Is it true that Great Muhaddithun like Imam Yahya ibn Ma’in, Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak, Imam Waki ibn Jarah, Imam Yahya ibn Sa’id Al-Qattan and the likes (rahimahumullah) were all Hanafis?
I see some people saying they were anti hanafis and regarded them as ahlur rai and some supporting the claim that they indeed followed Imam ‘Azam (rahimahullah) and were Hanafis.
The Hanafi biographers have mentioned these illustrious Muhaddithun cited in your query as Hanafis.
Refer to the following books on Hanafi Scholars’ biographies:
Al-Jawahirul Mudi-ah of ‘Allamah ‘Adul Qadir Al-Qurashi, Al-Athmarul Janiyyah of Mullah ‘Ali Qari, Al-Fawaidul Bahiyyah of Moulana Abdul Hay Laknawi and Fiqhu Ahlil ‘Iraqi wa Hadithuhum of ‘Allamah Kawhtari (rahimahumullah). Also see Al-Madkhal ila ‘Ulumil Hadith of Moulana Muhammad ‘Abdul Malik (hafizahullah).
The term ‘ahlur rai’ is commonly used to refer to Hanafis. So there is no conflict if these Muhaddithun were called ahlur rai or Hanafis. It refers to the same thing.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar