Nuʿmān ibn Thābit, recognized in the Muslim Umma as Al-Imam-A’zam, Abu Hanifah (r.a.), was the first ahl-Sunnah Imam, born in Iraq in 699 A.D. In his childhood, he memorized Holy Qur’an and was counted among the brilliant intellects of that era. Being a sharia scholar, he laid down the foundations of Sunni Hanafi institution. His institute was established and specialized in Islamic jurisprudence under the Abassid dynasty that had provided brilliant legal minds like Seljuk and Kharzem Shah. This scholarly institute was first established in Iran; afterwards the laws that were developed under the umbrella of Hanafi School were started practiced entirely in Islamic World.
After strengthening the Hanafi law institute in Iran, the legal system established under this School gained recognition and acceptance in Iraq after which it spread to most parts of eastern region. The whole Islamic jurisprudence system gained immense popularity when inserted in the administration of Government and public legal structure of Damascus. Under the ruling of Muhammad Ali Pasha in Egypt, Hanafi institute and its legal concepts gained accredited certification. Under the enlightened supervision of Al-Imam Al-A’zam, Abu Hanifah (r.a.), the Islamic legal system fetched elevated credibility thus the success of Hanafi School happened to be possible due to the clear visions and passion for Islamic knowledge by him.
Al-Imam Al-A’zam, Abu Hanifah (r.a.) was started on his education in Islamic studies at an early age. His scholarly aptitude pushed him towards the infinite knowledge of spirituality thus his divine interests gained him the assistance of Imam Shabi and his intellectual deep knowledge about religious studies. Imam Shabi recommended Al-Imam Al-A’zam, Abu Hanifah (r.a.) to study the valuable cannons of Islamic foundation to seek exquisite pearls of deep knowledge hidden in the depths of the Islamic sea. Hammad Ibn Abi Sulaiman, known for his scholarly Islamic laws, was the next influential teacher that taught Al-Imam Al-A’zam, Abu Hanifah (r.a.) about Islamic legal structure.
Abu Hanifah (r.a.) was under the teachings of Hammad approximately for 28 years. During this whole tenure Abu Hanifah (r.a.) was attached to Hammad like a shadow, thus he polished his knowledge of Islamic laws under Hammad’s excellence and brilliance. Afterwards he approached Makah and then started to raise his levels of education in Islamic regulations even higher under many scholars of Makah.
Some popular Hadiths of Al-Imam Al-A’zam, Abu Hanifah (r.a.) that exist in Islamic History are:
- The accomplishment of a task depends upon the hidden objective of the inner soul of a person.
- The completion of a Muslim faith is attached with the good deeds with his/her brother. A person who does not differentiate while making choice for him or her -self and his/her brother should congratulate him or her -self for being the truest Muslim from heart and soul.
- If you love Allah, remove discrimination in the inner and outlook of your personality.