Turkish English Fikhi Ekber Lesson 3

Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar: Lesson 3


Eûzubillahimineşşeytânîrracîm. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. Elhamdulillahi Rabb’il âlemin. Vessâletü vessalâmû âlâ Rasulûna Muhammedin ve âlâ âlihi ve eshabihî ve edbâîhi ve etratîhi ecmaîn. Bismillahizişşân, Azim-i Sultan Şedidi’l bûrhân, Kâvlî’ül erkân Mâşâ Allahû’kân. Euzûbillahi minkülli şeytanî insin ve cân. Rabbi euzû bîkemin hemezzâti şey’âtiyn. Ve euzûbike Rabbi eyyahdurûn Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.


Most valuable and venerable listeners,


“Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar”: We’re continuing to convey notes of discovery and warning from Al-Imam Al-Azam’s invaluable work Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar. But prior to starting with Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, let’s make mention of the author of the book, Al-Imam Al-Azam (r.a.) is one of the greatest and most splendorous stars of wisdom. Let’s get to know Al-Imam Al-Azam. Let’s also try to get to know our other âlims (Islamic scholars) through him. Let’s focus on characteristic features of Al-Imam Al-Azam which distinguished him from other imams and grand âlims (Islamic scholars). Al-Imam Al-Azam had different features compared with his successor âlims (Islamic scholar). Now, as previously stated, Al-Imam Al-Azam had met with a community of people from Sahabah-i Kirâm (the chosen Companions of the Prophet) That is the collective opions of our grand alims as a result of their and deduction. The following quotes are narrations of our Beloved Prophet (s.a.v) as they were reported via various authorities. Our beloved Prophet commanded: “Tuğbâ limen ra’anî velimen ra’a men ra’anî velimen ra’an men ra’a,” which translates as: “How happy is he who sees me, then those who see them, and those who see them.”

So, valuable friends,

Again, our Beloved Prophet said: “The best people are those of my generation,” he’s referring to his contemporaries, his ashab (companions), “and then those who follow them (the next generation), and then those who come just after them (the next generation). In the basis of these narratives there’s Sahih Muslim, Sahih al-Bukhari and again, El-Câmiu’s-Sahîh, (these are the names of hadith collections). The afore quotes are Hadith-i Sharifs from the sahihs (hadith collections) of Bukhari and Muslim. Our Beloved Prophet said: “The best times are the ones I lived in.” The original text is, “El karnüllezi ene fihi sümmes sanî sümmes salisü.” Sadaka Resûlullah! Our prophet said the truth.

Invaluable friends,

Now, according to the contents of the above evidence, Al-Imam Al-Azam was present in the ‘best times’ which our Prophet (s.a.v) lived blessingly. And that period is the one comes after the period of Ashab (the companions).  Abu Hanifa, Al-Imam Al-Azam performed ijtihad, and issued legal opinions (fatwa) in the Tabi’un period. And as our Prophet commanded: “The best times are the ones I lived in, then the second, and then the third is the finest.” In other words, what we’re hearing from our Prophet is that the period of Ashab (Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.v) companions), period of the The Tabi’un and the period of the Tabi‘ al-Tabi‘in are the best times. Let’s investigate the basis of the above narrative. The abovementioned periods were accepted as ‘three layers’ and the definitions were made accordingly. The last Sahabi (a companion of Muhammad) to die is Abu Tufail ‘Amr. He died on the year Hijri 102, which is also the end of the Sahabah Period. Halef ibn Halife was the last Sahabi to see above Sahabi (a companion of Muhammad). His year of death, the year Hijri 181 is considered the end of the Tabi’un Period. If you pay attention, you might realize Al-Imam Al-Azam was born in the year Hijri 80, notice the emphasis, ‘the year Hijri 80.’ When we take a glance at the Sahabah Period (period of the Companions of the Prophet) we encounter some Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) who were alive in the age of 122. In conclusion, the end of the Sahabah Period is the year Hijri 102. In that time Al-Imam Al-Azam was 22 years old, which is the proof of his presence in he Sahabah Period (period of the Companions of the Prophet). Now, let’s double check. The year Hijri 181 was also considered as the end of the Tabi’un Period. And considering Al-Imam Al-Azam had passed away around Hijri 150, that means he passed away in a time around the midst of the Tabi’un Period. That would be the true Tabi’un Period. Also, it is agreed that the Tabi‘ al-Tabi‘in Period ended in Hijri 220. Considering all the above information; In the light of the above info, you may look at the contents of our books for ‘hadith sciences and hadith terms.’


Valuable friends,


From where we are so far, it is evident that Abu Hanifa, Al-Imam Al-Azam (r.a.) lived in the Tabi’un Period and seen the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet).


