Muhammad ibn Nawfil ibn A'ez al-Sayrafl, who said:
We were with al-Haitham ibn Habibn al-Sayrafi when Abu Hanifa al-Nu’man ibn Thabit called upon us. Then we remembered Amirul Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.) and we discussed about Ghadeer Khumm. Abu Hanifah said: "I have told my followers: never confirm to them the tradition of Ghadeer Khumm, for (if you did), they will begin argumentation against you."
(Upon hearing this), the colour of al-Haitham ibn Habib al-Sayrafl's face changed, and he said: "Why would they not confirm the tradition? Do you not have it as an authentic one, O Nu’man?" He said: "Yes, I do have it as such, and it has been reliably reported to me." He said: "(Then) why should they not confirm it, while it has been reported to us from Habib ibn Abu Thabit, from Abu al-Tufail, from Zaid ibn Arqam that at Rahbah, ‘Ali (as) adjured the people who had heard it." So Abu Hanifa said: "Don't you see that the discussion had started on the subject, till ‘Ali had to put people on oath?"
Then al-Haitham said: "So should we call ‘Ali a liar, or reject his claim?" Abu Hanifah replied: "No, we do not belie him nor do we reject what he said. But you know that people have gone to the extremes about him." Al-Haitham said: "The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, spoke about him, and (openly) addressed the people about it, while we fear mentioning it and avoid it, because someone gets to the extreme, or says what he likes?"
Then someone arrived to interrupt with another question, and the discussion was disrupted. The discussion became a common knowledge in Kufa. Then Habib ibn Nizar ibn Hayyan met us at the market and he came to al-Haitham, saying: "I have come to know what you said about ‘Ali (as), and the answer given to you." Habib was a client of Banu Hashim, so al-Haitham told him: "There is more than what meets the eye." And then the matter was forgotten, till we later went to Haj with Habib, and we called upon Abu Abdillah Ja'far ibn Muhammad (as), and greeted him. Then Habib said: "O Abu Abdillah, such and such discussion took place."
The face of Abu Abdillah (as) revealed some displeasure. So Habib said: "This is Muhammad ibn Nawfil, who was present at the discussion." (At that time), Abu Abdillah said: "O Habib, restrain yourself. Deal with the people according to their ways, and distinguish yourselves by your deeds. For everyone will get that which he earns, and on the Day of Judgement, one will be with those who one loved. Do not force people upon yourselves or upon us. Enter into the masses! For there are days of our rule which Allah will bring in when He wills. Do you understand O Habib! Do not disobey my order, else you will repent." He said: "I shall never disobey you."
Abul Abbas says I asked ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan about Muhammad ibn Nawfil. He said: He was from Kufa. I asked him: "With whom was he affiliated?" He said: "I suppose he was a client of Banu Hashim, and so was Habib ibn Nizar ibn Hayyan. And the controversy which occurred between him and Abu Hanifah coincided with the rise of Banu Abbas, so they could not openly express themselves about Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny."