, or Aboanifa, surnamed Alfqqman, was the son of Thabet, and born at Cousa, in the year of the Hegira 80, and of the vulgar sera 700. He | is the most famous of all the doctors of the orthodox musSuimans, concerning the matters of their law; for he held the first place among the four chiefs of particular sects, who may be followed implicitly in their decisions on points of right. He was not, however, in high estimation during his life, as the calif Almanzor had him put into prison at Bagdat, for refusing to subscribe to the opinion of absolute and determinate predestination, which the mussulmans term cad ha: but Abu-Joseph, sovereign Judge, and a sort of chancellor of the empire under the calif Hadi, brought his doctrine into such reputation, that, in order to be a good mussulman, it was necessary to be a Hanifite. Nevertheless he died in the prison of Bagdat; and it was not till 335 years after his death that Melikshah, sultan of the race of the Seljuk dynasty, caused to be built for him in the same city a noble mausoleum, to which he added a college particularly for those who made profession of his sect. This was in the year 485 of the Hegira, of the vulgar sera 1092. Several of the most illustrious authors among the Mohammedans have written, in a style of commendation, the life of this doctor; Zamakhsehari, Korderi, Marghinani, Deinouri, Sobahazmouni, are of that number r and some of them have even found his name in the Old Testament, and assert that he was foretold in the sacred writings, as well as their prophet. All the historians agree that he excelled not only in the knowledge, but also in the practice of the mussuhnau law: for he led a life of great austerity, entirely detached from the manners of the world; which has caused him to be considered as the first chief and iman of the law by all the orthodox, and he is only rejected by the Shiites, or followers of Ali. The author of Rabialabrar relates the opinion of this doctor concerning the authority of tradition in these terms: “As to what regards the things we have received from God and from his prophet, we respect them with perfect submission: as to what is come down to us from the companions or contemporaries of the prophet, we select the best of it; but as to what the other doctors who succeeded them have left us, we look upon it as coming from persons who were men like us.” Houssain-Vaez, expounding that verse of the chapter of Amram, where God says he has prepared Paradise for those who restrain their anger, and pardon such as have trespassed against them, relates a fact of Abou-Hanifah that deserves to be noted. That doctor, having | received a blow on the face, said to him who had the audacity to strike him “I might return you injury for injury; hut I will not do it. 1 might carry my complaint to the calif; but 1 will not complain. I might at least lay before God in my prayers the outrage you have done me; but I will not. Lastly, I might, at the day of judgment, require God to avenge it; but, far from doing so, if that terrible day were to arrive this moment, and my intercession might avail, I would not enter into Paradise, except in your company.

The principal writings of Abou-Hanifah are: “The Mesnad,” i. e. The Support, in which he establishes all the points of Mussulmanism on the authority of the Koran, and that of tradition. A treatise, “Filkelam, on scholastic theology;” and a catechism, or instruction, under the title of “Moallem,” that is, The Master; in which he maintains that the faithful who adhere to the faith, never become the enemies of God, though they fall into many sins; that sins do not cause a man to lose the faith, and that grace is not incompatible with sin. These propositions, and others of a like nature, gave a handle to Vazai to write against him the book “Ekhtelaf Abi-Hanifah,” or, The contradictions of Abou-Hanifah. 1


Moreri.—D’Herbelot Bibl. Orient.