him and his descendants. Al-Imam al-azam was one of the greatest among the Tabi'een and saw Anas ibn Malik (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) and three or seven more of the as-Sahaabat ul-kiram. He learned Hadith ash-Sharif from them.A hadith ash-Sharif, which al-Imam al-Harizmi reported from Abu Hurairah (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) through isnaad muttasil (an uninterrupted chain of reporters), states: "Among my Ummah, there will come a man called Abu Hanifa. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be the light of my Ummah." Another hadith ash-Sharif states: "A man named Numan ibn Habit and called Abu Hanifa will appear and will revive Allah ta'ala's Religion and my Sunnah." And another one states: "In every century, a number of my Ummah will attain to high grades. Abu Hanifa will be the highest of his time." These three Ahadith are written in the book Mawdua'at al-'Uloom and in Durr-al-mukhtaar. This hadith ash-Sharif is also well known: "Among my Ummah, a man called Abu Hanifa will appear. There is a beauty spot between his two shoulder blades. Allahu ta'ala will revive His Religion through his hand."Preface to Durr al-mukhtaar writes: "A hadith ash-Sharif states: As Adam ('alaihi 's-salaam) was proud of me so I am proud of a man of my Ummah named Numan and called Abu Hanifa. He is the light of my Ummah.' " Another hadith ash-Sharif states: "Prophets ('alaihimu 's-salaam) are proud of me. And I am proud of Abu Hanifa. He who loves him will have loved me. He who feels hostility towards him will have felt hostility towards me." These Ahadith are also written in the book Al-muqaddimah by the profound scholar Hadrat Abu 'l-Laith as-Samarqandi and in Taqadduma, which is a commentary to the former. In the preface to the fiqh book Al-muqaddimah by al-Ghaznawi Ahadith praising him are quoted.In Diya' al-ma'nawi, a commentary on it, Qadi Abi 'l-Baqa said, 'Abul-Faraj 'Abdur-Rahman ibn al-Jawzi, based on the words of al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, said that these Ahadith were made'. Yet this remark of his is bigotry, for these Ahadith were reported by several chains of transmitters. Ibn 'Abidin, in his commentary on Durr al-mukhtaar, proved that these Ahadith were not made' and quoted the following hadith ash-Sharif from the book Al-khairaat al-hisaan by Ibn Hajar al-Makki: "The ornament of the world will be taken away in the year 150." He went on, "The great fiqh scholar Shams al-aimmah 'Abdul-Ghaffaar al-Kardari (d. 562/1166 A.D.) said, "It is obvious that this hadith ash-Sharif refers to al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, since he passed away in 150." A hadith ash-Sharif given by al-Bukhaari and Muslim says, "If imaan went to the planet Venus, a man of Faaris (Persian) descent would bring it back." Imam as-Suyuti, a Shafi'i alim, remarked, "It has been communicated unanimously that this hadith ash-Sharif refers to al-Imam al-azam." Numan Alusi writes in the book Ghaliyya that this hadith ash-Sharif refers to Abu Hanifa and that his grandfather descended from a Faaris family. 'Allamah Yusuf, a Hanbali scholar, quoted in his work Tanwir as-sahifa from Hafiz 'Allamah Yusuf ibn 'Abdul-Barr (b. 368/978 and d. 463/1071 in Shaatiba), Qadi of Lisbon, Portugal, 'Do not slander Abu Hanifa and do not believe those who slander him! I swear by Allahu ta'ala that I know not a person superior to him, having more wara', or being more learned than he. "Do not believe what al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi said! He was antipathetic towards the 'ulama'. He slandered Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmad and their disciples.The 'ulama' of Islam refuted al-Khateeb and censured him. Ibn al-Jawzi's grandson, 'Allamah Yusuf Shams ad-din al-Baghdadi, wrote in his forty-volume book Mirat az-zaman that he was astonished to know that his grandfather had followed al-Khateeb. Imam al-Ghazaali (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala), in his Ihya', praises al-Imam al-azam with such words as ''abid', 'zahid' and 'al-'arif billah'. If the Sahaabat ul-Kiraam and the 'ulama' of Islam had different points of view from one another, it was not because they did not approve of each other's words or because they were unsociable to one another or because they disliked one another; mujtahideen (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain) disagreed with one another concerning ijtihaad for Allah ta'ala's sake and to help the religion."1]An alim dreamt of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and asked him, 'What would you say about Abu Hanifa's knowledge?' He answered, 'Everybody needs his knowledge.' Another alim asked in his dream, 'O Rasul-Allah! What would you say about the knowledge Numan ibn Habit has, who lives in Kufa?' He answered, "Learn from him and do as he says. He is a very good person." Imam 'Ali (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) said, "Let me inform you of a person called Abu Hanifa, who will live in Kufa. His heart will be full of knowledge and hikmah (wisdom). Towards the end of the world, many people will perish because of not appreciating