By Mohammed Akram Nadwi

Abu Hanifah Nu'man ibn Thabit used to be one of many maximum pioneers within the background of Islamic legislations, fairly in felony reasoning. The Hanafi criminal college that he based has turn into the main largely one of the world's Muslims. in line with fundamental resources, this examine of the lifestyles and legacy of Abu Hanifah additionally surveys the evolution of Hanafi criminal reasoning (fiqh) in several areas of the Islamic global and assesses its historic distinctiveness.

Mohammed Akram Nadwi is a study fellow on the Oxford Centre for Islamic reviews, and is the writer of numerous works together with al-Muhaddithat: the ladies students in Islam (2007).

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The qualities that the Prophet found and approved in these Muslims were qualities that later generations looked for in those whom they would call ‘imāms’, men worthy to be followed. Those qualities, built upon ‘attunement’ to the general principles and temperament of Islam, were consistent dedication in their personal bearing and conduct to wellbeing in their relations with God (piety) and people (righteousness). Furthermore, they combined piety and righteousness with the necessary intellectual competence to distinguish and pursue Islamic values within the realties of this world without becoming so distracted or distressed by its demands as to betray those values.

The Prophet was favoured with knowledge and the power to convey that knowledge, the teachings of Islam, to people for whom Islam was not, as it were, their first language. He recognized in a small number of his Companions that they had imbibed from him, as well as knowledge of particular injunctions, a strong, inward sense of the general principles and temperament of Islam. He felt able to entrust them to act as judges and give Islamic rulings for the people on his behalf. The famous names among this group of Companions are: Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq, Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, Uthmān ibn Affān, Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Abdullāh ibn Masūd, Muādh ibn Jabal, Ubayy ibn Kab, Abū l-Dardā, Zayd ibn Thābit, Abū Mūsā al-Asharī, Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Awf, Ḥudhayfah ibn al-Yamān, Ammār ibn Yāsir, Abū Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāḥ, and Āishah, the wife of the Prophet.

This was due in part to its being favoured by the ruling dynasties of the most extensive, populous and enduring of the Muslim empires – the Abbāsids, the Ottomans and the Mughals. But in part also it was due to the excellence of the students whom he inspired and trained to carry on his work. Abū Ḥanīfah was a genius, supremely proficient alike in analysis of detail and reflection on general principles. He combined his passion for knowledge of the religion (and for organizing that knowledge) with an ability to nurture the same passion in others.

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