Last edited by Colonel_Hardstone; 04-04-2012 at 09:42 AM.
His tafsir is published with footnotes from Sunni scholars. ibn Hajr did takhreej of the hadiths of al-Kasshaf and another scholar commented on the creedal issues. They refute him whenever he attempts to promote 'itizal, and it's right there on the same page. Imam Aloosi and others also comment on all such occasions when they feel it's relevant. at-Taftazani also wrote footnotes on al-Kasshaf.
Obviously, his status is due to him being an Imam in Balagha. Him and Abdul Qahir al-Jurjani are the two big shaykhs in Balagha. They say, lam yudrik i'jaz al-qur'an illa al-a'rajaan (No one was able to reach the miracle of the Qur'an except the two who were lame), referring to the two shaykhs, as they both were physically disabled in this way.
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Many great Hanafi Ulama especially between the 4th to the 7th centuries were Mu'tazili in aqidah.
Due to them being giants in the Hanafi madhab, their views are taken into consideration to a certain extent, however their views could only be adopted in issues that have no connection at all to their Mu'tazili beliefs.
That is why one would sometimes find Ulama adopting a view mentioned by a Mu'talizi Hanafi, then clarifying that the reason for this acceptance of his view is that this view couldn't be based on his Mu'tazili beliefs, thus it wouldn't matter here whether he is Mu'tazili or not.
This differentiating -between views that could be based on Mu'tazili though or not- isn't an easy task and is reserved for Ulama well-versed in aqidah as well as fiqh.
One will find examples of where an alim clearly mentioned that he adopted this view as it couldn't have anything to do with Mu'tazili aqidah, yet was later refuted by another who showed its connection to Mu'tazili belief.
This is why some prefer not adopting any views proposed by Mu'tazili's.
It should be remembered, that there is a huge difference between adopting the view of a Hanafi Mu'tazili and adopting the view of a non-Mu'tazili, that happened to reach us due to it being recorded by a Mu'tazili.
Mukhtar az-Zahidi, a famous Mu'tazili, has in his work "Qunyah" recorded thousands of Hanafi positions held by non-Mu'tazili giants prior to him. His book could be used, as long as the source isn't a mu'tazili.
As for Zamakhshari, one wouldn't find much fiqhi opinions of his in Hanafi works. He is generally relied upon for his mastery in the Arabic language or at times for views that he has narrated from earlier mashaikh or Imams of the Madhab. His beliefs wouldn't affect these issues.
Sahabah رضي الله عنهم would cling fast to the Sunnah, on account of it being Sunnah, while we discard the Sunnah, on account of it being (just) Sunnah!
I heard Allamah Anzar Shah Sahib Kashmiri (rahmatullahialayh) narrate that whilst at Deoband, his father used to advise that Zamakhshari's books not be read due to his being a Mu'tazali and that he may end up influencing the readers. Then when Dar ul Uloom Deoband's Dawra-e-Tafsir was being formed, though Hadhrat had already left for Dhabel, he asked some of the Ustadhs there as to which books had been selected for the dawra. The Ustadhs replied by mentioning some books such as Baydhawi, Jalaalayn, etc so Hadhrat asked, "And Zamakhshari?" The Ustadhs replied, "Hadhrat, you were the one that advised that his books not be read on the basis that he was a Mu'tazili and that his works were dangerous." Hadhrat replied, "Aaj kal ke Sunniyo se tho behtar tha" (He was better than the (so-called) Sunnis of today).
"Whoever acts upon what he knows, Almighty Allah bestows upon himthe knowledge of things not known to him"(Fazaa'il-e-A'maal, Virtues of the Holy Qur'an, Part 1, under Hadith 8)
In addition to what the respected scholars said, there is a good book written by Shaykh `Umar ibn Muhammad al-Sakuni al-Maliki (d. 717) that deals with all the instances in al-Kashshaf wherein i`tizal was promoted, called al-Tamyiz li ma Awda`ahu al-Zamakhshari min al-I`tizal fi Tafsir al-Kitab al-`Aziz. I saw a three-volume set of this book printed by Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, which Shaykh Jalal `Ali al-Juhani says is not a good print.