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Abu Hanifa An-Numan Ibn Thabit


ABU HANIFA AN-NUMAN IBN THABIT, Moham medan canon lawyer, was born at Kufa in A.H. 8o (A.D. 699) of non-Arab and probably Persian parentage. Few events of his life are known to us with any certainty. He was a rich silk-dealer, lectured at Kufa upon canon law (fiqh) and was a consulting lawyer (mufti), but refused steadily to take any public post. When al-Mansur, however, was building Baghdad (145-149) Abfi Hanifa was one of the four overseers whom he appointed over the crafts men. In A.H. 150 (A.D. 767) he died there. A persistent but apparently later tradition asserts that he died in prison after a severe beating, because he refused to obey al-Mansfir's command to act as a judge (cadi, qadi). This was to avoid a responsibility for which he felt unfit—a frequent attitude of more pious Muslims.

For many personal anecdotes see de Slane's transl. of Ibn Khallikan iii. 555 ff., iv. 272 ff. He was buried in eastern Baghdad, where his tomb still exists, one of the few surviving sites from the time of al-Mansur, the founder.

See C. Brockelmann, Geschichte, i. 169 ff.; Nawawi's Biogr. Dict. pp. 698-77o; Ibn Hajar al-Haitami's Biography, publ. Cairo, A.H. 1304 ; legal bibliography under MOHAMMEDAN LAW.

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