Египет ислам мәдениеті университеті




The article  considers  the influence of  Imam  Abu Hanifah  on the   formation of  Islamic science “Aqeedah”. In 632, after the death of the  Prophet Muhammad, as a result of the freedom of thought which was brought by Islam, Muslims began to give various values to the Quran  and  Sunnah, that in turn, resulted in the fact that they  moved in diverse directions. Along with that, the representatives of different religions, languages, nations and cultures started to accept Islam that became the reason of the development of different political and ideological movements. Imam Abu Hanifah was  the first one from the scientists of  Islamic law who wrote  in the sphere of “Aqeedah”.  Abu Hanifah is considered one of those leading intellectual persons who, realizing the fact of division of Islamic world into numerous political and religious groups, tried to explain Islamic “Aqeedah”, relying on Quran and hadihs, not contradicting to the Quran. Abu Hanifah is one of the major legal philosophers of Islamic world who significantly influenced the development of Muslim theology.

Key words:  Islam, Aqeedah, Quran, Abu Hanifah, sunnah, hadith  



В статье рассматривается влияние имама Абу Ханифы на формирование исламской науки акиды. В 632 г., после смерти нашего Пророка, в результате той свободы мысли, которую принес ислам, мусульмане стали давать различные значения Корану и сунне, что, в свою очередь, привело к тому, что они начали разделяться по разным направлениям. Наряду с этим, ислам стали принимать представители разных религий, языков, наций и культур, что стало причиной развития разных политико-идеологических движений. Из ученых исламского права самым первым, написавшим труд в сфере акиды, является Великий имам Абу Ханифа. Абу Ханифа считается одним из тех ведущих духовно-интеллектуальных личностей, которые, осознав факт разделения исламского мира на многочисленные политические, мировоззренческие и религиозные группы, попытались разъяснить исламскую акиду, опираясь на Коран и достоверные хадисы, не противоречащие Корану.

Ключевые слова: Ислам, акида, Коран, Абу Ханифа, сунна, хадис.




        Бұл мақалада имам Әбу Ханифаның исламның бір ғылым саласы болып саналатын ақиданың қалыптасуына әсері қарастырылады. Пайғамбарымыз (с.а.с.) қайтыс болғаннан кейін 632 жылы ислам дініндегі ойлау бостандығының нәтижесінде мұсылмандар Құран мен сүннетке әр түрлі мағыналар бере бастады. Осының нәтижесінде мұсылмандардың арасында бөлінушілік пайда болды. Сонымен қатар ислам дінін әр түрлі ұлттар мен дін өкілдерінің қабылдауы да түрлі саяси-идеологиялық ағымдардың қалыптасуына да ықпалын тигізді. Ақида, яғни сенім саласы бойынша алғаш қалам тербеген мұсылман ғалымы имам Әбу Ханифа болатын. Мұсылман әлемінің жік-жікке бөлінуін, әртүрлі діни, саяси топтардың пайда болуына түрткі болған себептердің мән-жайын түсініп, осыған қатысты ақида мәселелерін Құран мен сахих хадистерге сүйене отырып түсіндіруге тырысқан алғашқы ғалым да осы имам Әбу Ханифа болатын.

        Түйін сөздер:  Ислам, ақида, Құран, Әбу Ханифа, суннет, хадис



The word  ”aqeedah” comes from the Arabic root “a-k-d”, which means “ to tie a knot”. The word “itikad”, which is derived from the same root and used as a synonym for the word “faith”, means “to believe sincerely, to grasp strongly, as if tied to an object by knots.” If so, then “aqeedah” means “to believe truly, with all your heart.”  This word is used in terminology in the sense of “the basic rules of Islam, the norms to which Muslims are obliged to believe”. Hence, the main goal of this sphere of religious sciences is the study and proof of those foundations of faith that Islam is inherent in religion. If we take in general terms, then the science of Aqeedah aims to explain the basics of faith, relying on religious texts (the Quran and the Sunnah). Some scholars, taking into account this fact, considered “Aqeedah” and “Kalam” (Arabic “dialectical speech”) as different sciences. Proceeding from this, they said that the aqeedah considered questions concerning Allah himself, His attributes, prophecy and the circumstances of the Day of Judgment, and Kalam was a science that, on the basis of questions of Aqeedah, dealt with the question of divine manifestations in the entire Universe. As the science “Aqeedah” explored the very foundations of the religion of Islam, it was called “usudud-din” (the basis of religion), but in connection with the fact that it explained the questions of unity and attributes of Allah, it was called “illmuth -aahid uas-syfat “(the science of the unity of God and His attributes) [1; P.212-213].

