Hazrat Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi Alaih)

[Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng]

It is reported that Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Shafi’ee (Rahmatullahi alaihima) said: 

“If the Fuqaha are not the Awliya of Allah then there is no Wali of Allah.” 

The greatest of the Awliya of Allah were the Fuqaha. Fiqh is all about creating Khashyat (fear and awe in the heart) of Allah. Pious people who abandoned Fiqh invariably fell into bid’aat. It is, therefore, imperative to study and master the subject of Fiqh. Among the masters of Fiqh were the two illustrious associates of Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad (Rahmatullahi alaihim). When mentioned together they are refered to as Saahibain (the two companions). This article casts light on the illustrious Faqih. The It is hoped that by studying this article, fervor for Fiqh and inculcating Taqwa which are sorely missing in the Ummah today will be produced, Aameen. 


Birth: 93 Hijri 

Demise: 182 Hijri 

Age: 89 Years 

Name: Ya’qoob  

Patronymical Name (Kunyat): Abu Yusuf 

Lineage: Abu Yusuf Bin Ibraahim Bin Habeeb Bin Sa’d Bin Buhair Bin Mu’awiyah Bin Quhaafah Bin Nufail Ansaari Bajali (Radhiyallahu anhu) 

Birth: Imam Abu Yusuf was born in Kufa. 

Education: Imam Abu Yusuf studied Ilm in Kufa, and also resided therein.  

Descent/Race: Imam Abu Yusuf was an Arab and not among the slaves (Mawaalee). His progeny links up to the Ansaar who were the residents of Madinah Munawarrah who offered all the support they could give to Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the Muslim arrivals from Makkah Mukarramah. 

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was born in Kufa, in the 93rd year Hijri, and passed away in the 182nd year Hijri. He lived for 89 years. 

The Barkat of the Mubaarak hand of Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) great grandfather was the illustrious Sahabi of Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam), Hazrat Sa’d Bin Hatabah (Radhiyallahu anahu). (Hatabah was his mother’s name. Some have said that his mother’s name was Hasanah.)

Despite his (Hazrat Sa’d’s) yearning to participate in the Battle of Uhud, he was not granted permission due to his tender age.

He was, however given permission to participate in the Battle of the Trench (Khandaq) and other expeditions with the Sahabah. Thus, he was among the soldiers of Allah and Islam.

“Behold! The army of Allah will always be the successful ones.” (Qur’aan)

Ibne Abdul-Bar (Rahmatullahi alaih) has written in ‘Isti’aab’: 

During the Battle of the Trench, Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) observed the great-grandfather of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) fighting the enemy with bravery, valour and boldness despite his tender age. Thus, Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) called him and asked: 

“O young boy! Who are you? ”

Hazrat Sa’d (Radhiyallahu anhu) replied:  “Labbaik (I am present, O Allah’s Rasool!) I am Sa’d Bin Hatabah.”

Hearing this, Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) called him and (applauding him) said: “Well done! Well done! Come here, come here!”

Hazrat Sa’d went and stood next to Nabi (Sallallahu alahi wasallam).

Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) placed his Mubaarak hand on the head of Hazrat Sa’d and made Du’a: “May Allah make you successful.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) used to take pride in this incident and say: “Till today I can perceive the Barkat of the Mubarak hand of Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam).” 

The Beauty and Elegance of Imam Abu Yusuf
In consequence of the blessed hand of Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam), Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) beauty and elegance were such that whoever set their gaze on the face of Imam Abu Yusuf, would observe the Noor on his forehead. His face would shine as though someone had applied oil on his face.

His Quest for ‘Ilm (Islamic knowledge), His Mother’s concern and Imam Abu Hanifah’s Intuition
Ali Bin Ja’d (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) used to say: “When my father passed away, I was very young. My mother took me to a washerman to learn and earn (how to wash clothes to make a livelihood).

Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahmatullahi  alaih) classes were  on the way to the washerman. I left the washerman and joined the Majlis (classes/gathering) of Imam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullahi  alaih).

When this continuously happened, (i.e. I spent more of my  time by Imam Abu Hanifah) my mother forced me to go  to the washerman.

However, I wasn’t ready to leave Imam Abu Hanifah’s Majlis and go elsewhere. Eventually, my mother who was by then tired of forcing me to go to the washerman approached Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) and lamented:

“I am a widow. This boy is an orphan. I earn by knitting. I don’t know what you have told this boy that despite me forcing him, he is not prepared to leave you! ” 

Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi  alaih) told my mother: “Keep him here with us, he will study Ilm (Deeni knowledge) and soon sit on a luxurious turquoise blue carpet in a courtyard eating roasted pistah (pistachios) and  drinking faloodah (a type of a desert).”

Some have mentioned that Imam  Abu Hanifah told Imam Abu  Yusuf’s mother:
“He is learning how to drink faloodah mixed with roasted pistah (pistachios).”

Hearing this answer of Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Abu Yusuf’s mother became extremely upset  and said: “Old man! You have  become decrepit and you are not  mentally well!  ”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih)  says:
“When I (eventually) became the  Qaadhi, I was (once) sitting on the luxurious rug in (Haroon Rashid) courtyard the Khaleefah’ s whilst his (the Khaleefah’s) servants brought (for me) roasted pistahs mixed in faloodah.

The Khaleefah told me: “Have some faloodah. This is a special type of a faloodah which is not made all the time.”

