Stories of Imam-e-Azam Abu Hanifa

Abu Hanifa and Imam of the Mosque

– Time to time Mother of Abu Hanifah use to ask him to take her to the Imam of the Mosque

– She use to say; O son, I have some question about my prayer or wudu and need to ask a scholar. Please take me to the Imam of the Jame’ mosque so I can ask him!

– Abu Hanifa would take her there and say to the Imam; My mother wants to ask you about some issue about her prayer. Please can you answer her!

– Even if mother of Abu Hanifa doesn’t realise the level of her son in the knowledge, but the Imam of the mosque knew that very well! That’s because Abu Hanifa use to teach in the same mosque.

– And Imam would be ashamed to talk about knowledge when Abu Hanifa would speak on behalf of his mother to ask him…

The story is from Manaqib of Abu Hanifa


Once some one followed Abu Hanifah after his lesson, and said;
”You said in the lesson so on so on…”
”Yes, I think that is right point”. Abu Hanifa replied.
”But Hasan Basri gave opposite fatwa to this?” said that person.
Abu Hanifah fallen silent for a bit, and said;

”I think that Hasan Basri is wrong in this fatwa”.

”O you, … [he insulted the mother of Abu Hanifah] how you can say that Hasan is wrong!” shouted that person.

Abu Hanifah again fallen silent, then came back and said;
”I think that Abdullah [bin Mas’ood RA] was right in this issue and Hasan Basri is wrong”.

That person was shocked that ibn Mas’ood RA is on the side of Imam and felt ashamed and apologised…

Manaqib Kardari

Leading the Prayer…

Once Hammad son of Abu Hanifah led the prayer. Later Abu Hanifah was informed about that so he said to the people;
”Don’t let him to lead the prayer again”.

Then Hammad came to him asking why did do it to him, so Abu Hanifa said;
”I told them to not to let you leading the prayer because I saw you arguing”.

Hammad said;
”But father, I saw you debating also…”

”We use to sit on the way if there would be a bird on our head it wouldn’t be disturbed. When we use to debate, we use to be afraid for the person with whom we are debating to not to make some mistake. But you are debating and waiting for your partner to make a mistake that causes kufr. And any one who waits from others to make a kufri statement, he becomes kafir before his partner!” replied Imam Abu Hanifah RA.

Story from the Manaqib Abu Hanifah.
As we know Imam Abu Hanifah beside been a great scholar use to be a wealthy trader also. He use to trade on a fabric.

Once he sent his assistant to Basrah with whole caravan full fabric. Before caravan leaving he said to his assistant pointing to some bags;
”This part of the fabric is not the same quality as the rest. I made them in different bags as you see. So if you sell them, explain it to the buyers and sell it for cheaper”.

”I will do!” replied his assistant.

After some period the caravan came back with much more profit that Imam was expecting. Imam asked his assistant if the second explaned the defect of the fabric.

He said;
”Oh, I totally forgot about that O Abu Hanifah, but buyers saw the commodity before buying it. And they where very happy to take it”.

”Even if they are happy to take that fabric, but I am not happy to take this profit” said Abu Hanifah and gave away all that money to the poor people.
Muslim Historians mentioned a story with Imam Abu Hanifah:

Once Imam Abu Hanifah finished his teaching in the Mosque of Baghdad and left the Mosque. Some of the people who use to hate him followed him on the way and started insulting him and saying very bad words. But Imam kept on walking in silence. That person wouldn’t stop blaming the Imam. Suddenly Imam stopped next to a door and turned to him and said ” O brother, here is my house, did you finish your speech?” .

That person felt ashamed and went away.
Once some slave came to Abu Hanifah and said:

”O Imam, my master attends your lessons all the time. I love to be freed, so please can you speak about the rewards of freeing a slave?”
”Indeed I will do.” replied Abu Hanifah.

But Abu Hanifah didn’t fulfil his promise for a long time. And when Abu Hanifah spoke about the virtues of freeing a slave that master freed the slave.

Next day slave came very happy and said:

”O Imam I don’t know how to thank you! But one thing, why it took so long to give this lesson?”

Abu Hanifah replied:
”When you came I had all of my capital invested in a trading. And it took a while before I’ve got some money. Then I freed a slave then I gave that lesson”.

”Why you didn’t give this lecture before freeing a slave?” he asked.
”People take your advise only if you do it by yourself!” Abu Hanifah replied.
Once Abu Hanifa was in the palace of Khalifa, and there was another person who had an envy against Abu Hanifa. That person though that its the best chance to finish the Imam. He prepared an evil strategy and asked the Imam;

”O Abu Hanifa, time to time Khalifa orders us to kill some people. Is it ok for us to obey the command?”

Abu Hanifa understood that he has been trapped, so reversed the trap back to that man and said;

”Does Khalifa order you by justice or oppression?”
The man was shocked, and said;
”By justice ofcourse!”
Abu Hanifa said;
”Follow the justice where ever you find it and don’t ask about it any one!”
There is a story in Manaqib of Abu Hanifa;
Once some young man came to Abu Hanifa and said;
O Abu Hanifa, I went to this person with a proposal. But he is not willing to marry of his daughter because I am not wealthy…
(Most likely this guy was a bit greedy. And this young man was a good match for his daughter, and every one was happy with it except the father.)

Abu Hanifa said;
Just come tomorrow in this time. And as soon as you see me talking to him just put your hand on your limb.

Next day this greedy person came to chat with Abu Hanifa.
Right after him that young man came, and as soon as he saw them chatting he catched his limb.

Abu Hanifa said to that greedy guy;
This young man has in his hand (metaphoricly means in he possession) an item and he wouldnt sell it every for 100 000 golden coin!
This greedy man was shocked, and next day he married off his daughter to him.

How much does it worth?

As we know Abu Hanifah was a merchant and had a silk fabric shop in the Baghdad Market.

Once a lady came to his shop with a silk fabric and offered to him.
He asked;
”How much do you want for it?”

”A hundred dirhams” she replied. (dirham means a silver coin)
He said;
”Its price more than that”.

”Two hundred then” she said.

”Its too cheap for your fabric” he replied.

”Then three hundred” she said.

”You are selling it for cheap” he said.

She said;
”Are you kidding with me?” (may be was a bit annoyed)
”Go and offer it to the head of the market” he replied”.

She went and evaluated her fabric by the head of the market and came back and said;

”He said four hundred”.

”It is more than that” said Abu Hanifa and paid five hundred dirhams.
How you cant trust the person who cares about you more than himself?
That’s why we call him Imam!
If you follow any ones knowledge than let him to be some thing like this Imam, if not than don’t follow them!
Just to clarify, in those days there use to be a head of a market who would look after the transactions happening without any one been cheated. So you could go and evaluate your commodity by them and then to sell. As well if any friction would happen between them, head would solve the problem.
The story is taken from Manaqib of Imam by Haitami.
Imam Abu Hanifah said;

Any one waits for a Believer to commit Kufr, becomes Kafir…
Narrated in Manaqib. (also you can find it in Fatawa shamia in few places and Hindiya, Sharh fiqh Akbar and many other sources).
Its applicable on those who go to the speeches of the Scholars waiting them to say a kufri statement.

Also applicable on those who read a books of a Scholars hoping to find the kufri statement.
Accordingly to Imam (Abu Hanifa) all of the people engaged in to it:
need to renew your nikah, re-do your Hajj, and any good deeds you’ve done you lost its rewards.
People use to slander Abu Hanifah in Rejecting Hadeeth and destroying Islam. So they use to backbite him a lot. But we was well known of not backbiting any one.

Once some of the students went to Sufyan Thawri and asked him;
”Why you think every one backbites Abu Hanifah, but I’ve never heard him backbiting any one?..”

Sufyan replied;
”Abu Hanifah is more brainier than to leave his enemies alone with his good deeds!”

Manaqib Makki.
”leaving the enemies alone with his good deeds” – referring to Hadith where it says that if you oppress some one by slandering and backbiting God will let that person to take your good deeds as you oppressed him…


Shaykh Atabek Shukurov An Nasafi



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