Piety of Imam-e-A’zam رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہ

May 24,2016 - Published 3 years ago

Piety of Imam-e-A’zam رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہ

Piety of Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه

Brief introduction and blessed appearance


Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه belonged to Kufa. His blessed name is ‘Nu’maan’, and father’s blessed name is ‘Saabit’; his Kunyah is ‘Abu Hanifah’ and (his title is ‘Imam-e-A’zam’). He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was born in 80 AH in Kufa, and passed away on 2 Sha’ban-ul-Mu’azzam, 150 AH at the age of 70.

(Nuzhat-ul-Qaari, vol. 1, pp. 219)


His blessed tomb is still situated in the graveyard called Khezran of blessed Baghdad. People visit it and attain its blessings. ’

(Tareekh Baghdad, 13, pp. 325)


ہے نام نعمان ابنِ ثابت، ابُو حنیفہ ہے ان کی کُنیت

پُکارتا ہے یہ کہہ کے عالَم، امامِ اعظم ابُو حنیفہ


He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was a great worshipper and very pious, possessing mystic knowledge and feared Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه always sought the pleasure of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ through his knowledge.


Prediction of an Islamic saint


In the beginning, Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was a trader. One day he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه met Imam Sha’bi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه who asked Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه ‘What do you do?’ Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه replied that he had a business in the market. Imam Sha’bi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said, ‘Why are you busy in the market? Keep approaching Islamic scholars!’ Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه replied: I rarely visit Islamic scholars. Imam Sha’bi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said: You should not observe neglectfulness from acquiring Islamic knowledge. But, it is necessary for you to be in contact with the gatherings of knowledgeable Islamic scholars. I can see in you, the aptitude of acquiring Islamic knowledge. Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said that these words of Imam Sha’bi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه won my heart and I abandoned sitting in the marketplace and focused my attention on Islamic knowledge. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ granted an abundant amount of profits of this to me.

(Al-Manaqib, lil-Muwaffaq, vol. 1, pp. 59)


It has been narrated that at the last stage of his life he was asked a question as to how he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه attained such an elevated status. He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه replied, ‘I never became stingy to benefit others through my knowledge and whatever I did not know I never felt ashamed in gaining benefit in it from others.’

(Ad-Durr-ul-Mukhtar, vol. 1, pp. 127)


زمانہ بھر نے زمانہ بھر میں بہت تَجَسُّس کیا و لیکن

ملا نہ کوئی امام تم سا امامِ اعظم ابُو حنیفہ


Unique in intelligence and piety


Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was a man who had a great mind, remarkable thinking and amazing intelligence. In Fatawa Razawiyyah, Ala Hadrat, Imam of Ahl-e-Sunnah, Maulana Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has narrated that Sayyiduna Imam Shaafi’ رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said: Nobody in the whole world has the wisdom like the wisdom of Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه .


Sayyiduna Bakr Bin Hubaysh رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said, ‘If the wisdom of Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه and the wisdom of the people of his era are collected, then his wisdom would be much more than all their wisdoms put together.’

(Al-Khayraat-ul-Hisaan, pp. 62)


As no one was equal to him in intelligence, likewise, he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was unique in piety and purity, worship and spiritual exercises and deep fear of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Many glorious Islamic saints رَحِمَهُمُ الـلّٰـهُ تَـعَالٰی have testified to his amazing simplicity and piety, worship and spiritual exercises


Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Bin Mubaarak رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has said: Once I went to Kufa and asked the people there, ‘Who is the greatest in terms of piety and worships here?’ The people replied, ‘Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه.’ Sayyiduna Ibn Mubaarak رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه further said, ‘I have not seen anyone more pious than Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه. You do not have the ability to praise the person to whom plenty of wealth was offered, but he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه did not pay any attention to wealth. Upon saying this, he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was lashed. He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه continued to worship Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ in luxury and in times of difficulty and never accepted those things for which people strive for and make many excuses.’

(Al-Khayraat-ul-Hisaan, pp. 58)


The respected teacher of Imam Bukhari رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه Sayyiduna Makki Bin Ibraheem رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has said, ‘I had the company of many Islamic scholars in Kufa, but found no one amongst them as pious and abstinent as Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه.

