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Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) & the limits of Logic

Once rumours were spread about Imam Abu Haneefa (rahmatullahi alayh) that he has made changes in Deen by giving preference to his own reason and intelligence over the Quran and Hadith.

This propaganda also reached Hazrat Muhammad Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh). Hazrat Muhammad Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh) was a Sayyid (a descendant of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) since he was the grandson of Hazrat Husain (radiyallahu anhu).

When Hazrat Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh) met Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) in Madinah Munawwarah, he questioned him regarding this, saying: “What is this that I have heard, that you have abandoned and altered the Deen of my Grandfather (referring to the Deen of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam) giving preference to your own logic and reasoning over the Quran and Hadith?

Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) replied by posing the following questions:

Firstly, Imaam Abu Haneefa (rahmatullahi alayh) asked: “Between men and women, who is the weaker party?”

Hazrat Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh) replied: “Women.”

Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) then asked: “As inheritance, how much does a man receive in comparison to the woman?”

Hazrat Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh): “The man gets double the share of the woman”

Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) then said: “Had I given preference to my own logic over the Quran and Hadith, I would have given the woman double the share of the man whereas I don’t say this”

Thereafter Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) asked: “Which act of worship is superior, Salaah or Saum (fasting)?

Hazrat Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh) replied: “Salaah.”

Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) asked further: “When a woman due to menstruation misses Salaah as well as Saum, then which one does she have to make Qaza ?”

Hazart Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh): “Only Saum.”

Imam Abu Haneefa (rahmatullahi alayh) declared: “Had I followed my own reasoning against the Quran and Hadith then I would have told her to make Qaza of the Salaah and not the Saum.”

Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) then asked a third question: “Which liquid is more impure, urine or semen?

Hazrat Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh): “Urine.”

Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) asked: “When does Ghusl become compulsory on a person, on the passing out of urine or on the passing out of semen?”

Hazrat Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh): “On the passing out of semen.”

Upon this Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) said: “Had I preferred my own logic over the Quran and Hadith then I would have made ghusl compulsory after passing urine and wuzu compulsory after semen.”

On hearing this Hazrat Baaqir (rahmatullahi alayh) stood up, hugged Imam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi alayh) kissed him on his forehead and was delighted to hear that all those rumours were false and baseless. (Kamaalaat-e-Imam Abu Haneefah, pg.348)

Lesson: The sign of a true believer is that he submits himself entirely before Allah and his Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and he has absolutely no reservation with regards to any injunction of Deen though it may seem contrary to his reasoning and intellect.
We also understand that the Fuqahaa (jurist) do not “make” their own Deen. Their specialization laid in extracting and codifying the rulings found in the Quran and Sunnah.

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