The Excellence of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ

CHAPTER THIRTY

THE EXCELLENCE OF IMAM ABU HANIFA رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ

Ghair-Muqallid Wahabies (who reject the Four lmams) are severe enemies of Hadrat Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and constantly mock his rulings. Some have written that the numerical value of his year of birth is equal to the word “dog” (Allahعزوجل forbid!). In reply to this, some Hanafis have said that the numerical value of “Wahabi” is equal to the word vulture. Like vultures who eat dead flesh, so too do Wahabies eat the flesh of the Friends of Allahعزوجل that have passed away by backbiting about them. Even the Quran has equated backbiting to eating the flesh of a corpse. The numerical value of “Wahabi” also equals the word rat. Like rats which nibble away at things, so too do Wahabies corrode the pure deen of lslam. To explain and demonstrate to Muslims the great excellence Hadrat Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ occupies in Islam, 1 pen the following,

THE NAME & GENEOLOGY OF IMAM-E-AZAMرضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ

Nu’man ibn Thaabit ibn Zuti is the blessed name of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.His paternal grandfather, Hadrat Zuti رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, was of Persian descent, a true lover of and very close to Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, It was because of his love that he came to stay in Kufa, the administrative capital of the great Khalifa of Islam. When his son, Hadrat Thaabit رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, was a baby, he took him to Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ so that he may make dua for him. Hadrut Ali did so and gave glad-tidings of much barkat. As a result, Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the miracle and glad-tidings of Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.

Hadrat Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was born in 80 A.H and passed away during the year 150 A.H in Baghdad Sharif. He was buried in the graveyard ‘Khairzaan’. His Qabr Sharif is visited by all: lay-Muslims, Ulama, Mashaaikh and Sufiya throughout the year. He lived for a period of 70 years.

Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was also born in the period of the Sahaaba. He particularly met these four,

1. Hadrat Anas ibn Maalik رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ in Basra

2. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Aufa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ in Kufa

3. Hadrat Suhail ibn.Sa’ad Saaldi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ in Madina Munawwara

4. Hadrat Abu Tufail Aamir ibn Waasila رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ in Makkah Muazzama

There are reports that he met others besides these, but this is the most chosen ruling. He was the student of Hadrat Hammaad رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and even had exclusive tutorials by Imam Jafar Saadiq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ (and was particularly guided by the latter for a period of two years).

It was King Mansoor who brought the great Imam from Kufa to Baghdad and requested him to accept the position of the Grand Judge (Qaadhi-ul-Qudaat). After denying this position. Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was incarcerated and later passed away during this imprisonment.

THE ESTEEM OF IMAM-E-AZAM رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ

The excellence and merit of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is truly beyond our estimation. He is the visible miracle of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم the integral karaamat of Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and the solver of problems encountered by the Muslim Ummah. Alhamdulillah, the Ahle-Sunnat are very fortunate. Our Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” is the Greatest Messenger, our Shaikh Abdul-Qadir Jilaani رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the Greatest Ghaus and our Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the Greatest Imam. Greatness, honour and prestige are our fortune. Through the grace of Allahعزوجل. we present a few excellences of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.

1. The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم foretold his birth and spoke of his excellence. Muslim and Bukhari narrate from Hadrat Abu Hurairah T’ibrani رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ from Hadrat Ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Abu Nuaim from Hadrat Qais ibn Thaabit ibn Ubaada رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ “If Imaan was at the Suraya star (pleiades) some people of Persian ancestry would retrieve it.” 30.1

In another narration of Muslim and Bukhari, Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said. “Oath on He who has control of my existence! If the deen was at the Suraya star, a man from Persia would reach for and retrieve it.” 30.2

Who of Persian descent besides Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ possesses this glory?

2. Allama Ibn Rajar Makki Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has written a complete book called Khairaatul-Hisaan fi Tarjamati Abi Hanifa An-Nu’man. In it, he records the following Hadith of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم,

“In the year 150, the decoration of the world will be taken away.,,30.1

150 was the year of Imam Abu Hanifa’s رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ demise. From this, we come to know that Imam-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was the adornment of the Shariah and the embellishment of Shariah knowledge and practice. Even Imam Kurduri رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ stated that this Hadith gestures towards the great Imam.

3. Imam-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was the first Aalim of the deen in the entire Muslim world to lay the foundations of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Ijtihaad.