Hearing this statement of the Khaleefah, I smiled.
The Khaleefah asked for the reason of my smiling. I explained the whole episode which transpired and also told the Khaleefah: “This is my Ustaad,  Imam Abu Hanifah’s karaamat (miracle).”

The Khaleefah remarked: “Undoubtedly, Ilm (Islamic Knowledge) benefits a person and  elevates his status in the Dunya (world) and Aakhirat (Hereafter).”

Then he said: “May Allah Ta’ala have mercy upon Imam Abu Hanifah! He would see those things with his spiritual eyes which couldn’ t be seen with the normal eyes.”

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Mercy and Barkat in Wealth
Khateeb Baghdaadi (Rahmatullahi  alaih) narrates the following episode from Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih):

“I was studying Hadith and Fiqh.  However, my condition was lamentable due to the poverty I was experiencing.

Once whilst I was in the Majlis of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi  alaih), my father entered. Upon seeing him,  I stood up and went  outside with him.                                                          
My father told me: ‘My son! Look, you will be unable to follow the footsteps of Imam Abu Hanifah.  By  the Grace  (Fadhl)  of  Allah,  he  has  everything  by  him. Whatever he wishes to eat, he can  eat and whatever he wishes to drink, he drinks. On the contrary, what is your condition? You are in need of a livelihood in order to live.  At least have some consideration for the future.’

This concern of my father entered and settled in my heart. I began paying less interest in studying Ilm and devoted more of my time in earning, because this was my father’s assent and my condition’s demand.

(Note: From various narrations it is understood that Imam Abu Yusuf was married and was a father evenbefore studying Ilm, for this reason his father would stress on him to earn a livelihood.)

Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) observed that my attendance in his classes decreased. This caused much grief  to Imam Abu Hanifah.

One day, as usual, I arrived late. Imam Abu Hanifah asked me: ‘Where have you  come  from? Why are you not punctual?’ I replied: ‘I am occupied in earning my livelihood, and this is my father’s command.’

Saying this, I sat down in the Majlis. After some time I intended to stand up and leave, but Imam Abu Hanifah stopped me.

When the students were dismissed, Imam Abu Hanifah handed me a bag and said: ‘Use this and concentrate fully on your lessons.’

When I looked in the bag, I found 100 Dirhams.

Imam Abu Hanifah had also emphatically told me: ‘If this money gets finished, then tell me,  but be punctual in the lessons from now on!’

Thus I once more began attending the lessons punctually. After some time, Imam Abu Hanifah gave me another bag of 100 Dirhams, and again stressed on attending lessons punctually.  In this way, it continued. I don’t know how Imam Abu Hanifah knew that the money was depleted. Never did I tell him that  the money was finished nor did I ask him for more. Yet, Imam Abu Hanifah would give me 100  Dirhams.

This generosity of Imam Abu  Hanifah made my life more comfortable. I once more began attending the Majlis of Imam Abu  Hanifah more punctually. None of  my needs were left unfulfilled.

Allah Ta’ala caused doors of Ilm and wealth for my future to open by the barkat and Tawajjuh (special attention) of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih).
May Allah Ta’ ala reward him fully for this.”

Imam Abu Yusuf’s Study Days Ibraahim Bin Jarraah (Rahmatullahi alaih) says:  “I personally heard Imam Abu Yusuf saying:  ‘We studied Ilm. And with us innumerable students studied as well. However, only he who sufficed with milk, benefitted from his Ilm.’”

What Imam Abu Yusuf meant was that during his study days, his family would mix roti in milk and keep that for him. Imam Abu Yusuf would eat that in the morning and would then proceed for classes. When he would return from classes, he would eat the same. He would not waste time in waiting for special and delicious meals to be prepared.

On the other hand, other students would wait for delicious, sumptuous and special meals, and in the process miss some parts of their lessons.

Imam Abu Yusuf’s Dedication to Ilm
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) became so in love with his Shaikh, guide and Ustaad (Imam Abu Hanifah), that he was prepared to leave all worldly work and be present for lessons. 
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahamatullahi alaih) was heard saying during one of his lessons: 

“My son passed away, however, I did not partake in his ghusl, kafan etc. I handed these responsibilities over to my neighbours and friends. I did this so that I wouldn’t miss any lesson, and this would not bother my conscience that – I was absent for a particular Sabaq (lesson).”

Some have written that the same happened when Imam  Abu Yusuf’s father passed away. Imam  Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) preferred being absent from his father’s Janazah rather than missing classes. ”

Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) used to say: I had no student as punctual for classes than Imam Abu Yusuf.”

Had Dawood Taai (Rahmatullahi  alaih) also followed Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) in this, people would have benefitted from him (just like how they are benefitting from Imam Abu Yusuf)  as well.”

(Dawood Taai was also a student of Imam Abu Hanifah. However, he took to solitude and an ascetic life over grounding himself in Fiqh. Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) thus commented that had Dawood Taai  become a Faqeeh, people would have benefitted from him just as they benefitted from Imam  Abu  Yusuf– Translator.)  

Imam Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) once said: “Imam Abu Yusuf  is the greatest scholar among his rank of Fuqaha.”

History bears witness to the fact that whosoever studied under Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) became a high-ranking scholar. However, (only) Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) became Imam Abu Hanifah’s successor without any difference among the Ulama.

(Note: After the demise of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih), the person who took his place was Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). All the Ulama are unanimous on this. Just like after the demise of a Shaikh, the Mureeds choose his closest Khaleefah to continue benefitting and gaining proximity from, so too is the case here, that  when Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) passed away, the Ulama and students chose to benefit from Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) -Translator).

Through the Barkat of the company, classes and khidmat of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih), Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) developed a sharp intellect, a spiritually cleansed heart and a deep and vast understanding of Fiqh.

His Absorption in Ilm
Once, Imam  Abu  Yusuf’s uncle came to the Dars (lessons) of Imam Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullahi alaih). There was a discussion taking place on a certain Mas’alah (Deeni Matter). Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) was  presenting arguments for his view  on the Mas’alah very forcefully. His voice was raised and fervently  he was debating his stand point.  The uncle of Imam Abu Yusuf stood in wonder as it was the third day that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) had been without food.

(From this episode we can learn what engrossment those illustrious souls had for ‘Ilm of the  Deen Learning and discussing Ilm, was in fact the nourishment of  their souls- Translator) 

The Complaint of Imam Abu Yusuf’s wife to Imam Abu Hanifah It is recorded, that the inclination,  enthusiasm and love Imam Abu  Yusuf (Rah matullahi alaih) had for Ilm was well known. Similarly, the complaint of his studying, zeal and engrossment in Ilm was not only made by his parents and uncle, but this was even the complaint of his wife.

It is narrated from her that at times Imam Abu Yusuf would stay  in the service and company of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih), and would only return home at night. Sometimes he would spend the entire night by Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih), and not return home for few days.

(Note: The task the illustrious Fuqaha had set upon themselves was preservation of the Shari’ah.  They were out in the Path of Allah  Rabbul  ‘Izzah. Had they not codified the Shari’ah, the Deen of  the masses would have been laid  to waste. The occasional lengthy  absence of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) in no way put  unbearable harm to his family and  hence his presence in the Ilmi gatherings of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) was of greater importance. He did not infringe on the right of his family.  The similitude is of a Mujaahid sent on a campaign. Both, the Faqeeh and the Mujaahid are the defenders of the Deen. In their call up for incumbent Deeni services they will necessarily have to  stay  away  from  their families for periods of time. This is even tolerated when the husband has to go on an important business trip. There should, therefore be no  objection to the above incident in  Hazrat Imam Abu Yusuf’s auspicious life- Translator.)

One day, she went to complain to  Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi  alaih) about this.
Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) spoke to her, made her understand and told her to make Sabr. He also told her that Insha Allah, Allah Ta’ala will very soon remove their days of poverty and hunger and Allah Ta’ala will bestow upon them more than  what they expect.

Very soon thereafter, Allah Ta’ala opened for them doors of grace, favour, mercy and bounties. Poverty had left them. One day, she asked Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih): “How much money do we have?”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) replied: “I don’t know the total. As far as I know (for sure) is that at the moment we have 700 mules and 300 horses in our (personal) stables.”

The Desire of making Amal on  Hadith made him attend Imam Abu Hanifah’s Classes
Imam Zahid Kauthari (Rahmatullahi alaih) has written an interesting story regarding  Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih).

He writes: When Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) used to attend Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) classes, he  (Qadhi Abu Laila) used to have lots of consideration for Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). It was the practice and habit of  Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila, that whenever he was faced with difficult or complicated Masaail,  he would refer to Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) for its solution.

Observing this, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) would remain restless wishing to attend Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) lessons, however, he was deprived of this opportunity.

Coincidentally, Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) relations with  Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila terminated.  The reason of the termination of relations was that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) once made Amal on the purport of a  Hadith. Upon doing this, Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila prevented Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) from doing that. However, Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi alaih) refuted Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila in the light of the Hadith.

What had happened, was that it was the Nikah of Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila’s daughter. At the Nikah ceremony, dates were thrown to those present. The crowd began to collect the dates. Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) also began to  collect the dates. Upon seeing this, Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila stopped Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) from doing this. He said: “This looting of dates is Makrooh!”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied: “No doubt looting is forbidden, but that is only in warfare, not when scattered in a Nikah ceremony.”

This answer of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) changed the colour of Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila’s face.

This led to the termination of relations between Qadhi  Ibne Abi Laila (Rahmatullahi alaih) and Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). Thereafter, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahamatullahi alaih) began to attend Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) Dars.

In actual fact, Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila had forgotten the  mentioned Hadith’s proper purport and application of the prohibition.

In the Hadith it is mentioned that once dates were thrown to the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu anhum), however they remained seated on their places. They did not collect the dates. Upon seeing them in this state, Nabi (Sallallahu  alaihi wasallam) asked: “Why don’t you people collect the dates?”

They replied: “You prevented us, O Rasool of Allah.” Nabi (Sallallahu  alaihi wasallam) said: “I prevented only in booty, not from this (occasion). Go and collect!”

Some Views Regarding Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) leaving Qadhi IbneAbi Laila’s Classes and attending the Classes of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih)
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) remained in the service of Qadhi Muhammad Bin Abi Laila (Rahmatullahi  alaih) for nine years.

He benefitted tremendously from the knowledge of Muhammad Bin Abi Laila (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Thereafter he attended the Majaalis (plural of Majlis) of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Why did Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) leave Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila (Rahmatullahi alaih)  and proceed to Imam Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullahi alaih)?

Regarding this, many have written  numerous reasons, in which facts are little and fictions many. Several baseless reasons have been tendered. 

Very little has been recorded and mentioned with regards to Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) Ta’leem (studying) and Tarbiyat (upbringing etc.).

However, many narrations and episodes bear witness that whatever (Ilm – knowledge etc.)  Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) had acquired, it was through his desire, yearning and  Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) care and  monetary aid.

The first Ustaad of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was Muhammad Bin Abi Laila  (Rahmatullahi alaih), who was an excellent, great and accomplished scholar from among the Tab-e-Taabi’een. His knowledge and  experience were very vast.

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) benefitted from him in both, Ilm and Amal.

However, that was a time when every person and student was dependent on Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahmatullahi  alaih) Majlis. Despite the excellence, virtues, Ilm etc. of Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila (Rahmatullahi alaih), when he was faced with a difficult Mas’alah, he would first ask Imam  Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Observing this, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) thought that he should also attend Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) classes. However, his Ustaad’s respect prevented him from  doing so.

He was therefore deprived of this opportunity in the beginning.  However, due to some reasons, he terminated his lessons by Qadhi  Ibne Abi Laila (Rahmatullahi alaih), and sat as a student in the lessons of  Imam Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullahi  alaih).

Some have said that the reason for leaving Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila’s  (Rahmatullahi alaih) lessons was due to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) having a difference with him.

However, this is not correct, because Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) also differed in various Masaa’il with Imam Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih).  Therefore, this view of differing with Qadhi Ibne Abi Laila (Rahmatullahi alaih) is not correct.

Another reason tendered is that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) would discuss and debate with Imam Zufar (Rahmatullahi  alaih) who was the student of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi  alaih).

Through these discussions and debates, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) distinguished the level of Fiqah between Imam Abu Hanifah and Qadhi Ibne Abi  Laila (Rahmatullahi  alaihima).

Those who have an understanding of that era’s manner of gaining and seeking Ilm and teaching, will not bother regarding the various views and opinions offered by different people.

In actual fact, that was the initial era of the learning and gathering of various branches of knowledge.  Ilm which was in the hearts of hundreds of individuals was gathered and learnt. Therefore, the students of that time would frequently attend as many Ahle-Ilm’s (Ulama ’s ) classes as possible in order to gather and learn Ilm. Also, the Ulama of those times studied under hundreds of Ustaads. 

Allamah Zaahid Kautharee (Rahmatullahi alaih) has recorded that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) had 104 top ranking, expert and qualified Ustaads.

So, with this being the case and situation, would Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) be content with one Ustaad? He also, as was the norm of that time, sat as a  student at the feet of many great Akaabir (senior and expert) scholars. Therefore, enthusiasm for Ilm made Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi alaih) leave Qadhi  Ibne Abi Laila (Rahmatullahi alaih) and attend Imam Abu Hanifah’s  (Rahmatullahi alaih) lessons.

His yearning to Learn Hadith and his Sharp Memory
Muhammad Bin Jareer Tabaree (Rahmatullahi alaih) has mentioned that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was a great Aalim and a great Haafiz-e-Hadith, he was famous for his memorization of Hadith and was very sharp minded. He could learn 60-70 Ahadith merely by listening and then narrate them to the people.

Hasan Bin Ziyaad (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates: “We left with Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) for Hajj. Along the way, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) became sick. Therefore, we stopped (camped) at Bir-e-Maimoon.
Here, Abu Muhammad Sufyaan (Rahmatullahi alaih) came to visit Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) told us: “I would like to hear Hadith from Abu Muhammad Sufyaan (Rahmatullahi alaih).”

(When this request was put forth to him) Hazrat Sufyaan (Rahmatullahi alaih) immediately narrated 40 Ahaadith. When Hazrat Sufyaan (Rahmatullahi alaih) left, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) told us:  “Now test me those Ahaadith which Sufyaan (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrated.” 

Thus, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrated all of the 40 Ahaadith there and then. Although Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was afflicted with sickness, he was already old and the difficulties of the journey were plenty, yet this was the condition of his memory.

Imam Zahabee (Rahmatullahi alaih) has regarded Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) from  among the Huffaaz of Hadith.

Imam Jawzee (Rahmatullahi alaih)  has written that Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi alaih) is from among those 100 people of the Ummat whose (sharp) memory was well known.

When Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) used to sit in the lessons of his Ustaad he would by heart 50s, then in each lesson 60 Ahaadith with their Sanad (chains of narrators). 

Haafiz Ibne Hajar (Rahmatullahi alaih) has narrated the aforementioned (Rahmatullahi  alaih) from Hasan Bin Ziyaad in  this manner, that once Imam Abu  Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) fell ill he was on journey). (whilst Sufyaan Bin ‘Uyaynah (Rahmatullahi alaih) went to visit him. Sufyaan Bin ‘Uyaynah (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrated to  him 40 Ahaadith.

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) learnt (remembered) those Ahaadith and when Sufyaan Bin  ‘Uyaynah (Rahmatullahi alaih) left, he narrated them to his friends and companions. His friends and companions were amazed at his memory.

Abu Mu’aawiyah (Rahmatullahi alaih) has mentioned that he used to go with Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) for Hadith-classes. However, he would write down the Ahaadith he heard fromhis Ustaad, but Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) would remember all the Ahaadith by heart without (even) writing them down.

The Khaleefah, Haroon Rashid  was Imam Abu Yusuf’s Saathi (classmate, i.e. they were learning Ilm together).

