Once a sheep was stolen in Kufah in the time of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.). When he heard about it, he enquired as to how long does a sheep live for. The people informed him that the maximum lifespan of a sheep is seven years. Hence Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) gave up eating mutton for the next seven years. He feared that he may by chance end up purchasing the stolen sheep without realizing it or somebody else may do so and serve the meat to him. Therefore as an act of caution he gave up eating mutton for seven years.
Hassan bin Ziyaad (R.A.) says: “Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) bought a consignment of fabric which had a defect in it. He sent the consignment to his partner to sell it off and instructed him to clearly inform the customers of the defect. It happened that the partner sold off the entire consignment but totally forgot to inform the customers. He also could not recall who the customers were. When Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) learnt of this he was extremely disappointed. He then gave away all the money from that sale — the profits and the capital as well — as sadaqah. The total amount came to thirty thousand dirhams (which will presently be equivalent to several hundred thousand Rands).
It is such caution in respect to halaal and haraam that is a means of great barakah in one’s rizq (sustenance). May Allah Ta’ala enable us to also exercise total caution with regard to our earnings and content ourselves with what is totally halaal. Aameen.