Why Is Ḥanīfiyyah Specifically Ascribed to Ibrāhīm (عليه السلام)?

Al-ʿAllāmah Zayd al-Madkhalī

Why Is Ḥanīfiyyah Specifically Ascribed to Prophet Ibrāhīm Although There Were Prophets Before Ibrāhīm Who Were Firm Upon Ḥanifiyyah?
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Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī (رحمه الله) said:1 “Ḥanīfiyyah is the easy and tolerant religion of Ibrāhīm (عليه السلام). It is to sincerely worship Allāh alone. If you are asked, ‘What is ḥanīfiyyah?’, the answer is, ‘It is to sincerely and correctly worship Allāh alone.’”

Ḥaīfiyyah is the easy and tolerant religion of Ibrāhīm (عليه السلام). It is to sincerely worship Allāh alone.

Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī

Ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310 AH) (رحمه الله) said:

“It has been authentically proven that ḥanīfiyyah is not limited to circumcision [for males] or preforming Ḥajj, rather, it is—as we have previously mentioned—to firmly abide and adhere to the religion of Ibrāhīm accordingly.

If someone were to ask, ‘how about the Prophets and their followers who came before Ibrāhīm? Did they not firmly abide to the obedience to Allāh, just like Ibrāhīm and his followers were?’. We say, of course they did.

Then, if it said, ‘Why do we specifically ascribe ḥanifiyyah to Ibrāhīm and his followers without ascribing it to all the other Prophets and their followers who came before Ibrāhīm [who were also steadfast]?’.

We say, the Prophets who came before Ibrāhīm were ḥanīf (true monotheists) who adhered to the obedience of Allāh. However, Allāh did not make any of them Imāms (to be followed by) their descendants until the establishment of the hour like he made Ibrāhīm an Imām.

Allāh made Ibrāhīm an Imām (to be followed) in regards to circumcision [for males], performing the rites of Ḥajj and other than that from the legislations of Islām. We worship Allāh by way of these acts [which were first practised by Ibrāhīm] until the establishment of the hour.”

Endnotes:

  1. Source: Abraz al-Fawāʾid min al-ʾArbaʿ al-Qawāʿid pg. 9.
    Translated by: Munīb al-Ṣumālī
Published: March 1, 2019
Edited: January 15, 2022

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