This is taken from as-Suffas website
The 2010 Conference exploring the ‘Legacy of Imam Abu Hanifah’
by Abu Hibbaan & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari brought together some of the UK’s leading Islamic Scholars before a packed audience, each unravelling the various dimensions of the Great Imam and his illustrious school of thought. Such a memorable event is now presented in this much awaited DVD set, serving as a priceless and enlightening introduction to the man, his life and his works.
There is arguably no scholar in Islamic History who has had a greater impact on the Ummah than Imam Abu Hanifah (80-150ah).
Regarded as the founding father of fiqh, his legacy has been inherited by great scholars throughout the ages, which is testament to his undoubted authority in knowledge and learning. So erudite, profound and faithful was the Imam’s understanding of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah which formed the basis of the Hanafi fiqh, that it remains the most widely adopted Islamic School in the Muslim World.
Just some of the Scholars who testified to the knowledge of Imam Abu Hanifah:
The Hadith Master Imam Yahya Ibn Maeen “We have never heard better understanding of the Quran and Sunnah than that of Abu Hanifah, and we follow him in most of his opinions.” (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, p.418 vol.13)
Imam Shafi “Whoever wants deep understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah, then he is dependent upon Abu Hanifah.” (Tahzib al-Kamal, p.434 vol.29)
Imam Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak “The most knowledgeable of human beings in Fiqh (Understanding the Qur’an and Sunnah) is Abu Hanifah. I have never seen anyone like him in Fiqh.” (Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, p.229 vol.4)
This DVD set goes to show the understanding and mind set of as-Suffa in it’s deep reverence of Imam Abu Haneefah and their exaggeration in love of him.
Zaheer Mahmood and some other prominent hanafee speakers held a small conference in The Rex Centre in Birmingham UK about the life of Abu Haneefah. The reality of this affair is a few weeks before Abu Usaamah adh-Dhahabee was delivering 4 lectures, one every week about the lives and biographies of the 4 great Imaams. Whilst delivering the biography of Abu Haneefah Abu Usaamah mentioned some virtues and also some disparaging points from the books of history that were not so favourable with the Hanafee followers of Abu Haneefah.
Abu Usaamah quoted some statements in praise and in virtue of Abu Haneefah. He mentoioned points from Imaam Khateeb Baghdaadee book, ‘Taareekh Baghdaad’ aswell as other books. He also mentioned statements which were disparaging and in dispraise of the credentials of Abu Haneefah which are generally known and well accepted amongst the people who look at this affair with an open and unbigoted mind.
However some quarters from the Hanafee madhab found this very upsetting and took this as a vilification of Abu Haneefah and an attempt to belittle him. However if one was to listen to the whole talk they would find the talk to be just and based on a good understanding of the topic and also the biography and life of Abu Haneefah.
As-Suffa institute demonstrated their ghuloo (ie exaggeration) in their blind love for Abu Haneefah and also lacking integrity and comprehension in accepting anything disparaging Abu Haneefah. So on this basis they held a conference from which they formulated the DVD set. Their aim being to repel and rebuke any statements that allegedly belittled Abu Haneefah.
Any unbiased person can see this was unnecessary and such inflammatory actions and angered based reactions only lead to animosity and hatred amongst the Muslims. Zaheer Mahmood and as-Suffa were very quick to organise such a conference thereby showing the masses that the Ahlul Hadeeth have hatred for Imaam Abu Haneefah whereas in reality this was totaly contrary to the truth and having a whole lecture about the praise and virtue of Abu Haneefah was a testification to this.
Zaheer Mahmood and the institute of as-Suffa have shown and manifested their strong bigotry in following the Hanafee madhab and Abu Haneefah and indicated anyone who even mentions one bad word about the Hanafee forefathers will be censured and held to account as if they were upon a religion and also being very happy with the teaching of their forefathers.
Allaah said, “And when it is said to them, “Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger,” they say, “Sufficient for us is that upon which we found our fathers.” Even though their fathers knew nothing, nor were they guided? (Soorah al-Ma’idah 5:104)
You don’t find as-Suffa doing a whole day conference on the life of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhee wasallam) especially after grave incidences that occurred in Holland and Denmark but yet we do find them doing one on Abu Haneefah, which was based on unwanted and bigoted reasons.
Highlighting this point is not an attempt to belittle Abu Haneefah or to go into the issues highlighted in the talk but just to let people know about the mind set of Zaheer Mahmood and his as-Suffa institute. Indicating a lot of exaggeration and how they go beyond bounds in love of Abu Haneefah whereas the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalaahu Alayhee Wasalam) told us not to go beyond bounds In the deen.
This mindset shows the understanding, bigotry and partisanship (Hizbiyyah) of Zaheer Mahmood and his as-Suffa institute have toward Abu Haneefah and the Hanafee school of thought. This further shows the reality of such institutes, the people behind them and their ultimate aims and goals relating to their dawah and their call.
One of the major reasons why people still continue upon paths which are far and away from the truth is their blind love for people and individuals of the times before and also in this current age. Following these personalities is not what we have been ordered in the Quraan and Sunnah and hence our salvation and redemption does not lie with such people.
