The Greatest Imam (al-Imam al-Aa’zam) Abu Hanifa
Imam al-A’zam Abu Hanifa’s (Alaihir raHma) full name was Nuʿmān ibn Thābit ibn Zuṭā ibn Marzubān. He was born in Kufa in Iraq in 80 A.H. He belonged to the pious period of the Taabi’ins (Successors of the Sahabas).
It is stated in a Hadith Shareef which Imam al-Harizmi reported from Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhumA) that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Among my Ummah, there will come a man called Abu Hanifa. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be the light of my Ummah.” Another Hadith Shareef states: “In every century, a number of my Ummah will attain to high grades. Abu Hanifa will be the highest of his time.” These two Ahadith are recorded in “Durr al-Mukhtar.”
While still in his youth, he met great Sahaba like Sayyiduna Anas bin Maalik, Sayyiduna Sahl bin Saad and Sayyiduna Abul Tufail Amir bin Wathilah (radi Allahu Anhumul Ajma’een). Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) was first brought up as a trader, but soon started taking deep interest in Islamic learning.
He attended the lectures of Sayyiduna Hammad Basri (radi Allah anhu) in Fiqh and then began to study the Hadith. He learnt under great scholars in Kufa. In Basrah he studied under two great Taabi’ie scholars who had learnt Hadith under the Sahaba. In Makkatul Mukarammah and Madinatul Munawwarah, he learnt under Sayyiduna Ata bin Abi Rabah and Sayyiduna Ikramah (radi Allahu Anhuma). In fact, Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) had numerous teachers. Some historians say that he learnt Hadith from about 4000 scholars. Some of his famous teachers were:
Sayyiduna Imam Baaqir
Sayyiduna Imam Jafer Saadiq
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar
Sayyiduna Aqabah bin Umar
Sayyiduna Jabir and
Sayyiduna Abu Qatadah (Radi Allahu Anhumul Ajma’een).
AS A TEACHER
When his teacher, Sayyiduna Hammad Basri (Alaihir raHma) passed away, Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) was 40 years old and he began teaching. He became very famous and travelled many places. Students from all over the Muslim world came to him to listen to his lectures, interviews and debates. Imam Maalik (Alaihir raHma) also learnt under him. When he was 56 years old, Caliph Mansur came to power after the Ummayad dynasty was overthrown by the Abbasids in 132 A.H. Since Imam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) opposed the Caliph’s ruthless killing of the Ahle Bait, he was arrested. The Caliph offered the Imam the post of a Qaadi (Judge), but he refused. The Caliph Mansur had him beaten with a stick 30 strokes. His feet bled. Caliph Mansur repented and offered Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) 30000 pieces of silver. The great Imam refused once more. He was imprisoned again and thrashed 10 more strokes every day.
Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) passed away while in Salaah. He had been poisoned by the orders of Caliph Mansur. His Janaza Salaah was performed six times and each time 50 000 people took part. People continued to come and pray for him for 20 days after he was buried. He was 70 years old. In 459 A.H. a Mazaar (Tomb) was built for him by the Seljuki ruler Alp Arsalan. He lies buried in a Tomb situated near Baghdad in Iraq.
Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) left behind about 980 students. The most famous among them being:
a. Sayyiduna Qadi Abu Yusuf (Alaihir raHma)
b. Sayyiduna Imam Muhammed (Alaihir raHma)
c. Sayyiduna Imam Zufur (Alaihir raHma)
Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) earned his living by trading. Every Friday, he distributed 20 gold coins to the poor for his parents soul. For 40 years Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) performed the Fajr Salaah with the Wudu that he made for the Esha Salaah (ie. he did not sleep after the night prayer). He performed Hajj 55 times. He used to recite the entire Holy Quran once every day and once every night. Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) had so much of Taqwa (Piety) that for 30 years he fasted every day (except for the 5 forbidden days). He often read the Holy Quran in one rakaah or two. He did not accept any presents from anyone. He wore clothes like those of the poor. Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir raHma) once said: “I laughed once in my life and I regret it.” He talked little and thought much. It is said that at the place where his soul was taken, he read the Holy Quran 7000 times.
GREATNESS OF IMAM ABU HANIFA
Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan said: “We have not heard better than Abu Hanifa’s opinion and we have followed most of his positions.”
Yahya ibn Ma`in, he said of Abu Hanifa that he is not only thiqa (trustworthy) but thiqa thiqa. Al- Dhahabi even calls Ibn Ma`in a fanatic Hanafi.
Al-Fadl ibn Dukayn, one of the major authorities of Ahl al-Hadith. He said: “Muslims should make du`a to Allah on behalf of Abu Hanifa in their prayers, because the Sunan and the fiqh were preserved for them through him.”
Waki` ibn al-Jarrah, he replied to some of them: “You barred us from Abu Hanifa, are you going to bar us from Zufar??” (Zufar took over the teaching of Hanafi Fiqh in Kufa and Basra after the Imam.)
Abu Mu`awiya al-Darir, he said: “Love of Abu Hanifa is part of the Sunna”.
Ibn Dawud al-Khuraybi: “Among the people [of learning] there are plenty of enviers and ignorant ones concerning Abu Hanifa.”
Bishr al-Hafi, he said: “None criticizes Abu Hanifa except an envier or an ignoramus”.
Ibn al-Mubarak. When al-Awza`i criticized Abu Hanifa, Ibn al-Mubarak copied a compilation of Abu Hanifa’s fiqh under the name al-Nu`man. Al- Awza`i read it without interruption except for Salat al-Fard. Then he said: “This Nu`man is a grand master (hadha nabilun min al-ashyakh). Go to him and take as much as you can from him!” Ibn al-Mubarak said: “This is the Abu Hanifa you had forbidden me to see.” Tarikh Baghdad. Ibn al-Mubarak considered one’s hatred of Abu Hanifa a mark of Divine wrath. He also said: “If Allah had not rescued me with Abu Hanifa and Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the rest of the common people.” Al-Dhahabi relates it as: “I would have been an innovator.”
Ibn `A’isha mentioned a fatwa of Abu Hanifa then said: “Truly, if you had seen him you would have wanted him [for your teacher]! Truly, his similitude and yours is as in the saying:
Curse them much or not, I care little to blame you;
But fill – if you can! – the space they left vacant.
GOLDEN WORDS OF WISDOM:
* Knowledge without deeds is like a body without a soul. As long as knowledge does not embrace the existence of action it will not be enough not agreeable nor sincere.
* Difficulties are the result of sin. The sinful therefore does not have the right to lament when difficulties befall him.
* To reduce the connection of the World means that a person takes that which is essential from the World and leaves that which is non essential.
* That person who seeks knowledge to attain the World finds that knowledge has no place in his heart.
* That person whose knowledge does not prevent him from committing sin and transgressions then who is that person who has suffered or incurred a greater loss than him.
* For the attainment of knowledge satisfaction is useful and satisfaction is not gained by increasing information but by decreasing it.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaykh Sirri Saqti Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho
HIS POSITION IN THE SILSILA :
Saalik-e-Hadrat-e-Malakoot, Shaahid Izzat-e-Jabroot Hadrat Shaykh Sirruddeen Sirri Saqti Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho is the tenth Imam and Shaykh of the Silsila Aaliyah Qaadiriyah Barakatiyah Radaviyah Nooriyah.
BIRTH : He was born around the year 155 Hijri in Baghdad Shareef.
NAME : His name is Sirruddeen and he was also known as Abul Hassan.
He was the mureed and Khalifa of Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho. He also served Hadrat Habeeb Raa’ee Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho. He says, “Once I was sitting in my shop, when Hadrat Habeeb Raa’ee Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho passed by my shop, and I gave him some bread. He then made dua for me, and since then I decided to change my life for the better.” [Masaalik as-Saalikeen]
HIS FATHER : His father’s name was Hadrat Mughlis Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho. [Masaalik as-Saalikeen]
HIS EXCELLENCE :
He was the Imam of the Ahle Tasawwuf and he possessed in-depth knowledge. He was a huge mountain of knowledge, yet he was blessed with kindness. He was amongst the students of Hadrat Fuzail ibn Ayaaz Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho and was also a Tabbe Taabi’een. He was amongst the first persons to openly spread the knowledge of tasawwuf in Iraq. Various great Shaykhs of Baghdad were blessed with being in his Silsila. He was also the maternal uncle, and the Peer-o-Murshid of Hadrat Junaid-e-Baghdadi Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho. Hadrat Junaid-e-Baghdadi Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho says, “I did not see any person as Kaamil (perfect) as my Peer-o-Murshid.” Hadrat Bishr Haafi Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho said, “I never used to ask for anything from anyone but Hadrat Sirri Saqti Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho, as I was very well aware of his piety and I knew that he was always happy to give.”
[Masaalik as-Saalikeen, Vol 1, Page 292].
It was his habit, that he performed one thousand rakats of nafil salaah daily. Hadrat Junaid Baghdadi Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho says, “I have never seen a more greater Aabid and Zaahid than him, and I did not see this in anyone else, that he had reached the age of 98, and the only time I saw him rest, was at the time of his demise.” [Masaalik as-Saalikeen]
He was the perfect example of his illustrious predecessors. Once some of his devotees came to him, and asked him to explain the reality of Sabr (patience). He thus began to deliver a lecture on the topic of patience. Whilst he was delivering his lecture, a scorpion stung him on his feet. He continued delivering his lecture. Those, present said, “Huzoor! Kill the scorpion and move it away.” On hearing this, he said, “I am ashamed to behave contrary to that which I am discussing, in other words show impatience due to the sting of the scorpion.”
DUA OF HIS SHAYKH : He says, “Once my Peer blessed me with the opportunity of clothing an orphan child. After I did this, he made dua for me and said, ‘May Allah make the world your enemy and may he grant you freedom from this.’ The power of his dua was such, that my entire life changed, and I divorced myself from the world.”
CHARACTER AND HABITS : He was a very kind and honourable person. He was also a very humble personality. Once he said, “Thirty years have passed now, and I am still making tauba because of one thing that I made shukr (thanks) for.” People asked what he meant, and he said, “Once there was a fire in the market place and all the shops burnt down except mine. When I was informed of this, I made shukr (thanked Allah). I thus make tauba, since it meant that by saying Alhumdulillah my shop was saved, meant that I felt I was better than my other Muslim brothers and that I was pleased that a worldly possession was saved.” [Masaalik as-Saalikeen]
Once Hadrat was delivering a lecture in Baghdad, and one of the ministers of the Khalifa came with great pomp and splendour and sat in his mehfil. His name was Ahmad bin Yazeed. At the time when he entered, Hadrat was saying, “From all Allah’s creation, the weakest creation is man, yet he is so brave in committing major sins. It is sad, very sad.” These words of Hadrat entered the heart of the minister. He immediately went home and remained in silence. He did not even eat a meal on that night. He remained hungry the entire night and in the morning, he dressed in the clothes of a faqeer and presented himself in the darbaar of Hadrat Sirri Saqti Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho. He said, “Yesterday, your lecture made a great impact on my heart, so please help me to gain closeness to Allah.” Hadrat said, “The normal method is that you should read your five times salaah with Jama’at and give Zakaat from your wealth, and follow all the laws of Shariah with sincerity. The special method is this, that you should divorce yourself from the world and remain engrossed in the ibaadat of Allah, and that you should only desire the pleasure of Allah and nothing else.” Hadrat was still advising him, when Ahmad bin Yazeed stood up and immediately walked towards the jungle. After a few days, his mother arrived crying. She said that he was her only son, and she did not know where he had gone. Hadrat said, “O Dear old woman! Your son will return soon, and I shall inform you when he returns.” After a few days, he returned in the garb of a faqeer and only stayed for a while, and then left. He then came to Hadrat once more, and during that visit, he passed away in the hands of Hadrat Sirri Saqti Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho.
A DRUNK BECOMES A NAMAAZI: Once he saw a drunk lying on the ground, calling the name of Allah. Hadrat washed his mouth and said, “He does not know that he is taking the most exalted name with his impure mouth.” After he left, the drunk man became sober. Those that were present told him what had happened while he was intoxicated. He was very embarrassed, and he began to curse his nafs and weep bitterly. He said, “O shameless nafs! Sirri Saqti has now seen you in this sad state, and he too left. Now fear Allah and repent.” That night, Hadrat Sirri Saqti Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho heard a voice from the unseen which said, “You washed his mouth for my sake, and I have washed his heart for your sake.” When Hadrat went to the Masjid, for Tahajjud Salaah, he found the once drunk man, now in the Musjid reading his Tahajjud Salaah. Hadrat asked how the sudden change had occurred in him, and he said, “Why do you ask me concerning this, when Allah has already informed you about it.” Hadrat Junaid Baghdadi Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho says, “Once I presented myself at the home of Hadrat, and I found him very sad and silent. I asked the reason for his condition, and he said, ‘A Pari (female Jinn) from amongst the fairies came to me and asked the meaning of (Haya) modesty, and when I explained the meaning to her, she melted like wax.’ Even, I saw the water from the body of the Pari.”
GEMS OF WISDOM :
An Aarif is like the sun with its beauty and qualities, for its light passes over all. He is like the earth, that it holds the weight of the entire creation. He is like the water, through which the hearts gain life, and he is like fire that the entire domain is brightened by him.
Do whatever you can before you become old, since in old age you will be able to do nothing, just as I can not do anything. (Even though not even the young where Like Hadrat Sirri Saqti in his old age).
Stay away from the wealthy, those Qaaris who recite for name and fame, and from very wealthy Ulama.
One who can not control his own nafs can not be of assistance to others.
All become obedient to him, who is obedient to Allah.
A man abstains from sins for three reasons., from the fear of Allah, the hope of attaining Jannat, and through the modesty in the Court of Allah.
The most intelligent and wise amongst men are those who understand the secrets of the Quran and ponder over it.
An Aarif is he, whose food is like the food of the sick, his sleep is like that of a person bitten by a snake, and his lavishness like that of a person who is drowning in water.
The bravest deed is to take control of your nafs (desires).
HIS KHULAFA :
Sayyidut Taaifa Hadrat Junaid-e-Baghdadi,
Hadrat Shah Abu Muhammad,
Hadrat Shah urf Shaykh-e-Kabeer,
Hadrat Shah Hartaboon,
Hadrat Shah Abul Abbas Mazroof,
Hadrat Shah Abu Hamzah,
Hadrat Shah Abul Hassan Noori,
Hadrat Shah Fatal Al Mausuli,
Hadrat Shah Abdullah aHr’raar
and Hadrat Shah Saeed Abraar (Ridwaanullahi Ta’aala Alaihim Ajma’een).
WISAAL SHARIF : Hadrat Junaid-e-Baghdadi Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho says, “I went to visit him when he took ill. There was a fan kept close to him, so I used it to fan him. He then said, ‘O Junaid! Put it down. Fire is more powerful than wind.’ I then asked him about his condition and asked him to advise me, and he said, ‘Do not be diverted from the love of Allah through the companionship of the people.’ He then passed from this world travelling into the hereafter. He passed away on a Tuesday, the 13th of Ramadaan, 283 Hijri at the age of 98, in Baghdad Shareeef.
MAZAAR SHAREEF : His Mazaar Shareef is in Baghdad Shareef in a place called Shawneez.