(Al-Khayraat-ul-Hisaan, pp. 58)


فُضُول گوئی کی نکلے عادت، ہو دُور بے جا ہنسی کی خَصلت

دُرُود پڑھتا رہوں میں ہر دَم، امامِ اعظم ابُوحنیفہ!


If life comes to an end, then?


Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was a very pious person; he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه would protect his tongue to a great extent and would give a dirham and dinar in Sadaqah even when he took a true oath. On one hand, we have his beautiful character, and on the other hand we have our sinful acts. He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه protected his life in a way that he became renowned amongst the people as one who spoke less and mostly remained quiet, whereas due to our useless talks and rudeness, many people get worried. His era was a witness to his piety and fear of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ whereas we know what our condition is.


Just ponder over why this is so? Isn’t it because of مَـعَـاذَ الـلّٰـه عَـزَّوَجَـلَّ losing fear of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ Or due to committing an abundant amount of sins, our hearts have become dark? If this is the case, then it is a matter of serious concern, lest hardness of our hearts, heedlessness and the intoxication of sins due to this we may fall into the depth of Hell. Therefore, before our life comes to an end and we are left with nothing except regret, we should try to develop the fear of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and piety in our hearts for the betterment of our Hereafter.


How long is the life of a goat?


Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه spent his entire life in piety. The fear of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ was flowing in his blood. He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه would avoid many doubtful things due to his piety. It has been narrated that once some goats were stolen in Kufa, so he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه asked the people about the maximum life of a goat. It was replied: 7 years, so he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه did not eat the meat of goats for 7 years. (For fear that I may eat the meat of those stolen goats). During the same time he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه saw a soldier who ate goat meat then threw the remaining part into a stream of Kufa, so he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه asked about the natural age of a fish and then for such number of years he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه avoided eating fish.

(Al-Khayraat-ul-Hisaan, pp. 60)


Just ponder over this! On the one hand, Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه even avoided eating doubtful things, and on the other hand, we, who claim to be his followers, take bribes, run business’ on interest and scam people out of millions of through breach of trust. In addition to this, we earn Haraam money by many other means. If only we could become the true followers of Imam-e-A’zam! If only we could also follow in his footsteps and also protect ourselves from sins, earn lots of virtues and succeed in making our Hereafter like him and we too could become occupied with worship and spiritual exercises day and night, like him!


Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه had recited the whole Quran seven thousand times at the place where he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه passed away.


عطا ہو خوفِ خدا خدارا، دو اُلفتِ مُصطَفٰے خدارا

کروں عمل سُنَّتوں پہ ہر دم، امامِ اعظم ابو حنیفہ


He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was considered to be an Imam by virtue of his learning and knowledge, similarly he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه had attained a very high status in regards to his worshipping, spiritual exercises and piety.

A non-Muslim attained the privilege of embracing Islam by virtue of the great piety and good manners of Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه.

Upon the saying of an Islamic saint, Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه left his business and occupied himself in gaining Islamic knowledge, thus attaining a very high status.

One remarkable instance of his piety is that he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه did not eat meat for 7 years, presuming that the meat could have been from the stolen goat of Kufa.

He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was a great reciter of the Holy Quran; he had such a great passion for the recitation of the Holy Quran that he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه recited the Holy Quran from beginning to end 7 thousand times at the place where he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه passed away.

He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه would remain so distant from wealth, that caliph Mansoor wanted to give him 10,000 dirhams, but he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه did not accept them.

We have also heard an incident of his piety that once due to having a doubt in something of his servant, he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه distributed the profit of 30,000 dirhams amongst the poor.

Having travelled a long distance from Kufa to Madinah he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه returned 600 dirhams to the customer, who came from Madinah, and left the cloth with him as well.

May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ enable us to spend our life by following the footsteps of His righteous bondsmen, in particular, Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه !

اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِه وَسَلَّم

صَلُّوۡا عَلَى الۡحَبِيۡب صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلٰى مُحَمَّد

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Zakir Ibrahim

SUPERB ONE! REALLY IMPRESSIVE! Before our life comes to an end and we are left with nothing except regret, we should try to develop the fear of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and piety in our hearts for the betterment of our Hereafter. May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ enable us to spend our life by following the footsteps of His righteous bondsmen, in particular, Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه !