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Imam Abu Hanifah (ra)

The book Qamoos al-alam states: Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's name was Numan. His father's name was Thabit.
His grandfather' s name was Numan, too. He was the first of the four great imams of the Ahl as-Sunnah Wal
Jama'ah. 'Imam' means 'profoundly learned scholar.' He was one of the main pillars of the brilliant religion of
Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). He was a descendant of a Persian notable. His grandfather had embraced
Islam. He was born in Kufa in 80 (698 A.D.). He was born early enough to see Anas ibn Malik, 'Abdullah ibn Abi
Awfa, Sahl ibn Sad as-Sa'idi and Abu al-Fadl Amir ibn Wasila, four Sahaabis (Radi-Allahu ta'ala anhum). He
learned 'ilm al-fiqh from Hammad ibn Abi Sulaiman. He enjoyed the companionship of many notables of the
Tabi'een, and of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala). He memorized innumerable Ahadith. He was
brought up so as to become a great judge, but he became an imam al-madhhab. He had a superior, and amazingly
keen intellect. In 'ilm al-fiqh, he attained an unequalled grade in a short time. His name and fame became
worldwide.

Yazid ibn 'Amr, Governor of Iraq during the time of Marana ibn Muhammad, the fourteenth and last Umayyad
Halifax, who was a grandson of Marwaan ibn Hakam (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) and was killed five years after
assuming the caliphate in Egypt in 132 (750 A.D.), proposed to Abu Hanifa (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) to become a
judge for the law-court of Kufa. But, since he had as much zuhd, taqwa and wara' as he had knowledge and intellect,
he refused it. He was afraid of not being able to safeguard human rights because of human weaknesses. With a
command from Yazid, he was given a whipping, hundred and ten blows to the head. His blessed face and head
swelled. The next day, Yazid took the Imam out and oppressed him by repeating his offer. The Imam said, "Let me
consult," and obtained permission to leave. He went to the blessed city of Mecca and stayed there for five or six
years.

The 'Abbasid Khalifah Abu Ja'far Mansoor (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) commanded him to be the chief of the
Supreme Court of Appeal in 150 A.H. [767 A.D.]. He refused it and was put into jail. He was subjected to whipping,
ten blows more every following day. When the number of whipping reached one hundred, he attained martyrdom.
Abu Sad Muhammad ibn Mansoor al-Harizmi (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala), one of the viziers of Malikshah (447-485
A.H., the third Saljuqi Sultan and the son of Sultan Alparslan), had a wonderful dome built over his grave.
Afterwards, Ottoman emperors embellished and had his tomb restored several times.

Abu Hanifa (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) was the first who compiled and classified 'ilm al-fiqh, and he gathered
information for each branch of knowledge. He wrote the books Fara'id and Shuroot. There are innumerable books
describing his extensive knowledge on fiqh; his extraordinary ability in qiyaas; and his dumbfounding superiority in
zuhd, taqwa, mildness and righteousness. He had many disciples, some of whom became among the great
mujtahideen. The Hanafi Madhhab spread far and wide during the time of the Ottoman Empire. It almost became the
official Madhhab of the State. Today, more than half of the Muslims on the earth and most of the Ahl as-Sunnah
perform their 'ibaadah according to the Hanafi Madhhab. Citation from the book Qamoos-ul alam ends here. The
book Mir'at al-ka'inat states: The ancestors of al-Imam al-azam (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) come from the province
of Faaris, Iran. His father, Habit, had met Imam 'Ali (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) in Kufa and Hadrat 'Ali had pronounced a
benediction over him and his descendants. Al-Imam al-azam was one of the greatest among the Tabi'een and saw
Anas ibn Malik (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) and three or seven more of the as-Sahaabat ul-kiram. He learned Hadith ash-
Sharif from them.

A hadith ash-Sharif, which al-Imam al-Harizmi reported from Abu Hurairah (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) through isnaad
muttasil (an uninterrupted chain of reporters), states: "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 ash-Sharif states: "A man
named Numan ibn Habit and called Abu Hanifa will appear and will revive Allah ta'ala's Religion and my Sunnah."
And another one states: "In every century, a number of my Ummah will attain to high grades. Abu Hanifa will be
the highest of his time." These three Ahadith are written in the book Mawdua'at al-'Uloom and in Durr-al-mukhtaar.
This hadith ash-Sharif is also well known: "Among my Ummah, a man called Abu Hanifa will appear. There is a
beauty spot between his two shoulder blades. Allahu ta'ala will revive His Religion through his hand."

Preface to Durr al-mukhtaar writes: "A hadith ash-Sharif states: As Adam ('alaihi 's-salaam) was proud of me so I
am proud of a man of my Ummah named Numan and called Abu Hanifa. He is the light of my Ummah.' " Another
hadith ash-Sharif states: "Prophets ('alaihimu 's-salaam) are proud of me. And I am proud of Abu Hanifa. He who
loves him will have loved me. He who feels hostility towards him will have felt hostility towards me." These
Ahadith are also written in the book Al-muqaddimah by the profound scholar Hadrat Abu 'l-Laith as-Samarqandi
and in Taqadduma, which is a commentary to the former. In the preface to the fiqh book Al-muqaddimah by al-
Ghaznawi Ahadith praising him are quoted.

In Diya' al-ma'nawi, a commentary on it, Qadi Abi 'l-Baqa said, 'Abul-Faraj 'Abdur-Rahman ibn al-Jawzi, based on
the words of al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, said that these Ahadith were made'. Yet this remark of his is bigotry, for these
Ahadith were reported by several chains of transmitters. Ibn 'Abidin, in his commentary on Durr al-mukhtaar,
proved that these Ahadith were not made' and quoted the following hadith ash-Sharif from the book Al-khairaat al-
hisaan by Ibn Hajar al-Makki: "The ornament of the world will be taken away in the year 150." He went on, "The
great fiqh scholar Shams al-aimmah 'Abdul-Ghaffaar al-Kardari (d. 562/1166 A.D.) said, "It is obvious that this
hadith ash-Sharif refers to al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, since he passed away in 150." A hadith ash-Sharif given by
al-Bukhaari and Muslim says, "If imaan went to the planet Venus, a man of Faaris (Persian) descent would bring it
back." Imam as-Suyuti, a Shafi'i alim, remarked, "It has been communicated unanimously that this hadith ash-Sharif
refers to al-Imam al-azam." Numan Alusi writes in the book Ghaliyya that this hadith ash-Sharif refers to Abu
Hanifa and that his grandfather descended from a Faaris family. 'Allamah Yusuf, a Hanbali scholar, quoted in his
work Tanwir as-sahifa from Hafiz 'Allamah Yusuf ibn 'Abdul-Barr (b. 368/978 and d. 463/1071 in Shaatiba), Qadi
of Lisbon, Portugal, 'Do not slander Abu Hanifa and do not believe those who slander him! I swear by Allahu ta'ala
that I know not a person superior to him, having more wara', or being more learned than he. "Do not believe what al-
Khateeb al-Baghdadi said! He was antipathetic towards the 'ulama'. He slandered Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmad and
their disciples.

The 'ulama' of Islam refuted al-Khateeb and censured him. Ibn al-Jawzi's grandson, 'Allamah Yusuf Shams ad-din
al-Baghdadi, wrote in his forty-volume book Mirat az-zaman that he was astonished to know that his grandfather
had followed al-Khateeb. Imam al-Ghazaali (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala), in his Ihya', praises al-Imam al-azam with
such words as ''abid', 'zahid' and 'al-'arif billah'. If the Sahaabat ul-Kiraam and the 'ulama' of Islam had different
points of view from one another, it was not because they did not approve of each other's words or because they were
unsociable to one another or because they disliked one another; mujtahideen (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain)
disagreed with one another concerning ijtihaad for Allah ta'ala's sake and to help the religion."1]

An alim dreamt of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and asked him, 'What would you say about Abu
Hanifa's knowledge?' He answered, 'Everybody needs his knowledge.' Another alim asked in his dream, 'O Rasul-
Allah! What would you say about the knowledge Numan ibn Habit has, who lives in Kufa?' He answered, "Learn
from him and do as he says. He is a very good person." Imam 'Ali (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) said, "Let me inform you of a
person called Abu Hanifa, who will live in Kufa. His heart will be full of knowledge and hikmah (wisdom).
Towards the end of the world, many people will perish because of not appreciating him, just as the Shiites will
perish because of not having appreciated Abu Bakr and 'Umar (Radi-Allahu 'anhuma)."

Imam Muhammad al-Baaqir ibn Zain al-'Abidin 'Ali ibn Hussain (rahmat-Allahi 'alaihim, b. 57 A.H. in Medina and
d. 113, buried in the shrine of Hadrat 'Abbas [Radi-Allahu 'anhu] in Medina) looked at Abu Hanifa and said, "When
those who destroy the religion of my ancestors increase in number, you will revive it. You will be the savior of those
who fear and the shelter of those who are confused! You will lead the heretics to the right way! Allahu ta'ala will
help you!" When he was young, al-Imam al-azam (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) studied 'ilm al-kalaam and ma'rifah and
became very skillful. Then after serving Imam Hammad for twenty-eight years, he attained maturity. When
Hammad passed away, he took his place as a mujtahid and Mufti.

His knowledge and superiority became known far and wide. His virtue, intelligence, sagacity, zuhd, taqwa,
trustworthiness, readiness of wit, devotion to Islam, righteousness and his perfection in every respect as a human
being were above those of all others of his time. All the mujtahideen and those who succeeded him and noble people
-even Christians- praised him. Al-Imam ash-Shafi'i (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) said, "All men of fiqh are Abu
Hanifa's children." He said once, "I get blessings (tabarruk) from Abu Hanifa's soul. I visit his tomb every day.
When I am in difficulty, I go to his tomb and perform two rak'ah of salaat. I invoke Allahu ta'ala, and He gives me
what I wish." Al-Imam ash-Shafi'i was a disciple of Imam Muhammad.2 He remarked, "Allahu ta'ala bestowed
knowledge upon me through two persons. I learned the Hadith ash-Sharif from Sufyaan ibn 'Uyaynah and fiqh from
Muhammad ash-Shaibaani. "
He said once, "In the field of religious knowledge and in worldly affairs, there is one person to whom I am grateful.
He is Imam Muhammad." And again, al-Imam ash-Shafi'i said, "With what I learned from Imam Muhammad I have
written a pack-animal- load of books. I would not have acquired anything of knowledge had he not been my teacher.
All men of knowledge are the children of the 'ulama' of Iraq, who were the disciples of the 'ulama' of Kufa. And they
were the disciples of Abu Hanifa." Al-Imam al-azam acquired knowledge from four thousand people. The 'ulama' of
every century wrote many books describing the greatness of al-Imam al-azam. In the Hanafi Madhhab, five hundred
thousand religious problems were solved and all of them were answered. [Editor's note: It is to be noted that that
number is close to doubled in the present-day era.]

Al-Hafiz al-kabir Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Harizmi wrote in his book Musnad, "Saif al-aimmah reports that when al-
Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa derived a matter from Qur'an al-karim and Hadith ash-Sharif, he would propound it to his
masters. He would not give the answer to the inquirer unless all of them confirmed it." One thousand of his disciples
attended all his classes when he taught in the mosque of Kufa city. Forty of them were mujtahideen. When he found
the answer for a matter he would propound it to his disciples. They would study it together and, when they were all
in agreement that it was consistent with Qur'an al-karim and Hadith ash-Sharif and with the words of the Sahaabat
al-kiraam, he would be delighted and say, "Al-hamdu lillah wallahu Akbar," and all those who were present would
repeat his words. Then he would tell them to write it down."

It is written in the book Radd al-Wahhabi 3: [THE FOLLOWING IS A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF
INFORMATION! !!] "Being a mujtahid requires first being specialized in the Arabic language and in the various
linguistic sciences such as awda', sahih, marwi, mutawaatir; ways of radd; made' vocabulary; fasih, radi and
mazmun forms; mufrad, shadh, nadir, mustamal, muhmal, mu'rab, marifa, ishtiqaq, haqiqa, majaz, mushtarak, izdad,
mutlaq, muqayyad, ibdal and qalb. Next you must be specialized in sarf, nahw, ma'ani, bayan, badi', balaghat, 'ilm
al-usul al-fiqh, 'ilm al-usul al-hadith, 'ilm al-usul at-tafsir, and have memorized the words of the imams of jarh and
tadil. Being a faqih requires, in addition to these, knowing the proof for every matter and studying the meaning, the
murad and tawil of the proof.

Being a muhaddith, that is, a scholar of hadith, requires only memorizing the Ahadith as one heard them; it is not
compulsory to know the meanings, murads, tawils, or to understand the proofs for the rules of Islam. If a faqih and a
muhaddith disagree with each other about a hadith ash-Sharif, e.g. if the former says that it is sahih and the latter
says that it is daif, the faqih's word will be valid. Therefore, al-Imam al-azam's word or decision is more valuable
than all the others because he was the first mujtahid and the highest faqih due to his having heard many Ahadith
directly from the Sahaabat al-kiraam without any intervention. A hadith ash-Sharif that was said to be sahih by this
exalted imam was said to be sahih by all Islamic scholars. A muhaddith cannot be in the grade of a faqih. And he
can never reach the grade of an imam al-madhhab."

'Abdulhaq ad-Dahlawi, a scholar of hadith, wrote in his book Sirat-i mustaqim, "Some Ahadith which al-Imam ash-
Shafi'i took as documents were not taken as documents by al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa. Seeing this, the la-
madhhabi used it as an opportunity for traducing al-Imam al-azam and claimed that Abu Hanifa had not followed
the hadith ash-Sharif. However, Hadrat al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa found and took other Ahadith which were
more sahih and dependable in documenting the matter."

A hadith ash-Sharif states: "The most beneficial ones of my Ummah are those who live in my time. The next most
beneficial ones are those who succeed them. And the next most beneficial ones are those who will come after them."
This hadith ash-Sharif shows that the Tabi'een were more beneficial than Taba' at-Tabi'een. The Islamic 'ulama' all
agree that al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa saw some of the as-Sahaabat al-kiraam, heard Ahadith from them, and,
therefore, was one of the Tabi'een. For example, al-Imam al-azam heard the hadith, "A person who builds a mosque
for Allahu ta'ala's sake will be given a villa in Paradise," from 'Abdullah ibn Awfa, who was a Sahaabi.

