Does Abū Ḥanīfah Reject Sound Ḥadīth in Order to Formulate Legal Rulings?

A Study of Abū Ḥanīfah’s Usūl and His Competency in Ḥadīth
By:Eissa Dar

Nu’mān Bin Thābit, better known by his kunyah, Abū Ḥanīfah, has been subject to much criticism due to his supposed lack of knowledge in Ḥadīth and Ḥadīth studies. The methodology of the Ḥanafīs has been similarly scrutinized as it is infamously known to diverge from the other schools in their methodological usage of the sources in deriving legal rulings. Where the other orthodox schools use a methodology derived from al-Shāfi’ī’s combination of the reports and opinion, Abū Ḥanīfah is known to have ruled from the Qur’ān more-so than from the reports. A particular aspect of the discussion is the idea that he took his own opinion over the clear textual sources of the Sunnah i.e. the Ḥadīth reports. However, what has been overlooked is the way in which Abū Ḥanīfah used the Ḥadīth and how he understood them. Rather than having a weakness in Ḥadīth, as purported by some, Abū Ḥanīfah had a unique understanding of Ḥadīth, and subjected them to great scrutiny in order to derive the truest rendition of God’s law on earth. Rather than a detraction from Prophetic reports, it seems that there has been a lack of understanding when it comes to the Usūl of Abū Ḥanīfah.

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