This is his great favour upon the Muslim Ummah. The other Imams, such as Imam Shafee, Imam Malik رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, ‘” etc. all built upon these foundations. Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said that he who invents a good and righteous method in Islam obtains his reward and the reward of everyone who acts upon it.

For 40 years, Imam Abu Hanlfa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ performed Fajr namaaz with the Wudhu from his Esha salaah the night before!

 


4. Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is either directly or indirectly the teacher of all the Jurists (Fuqahaa) and Commentators of Hadith (Muhadditheen). Even Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was the stepson and student of Imam Muhammad رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ. Likewise, Imam Malik رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, gained direction from the works of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ Many Shaikhs and teachers of Imam Bukhari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ (who is the teacher of the commentators of Hadith) were Hanafis. It’s as if Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the sun in the sky of knowledge while the rest of the Learned Ulama are its stars.

5.The indirect students of Irnam-e-Azamرضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ number more than 100,000, the majority of which are Mujtahids (e.g. Imam Muhanunad, Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Zafar, Ibn Mubaarak رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ etc., all luminaries amongst the knowledgeable in the history of the deen). Imam Muhammad رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ alone wrote and compiled 490 deeni books from which six are especially noteworthy. These are known as the Zaahirur-Riwaayaat and have been accepted to be the source of books dealing with Islamic Jurisprudence.

6. There are four Imams who are the most excellent of the Ulama-e-­Mujtahideen and the most excellent of all is Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ It’s for this reason that Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ once said, “The Jurists are the children of Abu Hanifa and he is their father:’

7. Just as how Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the sun on the sky of knowledge, so too is he a master in practice. For 40 years, he performed Fajr namaaz with the Wudhu from his Esha salaah the night before! He kept fast for 40 years so discreetly that none knew of his fasting (when he used to bring food from his home, he would feed the students outside. His family thought that he ate outside while the people outside thought he ate in his home)!

The illustrious Imam would complete 61 Quran Sharifs in every month of Ramadaan – one during the day, one during the night, one in the course of the entire month and one with followers (Muqtadis) in the Taraweeh Salaah. He even performed Hajj while he was still a child!

8. The Qabr (mazaar) of Imam-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is trusted for the acceptance of dua. Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Whenever a need arose in my life, I would travel to Imam Abu Hanifa’s رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ Qabr, perform two rakaats of Naf Salaah and make dua through the barkat of his blessed grave. Through this, my need was soon fulfilled.” Furthermore, when Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to come to Imam Abu Hanifa’s رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ burial place, he used to perform Salaah according to the Hanafi muzhab and not read Qunoot-e-Naazilah. When asked why he did this, he replied, “I do this in respect of the Saahib-e­Qabr (Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ). – Shaami

This doesn’t mean that when Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to come to Baghdad, he would neglect a Sunnah due to the respect of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ. It simply means that no Imam or Mujtahid can say for sure that only he is correct while the others aren’t. Rather, an Imam possesses overwhelming thought (Zann-e-Ghaalib] of him being correct but can also say that probably another Imam’s opinion or ruling is correct. There is certainty in beliefs (aqaaid) but Zann-e-Ghaalib for every dissimilar ruling of the Imams. So, it’s as if on these occasions, Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ practiced that which Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ regarded as Sunnat. One Sunnat has been left out while another has been practiced. Thus, there is no objection to this.

9. Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ saw Allahعزوجل 100 times while dreaming! The final dua he made to Allahعزوجل and the answer he received when seeing Him is recorded in Raddul-Muhtaar in detail.

10. Many great Friends (Auliya) of Allahعزوجل, Ghaus’, Qutbs, Abdaals and Autaads are followers (Muqallids) of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, The amount of Saints found in the Hanafi muzhab is not visible in any other, and include Hadrat Ibrahim ibn Adham, Shafeeq Balkhi, Maroof Karkhi, Bayazeed Bustami, Fudhail ibn Ayaaz, Dawud Ta’ai, Abu Aamid Balkhi, Khalf ibn Ayoob, Abdullah ibn Mubaarak, Wakee ibn Jarrah, Shaikhul­Islam Abu Bakr Tirmidhi, etc.. رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ Auliya, Fuqahaa and Muhaditheen were all Hanafis and held on to the protection of the great Imam. The pride of the Indo-Pak sub-continent, Daata Ganj Baksh Hujweri whose Qabr is visited by all creation, was also a Hanafi. He spoke highly of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ in his book ‘Kashful-Mahjoob’. The majority of the Mashaaikh from all chains of Tariqat (Chisthi, Qadri, Naqshbandi, Suharwardi, etc.) were also all Hanafis.

