The Virtues of Imam Abu Hanifa

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  • Author: Imam al-Dhahabi

It is an immense pleasure to present this brilliant treatise on the virtues of al-Imam al-Azam,[1] the Greatest Imam, Imam Abu Hanifa and his two companions Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani written by the scholar Imam al-Dhahabi.

The Hanafi School of fiqh or jurisprudence which comfortably accounts for over half of the Muslims in the world today is named after one of the most outstanding scholars in the history of Islam. Imam Abu Hanifa a second generation Muslim who met a number of Sahabah, is one of just four Mujtahid Imams whose madhabs or schools of law not only survived but gave birth to principles of law that had a profound impact in the shaping of the medieval world.

Imam Abu Hanifahs systematization of Islamic legal doctrine was to have an integral part in the development of many areas of the Shariah and would pave the way for the spread of Islam in many parts of the world resulting most notably the Osmanli Caliphate (or Ottoman Empire) and Mughal rule in the Indian sub-continent.
Imam al-Dhahabi who was a giant amongst hadith scholars was a follower of the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence and a contemporary and a student of Ibn Taymiyya who many of the critics of Imam Abu Hanifa hold in high regard. In answering the question of Imam Abu Hanifa's credentials in hadith scholarship Imam Dhahabi produces hadith with isnad going from himself to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) through Imam Abu Hanifa.
The book is significantly enhanced by notes and commentary by Abul Wafa al-Afghani and Ustadh Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari

[1] The quarter of Baghdad where Imam Abu Hanifas grave is located is called ‘Hayy al-Azamiyya’ in honour of the Imam.