By Hassan Cheruppa,
Jeddah : Speakers at an international seminar here Friday described Imam Abu Hanifa, founder of the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), as a great scholar, reformer and interpreter of Islamic law.
The seminar on the life and contributions of Nuaman Ibn Thabit Ibn Zuta Ibn Marzuban (699-767 AD/80-148 AH), popular as Imam Abu Hanifa, was part of a series of lectures on the four great imams of Islamic jurisprudence being organized by Jeddah Propagation Center for Expatriates at Al-Shababiya in the Old Airport area. Sheikh Ahmed Hamdan, former director of the center, inaugurated the seminar. Abdul Qasim Nuamani, principal of Darul Uloom Deoband, India, and renowned Pakistani scholars Muhammad Haneef Jalandari and Ahmed Ludiyanbi were among the keynote speakers.
Sheikh Abdul Hafeez Makki, president of the International Khatmunnubuwa Committee; Sheikh Abdul Nasser, the current head of the Jeddah Propagation Center for Expatriates; Pakistan Consul General Aftab Ahmad Khokher and several other dignitaries and scholars attended the event. Abu Hanifa was born in the Iraqi city of Kufa. After learning from some of the greatest scholars of Kufa at the time, he went on to study in Makkah and Madinah under numerous teachers. In his speech, Sheikh Hamdan highlighted the paramount role of Imam Abu Hanifa in raising the sublimity of Islam through his authentic interpretation of Islamic jurisprudence. He also emphasized the vital role played by the other three leading imams in delineating the minute details of Islamic rituals on the basis of Qur’an and Sunnah (the Prophet’s traditions). “Imam Abu Hanifa’s views are taught at most Islamic universities and institutions across the world. The imam has the largest number of followers among Muslims,” he said.
Nuamani emphasized the position of Imam Abu Hanifa on the science of Hadith. He has written several books on Hadith and reported nearly 1,000 Hadiths, all of them with a single narrator. “There was only one link between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the imam,” he said. Jalandari said Imam Abu Hanifa was a great scholar, reformer and interpreter of Islam. He said the imam enriched Islamic knowledge, which he acquired from the companions of the Prophet, such as Abdullah Ibn Masud and Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with them). “His personal life was replete with examples of sacrifices and renunciation of worldly pleasures,” he said, adding that the imam rejected the post of chief justice twice and preferred to stay in jail instead.
Jalandari is the president of Pakistan’s Wifaq Schools where around 65,000 students memorize the Holy Qur’an each year. Ludiyanbi said Imam Abu Hanifa “was the leader of leaders and scholar of scholars”. “He was a true visionary whose students were well-known for their depth of knowledge and broad vision. The Geneva Convention on Human Rights was based on a book on human rights by Imam Muhammad, one of Abu Hanifa’s disciples,” he pointed out. Saad Nuamani, a Saudi-based expatriate scholar, enthralled the audience with his melodious recitation of the Holy Qur’an in the styles of the imams of Makkah and Madinah.