
If all this fails to show you that love of Abu Hanifa and his School is not for Hanafis but for Muslims as a whole, then consider the meaning of Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani's expression in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib about Abu Hanifa: "He is of those whose rank reaches over the firmament." This expression means: try as you may, you cannot dent his name with the least aspersion; it is beyond dispute that Allah Most High has written acceptance for him in the Umma.
So the question is why Hanafis would consider these candidates to be
more significant than Shafi'is whose works were of benefit to the whole Ummah.
"More significant" - if claimed - might be true numerically from the start, even before the Hanafis emerged above the rest in the res publica.
Muslims of intellect today are like candlelights flickering on a cold, windy night, discussing galaxies. They should not, in addition, try to blow each other out. This Umma is rich enough to have not two, but ten Mujaddids per century. However, who is listening? Who is acting?
Allah have mercy on all of them and us.
GF Haddad ©
The Involvement of the Pious Salaf in Kalam
Works in Kalâm
by GF Haddad ©
Among the works of the Imâm in kalâm:
* * Al-Fiqh al-Akbar ("The Supreme Wisdom"), authentically narrated from the Imâm by his son Hammâd. The Ash'arî Shaykh Ab al-Muzaffar al-Isfarâyînî  said in his book al-Tabsîr fîl-Dîn: "Al-Fiqh al-Akbar was narrated to us by the trustworthy through a reliable way and a sound chain of transmission from Nasîr ibn Yahyâ [up to] Abu Hanîfa." In it the Imâm said: "Allâh is 'something' unlike any other thing, and the meaning of 'something' here is: neither a body (jism), nor an indivisible substance (jawhar), nor an accident ('arad.); and He has no limit (hadd)." He also said: "Whatever Allâh I mentioned in the Qur'ân about the 'Face,' Hand,' and 'Essence,' these are His Attributes without asking how. Let it not be said that His Hand is [but] His Power (qudra) or Bounty (ni'ma) because doing so is a nullification of the Attribute and is the position of the Qadarîs and Mu'tazilîs. His Hand is an Attribute without asking how!" Mullâ 'Alî al-Qârî comments in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar: "That is, without knowledge of any modality, exactly as we are incapable of having knowledge of the true nature (kunh) of the rest of His Attributes, not to mention the true nature of His Essence." Imam Abu Hanîfa's caveat does not contradict the Mâturîdî position that the Attributes of corporeality are not corporeal (as in al-Tahâwî's 'Aqîda) but are among the Mutashâbihât (as in al-Pazdawî's Usul and its Sharh. by al-Bukhârî). These guidelines - avoidance of figurative interpretation, avoidance of corporeal explanation, and affirmation that Yad etc. are among the Mutashâbihât - are also within the Ash'arîs' method. The latter allow the option of interpretation if it coincides with the bases of the Arabic language and the general purport of
'Aqîda, as does Imâm al-Mâturîdî in Kitâb al-Tawhîd. The reconciliation with Imâm Abu Hanîfa's statement is to understand it to mean: "It should not be categorically affirmed that His hand is His power and nothing else." And Allâh knows best. This work received no less than fifteen commentaries, among them those of al-Qârî, al-Maghîsâwî, and al-Bayâdî, all three of them in print.
* * Al-Wasiyya ("The Testament"), a brief epistle dictated by Abu Hanîfa on his death-bed according to the Sunna, in which he states: "The meeting (liqâ') of Allâh Most High with the dwellers of Paradise is by visual sight without modality, nor simile, nor direction" and "We affirm that Allâh established Himself on the Throne without his having need for it and without settlement on it as He is the Preserver of the Throne and other than the Throne. If He stood in need for it, He would have been unable to bring the world into being or dispose of it, just like created beings [are unable]. And if He became in need of sitting down and settling, then, before creating the Throne, where was Allâh I Rather, He is greatly and immensely transcendent beyond all such notions."
* * Risâlat Abî Hanîfa ilâ 'Uthmân al-Battî, a brief epistle to the Mujtahid of Basra Abu 'Amr 'Uthmân ibn Muslim al-Battî (d. 143) also narrated through Nasîr ibn Yahyâ - from Abu 'Abd Allâh Muhammad ibn Samâ'a al-Tamîmî, from Abu Yusuf, from Abu Hanîfa, in which the Imâm explains the principle of his School whereby îmân has two, not three pillars, namely: conviction in the heart and affirmation by the tongue, in refutation of those who imputed him with the label of Murji'.
