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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Incorrect propagation of the Hanafi Madhab

Recent events have to come to our attention to highlight the need for clarification about the methodology of the Hanafi Madhab. There are Modernists/Quranites who are propagating the Hanafi Madhab as purely based on the Quran alone and total rejection of hadith. This matter is not valid or correct.
We will first go through the classical methodology and then look at the Modernist/Quranite stand on Quranic ayahs. Then we will look at specific examples in which their methodology can be refuted. The reason for this clarification is that there opinions belie the religion. In addition, because the average person cannot validate or in this case invalidate their statements. It is left for someone who knows the debates well to make statement clearly defining what is wrong and what is right.

One interpretation
The vast inheritance of Quranic exegesis is so immense that it cannot be fully appreciated. We have Quranic commentaries based on the Arabic grammar, hadith, and Quranic commentary by Quran, fiqh, Sufi and so forth. Each one of these brings a different flavour to the table. Yet, if you go through many commentaries agree but each one brings different nuances about the same verse. Therefore, neither can ignored or cast aside.
The Quran might just have the most commentaries of any religious text in history. That is due to the great minds that read the Quran and left great works for us to learn.
The Modernist/Quranite argument is that there should be one interpretation of the Quran and not several. Due to this, the Ummah had split and fought etc. This is a simplistic argument that does not realise realties. The reality is that each commentary added more detail to the previous text and this all combines to a richness of knowledge. It is normal in any religion to have scholars who have different opinions. Each one has their own method and its all enrichment. Up until two hundred years there was not much difference of opinion from outside the mabhabs, with exception of the Shia. That changed with the advent of Wahabi/Selefism which still to this day causes friction.  

Unacademic rejection of hadith
This is perhaps the greatest sign of the misguided. They reject hadith void of any scholarly opinions. They reject all hadiths without any valid reason at all. They claim that it is not a hadith and based on fallacy or it was not a hadith.
If there, reason was to prefer one hadith over another then they should explain the matter. Give your reason based on valid scholarly criticism not invalid rejection without understanding. I have seen Quranite Hanafis deceive people about this matter.

Invalid ijihad
Ijihad is the highest level of scholarship. A person must be a master of the Arabic language, know all nuances of it, know all the positions of the four madhabs and two Aquida madhabs, know Quranic commentaries, know all the positions of hadith and all the sciences pertaining to each subject.
Therefore, this on its own is a lifetime of studies and cannot be achieved by a BA, MA or PHD of Islamic studies in a secular university! Yet these people are the same people who are making ijihad! Their level of Arabic knowledge is weaker than a native speaker and the average native speaker is very weak!
As far as anyone with a brain cell is concerned these people who have not learned Islam from traditional sources, for a number of years, have no right to force people to accept their opinions. Every now and then, they perform a publicity stunt that gets them some attention but then every group refutes them.
To defend such people because 'someone should be making ijihad' is not only counterproductive but also erroneous. Only those with pre-requisite qualifications should be delving into those sciences not those without the least. Personal attacks should of course be avoided rather we should break down their ideas and explain what is wrong. This is what happens after the smoke clears.

Who are Quranites? Modernists?
They were stated by GA pervez in Pakistan and are also called Tole Islam. Their methodology is also what modernists use. Rejection of hadith and following their misunderstandings of Islam.
Modernists also fall into this category by denying all hadiths and rejecting all traditional interpretations of Sunni Islam.
The main reason for writing this is because I see some of them claiming to be Hanafis!

Cultural Hanafi /Regional Hanafi madhab
There are three, maybe more, regional understandings of the Hanafi's madhab. 1. The Arabian world covering some of the middle east, 2. The Indo-pak region, 3. Turkey and those areas linked to it like Uzbekistan.
The Hanafi Madhab has the mutamad/relied upon opinion and the application in these places is different. The Arabian world seems to be more fixed on following the relied upon opinion, than those other regions, as far as I can tell. There also seems to be a root that can be textually traced.
In the Indo pak world there is an over emphasis on the opinion of Abu Hanifah over the rest of the opinions. Now the Hanafi madhab is not merely Abu Hanifahs position alone. There are positions that are with Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Imam Zufur and or latter scholars. But as far as the indo pak schools go they only consider 'qawl al-Imam'/Abu Hanaifahs position. There is also a mix of Shafis madhab in the indo pak world that there is not elsewhere. Then the two groups of the indo pak world diverge into those who they recognise in themselves.
The Turkish Hanafi world seems to be partly inclined to the both the aforementioned regions. Without the traces of the Shafi fiqh that the Indo pak world have.

Correct Hanafi madhab
The Hanafi Madhab has the mutamad/relied upon opinion that can read with any good commentary of a classical text like Quduri. The relied upon opinion can be either Abu Hanifah alone, Abu Hanifah and one of his students Abu Yusuf or Imam Muhammad. Then looking at books like Tashih of Ibn Qutlubgha you can see who has confirmed one of the above opinion or affirmation of another position. Then look to books of Fatwa like Qadi Khan or Fatawa Tatakhaniyyah to double check positions.
Regardless of anyone, the reliable position cannot all be found in one book rather you will have to examine commentaries and read confirmation of other scholars. The reliable position/mutamad should be in the heart of the Hanafi scholar. It is also cannot be gained without looking into many books not a single one.

