Chapter Two: The beliefs of Imam Abu Hanifa
Abu Sulaiman stated:
“Even if Ja’far Al-Sadiq taught Abu Hanifah, then the matter will not be more than that Abu Hanifah took knowledge from Al-Saddiq and it does not mean that Abu Hanifah became a Jaffari. I am saying this as a supposition, otherwise it is confirmed that Abu Hanifah used to give religious verdicts at the time of Abi Jaffar, the father of Ja’far Al-Sadiq!”
We are also not saying this and it is absurd for Abu Sulaiman to arrive at this conclusion. If I study fiqh under a teacher with different beliefs to myself it does NOT automatically mean I have converted to that belief system! Nonetheless what is of interest is that Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi had in fact referred to Abu Hanifa as a Shi’a. He writes in Tauhfa Ithna Ashariyya, page 25:
“Imam Abu Hanifa (r) was counted amongst the Shi’a of Kufa and he considered Zaid bin ‘Ali bin Husayn to be on the path of truth”
During that era Islamic sciences were being spread through the empire and students were benefiting from the teachings of scholars with differing views, far and wide. Students took the opportunity to gain knowledge from Ulema, in the same way Abu Hanifa learnt from Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as).