* * Al-'Àlim wal-Muta'allim ("The Teacher and the Apprentice"), placed by Abu al-Muzaffar al-Isfarâyînî "among the overwhelming proofs against atheists and innovators," narrated through two chains, both of them through Abu Hanîfa's student Abu Muqâtil Hafs ibn Salm al-Fazârî al-Samarqandî but actually attributed by some to Abu Muqâtil, who is - in either case - mostly discarded.
* * Al-Fiqh al-Absat. ("The Greatest Wisdom"), the same work as the Fiqh al-Akbar but in catechetic form narrated from the Imâm exclusively by Abu Mutî' al-Hakam ibn 'Abd Allâh ibn Muslim al-Balkhî al-Khurâsânî through Abu 'Abd Allâh al-Husayn ibn 'Alî al-Alma'î al-Kâshgharî (d. >484), both of them discarded as narrators. In this version the Imâm is related to state:
 "Whoever says, 'I do not know whether my Lord is in the heaven or on earth' commits disbelief (qad kafar), as does whoever says, 'He is on the Throne and I do not know whether the Throne is in the heaven or on earth.'" Imâm Ab al-Layth al-Samarqandî (d. 373) in his Sharh. al-Fiqh al-Akbar (misattributed to al-Mâturîdî) and his commentary on the Fiqh al-Absat., and Imâm al-Bayâdî in Ishârât al-Marâm all said: "He is a disbeliever because he attributes a place to Allâh Most High."
 "(The Hand of Allâh is above their hands) (48:10), not like the hand of creatures, and it is not a limb (laysat bi-jârih.a)."
 "If someone says, 'Where is Allâh' The answer for him is that Allâh existed when there was no 'where,' no creation, nothing! And He is the Creator of everything!" This is confirmed as the true position of the Imâm by al-Tahâwî's article in his "Exposition of the Doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamâ'a" that "This is the religion of the Muslims. Anyone that does not guard himself against negation [of the Divine Attributes] or likening [Allâh to something else], has gone astray and missed transcendence. For our Lord - Glorified and Exalted! - is only described in terms of oneness and absolute singularity. No creation is in any way whatsoever like Him. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or having boundaries, or having parts, limbs, or organs! Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are."
Certain versions of the Fiqh al-Absat. have undergone identifiable interpolations such as that narrated by the anthropomorphist al-Harawî al-Ansârî in his book al-Fâruq fîl-Sifât as pointed out by al-Kawtharî.
The above documentation shows that the pious Salaf did not wholly condemn
involvement in kalâm as a blameworthy activity but only, as Imâm Ab Zahra
pointed out, its specific use by the innovators - particularly their main sect, the Mu'tazila - who diverged from the doctrines of Ahl al-Sunna. Those whom the Salaf meant in their condemnations of kalâm were the likes of Dâwud al-Jawâribî, Ibn Karrâm, and other leaders of sects such as those described in heresiographies such al-Ash'arî's Maqâlât al-Islâmiyyîn, al-Baghdâdî's al-Farq bayn al-Firaq, Ibn Hazm's al-Fisal fîl-Milal, and al-Shahrastânî's al-Milal wal-Nihal.
The Aim of those who Deny the Existence of Sunni Kalâm
As for those who, today, insist on claiming that the Salaf rejected all of kalâm in unqualified terms, their aim in such a misrepresentation is threefold:
* * First, to empower themselves to cast the label of bid'a against those who do not agree with their anthropomorphist leanings, in calculated ignorance of the strong proofs adduced by the Ash'arî and Mâturîdî Scholars of kalâm against the heresies of the Hashwiyya and Mujassima.
* * Second, to instill obscurantism into the hearts of uneducated Muslims and degree-bearing Muslims uneducated in the Religious sciences, as well as fear of learning the foundations of belief from the mouth of the great Scholars who elucidated the texts of the Qur'ân and Sunna, on the specious grounds that "all that people need is the Qur'ân and Sunna."
