For Hanafi Islam: A Guide to the Blessed Path to Allah

Andrii Zvorygin yN-PH2196 mtH2a1 & GPT4
attender of Glad Tidings Fellowship, Tara, ON

November 23, 2023


1 Disclaimer:

This exploration is deeply rooted in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, reflecting an understanding in line with the Hanafi school of thought. As Allah says, ”And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Imran 3:103). We strive for clarity and adherence to the teachings of Islam as interpreted by Hanafi scholars, seeking Allah’s guidance in all matters.

2 Introduction:

Lifelong devotion to Allah, as emphasized in the Hanafi tradition, is a commitment to living according to the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Allah says in Surah Al-Ankaboot (29:69), ”And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.” Following the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) involves sincerity (ikhlas) in every action, a value deeply respected in the Hanafi school. Our path is one of seeking Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, guided by knowledge and understanding. As the Hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari states, ”Whoever treads a path seeking knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Paradise.”

3 Trusting in God’s Provision:

”Allah is the best of providers” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Jumu’ah 62:11). The Hanafi perspective teaches that Allah is the sustainer of all creatures, as stated in the Qur’an, Surah Hud 11:6: ”There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance depends on Allah.” Complete trust in Allah’s provision encompasses not only material needs but also spiritual growth. The Hanafi approach emphasizes mercy and compassion, as highlighted in the Hadith from Sunan At-Tirmidhi: ”Show mercy to those on earth, and the One above the heavens will show mercy to you.”

4 Recognizing the Divine Beyond and His Signs Within Creation:

The Hanafi view acknowledges Allah’s omnipresence and the signs of His presence in creation. The Qur’an states, ”We have created man, and We know the promptings of his soul,” (Surah Qaf 50:16), illustrating the connection between the Creator and His creation. In Hanafi thought, every aspect of creation reflects Allah’s attributes, pointing to the principle of Tawhid (monotheism).

For Hanafis, Tawhid is more than intellectual acknowledgment; it permeates every aspect of life, influencing actions and perceptions. The Quranic verse ”Whithersoever you turn, there is the Face of Allah” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:115) reminds believers of Allah’s presence everywhere. This principle is essential in interactions with diverse communities, including non-Muslims, recognizing the dignity and worth of every individual.

Aligned with the Hanafi focus on Tawhid, it is crucial to couple the recognition of divine signs with love, compassion, and respect for all, including neighbors. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of treating neighbors kindly, a directive that is central to Hanafi teachings and guides Muslims in building harmonious relationships with everyone, fostering mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence.

The Hanafi principle of Tawhid guides believers to not only see the divine signs in the world but also to embody the values cherished by Allah in their interactions with all His creation.

5 Service, Respect, and Love: Embracing Divine Commands through the Hanafi Perspective

Allah’s infinite wisdom guides us towards humility and service. The Quran states, ”And do not think you are superior,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Fajr 89:11-12), a principle that aligns well with the Hanafi emphasis on humility and modesty. True service is rooted in the belief that all power and dominion belong to Allah, as stated in ”For the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Imran 3:189).

In the Hanafi perspective, respecting the free will granted by Allah is crucial. The Quran advises against transgression in ”Do not transgress; indeed, Allah does not like transgressors,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:190), guiding us to approach all matters with justice and fairness.

The sanctity of marriage is deeply respected in Hanafi jurisprudence, as illustrated in the Quranic verse, ”And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them,” (Qur’an, Surah Ar-Rum 30:21).

Family, a fundamental element in the Hanafi school, is highly valued in Islam. Allah’s directive, ”And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs [that bore you],” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Nisa 4:1), underscores the importance of familial bonds.

Neighbors are given significant importance in Islamic teachings, a perspective upheld in the Hanafi school. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, ”He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbor beside him goes hungry,” emphasizing our moral duty towards neighbors, regardless of their beliefs or background.

The Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) interactions with non-Muslims and his teachings reflect Islamic principles of coexistence and understanding. This aligns with the Quranic verse, ”There is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:256), demonstrating a behavior of tolerance and respect towards all faiths.

His approach towards non-Muslim neighbors, rooted in Islamic teachings, exemplifies peaceful coexistence and mutual respect. The Quran states, ”O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13), emphasizing the recognition of human dignity in everyone.

These teachings highlight the importance of treating every individual with dignity and respect, a principle lived by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and a precedent for Muslims to follow. The Hanafi school encourages engagement with non-Muslims in a way that fosters respect and harmony, reflecting the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) teachings and promoting an environment of peace and respect for the rights of all individuals, including non-Muslims.

The Quran’s verse, ”There is not an animal [that lives] on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but [forms part of] communities like you,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-An’am 6:38), reminds us that every being is part of Allah’s creation, deserving our respect, love, and care.

6 Embracing Forgiveness, Love, and Acceptance: A Hanafi Perspective

Allah’s Boundless Mercy: The principle of tawhid, the oneness of Allah, is a foundational aspect of our faith in the Hanafi school. Allah’s boundless mercy is central to this understanding, as stated in the Qur’an, ”My Mercy encompasses all things, so I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakat and those who believe in Our verses.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:156). Our interactions should be guided by this mercy, reflecting our commitment to Allah.

Prayer for Forgiveness: Acknowledging our human limitations, we continually seek Allah’s forgiveness, as expressed in, ”Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we forget or err.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:286). This plea is in line with the Hanafi emphasis on Allah’s compassion and our duty to forgive others.

Mandate to Kindness: The Hanafi perspective strongly upholds kindness as directed by Allah in ”And those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good - those will have the good consequence of [this] home.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:22). Embracing kindness is essential in our daily lives and actions.

Love for the Sake of Allah: In Islam, and particularly within the Hanafi school, love is seen as an act of devotion to Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, ”None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” (Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim). This Hadith underscores the need for genuine and altruistic love among believers.

The Call to Forgive: As we seek Allah’s forgiveness, the Hanafi perspective also encourages forgiving others. ”Let them pardon and overlook. Would you not love for Allah to forgive you? Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah An-Nur 24:22). Emulating this divine quality helps to strengthen our community bonds and promote harmony.

7 Prioritizing Divine Guidance: A Hanafi Approach

Qur’an Above All: In the Hanafi perspective, the Qur’an is the foremost source of guidance. ”This is the Book about which there is no doubt,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:2) reflects this principle. While insights from scholars are valued for clarity, they must align with the Qur’an, ensuring that no human interpretation overshadows these divine directives.

Sunnah – The Prophetic Way: The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is essential in understanding and practicing our faith. As stated in the Hadith, ”I have left among you two matters by holding fast to which, you shall never be misguided: the Book of Allah and my Sunna.” (Hadith, Maliks Muwatta). This underscores the Hanafi commitment to following the prophetic example.

Role of Eminent Scholars: Respected scholars, with their deep understanding of Islamic texts, guide the faithful in complex religious matters. However, in the Hanafi school, their interpretations, while important, are seen as human efforts. The Qur’an reminds us, ”So do not set up rivals for Allah,” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:22), emphasizing that scholarly insights should not overshadow the Qur’an and Sunnah. Discernment and reference to the foundational texts are crucial.

Beware of Blind Following: Hanafi teachings, which value individual reasoning (ra’y) and ijtihad (independent juristic reasoning), caution against unquestioning adherence to authority. The Qur’anic verse, ”And they will say, ’Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way.’” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:67), reinforces the need for informed religious understanding.

Guarding Against Whisperings: The Hanafi school also emphasizes vigilance against Satan’s deceptions. Allah advises, ”And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing.” (Surah Fussilat 41:36), highlighting the importance of spiritual discernment. Affirming the Shahada in moments of doubt or spiritual challenge is a practice that reinforces faith and distinguishes true divine guidance from misleading influences.

Relentless Quest for Knowledge: Hanafi teachings strongly advocate for continuous learning and seeking diverse scholarly opinions. This is rooted in the ethos of the Hanafi school, which values reason and individual judgment. Imam Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi school, exemplified this approach. He famously said, ”When a hadith is found to be sahih, then that is my madhhab.” This statement reflects the dynamic and evolving nature of Hanafi jurisprudence, emphasizing the importance of continually updating and refining one’s understanding in light of authentic hadiths. Additionally, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, ”Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” (Hadith, Ibn Majah), further emphasizing the Islamic mandate for continuous learning and exploration of knowledge.

Championing Unity: The Hanafi approach underscores the significance of unity within the Muslim community (Ummah). This principle is deeply ingrained in Islamic teachings. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated, ”The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body. When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain.” (Hadith, Sahih Muslim). This hadith highlights the importance of empathy and interconnectedness within the Muslim community. Furthermore, the Qur’an says, ”And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Imran 3:103), reinforcing the call for unity and solidarity. The Hanafi school, with its emphasis on flexibility and accommodation of diverse viewpoints, advocates for unity through respect for varied interpretations and fostering inclusive discussions that strengthen the bonds within the community.

In conclusion, the Hanafi tradition, with its deep respect for the Qur’an and Sunnah, offers a path of divine guidance. By prioritizing these sacred texts and harmonizing them with scholarly insights, Hanafi adherents navigate their spiritual journey with conviction and clarity.

8 Closing: Embracing Mercy and Love in the Hanafi Tradition

Awareness of Mortality: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reminded us, ”Frequently remember the destroyer of pleasures - death.” This teaching is universal for all believers, reminding us of life’s impermanence. The Qur’an reinforces this with, ”Every soul shall taste death,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Imran 3:185), emphasizing the transient nature of our earthly journey.

Continuous Preparation: Hanafi teachings encourage continuous preparation for the Hereafter, aligning with the Hadith mentioned in Riyad as-Salihin. This preparation involves cultivating a heart filled with mercy, love, and compassion, which remain crucial until our final moments.

Life as a Trust: In Hanafi thought, life is a trust from Allah, requiring us to foster and spread love, mercy, and kindness. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, ”The merciful are shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth, and the One above the heavens will be merciful to you.” (Hadith, Tirmidhi), underlining the importance of mercy in our lives.

Facing Our Personal Day of Judgment: Each individual will face their personal reckoning at the time of death, as indicated in the Qur’an, Surah Al-Haaqqa 69:18. We must reflect on whether our lives were filled with love, mercy, and compassion, as these qualities will be crucial in our personal judgment. Our goal should be to achieve Allah’s commendation: ”Enter My Paradise in peace.” (Qur’an, Surah Qaf 50:34).

In conclusion, our earthly existence is fleeting, but the love and mercy we nurture hold everlasting significance. Guided by the Hanafi school, our hearts should always resonate with Allah’s infinite compassion and love, shaping our actions and interactions throughout our lives.