Hadith Criticism According to the Hanafi School
Taught by Dr. Ashraf Muneeb
When is a hadith sufficient evidence for a point of Sacred Law? The scholars of the four schools disagree on how this question should be answered. The most famous manuals of the science of hadith criticism (mustalah al-hadith)--such as Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani's Nuzhat al-Nazar, Suyuti's Tadrib al-Rawi, and Ibn al-Salah's al-Muqaddima--are all written by Shafi`is, and they mix the interpretative principles of the Shafi`i school with the rules of hadith criticism. When a student of the Hanafi school studies these works, he may imagine that there is a conflict between some fiqh rulings of the Hanafi school and some hadiths of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).
But that is not the case. Many of the greatest scholars of hadith from the earliest of times down to our age have been Hanafis. Every school has its own rules for how to use a hadith as evidence for a point of Sacred Law, and the Hanafis are no exception. These rules have traditionally been scattered in traditional manuals of legal theory (usul al-fiqh), They were gathered first by Shaykh Zafar Ahmad Usmani (d. 1974) in the introduction to his landmark compendium of hadith evidences for the Hanafi school, I'la al-Sunan. A contemporary scholar of hadith, Shaykh Abdul Majid al-Turkmani, has more recently published a number of works in which he has gathered all of these rules into a single place in order to describe the rules of hadith criticism according to the Hanafi school.
This course explains his book, Madkhal ila usul al-hadith `ala manhaj al-hanafiyya. The course will be supplemented with case studies from Hanafi fiqh where these principles are applied, illustrating how fiqh rulings that have been criticized as conflicting with hadiths are, in fact, in complete accord with the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).
This course assumes an intermediate-level knowledge of Hanafi fiqh through the study of a book like Kanz al-Daqa'iq. It prepares students for a study of the most important book in the Hanafi school, al-Marghinani's al-Hedaya, which trains students to understand the underlying causes of scholarly disagreement, and how the rules of the Hanafi school are firmly grounded in the Qur'an and sunna.
This course is taught in Arabic, and runs for ten weeks each term