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The Hanafi School: Understanding Its Meaning and Founder

Hanafi: An Overview of the Founder and School

Islam is divided into four major sects, namely Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali, and Shafi’i. The Hanafi sect takes its name from the word «hanif» which refers to a pious person who adheres to Allah’s commands and avoids what He forbids. In this article, we will delve deeper into what Hanafi means, what the Hanafi school represents, and who its founder is.

What Does Hanafi Mean?

The word «Hanafi» is derived from «hanif», which means upright or true believer. A Hanafi is a person who follows the teachings and practices of Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi school. Abu Hanifa was a highly respected Islamic jurist who lived in Iraq during the 8th century.

What Does the Hanafi School Represent?

The Hanafi school is an Islamic legal school that primarily relies on the Quran as the most basic source for judgment and settlement. If there is no clear answer in the Quran, the hadith sources are consulted. If neither source provides a result, the person makes ijtihad or uses reasoning to make a judgment. This school is known as ahl-i rey because it relies on analytical reasoning, known as ijtihad, rather than only on hadiths as do the people of hadith.

One of the distinct features of the Hanafi school is that it does not consider all hadiths as authentic. Instead, it subject them to a critical examination in order to determine their validity. The scholars of the Hanafi school have also contributed to other fields of Islamic knowledge, such as theology (kalam) and mysticism (tassawuf).

Who is the Founder of the Hanafi Sect?

Abu Hanifa is the founder of the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence. He was a scholar, a jurist, and a prominent figure in Islamic history. Abu Hanifa was born in Kufa (present-day Iraq) in the year 702 CE. He was the son of a businessman but he chose to pursue a career in Islamic scholarship.

Abu Hanifa was a highly respected figure in his time and was known for his deep understanding of Islamic law. His contribution to the field of ijtihad, his legal reasoning and analytical thinking, was immense. He gave new life to Islamic legal thinking and made it accessible to everyone rather than just a few select individuals. Due to his contribution, he was given the title of Imam-i Azam, meaning the greatest imam.

In conclusion, the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence is one of the major schools of Islamic thought. Its founder, Abu Hanifa, made significant contributions to Islamic scholarship and legal reasoning. The Hanafi school still has followers today who continue to adhere to his teachings and practices.

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