The history of the formation of the science “Aqeedah”

First of all, we should consider the primary conditions in which this science was formed. In 632, after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, as a result of the freedom of thought that Islam brought, Muslims began to give different interpretations to the Quran and the Sunnah that led to the separation of Muslims into different directions. At the same time, representatives of different religions, languages, nations and cultures began to preach Islam. This was the reason for the development of political and ideological movements. For example, after the death of the Prophet, the question who would become the “caliph” (that is, the political leader of the Muslims) served as an impetus to the origin of Shiahs. A little later, after the third Caliph Osman died in martyrdom in 656, the battle “Jamal” occurred when Muslims entered into an armed conflict between themselves. Sometime later, in 657, an armed clash took place between them at the “Battle of Syffin”. During these battles and after them, people began to worry especially about the expected punishment for the murder of the Muslim brothers, the boundary between faith and disbelief, the essence of the free will of man and his limit. All these questions demanded answers, different opinions were put forward around these questions. This fact influenced on the emergence of various trends among Muslims. Along with this, external factors, such as the establishment of relations between Muslims and representatives of different religions and cultures living in the Islamic Caliphate, the spread of philosophy in the Islamic world served as a stimulus for the emergence of different groups and views among Muslims on the issues of faith.  At the end of the first century and the beginning of the second century according to the Muslim calendar “Mutazilite school”  began its work in connection with the changes that affected the religious worldview of Muslims. The scientists of this school left a lot of works devoted to the intellectual struggle against representatives of other directions which contradicted to their views, and representatives of other religions. The content of the works in the sphere of Aqeedah mainly developed around such topics as the attributes of Allah, the divine predestination of the destiny of a man, the fate of one who committed a great sin and the question who is worthy to be the political and spiritual leader of  Muslims. According to Abdulkahir al-Baghdadi, the first one among the Muslims who clearly formulated his own opinion on the issues of Aqeedah was Ali. He discussed some questions of faith with the Kharijites and the Kadarites. After analyzing the information given by Baghdadi, the very first  scientist who wrote a treatise on the issues of Aqeedah was Abulasvad ad-Duvali. Some sources say that he wrote the book “Risalya fi zamil-kadariya” (Treatise on the Condemnation of the “Cadarites”). Scientists such as Yahya ibn Mamar, Abdullah ibn Abu Iskak al-Khadrami, Isa ibn Omar al-Sakafi, Abu Amr ibn Ala and others wrote works in which they refuted the views of the Kadarites and Moisilits. The Treatise of Hassan Basri regarding the divine predestination (i. e destiny), which he addressed to Caliph Abdulmalik,  was also known at this time. And among the scholars of Islamic law, the first who wrote works in the sphere of Aqeedah  was the Great Imam Abu Hanifah ( died in767). The majority of Muslims began to record the works that laid the foundation for  Aqeedah in the 1-st ​​century according to the Muslim calendar. However, the works of those times did not cover all the issues concerning Aqeedah, and, as a rule, they were small works written to answer the views of  other directions. The Fundamentals of Aqeedah were systematized in the framework of the Sunni worldview in the frame work of the Sunni worldview in the fourth century according to the Muslim calendar as a result og the works of the scholars Imam Ashary(872-936) and Imam Maturidi (852-944) [2;P.29-30].

