Shamsaddîn Sâmî Bey writes as follows in his Qâmûs-ul a’lâm:
“The name of Imâm-i a’zam Abû Hanîfa is Nu’mân. His father’s name was Thâbit. He is the first of the four great imâms of the Ahl as-sunnat. He is a great pillar of the brilliant Sharî’at of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’. He is a descendant of one of the notables of Persia. His grandfather had accepted Islam. He was born in the city of Kûfa in 80 A. H. He was born early enough to live during the times of Anas bin Mâlik, Abdullah bin Abî Awfâ, Sahl bin Sa’d-i Sâ’idî and Abut-tufail Âmir bin Wâsila, who were Sahâbîs.
He learned the knowledge of fiqh from Hammâd bin Abî Suleymân. He kept company with many great persons of the Tâbi’în, especially with Imâm-i Ja’far Sâdiq. He memorized many hadîths. If he had not become a Madhhab leader, he was brought up so as to become a great judge, a man of ideas. He had a superior intellect and a wisdom which bewildered everybody. In the knowledge of fiqh he reached a grade that did not have an equal or a likeness.
Yazîd bin Amr, who was the Governor of Iraq during the time of Merwân, offered him the judgeship to a law-court of Kûfa. But because he had much zuhd, taqwâ and wara’ as well as knowledge and wisdom, he did not accept it. He was afraid of failing to observe the people’s rights because of human weaknesses. Though he was whipped a hundred and ten times on the head with Yazîd’s command, he persisted in refusing. He was invited to Baghdad by the second Abbâsî Khalifa Abû Ja’far Mansûr. He was offered a judgeship, but he refused it again.
He was the first to divide the knowledge of fiqh into branches; he gathered the sections of information belonging to each branch, and wrote the books Farâid and Shurût. There are innumerable books describing his extensive knowledge in fiqh, his miraculous power in qiyâs, and his dumbfounding superiority in zuhd, taqwâ, mildness and piety. He had very many disciples, some of whom became mujtahids. He died in 150 A. H. , when he was seventy years old. Because he would not accept the presidency of the Supreme Court of Appeal offered by Abû Ja’far Mansûr, he was sent to jail. There he was whipped. He was whipped ten times more for each following day. He became a martyr when the number of whippings became a hundred. Abû Sa’d-i Hârazmî, one of the viziers of the Seljuki Emperor Sultan Melikshah, had a wonderful tomb built over Hadrat Abû Hanîfa’s grave. Later on, this tomb was restored and embellished various times by Ottoman Sultâns.
The Hanafî Madhhab spread everywhere during time of the Ottoman Empire. It was almost the official Madhhab of the State. Today, more than half of the Muslim population over the world and the majority of the Ahl as-sunnat worship according to the principles of the Hanafî Madhhab.”
This concludes some of the writings of Shamsaddîn Sâmî Bey in his Qâmûs-ul a’lâm.