Book Summary: Abu Hanifa: His Life, Legal Method & Legacy

Title: Abu Hanifa: His Life, Legal Method & Legacy
Author: Mohammad Akram Nadawi
Genre: Islam
Release Date: 2014


Why did you choose to read this particular book?

What peaks your interest? What is the book about? What does it promise to deliver?

I’ve read several book of the development of Fiqh, the Hanafi school and on the bio of the Imam Abu Hanifa. This book seemed to be quite codified and comprehensive.

Summary of book

I’ve previously written a biography of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah – The Wise Word but Nadawi includes more details of events in his book. More importantly he discuss the development of fiqh and the Hanafi school.

One comes to the conclusion this was not a school of one man with a tunnel vision of Islam, but someone who continued a tradition from his teachers and really codified the law to make it clear for the rest of us.

Other things that are notable are that it lists out his fiqh and principles and examples of the principles.

The Hanafis give the Quran the highest weight and take the position of it being Muqayyad, unrestricted. Hadith is also regarded highly, but Ahad hadith (Gharib and Aziz) were take with a pinch of salt, and reason and qiyas are taken in to consideration. They do not follow a hadith, just because.

There is also clarity of the general methodology a the Hanafis were accused of being the people of Rayy’, reason. That no hadith knowledge was used. But the Hanafis never made rash rational decision and gave fatwa. They considered all knowledge especially the knowledge of their teachers who were senior teachers of the Sahaba and Taba. Abu Hanifa was born in 70AH, his teachers were born in 30AH, and alive during the time of the Sahaba.

The chapters are as follows:

  • Chapter 1: Background to development of Fiqh
  • Chapter 2: His Fiqh
  • Chapter 3: His Life
  • Chapter 4: His works and students
  • Chapter 5: His achievements and legacy

What stood out for you

Good reference book of a brief biography, list of Imam Abu Hanifa’s teacher, students and works.


Has the book met its objective?


What type of reader would enjoy this book

Any one interested in the development of the Hanafi school

Would you recommend this book


Final Verdict:

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