11. The’ muzhab of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is so widespread that it can be that wherever Islam is present, the Hanafi school of thought is found there as well. The majority of Muslims, including the residents of the two Harams, are all Hanafis. There are even some places in the Islamic world where only the Hanafi muzhab is found, and the general public there doesn’t even know of other muzhabs, e.g. Balkh, Bukhaara, Kabul, Qandhaar and approximately the entire Indian subcontinent. This general acceptance of the Hanafi muzhab proves the acceptance of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, in the sight of the creation as well as the Creator.

12. People who held contrary views to the great Imam in Jurisprudence (Fiqh) also wrote major works regarding his excellence,

1. Khairaatul-Hisaan fi Tarjamati Abi Haneefa An-Nu’man by Allama Ibn Hajar Makki رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.

2. Intisaarul-Imam by Allama Ibn Jauzi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ (in two volumes).

3. Tabyeedus-Sabeefah fiI-Manaaqibi Abi Haneefa by Imam Jalaaluddin Suyuti رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.

4. Tanweerus-Sabeefa fi Tarjamati Abi Haneefa by Allama Yusuf ibn Abdul-Haadi Hambali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ .In his book, he quotes the following saying of Ibn Abdullah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, “I have not seen anyone more distinguished than Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ in knowledge, jurisprudence and piety.

In short, the entire Muslim Ummah bears testimony to the excellence of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ. If only a handful of Ghair-Muqallid Wahabies spew abuse against him, surely their ravings have no credibility.

 


13. From all of the Imams, the period of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the closest to Sayyiduna Rasoolullah’sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم time. Imam-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was born in 80 A.H, is a Taba’ee and has met 4 Sahaaba from whom he has also narrated Hadith. Whoever rejects him being a Taba’ee does so in bigotry and prejudice. How can it be that a great Sahaabi like Hadrat Abdullah ibn Aufa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was present in Kufa during the time of Imam-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and the Imam never met him? Today, people travel thousands of miles to visit and be in the company of a pious person, so what can be said about visiting a Companion of the Prophet?! Nevertheless, Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is a Taba’ee, has attained Sahih Ahadith from the Prophet and is counted in the Khairul-Quroon (greatest era adjoined to the time of the Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم).

In relation to the other Imams,

1. Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was born in 80 A.H and passed away at the age of70 in the year 150 A.H. His Mazaar is in Baghdad.

2. Imam Maalik رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was born in 90 A.H and passed away at the age of 89 in the year 179 A.H. His Mazaar is in Madina.

3. Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, was born in 150 A.H and passed away at the age of 54 in 204 A.H. (He was born the day Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ to passed away.)

4. Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was born in 164 A.H and passed away at the age of 77 in 241 A.H.

14. Amongst the Imams, Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ occupies a unique excellence of gaining special guidance and blessings from the family (Able-Bait) of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. No other Imam has this glory. Imam-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ spent two years in the gathering of Imam Jafar Saadiq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, and himself said, “If those two years eren’t attained, I (Nu’man) would’ve been destroyed. 30.4

15. Imam-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the pure reflection of Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.

One is the first Khalifa of Islam and the other is the first Mujtahid Imam of Islam. Hadrat Abu Baler رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the compiler of the Holy Quran and Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the composer of Fiqhi laws. After the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم Hadrat Abu Bakr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was the first to lay the foundation for the rules of justice in the Khilaafat, and Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ laid the foundation of Ijtihaad and Taffaqah (reflection). Hadrat Abu Bakr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ helped the Ummah of the Prophet continually, saved them from division and fought disintegration, and Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ saved the Ummah from the storms of apostasy and infidelity. Through his Ijtihaad and Ilmi blessings, the Muslim Ummah is safe from the mischief of the Kuffaar and heretics.

16. Just as how Ghaus-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is the leader of the Friends (Auliya) of Allahعزوجل {i.e. his foot is on the necks of the Saints. He is also the first Imam of Tareeqat), likewise, Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, is the leader of all the Learned Ulama, i.e. they are under his shade of knowledge. This is why “The First Imam of Tareeqat” and “The First Imam of Shariat” is the title of Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam and Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ respectively.

Baghdad Sharif is the joining of two oceans because both of these eminent Imams rest there.

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