Interesting parables of Imam-e-A’zam’s Jurisprudential acumen/ Disadvantages of the leave of absence

The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated: Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ blesses one with the understanding of Deen [i.e. religion] whom He عَزَّوَجَلَّ wills to [bestow] goodness upon. (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, pp. 43, Hadees 71)

Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ blessed Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه with such great jurisprudential acumen that millions of Muslims follow him.

Acknowledgement of his great abilities

Along with being a Muhaddis[1] and Faqih [Islamic jurisprudent] himself, Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was also the Imam [leader] of other blessed Muhaddiseen and Fuqaha. The golden pages of history are adorned with the statements of the honourable ‘Ulama [Islamic scholars] and Muftis[2] of his era who have mentioned him in their own styles, praising his jurisprudential acumen and the Divinely bestowed skill of providing solution to the complex issues instantly. Regarding his jurisprudential acumen, many such issues have been recorded which could not be resolved by great Fuqaha, but Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه gave the solution instantly. Following are two interesting parables regarding his intellect and scholarly skills.

1. Expertise in Fatwa[3]

A person said to his wife: I swear an oath that I will not talk to you until you talk to me, otherwise you are divorced. In reply, the wife also swore the same oath. When Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was asked about this matter, he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said to that person, ‘Go and talk to your wife; nothing will happen.’ When Sayyiduna Sufyan Sawri رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه came to know about the Fatwa of Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, he said (in surprise), ‘Are you making Haraam [things] Halal?’ Explaining his Fatwa, Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said: The husband had sworn an oath that he will not talk [to his wife] before she talks [to him]. Listening to it, the wife also swore the same oath. When she swore the oath, she talked to her husband. Now, when the husband will talk to her, he will [actually] talk to her after his wife has [already] talked. This way, oath of no one will break. Listening to this explanation, Sayyiduna Sufyan Sawri رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said: O Abu Hanifah! Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has opened those ways of knowledge for you which are beyond our reach. (Al-Khayraat-ul-Hisaan, pp. 71)

2. Three divorces on telling the thief’s name

Thieves came to a person in the night and stole his clothes. They also made him swear this oath: If you tell anyone about us, your wife is divorced thrice. In the morning, that person saw that his clothes are being sold in the market but he could not say anything. Therefore, he came in the court of Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه for finding the solution to his problem. Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said: The thieves of your locality should be gathered at one place. Then they should come out one by one and you should be asked about each one, ‘Is this your thief?’ If that person is not your thief, then say “no”, and if he is [your thief], then remain silent. So, he did accordingly and this way, the thieves were identified. Thieves returned his entire wealth and possessions and his oath did not break either because he did not tell anyone regarding them. (Al-Khayraat-ul-Hisaan, pp. 72)

The popularity of the Fiqh [school of Islamic Jurisprudence] founded by Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه can be recognised by the following statement of ‘Allamah Ibn Hajar Makki Shaafi’i رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه: The Fiqh of Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه spread even to those areas where the Fiqh of any other Imam is not practised, such as in Hind [South Asia], (Bab-ul-Islam) Sindh, Rome, central Asian states, etc. (Al-Khayraat-ul-Hisaan, pp. 43)



[1] Expert in the field of Hadees

[2] A highly ranked [Islamic] scholar who is qualified to issue [Islamic] verdicts

[3] Islamic verdict

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Interesting parables of Imam-e-A’zam’s Jurisprudential acumen/ Disadvantages of the leave of absence

Steadfastness is a key to success and a means of attaining success in this world and the Hereafter. It is therefore said that steadfastness has precedence over the Karamah [saintly miracle]. Sayyiduna Abu ‘Ali Jawzjaani رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has stated: Adopt steadfastness and do not become desirous of Karamah because your Nafs is restless for Karamah and your Rab عَزَّوَجَلَّ demands steadfastness from you. (Risalah Qushayriyyah, pp. 240)

Therefore, our pious saints showed steadfastness in acquiring knowledge. For example, Sayyiduna Imam Abu Yusuf Ya’qoob Bin Ibraheem Ansari رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه acquired knowledge of Deen while staying in the blessed company of Siraj-ul-Aimmah, Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه for seventeen consecutive years. (Siyar A’laam-un-Nubula, vol. 7, pp. 708)

His passion for seeking the knowledge of Deen was such that once, he was present in the Majlis [gathering] of Dars of Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه when people gave him the news of his son’s demise. Having a thought, ‘if I go, I will miss today’s lesson’, he assigned someone else to perform Tajheez-o-Takfeen [Islamic funeral rites] and he himself remained in the Dars. (Al-Mustatraf, vol. 1, pp. 40)

Always remember that the environment of the educational institution, Tarbiyyah [edification] provided by the teachers and the personal efforts of the student have a significant effect in enhancing the personal capabilities. These elements collectively enhance a person’s personality, improve his skills and capabilities and help him in earning a respectable and prominent status in the society. Moreover, only those students who practically like steadfastness and dislike the leaves of absence attain this status because they know that ‘leave of absence’ deprives the students from the best of the blessings, ‘knowledge’. Attending the class steadfastly and acquiring knowledge daily under the supervision of the teachers is the recipe for success. As Sayyiduna Imam Ibn Shahaab Zuhri رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has stated: If you try to overpower the knowledge forcefully, it will overpower you. Therefore, acquire knowledge gradually in many days and nights; then you will attain success. (Al-Jaami’ fil-Has ‘ala Hifz-ul-‘Ilm, pp. 187)

7 Disadvantages of the leave of absence

Following are some of the mental, physical and social disadvantages which a student who takes the leave of absence may face:

1 The continuity of acquiring the knowledge is interrupted.

2 Next day, the student does not understand the new lesson because he missed the previous one taught in his absence. So, the student feels bored and remains uninterested.

3 The student feels hopeless because of the inability to understand the lesson.

4 The life becomes disorganized due to which the student feels like leaving the class.

5 The homework assigned by the teacher appears to be a burden.

6 Parents and teachers become displeased.

7 The educational institution considers it to be its moral responsibility to advise the students against the leave of absence and show strictness but the student habitual of taking the leaves of absence does not comprehend that the administration is his well-wisher. Thus, he shoots himself in the foot by entering into a quarrel with the administration. Therefore, avoid the leave of absence for successfully treading on the path of knowledge.

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