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The Kitāb al-Āthār of Imam Abū Ḥanīfah


Turath Publishing
December 7, 2021

Book Details

The kitāb al-āthār was the first book composed in Islam after the generation of the Companions. Al-Imām al-Aʿẓam Abū Ḥanīfah Nuʿmān ibn Thābit wrote it. It comprises Ḥadīth that connect directly back to the Messenger of Allah (marfūʿ), those which stop short at a Companion or one of the Followers (mawqūf) and those which are attributed to the Messenger directly by one of the Followers or Followers of the Followers without attribution to a Companion (mursal).
His companions Imām Abū Yūsuf, Imām Zufar, Imām Muḥammad, Imām al-Ḥasan ibn Ziyād, Imām Ḥammād ibn Abī Ḥanīfah the Imām's son, Ḥafṣ ibn Ghiyāth and others narrated it from him. In the version before us, Imām Muḥammad, himself a mujtahid, narrated each tradition from Imām Abū Ḥanīfah and then followed each with some explanatory material, sometimes confirming and occasionally differing with his Imām.

Author Description

Imām Abū Ḥanīfah was from Kufa and one of the Followers (tābiʿūn). He was born in 80 ah in a family of Persian ancestry. Imām Abū Ḥanīfah was a trader in fabrics. He studied with the great scholars of Kūfa who transmitted the schools of Ibn Masʿūd and ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib in particular, but he also travelled further afield in search of hadith and fiqh. He was noted for his exceptional grasp of fiqh, and is said to have laid its foundations. He died in 150 ah in Baghdād. His list of teachers is very extensive, and his list of pupils a roll-call of honour.
Sahl ibn Muzāhim said, "Abū Hanifah's knowledge was universal knowledge." Ash-Shāfiʿī said, "In fiqh, people are the needy dependents of Abū Ḥanīfah."

He is Abū ʿAbdullāh Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan ibn Farqad ash-Shaybānī. Muḥammad was born in Wāsiṭ in 132 ah, and grew up in Kūfa. He was a pupil of Abū Ḥanīfah. Ash-Shāfiʿī said, "I have not seen anyone more eloquent than him. I used to think when I saw him reciting the Qur'ān that it was as if the Qur'ān had been revealed in his language." He also said, "I have not seen anyone more intelligent than Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan." He died in Ray in 189 ah.
Ḥāfiẓ Riyāḍ Aḥmad al-Multānī
The explanatory footnotes to this text are the work of the contemporary scholar Ḥāfiẓ RiyāḍAḥmad from Multān in Pakistan.

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