him, just as the Shiites will perish because of not having appreciated Abu Bakr and 'Umar (Radi-Allahu 'anhuma)."Imam Muhammad al-Baaqir ibn Zain al-'Abidin 'Ali ibn Hussain (rahmat-Allahi 'alaihim, b. 57 A.H. in Medina and d. 113, buried in the shrine of Hadrat 'Abbas [Radi-Allahu 'anhu] in Medina) looked at Abu Hanifa and said, "When those who destroy the religion of my ancestors increase in number, you will revive it. You will be the savior of those who fear and the shelter of those who are confused! You will lead the heretics to the right way! Allahu ta'ala will help you!" When he was young, al-Imam al-azam (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) studied 'ilm al-kalaam and ma'rifah and became very skillful. Then after serving Imam Hammad for twenty-eight years, he attained maturity. When Hammad passed away, he took his place as a mujtahid and Mufti.His knowledge and superiority became known far and wide. His virtue, intelligence, sagacity, zuhd, taqwa, trustworthiness, readiness of wit, devotion to Islam, righteousness and his perfection in every respect as a human being were above those of all others of his time. All the mujtahideen and those who succeeded him and noble people -even Christians- praised him. Al-Imam ash-Shafi'i (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) said, "All men of fiqh are Abu Hanifa's children." He said once, "I get blessings (tabarruk) from Abu Hanifa's soul. I visit his tomb every day. When I am in difficulty, I go to his tomb and perform two rak'ah of salaat. I invoke Allahu ta'ala, and He gives me what I wish." Al-Imam ash-Shafi'i was a disciple of Imam Muhammad.2 He remarked, "Allahu ta'ala bestowed knowledge upon me through two persons. I learned the Hadith ash-Sharif from Sufyaan ibn 'Uyaynah and fiqh from Muhammad ash-Shaibaani."He said once, "In the field of religious knowledge and in worldly affairs, there is one person to whom I am grateful. He is Imam Muhammad." And again, al-Imam ash-Shafi'i said, "With what I learned from Imam Muhammad I have written a pack-animal-load of books. I would not have acquired anything of knowledge had he not been my teacher. All men of knowledge are the children of the 'ulama' of Iraq, who were the disciples of the 'ulama' of Kufa. And they were the disciples of Abu Hanifa." Al-Imam al-azam acquired knowledge from four thousand people. The 'ulama' of every century wrote many books describing the greatness of al-Imam al-azam. In the Hanafi Madhhab, five hundred thousand religious problems were solved and all of them were answered. [Editor's note: It is to be noted that that number is close to doubled in the present-day era.]Al-Hafiz al-kabir Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Harizmi wrote in his book Musnad, "Saif al-aimmah reports that when al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa derived a matter from Qur'an al-karim and Hadith ash-Sharif, he would propound it to his masters. He would not give the answer to the inquirer unless all of them confirmed it." One thousand of his disciples attended all his classes when he taught in the mosque of Kufa city. Forty of them were mujtahideen. When he found the answer for a matter he would propound it to his disciples. They would study it together and, when they were all in agreement that it was consistent with Qur'an al-karim and Hadith ash-Sharif and with the words of the Sahaabat al-kiraam, he would be delighted and say, "Al-hamdu lillah wallahu Akbar," and all those who were present would repeat his words. Then he would tell them to write it down."It is written in the book Radd al-Wahhabi 3: [THE FOLLOWING IS A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFORMATION!!!] "Being a mujtahid requires first being specialized in the Arabic language and in the various linguistic sciences such as awda', sahih, marwi, mutawaatir; ways of radd; made' vocabulary; fasih, radi and mazmun forms; mufrad, shadh, nadir, mustamal, muhmal, mu'rab, marifa, ishtiqaq, haqiqa, majaz, mushtarak, izdad, mutlaq, muqayyad, ibdal and qalb. Next you must be specialized in sarf, nahw, ma'ani, bayan, badi', balaghat, 'ilm al-usul al-fiqh, 'ilm al-usul al-hadith, 'ilm al-usul at-tafsir, and have memorized the words of the imams of jarh and tadil. Being a faqih requires, in addition to these, knowing the proof for every matter and studying the meaning, the murad and tawil of the proof.Being a muhaddith, that is, a scholar of hadith, requires only memorizing the Ahadith as one heard them; it is not compulsory to know the meanings, murads, tawils, or to understand the proofs for the rules of Islam. If a faqih and a muhaddith disagree with each other about a hadith ash-Sharif, e.g. if the former says that it is sahih and the latter says that it is daif, the faqih's word will be valid. Therefore, al-Imam al-azam's word or decision is more valuable than all the others because he was the first mujtahid and the highest faqih due to his having heard many Ahadith directly from the Sahaabat al-kiraam without any intervention. A hadith ash-Sharif that was said to be sahih by this exalted imam was said to be sahih by all Islamic scholars. A muhaddith cannot be in the grade of a faqih. And he can