Invalid teachers
The real Hanafi madhab is something that takes time to learn. They should study at least three primary texts and or longer texts. This can take years and not merely study of the section of the worship. To teach in a school one must have a pgce to teach a lower level of what you are qualified in. So learning one matn does not equal years of study of several texts.
There are many people who teach Hanafi madhab but have not studied the correct amount of time. 

Quran and Hadith
The Hanafi madhab is based on Quran and Hadith with the ijma/consensus of the scholars, and qayas/analogical reasoning.
The main basis of the Hanafi madhab is mass transmission of, primarily, the Quran and then we look to hadith. Only when there is a contradiction with Quran and hadith do we leave the hadith. However, we do not leave the hadith totally but we say that Quran is the fard part of the action and the hadith could be wajib or Sunnah. These instances are rare and are not common, as Quranites would like us to believe.
Making up book titles that there are books in which hadith are rejected by Hanafis. We would like to see such books and we do not accept a single narration of a book. If they are just then there rejecting hadith that are single narrations is the same for us rejecting a book that comes from a single narration. If what they claim is correct then it should be widespread and not singular. Therefore, their claim is false according to their own methodology.

Examples of Quranite methodology and rejecting hadith
They say that there is no validity to most of the hadith and the valid statements are lost. This is a daft statement that anyone can make. This is in complete ignorance to mass transmission of the Quran and hadith. The Quran and the hadith were transmitted using the same method of oral transmission and then they were recorded. So to say, one is invalid then that negates the other as well. Therefore, this is not Hanafi madhab this is Quranite methodology of whole rejection of hadith. Wholesale rejection of hadith is Kufr because the Quran itself validates the hadith.

 Quranic proof for following hadith

There are eighteen times that obedience of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is stated in the Quran by Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala

1) “The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and his angels and his scriptures and his messengers - We make no distinction between any of his messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying.” Al-Baqarah, Chapter #2, Verse #285)

2) “Say: obey Allah and the messenger. But if they turn away, lo! Allah loveth not the disbelievers (in his guidance).” Ahl Al-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #32)

3) “These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Whoso obey Allah and his messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow, where such will dwell forever. That will be the great success.” An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #13)

4) “And whoso disobeyed Allah and his messenger and transgresses his limits, He will make him enter Fire, where he will dwell for ever; his will be a shameful doom.” An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #14)

5) “They ask thee (O Muhammad) of the spoils of war. Say: The spoils of war belong to Allah and the messenger, so keep your duty to Allah, and adjust the matter of your difference, and obey Allah and his messenger, if ye are (true) believers.” Al-Anfal, Chapter #8, Verse #1)

6) “O ye who believe! Obey Allah and his messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak).” Al-Anfal, Chapter #8, Verse #20)

7) “O ye who believe! Obey Allah and the messenger when He called you to that which quickened you, and know that Allah cometh in between the man and his own heart, and that He it is unto whom ye will be gathered.” Al-Anfal, Chapter #8, Verse #24)

8) “And obey Allah and his messenger, and dispute not one with another lest ye falter and your strength departs from you; but be steadfast! Lo! Allah is with the steadfast.” Al-Anfal, Chapter #8, Verse #46)

9) “And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and his messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.” At-Taubah, Chapter #9, Verse #71)

10) “The saying of (all true) believers when they appeal unto Allah and his messenger to judge between them is only that they say: We hear and we obey. and such are the successful.” An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #51)

11) “He who obey Allah and his messenger, and feareth Allah, and keepeth duty (unto Him): such indeed are the victorious.” An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #52)

12) “and stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and his messenger. Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing.” Al-Ahzab, Chapter #33, Verse #33)

13) “On the day when their faces are turned over in the Fire, they say: Oh, would that we had obeyed Allah and had obeyed his messenger!” Al-Ahzab, Chapter #33, Verse #66)

14) “He will adjust your works for you and will forgive you your sins. Whosoever obeyeth Allah and his messenger, he verily hath gained a signal victory.” Al-Ahzab, Chapter #33, Verse #71)

15) “There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). and whoso obeyeth Allah and his messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom.” Al-Fath, Chapter #48, Verse #17)

16) “The wandering Arabs say: We believe. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Ye believe not, but rather say "We submit," for the faith hath not yet entered into your hearts. Yet, if ye obey Allah and his messenger, He will not withhold from you aught of (the reward of) your deeds. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” Al-Hujraat, Chapter #49, Verse #14)

17) “Fear ye to offer alms before your conference? Then, when ye do it not and Allah hath forgiven you, establish worship and pay the poor-due and obey Allah and his messenger. and Allah is Aware of what ye do.” Al-Mujadila, Chapter #58, Verse #13)

18) “Obey Allah and obey his messenger; but if ye turn away, then the duty of Our messenger is only to convey (the message) plainly.” At-Taghabun, Chapter #64, Verse #12)

This is enough proof to validate the following of the hadith according to the methodology of the critical analysis of one of your madhabs. Each of the four schools gives preference to this proof over another.

Final points
Be very careful whom you allow access to your ears. Just because they say they are Hanafi does not make them correct. In addition, if anyone says that they are Modernist/Quranite Hanafi then know that you should run for the hills!
Using rejected or rare hadiths to make wholesale rejection is illogical. Scholarly acceptance or preference is always accepted when its by valid scholarship. As for using rejected hadith to encourage others to reject hadith then this is not the Hanafi method.

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