Allaah the most high said, “And similarly, We did not send before you any warner into a city except that its affluent said, “Indeed, we found our fathers upon a religion, and we are, in their footsteps, following.” (Soorah Zukhruf 43:23)
It is imperative we stand above such challenges and constantly pray to Allaah that he guides us to the straight path. Paths which traverse the teaching and guidance of the Messenger of
Allaah (Sallaalahu Alayhee Wasalam).
The statements mentioned above from the scholars of hadeeth are open to discussion as every scholar of Hadeeth and Imaam has differing opinions of Abu Haneefah, furthermore the authenticity of the statements above need to be verified. The authenticity of the statement of Imaam Abdullaah Ibn Mubaarak is at the very least questionable and debatable. These clarifying notes are not the place to delve into intricacies of narrators but suffice to say there will be varying statements and we do not continuously promote and propagate the disparaging or statements based on criticism.
Also on the flip side of this it is also very important that we do not go beyond bounds in praise of a human being who was just a man from this ummah. We should not accept everything about him and from him blindly, and quarrel and argue with those who do not meet eye to eye and nor should we create discord and dissension with those who do not agree. Being balanced and looking at these issues with an unbiased view is important and a means of being just and tolerant.
For example the bigoted and staunch people who went went above bounds fabricated narrations in excessive love for Abu Haneefah for example, “There will be a man among my ummah known as Muhammad bin Idrees, who will be more harmful to my ummah than Iblees, and there will be a man among my ummah known as Abu Haneefah, who will be the lamp of my ummah.”
Narrations such as these are prime examples of the bigotry of the former people who were staunch and they manifested this by fabricating such narrations and this was their way of showing love for Abu Haneefah. This understanding and mindset is apparent and manifest in the Hanafees today and people like Zaheer Mahmood and as-Suffa are living and practical examples of the former hanafees who fabricated such narrations.
This above narration is mawdoo` (Fabricated). Ibn al-Jawzi quoted it in al-Mawdoo`aat(1/457) and also said it is fabricated and Imaam Haakim also said something similar in al-Madhkal. Haafidh Ibn Hajr also elucidated this in Leesaan ul-Meezaan saying, “Haakim then said, `Anyone whom Allaah has granted the least amount of intelligence would testify that a hadeeth such as this is a fabrication attributed to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam).”
Imaam al-Allaamah al-Albaanee said, “Therefore, it is extremely bizarre that `Allaamah `Ayni should incline towards strengthening the hadeeth with those other routes, and that Shaykh Kawthari should support him! However, it is no surprise from the latter, for he was notorious for being submerged in zealousy for Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullaah), even if it entailed insulting other Imaams; but it is very surprising from `Ayni, for he was generally known not to go to such extremes. The opinion of these two has been refuted, with analysis of the other routes of narration referred to, in a unique way in `Allaamah Yamaanee’s valuable book, at-Tankeel bi maa fi Ta’neeb al-Kawthari min al-Abaateel (1/20, 446-9). (Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth ad-Da`eefah wal-Mawdoo`ah (no.569).
Allaamah Yaamaanees book goes into great detail outlining some grave and bold statements of Kawtharee which are nothing but a result of strong bigoted partisanship to the Hanafee madhab. This is not the place to go into Kawtharee statements but his enmity and animosity for the Ahlul Hadeeth Ahlus Sunnah is not hidden. Here our intent is to show the deep mindset and methodology and what excessive praise and exaggeration of an individual can lead to. The irony of this is that they are not even aware of their mind set and further show amazement when their extremism is pointed out to them.
Further examples of extreme praise are riddled in the books authored on the life of Abu Haneefah and the readers can very easily refer to them and it is not the point to go into them. The issue is not if such praises are correct or incorrect but rather the mentality and understanding behind them. Another example is Kawtharee and other hanafees attempting to authenticate forge and fabricated narrations that Abu Haneefah also had a stamp between the shoulders (as the messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhee wasallam) did as a sign of Prophecy) etc, again highlighting the mindset and result of such bigotry.
Such examples of extremism and ghuloo are abundantly found amongst the Deobandees, for example Haajee Imdaadullaah saying to Qaasim Nanautwee the heaviness he feels on this chest is something the prophets would feel (please refer the book The Bareilwees and Deobandees are the same) and so on. It should also be known Zaheer Mahmood and as-Suffa institute is a Hanafee Deobandee institute propagating and promoting the Deobandee version of Islaam and this is not something that is hidden.
Abu Haneefah was no doubt a very famous jurist as Haafid
h Ibn Hajr has mentioned in Meezaan ul-Ei’tidaal and Taqreeb which is undeniable. This has to be accepted by everyone and a universal fact. This is the well known view of Ahlul Hadeeth and this is what we propagate.
In conclusion the understanding of Zaheer Mahmood and his as-Suffa institute have blind love for Abu Haneefah, the Hanafee madhab and disallegiance with the normal Muslims who do not do Taqleed of him. Holding a conference on the life of Abu Haneefah in retaliation to a Good, unbiased and knowledge based talk by the Ahlul Hadeeth is a basic prime example of the mindset of such people and institutes.
We seek refuge from such blind bigoted partisanship and may Allaah show us the correct way and may he keep us firm and steadfast upon such ways and remove any bigotry and open our hearts to the truth and free us from the blind love of personalities. Ameen.