Imām Abū Ḥanīfah رحمه الله
Full Name: Nu‘mān ibn Thābit
Born: 80AH - Kūfā
Demise: 150AH - Baghdad
Imām Abū Ḥanīfah رحمه الله was of average height, very handsome, well dressed and well perfumed. He could be recognised by his fragrance before he would arrive at a place, and also after he had passed. He had a sweet voice, could express himself clearly, and spoke with great clarity and insight. He spoke little, and refrained from futile talk.
He was a Tābi‘ī; he met Anas ibn Mālik, ‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Ḥārith ibn Jaz’, Abdullāh ibn Abī Awfā and a few other Saḥābah رضي الله عنهم.
The Imām spent his early youth in trade, and was inclined to seek ‘ilm through the influence of Imām Ash-Sha‘bī رحمه الله
‘Aṭā ibn Abī Rabāḥ
Ḥammād ibn Abī Sulaymān
Nāfi‘ رحمهم الله.
‘Abdullāh ibn Mubārak
Zakariyyā ibn Abī Zā’idah
Muḥammad ibn Al-Ḥasan Ash-Shaybānī رحمهم الله
Imām Abū Ḥanīfah رحمه الله would be nicknamed ‘Al-Watad’ (The Tent Peg) due to his standing in ṣalāh all night.
Mis‘ar رحمه الله narrates, “Once I entered the masjid and someone’s recitation of the Qur’ān caught my attention. He recited a seventh, when I thought, ‘He’ll go into rukū‘ now’, but he continued until he recited a third, then a half, until he had finished the whole Qur’ān in one rak‘ah. This was Imām Abū Ḥanīfah.
Al-Khaṭīb رحمه الله writes:
Imām Abū Ḥanīfah رحمه الله read the Fajr ṣalāh with the wuḍū of ‘Ishā for forty years; the majority of nights he would spend reciting the Qur’ān in just one rak‘ah, and his weeping could be heard so much that his neighbours would pity him. It has been recorded about him that he had completed the Qur’ān upon the spot he passed away, 7000 times.
His Fear of Allāh
Yazīd رحمه الله narrates:
A young child once opened a roll of silk in front of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah, and it was of different colours. The child exclaimed, “We ask Allāh for Jannah!” Imām Abū Ḥanīfah started to weep. Sobbing uncontrollably, he ordered his [own] shop to be shut, leaving hastily with his head bowed. When I sat with him the next day, he said, “O my brother! How courageous are we that we say, ‘We ask Allāh for Jannah!?’ Only that person asks Allāh for Jannah who has toiled for it. The likes of us can only desire to ask for Allāh for his pardon.”
He was also very wise and patient, as can be judged by the incident when he was told to become a judge by Ibn Hubayrah.
His Insight In Fiqh:
Imām Ash-Shāfi‘ī رحمه الله would say, ‘People are dependent upon Abū Ḥanīfah in matters of Fiqh.’
‘Abdullāh ibn Al-Mubārak رحمه الله said, ‘Abū Ḥanīfah was a sign [from the signs of Allāh].’
Imām Mālik رحمه الله was asked, ‘Have you met Abū Ḥanīfah?’ He replied, ‘Yes, I met a man who, if he was to prove to you that this pillar was gold, he would succeed in doing so.’
These few posts about the four Imāms in no way do justice to the great personalities they were, and the lives they led. May Allāh bless us with just some of the qualities that these great Imāms possessed, and may He reward them for their efforts and sacrifices for the Dīn. Āmīn
Ṣifat-Aṣ-Ṣafwah of Ibn Al-Jawzī رحمه الله
Siyar-A‘lām-An-Nubalā, Imām Adh-Dhahabī رحمه الله