* * Third, to promote the idea that all the Sunni Imâms of the Khalaf - whose majority are Ash'arîs - are in fact Jahmî-like innovators except two or three controversial figures that happened to revive anthropomorphist doctrines.
The First Mutakallim is 'Alî ibn Abî T.âlib t
The truth is that all four of the Four Imâms practiced or supported kalâm, in one form or another, precisely in order to refute kalâm-based innovations. In so doing they actually imitated the major Companions who had debated the Khawârij and defeated them both in disputation and on the field. Imâm al-Ghazzâlî said: "The first to initiate (sanna) the invitation of innovators back to the fold of truth through disputation is 'Alî ibn Abî Tâlib t who sent Ibn 'Abbâs *# to the Khawârij to speak to them."
The Involvement of the Mujtahid Imâms in Kalâm
The following are authentic examples illustrating the involvement of the
Imâms into kalâm after Abu Hanîfa:
* * It is established that Imâm al-Shâfi'î entered kalâm disputations with Hafs. al-Fard over the issue of the creation of the Qur'ân until he declared Hafs. a disbeliever, and he used to nickname him "Hafs. the Isolated" (H.afs. al-Munfarid). Hafs. had tried unsuccessfully to make 'Abd Allâh ibn 'Abd al-Hâkim and Yusuf ibn 'Amr ibn Yazîd debate him before al-Shâfi'î accepted - and defeated him. Al-Bayhaqî said: "And how could he [al-Shâfi'î] possibly consider the kalâm of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamâ'a reprehensible when he himself practiced it, debated whoever he debated in it, and exposed the fallacies of those who had cast doubt into the minds of some of his students"  Al-Shâfi'î also debated the Mu'tazilî Ibrâhîm ibn Ismâ'îl ibn 'Ulayya - the student of Abu Bakr al-Asamm - and the Jahmî Bishr al-Marîsî at whose house he once resided when he first came to Baghdâd.
* * Imâm Mâlik compiled a refutation of the Qadariyya for the benefit of his student Ibn Wahb.
* * Imâm al-Awzâ'î debated and defeated the Qadarî Ghaylân ibn Muslim al-Dimashqî upon the request of the Caliph Hishâm ibn 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwân, after which Hishâm had him executed.
* * Imâm Ahmad's disputations with Abu 'îsâ Muhammad ibn 'îsâ Barghth and his condemnations of the Jahmiyya and Mu'tazila over the issue of the creation of the Qur'ân and the Divine Attributes are recorded in a number in the books of his School, as well as his numerous statements of doctrine - narrated by Ibn Abî Ya'lâ in his Tabaqât al-H.anâbila - which are, with Abu Hanîfa's works, among the early manifestos of Sunnî kalâm. However, the spurious work entitled al-Radd 'alâ al-Zanâdiqa and attributed to Imâm Ahmad by anti-Ash'arîs today, is a work of the worst sort of kalâm whose authenticity is categorically rejected by al-Dhahabî and others.
* * Imâm al-Bukhârî compiled a refutation of the Qadariyya and other sects titled Khalq Af'âl al-'Ibâd, and was expelled from Naysâbr by the Hanbalîs because of what they perceived as an unacceptable stand in kalâm.
And Allâh knows best.
The full chains of transmission for all these works are given in
al-Muwaffaq's Manâqib and al-Kawtharî's Ta'nîb al-Khatîb as well as (in
part) his introduction to al-Bayâdî's Ishârât al-Marâm (p. 6).
Imâm Ab al-Muzaffar Tâhir ibn Muhammad al-Isfarâyînî al-Shâfi'î
al-Ash'arî, known as Shahafur (d. 471), author of Tâj al-Tarâjim fî Tafsîr
al-Qur'ân lil-A'âjim cf. Hajjî Khalîfa, Kashf al-Z.unn (1:268, 1:442). In
his book al-Tabsîr fîl-Dîn wa-Tamyîz al-Firqat al-Nâjiya min Firaq
al-Hâlikîn he defines Ahl al-Sunna as the Ash'arîs.