Let’s pay attention the following testimony of Imam al-A’mash. Imam-al-Amash said: “Before he went to Hajj (major pilgrimage) he sent a man to Abu Hanifa, to ask him to write rules, fards (musts), wajibs (essentials) of hajj; or in other words, he wanted him to write the rules of practice for hajj (major pilgrimage).” Imam al-A’mash is an invaluable âlim (Islamic scholar), but he asks Al-Imam Al-Azam to announce the rules of practice for hajj (major pilgrimage). Imam al-A’mash used to say: “Learn the rules of practice for hajj (major pilgrimage) from Abu Hanifa. For I don’t know anyone better who knows the fards (musts) and nafiles (supererogatory) of hajj (major pilgrimage) than him. As you know, Imam al-A’mash is a great âlim (Islamic scholar), but he appreciated Al-Imam Al-Azam as greater. He says: “Al-Imam Al-Azam knows better.” Do not ignore the above testimony of Imam al-A’mash. That kind of testimony is unprecedented about anyone except Al-Imam Al-Azam. Looking back, we’re seeing a grand âlim (Islamic scholar) testifying the magnitude of Al-Imam Al-Azam’s wisdom, in  person. Muhaddiths like Amr ibn Dinar, who lived in the same period; and many grand âlims (Islamic scholars) had reported narrations of Al-Imam Al-Azam. And this is in virtue of his characteristic features, his grandness. Lots of Muhaddiths were taking lessons from him, and what is more, they reported narrations of him. One day, Al-Imam Al-Azam came into Caliph Mansur’s presence. Isa ibn Musa was also present. Isa ibn Musa turned to the Caliph and said: “O! Commander of Mumins (Muslims)! That man who stands before you is the sole âlim (Islamic scholar) of today’s world!” He referred Al-Imam Al-Azam. Isa ibn Musa, uttered the following for Al-Imam Al-Azam: “That Al-Imam Al-Azam is the sole âlim (Islamic scholar) of today’s world.” There, he said: “he is the sole âlim (Islamic scholar) of…” The person who said that is Iba ibn Musa, and he is a invaluable âlim (Islamic scholar). As a matter of fact, he is the brother of the Caliph. He addressed the Caliph as: “O! Leader of Mumins (Muslims)!” Then, the Caliph turned to the Imam and said: “From whom did you acquire this wisdom?” The Caliph asked: “O, Al-Imam Al-Azam! O, Abu Hanifa! From whom did you acquire this wisdom?” The Imam replied: “I acquired my wisdom from Umar (r.a), via his companions who learned from him. And from Ali (r.a.), via his companions who learned from him. And from Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) like Ibn Mesud (r.a.), via his companions who learned from him.” Caliph al-Mansur said: “You’ve done well. You’ve learned from the source.” Valuable friends, when we take a look the basis of the above reports, we can see they’re deep-rooted. The reports have grand âlims (Islamic scholars) in their basis. He was the first person to put the Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) science in order. He divided Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) to chapters and books and compiled it. Moreover, this method is even used today. The man who did that was Abu Hanifa, Al-Imam Al-Azam. Namely, the man who compiled the science of Fiqh. As for “Ilm (knowledge) of Fiqh” or “Islamic jurisprudence”; it refers to the entirety of all Islamic sciences. ‘Fiqh’ is namely the method of applying the sciences of the Islam that we all know and practice, according to their true purposes. Imam al-Malik, prepared his Muwatta through implementing Abu Hanifa’s method. Imam al-Malik had also applied the Al-Imam Al-Azam’s method. Previously, this practice depended on memories of hafizes (who know Qur’an by heart) because there was no such method. The person who first compiled Kitab al-Feraiz and Kitab-ş Şurut is Al-Imam Al-Azam, Abu Hanifa too.


Invaluable friends,


You may find worthy and revered individuals in the source of the above information. You can Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi for sure. You can also encounter Imam Waki ibn Al-Jarrah. And Davud ibn Nusa al-Kufi too. Keep searching, and you will find numerous respected âlims (Islamic scholars). His ecole (school) was first to spread to the countries no other ecole (school) reached before. In other words, Al-Imam Al-Azam’s Hanafi School was the first school to spread around the globe. The term ‚madhab (school)‘ is a refrence for announcing Al-Qur´an Al-Karim, Sunnah, Ijma (concensus), Qiyas (deductive analogy) and Islamic Sciences. They (followers of his ecole) are revered individuals who studied in his ecole (school). They learned Islam via evidence and proofs which they understand and convey. Al-Imam Al-Azam’s Ecole’s endeavor was understanding Islam, conveying it and introducing it via evidence. Same goes for other haqq (true) ecoles (schools) too. The first land it spread to is Sant, India. It is in the southern parts of Pakistan and covers about a hundred thousand kilometers of land. Also, the Turkic provinces on the other side of Amu Darya (Amu River) are called Transoxiana. The geographical area is referred to as “Transoxiana.” Anatolia takes its place amongst the mentioned lands.

Al-Imam Al-Azam used to meet the needs of his nafs (self) and his students with his own earnings but he would never accept a gift. The following sentences are the collective opinion of statespeople. He would worship a lot. His Zuhd (detachment from worldly endeavors) was strong. He had many ibadat (act of worship) like hajj (major pilgrimage) and umrah (minor pilgrimage). InshaAllah we will mention these matters as a whole in one of the next episodes. Again, this is another condition unique to Al-Imam Al-Azam; The Imam was martyred in a prison. He was not guilty, but they poisoned him. In an upcoming lesson, we’ll endeavor to inform you regarding the subject. Now let’s speak briefly about the words of grand âlims (Islamic scholars) about Abu Hanifa.


Our beloved friends,


Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi reported on the authority of Imam al-Shafi’i. Shafi’i says to Malik: “Have you seen Abu Hanifa?”, he asked. Malik replied to Shafi’i (r.a.): “Yes, I’ve seen such a person, if he were to speak about that golden column, he would prove it with evidence.”  – Editors note: Al-Imam Al-Azam supported his words with evidential documents, the former narration is a reference to that. – In another narration, a qutestion was asked to Imam al-Malik by a community, and reportedly he answered: “Subhanallah,” said Imam-i Malik,  “I’ve never seen anyone like him.” In other words, he’s saying that he had never seen suchlike person like Al-Imam Al-Azam. He continued: “If he were to speak about that golden column, he would divulge qiyas (analogy) proofs to prove his words.” The sources of this report include Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi’s book Ta’rikh Baghdad, which is also known as ‘The History of Baghdad.’ Abdullah ibn Mubarak, who is another great scholar (âlim) of Islam narrates: “Someday, Abu Hanifa went to Imam al-Malik. Malik made the Imam sit, down a place he deserved. After he left, Al-Malik turned to his fellows and asked: “Who was he? Do you know him?” They replied: “No, we don’t.” Al-Malik: “That person was Al-Imam Al-Azam Abu Hanifa. Allah (c.c.) rendered him successful in the explanation of troublesome matters.” In other words, he was a venerable individual who would know the unknown legal opinions (fatwas) and solve troublesome ones. Again, what he said was: “Allah (c.c.) rendered him successful in the explanation of troublesome matters.” The person who uttered the above narration is Imam-i Malik. So he said: “If he said that pole was made of gold, he would prove it.” In other words, Allah (c.c.) blessed him with exceptional intelligence and wisdom for Al-Imam Al-Azam to produce evidence. The narration continues, “Al-Imam Al-Azam left, Sufyan al-Thawri went to Imam-i Malik,” Now, witness Imam-i Malik’s opinion of Al-Imam Al-Azam! Imam-i Malik made al-Thawri sit down to a slightly lower place than Abu Hanifa’s. After al-Thawri left, al-Malik wished he would leave haram (sinful things) and turn his attention to Fiqh. “Mankind are the iyâl (family, children) of Abu Hanifa in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).” In other words, Imam-i Shafi’i said that people were needed Al-Imam Al-Azam. The world is eternally needful of Fiqh science (Islamic jurisprudence). Humanity and all other âlims (Islamic scholars) had learned Fiqh knowledge from Al-Imam Al-Azam. Again, Al-Imam Al-Azam had his mastery of Fiqh science from most venerable and nemerous âlims (Islamic scholars) of the Tabi’un Period and the Ashab (Companions of Muhammad). Anyway, Imam al-Malik had sat Sufyan al-Thawri down to a lower place than the one he sat Al-Imam Al-Azam. Thus, he demonstrated the grandness of Imam al-Azam’s knowledge. Who demonstrated that? It was Imam al-Malik. Rabi’s reported Imam-i Shafi’i said the following in addition to the ones above: “I’ve seen no person who’s more Faqih (expert in fiqh) than Abu Hanifa.” Who said that? It was Imam al-Shafi’i. Rabi reported these are the words of Imam-i Shafi’i. According to which he said: “Those who disregard his books cannot go deeper in fiqh and surely cannot be Faqih (expert in fiqh).” Who? Imam al-Shafi’i. Ibn `Uyaynah says: “I’ve never seen a similar of Abu Hanifa.” These are all grand âlims (Islamic scholars). Those who desire to learn Meğazi (narrations regarding Prophet Muhammad’s holy battles.) should go to Madina. „Those who wish to learn Menasik (Widest use of the expression is the entirety of the practices of Hajj (major pilgrimage) ibadat; the duties you must fulfill during Hajj (major pilgrimage)) should go to Mecca. And those who wish to learn fiqh (In Muhammad’s era, Sharia of Qur’an was widened by the day’s conditions through issued fatwas and with the contributions of the Ulama (plural of âlim) should go to Kufa. They should keep following Abu Hanifa and his Ashab (companions). The school of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is Abu Hanifa. Ibn Mubarak said: “Abu Hanifa was the most Faqih (being an expert in fiqh) of mankind,”  – He is also a grand âlim (islamic scholar). – “I’ve seen no one more Faqih (expert in fiqh) than him,” If r’ay (appoval) is needed one can go to Imam-i Malik, Sufyan al-Thawri or Abu Hanifa. Their intellects are exceptional, opinions are beautiful, and Faqih (expert in fiqh) personalities. He said: “Before us, where we’re unable to reveal The Messenger of Allah’s (c.c.) words, Abu Hanifa’s words are accepted.” You see, Ibn Mubarak spoke well of Abu Hanifa: “After our Prophet’s, most authentic knowledge is Abu Hanifa’s word.” There, Ibn Mubarak gushing so many compliments over Abu Hanifa that he’s saying : “After our Prophet’s, most dependable Ilm (knowledge) is Abu Hanifa’s word.” One day, Abdullah ibn Mubarak was reporting naratives of hadith. They asked him ‘who are you talking about’ when Haddeseni said: “Haddesenî Numan Bin Sabit” – meaning –  “Numan ibn Thabit taught me hadith.” Ibn Mubarak: “I’m speaking of the brain of Ilm (knowledge).” In other words, he said Al-Imam Al-Azam the brain of Ilm (knowledge). Look, that ibn Mubarak is a grand âlim (Islamic scholar). “Al-Imam Al-Azam is the brain of Ilm (knowledge), I’m talking about him,” he said. Some of them refused to write the hadith down, they halted. After a brief silence, Ibn Mubarak said: “O people! Your manners are fewer, yet your ignorance about Imam’s is further. You don’t know Ilm (knowledge) and its people. There have been no one more deserved to be followed than Abu Hanifa. He is truly muttaki (protector), âlim (Islamic scholar) and Faqih (expert in Fiqh). He discovered Ilm (knowledge) with his intellect in such way. The ones who came after him failed on that endeavor.” As you see, Ibn Mubarak demonstrated his admiration for Al-Imam Al-Azam. After Ibn Mubarak uttered these words, he swore not to teach hadith to them for a month.  Sufyan al-Thawri addressed the person who said ‘I’ve just met with Abu Hanifa,’ and said: “You’ve met with the greatest Faqih (expert in Fiqh) of the earth.” Now, pay attention, because Sufyan al-Thawri was one of the most greatest of Salaf (pioneer) âlims (Islamic scholars). He appreciated Al-Imam Al-Azam as such. He said: “Al-Imam Al-Azam is the greatest Faqih (expert in Fiqh) in earth. And you were with him.” Al-Thawri also used to say: “The person who would challenge Abu Hanifa must be higher than him in the fields of Ilm (knowledge) and capability. Do you see it? Sufyan al-Thawri says: “A person who would speak up against and challenge Al-Imam Al-Azam, must be a higher âlim (Islamic scholar) than him.” Sufyan al-Thawri said that.


Al-Thawri used to say: “The person who would challenge Abu Hanifa must be higher than him in the fields of knowledge and capability. Do you see it? Sufyan al-Thawri says: “A person who would speak up against and challenge Al-Imam Al-Azam, must be a grander âlim (Islamic scholar) than him.”

Valuable friends,

Al-Thawri and Abu Hanifa went to the hajj (major pilgrimage) together. Al-Thawri was always following Abu Hanifa. He would never speak up; he asked for Abu Hanifa to answer people’s questions. Sufyan al-Thawri was a grand âlim (Islamic scholar), but he wasn’t speak near Abu Hanifa. He wasn’t issuing legal opinion (fatwa) either. Someone said to al-Thawri: “I’ve seen Abu Hanifa’s book Kitab al-Rehin under your pillow. Do you read it?” Sufyan al-Thawri wasn’t setting aside Abu Hanifa’s Kitab al-Rehin from under his pillow. Al-Thawri replied: “Yes, I do. I like reading books of Abu Hanifa. He had comprehended the purposes of Ilm (knowledge) thoroughly. We’re not fair to him.” In other words, he said, “Al-Imam Al-Azam is an invaluable âlim (Islamic scholar),” and added “But among people  there are some who don’t appreciate his value.“ Abu Yusuf is one the universal âlims (Islamic scholars) after Al-Imam Al-Azam, he is also a grand âlim (Islamic scholar) of the Hanafi School. Look, Abu Yusuf said: “Al Thawri was following Abu Hanifa more than the rest of us. Sufyan al-Thawri is a Salaf (pioneer) âlim (Islamic scholar), but he was following Al-Imam Al-Azam. In other words, Al-Imam Al-Azam’s students were following him. But just like them, or more, Salaf âlims (pioneering Islamic scholars) were following Al-Imam Al-Azam too. Now, who is in whose position? After a quick glance, the true Salaf (pioneer – guide) is the path Al-Imam Al-Azam took.


Now, valuable friends,

Al-Imam Al-Azam would endure every hardship to reach that knowledge. He was a venerable individual who would endure every challenge on the path to wisdom. “He would know the âlims (Islamic scholars) of his town and master their authentic words. He would learn the Nasih and Mensuh of the hadith of The Messenger of Allah well. – Editors note: (Nash’s lexical meaning: “to dispose of, remove, change or transfer. May be used as a verb, i.e., “to nesh.” According to this, an ayah (versicle) may remove (nesh) a Sunnah (hadith) or a hadith may nesh a weaker Sunnah. Mastery of nasih and mensuh is crucial in hadith studies. Lack of nasih and mensuh knowledge in hadith may lead to disappointing results. Nesih and mensuh may only be applied to hadiths which are contrary and has no chance of merging in meaning. Consider that there’s two hadiths which have complete opposite meaning, if no chance of compromise, one may remove the other.). – He would research authentic hadith and adopt the deeds of our Prophet (s.a.v) immediately. Âlims of Kufa failed to keep up with him in preserving the truth.” Imam Abu Yusuf used to narrate Al-Imam Al-Azam to Ibn Mubarak like this: “We kept being silent to the words uttered by the ones who didn’t appreciate him. I am now praying to Allah (c.c.) for forgiveness for I’ve failed to act.” In other words: “Why did we keep our silence?”, “Why didn’t we defend Al-Imam Al-Azam as enough?”, “I’m repenting, and praying to Allah (c.c.) for His forgiveness,” he said. Al-Awza’i said to Abdullah ibn Mubarak: “We failed on our duties against Al-Imam Al-Azam.” Al-Awza’i is also a precious Salaf (pioneer) âlim (Islamic scholar). Look what al-Awza’i asked to Abdullah ibn Mubarak: “Do you know who’s that Bid’ah follower who is present in Kufa and became famous with the identity of Abu Hanifa?” Upon that Ibn Mubarak answered with many great matters Abu Hanifa solved. When al-Awza’i asked him: “Who told all these?” Ibn Mubarak answered: “A sheikh that I’ve met in Iraq.” And some time has passed. Ibn Mubarak, al-Awza’i and Abu Hanifa gathered together. Al-Awza’i immediately discovered that the matters Ibn Mubarak conveyed before was about Abu Hanifa. After leaving the meeting, al-Awza’i said to Ibn Mubarak: “I envy this person for his exceptional intelligence and vastness of knowledge. I’ve made a mistake by judging him according to some reports. Now, I’m repenting, and praying for mercy.” So, al-Awza’i became one of those who prayed for mercy about that matter. Immediately after learning the truth about Al-Imam Al-Azam he started repenting and praying to Allah (c.c.). And he confessed that he repented in person. They told Ibn Jurayj about Abu Hanifa’s perfection in knowledge and his endeavor about protecting the religion and piety; Ibn Jurayj said: “I should say so, his fame in Ilm (knowledge) will be mighty.” One day, people were speaking of the Imam in the presence of Ibn Jurayj. He said: “Be silent! For he is truly Faqih (expert in Fiqh).” And repeated his words three times. He said: “Be silent! For he is truly Faqih (expert in Fiqh),” for three times.


Now, valuable friends,

Who is this Ibn Jurayj? Abd al-Malik ibn Abd al-‚Aziz ibn Jurayj passed away in the year Hijri 150. He is a hadith âlim (Islamic scholar). He is also subject to the Tabi’un. He’s the first author to compose a work named al-Asal. He was the Faqih (expert in Fiqh) in Mecca through the period in which he lived. This information is located in these books: Mizanu ‚l-I’tidal and Miftahu’s-sa’ade.


Most valuable friends,

Ahmad ibn Hanbal said so about Abu Hanifa: “He was a man of Zuhd (detachment from worldly endeavors) and Taqwa (piety).” „Who is Ahmad ibn Hanbal,“ you may ask. He’s one of the greatest mujtahids in the world too. Let’s see how he praised Al-Imam AL-Azam: “He was a man of Zuhd (detachment from worldly endeavors) an Taqwa (piety). He exalted the idea of ‚favoring Hereafter‘ so much that no one could ever reach to that position. In other words, what he said was that no-one else may reach his position and his Taqwa (piety). Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that. “Al-Imam Al-Azam refused the Caliph al-Mansur’s offer and threats for him to be assigned as Qadi. Al-Imam Al-Azam was flogged, yet he still refused. He refused to be the chief judge of the world. They wanted to give him the treasures, and he refused again. May Allah (c.c.) bestow his Rahmat (grace) upon him. And may Allah (c.c.) be pleased with him” These above words were of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. May Allah (c.c.) bestow his rahmat (blessing) upon all âlims (Islamic scholars) of Islam. Moreover, they asked Ibn Harun: “Is it caiz (permitted) to read books of the Hanafi School?” Let’s see what Ibn Harun’s answer was. But before, who is Ibn Harun? Ibn Harun is amongst the well-known hadith hafizes (a hafiz is a person who fully memorizes Qur’an). Imam al-Ahmad and ibn al-Madini had narrated on the authority of Ibn Harun. He’s sheikh of the sheikhs of Imam al-Bukhari. Al-Suyuti mentioned the above information in his book Tehizzü’z Sahife.


