Imam Abu Hanifah

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Early Years

Imam Abu Hanifah was born in Kufa, Iraq in the year 80A.H. He was the son of a Persian merchant and his full name is Nu’man bin Thabit ibn Zauti (more famously known in Islamic History as ‘Imam Abu Hanifah’ and ‘Imam A’zam’).

His father – Thabit – was privileged to meet Hazrat Ali (R.A.) who had at the time, made Kufa his capital. Kufa, at the time of Imam Abu Hanifah was one the most important learning centres in the Islamic world and was blessed with the presence of over a thousand sahabah at one stage in its history.

Imam Abu Hanifah is himself also a Tabi’ee (One who saw and benefited from at least one Sahabi).

At the age of 20, Imam Abu Hanifah turned his attention towards the pursuit of advancing his Islamic knowledge.

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Teachers

Imam Abu Hanifah benefited from nearly 4,000 Sheikhs. Among his 1st and the most important tutors was Imam Hammad (Died 120 A.H.) whose educational lineage is linked with Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (R.A.). Such was his respect for his tutor, Imam Hammad that Imam Abu Hanifah says; whilst in my home I never even stretched my legs towards the house of my tutor, despite living 7 streets away.

Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) had joined his father’s business wherein he showed scrupulous honesty and fairness. Once his agent had sold a consignment of silk cloth on his behalf but forgot to mention a slight defect to the customers. When Imam Abu Hanifah learnt of this, he was greatly distressed because he had no means of the refunding the customers; so he immediately ordered the entire proceeds of the sale (30,000 Dirhams ) to be given in charity.

Imam Abu Hanifah was also keenly interested in education. He established a school at Kufa, which later became a famous College of Theology. Here he delivered lectures on Islamic Law and related subjects.

Fiqah or Islamic Law was systematically studied by his students under his expert guidance. A large number of his devoted and highly intelligent students worked under him for 30 years, and it is the labour of these students that gave us the Hanafi School of thought.

Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) was the 1st of the Imams to advocate the use of “reason” in the consideration of religious questions based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. He was also the 1st Imam to arrange all the subjects of Islamic Law systematically.

His most important work is the Kitab-ul-Aasaar which was compiled by his students – Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad.

In {146 A.H.} 763 A.C. Al-Mansoor – the Banu Abbas Khalifa of the Muslim Empire at Baghdad whose capital was Baghdad – offered Imam Sahib the post of Chief Qadhi of the state, but Imam Abu Hanifah declined to accept the post and chose to remain independent. In his reply to Al-Mansoor, Imam Abu Hanifah excused himself by saying that he did not regard himself fit for the post offered. Al-Mansoor, who had his own ideas and reasons for offering the post, lost his temper and accused Imam Abu Hanifah of lying.

“If I am lying,” the Imam said, “then my statement is doubly correct. “How can you appoint a liar to the exalted post of a Chief Qazi?”

Incensed by this reply, Al-Mansoor charged the Imam with contempt, had him arrested and locked in prison.

Even in prison, Imam Abu Hanifah continued to teach those who were permitted to come to him.

It was here in prison that Imam Abu Hanifah was administered a dose of poison in 150 A.H. Realizing that the end was near, the Imam prostrated in prayer and passed away in this condition in the month of Rajab, 150 A.H.

The news of his death soon spread throughout Baghdad. The whole town came out to pay their last homage to the greatest Imam of Islamic Law. More than 50,000 people participated in the first Janaza Salaat. People continued to flock and before the Janaza could be finally taken for burial, the Salaatul Janaza was offered 6 times in all. For days, people came in large numbers to pay their respects at the grave side.

Adapted from Domain of Islam‘s article on Imam Abu Hanifah

59 thoughts on “Imam Abu Hanifah”

  1. Assalamoalaikum,
    Jazak ALLAH, for what you have done can only be rewarded by HIM. You have introduced us all to our great IMAM

  2. Allah appko behter badlade.bhut se sahaba ke sahgird Hazrath imam abu hanifa RAHIMA HULLAH ke bare me maloomath frahim kya.


  4. Infact I was very happy coming accross a great history of these respect imams.I pray to almight Allah to reward all the people that might have contributed to development of this glorious site.”Is there any reward other than good for the people that do good”( quran) Am a nigerian citizen working in telecoms firm.Jazakum Lahu khairan

  5. Is it true that one one his teacher was Imam Jafar-al- Sadiq-a Shia Imaam ?

    Is it also true that he did not take any formal education during his childhood and joined his fathers’ business when he was young ?

    Is it true that he did not give the reference of Hadith when giving a decision on any issue of Islamic Fiqah ?

  6. jazakallah khair for this beautiful reply of my question. this onformation has given me a great praise and i will never forget it thank you once again

  7. Jazaakallahu khairan Brother. Brought tears to my eyes reading about My Beloved Imam. May the Almighty enlighten his grave and grant him and all the fuqahaa and muhadditheen the best recompense on behalf of us. Ameen

    P.s I’l be using the info for My Jumuah lecture here in Ireland.


  8. Alhamdulillah. This write off is a development to islam. But there is need where ever the name of RASULULLAH (Muhammad) is mentioned the writer should put (SAW) after it. May Allah continue to guide us, ameen.

  9. thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much it changed my life

  10. thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much it changed my dark to light.

  11. Asslamoalaikum. This is repeated as my earlier comment is included above. The history of Islam is always considered history of Muslims. It need to be one based on proper research and answerable to reason. Here it is referred that he benefited from 4000 scholars. Even if a day is spend with each one of them, it would require elven years. How you can master and acquire in depth knowledge on this basis. Can you suggest a book where comparative history of all the four imams is given. Even no prominent madressa gives training of more then one Majhab as per my information, except Al-Azhar Cairo, which gives the training of all the four Majhabs. Allah knows the best.

    1. If he benefitted a day with 4 scholars that could be less than 3year. Or if he spent a day with 2 scholars it could be less than 5 years if he was sitting with the group of scholars then it could be less than the said before.

      Now a days we are busy in this generation technology.

  12. Allah bless the illustrious Imam of all times—-He devoted his entire his life for the services of Islam, may Allah reward him for his noble services, amin

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