Ali bin Abi Talib RA

Ali RA was one of the four sons of Abu Talib, the leader of Banu Hashim. He was the youngest (born 10 years before Muhammad PBUH was raised as a Prophet). Pitying his poverty, Muhammad PBUH took him under his guardianship. He was one of the earliest converts to Islam when the Prophet PBUH started his call to Islam. His young age did not an obstacle for him to stay away from Islam and remained steadfast on it until he met his end.

When the pagans entered the Prophet’s house after knowing about his plans of migration to Madina, they found Ali RA sleeping in the Prophet’s bed. He was instructed by the Prophet PBUH to handover all the things which were left in his trust, to their owners, before he too left Makkah. The Quraish roughed him up, because they wanted to bring harm to the Prophet PBUH. They detained him in the Grand Mosque for sometime but released him later. A few days later, Ali RA trekked his way to Madinah, arriving there with swollen feet. This brought tears to the Prophet’s eyes.

His entire life was sacrifice and courage personified. At Badr, the Prophet PBUH let him loose on the three Quraysh fighters who challenged duals. Ali RA, the least experienced in war, took on Waleed ibn ‘Utbah and beheaded him in no time. It will not be out of place here to mention that at that time, Ali RA was just about 20 years.

After the battle of Badr, Ali RA requested the Prophet PBUH for Fatima’s hand. He agreed and a paltry sum of 400 Dirham was decided as the amount of Mahr. Ali RA and Fatima’s life was an example of detachment from the worldly pleasures. Their hut had no furniture and the pair went hungry quite often. When the hardships turned beyond endurance, they would go to the Prophet’s house seeking a slave or a servant. Fatimah complained that the skin of her hand was torn from running the mill-stone and Ali RA complained that he suffered chest pain from working as a bucket puller irrigating Jewish orchards. Rather than giving them what they had asked for, the Prophet PBUH told them, ‘’Sing the praises of your Lord, a hundred times before you go to bed. This is better than what you have asked for’’.

At Uhud 3 H, the pagan flag was held by Talha bin Uthman. Several times the man challenged someone to meet him in duel. Finally, Ali RA fought him and Talha fell down as Ali RA severed his leg. Ali RA then abandoned him .When the war broke, Ali RA fought so hard that he received sixteen injuries. By now Ali RA seemed to have gotten good war skills. The only Prophetic campaign from which Ali RA abstained was when he was placed in charge of Madina, while the Prophet PBUH marched to Tabuk. By placing Ali RA at Madina, and marching out with a force of 10000, to a destination, thousand kilometres away, leaving behind hundreds of hypocrites, the Prophet PBUH left the message to them that if they misbehaved, they will find the person left in charge no easy man to deal with.

Then came the final assignment. In the 10th year after Hijra, Ali RA was sent to Yemen as a Judge and a caller to Faith. The Prophet PBUH was eager to win the Yemenis to Islam without any military confrontation. Success came up smiling and the Prophet was extremely pleased to receive their delegates arriving at Madina to enter into allegiance and receive religious instructions. It is from Yemen that Ali RA arrived at Makkah to perform Hajj with the Prophet PBUH.

Ali RA remained close by during the Prophet’s final illness. He was the one who stepped into the grave while burying the last Messenger of Allah. Bukhari reports that Ali RA’s son Muhammad ibn Hanaffiyah asked Ali RA about who was the best of men after the Prophet PBUH. He answered, ‘’ Abu Bakr’’. He asked, ‘’who after him?’’. He answered,’’ Umar’’. Muhammad added that if he asked ‘’who thereafter’’, Ali RA would have said, ‘’Uthman’’, and so he desisted.

The relationship of Ali RA with Abu Bakr and Umar was that of mutual love and respect. When Ja’far, Ali RA’s brother died, Abu Bakr RA married his widow. Ali RA used to wear a certain apparel quite often in winters. When someone asked the reason, he said, ‘’ Why not? It was gifted to me by my friend Umar.’’ Ali RA gave his daughter Umm Kulthum to Umar in marriage. Ali RA, who said that none were dearer to the Prophet PBUH than Abu Bakr RA and Umar RA, named one of his sons as Abu Bakr RA and another Umar RA.

Usman’s death left Ali RA shatteringly dismayed and devastatingly traumatised. After the death of Uthman, Ali RA was unanimously chosen as the next Caliph, in the Prophet’s Mosque. Restoring law and order in Madina was his first major task. The rebels in thousands were freely roaming the town. Uthman’s murderers were also among them but his wife could not identify them. Since the rebels were outsiders, identifying the killers among them was not easy. Slowly pressure started building on Ali RA to apprehend the killers of Uthman. But it was not an easy task since there was no police or no standing army as in today’s world. To make matters worse for Ali RA, the rebels started playing dirty tricks and claimed themselves as Ali RA’s supporters. Ali RA loathed them and his disapproval of them was spoken out in every public address that he delivered.

The rebels wrongly but deliberately started claiming that Ali RA was shielding the murderers of Usman RA. Slowly a core group of the Sahaba demanded that the murderers of Usman be brought to book. Chaos and confusion was reigning supreme. This gave rise to new problems every day and so didn’t give enough time to Ali RA to focus on running the state and bringing about peace. Mu’awiyyah was still not pledging his allegiance to Ali RA on the grounds that Ali RA was not doing anything about punishing the murderers of Usman.

Ali RA asked Abdullah ibn Umar to become the Governor of Syria, but he refused and fled to Makkah.

Ali RA could not arrest the killers of Usman because they were not identified and in the ensuing chaos it became extremely difficult for him to focus on arresting the culprits. In the meantime, Mu’awiyyah remained with his hold on Syria which he extended to a province between Northern Iraq and Syria. Even Egypt subsequently came under him.

On the other hand, Aisha, on her way back from Hajj received the news of Usman’s murder. She returned to Makkah. Talha and Zubayr met her there and the three decided to launch a movement demanding punishment of Usman’s killers. The three along with some other companions decided to first go to Basra to seek their help and then move on to Kufa. When they reached Basra a huge number of people joined them. In the face of these developments, Ali RA also decided to leave for Kufa. They were about a hundred people when they started from Madinah but after reaching Kufa, 6000-7000 people joined them. Some Basrans also joined them and their number rose to about 12000.

But in the meantime, efforts were made for reconciliation. Their efforts at reconciliation succeeded as Zubayr, Talha and Aisha agreed to join hands with Ali RA to find out the killers of Uthman. This development did not go down well with the hypocrites, rebels and the Saba’ians who tried to create misunderstanding between them and unfortunately succeeded. The Saba’ians, during a secret meeting decided that they should strike each other in the pre dawn hours to start off a war. They had placed their men near Ali RA, Talha and Zubayr. The Saba’ians falsely told them that the other party had betrayed and had struck. In this way, a fight ensued due to misunderstanding. It continued till afternoon when Ali RA, Talha and Zubayr reAli RAsed that there was something wrong. They tried to stop the fight but were not successful. Zubayr was murdered by a Saba’i, Ibn Jurmooz. Talha too received a blow and he was carried to Basra where he died.

Having heard the news of the battle, Aisha came out of Basra. Aisha was on a camel (Ja’mal in Arabic and hence the Ja’mal battle). The Saba’ians targeted her, but her companions stood before her camel like a wall. Finally Ali RA sent her brother Abd al-Rehman ibn Abi Bakr and another man to gore the camel she was riding and escort Aisha safely to one of the tents. With this smart move, Ali RA was able to stop further bloodshed and bring this fight to an end.

Ali RA arranged for Aisha RA to be taken to Madina. Forty ladies of noble families were chosen to escort her right upto Madina. Ali RA followed the caravan out of the town for some distance. She announced that whatever had happened, there was never any bitterness between the two, even before she came out seeking retribution for Uthman’s murder.

Mu’awiyyah remained seeking justice for Usman. Ali RA had written several times to him to submit but he refused. Ultimately, Ali RA decided to prepare a force and invade Syria. Mu’awiyyah also marched out with a force of around sixty thousand to camp at Siffin. The two armies faced one another for more than two months without any full fledged battle, because both wished to avoid violence. Finally the war started between the two sides. The battle lasted full three days. By the fourth day it had become obvious that the victory will be for Ali RA’s forces. But ultimately both the sides stopped fighting. After this battle a group of people broke away from Ali RA who later came to be known as Khawarij. Their number soon swelled to about ten thousand. They had very strange beliefs. They considered those Muslims as unbelievers who did not agree to their thinking.

Most of the area east of Iraq as well as in its north rebelled against Ali RA’s Governors, refusing to send the Kharaj money to him. This weakened his government. Ultimately Ali RA had to give in and sign a truce with Mu’awiyyah in 40H that said that Syria would remain under Mu’awiyyah while Iraq would be for Ali RA. The Khawarij planned to kill Ali RA, Mu’awiyyah and Amr ibn al-Aas, all at the same time. They agreed on attacking the three on a particular day with poisoned swords. A person named Ibn Muljam attacked Ali RA as he emerged from his house for prayers. His sword did not fail and struck a fatal blow to Ali RA. The other two of assassins assigned to murder Mu’awiyyah and Amr ibn al-Aas failed.

Three days later, on 21st Ramadan, 40H, at the age of 63, Ali RA succumbed to the injuries. His burial place is unknown. Several tombs have been identified but to no certainty.


Wit of Hazrath Ali (RA)

During the times of Hazrat Ali’s caliphate, two Arabs were travelling together through the Hijaz desert. At meals, they sat together on a convenient spot and opened their food packages. One of them had five loaves of bread and the other three. As they were about to begin their meal, a stranger queried whether he might share their meal. “You are welcome, brother,” they said in unison, and all three had a pleasant time together.

At the time of farewell, the stranger presented them eight dirhams and asked them to divide it amongst themselves. Although, to accept money in lieu for hospitality is considered inappropriate by the Muslims, but the gift was presented in a spirit and manner such that to refuse it would have deemed rude. Therefore they accepted it.

There arouse a disagreement on the matter of distribution of dirhams. The man who had possessed greater share of bread sought five of the eight dirhams. On the other hand, the one with lesser portion demanded an equal half of the amount. It was a question of principle and none would forego his right. Since there was no amicable solution, both agreed to approach the Caliph for a just and reasonable settlement.

Hazrat Ali attentively listened to their account, pondered over it for a while and then addressed the man who had three breads: “Brother! Accept the three dirhams which your companion offers you, for, in reality, you don’t have a right to even those three dirhams.”

“O Caliph!” said the Arab. “It is not the money I’m arguing for; it is my right that I seek. If it is proven reasonably that I deserve not a single dirham, by ALLAH, I shall have no complaint!”

“Then listen,” said Hazrat Ali. “You had three breads and your companion had five, which makes a total of eight loaves and there were three of you to share them. Do you agree?”

“I do,” replied the Arab.

“Now, eight breads could not be divided equally in three shares without dividing them.”

“Evidently impossible…”

“There you are,” said Hazrat Ali, appreciating the remark by the Arab. “But the breads had to be divided in three equal shares and you did it in practice though not apprehensively. The simplest practical solution to this riddle is, let us suppose, each bread was cut into three equal pieces; therefore your three breads made nine pieces and your companion’s five breads made fifteen. Thus making a total of 24 pieces and all of you ate 8 pieces each.

“Excellent!” exclaimed the Arab with joy.

“Patience, brother,” said the Caliph, while an amusing smile appeared on his lips. “Now, let us understand that you ate 8 pieces out of your nine and spared only one for the stranger. Your companion also ate 8 pieces out of his 15 and spared 7 pieces for the traveller. It is therefore just that he takes seven dirhams for his seven pieces that the stranger ate and that you take one dirham for your single piece.”

“By ALLAH! Wa-ALLAH! You are the wisest of the men on earth,” proclaimed the Arab and accepted his share of single dirham from the gift and left the court being content with the verdict.

There are many such wisdom crammed events of this virtuous Caliph who happened to be a first cousin of our beloved Prophet PBUH. InshALLAH in future we seek to enlight our audience on Hazrath Ali’s wit.

On the lines of the wonderful advice Luqman AS gave to his son, Hazrat Ali likewise extended wisdom to his son, Hazrat Hassan that we all can pass down our generation:

“My son, remember four things from me, and four more; you will come to no harm as long as you act in accordance with them:

The richest of riches is intelligence, and the greatest poverty is stupidity.
The loneliest isolation is conceit, and the noblest value is goodness of character.

My son,

  • Do not befriend a fool, for he hurts you when he wants to help you
  • Do not befriend a stingy man, for he will distance himself from you when he is most needed
  • Do not befriend a profligate, as he will sell you for a trifle
  • And do not befriend a liar, for he is like a mirage, making the distant seem near to you and the near seem distant.”


Satanic Entrapments

It is an established fact that there subsists an opponent who being a devoted threat, wishes eternal torments and dedicates his entire existence to that end. That sworn enemy of mankind: Satan whom ALLAH SWT the greatest has cursed and expelled from HIS presence. Nor is he a mere myth or legend, but a real being who constantly conspires and diverges humans thereby leading them astray on road to Hell. His promise made to ALLAH SWT is compelling. Iblees (Satan) proclaimed: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism). ALLAH said: “The Truth is – and the Truth I say – That I will fill Hell with you [Iblees (Satan)] and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together.” [Sad 38: 82-85].

The Iblees engages humanity into entrapment by employing his unique processes. Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, renowned scholar of Islam, discusses Satan’s modus operandi in greater detail in one of his essays. A humble effort is attempted to simplify the same to enlight the audience.

Fundamentally Iblees strives to his best to ambush mankind within the shackles of kufr and Shirk. If this is successful, his goal of deviating mankind is accomplished. The affected being becomes a part of his army and he deploys him as his agent to mislead others.

If despaired by default, Iblees concentrates in engaging the slaves of ALLAH SWT in bidah (innovations). He loves bidah more than impiety and disobedience as the harm of bidah is in the essence of religion. The holy Prophet PBUH mentioned “Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell fire.” [Sahih Muslim]. Bidah is undoubtedly a gate to kufr and shirk.

If defeated in trapping the slaves of ALLAH SWT by his two basic methods, Iblees ensures to corrupt them by involving in various forms of major sins. This is the bracket in which most of the common Muslims fall in. Heinous sins like lying, back biting, eavesdropping, deceit and usury (riba) are the common vices to which most succumb. ALLAH SWT says “Those who avoid great sins (Al Kabair) and Al-Fawahish (illegal sexual intercourse) except the small faults, – verily, your Lord is of vast forgiveness.” [Al-Najm 53:32].

When overpowered by the worshipper in spite of the above means, Iblees snares believers into minor sins. The holy Prophet advised, “Be aware of the minor sin.” These sins may destroy a person if they accumulate.

If still not able to taste success, Iblees moves on to occupy his targets in permissible acts that do not garner reward or punishment. However, the damage of this level is caused by surpassing the reward missed by being occupied with these deeds.

Finally when Iblees is flattened by all of his operations, he sways the worshippers in engaging in deeds of lesser rewards so as to keep virtue away from them and to prevent them from attaining the rewards of the preferred acts.

We may find ourselves helpless in thwarting away the treat from Satan, but ALLAH SWT the most merciful has promised protection from Satan for the slaves who are Taqwa complaint (Benefits of TAQWA ). Pray ALLAH SWT guides us to sirat-ul-mustaqheem. Aameen

“Verily, Death is full of agonies”

Madina was totally engulfed in confusion and anxiety. The Companions of the Prophet PBUH had assembled around his house with tearful eyes and grieving hearts. The reports pouring out from the house revealed that his condition was extremely precarious and there was very little optimism in his recovery. It culminated that only a few moments of his precious life remained.