Most valuable friends,


Ibn al-Harun says: “You should go, and read the books of Al-Imam Al-Azam Hanafi School. Amongst the Faqih (expert in Fiqh) people, I have seen no one who thought reading them was unfitting. I’ve even heard that Sufyan al-Thawri copied the transcript of Al-Imam Al-Azam’s Kitab al-Rahim and read it.” Moreover, they asked to Ibn al-Harun: “Before you, whose r’ay (approval, opinion) is more acceptable, is it Imam al-Malik’s r’ay (approval, opinion) or is it Abu Hanifa’s r’ay (approval, opinion)?” Ibn al-Harun answered: “Seize every hadith of Imam al-Malik. For he truly knew about authorities of the narrations. But Fiqh Ilm (knowledge) is similar to an art special to Abu Hanifa and his ashab (companions). It is as if they were created for that art.” In other words, he expressed that no one may reach the level of Al-Imam Al-Azam and Hanafi School of Islam in Fiqh Ilm (knowledge). Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi reported some of the Zuhd (Ascetism) Imams saying the following quote. In other words, Awliya (Islamic Saints) amongst the grand followers of the Tasawwuf (Sufism) said: “But why? If there’re factual scholarly evidence, Islamic sciences, Fiqh and and Fiqh-i (Fiqh related) sciences all around the globe, it all includes the endeavors, efforts, and works of Abu Hanifa and his crew. Who’re you going to pray for after you disregard them? May Allah (c.c.) bestow his rahmat (blessing) upon all âlims (Islamic scholars) of Islam.

Valuable friends,

Upon hearing the words of Tasawwuf (Sufism) Scholars (âlims) they’ve said: “Most of those who fail to respect him are doing this because of their ignorance and blindness. Those who wish to taste Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) should read the books of Al-Imam Al-Azam and The Hanafi School.” There, the words of grand Awliya (Islamic Saints) and Tasawwuf (Sufism) Scholars (âlims). Al-Makki ibn Abraham used to say: “Abu Hanifa was the wisest of his time.” Yahya al-Qattan said: “I’ve heard no r’ay (approval, opinion) more beautiful than Abu Hanifa’s.” In the matter of lega opinion (fatwa), he would act on Abu Hanifa’s words. So, dear friends, who’s this Al-Makki ibn Abraham? And who are ‘the others’? They’re grand âlims (Islamic Scholars) of Islam. That venerable gentleman, Al-Makki ibn Abraham, is amongst those grand hadith scholars (âlims) and he’s one of Al-Bukhari’s sheikhs. There, Nadr ibn Sumail used to say: “The people were asleep in the matter of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence). Abu Hanifa woke them from that sleep,” – So, Al-Imam Al-Azam woke them. – “He announced the Fiqh.” When the grand âlims (Islamic scholars) were appreciating Al-Imam Al-Azam, some people may come up and speak against him. Those people are only ignorant, unwary, followers of Bid’ah (deviant innovations) who chew the enemy’s spit. They have no idea how and where they got infected.


Valuable listeners,


They asked Mis’ar bin Kidam: “Why are you only researching Abu Hanifa’s words, but leave the words of the other’s?” And he answered: “For their authenticity.” Bring me more authentic words than his, and I shall esteem them.” As you see, Mis’ar bin Kidâm said these words. Ibn al-Mubarak says: “I’ve seen Mis’ar in Abu Hanifa’s class. He was asking questions to him; he was benefitting from him. So he said: “I’ve never seen more expert person in Fiqh than him.” Now, you have to pay attention because Mis’ar is another grand âlim (Islamic scholar). And Isa ibn Yunus used to say: “Do not approve those who defame Abu Hanifa. I swear to Allah (c.c.) that I haven’t seen anyone whose merits and Fiqh Ilm (knowledge) was higher.” Now, who’s this Isa ibn Yunus? Isa ibn Yunus was at the rank of  Ebil İshak, Imam Vekil, and Al-Jarrah and he is was one of the hadith scholars (âlims). He is a grand hadith scholar (âlim).


O, friends!


You’ve seen the words of the grand âlims (Islamic scholars) expressing their admiration of Al-Imam Al-azam. And there’re the ignorant people who are unaware of their doings, with them, look at the doings of the Khawarij of that period! Look how they defamed the Four Schools of Islam! Ma’mer used to say: “I’ve never seen anyone except Abu Hanifa Al-Imam Al-Azam who spoke well about Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), expanding Fiqh with his qiyas (comparisons), explaining hadiths properly, avoiding including doubtful thing into religion, and who exerted himself for that purpose.”

That individual is Ma’mer. His name is Maʿmar ibn Rashid, and he died in the year Hijri 153. He is among grand hadith scholars (âlims) and one of the first authors in the history of Islam. Sufyan al-Thawri and Ibn Mubarak reported narratives regarding that subject. So, he’s another grand âlim (Islamic scholar). He said the above words about Al-Imam Al-Azam. Al-Fudayl ibn Iyad: “Abu Hanifa was well-known for his Taqwa (piety). Famous for his Fiqh Ilm (knowledge); he was rich and generous. He only uttered words to solve problems. His was patience allowed him to teach (his students) Ilm (knowledge), day and night.

Regarding Halal (lawful) and Haram (forbidden) practices, he was on the correct path. He would rather avoid statesman.“ May Allah (c.c.) bestow his rahmat (blessing) upon all scholars of Islam. Imam al-Abu Yusuf (r.a.) said the following. Abu Yusuf (r.a.) said: “I pray for Abu Hanifa before my mother and father. I’ve heard the following quote in person. The Imam used to say: “I would, of course, pray to my mother, father at the same time I pray to my master Hammad, for his wisdom and character was beautiful. His generosity and aid were well-known. His Fiqh Ilm (knowledge) was like an ornament bestowed by Allah (c.c.). No one after him did become his successor.” Al-Imam Al-Azam spoke in praise of his hodja (religious teacher) like above. Al-Imam Al-Azam was very reverent to his masters, notably Hammad. They even say that Al-Imam Al-Azam never extended his legs, towards his master’s house.


A question was asked to Imam-i A’mash, so he answered: “Answering such lovely questions is exclusive to Numan ibn Thabit.” In other words, it is exclusive to Al-Imam Al-Azam. “I suppose Allah (c.c.) blessed him in knowledge.” Meanwhile, Yahya ibn Adem asked to al-A’mash: “How do you answer those who defame Abu Hanifa.” Al-A’mash answered: “They envy Abu Hanifa because he knows the things beyond their comprehension. They can’t bear his presence.” Al-A’mash is a grand scholar (âlim) of Islam. Here he also reported the state of those who envy Al-Imam Al-Azam. Waki used to say: “I’ve never seen anyone who knew Fiqh better and who performed namâz (prayer) better. In other words, Al-Imam Al-Azam (r.a.) is a grand personality who acts with knowledge. Imam Hafiz and Yahya ibn Ma’in used to say: “For me, there are four experts in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). They’re Abu Hanifa, Sufyan al-Thawri, Malik ibn Anas and Abd al-Rahman al-Awza’i.” I would prefer Hamza’s recitation of Qur’an and Abu Hanifa’s understanding of Fiqh. My elders were also on the same path.” There, you see? He says that his elders followed Al-Imam Al-Azam’s understanding of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). “I’ve seen Hassan bin Umare. He was standing on the stirrups of Abu Hanifa’s riding animal. He said :”I’ve never seen another who prepared such beautiful answers to the questions asked, and speaks with patience and determination in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). You’re truly the Sayyid of the Fukaha (leader of the experts in Fiqh). Only those who envy you may speak against you.” Here you see, if those who can’t bear him speak against him, grand âlims (Islamic scholars) will express their precautions. Imam Sha’bi said: “I take an oath to Allah (c.c.) that Abu Hanifa’s understanding is magnificent, and his memory was exceptional. And Hamd said: “They open their mouths only to search for flaws in the Imam’s speech, regarding the matter that theImam knew best.” Those who defame him will also meet Allah (c.c.) in the Hereafter.  Sha’bi used to feel truly sorry for Al-Imam Al-Azam. Yahya ibn Ma’in asked to Sha’bi about the competence of the Imam regarding Hadith. Sha’bi said: “Abu Hanifa is a person you can trust. I’ve heard no reports regarding any weakness in his narrations.” Hereafter, he wrote a letter concerning Al-Imam Al-Azam being a “sîka” (trustworthy person) and gave them. Ayyub Sahtayani said he was a dependable person and he would praise his expertise in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). Now, who’s this Ayyub Sahtayani? His death is also Hijri 131, and he is amongst the Tabi’un. He saw Anas ibn Malik. Imam-i Malik, Sha’bi, and al-Thawri narrated hadith on the authority of Ayyub Sahtayani. So, he is a hadith scholar (âlim) and a precious âlim (Islamic scholar). You’ve seen how he praised Al-Imam Al-Azam. One day, they said to Ibn Avn: “They say that Abu Hanifa returned from a fatwa (legal opinion) he issued. Is it correct? Ibn-i Avn said: “Yes, are there a better evidence of his virtue and piety (taqwa) than that? When he realized he made a mistake he would immediately turn to Thawab (lawful deeds).” Hammad narrates: “I was in Amr ibn Dinar’s class, who was among the Muhaddiths. When Abu Hanifa arrived in Amr’s class, he would leave us and the hadith That way, we used ask questions to Abu Hanifa along with Amr and benefit from him.” No one would issue a fatwa (legal opinion) where Abu Hanifa was present, anyway. The persons who said those words are all grand âlims (Islamic scholars). Hafız Abdulaziz bin Ebi Revvad used to say: “Those who respect him are followers of Sunnah. Those who oppose him are followers of Bid’ah (deviant innovations).”


Moreover, friends,


In another narration is: “Among the people and us, love of Abu Hanifa is measured by faith. We know that his supporters are the followers of Muhammad’s Sunnah and his haters are the followers of Bid’ah (deviant innovations).” Do you know who said that? It was Hafız Abdulaziz bin Ebi Revvad. Now, regarding that revered individual: That person may be Hammad ibn Zeyd who narrated hadith on the authority of Al-Imam Al-Azam. Him being a student of Abub bin Dinar is already mentioned in the text (written sources). Abd al-Barr conveyed two narrations like that.


Furthermore, valuable friends,


It is evident that person is also amongst the grand âlims (Islamic scholars). Hârîce Tû’t Nûn Mus’ab used to say: “Abu Hanifa, in regards to Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) was like a specialist who would detect the value of a piece of gold using a grindstone.” Now, who is that revered individual? Let’s get to know him. He died in Hijri 168. As Imam-i Suyuti reported, he was amongst Al-Imam Al-Azam’s students, and he was a hadith scholar (âlim). It was Zehebi who commited this on paper in order to convey the information.

Hafız Muhammed bin Meymun who was another famous hadith hafiz (memorizer) used to say: “In his period, there had been no one who was more alim (Islamic scholar), Faqih (expert in Fiqh) and zahid (pious) and muttaki (has has piety). I swear to Allah (c.c.) that I wouldn’t trade one of his lessons for hundred-thousand dinars.” His teachings were that precious. İbrahim bin Muaviye says “One must love and respect Abu Hanifa to be a fulfill being a follower Muhammad’s Sunnah,” and he would add: “He was a fair person. He would light the path to knowledge and explain its hardships.”


So, friends,


This venerable person is another important âlim (Islamic scholar). Esed ibn Hakim said: “Those who speak against Abu Hanifa are either the followers of Bid’ah (deviant innovations) or ignorant people.” That individual also stated the same thing. And Abu Sulayman used to say: “Al-Imam Al-Azam was an exceptional person. Those who failed to comprehend his words started speaking against him.” Who is this Abu Sulayman, let’s get to know him. Abu Sulayman is an invaluable âlim (Islamic scholar). He is among the famous Hanafi Faqihs (Hanafi Experts in Islamic Jurisprundence). Caliph al-Mamun offered him the position of a the chief judge (qadi). He is the narrator of some of the Imam-i Muhammad’s books. Above information was mentioned by Taşköprüzade in his, Miftâhu’s-sa‘âde.


One day, people were mentioning Abu Hanifa in the presence of Davud-i Tahir. Now, who is Davud-i Tahir? He’s a grand Awliya (Islamic Saint) and a grand âlim (Islamic scholar). He’s a revered individual who graduated from Al-Imam Al-Azam’s school of knowledge. Let’s see what he said. Davud-i Tahir interrupted the speakers and said: “Abu Hanifa was like the North Star which lost travellers used for finding their path. He was such an exceptional scholar (âlim) that his affection was accepted by all believer’s hearts.” Do you see? Here, Davud-i Tahir referred to Al-Imam Al-Azam and said: „the hearts of every believer.” So, he said: “his affection was accepted by the hearts of every believer.” He is a grand âlim (Islamic scholar) and a grand Awliya (Islamic Saint). Qadi Serif used to narrate Al-Imam Al-Azam as: “Abu Hanifa was very silent, he would think a lot, was cautious in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) related opinions. His interpretations regarding Ilm (knowledge) and deeds were exceptional.” He would make his poor apprentice become rich. After teaching halal (lawful) and haram (forbidden) he would say to them: “Now, you’re truly prosperous.” Then he would state that prosperity comes from halal (lawful) earnings. Let us continue, Halef ibn Eyüp described the Imam. They are all grand scholars of Islam. He said: “Islamic sciences were first given from Allah  (c.c.) to His Messenger. Then, they were conveyed to the Tabi’un, via his ashab (companions). Then finally they were transferred to Abu Hanifa.” Be careful! He selected him. Whether people like this situation or not, this happened via Allah’s (c.c.) help. In other words, Islamic sciences were conveyed to the Tabi’un after Ashab-i Gûzin (the chosen companions) and they all come together in Al-Imam Al-Azam. The above quote was said by Halef ibn Eyyub.


Valuable friends,


That venerable individual is also amongst the Grand Hanafi Faqihs (experts in Fiqh). He perfected his understanding of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) through Imam al-Muhammad. This fatwa (legal opinion): “Testimony of he who pays sadaqah (aid) to a beggar in the mosque is inadmissible,” was issued by him.

Valuable friends,


Our lesson continues with the words of grand Islamic scholars about Al-Imam Al-Azam. We can’t praise them enough. The news that comes from âlims (Islamic scholars) about Abu Hanifa’s fame are too long. The ones we’re reading here are enough to persuade intelligent and right-minded people. Henceforth, Qadi Ibn ‚Abd al-Barr ended his words after uttering the following about the Imam’s virtue and maturity: “Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) followers do not praise those who defame Abu Hanifa. They do not approve any of the bad things attributed to him.“ These were the words of Abd al-Barr. Abu Hanifa narrated this on his literary work about Malik ibn Shafi’i. The third chapter of the aforementioned literary work is about Abu Hanifa.


Most valuable and venerable listeners,


Let’s talk a little bit about Al-Imam Al-Azam’s ibadat (worship) life.

Hafiz Zebebi said: “It was conveyed from ear to ear until this day that Imam-i Abu Hanifa, namely Al-Imam Al-Azam, had passed his nights, performing ibadat such as night namaz (prayer).” Hafiz Zebebi said the above quote, he is a grand âlim (Islamic scholar). “They’ve named him “el vettü vettü’l leyl – the pillar of the night” after hearing he had passed his nights praying.” Abu Hanifa used to pass the nights worshipping. And it is known that he read the entire Qur’an in every rakat (unit) of every namâz (prayer) he performed. A miracle of Qur’an, namely ‘Kiram’ın Berebe’ had occured. Allah (c.c.) blessed him with such scholarly favour. It is also reported that Abu Hanifa performed the dawn namâz (prayer) with the abdast (ablution) he performed at the nigh-namâz (prayer) time, and he kept doing that until dawn. And he also read the whole Qur’an in every rakat (unit) of every namâz (prayer). Report also says he cried a lot while performing namâz (prayer). And his neighbours who were used to this situation had pity for the Imam. The above reports are transferred to us via trustworty individuals. Again, it is also reported that the Imam read Al-Qur´an Al-Karim seven thousand times until the year he died in.


Valuable friends,

Abu Muti‘ bin Abdullah el-Belhi: Whenever I visited the Great Mosque of Mecca I used to find Sufyan al-Thawri and Abu Hanifa performing ibadat there.” Valuable friends! People who heard about the nights of Abu Hanifa said he was leaving. He said to Abu Yusuf: “Subhanallah! Do you hear them?” Allah Ta’ala (c.c.) is making us a mediator for people to find the true path. These messages will spread. I will fail to be the man in people’s assumptions. I seek refuge in Allah (c.c.), if it is the truth.”  People heard others saying about Al-Imam Al-Azam: “This person passed whole nights performing ibadat (worship).” And he wished from Allah (c.c.) for being a person who performs ibadat that suits people’s assumptions, and he wants to be that person in people’s minds. And he became the recepient of Allah’s (c.c.) favor.

