By Mohammed Akram Nadwi

Abu Hanifah Nu'man ibn Thabit was once one of many maximum pioneers within the historical past of Islamic legislation, quite in felony reasoning. The Hanafi criminal university that he based has develop into the main broadly one of the world's Muslims. in keeping with basic resources, this learn of the existence and legacy of Abu Hanifah additionally surveys the evolution of Hanafi felony reasoning (fiqh) in numerous areas of the Islamic global and assesses its old distinctiveness.

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

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However, it is not therefore unreliable or useless; on the contrary, it is highly relevant to understanding the qualities that are a necessary condition for the authority to pronounce on the law. Chapter 3 describes the establishment of the Kufan school, the methodology and characteristics of Abū Ḥanīfah’s fiqh. Chapter 4 gives an account of some of his major works, and how his tradition was transmitted by his famous students. In Chapter 5, following a recapitulation of Abū Ḥanīfah’s achievement, I give a brief survey of how his legacy evolved through the development of the Ḥanafī school: this will be difficult for readers new to the subject, because it contains more information than discussion, but I hope it may be useful to those who want to know the principal figures and works of later Ḥanafī jurisprudence.

106), Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (d. 110), Muḥammad ibn Sīrīn (d. 110), Makḥūl (d. ca. 110), Aṭā ibn Abī Rabāḥ (d. 114), and Nāfi (d. 117). Ismāīl gives the name of Abū Ḥanīfah’s grandfather as Numān, and of his great-grandfather as Marzubān, instead of the much commoner Zūṭā and Māh. Probably ‘Zūṭā’ became ‘Numān’ when he became a Muslim. ‘Māh’ and ‘Marzubān’ are honorifics rather than personal names. Zūṭā’s father was called ‘Marzubān’, meaning ‘noble of the town’; ‘Māh’ means ‘great’. This indicates that his family enjoyed respect and prestige in their city of origin.

That said, it is worth emphasizing that this ‘public reason’ was fundamentally different from what the phrase means in the modern Western tradition. In the latter, reason enjoys more or less complete autonomy; it is constrained, if at all, by the will or mood at the time of the people for the regulation of whose affairs the law is being reasoned. As the will or mood of the people alters so do such fundamentals as who is legally a person and who is not, what is a crime and what is not. In the Islamic tradition on the other hand, while the process of reasoning is not different, reasoning is firmly rooted in the Qurān and Sunnah, and cannot cut itself off from those roots – it can only branch off from them.

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