In al-Tabsîr (p. 113) as cited by al-Kawtharî in his introduction to
al-Bayâdî's Ishârât al-Marâm (p. 5). The complete chain is: 'Alî ibn Ahmad
al-Fârisî < Nasîr [not Nusayr nor Nasr] ibn Yahyâ [al-Balkhî (d. 268)] <
Abu Muqâtil < 'Isâm ibn Yusuf [ibn Maymun al-Balkhî (d. 210 or 215)] <
Hammâd ibn Abî Hanîfa < Abu Hanîfa. (Ibid. p. 6.) Shaykh Wahbî Sulaymân
Ghâwijî said in his edition of al-Qârî's Sharh. al-Fiqh al-Akbar (p. 13)
that he saw in Maktabat Shaykh al-Islâm 'Àrif Hikmat in Madîna (Compendium
#226 or #234) a manuscript of the Fiqh al-Akbar with the same chain.
Printed together with al-Nasâfi's Matn al-Manâr fî Us.l al-Fiqh
(Cairo: al-Matba'at al-Mahmudiyya, 1326).
In al-Tabsîr (p. 113) as cited by al-Kawtharî in his introduction to
al-Bayâdî's Ishârât (p. 5).
Cf. al-H.âkim, al-Madkhal ilâ al-S.ah.îh. (p. 130 #42), al-Dhahabî,
Mîzân ('Ilmiyya 2:219), Ibn H.ajar, Lisân (2:322-323), Ibn al-Jawzî,
al-D.u'afâ' wal-Matrkîn (1:221), and al-Khalîlî, Irshâd (3:975).
Cf. Ghâwjî, Ab H.anîfa (p. 260).
In his introduction to al-Bayâd.î's Ishârât al-Marâm (p. 6 n. 1) as
well as his edition of the Fiqh al-Absat. together with al-'Àlim
wal-Muta'allim and other doctrinal texts of the Imâm.
"Whenever you hear Abu Yusuf or Muhammad or al-Shâfi'î or Ibn Hanbal
and others [among the early Imâms] revile the science of kalâm and those who
take knowledge by following the methods of the mutakallimun, know that
they only meant the Mu'tazila by their criticism, and their methods." Abu
Zahra, Abu Hanîfa (p. 133).
"He described the God that he worshipped as possessing all the human
organs except the pudenda and the beard." Al-Shahrastânî, al-Milal
wal-Nihal (1:105, 1:187).
He used to say: "Allâh is firmly seated on the Throne and He is in
person (dhâtan) on the upper side of it." Al-Shahrastânî, al-Milal
Cf. Hasan al-Saqqâf, Sahîh Sharh. al-'Aqîda al-Tahâwiyya (p.
Al-Ghazzâlî, Ih.yâ' 'Ulm al-Dîn (1:96).
Ab 'Amr al-Bas.rî Hafs. al-Fard, also known as Abu Yahyâ, he came to Basra as a Mu'tazilî then turned against them and joined the Jabriyya as stated by Ibn al-Nadîm in al-Fihrist (p. 255).
Ibn 'Asâkir, Tabyîn Kadhib al-Muftarî (1404 ed. p. 338-340) and
al-Bayhaqî, Manâqib al-Shâfi'î (1:455). See also al-Lâlikâ'î, Us.l Ahl
Al-Bayhaqî, Manâqib al-Shâfi'î (1:454-455).
Cf. al-Bayhaqî, Manâqib al-Shâfi'î (1:229, 1:407, 1:464), Ibn
Taymiyya, Muqaddima fîl-Tafsîr (Risâla ed. p. 69), and al-Lacknawî,
al-Fawâ'id al-Bahiyya (p. 94).
Narrated by al-Qâdî 'Iyâd. in Tartîb al-Madârik (1:204). Al-Dhahabî declared its chain of transmission sound (sahîh.) in Siyar A'lâm
al-Nubalâ' (Arna't. ed. 8:88).
Cited by Shîth ibn Ibrâhîm (d. 598) in H.azz al-Ghalâsim (p. 112)
cf. al-Râzî, I'tiqâdât Firaq al-Muslimîn (1:40), al-Yâfi'î, Marham al-'Ilal
(1992 ed. p. 133) and Ibn Taymiyya, Bayân Talbîs al-Jahmiyya (1:275=
al-Ta'sîs fî Radd Asâs al-Taqdîs).