Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut’s critique of Albani’s comment on Imam Abu Hanifa

Following is a hadith from Sharh Mushkil al-Athar of Imam Abu Ja’far at-Tahawi and Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut’s comment on it.

Mushkil al-Athar Abu Hanifa 1

2282: Ahmad bin Dawud – Isma’il bin Salim – Muhammad bin al-Hasan– Abu Hanifa – ‘Ata bin Abi Rabah – Abu Huraira: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “When the star (Pleiades) appears blight is raised from all lands.”[1]

[1] Its isnaad are sahih and narrators are reliable …

I say: And from the ugliest and most clear (manifestation of) ignorance by the way of prejudice and following of whims is Al-Albani’s gradation of this hadith as weak in “al-Da’ifa (397)” due to Abu Hanifa – the Imam by accusing him of bad memory. I do not know how al-Albani was tempted to assert for weakness of Imam’s memory while one who speaks about it is the Imam of the science of al-Jarh wal Ta’dil, Yahya bin Ma’in who as stated in “al-Tahdhib” said: “Abu Hanifa was trustworthy (thiqah) in Hadith.” And in another report he said, “Abu Hanifa is trustworthy (thiqah) and he does not narrate a hadith except that he has memorized, and he does not narrate what he has not memorized.”

And in al-Intiqa of Ibn Abd al-Barr (p.127): It is likewise narrated from Ibn Ma’in: “(Abu Hanifa is) trustworthy (thiqah). I have not heard anyone grade him weak. This is Shu’bah who wrote to him that he should narrate hadith and instructed him to do it. And Shu’bah is Shu’bah (i.e. his stature in the sciences of hadith is established)”

And likewise Shu’bah said: “By Allah he was good in understanding and excellent in memory” as stated in “al-Khayrat al-Hisaan” of Ibn Hajr al-Makki p.34

And in “Jami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm 2/163 it is narrated from Imam Abu Dawud al-Sajistani the author of as-Sunan: “May Allah have mercy on Malik, he was an Imam. May Allah have mercy on al-Shafi’i, he was an Imam. May Allah have mercy on Abu Hanifa, he was an Imam.”

And the Imams of the science of al-Jarh wal Ta’dil from the later generations e.g. al-Mizzi, adh-Dhahabi and Ibn Hajr have compiled detailed accounts of the imam in their works and have recorded therein of what is known of his greatness in fiqh, and his grand stature in retention, reliability and leadership (in the field of knowledge). We have not found even a single one of them accuse him of weakness neither on the account of reliability nor that of retention. They did not pay any attention to those heinous narrations about the imam that have come from people with specific background because the departure of those accounts from standards of rightful criticism had become clear to them …


Al-Arna’ut, Shu’ayb (editor), at-Tahawi’s Sharh Mushkil al-Athar, (Beirut: Mo’assasat ar-Resalah, 1994) vol.6 pp.53-54

Ahmad Shamil

Related Articles

One Comment

  1. Aslkm
    I would like to see national workshops done on the lives of the four imaams in details,what people know of them(those who do know) is a drop in the ocean of their lives filled with sacrifice,sincerety and dedication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button