Imaam of Imaams; Lamp of the Ummah; Leader of the Jurists and Mujtahideen; Hafize-Hadith Hadhrat Imaam Abu Hanifah (R.A) was a prestigious Mujtahid, Muhaddith, authoritative person, truthfully spoken, abstinent, wise, and pious.
A great many Muhadditheen and Hanafi, Shafi’ee, Maaliki and Hanbali Ulamaa are in unison with regards to Imaam Sahib’s strengths and virtues. Thousands of literary works have been compiled by Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.). Amongst the Imaams ‘Imaam-e-Aazam’ (Greatest of the Imaams ) was the address of Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA.) alone. A great group of Ulamaa and Muhadditheen remained the followers of Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA.), and more than half of the Ummah of Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam are, till this day, followers also.
He was born in the era of the Companions may Allah be pleased with them. Abstinent, God fearing, generous, knowledgeable and virtuous are all attributes collectively found of Imaam Abu Hanifah (R.A.).
His origination is in Kufa, which at the time, was the greatest centre of ahaadith. As, in Kufa thousands of Companions may Allah be pleased with them of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had resided there; more than one thousand jurists were born in Kufa of which one hundred and fifty were Companions of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Kufa, was where the ranked Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud may Allah be pleased with him and Hadhrat Abu Hurairamay Allah be pleased with him had previously resided.
Imaam Sahib’s upbringing and education was achieved in such a reputed educational centre, and he reaped much advantage from the Ulamaa of Haramain.
LINEAGE :Nu’maan ibn Thabit Ibn Zuta Ibn Maah\ lbn Marzubaan. (Difference of opinion lies only in choice of wording not name.)
YEAR & PLACE of BIRTH:80 A.H. Kufa, Iraq.
RENOWNED ADDRESS : Imaam-e-Aazam \ Abu Hanifah (R. A.).
SPECIAL ATTRIBUTE: It has been unanimously agreed that Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA.) was a Taabi‘ee. There are various differing quotes concerning the number of Companions seen by Imaam Sahib. Sahib-e-Ikmaal narrates a total of 26, whilst Hafiz Ibn Hajr quotes 8. The most opposed view is that of Hafiz Almizzi whom has stated 72 Companions (R. A.).
ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE:Primary, basic Islamic teachings were acquired as a child, which were short lived due to Imaam Abu Hanifah’ s father’s death. Subsequently, he supported the family business.
MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD: Silk Merchant.
ADVANCEMENT OF KNOWLEDGE: At the age of 22 years much spare time was spent in debating. In this period of time Imaam Sha’bee (R. A.) advised Imaam Abu Hanifah ( R.A.) to associate himself with a scholar.
Being unable to answer a query regarding the correct Sunnah procedure of divorce, Imaam Abu Hanifah began to join the gatherings of lmam Hammad (R. A), (student of Hadhrat Anas (RA.) ), disposing of his works as a debator. For the next ten consecutive years he remained the student of Imaam Hammad (R.A.). After two years, for a period of two months Imaam Hammad took a sudden leave to Basra ( due to his relative’s death) leaving Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.) to continue his works in Kufa. Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.) remained Imaam Hammad’s student for a further 8 years.
MOST EMINENT TEACHER OF JURISPRUDENCE:
Imaam Hammad (R A)
MOST EMINENT TEACHER OF AHAADEETH:
Imaam Aamir Sha’bi (R. A.).
NO. 0F AHAADEETH ACQUIRED:
4,000 Ahaadeeth in which 2,000 Ahaadeeth from Imaam Hammad ( RA.)alone.
3 PROMINENT PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH IMAAM ABU HANIFAH ACCEPTED AHAADEETH:
1).Since the initial day of hearing the hadith it is remembered in its correct form to the very time of narration.
2). The hadith must have been projected by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and narrated onwards via wholly reliable persons.
3). Any Ahaadeeth which contradicted the Qur’an or other famous Ahaadeeth were unacceptable.
A SMALL GLIMPSE OF IMAAM ABU HANIFA’S (R.A.) TEACHERS: Aamir Ibn Shurahbeel, Sha’abi Kufi, Alqama Ibn Marthad, Ziyaad Ibn Ilaqa, Adi Ibn Thabit, Qataada Basri, Muhammed Ibn Munkadir Madni, Simaak Ibn Harb, Qays Ibn Muslim Kufi, Mansoor Ibn Umar etc. etc.
