The Use of Narrations Pertaining to Abu Hanifah and the Creation of the Qur'an to Cast Doubts About al-Ibaanah
In the previous article (Part 8), the likelihood of Hanafi tampering with al-Ibanah was strongly possible, however this tampering was in order to defend Abu Hanifah, and not to play about with al-Ash'ari's creed itself. This is unlike the tampering of al-Ibanah that was done by Ash'aris (see examples of Ash'ari tampering of al-Ibanah here) - and so in a way, whilst you could excuse the Hanafi madhhabist, you certainly cannot excuse the Jahmite Ash'ari bigot in working his evil hand into al-Ibanah.
Coming to the issue now, in al-Ibaanah, al-Ash'ari cited some narrations about Abu Hanifah which contain severe speech. The Pusillanimous Jahmites who are the subject of these series of articles provided screen shots of these quotes, but they deliberately chose the printed version of al-Ibanah by Bashir 'Uyun and NOT the version by al-Aseemi. The reason is quite obvious. It was because al-Aseemi, in his footnote to the relevant section he provides such information that would have exposed these Jahmites in an instant.
Let us now look at what al-Aseemi explained at the relevant point about this issue of Abu Hanifah and the creation of the Qur'an (pp. 402-403):
The narration is quoted with its isnaad:
Sufyan al-Thawree said: Hammaad bin Abi Salamah said: "Convey to Abu Hanifah the Mushrik that I am free of him" Sulayman said: Then Sufyan said: Because he used to say that the Qur'an is created.
In the footnote al-Aseemi indicates that this narration regarding Abu Hanifah is weak (da'eef). He states those who have reported it include Imam al-Bukhari in Tarikh al-Kabeer (which is 70 years before al-Ash'ari) at least. Here it is:
So al-Bukhari also cited the narration. Does that mean al-Tarikh al-Kabir is tampered with? Of course not. The verifer points out in the footnote that the narration is weak.
Then al-Aseemi also points out that this narration is also mentioned by al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad, Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanah, al-Laalika'ee in Sharh Usool al-I'tiqaad, and Abdullah bin Ahmad in al-Sunnah - that's five other sources altogether besides al-Ibaanah. Does that mean all these works are tampered with because they mentioned this narration? Of course not, there is an explanation behind this narration, which helps to resolve this matter. And al-Aseemi discussed this matter in detail in his introduction.
Abu Hanifah and the Saying of the Qur'an Being Created
Due to restricted time we are only able to present a summary of the issue (as al-Aseemi discusses it in length and will only summarize the main points):
- al-Ash'ari cited many reports on the subject of the creation of the Qur'an, and it does not mean that every single one is authentic and free of fault (in its authenticity or content), but since al-Ibanah is not a book of research into matters of isnaad, it does not mean the narration is authentic.
- There is nothing in al-Ibanah that indicates al-Ash'ari himself considers this narration to be authentic, however al-Ashari brought a series of narrations to support what is in the previous chapter of the severity of the matter, and to merely indicate the generality of what has come in the narrations in this regard. And often, scholars mention narrations purely for the historical record to indicate what has reached them, and their intent is not that they affirm everything in them.
- Al-Ash'aris use of these narrations is not to establish the aqidah of Abu Hanifah but only to show the rejection of an affair that took place between one of the Imaams and those Imaams contemporary to him. So this from the angle of mention of history, and this is the intent of al-Ash'ari. (And we see that al-Bukhari mentioned it without comment, and it was also mentioned by al-Laalikaa'ee, Ibn Battah, al-Khatib, and Abdullah bin Imaam Ahmad).
- There is in al-Ash'ari's speech what indicates that he does not ascribe this belief to Abu Hanifah himself, because he mentioned three Imaams, Malik, Ibn al-Mubaarak, and al-Shaafi'ee, that they are all from those who say the Qur'an is uncreated and that they make takfir of the one who said it is created, then he said, "And we did not find anyone from whom narrations are carried, and reports are transmitted, and who is followed by followers from the people of knowledge, who speaks with the creation of the Qur'an, but only the common riff-raff from the people, and the ignoramuses have said this, those who have no place." So this is what al-Ash'ari said in al-Ibaanah
- Imam al-Laalikaa'ee narrated both the abovementioned report about Abu Hanifah and also other reports that conflict with it, and this is because he had access to those reports and mentioned them all from the angle of historical record, this does not mean that we now reject a part of the book and claim it has been tampered with, and other parts are fine!
- Making the authenticity of the entirety of al-Ibanah to be based upon this report of Abu Hanifah within it is a very far stretch and it shows desperation on behalf of the Jahmites to discredit the book's contents which opposes their Jahmite creed of negating uluww, istiwaa, the sifat khabariyyah and sifat fi'liyyah.
- Ibn Abi Shaybah included within his musannaf a section refuting Abu Hanifah and he titled it "Refutation of Abu Hanifah in 124 issues", now does this mean that the musannaf is fabricated and tampered with and the rest of its contents are suspect? Of course not, this shows the spurious reasoning in trying to discredit al-Ibanah.
Abu Hanifah Is Free of This Saying
As for the issue of whether Abu Hanifah held this saying or not, then the following points are raised by al-Aseemi:
- A Muslim rejoices in knowing of the sound creed of any person, let alone an Imaam from the Imaams.
- A person's creed is known through what he wrote, what is authentically narrated from him through his students or those who are trustworty and reliable. And from this route we see that Abu Hanifah holds the same view as all others from the Salaf.
- There are many reports that indicate this and because we are short of time, we cannot cite them, but we will simply briefly mention them: From them a) What occurs in al-Fiqh al-Akbar, the saying that the Qur'an is not created b) al-Khatib al-Baghdadi reports in his Tarikh (15/515) that Abu Hanifah used to say Jahm bin Safwan is a kafir (which would have been for the saying that the Qur'an is created) c) Also (from al-Khatib) the report of Bishr al-Walid from Abu Yusuf that Abu Hanifah use to censure Jahm and criticize his saying d) Just like al-Khatib also reports that Sufyan al-Thawree and Nu'maan bin Thabit (Abu Hanifah) hold the Quran is the speech of Allaah uncreated e) All of the followers of Abu Hanifah have reported in their works that the Qur'an is uncreated. Ibn Abdal Barr brings a narration about Abu Hanifah being asked about this matter and he stated the Qur'an is the speech of Allaah and prohibited disputing about this matter (al-Intiqaa p. 317-318) and he brings other narrations from Abu Yusuf clearly ascribing to Abu Hanifah the saying that the Qur'an is uncreated f) All of the trustworthy ones from his school associates have narrated this, such al-Tahawi in his aqidah g) Imam Ahmad mentions in al-Radd alal-Jahmiyyah that some from the associates of Abu Hanifah followed al-Jahm bin Safwan in the issue of the creation of the Qur'an, and this shows that Abu Hanifah himself did not hold this view h) Abu Bakr al-Marwazi reports that Imam Ahmad freed Abu Hanifah from this belief (Tarikh Baghdad, 15/517) i) Al-Laalikaa'ee in his establishes that Abu Hanifah used to hold the Qur'an is uncreated and make takfir of the one who said it was created (2/277) j) Ibn Taymiyyah affirms that the belief of Abu Hanifah is that the Qur'an is uncreated (Minhaj al-Sunnah 2/106).
- Ibn Hajar explains that Ismaa'eel bin Hammad bin al-Nu'man (Abu Hanifah), the grandson, would ascribe this to Abu Hanifah, and this grandson was a Jahmite, as is reported by Imam al-Tabari (See Lisan al-Mizan 1/517, Tarikh Bagdad 7/216). This claim of Ismaa'eel was rejected by others in the time, such as Bishr bin al-Waleed, who said to Ismaa'il, "It is your view, yes, but not the view of your forefathers" (Intiqaa of Ibn Abdal Barr p. 318). It appears that the claim that Abu Hanifah said this statement was spread by the Jahmiyyah (from his offspring) and the Mu'tazilah, as there from some of his associates who inclined towards the way of Jahm. However, the scholars freed him from that. And as for the debate between Abu Hanifah and Abu Yusuf on this matter, it was pertaining to whether the one who says the Qur'an is created is a kaafir or not, and not on the issue of whether the Qur'an itself is created.
- If Abu Hanifah had said such a saying the rejection would have been overwhelming and it would have been reported in abundance, and this is not the case.
In conclusion, using this issue of the mention of this (weak) report pertaining to Abu Hanifah in order to discredit the entire book is a red herring and you can actually perceive the stink in the air, if you just close your eyes, concentrate a little, and breathe. It appears that GF Haddaad forgot to change the nappies of these infants after feeding with them with the rotten leftovers of the Jahmites of antiquity.