the point is that whether in khatib's tarikh, or some other hadith ulama who unfairly criticised imam abu hanifah - is a different matter. all dusted and settled by various commentators. --- for the sake of argument, even if he did, his final stance was that shaykhayn were afzal. ---- as for the ibanah quote: sub'HanAllah. is ibanah to be trusted blindly? and should these statements, even if true be taken literally? --- shaykh wahbah ghawuji wrote a short epistle on this issue: "nazratun ilmiyyah": an informed viewpoint and and academic analysis of the fact whether the existing ibanah is untampered and can all of it be attributed to imam abu'l hasan ash'ari? PDF here. --- see p.10 onwards for an analysis of the forgery in ibanah cited by nawaz. anyone with a sound understanding of hanafi works and imam azam's works in aqidah will know that the accusations (vide ibanah) are frivolous and untenable; and patently false as demonstrated by sh.ghawuji. ==== it is a small book of about 100 pages. in spite of your lack of time, do read this book and you will get plenty of tips on how to analyse reports and examine contexts. wa billahi't tawfiq.