never reach the grade of an imam al-madhhab."'Abdulhaq ad-Dahlawi, a scholar of hadith, wrote in his book Sirat-i mustaqim, "Some Ahadith which al-Imam ash-Shafi'i took as documents were not taken as documents by al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa. Seeing this, the la-madhhabi used it as an opportunity for traducing al-Imam al-azam and claimed that Abu Hanifa had not followed the hadith ash-Sharif. However, Hadrat al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa found and took other Ahadith which were more sahih and dependable in documenting the matter."A hadith ash-Sharif states: "The most beneficial ones of my Ummah are those who live in my time. The next most beneficial ones are those who succeed them. And the next most beneficial ones are those who will come after them." This hadith ash-Sharif shows that the Tabi’een were more beneficial than Taba' at-Tabi’een. The Islamic 'ulama' all agree that al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa saw some of the as-Sahaabat al-kiraam, heard Ahadith from them, and, therefore, was one of the Tabi’een. For example, al-Imam al-azam heard the hadith, "A person who builds a mosque for Allahu ta'ala's sake will be given a villa in Paradise," from 'Abdullah ibn Awfa, who was a Sahaabi.Jalaal ad-din as-Suyuti, a Shafi'i scholar, wrote in his book Tabyid as-sahifa that al-Imam 'Abdulkarim, one of the Shafi'I scholars, wrote a complete book describing the Sahaabis whom al-Imam al-azam had seen. It is written in Durr al-mukhtaar that al-Imam al-azam saw seven Sahaabis. Among the four aimmat al-madhahib, only al-Imam al-azam was honored with being one of the Tabi’een. It is a rule in 'ilm al-usool that the view of those who admit something is preferred to the view of those who refuse it. It is obvious that al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, being one of the Tabi’een, is the highest of the aimmat al-madhahib. The la-madhhabis' denying al-Imam al-azam's superiority or their trying to vilify this exalted Imam by saying that he was weak in the knowledge of hadith, is similar to their denying the superiority of Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat 'Umar (Radi-Allahu 'anhuma).This perverse negation of theirs is not a sort of illness that can be cured by preaching or advice. May Allahu ta'ala cure them! The Muslims' Khalifah 'Umar (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) said during his khutbah: "O Muslims! As I tell you now, Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) told us during his khutbah: "The most beneficial people are my Sahaabah. The most beneficial after them are their successors. And the next most beneficial are those who will come after them. There will be liars among those who will come after these.' " The four Madhhabs which Muslims have been following and imitating today are the Madhhabs of those beneficial people whose beneficence was corroborated by Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam). The Islamic 'ulama' declare in consensus that it is not permissible to adopt a Madhhab other than these four Madhhabs.Ibn Nujaim al-Misri (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala), author of the book Bahr ar-ra'iq, wrote in his work Ashbah, "Hadrat al-Imam ash-Shafi'i said that a person who wanted to be a specialist in the knowledge of fiqh should read Abu Hanifa's books." Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak said, "I have not seen another specialist as learned as Abu Hanifa in the knowledge of fiqh. The great alim Mis'ar used to kneel in front of Abu Hanifa and learn what he did not know by asking him. I have studied under a thousand 'ulama'. Yet, had I not seen Abu Hanifa, I would have slipped into the bog of Greek philosophy." Abu Yusuf said, "I have not seen another person as profoundly learned as Abu Hanifa in the knowledge of hadith. There is not another alim who can expound Ahadith as competently as he did." The great alim and mujtahid Sufyaan ath-Thawri said, "In comparison with Abu Hanifa, we were like sparrows with a falcon. Abu Hanifa is the leader of the 'ulama'." 'Ali ibn Asim said, "If Abu Hanifa's knowledge were to be measured with the total knowledge of all the 'ulama' contemporary with him, Abu Hanifa's knowledge would prove to be greater."Yazid ibn Harun said, "I studied under a thousand 'ulama'. Among them I did not see anyone who had as much wara' as Abu Hanifa did or who was as wise as Abu Hanifa (Rihimahu Allahu Ta'ala)." Muhammad ibn Yusuf ash-Shafi'i, one of the Damascene 'ulama', praises al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa much, explains his superiority in detail, and says that he is the leader of all mujtahideen in his book Uqud al-jaman fi manaqibi'n-Numan. Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa said, "We esteem and love Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) Ahadith above all. We search for the words of the Sahaabat al-kiraam, choose and adopt them. As for the words of the Tabi’een, they are like our words. Translation from the book Radd-i Wahhabi ends here. This book was printed in India and in Istanbul, in 1264 (1848 A.D.) and in 1401 (1981 A.D.), respectively.