False Accusations Against Imam Abū Ḥanīfah Ascribed to Imam al-Ghazāli

05 Aug, 2016

False Accusations Against Imām Abū Ḥanīfah
Ascribed to Imām al-Ghazālī
 Translated by Abu Humayd



The following is a part-translation of the First Muqaddamah in ‘Khayrāt ‘l-Ḥisān’ of Ḥāfiẓ Shihāb ‘l-Dīn Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī al-Makkī with regards to some outrageous accusations against Imām Abū Ḥanīfah رحمه الله and its attribution to Ḥujjat ‘l-Islām Imām Muḥammad al-Ghazālī رحمه الله. Recently some people with ulterior motives (trying to hide their anti-Ḥanafī charade) have resorted to utilise such quotations making it apparent their lack of precision in taḥqiq.

al-Haytamī begins:

Know that some of the fanatics whom have not been granted success came to me with a book attributed to Imām al-Ghazālī containing within it such hideous fanaticism and repugnant debasement of the Imām of the Muslims, [and] one of the Mujtahid Imāms; Abū Ḥanīfah (May Allāh be pleased with him) such that ears are blocked out from hearing it and [such that] a fair minded individual upon hearing it will say: ‘If only it had not existed’! So that led Shams ‘l-A’immah al-Kardarī to speak at great length in refutation of that book, with the author of the refutation responding to wrong with wrong, in that he slandered al-Shāfiʾī (May Allāh be pleased with him) even more greatly than the [original] slander, And spoke at length in an un-praiseworthy manner. All this was on the basis that [the author] al-Ghazāli is the Imam Muḥammad Ḥujjat ‘l-Islām [the well known Ghazālī], whereas it is not him (Ḥujjat ‘l-Islam) due to the latter’s praise of Abū Ḥanīfah in his Iḥyā’ and his biography appropriately showing his (Abū Ḥanīfah’s) lofty status. Also the copy which I have seen has written upon it that this book is the writing of Maḥmūd al-Ghazālī and this Maḥmūd is not the [well known] Ḥujjat ‘l-Islām, and thus it is written in the footnotes of that copy: ‘This is a Muʾtazilī individual, his name is Maḥmūd al-Ghazālī, and he is not Ḥujjat ‘l-Islām’.

[And on the assumption that this had indeed originated from the well-known al-Ghazālī] some of the Ḥanafī research scholars who took sacred knowledge from the Master Saʾd ‘l-Dīn al-Taftazānī said: ‘That was expressed by Ghazālī when he was embroiled in the disciplines of dialectic and gaining students [in the early days]. When he abandoned such partaking, and was showered upon with the vessels of gnosis and the awareness [of Allāh], he understood the truth and its people. He affirmed it [the truth] in its place and the proof for that is his statement in ‘al-Iḥyā”[2].

— Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī al-Makkī رحمه الله [d. 974 AH]

[1] A suitable title was given by the translator.

[2] According to the Muḥaqqiq of Khayrāt ‘l-Ḥisān the origin of this statement is from Shaykh ʿAlā’ ‘l-Dīn al-Bukhārī al-Ḥanafī (May Allāh have mercy upon him).

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