The Excellence of Imam-e-Azam (RadiAllahu Anh)

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The life of Imam-e-Azam Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was exemplary. His character, conduct and actions were exceptional and in accordance with the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah. The status and honour that Allah Ta’ala granted to him is incomprehensible to the ordinary mind. 

His name was Nu’man bin Thaabit and his title was Abu Hanifah. It was with this very title that he was even mentioned in the Taurat. Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlwi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states, “Some of the Ulama have stated that mention of Imam Abu Hanifah has been made in the Taurat. There is a narration from Hazrat Ka’b bin Ahbaar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that in the Taurat, which was revealed upon Hazrat Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), we find that Allah Ta’ala says, “There will be a Noor in the Ummah of Muhammadur Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and its title will be Abu Hanifah.” The title Siraajul Ummah, which was given to Imam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) verifies this.” {Ta’aruf Fiqh wa Tasawwuf}

Allamah Maufiq bin Ahmad Makki (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports that it is narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “A man will be born in my Ummah, who will be known as Abu Hanifah. He will be the lamp of my Ummah on the Day of Qiyaamah.” {Manaaqib lil Maufiq}

One night Imam-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh)  dreamt that he opened the blessed grave of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), took the bones of the blessed body of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and placed it on his chest. After seeing such a dream he became very fearful. Imam Muhammad bin Seereen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), a master in the science of dream interpretation was asked about this dream and he replied, “The one who saw this dream will spread the Ahadith and Sunnah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) throughout the world and he will explain such principles and rulings, which did not even occur to the minds and intellects of anyone.”  

Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) received tranquility from this hidden indication and the interpretation of this dream realised in such a manner that he taught the entire Islamic world about the Ahadith of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and explained such principles and rulings that astounded the intellect. {Al Khairaatul Hisaan}

Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali Hajweri (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that in the beginning Imam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had made the intention to go into seclusion and he was again blessed with the vision of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in his dream. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said to him, “O Abu Hanifah! Your life is for the revival of the Sunnah so leave the idea of going into seclusion.” After listening to the command of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) he left the idea of going into seclusion. {Kashful Mahjoob}

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mubarak (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) says, “I have not seen a person more pious than Imam-e-Azam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). What can be said about such a person, before whom heaps of wealth is placed, yet he does not even raise his eyes to look towards it. He was lashed for this reason, but he still remained patient. {Manaaqib lil Maufiq}

Imam-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) strived his entire life to follow in the footsteps of Sayyiduna Siddiq-e-Akbar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), to follow his sayings, actions and character traits because he was more excellent than all the blessed Sahaabah. From all the Sahaabah, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was the most excellent scholar and jurist, the most pious and generous, and the one who made the most Ibaadat. In the same manner, amongst the Taabi’een, Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was the one with the most knowledge, the most pious and the most generous. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) used to run a textile business in Makkah Shareef and Imam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had a textile business in Kufa. In every manner he tried to incorporate each moment of the life of Sayyiduna Siddiq-e-Akbar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) in his life. {Manaaqib lil Maufiq}

Once, a woman intended to sell a bail of silk fabric to him. He asked her regarding the price of the fabric. She mentioned that she would charge a 100 for it. He said that she was asking for a very minimal price as the fabric was much more valuable. The lady then said that she would charge 200. Again he objected and said that it was too cheap, so she increased the price by another 100. This went on, until the price reached 400. He said, “This is even more valuable than four hundred.” She asked, “Are you making fun of me?” He eventually gave her 500 and purchased the fabric. SubhanAllah! Look at the character and the manner in which Imam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) did business. His piety and truthfulness benefited his business instead of plunging him into any loss. {Al Khairaatul Hisaan}

During the day he used to busy himself in teaching the people knowledge of Deen and the entire night he would be engrossed in Ibaadat. For thirty (30) years he completed the recitation of the Holy Qur’an in a single Rak’at and for forty (40) years he performed his Fajr Salaah with his Esha Wudu. {Ibid}

It is stated that at night, the sound of Imam Abu Hanifah’s weeping could be heard to such an extent that his neighbours would feel pity for him. He gave precedence to the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala over everything else and even if he had to be cut into pieces with swords, he would not have left seeking the pleasure of his Creator. Imam Ibn Hajar Shafi’i (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) says “When he would perform his Salaah at night, then the sound of his tears falling on the grass mat could be heard, just as one hears the raindrops fall. The effect of his crying  could be seen in his eyes and on his face.” {Ibid}

Hazrat Abul Ahwas (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that if Imam-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was to be told that within three days he will pass away, even then he would not be able to increase the amount of good deeds he performed because he used to perform good deeds to such an extent that it was impossible for him to increase it further in any way. SubhanAllah! {Al Khairaatul Hisaan}

He performed fifty-five (55) Hajj in his life and on his last Hajj, he sought permission from the attendant and entered the Holy Ka’bah. Therein he performed two Rak’ats of Nafl Salaah in which he recited the entire Holy Qur’an. In the first Rak’at he recited half of the Holy Qur’an, while placing all of his body weight on his right foot and in the second Rak’at he recited the other half while placing his  entire body weight on his left foot. After the Salaah he cried in the Court of Allah Ta’ala and made the following Dua, “O my Rabb! I have recognised you in accordance with Your right of being recognised. However, I could not worship You in accordance with Your right of being worshipped. O Allah,  through the splendour of Your Ma’rifat, forgive the shortcomings of my service to You.” 

A voice then called out from the unseen, “O Abu Hanifah! You attained Our Ma’rifat and in your duties demonstrated sincerity; therefore We have forgiven you and all those till Qiyaamah (Judgment Day) who follow your creed.” SubhanAllah! {Al Khairaatul Hisaan}

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to become true and sincere followers of Imam Abu Hanifah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), Allahumma Ameen. 

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