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    Tuesday, 22 July 2014

    Role of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik


    In Islam, there are five different schools of Islamic Jurisprudence. Out of these schools, Jaffari school of Islamic Jurisprudence was originated before other four school of Islamic Jurisprudence. Other four schools of Islamic Jurisprudence are Sunni Schools, During regimes of Bano Abbas and Bano Umia, four Sunni schools of Islamic Jurisprudence were originated. It was during this period that four Imams, Jurisprudence, did excellent work for interpretation of Islamic law. Out of these Sunni schools of Islamic Jurisprudence, Imam Abu Hanifa setup foundation of Hanfi School of Islamic Jurisprudence while Imam Malik founder of Maliki School of Islamic Jurisprudence.

    Life of Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A)

    (i) Name and Title

    The original name of Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A) was Noman and he was born in Kofa in 80 Hijri. Abu Hanifa was his name, which was given to him by his ancestors, and his title was Imam Azam.

    (ii) Education 

    When Imam Abu Hanifa was born, Kofa was famous due to different educational institutes and scholars. Such circumstances influenced Imam Abu Hanifa and inspired him to get education from these institutes and scholars. Initially he got education from Imam Shabi and Ahmad bin Salma. Later on, he got knowledge from different scholars. He even remained affiliated with Imam Jaffar Sadiq (A.S) and Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S).

    (iii) Services of Imam Abu Hanifa 

    His habit of spending time with different scholars and his training and education under different teachers opened an ocean of knowledge for Imam Abu Hanifa. Eventually, he became a scholar of his own rank. He did following services in respect of development of Islamic Law.

    (a) Foundation of Hanfi school of Islamic Jurisprudence

    As far as interpretation and explanation of The Holy Quran and Sunnah are concerned, Imam Abu Hanifa made remarkable contributions. His contributions finally led to the origin of Hanfi School of thought. This school of thought makes more emphasis on Qiyas. His contributions are also remarkable as far as doctrine of Ijma and Customs and usages are concerned.

    (b) Imam Abu Hanifa and Doctrine of Ijam

    Imam Abu Hanifa went a step forward in respect of Ijma. According to some Muslim scholars, Ijma was confined to the companions (Ashaba) of the Holy Prophet, but other Muslim scholars limited Ijma to successors. Contrary to all of them, Imam Abu Hanifa affirmed validity of Ijma in every age.

    (c) Imam Abu Hanifa and Doctrine of Qiyas 

    No one other but only Imam Abu Hanifa gave too much importance to Qiyas. In respect of Qiyas, his contributions resulted in to origin of concept of Istihsan.

    (d) Collection of Traditions

    Another excellent service of Imam Abu Hanifa is that he had collected almost fifty thousand Traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

    (e) Recognition of Customs and Usages

    It wsa Imam Abu Hanifa, who recognized customs and usages as secondary source of Islamic law.

    Life of Imam Malik (R.A)

    (i) Name and Title

    Imam Malik was born in 95 Hijri and he belonged to a highly qualified family of Madina. His complete name was Imam Malik Bin Ans and his title was Abu Abdullah.

    (ii) Education

    Family of Imam Malik was a scholarly family as it was famous for its learning. Imam Malik has got knowledge from Imam Jaffar and other scholars of the time. By birth, Imam Malik was intelligent and he was blessed with sharp mind to learn knowledge about Hadiths and other religious subjects.

    (iii) Services of Imam Malik

    His God gifted mind and ability paved a way for him to make remarkable services. Due to his services, many people were not only influenced but also became his followers. Followings are his prominent services.

    (a) Foundation of Maliki School of Islamic Jurisprudence

    Imam Malik was founder of Maliki School of Islamic Jurisprudence. He and his pupils contributed a lot into the development of this school.

    (b) Books of Imam Malik

    Imam Malik had written a number of books. Out of these books, the most prominent one was “Muta”. This book gained so much popularity and authenticity that Haroon Rasheed once wished to enforce this book legally through out the entire Muslim world of that time.

    (c) Imam Malik And Sunnah 

    The Holy Quran and Hadiths were the basis of Imam Malik’s learning. But he mostly followed only Sunnah and the Holy Qurna.

    (d) Imam Malik and Doctrine of Ijma

    In case conflict among Traditions, Imam Malik looked towards Ijma. However, the considered only Ijma of those Mujtahids, who belonged to Median.


    To conclude, it can be stated that although Imam Abu Hanifa died in 150 Hijri and Imam Malik died in 795 A.D., yet their contributions remained effective even after their death. Many people kept themselves with Hanfi and Maliki School of thought. Even now there are a number of followers of these schools of thought and these followers are following thoughts and concepts of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik.

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