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Abu Hanifa Nu’man ibn Thabit (Imam A’zam)

Nu’man ibn Thabit, better known as Abu Hanifa, was born in 80 AH in the Iraqi city of Kufa, which, through the legacy of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud and ‘Ali (May Allah be pleased with them), had by this time become one of the major centers of learning in the world. Imam Abu Hanifa was a Follower (tabi’i), having had the good fortune of seeing some of the Companions (sahaba) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). Born in a family of traders, Imam Abu Hanifa excelled in his family’s business, but it was his keen intellect and his passionate pursuit of Islamic knowledge that secured his position as eponym of the Hanafi school of law and altered the development of Islamic sciences. His first areas of concentration were the foundations of faith (usul al-din) and theology, which he skillfully mastered. He studied hadith from Salama ibn Kuhayl, Sha’bi, Qataa, and many other renowned scholars who had studied hadith under Companions. He then turned his focus to jurisprudence, mastering all of its subtle points. Under his direction, he and 40 of his most exceptional students, all master scholars, formed the principles that founded what soon after became known as the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. It is also his teachings in creed that form the basis of the Maturidi school of thought in theology. He passed away in 150 AH in Baghdad.

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