The Role of Imam Abu Hanifah in the science of Aqeedah

At the beginning of the history of Islam, Kufa was a hotbed of political unrest and was considered as one of the important centres of the Kharijites and Shiahs. During this period, such groups as Kadaria, Jabriya, Murdja, Mutazil began to appear among Muslims. These groups held different views, which served as a pretext for heated discussions among Muslims. These circumstances naturally influenced Abu Hanifa’s interest in the science of Aqeedah. He dedicated his conscious life to the intellectual struggle against the radical schools of Islam, and became the founder of the correct understanding of Islam [3; P.299]. Abu Hanifah is considered one of those leading spiritual and intellectual personalities who, realizing the fact of the division of the Islamic world into numerous political, ideological and religious groups, tried to clarify the Islamic Aqeedah relying on the Quran and authentic hadith, not contradicting the Quran. He did not fall under the influence of radical philosophical ideas. His views on the main issues of the Islamic Aqeedah had high authority among scientists of the time. He used the ayats and hadiths and with  the application of human reason in parallel, reflecting on the basis of the principle of analogy, relied on the intellect and on the Holy Quran, the authentic hadiths and views of the most authoritative companions, explaining the questions of faith. Abu Hanifah is regarded by modern scholars as the first who formally adopted and institute the analogical reason as a part of Islamic law. Having found support from the school of the maturitids and the first Asharit scholars, his ideas were further developed [4; P. 20]. He argued with atheists saying that Allah exists, using rational evidence for the existence of God for the first time (which later became known as “Ichthyra” and “Inayat”), and noted that the world was created from “La schai”, i.e. from “nothing”. He showed the difference between the Essence of the Supreme and His names and attributes. For the first time in the history of Islam, he proved that the divine attributes are divided into attributes peculiar to the Essence of the Supreme (zati) and attributes related to the will and power of the Almighty(“fili”), and also to the fact that all these attributes are eternal (” Kadim “), i.e. have no beginning and no end. Based on this position, he did not accept the views of jahmiya and mutazilites concerning the divine attributes. Also proving that if religious texts contain any description of the Almighty, then this description should be adopted without hesitation in faith, it showed an innovative model of thinking of the scientist of that era. This Abu Hanifa’s approach in which some divine attributes were explained, and in relation to some were called upon not to seek any explanation at all, was an alternative to the philosophy of “tashbih” (i.e. attempts to explain the similarity of attributes of God to human beings), and the philosophy of the “Tatil” (i.e. attempts to completely reject the descriptions of God contained in religious texts, from the desire to show His dissimilarity with the created things). Adhering to the issue of the creation of the Quran, the midpoint between the jahmis (the name given to the followers of Jahm ibn Safuan who represented the Jabriyas direction) and the Khashui, he prepared the environment for the emergence of the concepts “kalam lyafi” and “kalam nafsi”, which were later analyzed in detail by Sunni scholars. Recognizing the need for faith in predestination and the fact that a person commited his actions on the basis of his own choice, he criticized the Jabrites and Mutazilites. Proving that a person could become a believer, living an unfaithful life, and a kaafir – after faith, he kept himself away from the fatalism of the Jabrites.  He relied on the fact that faith was “tasdik” (confirmation by the heart), recognition of God and confirmation of this faith by language, differing from jahmiya, which believed that there was enough of a heartfelt acknowledgment by a person of faith, and from those who believed that it was sufficient to recognize the postulates of faith by saying, using the language. He differed from the Mutazils and the Kharijites, i.e. from those who believed that the faith of man and his work had nothing in common, and that good deeds did not increase the degree of this faith in any way and the bad ones did not diminish. Thus, he did not go to extremes in the basic questions of the Aqeedah and always tried to find the middle way, the path that was destined to become the dominant Sunni interpretation of Islam. If we ignore some questions about the increase / decrease of faith, the difference between the concepts of Iman (faith) and Islam, the various provisions inherent in the faith, then we can conclude that scholars such as Malik ibn Anas, Imam Shafi and Ahmed ibn Hanbal had the same idea of ​​Islamic Aqeedah as Abu Hanifah. The views of Abu Hanifah were further developed and spread by Abu Jafar al-Tahawi, Abu Mansour al-Maturidi (who had a large number of students) and Abul-Muin al-Nasafi [5; P.151-152]. Imam Maturidi benefited greatly from the knowledge of Abu Hanifah both in terms of analyzing the problems of Aqeedah and in reproducing systematically  its problems, often referring to the view of the Great Imam, and taking them as the basis of all his own views. As Abul-Mouin Nasafi pointed out, Samarkand scholars turned the views of Abu Hanifah into a separate religious school. Later, the views of the followers of Imam Maturidi became known as the school of “Maturidii”. Abu Hanifah is a Great Imam in the field of Islamic law and Aqeedah. In this regard, the position of the Hanafis who adhered to the philosophical views of Imam Maturidi rather than to  Abu Hanifah is very interesting. As we noted above, during the time of Abu Hanifah, Aqeedah was not yet formed as a separate science. At that time, Aqeedah and questions of “akhlaq” (morality) were part of the concept of Islamic law (Arabic fiqh). The traditional Sunni science of Aqeedah in a separate form was systematized and developed by Imam Ashari and Imam Maturidi. Fiqh and Aqeedah at the core are two different subjects. Fiqh examines the rules of worship of Muslims to Allah, and Aqeedah considers issues concerning the foundations of faith.


Imam Abu Hanifah actually wrote a small book in the field of Aqeedah  at the dawn of his scientific activity. But he dedicated more of his time to the science of fiqh, i.e. Islamic law. As for the imam Maturidi,  he used the new methods in adhering to the framework outlined by Abu Hanifah, and broadly expanded the sphere of Aqeedah to answer the questions that arose with  changing of the epoch. In this regard, we adhere to the views of “maturidia” in the sphere of Aqeedah. The very school of “Maturidia” was formulated on the basis of the judgments of Abu Hanifah and was called Hanifi School in its correlation with one or another law school. This school did not promote views contrary to the Hanafites, but, on the contrary, it was a continuation of Abu Hanifah’s ideas that concerned the Aqeedah. Imam Maturidi was a great scientist who, without going beyond the boundaries of traditional Sunni views and in accordance with the requirements of his time, brought up hundreds of students who contributed to the spread of the Hanifi law school in Central Asia [6; P.94-95]. Thus, he sought to prevent the spread of erroneous views among the Muslims of this region.


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3.Gauvizhi V.S. Abu Hanifah al- Nugman, Imamul-aimmatil-fukaha. – Damascus: Darul-kalam, 7- edition, 1993. P.134.

4.Abzhalov S. Hanafi Mazhabyn Dini-Philosophy negizderi: Author’s abstract. … diss. Candidate of Philosophy. Almaty, 2008. P.120.

5.Yavuz Yu.Sh. Ebu Hanifenin iktikadi dushuncesi, Sunni kelamyn olushumuna etkileri // Imams Azam Ebu Hanifee ve dushenge sistemi: the materials of the symposium, Kuran arashtirmalary ufa, V.II – Bursa, 2005. P. 103-111

6.Adilbayev A. Orta Asiadan Shykkan gulama – Maturidi // Questions of Islamic Studies and Arabic Philology // Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference. – Almaty: Nur-Mubarak, 2006. P. 94-100