The Companions of the Prophet were yearning of have a glimpse of their beloved Prophet PBUH from close, but situation demanded that none except the members of the family visit him. The Prophet PBUH kissed his grandsons, Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and recommended that they be taken care of. He advised his wives to remain steadfast in their remembrance of ALLAH. As the relentless pain kept torturing, He turned to wife Aisha and said: “I feel as if death is approaching.” He ordered the people to perform the prayers and be good to slaves. He repeated it several times. The misery of our times is that we are callous with this advice.

The honoured daughter Hazrath Fatimah RA was sitting beside her father’s bed. She kept gazing at his illuminated face and witnessed that the perspiration of death was flowing down his face and forehead. With a heavy heart, tearful eyes, and choked throat, she was reciting the following verse which Abu Talib had recited in praise of the Prophet: “The luminous face in whose honour rains are sought from the clouds. The person who is the asylum for the orphans and the guardian of the widows”.

At this moment the Prophet PBUH, opened his eyes and said to his daughter in a low voice: “This is a verse which Abu Talib recited about me. It will, however, be better if, instead of the same, you recite this verse of the Holy Qur’an: “Muhammad is but a messenger. The messengers have already passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dies or is slain, you will turn back on your heels? He who turns back does no hurt to ALLAH, and ALLAH will reward the thankful.” [Al Imran 3:144]

The Prophet’s love for his only surviving child was one of the most sublime manifestation of human sentiments, so much so that he never proceeded on a journey without bidding farewell to his daughter and upon his return he first sought her audience. He accorded her great respect as compared with his wives and used to tell his Companions: “Fatimah is a part of my body. Her pleasure is my pleasure and her anger is my anger.” (Bukhari)

Throughout the Prophet’s illness Fatimah remained beside him. The Prophet PBUH signalled her to speak to him. She brought her head close to her father’s head and conversed with him in low tones. The people around were unaware of what transpired between them. When the Prophet PBUH ceased talking, Hazrath Fatimah RA wept bitterly. However, soon after this the Prophet made a sign to her again and spoke to her in low tones. This time she raised her head in a pleasant mood with smiling lips. Those present were amazed to observe these two antithetical conditions, and requested Fatimah RA to enlighten them. She replied: “I am not going to divulge the secret of the Prophet of ALLAH”.

After the passing away of the Prophet PBUH, on the insistence of Hazrath Aisha RA, Hazrath Fatimah RA broke her silence and said “In the first instance my father informed me about his death and stated that he was not likely to recover from his illness. Hence, I began weeping profusely. However, when he talked to me for the second time he told me that I would be the first person from amongst his Ahl-al-Bayt who would join him. This made me happy and I understood that I would be joining my dear father very soon”. [Tabaqat Ibn Saad].             

When the pang of death initiated, Aisha RA leant Prophet PBUH against her. She mentioned: It was a great Divine favour on me that the Prophet PBUH breathe his last in my room, while I am still alive. He departed between my chest and neck whilst leaning against me. ALLAH SWT enjoined his saliva with mine at his demise. ‘Abdur-Rahman Ibn Abu Bakr came in with a Siwak (tooth stick) in his hand, while the Prophet’s head was in my lap. I noticed that he was looking at the Siwak. So I asked him: “Would you like me to have it?” He nodded in the affirmative. I took it and gave it to him. As it was too hard for him, I asked him again: “Shall I soften it for you?” Again, he nodded in the affirmative. So I softened it with my saliva and he passed it (on his teeth). There was a water container available at his hand with some water in. He put his hand in it and wiped his face with it and said: “There is no God but ALLAH. Verily, death is full of agonies.” (Bukhari)

Raising children: Need of the hour

The major challenge of a modern Islamic society is to raise children in an appropriate Islamic environment. It is more a distinct dream for Muslim parents in today’s highly undesirable culture. Negative effects of television, internet and other forms of media have spread their tentacles deep and wide into our families. It is rather an uphill task for Muslim parents to shield their children from these vices. Raising and educating children is one of the fundamental duties required of parents. ALLAH SWT has enjoined in the Holy Quran “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from ALLAH SWT, but do that which they are commanded.” [Tahreem 66:6] In the commentary of this verse, Imam Al-Tabari said “and your families against a Fire” connotes to educate your families towards acts of obedience to ALLAH SWT so that they may safeguard themselves from the Fire.                                                                                               

