Abu Hanifah (al-Nu'man ibn Thabit)


Abu Hanifah (al-Nu'man ibn Thabit)

biographical name

(born 699, Kufah, Iraq—died 767, Baghdad) Muslim jurist and theologian. The son of a merchant in Kufah, he gained wealth in the silk trade and studied law under the noted jurist Hammad. After Hammad's death (738), Abu Hanifah became his successor. He was the first to develop systematic legal doctrines from the accumulated Islamic legal tradition. Primarily a scholar, he neither accepted a judgeship nor took direct part in court politics; he supported the successors of 'Ali over the ruling Umayyad and 'Abbasid dynasties. His doctrinal system became one of four canonical schools of Islamic law (Sharia) and is still widely followed in India, Pakistan, Turkey, Central Asia, and Arab countries.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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