Who was Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah (rahimahullah)? How was he the son of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu)?
Abul Qasim, Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah (rahimahullah), was a senior Tabi’I.
Despite being the son of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu), Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah was more famously attributed to his Mother, Khawlah bint Ja’far Al-Hanafiyyah (rahimahumallah).
Imam Sam’ani (rahimahullah) has mentioned that Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) received her as part of his share of the booty from the battle of Yamamah. He then freed and married her.
It was not uncommon for the Arabs, at times, to refer to people by attributing them to other than their fathers. Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) has mentioned many such examples.
(Refer: Tahdhibul Asma Wal Lughat, vol. 1 pgs. 88-89)
Notwithstanding, Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah has also been referred to as Muhammad ibn ‘Ali and Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hanafiyyah.
The Muhaddithun have differed quite extensively with regards to the exact dates of his birth and demise. Nonetheless, Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has recorded him to have passed away sometime after 80 A.H.
(References for all of the above: Al-Ansab, vol. 2 pgs. 280-281, Tahdhibul Asma Wal Lughat, vol. 1 pgs. 88-89, Al-Bidayah Wan Nihayah, vol. 7 pgs. 550-552, and Taqribut Tahdhib, Number: 6157; Also see: Al-Lubab Fi Tahdhibil Ansab, vol. 1 pgs. 396-397, Tahdhibul Kamal, vol. 26 pgs. 147-152, Siyaru A’alamin Nubala, vol. 4 pg. 110 onwards, Tahdhibut Tahdhib, vol. 9 pgs. 354-355, and Al-Isabah, vol. 8 pg. 113, Number: 11114)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff
Approved: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar