Did Abu Haneefah Rahimahullah meet the Sahabah ?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the book Suaalat Hamza as-Sahmi (pg.263) which are the questions presented to the Imam and great scholar of the Sciences of hadeeth ad-Daraqutni by this student of his. The Imam asked about Abu Haneefah Rahimahullah hearing (n arrations from the Sahabah) is this correct?

He replied no, nor did he see (them). Abu Haneefah did not meet any of the Sahabah.

It is clear from the speech of ad-Daraqutni that Abu Haneefah did not meet any of the Sahabah or see them or hear any narration from them.

However some scholars the likes of the Hafidh ad-Dhahabi have opposed this view and stated that Abu Haneefah has infact met some Sahabah.

What is certainly know on the other hand is that the only this can be established is through an reliable chain of narrators which in this case has not been found.

The strongest evidence presented by those who state that Abu Haneefah heard from the Sahabah -as far as my knowledge is concerned- is the narration reported by Ibnu Sa’d in his book at-Tabaqaat…who reported with his chain of men to Saif bin Jabir who said:

I heard Abu Haneefah say Anas bin Malik to Kuffah and he resided in a place called an-Nekh’a/an-Nukh’a… and certainly I’ve seen him many times.

This narration however was criticized by al-Imam al-Mu’alami in his book at-Tankeel (1|383) who stated he did not come across this narration in the book of Ibnu Sa’d “at-Tabaqaat”. Thus due to this al-Mualami stated in his aforementioned book:

(There is) nothing affirming Abu Haneefah heard from Anas bin Malik.

Furthermore what also indicates the weakness of this report is that some of those who have looked into the biography of Saif bin Jabir have stated that he was not recommended or disparaged by any of the scholars nor was he know to take narrations from the reliable trustworthy reporters and one who’s condition is as such is majhool (unknown).

Built upon that which was presented from the statements of those who have looked into this matter in detail it said that Abu Haneefah did not see any Sahabee nor did he meet anyone of them. And Allaah knows best.

Written by Abu ‘Atiyah Mahmood bin Muhammad