Jalaal ad-din as-Suyuti, a Shafi'i scholar, wrote in his book Tabyid as-sahifa that al-Imam 'Abdulkarim, one of the
Shafi'I scholars, wrote a complete book describing the Sahaabis whom al-Imam al-azam had seen. It is written in
Durr al-mukhtaar that al-Imam al-azam saw seven Sahaabis. Among the four aimmat al-madhahib, only al-Imam al-
azam was honored with being one of the Tabi'een. It is a rule in 'ilm al-usool that the view of those who admit
something is preferred to the view of those who refuse it. It is obvious that al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, being one
of the Tabi'een, is the highest of the aimmat al-madhahib. The la-madhhabis' denying al-Imam al-azam's superiority
or their trying to vilify this exalted Imam by saying that he was weak in the knowledge of hadith, is similar to their
denying the superiority of Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat 'Umar (Radi-Allahu 'anhuma).

This perverse negation of theirs is not a sort of illness that can be cured by preaching or advice. May Allahu ta'ala
cure them! The Muslims' Khalifah 'Umar (Radi-Allahu 'anhu) said during his khutbah: "O Muslims! As I tell you
now, Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) told us during his khutbah: "The most beneficial people are my
Sahaabah. The most beneficial after them are their successors. And the next most beneficial are those who will come
after them. There will be liars among those who will come after these.' " The four Madhhabs which Muslims have
been following and imitating today are the Madhhabs of those beneficial people whose beneficence was
corroborated by Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam). The Islamic 'ulama' declare in consensus that it is not
permissible to adopt a Madhhab other than these four Madhhabs.

Ibn Nujaim al-Misri (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala), author of the book Bahr ar-ra'iq, wrote in his work Ashbah, "Hadrat
al-Imam ash-Shafi'i said that a person who wanted to be a specialist in the knowledge of fiqh should read Abu
Hanifa's books." Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak said, "I have not seen another specialist as learned as Abu Hanifa in the
knowledge of fiqh. The great alim Mis'ar used to kneel in front of Abu Hanifa and learn what he did not know by
asking him. I have studied under a thousand 'ulama'. Yet, had I not seen Abu Hanifa, I would have slipped into the
bog of Greek philosophy." Abu Yusuf said, "I have not seen another person as profoundly learned as Abu Hanifa in
the knowledge of hadith. There is not another alim who can expound Ahadith as competently as he did." The great
alim and mujtahid Sufyaan ath-Thawri said, "In comparison with Abu Hanifa, we were like sparrows with a falcon.
Abu Hanifa is the leader of the 'ulama'." 'Ali ibn Asim said, "If Abu Hanifa's knowledge were to be measured with
the total knowledge of all the 'ulama' contemporary with him, Abu Hanifa's knowledge would prove to be greater."

Yazid ibn Harun said, "I studied under a thousand 'ulama'. Among them I did not see anyone who had as much wara'
as Abu Hanifa did or who was as wise as Abu Hanifa (Rihimahu Allahu Ta'ala)." Muhammad ibn Yusuf ash-Shafi'i,
one of the Damascene 'ulama', praises al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa much, explains his superiority in detail, and
says that he is the leader of all mujtahideen in his book Uqud al-jaman fi manaqibi'n-Numan. Al-Imam al-azam Abu
Hanifa said, "We esteem and love Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) Ahadith above all. We search for the words of the
Sahaabat al-kiraam, choose and adopt them. As for the words of the Tabi'een, they are like our words. Translation
from the book Radd-i Wahhabi ends here. This book was printed in India and in Istanbul, in 1264 (1848 A.D.) and
in 1401 (1981 A.D.), respectively.

In the book Sayf-ul-muqallidin ala a'nak-il-munkirin, Mawlana Muhammad 'Abdul-Jalil wrote in Persian: "The la-
madhhabi say that Abu Hanifa was weak in the knowledge of hadith. This assertion of theirs shows that they are
ignorant or jealous. Al-Imam az-Zahabi and Ibn Hajar al-Makki say that al-Imam al-azam wasan alim of hadith. He
learned Ahadith from four thousand 'ulama'. Three hundred of them were among the Tabi'een and were 'ulama' of
hadith. Al-Imam ash-Sharaani says in the first volume of al-Mizaan, 'I have studied three of al-Imam al-azam's
Musnads. All of them transmit information from the well-known 'ulama' of the Tabi'een.' Hostility which the la-
madhhabi people bear against the Salaf as-saliheen and their jealousy towards the mujtahid imams, particularly
towards their leader al-Imam al-Muslimeen Abu Hanifa, must have obstructed their perception and conscience to the
extent that they deny the beauty and superiority of these Islamic 'ulama'.

They are intolerant of the fact that pious people have what they do not have. It is for this reason that they deny the
superiority of the imams of Islam and thus venture into the shirk (polytheism) of jealousy. It is written in the book
Hada'iq: "When al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa memorized Ahadith he wrote them down. He kept the hadith books he
wrote in wooden boxes, some of which he always kept at hand wherever he went. His quoting only a few Ahadith
does not show that the number of Ahadith he memorized was small. Only bigoted enemies of Islam may say so. This
bigotry of theirs proves al-Imam al-azam's perfection; an inept person's slandering the learned indicates the former's
perfection." Founding a great Madhhab and answering hundreds of thousands of questions by documenting them
with ayahs and Ahadith could not have been done by a person who was not deeply specialized in the sciences of
tafsir and hadith. In fact, bringing forth a new, unique Madhhab without a model or an example is an excellent proof
for al-Imam al-azam's expertise in the sciences of tafsir and hadith. Because he worked with extraordinary energy
and brought forth this Madhhab, he did not have time to quote the Ahadith or to cite their transmitters one by one;
this cannot be grounds for denigrating that exalted imam by jealously casting aspersions on him by saying that he
was weak in the knowledge of hadith. It is a known fact that riwayah (transmitting) without dirayah (ability,
intelligence) has no value. For example, Ibn Abdul-Barr said, "If riwayah without dirayah were valuable, a
dustman's quoting a hadith would be superior to Luqman's intelligence. "

Ibn Hajar al-Makki was one of the 'ulama' in the Shafi'i Madhhab, but he wrote in his book Qala'id: "The great alim
of hadith A'mash asked al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa many questions. Al-Imam al-azam answered each of his
questions by quoting Ahadith. After seeing al-Imam al-azam's profound knowledge in hadith, A'mash said, 'O, you,
the 'ulama' of fiqh! You are like specialized doctors, and we the 'ulama' of hadith are like pharmacists. We cite
Ahadith and their transmitters, but you are the ones who understand their meanings.' " It is written in the book 'Uqud
al-jawahiri 'l-munifa: "While 'Ubaidullah ibn 'Amr was in the company of the great alim of hadith A'mash, someone
came up and asked a question. As A'mash thought about the answer, al-Imam al-azam joined in. A'mash repeated
the question to the Imam and requested an answer. Al-Imam al-azam immediately answered it in detail.

Admiring the answer, A'mash said, "O Imam! From which hadith do you derive this?' Al-Imam al-azam quoted the
hadith ash-Sharif from which he derived the answer and added, 'I heard this from you.' " Al-Imam al-Bukhaari knew
three hundred thousand Ahadith by heart. He wrote only twelve thousand of them in his books because he feared
very much the threat in the hadith ash-Sharif, "If a person quotes, in the name of hadith, what I have not uttered, he
will be tormented very bitterly in Hell." Having much wara' and taqwa, al-Imam al-azam imposed very heavy
conditions for the transmitting of Ahadith. He would quote only those Ahadith fulfilling these conditions. Some
'ulama' of hadith transmitted numerous Ahadith because their branch was wider and their conditions were lighter.
The 'ulama' of hadith never belittled one another on account of differing conditions. Had this not been so, Imam
Muslim would have said something to offend al-Imam al-Bukhaari (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihima). Al-Imam al-
azam Abu Hanifa's transmitting only a few Ahadith because of his circumspection and taqwa is only a good reason
for praising and lauding him."4

The book Mirat al-ka'inat goes on: "Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) performed morning
prayer in a mosque and answered his disciples' questions until noon every day. After noon prayer, he taught his
disciples again until night prayer. Then he would go home and, after resting for a while, return to the mosque and
worship until morning prayer. Mis'ar ibn Kadam al-Kufi, one of the Salaf as-saliheen, who passed away in 115 (733
A.D.), and many other great people reported this fact. He earned his living in a halaal way by trading. He sent goods
to other places and with his earnings he met the needs of his disciples. He spent much for his household and gave an
equal amount as alms to the poor. Moreover, every Friday he distributed twenty gold coins to the poor for his
parents' souls. He did not stretch his legs towards his teacher Hammad's (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) house, though he
lived at a distance of seven streets away. Once he found out that one of his partners had sold a large amount of
goods incompatibly with Islam. He distributed all the ninety thousand aqchas earned to the poor, not taking one
penny of it. After brigands had raided the villages of Kufa and had stolen sheep, he, thinking that these stolen sheep
might be slaughtered and sold in the town, did not eat mutton for seven years, for he knew that a sheep lived seven
years at the longest. He abstained from the haraam to that degree. He observed Islam in his every action.

For forty years al-Imam al-azam (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) performed the morning prayer with the ablution he had
made for the night prayer [that is, he did not sleep after the night prayer.] He performed hajj fifty-five times. During
the last one, he went into the Ka'bah, performed a prayer of two rak'ah and recited the whole Qur'an al-karim during
the prayer. Then, weeping, he invoked, "O my Allahu ta'ala! I have not been able to worship Thee in a manner
worthy of Thee. Yet I have understood very well that Thou cannot be comprehended through intelligence. For this
understanding of mine, please forgive the defects in my service! At that moment a voice was heard, "O Abu Hanifa!
You have acknowledged me very well and have served me beautifully. I have forgiven you and those who will be in
your Madhhab and follow you until the end of the world." He read Qur'an al-karim from the beginning to the end
once every day and once every night.

Al-Imam al-azam had so much taqwa that for thirty years he fasted every day [except the five days of a year on
which it is haraam to fast]. He often read the whole Qur'an al-karim in one rak'ah or two. And sometimes, during
salaat or outside it, he read an ayah describing Heaven and Hell over and over again and sobbed and lamented.5
those who heard him pitied him. Among the Ummah of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), reciting the whole Qur'an al-
karim in a single rak'ah of salaat fell to the lot of only 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, Tamim ad-Daari, Sad ibn Jubair and al-
Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa. He did not accept any presents from anyone. He wore clothes like those of the poor. Yet
at times, in order to exhibit the blessings of Allahu ta'ala, he wore very valuable clothes. He performed hajj fifty-five
times and stayed in Mecca for several years. Only at the place where his soul was taken, he had read the whole
Qur'an al-karim seven thousand times. He said, "I laughed once in my life, and I regret it."
He talked little and thought much. He discussed some religious matters with his disciples. One night, while leaving
the mosque immediately after performing the night prayer in jama'ah, he began to talk with his disciple Zufar on
some subject. One of his feet was inside the mosque and the other was outside. The conversation continued until the
morning adhan. Then, without taking the other step out, he went back in for the morning prayer. Because Hazrat 'Ali
(Radi-Allahu 'anhu) had said, "It is permissible to have a personal allowance of up to four thousand dirhams," he
distributed to the poor what was more than four thousand dirhams of his earnings. The Khalifah Mansoor revered
the Imam very much. He presented him ten thousand aqchas and a jariyah. The Imam did not accept them. At that
time one aqcha was worth one dirham of silver. In 145 A.H., Ibrahim ibn 'Abdullah ibn Hasan ibn 'Ali was
recruiting men in order to help his brother Muhammad (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain), who had proclaimed
himself the Khalifah in al-Madinat al-munawwarah. When he came to Kufa, it was rumored that Abu Hanifa was
helping him. Mansoor heard this and had the Imam taken from Kufa to Baghdad. He told him to tell everybody that
Mansoor was rightfully the Khalifah. He offered him the presidency of the Supreme Court of Appeal as recompense.
He imposed on him very much. The Imam did not accept it. Mansoor imprisoned him and had him thrashed with a
stick thirty strokes. His blessed feet bled. Mansoor repented and sent him thirty thousand aqchas, only to be refused
again. He was imprisoned again and thrashed ten strokes more every day.

According to some report, on the eleventh day, for fear that the people might rebel, he was forced to lie down on his
back and poisonous sherbet (a sweet fruit drink) was poured into his mouth. As he was about to die, he prostrated
(sajdah). Some fifty thousand people performed janazah salaat for him. Because of the enormous crowd, it was
performed with difficulty and finished not before the late afternoon prayer. For twenty days many people came to
his tomb and performed janazah salaat for him near his tomb. He had seven hundred and thirty disciples. Each of
them was famed for his virtue and pious deeds. Many of them became Qadis or Muftis. His son Hammad (Rahimahu
Allahu Ta'ala) was one of his notable disciples. Passages from the book Mirat-ul-kainat ends here. They have been
leaders guiding the ahl-i din, rahmat-Allahi 'alaihim ajmain.

There were some disagreements between al-Imam al-azam and his disciples on the information that was to be
deduced through ijtihaad. The following hadith ash-Sharif declares that these disagreements were useful:
"Disagreement (on the 'amal, practices) among my Ummah is [Allahu ta'ala's] compassion." He feared Allahu ta'ala
very much and was very careful in following Qur'an al-karim. He said to his disciples, "If you come across a
document (sanad) inconsistent with my words on a subject, ignore my words and follow that document." All his
disciples swore, "Even our words inconsistent with his words surely depend on a proof (dalil, sanad) we had heard
from him."

Hanafi Muftis have to issue fatwas agreeable with what al-Imam al-azam said. If they cannot find his word, they
should follow Imam Abu Yusuf. After him, Imam Muhammad should be followed. If the words of Imam Abu Yusuf
and Imam Muhammad are on one side and those of al-Imam al-azam on the other, a Mufti may issue a fatwa
according to either side. When there is darura (a pressing difficulty), he may issue a fatwa suitable with the words of
the mujtahid who showed the easiest way. He cannot issue a fatwa that does not depend on the words of any of the
mujtahideen; such an issue cannot be called a fatwa.

FOOTNOTES

1. It is explained in the second fascicle of Endless Bliss that a made' hadith does not mean 'false, made-up hadith' in
'ilm al-usool al-hadith.

2. Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's two leading disciples were al-Imam Muhammad bin Mubaarak al-Shaybaani and
Al-Imam Abu Yusuf al-Ansaari (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim).

3. First published in India in 1264 (1848 A.D.); reprinted in Persian in Istanbul in 1401 (1981 A.D.).

4. Saif al-muqallidin 'ala a'naqi 'l-munkirin.

5. Crying out of love for Allah ta'ala in salaat does not break the salaat in the Hanafi Madhhab.
Biography of Imam Shafi (ra)
Imaam's Family Lineage (Father's Side): Muhammad bin Idriss bin al-Abbas bin Usman bin Shafi' ibn al-Sa'ib bin
Ubaid bin `Abd Yazid bin Haashim bin al-Muttalib bin `Abd Manaaf bin Qusayy bin Kilaab bin Murrah. The
Imaam's Lineage connects with the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)'s Lineage from `Abd Manaaf
bin Qusayy.

Imaam's Family Lineage (Mother's Side): Fatimah bint `Abdullah bin al-Hasan bin al-Hussain ibn Ali bin Abi Talib.
The relations of the mother say that the only two to be born Haashimi in the family lineage were Hadhrat Ali bin
Abi Talib and al-Imaam Al-Shafi'ee.

Place of Birth: Imaam Shafi' (RA) was born in the year 150 A.H. the year the Great Imaam Abu Hanifah had passed
away in. He was born in Ghizza (Asqalaan) in Palestine. When he was two year old his mother took him to a tribe in
al-Hijaz who were dwellers of the country of Yemen. His mother kept him there until he reached the age of ten
years. A time came when she felt that the family was in jeopardy of being forgotten and wasted so she took her son
(Imaam Shafi'ee) to Makkah.

His Education: The Imaam was from a very poor family in his youth and when he was sent to school his family
could not afford to pay the teacher for his teachings. The teacher used to inadequately teach the children and
anytime he taught something inadequately and then left the children, the Imaam would seize the opportunity and
teach them the teacher's lesson and suffice the children. When the teacher would see this and he understood that the
Imaam was doing it he let him continue to do so. This way the Imaam would suffice his tuition through satisfying
the teacher by teaching the children his lesson. This continued and the Imaam learned the whole Qur'an by the time
he reached seven years.

The Imaam himself used to say: "After I finished learning the Qur'an I would go to the Masjid and sit with the
Scholars the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and Islamic matters. I used to live in
Makkah among tent dwellers in such a state of poverty that I could not even afford to by paper to write, so I would
write on bones instead."

It is also reported that the Imaam used to recite Hadith in the Masjid of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) at
the age of thirteen years old. It is also reported that the Imaam's voice was very melodious and sweet. Al-Haakim
reports by the authority of Bahr bin Nasr saying: "When we wanted to cry we would say come let us go to this
young Muttalibee man to hear him recite the Qur'an. We would reach him and he would initiate his recitation until
when the people would start falling down in front of him and the sounds of everyone weeping and yelling could be
heard by him he would stop."

His Teachers: Among his eminent teachers were:


1. Muslim bin Khalid al-Zangi (a Mufti of Makkah during the year 180 A.H. (796 A.D.)

2. Sufyaan bin Uyainah al-Hilaali (one of the three distinguished scholars of that time in Makkah)

3. Ibrahim bin Yahya (a scholar of Madinah)

4. Malik bin Anas (Imaam Shafi'ee used to recite Hadith to Imaam Malik after the memorizing of his book, Muwatta
Imaam Malik). The Imaam stayed in Madinah until Imaam Malik passed away in the year 179 A.H. (790 A.D.)

5. Wakee' bin al-Jarraah bin Maleeh al-Kofi

6. Muhammad bin Hasan al-Shaibaani (a scholar of Busrah, and distinguished student of the Great Imaam Abu
Hanifah (RA)

7. Hammaad bin Usama al-Haashimi al-Kofi

8. Abdul-Wahhab bin Abdul-Majeed al-Busri

His Marriage: He married Hameedah bint Nafi' bin Unaisah bin `Amr ibn Usman bin Affan.

Some Distinctive Characteristics:

1. His eloquent style of speech and abundant knowledge of the Arabic language

2. His Family Lineage-as a set standard reported by al-Hakam bin `Abdil-Muttalib that the Prophet (Sallallahu
Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, "Indeed Banu Haashim and Banu al-Muttalib are the same (ie. of the same family lineage).
(Ibn Majah, 22, Kitaabul-Wasaaya/ 46 Chapter Division of Khumus/ Hadith No. 2329

3. Complete memorization of the Qur'an with recognition of its rules and its implications in all aspects of Islamic
Knowledge of which others during his time did not yet reach to

4. His deep foresight in Hadith and comprehension of authentic and defective narrations

5. His understanding in the principles of Hadith and Fiqh

6. His rulings in Hadith Mursal (incompletely transmitted narrations) and completely transmitted narrations.

7. Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal used to say about Imaam Shafi'ee, "Our napes were in the hands of the Companions of
Abu Hanifah (RA) when it came to hadith (ie. we were inclined to them more) until we saw Imaam Shafi'ee, he was
the most knowledgeable in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) that he
would even suffice one who was not well informed in Hadith.

8. Al-Karaabeesi says about the Imaam, "Al-Shafi'ee was a mercy from Allah upon the followers of the Prophet
(Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).

9. Al-Humaidee says, "We used to want to refute the arguments of the Ashab-ul-Ra' iy, but we were not well
informed to do so until Imaam Shafi'ee came along and opened up the way for us.

10. Ibn Raahway was asked, "How did Imaam Shafi'ee compose all these books at such a young age?" He replied,
"Allah SWT made him intelligent and mature minded in just his youth."

11. Rabi' says, "We were just sitting awhile in the Knowledge Circle of Imaam Shafi'ee after the Great Imaam's
demise when a Bedouin Arab came along and said asked about where is the sun and moon of this circle. When we
told him that he had passed away he started weeping heavily, and then said may Allah have mercy upon him and
forgive him for verily he was one who opened up the veils of proofs through his explanations and closed the mouths
of his disputer and opponent. He used to wash the blackened faces of their shame and disgrace and opened the
closed doors with intellect and understanding. Then he turned away and left."

His Humbleness:

Al-Hasan bin Abdul-Aziz al-Jarwi al-Misri reported form Imaam Shafi'ee used to say, "I have never debated with
someone who I want to make a mistake, nor do I possess any knowledge that I want to keep to myself, rather that it
should be with all and not just related to me."

He also said, "I have never debated with someone who I want to make a mistake. And I have never debated someone
except I say to them, O' Allah, put the truth in his heart and on his tongue. If I am on the truth he will follow me, and
if he is on the truth then I will follow him."

A Scholar of Quraish:

Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal is reported to have said, "When I am questioned about some matter that I do not know of
I say to myself Imaam Shafi'ee knows about this and he will have some say in it, because he is an `Alim (Scholar) of
Quraish. And the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, An Alim of Quraish fills the earth with knowledge."
(al-Manaaqib, Lil-Baihaqi, Vol. 1, Page 54)

Al-Raazi says, "This Hadith is attainable by a man who possesses three characteristics: 1. that he is from Quraish 2.
that he has abundant knowledge among religious scholars 3. that his abundant knowledge will indeed reach from
east to west of the world

After saying this Al-Raazi says, "The man described above is no other than Al-Shafi'ee. " (Musnad of Abu Dawood
Al-Tabalusi, p. 39-40)

The Imaam is from Quraish and the following other Ahadith (narrations) are indications towards him:

1. Abdullah bin Masood (RA) narrates from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) as saying, "Do not curse at
the Quraish, for verily a scholar from there fills the earth with knowledge. O'Allah, you have made their first taste
your punishment, now make the last of them taste your gift and favor." (Musnad of Abu Dawood Al-Tabalusi, p. 39-
40)

2. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, "O'Allah, Guide the Quraish, for
verily a scholar from there fills the earth with knowledge. O'Allah, just you have made them taste your punishment,
now let them taste your gift and favor." He made this supplication three times. (al-Khateeb fee al-tarikh, V.2, P.61)

3. Imaam Al-Shafi'ee is Quraishi and Muttalibi. One hadith says, "Indeed Banu Haashim and Banu al-Muttalib are
the same (ie. of the same family lineage). The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) then put his fingers of both
hands together. (Al-Sunan al-Kubra', V.6, P.340)

4. In one narration the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, "Indeed, at the beginning of every hundred years
Allah SWT sends a reformer of this Ummah who will revive the Ummah in religion. (Al-Mustadrik, V.4, P.522, Al-
Khateeb fee al-tarikh, V.2, P.61)

His Children:

First Child's Name: Abu Usman, Muhammad (was a judge in Madinah, grew up in Syria) Second Child's Name:
Fatimah Third Child's Name: Zainab His Going to Egypt: The Imaam went to Egypt in the year 199 A.H. (814/815
A.D.) during the beginning of the Mamun Khilafah. He went back to Baghdad for a month then again returned to
Egypt and stayed until his demise in the year 204 A.H. (819/820 A.D.)

His Writings and Books:

1. Al-Risalah al-Qadeemah (Kitaabul-Hujjah)


2. Al-Risalah al-Jadeedah

3. Ikhtilaaful- Hadith

4. Ibtaal-al-Istihsaan

5. Ahkaam-ul-Qur' an

6. Biyaadhul-Fardh

7. Sifatul-al-Amr wal-Nahiy

8. Ikhtilaaf Malik wal-Shafi'ee

9. Ikhtilaaf-al- Iraqiyeen

10. Ikhtilaaf Muhammad bin Hasan

11. Fadha'il Quraish

12. Kitaabul-Umm 13. Kitaabul-Sunan

His Demise:

The Imaam became very sick at the end of his life with hemmariodal pain and passed away in Egypt on Thursday
night after Isha' Prayer after performing Maghrib Prayer on the last day of Rajab. We was buried in Cairo, Egypt on
Friday in the year 204 A.H. (819/820 A.D.) His Masjid in Cairo can be visited in the Imaam Al-Shafi'ee
Neighborhood. May Allah be pleased with him. Ameen. Translated by Adil Khan on 11th of Shabaan, 1422 A.H.
from Kitaabul-Umm, Printed in Beirut, Lebanon.

Biography of Imam Malik (ra)


His Name: Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abi Aamir

His Kunya: (Patronymic filial name): Abu `Abdillah

His Lineage: Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abi Aamir bin `Amr bin al-Harith bin Ainmaan (Uthmaan) bin Khuthail
(AL-ASBAHEE- a royal tribe branch of Himyar in Yemen)

Imaam Suyooti (RA) says that Imaam Malik's lineage goes to Ya'rab bin Yashjab bin Qahtaan. As some report in the
following way: Zhu Asbah, al-Harith bin Malik bin Zaid bin Ghouth bin Sa'ad bin `Auoof bin `Adi bin Malik bin
Zaid bin Sahl bin `Amr bin Qais bin Mu'awiya bin Jasham ibn `Abd Shams bin Daa'il bin al-Ghouth bin Qutn bin
`Areeb bin Zhaheer bin Aiyman bin Humsee' bin Himyar bin Saba bin Yashjab bin Ya'rab bin Qahtaan.
Imaam Malik's Mother Name: `Aaliyah bint Shareek bin `Abdur Rahman al-Azdiyah

Other Names related to Him: Imaam Darul-Hijrah and al-Madni (due to his remaining in al-Madinah the majority of
his life.

His Birth: According to Hafiz Zhahabi, Sam'aani ibn Farhoon, and others Imaam Malik was born in the year 93
A.H. due to the report of Yahya bin Bukair one of the elder students of the Imaam. Others have said he was born in
90 A.H. some say in 95 A.H. and Yaf'ee reports in Tabaqaatul-Fuqaha, 94 A.H. Extraordinarily, he remained in the
womb on his mother for more than the usual 9 months. Some say two years while others say he remained in her
womb for three years. He was born in Madinah.

His Appearance: Mutarraf bin `Abdullah al-Yasaari says that the Imaam was tall, well-built, fair complexion, blond-
haired, large-eyes and nose, broad forehead with hardly any hair on it referred as (Asla') in Arabic ) the same is said
about Umar and Ali (Radhi Allahu Anhuma). He had a very profuse and thick beard that reached down to his chest.
He used to trim his moustache near the corners of his lips and said it was disapproved to fully shave them. He
followed the Sunnah of Umar bin Khattab (Radhi Allahu Anhu) who used to pull his moustaches hair near the lips
when he was in deep thought of something. From this it is established that Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu) had hair on
both sides of the lips. He used to wear very elegent and expensive clothing, usually wearing white, and frequently
changing them. He would put on Musk and other fragrances on his clothing. He would wear his turban and have part
of it come down underneath his chin and the tail of it between his two shoulders. He would also wear a shawl-like
garment that would cover the head and shoulders.

His Education and Knowledge: The Imaam's Family was in itself a place of knowledge where his childhood was in
the beautiful gardens and land of Madinah. He learned and memorized the Qur'an in his youth. He recited to
Imaamul-Qurra' , Nafi' bin Abdur-Rahman (whose recitation is the foundation of the entire Muslim Ummah today
and he passed away in the year 169 A.H.) and also received his (Sanad) certification and permission to teach others
from him. In the beginning of his quest for knowledge the Imaam did not have many means to acquire it properly so
he sold the ceiling beams of his home to purchase books and papers for enabling him to do so. After some time
Allah SWT bestowed him with a lot of wealth and money. The Imaam's memory was also extraordinary. He himself
would that anything I would record in my memory would never be forgotten again. It is reported about the Imaam
that he had the best memory in all of Hijaz, likewise in the knowledge of Hadith and Fiqh. Imaam Shaf'iee (RA)
says about him, "If Malik and Ibn Uyainah where not here, the knowledge of Hijaaz would be gone." Imaam
Zhahabi say, "There remains no scholar in Madinah after the Tabi'een comparable to Imaam Malik's knowledge,
jurisprudence, eminence, and memorization. "

He practiced extreme care in regards to narrating Hadith for just anyone. Imaam Malik says, "I do not accept
knowledge from four types of people: (1) a person well-known to be foolish, even though all the other people
narrate from him, (2) a person involved in committing heresy and calling others towards the innovation in Deen, (3)
a person who lies in regular conversation with people, even though I do not accuse him as liar in regards to Hadith,
(4) and a person who is pious worshipper or scholar, but does not properly and correctly memorize what he
narrates." It was said to Imaam Malik, "Why don't you take narrations from `Amr bin Dinaar? He replied, "I went to
him (`Amr bin Dinaar and I found him narrating Hadith to others while in a standing position. So I thought to myself
that the Hadith of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is too great and majestic to take them in a standing
position." The Imaam remained his entire life al-Hijaaz and never traveled outside of it.

In Hadith, the Imaam was the leader of all of Madinah, where his chain of narrators were the most authentic and
called "SILSILATUL- ZHAHAB" or "THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF NARRATORS" (ie. Narrated from Malik from
Nafi' from Ibn Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu). The Imaam would not just narrate Hadith from anyone, rather he would
take great caution and narrate only from authentic and reliable sources. Even other great scholars and companions of
his time bear witness to that like, Imaam of Makkah, Sufyaan bin Uyainah, who says, "May Allah have mercy upon
Malik, he is extremely critical of the men (in regards to the chain of narrators of a Hadith). He would also say,
"Imaam Malik only used to narrate to others authentic Hadith, he would not report except from reliable narrators, I
don't see Madinah but in decrease (ie. in regards to the knowledge) after the death of Malik." One of his most
greatest pupils, Imaam Shaf'iee (RA) says about him, "That when Imaam Malik was in doubt over a Hadith he
would totally disregard it."
In Fiqh, the Imaam was on a higher level than all the rest. Bahlool bin Raashid says about him, "I have never seen
someone with the knowledge of deducing from the Qur'an as Malik, along with his great recognition of strong and
weak narrations." Abdullah bin Luhay'ah says, "I asked al-Nadhr bin Abdul-Jabbar (Abul-Aswad) who has a saying
after Rabi'ah in Madinah? He relpied, al-Ghulam al-Asbahi (ie. Imaam Malik). Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal says
about the great Imaam, "I compared Imaam Malik to Awzaa'eey, Thawri, Laith, Hammaad, and al-Hakam in
knowledge, and he is the leader in Hadith and Fiqh."

His Teachers and Instructors: Imaam Malik would only take knowledge from those men who were famous for their
cleanliness, piety, and truthfulness, who were distinct in memorization and jurisprudence. The teachers mentioned in
Muwatta from whom he narrated Hadith from are 95 in totol all of who were from Madinah. Thus making all of the
various holders of knowledge who were scattered all around now brought together in one holder (Imaam Malik), this
is why he earned the name of "IMAAM DARUL-HIJRAH. " From all of the Imaam's teachers six of them were not
from Madinah. So 95 teachers are only those mentioned in Muwatta. Otherwise, Allamah Zurqaani and Dulaqi have
written that his teachers were over 900. Imaam Nawawi has written in Tahzeebul-Asmaa that of Imaam Malik's 900
teachers 300 were from the Tabi'een and 600 from the Tabi Tabi'een. The Imaam's greatest of all teachers was Nafi'
the slave of Ibn Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu). Imaam Malik learned with him for twelve years and attained the
knowledge of Hadith and Diraayah (Fiqh). It is for this reason that many narrations are from Nafi' (RA). This was
called the golden chain of narrators because it was the best chain in Muwatta. Shah Waliullah Dehlawi has written
that Harun al-Rashid asked Imaam Malik, "You have mentioned Ali and Ibn Abbas (Radhi Allahu Anhuma) only a
few time in your book, why?" He replied, "They were not here in Madinah, nor did I find any of their students or
companions." Shah Saheb writes on, "That this proud honor was given to Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA)." Also he says
that Abdullah bin Masood narrations are even less than these two, Ali and Ibn Abbas (Radhi Allahu Anhuma).

Here is a list of some of Imaam Malik's Shuyookh (Teachers): 1. Nafi' (the servant of Abdullah bin Umar (Radhi
Allahu Anhu) 2. Abul-Zanaad, Adbullah bin Zakwaan 3. Hishaam bin Urwah bin Zubair 4. Yahya bin Sa'eed al-
Ansaari 5. Abdullah bin Dinaar 6. Zaid bin Aslam (servant of Umar bin Khattab(Radhi Allahu Anhu) 7. Muhammad
bin Muslim bin Shihaab al-Zhuhri 8. Abdullah bin Abu Bakr bin Hazm 9. Sa'eed bin Abu Sa'eed al-Maqbari 10.
Sumayy servant of Abu Bakr (Radhi Allahu Anhu) 11. Ayyub Sakhtiyaani 12. Abdur-Rahman bin al-Qasim bin
Muhammad bin Abu Bakr (Radhi Allahu Anhu) 13. Thawr bin Zaid Dabli 14. Ibrahim bin Abi Ablah al-Maqdisi 15.
Rabi'ah bin Abu Abdur-Rahman 16. Humayd Taweel 17. Aishah bint Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas

In Qira'ah (recitation of Qur'an): Nafi' bin Abu Nuaym al-Qaari

His Pupils and Students: Imaam Malik's students reach to the thousands. Some have mentioned so many that they
can not be counted, like Hafiz bin Katheer and Zhahabi. Qazi Iyyadh has mentioned over 1300 have narrated Hadith
for the great Imaam. Hafiz Dar-Qutni has mentioned 1000. Hafiz Abu Bakr Khateeb al-Baghdadi has mentioned
993. Even some of the Imaam's Teachers were his students, like:

1. Zhuhri Abul-Aswad 2. Ayyub Sakhtiyaani 3. Rabi'ah al-Ra'iee 4. Yahya bin Sa'eed al-Ansaari 5. Muhammad bin
Abi Zi'ab 6. Ibn Jareeh 7. A'amash 8. Abu Suhail, Nafi' bin Malik

Some eminent pupils were:

1. Imaam Muhammad 2. Imaam Shaf'iee 3. Abdullah bin Mubarak 4. Laith bin Sa'ad 5. Shu'bah 6. Sufyaan Thawri
7. Ibn Juraij 8. Ibn Uyainah 9. Yahya al-Qattaan 10. Ibn Mahdi 11. Abu Aasim al-nabeel 12. Abdur-Rahman
Auwzaa'ee

Eminent narrators in Imaam Malik's Muwatta:

1. Abdullah bin Yusuf al-Tunisi 2. Abdullah bin Muslimah al-Qa'nabi 3. Abdullah bin Wahab al-Misri 4. Yahya bin
Yahya al-Laithi 5. Abu Mus'ab al-Zhuhri

His respect of Teaching of Hadith: After Abdullah bin Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu) and his servant and pupil, Nafi'
(RA) the great Imaam narrated Hadith and taught from the age of 17 to about 79. He gave service to the teachings of
the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), giving lessons of Fiqh and issuing Fatawa for 62 years
of his life. Before the Imaam would narrate any Hadith he would or dictate Hadith to others he would perform
wudhu or take a bath, put on his best and most expensive clothing, groom himself, put on musk or another fragrance,
then proceed to the gathering of Hadith with the utmost dignity and respect. In every gathering coal ambers of
`Uood (a special and beautiful fragrance derived from a unique tree) would be burnt continuously until the lesson
was over. In the Imaam's gatherings there would always be plush and expensive mats or carpeting spread out on the
floor and when he would arrive there would be pin-drop silence out of the respect for him the people would remain
totally quiet. In the gatherings their would be the students all around the sitting place of the Imaam, just like how a
king's servants would gather around his throne. There would be Muftis, Ulama, and leaders present in the gathering.
Such respect was present in these gatherings that anyone who pass by would think that a king must be delivering his
message and one who sit down in it would be taken away with awe. Abdullah bin Mubarak reports that one time the
Imaam was bitten by a scorpion under his garment over ten times while narrating Hadith. During the narration of the
Hadith he did not stop in order to remove it, rather he continued to narrate until the end. I noticed the discoloration
of his face when the Imaam was being bitten. Afterwards when all the people had left, I came to the Imaam and
asked him what had happened. He replied, "A scorpion was biting me under my garment, I could not have kept my
patience because of myself restraint, rather it was out of the respect of the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu
Alaihi Wa Sallam) that I did not remove it. Subhanallah! !!

Some of His Aqeedah: Imaam Malik believed that the Qur'an, which is the last message of Allah, was Ghair
Makhluq, not a creation. He also believed that Allah SWT is on His Throne just as he has described in the Qur'an.
He believed that Allah SWT has the knowledge of everything and that the believers will see Him with their eyes on
the Day of Judgment. He believed that Imaan (faith) is to declare it by mouth, and is manifested through actions that
will increase by obedience and decrease by committing sins. He believed that anyone who uses abusive language
against the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) should be given death and that repentance should not avail
them. He believed that Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhuma) were the best in the Ummah after the
Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and that those who follow the beliefs of the Qadriyyah Sect, prayer is
not valid behind them and their women can not be married.

His love for Madinah: Even when the Imaam attained old age and became very weak he never rode on an animal in
Madinah his entire life. He understood that it was against the respect of Madinah to ride on the very land that the
Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is buried in. Imaam Shaf'iee (RA) says, "I saw at the door of Imaam Malik's
home beautiful horses from Khurasaan and Egyptian Mules. So I said to him they were very nice. He said they are
yours as a gift from me. I said that you should keep one for yourself. His reply was that I am embarrassed to do so!
How can I ride on them when the body of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is buried here in Madinah
and the land is being rode on with the hooves of horses?

Some Saying about Him by Other Scholars

· Mus'ab Zubairi – Imaam Malik was reliable, safeguarded, trustworthy in Hadith, a great scholar, jurist, proof-
bearer, and god-fearing man. · Yahya bin Mu'een – He is the Ameerul-Mumineen in Hadith. · Yahya bin Sa'eed al-
Qattan – He is the Ameerul-Mumineen in Hadith. · Abdur-Rahman bin Mahdi – There is no more trustworthy in
Hadith Nabawi on the face of this earth than Imaam Malik. · Abdur-Rahman bin Mahdi – Sufyaan Thawri is the
Imaam of Hadith not the Imaam of Sunnah whlie Auwzaa'ee is the Imaam of Sunnah not the Imaam of Hadith, but
Imaam Malik in the Imaam of Hadith and the Imaam of Sunnah. · Imaam Abu Hanifah – I have never seen anyone
more fast understanding, correct answering, and test-taking than Imaam Malik. · Imaam Shaf'iee – After the
Tabi'een Imaam Malik is the Proof-Bearer on this entire earth for or against all of the people. · Imaam Shaf'iee –
Knowledge is encircled by three men: Malik bin Anas, Sufyaan bin Uyainah, and Laith bin Sa'ad. · Imaam Ahmed
bin Hanbal – I was asked whose Hadith should be memorized by heart if from anyone? I replied Malik bin Anas. ·
Imaam Bukhaari – I was asked what is the most authentic chain of narrators. I replied from Malik from Nafi' from
Ibn Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu). · Imaam Nasai – After the Tabi'een the most understanding, reliable, trustworthy,
man in Hadith is Imaam Malik. He has hardly never narrated from a weak narrator apart from Abu Umayyah Abdul-
Kareem who is Matrook. · Imaam Ahmed, Tirmizi, Nasai, and Haakim have all reported in a Hadith narrated by
Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allahu Anhu) that he said, "The time has come near that people will travel by camels in search
for religious knowledge and they will not find a greater scholar than who is in Madinah." Sufyaan bin Uyainah says
that the scholar of Madinah upon which the Hadith indicates is none other than Imaam Malik.

His Demise: The great Imaam reached the age of 84 or 86 or 87 or 90 years when he became ill on a Sunday and this
illness continued to get worse for three weeks until on the 11th or 14th of Rabi-al-Awwal 179 A.H. he passed away.
He was buried in the famous graveyard in Madinah called Jannatul-Baqee.

His Children: The great Imaam left behind three sons: Yayha, Muhammad, and Hammad. His remaining wealth that
was inherited was 3300 dinaars.

Books Written by Imaam Malik: Imaam Malik wrote many books that can be referred to in the introduction of
Oujasul-Masaalik (commentary of Muwatta Imaam Malik). Muwatta Imaam Malik is the first Hadith work after the
Qur'an arranged into juristic Sections and organized accordingly. Imaam Bukhaari's Saheeh is secondary to the work
of Imaam Malik in this regards. Then after these two (Imaam Malik and Imaam Bukhaari) others followed, like
Imaam Muslim and Imaam Tirmizi, who based there books upon theirs. (Allamah Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi).

Biography of Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (ra)


Imam Abu Abdullah Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Hambal (Rahimahu Allahu Ta'ala) was born in Marw on the 20th
of Rabi-ul-Awwal 164 A.H.

EARLY LIFE: His father, Sayyiduna Mohammed (radi Allahu anhu) was a warrior (Mujaahid) and lived in Basrah,
Iraq. Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (radi Allahu anhu) was a very intelligent child, keenly interested in furthering his
Islamic education. At the age of 16, he began studying Hadith literature. It is said that he learnt almost a million
Ahadith by heart. He became a famous Jurist.

HIS TEACHERS: Some of his teachers were Imam Shaafa'ee, Sayyiduna Bishar bin Al Mufaddal, Sayyiduna Ismail
bin Ulayyah, Sayyiduna Jarir bin Abdul Hamid and Sayyiduna Yahya bin Said (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in). The
great compilers of Ahadith, Imam Bukhaari and Imam Muslim (radi Allahu anhuma), including his teacher, Imam
Shaafa'ee (radi Allahu anhu), have also reported Hadith from him. Imam Shaafa'ee (radi Allahu anhu), in spite of
being the most learned in his time, used to refer to Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (radi Allahu anhu) about certain
Ahadith.

HIS PUPILS: Amongst his pupils, the most famous were Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Al Alhram, Sayyiduna Hambal bin
Ishaaq and Sayyiduna Abul Qasim Al Baghwi (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in).

HIS PIETY: Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (radi Allahu anhu) was a very pious scholar who devoted all his life in the
Science of Ahadith and Fiqh. He refused to eat in anyone's house who held a Governmental post. Being extremely
poor with no food to eat at times, he used to still refuse to accept charity saying that he had full faith in Almighty
Allah.

HIS WORKS: The most famous among his books are: Kitaabul A'maal, Kitaabut Tafseer, Kitaabul Naasikh wal
Mansookh, Kitaabul Zahid, Kitaabul Masaa'il, Kitaabul Fadaa'il and Kitaabul Mansiq. His most famous book is his
"MUSNAD", a kitab in which he collected about 50 000 to 70 000 Ahadith.

IMPRISONMENT: Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (radi Allahu anhu), in the later years of his life, was imprisoned and
tortured by the ruthless rulers who went against him due to their un-Islamic beliefs and practises. Caliph Mutasim
billah forced the Imam to accept the beliefs of the "Mu'tazalis" (a corrupt sect), but he refused, and was beaten to
such a degree that his joints were dislocated. He was kept in heavy chains for 30 months in a prison in Baghdad. He
still refused to accept the beliefs of the corrupt Mu'tazali Sect and was again beaten till he fell unconscious.

PASSES AWAY: On the 25th of Ramadaan in the year 221 A.H., Caliph Mutasim, in fear of the sin he committed,
repented and set the Imam free. Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (radi Allahu anhu) forgave all the people except the
Mutazalis. He passed away in the year 241 A.H.

SEARCH BY

MOHAMMED ABDUL HAFEEZ

B.COM.

TRANSLATOR OF TSDHKIRATAL AWLIYA

HYDERABAD, INDIA