Ibn Al-Jawzi narrates about a very wealthy King who had only one daughter. The girl was pampered to core with luxurious upbringing. A devout worshipper who happened to be the king’s neighbour, whilst reciting Quran one night, raised his voice upon the verse, “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones” [Tahreem 66:6]. Taking notice of this recitation, the girl ordered her servants, to “Stop!” But they could not pause him. The staunch believer continued to repeat the verse, and the girl kept on insisting to bring that to a halt, but the worshiper didn’t. She put her hands to her collar and tore her garment. The servants who witnessed the scene rushed to her father and revealed the matter. The king went to his daughter and said, “My dear, what happened to you tonight? What made you weep?” and he hugged her. She said, “I ask you by ALLAH SWT, O my father, tell me, does ALLAH SWT has created a Fire and the fuel of which is men and stones?” He said, “Yes.” She asked him, “Why did you not enlighten me? By ALLAH SWT I will not eat any good food or sleep on any soft bed until I know whether my abode is in Paradise or Hell.” [Safwat Al-Safwah, 4/437-438]

In another verse ALLAH SWT mentions “And enjoin as-Salaat (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salaat (prayers)]” [Ta-Ha 20:132]. This ayah further substantiates the approach towards constitution of family and emphasizing the importance of Salaat. The Messenger PBUH shouldered the mammoth responsibility of fostering children on parents and made it obligatory on them. It was narrated that ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of ALLAH SWT PBUH say: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock” [extracted from Agreed upon hadith].

It is one of the obligations of parents to up bring their children in best prescribed manner so that they develop love for ALLAH SWT, HIS messenger PBUH and towards the teachings of Islam. It is the responsibility of the parents to advice their children that ALLAH SWT adjudicates every action, the reward for good deeds being Paradise and Hell for misdeeds.

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of ALLAH SWT PBUH said: “Hang your whip where the members of the household can see it, for that will discipline them.” [Tabaraani classed hasan by Al-Haythami and Shaikh Al-Albaani]. Parents ought to protect children from immorality and misguidance and ensure they grow up evil free. Such should be the upbringing that the offspring differentiates between Halal and Haram and decide to choose the path of ALLAH. Once this is guaranteed, parents can then expect the children to be righteous; for whoever sows thorns cannot harvest grapes. This model of upbringing should be conceptualized and implemented in the initial stages of upbringing so that it is deeply rooted in their lives.

One should bear in mind that the child should not be reprimanded excessively, because it makes the child immune to condemnation and scolding and increases in him the courage to commit wrong, thereby gradually diminishing the value of admonitions from the heart of the child. Similarly, it’s necessary for the father that when he talks to the child, he maintains his awe and fear [in the heart of the child] and should rarely rebuke him. And the mother should make him fear the father when the child is being stubborn and should strictly stop the child from misdeeds. Undoubtedly man’s real wealth is his children and if they are nurtured with care, love, affection and protected from evil, they will inshALLAH be a source of rewards here and hereafter.

From Numan bin Thabit to Imam ABU HANIFA

Imam Abu Hanifa is referred as “The Imam” by Abu Dawood, and as “The Imam, one of those who have reached the sky” by Ibn Hajar. He is acclaimed in the Islamic world as “The Greatest Imam” (Al-imam Al-Azam).

Imam Abu Hanifa was the pioneer in Islamic history to organize the writing of Fiqh under sub-headings embracing the whole of the Law, beginning with purity (Tahara) followed by prayer (Salah), an order which was retained by all subsequent scholars such as Malik, Shafi`i, Abu Dawood, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and others. All these and their followers are indebted to this great being and duly credit him a share of their reward because he was the first to open that road for them. According to the hadith of the Prophet PBUH:
“He who initiates something good in Islam has its reward and the reward of those who practice it until the Day of Judgment, without lessening in the least the reward of those who practice it. The one who initiates something bad in Islam will incur its punishment and the punishment of all those who practice it until the Day of Judgment without lessening their punishment in the least.” However, it was not only the knowledge of Imam Abu Hanifa that made him such a great man: but it was also his constant worship and Taqwa (fear of ALLAH); his endeavor to purify himself from all worldly matters; his asceticism and his forbearance at the times of difficulties. That is what made Imam Abu Hanifa Imam Al Azam.

Now, would it not be incredible to get enlightened about one of the most revered scholars in the Islamic history became to be known ABU HANIFA from his original name; Numan bin Thabit? Off course it will be a pleasure considering Abu Hanifa being an unusual name because of its meaning, ‘the father of Hanifa.’ Hanifa was Imam’s daughter. The following unveils the reasoning.

Imam Abu Hanifa once was put forth a question that, for the first time in his worth remembering career, he was unable to answer. The query seemed to be simple but wasn’t so. The question was: Why the wife is forbidden to take more than one husband? To this, Abu Haifa’s daughter claimed that she knew the answer and would be glad to reply to this question with ease but on a condition her father would promise that if she succeeded in solving this question, he would then assure her a place in history. Abu Hanifa agreed.

Hanifa formed an assembly of women and gave each of them a cup. She then brought in a large bowl of milk and asked each of them to dip their cups in the milk and to fill their cups to the brim. The women did so. She then asked them to pour back the milk into the bowl. They did this too. She then asked them to re-fill their cups taking back only their own milk that they had poured into the bowl.

This, obviously, was impossible to them to do. Hanifa had clearly demonstrated the kind of dilemma that would be posed if a woman had several husbands. If she becomes pregnant, and she had more than one husband she would find it extremely difficult in determining who the actual father is? Identifying parentage and lineage would then be insurmountable for the offspring. Imam Abu Hanifa was so pleased with the wit of his daughter that he took the name ‘Abu Hanifa’, ‘the father of Hanifa’ thereby glorifying and ensuring his daughter a place in history.


Once there lived a selfish man. He loved only to own but disliked to share.

One day, the man lost thirty gold coins. He visited his friend’s house and narrated how he lost his gold coins. His friend was a kind man.

The friend’s daughter while coming from an errand found thirty gold coins and accordingly informed the father. The girl’s father told her that the gold coins belong to his friend and he sent for him. Upon arrival of protagonist (the selfish man), he reported how his daughter had found his thirty gold coins and duly handed them over.

Greed overrode the man’s honesty. After counting the coins, he claimed that ten of them were missing and accused the honest girl for stealing them. He further stated that he will recover the remaining from the girl’s father. But the father refused.

The man left with the gold coins and went to the court and revealed the matter before the judge. The judge sent for the girl and her father, and when they arrived questioned the girl how many gold coins she found. Thirty! Replied the girl.

The Judge then queried the greedy man, how many gold coins he lost? Forty replied the dishonest.

The judge proclaimed that the gold coins do not belong to him since the girl found only thirty rather than forty. The judge decreed the 30 gold coins to remain under the custody of girl until someone comes looking for it. Further the judge addressing the greedy said that if anyone reports finding of forty gold coins, he will send for him. At this point, the cheat confessed to lying but alas! His plea was ignored.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

Prophet PBUH said, “A believer might commit every sin except betrayal and lying.” (Ahmed with narrators of Bukhari)

The prophet was asked, “Can a believer be a coward?”
He replied, “Yes”
He was then asked, “Can a believer be miserly?”
He replied, “Yes”
He was then asked, “Can a believer be a liar?”
“NO” he replied. (Mursal hadith from Muwatta)

Abdullah bin Amir RA said, “My mother once called me while the Messenger of ALLAH PBUH was sitting in our house. She said, come here and I will give you something.
The Messenger of ALLAH PBUH said to her, ‘what do you want to give him?’
She said, ‘I will give him some dates.’
He said to her, ‘If you were to fail to give anything to him, one act of lying would have been recorded against you.’ [Abu Dawud]