Remembering the pious
The intelligence of Imam Abu Hanifah
Owais Yamin Attari Madani
Sayyiduna Imam Abu Hanifah Nu’man bin Thaabit رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه is the leader of millions of Muslims. He was a man of many talents. Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه was a scholar of Hadith (muhaddith); a jurist (faqeeh); a man of knowledge, wisdom, exceptional intellect; a caring, trustworthy, honest and practising individual; and an embodiment of good character. Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه derived many rulings from Quran and Hadith. He formed dozens of principles on how to derive rulings and solved the most complex of problems within moments. In addition to the numerous significant events that occurred in Shaban, 2nd of Shaban also marks the passing away of Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه. During this month, Muslims Muslims convey rewards to Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه in various ways. Below are some examples of his remarkable intellect.
A comparison to the intelligence of half the people on earth
Sayyiduna Ali Bin Asim رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه states: ‘If the intelligence of half the people on earth was to be compared against the intelligence of Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه, the intelligence of Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه would still be greater.’
More intelligent than 1,000 teachers
Sayyiduna Yazeed Bin Haroon رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه swore by Allah Almighty and said: ‘I have studied with one thousand teachers, but I have found Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه to be the most God-fearing, have the strongest memory and be the most intelligent from them.’
The Imam of the Shafi'i school, Imam Muhammad bin Idrees Shafi'i رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه states that there is none more intelligent than Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه.
Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Mubarak رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه said that he has not seen anyone more intelligent than Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه.
His ability to prove an argument
Somebody asked Imam Malik رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه if he had seen Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه. He replied: ‘Yes, I found him [so intelligent] that if he told you this pillar was made out of gold, he would prove it to you using evidence [that it is made of gold].’
Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه would understand things very quickly because of his intellect. He was unmatched in providing solutions to the most difficult of situations.
The Imam’s advice to someone who misplaced money
On one occasion, a man went to Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه and said: ‘I hid money in a place out of caution. Now, I am in desperate need of it but cannot remember where I put it. Please provide a solution.’ Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه said: ‘Offer Salah throughout the entire night and you will recall where you put the money.’ He went and started to offer Salah. After a short while, he remembered where he had put the money and retrieved it. The next day, he went to Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه and said: ‘Your honour, I found the money because of your advice.’ Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه replied: ‘Satan could not bear the thought of you praying for the entire night, and so he quickly told you where your money was. However, it would have been better for you to offer Salah all night to thank Allah Almighty.’
A solution to avoid divorce
An individual asked Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه: ‘Somebody’s wife had a cup of water in her hand. Her husband said to her: “If you drink this water, throw it away, keep it or give it to somebody else, we will become divorced from one another.” What can the woman do in this situation?’ He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه replied: ‘Place a cloth in the cup that will absorb the water.’
Identifying a thief
Someone stole a peacock from Imam Abu Hanifah’s رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه neighbour. The neighbour went to Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه and complained, to which the Imam replied, ‘Remain silent.’ Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه then went to the masjid where people had gathered and said: ‘The one who stole his neighbour’s peacock has no shame! He comes to the masjid to pray whilst he has strands of the peacock’s feathers on his head!’ Listening to this, a man passed his hand over his head. Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه addressed him saying: ‘Oh man, return the peacock’, and he did.
Solving a dilemma related to oaths
A man swore an oath that he would not eat an egg. He then swore an oath to eat whatever was in the hand of so-and-so. Coincidentally, that person had an egg in his hand. Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه said: ‘Leave the egg under a hen. Once it hatches, cook the chicken that comes about as a result and eat it, or make a soup it and consume that.’
A well thought out solution
A man swore an oath that he will exercise his conjugal rights with his wife during the day in Ramadan. People became perplexed as to how he would fulfil his oath. Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه told the man to go on a journey [the distance of which allows an individual to postpone the fast] and exercise his conjugal right.
May Allah Almighty have mercy on him and forgive us without accountability for his sake.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم