Can you confirm this citation from Abu Hanifa about Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq?


Is this a valid citation regarding Abu Hanifa about Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq?:

ابن عقدة الحافظ حدثنا جعفر بن محمد بن حسين بن حازم حدثني إبراهيم بن محمد الرماني أبو نجيح سمعت حسن بن زياد سمعت أبا حنيفة وسئل من أفقه من رأيت قال ما رأيت أحدا أفقه من جعفر بن محمد لما أقدمه المنصور الحيرة بعث إلي فقال يا أبا حنيفة إن الناس قد فتنوا بجعفر ابن محمد فهيىء له من مسائلك الصعاب فهيأت له أربعين مسألة ثم أتيت أبا جعفر(المنصور) وجعفر جالس عن يمينه فلما بصرت بهما دخلني لجعفر من الهيبة ما لا يدخلني لأبي جعفر فسلمت وأذن لي فجلست ثم التفت إلي جعفر فقال يا أبا عبد الله(جعفر بن محمد) تعرف هذا قال نعم هذا أبو حنيفة ثم أتبعها قد أتانا ثم قال يا أبا حنيفة هات من مسائلك نسأل أبا عبد الله فابتدأت أسأله فكان يقول في المسألة أنتم تقولون فيها كذا وكذا وأهل المدينة يقولون كذا وكذا ونحن نقول كذا وكذا فربما تابعنا وربما تابع أهل المدينة وربما خالفنا جميعا حتى أتيت على أربعين مسألة ما أخرم منها مسألة ثم قال أبو حنيفة أليس قد روينا أن أعلم الناس أعلمهم باختلاف الناس.

الحافظ الذهبي: سير أعلام النبلاء، الجزء السادس، جعفر بن محمد الصادق

As narrated by Ibn `Uqdah Al-Hafizh through Ja`far bin Muhammad bin Husayn bin Hazim through Ibrahim bin Muhammad ar-Rummany Abu Najeeh through Hassan bin Ziyad who heard Abu Hanifa, when asked who is the most expert [afqaha] Islamic scholar you have seen replied that he has never seen any scholar more knowledgeable than Ja`far bin Muhammad. [He continued]:

When al-Mansour [the sultan] felt confused he sent to me (Abu Hanifa) and said that the people have been tempted by Ja`far ibn Muhammad, so please prepare for him some difficult questions, so I prepared for him forty cases and approached Abu Ja`far al-Mansour while Ja`far is sitting on his right hand side. When I looked at them I felt more majesty coming from Ja`far than from Abu Ja`far. I greeted them and they gave me permission to sit. Then Ja`far turned to me and said: “O Abu `AbdAllah (Ja`far bin Muhammad) do you know this man?” He said, “Yes it is Abu Hanifa. He has come to us.” Then he said: “O Abu Hanifa show us your cases so that we may ask Abu `AbdAllah.”  So I started asking him and he would say: “You say that and the people of Madina say something else and we say a third thing,” and that is how he has approached all forty cases then he (Abu Hanifa) said: “didn’t we mention before that the most knowledgeable of the people is the one who knows the differences in the views of the people.”

Al-Hafizh adh-Dhahaby. Tadhkirat al-Huffazh, Stories of the Famous and Noble, Chapter 6. Ja`far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq.


A beautiful report, I wish I had included it in my Four Imams.

It is known that they all met and that Abu Hanifa admired the knowledge of Ja`far al-Sadiq. Allah have mercy on all of them.

The chain is connected as each link said they heard it from the one above them. Ibn `Uqdah (244-332) was a major hadith master; the only problem is that he was a Shi`i, which automatically makes this particular report of his suspect if he is the only one that reports it.

As al-Dhahabi said in Tadhkirat al-Huffazh: “He mixed haqq with batil, and narrated worthless reports together with pearls. He was disliked for his tashayyu`. Otherwise he would have been a great imam.” At the same time he said he was not extreme in his Shi`ism; hence he and others quote him as an authority in his field of expertise, which is hadith. The majority rule is in such cases that they discard whatever promotes the narrator’s bid`a and keep what does not promote it.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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