Hanifees an orthodox Mohammedan sect, who derived their name from their founder, Abn-Hanifa, the first Moslem casuist, who flourished in the 8th century. He learned the principles and traditions of Mohammedanism from those who had lived in the time of the prophet, and was a life long partisan of Ali. (q.v.), although now he is regarded as the chief authority of the Sonnites (q.v.). He was imprisoned for refusing to accept the office of judge, and is said to have been poisoned for resisting the execution of a severe edict against the citizens of Mosul in 767. The Hanifees are usually called. the followers of reason, because they are guided chiefly by their own judgment in giving decisions, while the other Mohammedan sects adhere more closely to the letter of tradition. This is now the established faith of the Turks and Tartars, but it has branched into numerous subdivisions.

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