Abu Yusuf (r.a.) says: “Al-Imam Al-Azam read the whole Qur’an once every day except for the days of Ramadan-i Sharif. In Ramadan (a Islamic month), he would read the whole Qur’an two times, one in the day and the other in the night. That means he read the Qur’an 60 times in Ramadan (a month) while carrying on many scholarly studies. Upon the coming of Bayram (Ilamic holiday), the number of hatim (the act of reading the whole Qur’an) would increase to sixty-two. He would always donate his goods; would give all his goods to âlims (Islamic sholars), students and Faqihs (experts in Fiqh). He would endure every hardship to teach somethings to his students. No matter what they said about him, he would always be patient and never get angry. Besides, I’ve witnessed him practicing dawn-namâz (prayer) with one abdast (ablution) for twenty years.” These were the words of Abu Yusuf. After including the times he hadn’t witnessed he said: “I’ve heard he acted like this for forty years.” But he witnessed only twenty years it. Mis’ar ibn Kidam narrates: “I’ve seen him. The Imam performed the dawn-namâz (prayer). Then started teaching, continued until noon. After noon-namâz (prayer) he returned to teaching. The lesson continued until mid-afternoon. Following the afternoon namâz (prayer)he, again, returned to class. This time, the lesson continued until near evening. Then, he stopped and went home. After evening-namâz (prayer) he started teaching, again, until night-namâz (prayer) time. Until then I was asking myself how this man found time for ibadat (worship).” The man who always dealt with knowledge also had an ibadat (worship) life. He said: “Night-namaz (prayer) wasperformed.” “Everybody left the mosque, Abu Hanifa didn’t. He was like a person who’s ready to hold a wedding. He stood up for namaz (prayer)! And he kept on performing namâz (prayer) until dawn. After dawn-namâz (prayer) he changed his clothes and started his today’s life as he did the day before. He followed the same pattern on the next day too. I followed him for some time; there were no chance in his routine. At that point I believed that the Imam will continue living his life like that until he died, or murdered,” – They did, they martyred him. – “And he continued, he walked from earth to Allah (c.c.),” “Besides, I hadn’t seen Imam not fasting in daylight, and sleeping in nightime. He would sleep firmly before noon.” Mis’ar passed away while he was prostrating. performing namâz (prayer) in Abu Hanifa’s Masjid (small mosque). He passed away in Hijri 152. Qadi Şerif said: “I was with Ebu Hanife for one year. During this time, I’ve never witnessed his cheek touching a pillow.” Again, being one of the revered individuals, Hacetübni Mussab: Inside Kabaa, four people would read the whole Qur’an in one rakat (unit) of namaz (prayer). Abu Hanifa was one of them.” Fudayl bin Dükeyn said: “I’ve seen many people among Tabi’un and others. None performed better namâz (prayer) than Abu Hanifa, both in quality and quantity. He would pray before starting his namaz, and he would cry. Those who see his condition would immediately say: ‘He had  fear of Allah (c.c.).’ – originally they said, ‚‘he is ahlul haşyetullah.‘ – In my eyes, he would resemble a ‚şenni baadi‘ which means a worn water bottle made of leather. For he would pray so much. One day, he came up to the forty-sixth ayah (versicle) of the al-Qamar Surah and repeated that ayah (versicle) until dawn. (The righteous will be amidst gardens and rivers.) In a different night, he was reading Qur’an and he came up to the twenty-seventh ayah of the at-Tur Surah. He repeated that ayah until dawn, too.” Abu Hanifa’s slavegirl (wife), mother of his child, said the following: “Until this day I’ve never prepared a bed for the Imam at nights. In summers he would usually sleep at between noon and afternoon for two hours. In winters, he would briefly sleep in the masjid, before noon.” Ibn-i Abu Revvah says: “During my visit to Mecca, I’ve witnessed no other person who was performing more namâz (prayer) or circumambulate the Kaaba and at the same time enduring hardships of issuing legal opinions (fatwa) and teaching. The Imam devoted his days and nights to hereafter, in other words, his salvation. I’ve followed Abu Hanifa for ten nights. He would neither sleep at nights or stop circumambulating the Kaaba during the day.” He spent his days circumambulating the Kabaa, performing ibadat (worship) and teaching.” Allah (c.c.) fed him, made him drink, and protected him. He was under His protection. And He bestowed his knowledge upon humanity through him. According to the reports of well-known authors: “Imam Abu Hanifa, in his last Hajj (major pilgrimage), donated one half of his entire wealth to the warden for the expenses of the Kabaa and wanted to perform namaz inside it. He entered the Kabaa. He has donated his fortune for its maintenance. He walked into the Kabaa. While performing namâz (prayer), he stood on his right leg, and read one half of the entire Qur’an. Then he stood on his other leg and completed the Qur’an. After his namaz, he prayed: “O! Rabb! I’ve known you as I should but couldn’t perform enough ibadat (worship) as you deserved. Forgive me for my incompetence at worshipping.” At the end of his prayer, a sound was heard from the unseen: “You did known me, and you did well You were devoted in your service. We have forgiven you and followers of your school until Hereafter.


Valuable friends,


The reports we conveyed you are not contrary of what we already know about Al-Imam Al-Azam. Between the Imam saying in his prayer ‘A’raftüke hak’kal marifeti,’ and other praying as Sübhâneke mâ arafnâke hakka ma’rifetike yâ Ma’rûf.’ There’s no difference in meaning. What the Imam meant was “recognizing Allah (c.c.) knowledge-wise, in the light of knowledge which announces the Him.” And such prayer is permissable (caiz). But the people who believed the contrary say: “True merit is only possible through meeting Him.” As for proof, they’ve pointed out our Prophet’s words: “Subhaneke lâ ehsâsenâen aleyke kema esneyke aleyke.” Or, in other words: O, Rabb! You are devoid [of what they attribute]! We can’t praise You the way you praise the way You praise Yourself.”

Again, there was a hadith regarding the magnificent intercession (shafaa’ah) our Prophet in the day of judgment (kiyamah). In the Hadith-i Sharif regarding the magnificent intercession (shafaa’ah) of our Beloved Prophet in the day of judgment (Qiyamah): It was announced that all creatures will beg for intercession (shafaa’ah) of our Prophet, and such praise was never inspired to anyone before.


Yes, “Men kara el Kur’an’a fîi. Gâllim min selâsı lem yefkâ.” – Meaning –  “Whoever completes reading the Quran before three days cannot understand anything it.” Even if they call this hadith mekruh (unpleasant) too, the matter which is indicated here is about time and integrity of memory and pronunciation of the Allah’s (c.c.) word. For Al-Imam Al-Azam is a true scholar (âlim) in interpretation and memorization of Qur’an. Can you compare Al-Imam Al-Azam with those lacking these skills? We’ve had reports regarding the community of Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad)and Tabi’un which suggested they were reading the entire Qur’an in a rakah (unit) of prayer. In other words, there were majestic and venerable personalities among the companions who were able.


Valuable friends,


Al-Imam Al-Azam’s fear of Allah (c.c.) and control of his auto-control was immensely powerful. InshaAllah, we’ll talk upon these matters in our following lessons and we will keep on informing you about especially Al-Imam Al-Azam, and grand scholars (âlims) of Islam Insha Allah Ta’ala (c.c.). We will offer more discovery notes from Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar to you, with Allah’s (c.c.) grace and support.





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