A SMALL GLIMPSE OF IMAAM ABU HANIFA’S (R.A.) STUDENTS: Qazi Abu Yusuf, Muhammad Ibn Hasan, Zufar Ibn Huzayl, Hammad Ibn Abu Hanifah, Abu Ismat Mugheera Ibn Miqsam,Yunus Ibn Is‘haaq, Abu Bakr Ibn Ayyaash, Abdullah Ibn Mubarak, Ali Ibn Aasim, Ja’ far Ibn Awn, Ubaydullah Ibn Musa etc. etc.
IMAAM ABU HANIFAH’S (R.A.) LITERARY WORKS: ‘Kitaab-ul-Aathar’ – compiled from a total of 70,000 Ahaadeeth, ‘Aalim-wal-muta ‘allim’, ‘Fiqhe Akbar’, ‘Jaami’ul Masaneed’, ‘Kitaabul Rad alal Qaadiriyah’ etc. etc.
IMAAM ABU HANIFAH’S CHARACTERISTICS:
a). Impartiality: Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.) has never accepted a favour from anyone and so was never indebted to anyone.
b). Humanitarian ways& generosity: On seeing Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.) a passer by avoided him and took a different path. When Imaam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) questioned as to why he did so, he replied that he was ashamed of himself as he was Imaam Abu Hanifah’s debtor of 10 000 Dirhams. The man’s humbleness over took Imaam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) and so he forgave the repayment of the debt.
c). Kind heartedness: Once, whilst sitting in a Masjid Imaam Sahib learnt of someone who had fallen from a roof. Immediately, Imaam Sahib departed from the gathering, barefooted, and ran to the place of accident. Until the injured recovered, Imaam Sahib paid daily visits to nurse him.
d). Disposition : Imaam Sahib would never speak unless it was necessary to do so. Someone mentioned before Sufyan Thawri (R.A.) that he had never heard Imaam Sahib back biting. Sufyan (R.A.) replied, “Abu Hanifah (R.A.) is not such a fool that he will destroy his own good deeds.”
e). Abstinence & God Fearing Ways:
i). Sharik has stated, “I have never once observed Imaam Abu Hanifah reposing within the nights hours.”
ii). Abu Nu’aym states, “Even before observing salaah Imaam Hanifah (R. A.) would weep and supplicate before Allah.”
iii). There is no such Surah within the Qur’an which I have not recited during Nafl prayers.” – Abu Hanifah (R. A.)
iv). Kharija lbn Mus’ab has stated that 4 religious leaders have completed the recitation of the entire Qur’an in one rakaah of salaah alone. Uthmaan Ibn Affaan (RA.), Tameen Daari (RA.), Sa’eed Ibn Jubair (R. A.) and Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.).
v). There was once acknowledgment of a stolen sheep. Imaam Abu Hanifah inquired and researched as to how long a sheep lives. After finding out, he never ate sheep for 7 years, fearing that the meat may be from the stolen sheep.
vi). For 40 consecutive years Imaam Sahib observed a nocturnal practice of performing Fajr salaah with the ablution of Esha.
NO. 0F QUR’AN’S COMPLETED IN RAMADHAAN : 60
NO. OF PILGRIMAGES OBSERVED IN LIFETIME : 55
TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS:
Trial No.1: During the reign of Ibn Hubaira Imaam Abu Hanifah ( R.A.) rejected his request of the post of Chief Justice. (As Imaam Sahib did not want to collaborate with the corrupt).
Consequence of Rejection : Tormented by passing through the city mounted upon a horse, whereby he was whipped 10 times a day for eleven consecutive days.
Trial No.2: During the reign of Abu Jaafar Mansoor again the above request was pledged, yet again rejected.
Consequence of Rejection No.2: Imprisoned and violently beaten.
Prolongation of Trial: Khalifa Abu Ja’far Mansoor again urged that Imaam Sahib should reconsider. Finally, Imaam Sahib swore by Allah that he would not accept.
Consequence: Imaam Sahib was lashed, shirtless 30 times, drawing blood that seeped to his heels. He was again imprisoned, with restricted rations for 15 days, after which he was forcefully made to drink a poison that led to his martyrdom.
STATE OF DEATH:In the state of prostration.
AGE & DATE OF DEATH: 70 years of age : 150 A.H. in the month of Rajab. (others have stated Sha’baan and Shawwaal also).
BURIAL: Six Janaazah salaah were conducted in order to cater for more than
50,000 people whom had collected. His son, and only child; Hammad, lead the last Janazah salaah.[ IMAAM ABU HANIFAH (R.A.) ] [ IMAAM MAALIK (R.A.) ] [ IMAAM SHAFI’EE (R.A.)] [IMAAM AHMAD (R.A.) ]