Once, people complained to him about Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). He replied: 

“I know Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) and his Ilm from my childhood. He wouldn’t write down any Hadith during classes (which he heard from the Ustaad). Yet, his memory was so strong, that he would remember all the Ahaadith. After classes, those who had written would correct their mistakes from Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).”

Imam Maalik and Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaihima) flourished  in the Same Era
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) lived in the same era as Imam Maalik (Rahmatullahi alaih). Both these great personalities were Mujtahideen (experts in formulating Masaa’il). Both these  great personalities also differed in some Masaa’il. In some Masaail, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) gave preference to Imam  Maalik’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) view.  The details of this can be found in  Fiqh Kitaabs.

His Relation, His Ustaad, Company and Service to Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was proud to be a student of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih). He would always speak about his Ustaad in praiseworthy terms. His purpose in life was to spread his Ustaad’s  Ilm far and wide. He would tell the people about his Ustaad’s Ilm and  Kamaal (perfection)

It is mentioned in one narration, that after every Namaaz, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) used to make Du’a-e-Maghfirat for his Ustaad first, then for his parents.

Allaamah Seemyaree (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates that once Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) told him (Allaamah Seemyaree) that never did it happen that he (Imam Abu Yusuf Rahmatullahi alaih) read Namaaz and thereafter not make Du’a for his Ustaad, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih). Perhaps due to this good practice  Allah Ta’ala bestowed upon him Barkat in Ilm and Tafaqquh (a deep and thorough understanding in Ilm).

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) once said: “I spent 29 years  in the service of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih).  Every day of these years I read  Fajr Salaah next to him.”

In another narration it is mentioned that he said: “Never did I leave the Kurtah (i.e. company) of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) during the mornings nor during the afternoons except for when I was sick.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was known for  his  intelligence, foresight and sharp-memory. In this long period (by  his Ustaad) he became a beautiful  reflection of the greatness and the excellence of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih). He absorbed Ilm from Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) and achieved the position of Ijtihaad  (formulating Masaail).

His Zeal for Ilm
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) initially lived a very poor and difficult life. He was the only son of his father. Despite this, nothing was an obstacle for him in learning  Ilm.

Yusuf Bin Sa’eed (Rahmatullahi alaih) said that Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi alaih) was in the service of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) for a long period of time. Not one day was it  such that he was not present with  Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi  alaih) for Fajr Salaah.

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said that he spent plenty of  years in the service of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih). Except for the days he was sick, never was he ever absent. Even on  the days of Eid he was present.

Consider the fact that on both these days (days of Eid), everyone  spends them in the company of  their family. Despite these being  days  of  happiness and spending   with family, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) preferred spending them in the company of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih), learning Ilm over (spending time with) his family.

He said: “There was no gathering more beloved to me than the Dars of Imam Abu Hanifah, for verily, I have not seen a greater Faqeeh than Imam Abu Hanifah and a better Qadhi than Ibne Abi Laila.”

The Value and Worth of One Lesson of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih).
At times after the demise of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih), Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) would lament and say: “If only I was able to be in just one lesson of Imam A’zam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) and I was able to solve my Ilmee difficulty (ambiguity) by him, even if I had to sacrifice half my wealth for one Ilmee-Majlis!” 

It is recorded that at that time, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) had money to the value/amount of two million. In other words, he wished to spend one million in order to sit in one Majlis by Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih).  In reality, when there is enthusiasm and yearning to learn and study Ilm, then its value will be such. Hence, the saying is so true:

“Whosoever has not tasted its sweetness will not understand.”

He became what Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) wanted Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) had a strong connection, love and affection for all his students, in particular for Imam Muhammad, Zufar and Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaihim). He would teach them with much love. The most beloved from the three was Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). Before passing away, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) wrote a will for Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). 

Perhaps the ‘Firaasat-e-Mu’min’ (the intuition of a pious Mu’min) of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) perceived that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) will not only sit on a throne as an Ustaad (be an Ustaad), but his perfection in Ilm (knowledge) and Amal (practice) will make him see a day that he will obtain the position of a Qadhi. And there is no doubt in this.

This hope of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) eventually materialised. The Wasiyyat (bequeath) Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) wrote for Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was such a document which will be remembered and revived due to the benefits it contained.

This explains the amount of ‘Muhabbat’ (love) Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) had for Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) became what Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) expected him to become.

“Are You Setting Yourself Up Before Mastering?”
After gaining Ilm from great Shaikhs of the time, expert Ulama and Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih), Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) conducted his own classes. However, he did not inform his ‘Muhsin’ and ‘Murabbi’ (i.e. Shaikh and Ustaad), Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) about this, nor did he make Mashwarah (consult) with him. Upon learning of this, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) sent one of his students to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) with five questions. 

Zain Bin Nujaim (Rahmatullahi alaih) has written in his Kitaab, Al-Ashbaah Wan Nathaair:  Once Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) sent a student to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) with five Masaail:  

1. A washerman tore some clothes. Will he be paid for his washing? 

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi Alaih) said: “No, he won’t be paid.” 
The student said: “You are wrong.”  
Then Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said: “Yes, he will be paid.” 

The student said: “That is also wrong. If he washed the clothes before they tore, he will be paid.” 

2. What is the status of ‘Dukhool’ (entering) Namaaz (i.e. beginning Namaaz), Fardh or Sunnat?”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said: “Fardh.”

The student replied: “Incorrect.” 

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said: “Then it is Sunnat.”

The student replied: “Incorrect.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahnatullahi alaih) looked at him surprised.

The student said: “It is both (Fardh and Sunnat) at the same time. Because Takbeer-e-Tahreemah is Fardh and raising the hands is Sunnat.” 

3. The student who was sent by Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) asked: “A pot of food is being cooked on a stove. A sparrow fell in the pot. Can the curry and meat which are cooked in that pot be permissible to eat or not (i.e. Halaal or not)?”     

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said: “Why not? It is permissible.”

The student said: “Incorrect.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) then said: “It is not permissible.”

The student said: “Incorrect.” Then he said: “If the meat was cooked before the sparrow fell, then it will have to be washed thrice and eaten (not the curry).” 

4. The student further asked: “A person’s wife is a Zimmi (a Zimmi is a non-Muslim who lives in a Muslim land with safety by paying Jizyah (tax) -Translator). She died whilst she was pregnant. In which  Qabrastaan will she be buried?”                                                     
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) said: “In the Qabrastaan of  the Muslims.”

The student replied: “Incorrect.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said: “Then, in the Zimmi’s Qabrastaan.”

The student replied: “Incorrect.”   

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) looked at him surprised.

The student said: “She will be buried in the graveyard of the Yahoodis (Jews), however her back will be made to face the Qiblah because a baby’s face in  the womb faces the back of  a  woman.”

5. The student asked: “A man’s ‘Umme Walad’ (concubine slave  girl) married a man without her master’s permission. In the meantime, her master died. Is Iddat incumbent on her (the Iddat  of the demise of her master)?”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said: “Iddat is Waajib.”

The student said: “Incorrect.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said: is not Waajib.” 

The student said: “Incorrect. If the  slave’s husband did have relations with her, then Iddat is not Waajib.  If he didn’t have relations with her, Iddat will be Waajib.”

After this, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) understood how many mistakes he was making. He headed to Imam Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) and explained his condition. Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) told him: “Are you performing before mastering?”

A Similar Incident
Once, Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi alaih) became sick. Because he was Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) special and close student, Imam Abu Hanifah went to visit him.

After asking Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi alaih) relevant questions pertaining to his health  etc., Imam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahma tullahi  alaih) said: “I have lots of hope and trust in you. You will be of much benefit to the Ummah. I leave you (to guide and benefit the Ummah) after my demise.”

After Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) recovered from his sickness, he thought of  opening his own Madrasah. Thus,  he began his own Dars. (His Ustaad, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) was not aware of this as Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) did not consult with him inform him- Translator).

Until one day, when Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi  alaih) asked Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) a difficult Mas’alah.

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) did not answer it satisfactorily. Thus, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) commented: “Subhaanallah! A person who conducts his own lessons, speaks and discusses the  Deen of Allah and addresses number of students, yet he is unaware of a large Tijaarah Mas’alah (Mas’alah regarding business dealings etc.). Then, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi  alaih) offered Naseehat:

“The one who regards himself  independant of Ilm has handed  himself over to his nafs.”

Dominion in Ilm is for Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih)
Hazrat Hammaad Bin Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullahi alaih) who was the son of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) mentioned that once Imam Zufar and Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaihima) had a discussion regarding a  Mas’alah.

Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) was also present in this gathering. After a few hours passed, and they still hadn’t come to any conclusion, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) commented: “Dominion in Ilm is reserved for Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih); you  (referring to Imam Zufar Rahmatullahi alaih) won’t be able to gain it.”

Ustaad and Qadhi
Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) Tadrees (classes) were running for 16 years – 150 Hijri to 166 Hijri. In the year 166 Hijri, he became the Qadhi. He remained a Qadhi for 17 years. However, whilst he was a Qadhi, he still conducted classes. He would see to the work of a Qadhi during the day and teach during the night.

Haroon Rashid commented regarding Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) hard work: “Due to the occupation of being a Qadhi, he conducts lessons during the nights (to the people). Yet, his quality of Ilm is such that he doesn’t teach with any Kitaab or any notes (i.e. short-notes).”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) used to approach his students in a very cheerful and a friendly manner. He would never be miserly in teaching nor would he waste time. He would ensure that his students became experts in their studies.

He used to tell his students that despite him being an Ustaad and a Murabbee (guide, sheikh), they shouldn’t accept and believe any of his discourse without a proof. 

He would listen and answer the questions and objections of his students with a cheerful face (i.e. a smile on his face), tolerance and Sabr. He would try his utmost best to satisfy them with an appropriate answer. More episodes of this nature will be narrated further on in this treatise.

The Speciality of Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) Classes
The method of teaching in the era of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was that the Shuyookh (experts) of Hadith would dictate to their students and the Aimmah (plural of Imam) would only conduct Fiqh classes. However, Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) classes were of both, Fiqh and Hadith. 

He would not only suffice on ‘Akhbaranaa’ and ‘Haddathanaa’ or ‘Qaala’ and ‘Aqoolu’ when teaching. In other words, he would not suffice with narrations. When teaching a Hadith he would also include subtle points and express Ijtihaad (Formulating Masaail) regarding the particular Hadith. 

Ali Madinee (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates that when Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) came to Basrah in the year 180 Hijri, a few of us would attend his Majlis in order to gain benefit. His method of teaching was that he used to narrate ten Ahaadith and thereafter explain Fiqhi points.

A professional Muhaddith is not a person who memorizes Hadith, but a person who formulates Masaail from Hadith.

His Students’ Love for Attending his Classes
Bishr Bin Ghiyaath Mareesi (Rahmatullahi alaih) was one of the students of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). However, regarding ‘khalq-e-Quraan’, (the Qur’aan Majeed being Makhlooq -a created object- his view was that of the Mu’tazilee. (In reality, the Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jamaa’at’s Aqeedah/belief) is that the Qur’aan Majeed in not Makhlooq-Translator). Bishr Mareesi is a compiler of various Kutub which he had studied from Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). He was from among the Ahle-Zuhd and Ahle-Wara (people who have abandoned the luxury and comfort etc. of the world, and people who have a lofty standard of Taqwa-Translator).

However, because of him conforming to the view of the Mu’tazilahs (in the Mas’alah of Khalq-e-Quraan), people were not attracted to him.

Regarding him, Imam Ahmad Bin Hambal (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates: “Once I was in the Majlis of Qadhi Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) when he expelled Bishr Mareesi from his classes. (The reason was the same as mentioned above-Translator)

Some time thereafter, when I went again to the Majlis of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih), I was surprised to see Bishr Mareesi there as well. I told him, “After being expelled from Imam Abu Yusuf’s classes you still attend his classes?”

Bishr told me, “I can’t afford to lose that which I had gained from sitting in this Majlis due to my misbehaviour towards Imam  Abu  Yusuf.”

The reason for this was that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was an embodiment of ‘kamaalaat’ (perfection) and ‘fazaail’ (virtue). It was for this reason that whosoever entered his Majlis once (or for the first time) would never search for someone else’s Majlis. Whosoever would come to his Majlis once would become independent of the Majaalis of others. Whosoever  witnessed even one blink of Ilm and Baseerat (insight) from Imam Abu Yusuf would not go anywhere else.

Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi  alaih) Love for His Students
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was very tolerant and patient. Never was a frown seen on his forehead. Hasan Bin Ziyaad  (Rahmatullahi alaih) says:  “Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was more opened-hearted than Imam Zufar (Rahmatullahi alaih) in Ta’leem (teaching).

Whenever I would ask Imam Zufar (Rahmatullahi alaih) a question or put forward any Ilmee Difficulty (which he had not understood or required more explanation), Imam  Zufar (Rahmatullahi alaih) would explain to me. If I still did not understand, I would again ask, and Imam Zufar (Rahmatullahi alaih) would answer again. If then too I did not understand and asked again, Imam Zufar (Rahmatullahi alaih) would become angry and would tell me:

‘You are a real useless; you are void of intelligence; you don’t have any understanding in you, you will never be successful in learning Ilm!’

Hearing this, I would feel very down, depressed and sad. (In this condition) I used to go to Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) Majlis. I used to ask him and he would reply. I would do this several times until I would understand, and each time Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) would answer with even more love,  soft heartedness and softness. He used to try to pass on to me all his knowledge and would say: ‘Don’t worry. Be patient and ponder. When you will do this, you will understand. If I am able to, then I will transfer whatever Ilm I have to you.”

Explaining a Mas’alah whilst in Sakaraat (Agonies of Death)!  Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was extremely fond of teaching Masaail. Never was he negligent in this regard. Difficulties in learning and teaching were easy upon him. He did not allow anything to be an obstacle in his path of learning, teaching and spreading Ilm. What more than even in Sakaraat he did  not abandon this Fardh duty of Tableegh?

Ibraahim Bin Jarraah (Rahmatullahi alaih) says: “When Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) became sick, I went to visit him. I observed that he was unconscious. When he regained some consciousness, he opened his eyes and asked me: “O Ibraahim! What is the best way of Rami-e-Jimaar, (pelting during Haj), walking or on a conveyance?”

I replied: “Walking.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied: “Incorrect” 

I replied: “Then on a conveyance.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied: “Incorrect”

Thereafter he explained: ‘For the one who intends to stay there for Du’a, it is best that he pelts walking (on-by foot). And the one who intends not to stay, it is best that he pelts on a conveyance.’

After a little while, I got up to leave. Hardly did I reach the door, when I heard the people weeping. Immediately I turned around to see. I found that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) had left this temporary abode. May Allah Ta’ala bestow upon him His Mercy.”

The Kutub-Khana (library) will be a Means of My Maghfirat
Ali Bin Isa (Rahmatullahi alaih) says: “Once I went to visit Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). I thought he will be resting, thus I would not be able to meet him. When I knocked, immediately I was granted permission to enter. When I entered, I found Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) in a (separate) room with stacks of Kitaabs around him.  I told Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih), “I thought that I wouldn’t get to meet you.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) told me, “These are files and records of all rulings. Qiyaamat’s Day when my verdicts and I will be  interrogated as to how I had passed my verdicts, I will present these (files and  papers) in the court of Allah.”

Classes during Travelling as Well Whenever Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) would go on journey people used to benefit from his lessons and Ilm.

Once when Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) travelled to Basrah, huge gatherings of students crowded around Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) in order to benefit and learn from his Ilm. The ‘Ashaab e-Hadith’ (those studying Hadith) desired to benefit from Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi alaih) first as well as the Ashaab-e-Fiqah (those  studying Fiqh).

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “I am well versed in both subjects. One cannot be preferred over the other.” Thus, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) asked both groups one question, and the group which answered correctly will  be  addressed first.

