Hanafi

(Sunni)

Hanafi, Hanafiyyah, Hanafi School

General Information

Aba Hanafa, Nu'man Abu Hanifah (d. 767)

Doctrines

The Hanafiyyah school is the first of the four orthodox Sunni schools of law. It is distinguished from the other schools through its placing less reliance on mass oral traditions as a source of legal knowledge. It developed the exegesis of the Qur'an through a method of analogical reasoning known as Qiyas. It also established the principle that the universal concurrence of the Ummah (community) of Islam on a point of law, as represented by legal and religious scholars, constituted evidence of the will of God. This process is called ijma', which means the consensus of the scholars. Thus, the school definitively established the Qur'an, the Traditions of the Prophet, ijma' and qiyas as the basis of Islamic law. In addition to these, Hanafi accepted local customs as a secondary source of the law.

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History

The Hanafi school of law was founded by Nu'man Abu Hanifah (d.767) in Kufa in Iraq. It derived from the bulk of the ancient school of Kufa and absorbed the ancient school of Basra. Abu Hanifah belonged to the period of the successors (tabiin) of the Sahabah (the companions of the Prophet). He was a Tabi'i since he had the good fortune to have lived during the period when some of the Sahabah were still alive. Having originated in Iraq, the Hanafi school was favoured by the first 'Abbasid caliphs in spite of the school's opposition to the power of the caliphs.

The privileged position which the school enjoyed under the 'Abbasid caliphate was lost with the decline of the 'Abbasid caliphate. However, the rise of the Ottoman empire led to the revival of Hanafi fortunes. Under the Ottomans the judgement-seats were occupied by Hanafites sent from Istanbul, even in countries where the population followed another madhhab. Consequently, the Hanafi madhhab became the only authoritative code of law in the public life and official administration of justice in all the provinces of the Ottoman empire. Even today the Hanafi code prevails in the former Ottoman countries. It is also dominant in Central Asia and India.

Symbols

The Hanafi school of jurisprudence has no distinctive symbol system.

Adherents

There are no official figures for the number of followers of the Hanafi school of law. It is followed by the vast majority of people in the Muslim world.

Headquarters / Main Centre

The school has no headquarters as such. It is followed by the majority of the Muslim population Of Turkey, Albania, the Balkans, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, India and Iraq.

Bülent Şenay
Overview of World Religions Project


Hanafiyyah School, Hanafi

Shi'a Information

Abu Hanifa (699-767) placed the emphasis on opinions reached by individual reasoning, and used analogy extensively. His broad interpretations displayed a flexibility that increased the appeal of his jurisprudence, particularly to rulers who sought easy justifications for their actions. He was by profession a trader in silk in Kufa, where he also taught, and the school of law that now bears his name claims the largest number of Sunni adherents.

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri
THE ELEMENTS OF ISLAM, Chapter 4


Hanafis

Advanced Information

Unfortunately, we are not aware of any scholarly texts on this subject which have yet been translated into English. We know that a number of Arabic scholars have written wonderful texts in Arabic, and look for the day when we will be able to add higher quality texts to this presentation.


Also, see:
Islam, Muhammad
Koran, Qur'an
Pillars of Faith
Abraham
Testament of Abraham
Allah
Hadiths
Revelation - Hadiths from Book 1 of al-Bukhari
Belief - Hadiths from Book 2 of al-Bukhari
Knowledge - Hadiths from Book 3 of al-Bukhari
Times of the Prayers - Hadiths from Book 10 of al-Bukhari
Shortening the Prayers (At-Taqseer) - Hadiths from Book 20 of al-Bukhari
Pilgrimmage (Hajj) - Hadiths from Book 26 of al-Bukhari
Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihad) - Hadiths of Book 52 of al-Bukhari
ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED) - Hadiths of Book 93 of al-Bukhari
Hanafiyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Malikiyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Shafi'iyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Hanbaliyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Maturidiyyah Theology (Sunni)
Ash'ariyyah Theology (Sunni)
Mutazilah Theology
Ja'fari Theology (Shia)
Nusayriyyah Theology (Shia)
Zaydiyyah Theology (Shia)
Kharijiyyah
Imams (Shia)
Druze
Qarmatiyyah (Shia)
Ahmadi
Ishmael, Ismail
Early Islamic History Outline
Hegira
Averroes
Avicenna
Machpela
Kaaba, Black Stone
Ramadan
Sunnites, Sunni
Shiites, Shia
Mecca
Medina
Sahih, al-Bukhari
Sufism
Wahhabism
Abu Bakr
Abbasids
Ayyubids
Umayyads
Fatima
Fatimids (Shia)
Ismailis (Shia)
Mamelukes
Saladin
Seljuks
Aisha
Ali
Lilith
Islamic Calendar
Interactive Muslim Calendar


The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in December 1997.

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