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) removed his ring from his finger and asked, “Someone placed this ring of mine in his mouth, and bit it into pieces. What should I do?” Some  students from the  Ashaab-e-Hadith (those who were studying  Hadith) tried to answer, but Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih)  did not find their answer satisfactory.

Then one student stood up from the Ashaab-e- Fiqah (those who were studying Fiqah) and  answered. “The value of the gold  (that was on the ring) will be  taken from that person and given to the owner of the ring. The broken ring will be given to the one who had broken it on condition that its owner doesn’t wish to keep it by him.”

Hearing this, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “Let the members of this man’s group (Ashaab-e-Fiqah) enter my residence.”

Thus, the Ashaab-e-Fiqah entered where Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was staying and he addressed them first.

Many Benefitted from His Classes Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) conducted classes in different ways for approximately 32 years. Countless students benefitted from his classes. His students became great Muhadditheen, Fuqaha of their times, Imams of their era and mountains of knowledge. Many students set off to Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) classes. Students from various places, such as: Khurasaan, Jawzujaan, Balkh, Marw, Hiraat, Ray, Baghdaad, Kufa, Basrah and  Madinah Munawwarah came to learn Ilm from him.

The names of his students will make this article lengthy,  therefore we have omitted all  their names.

The Respect Shown to Him
Whilst Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was a great and a respectable personality in regards to the ‘Ilm (knowledge) he had, he was also respected by one and all in his field of being a Qadhi (A Judge in an Islamic court).

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) showed kindness and good character to one and all. It was his habit to display good character to his friends, close and special friends, family, enemies and opponents equally. 

He was the Qadhi of one of the world’s biggest Courts. Great and important people appearing in the court used to humble themselves out of respect in the presence of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). Even the Khalifah, Haroon Rashid would humble himself in respect whilst in the presence of this great Imam, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).

The Khalifah Haroon Rashid would display the utmost Adab (respect) to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Despite being shown so much respect, it was his (Imam Abu Yusuf’s) practice to do the same. When Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) would meet or greet anyone, he would do so with much humility and Adab (respect).

He would treat everyone equally. He would not hurt the feelings of anyone.    

His Poverty
After  completing  his  studies,  Imam  Abu  Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih)  got  married.  According to some Riwaayaat (narrations), he got married whilst studying. However, at that time he was experiencing extreme poverty. During his days of poverty, it is recorded that he could not afford to buy paper.

Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi  alaih) used to go to the Mathbah (slaughterhouse) and take the skin of animals and write down Masaa’il on it.

A Yahoodi’s Statement
It is recorded that during the days of Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahatullahi  alaih) poverty, hunger and hardship, a Yahoodi (Jew) who was living down the road built his wall in such a way that the public road narrowed. Thus, it became difficult for the public to pass by his house. Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) went to lay an objection to the Yahoodi about this. In a mocking way, the Yahoodi replied to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih): “Sir! The day your conveyance passes my house with difficulty will be the day I will break my wall.”  

Allah Ta’ala did not like this attitude of the Yahoodi soon towards Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). Very soon thereafter, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) became the Qadhi (Judge). One day, cavalcade of Qadhi Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) passed on the same street on which the Yahoodi was residing. When they passed the house of the Yahoodi, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) reminded him of his promise. Thus, the Yahoodi had to break his wall.

The Method of his ‘Amr bil  Ma’roof’ (commanding  good/virtue)
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was fearless in the department of Amr bil ma’roof (commanding virtue). Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) would not give preference to anyone when it came to the matters of Deen, whether it be a noble person or a government official.  Even if the ruler of the time acted against the teachings of Deen,  Imam Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullaahi  alaih) would reprimand him. He  would tell him that in rulership he  (Imam Abu Yusuf) is under him (the ruler/Khalifah) but if he (the ruler/Khalifah) errs or acts in contrast to the Laws of Deen and matters of Deen, then it is (obligatory) on him (Imam Abu Yusuf) to rectify him (the Khalifah).

In the Court of ‘A daalat (justice), a King and a Donkey are Equal
It is narrated that once a case of the Khalifah Haroon Rashid and a Yahoodi (Jew) was brought to Qadhi Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Accordingly, both parties presented themselves in the court of Qadhi Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih).                                          Thinking of himself to be a normal and a simple citizen, the Yahoodi (Jew) sat (slightly) behind the Khalifah. Qadhi Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) could not tolerate to see this difference. Hence, he addressed the Yahoodi (Jew) in the presence of all in the court, “Sit in line with the Khalifah! This is an Islamic Court. Here there is no preference given to anyone. In the court of ‘Adal (justice), a king and donkey are equal.”

The Sentence of Qatl (the execution) of a Zindeeq in Court of Haroon Rashid
It is recorded that once a Zindeeq was brought to the court of the Khalifah Haroon Rashid. (A Zindeeq is a person who whilst claiming to be a Muslim, he/she openly subscribes to a tenet in conflict with the established Teachings of Islam). Haroon  Rashid called for Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). When Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih)  entered the court of the Khalifah,  Haroon Rashid told him, “Speak to this Zindeeq!” (In other words, discuss with him so that he realizes his error and makes  Taubah – Translator.)

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “O Ameerul-Mu’mineen! Call the executioner. Order that the leather mat be spread. Then invite him to Islaam. If he accepts Islaam, then well and good, otherwise behead him. There is no use in debating with him because he already accepted (Imaan) but turned away from it.”

A Witty Response
Once, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) went for Haj with the Khalifah Haroon Rashid. Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) made Imamat of either Zuhr or Asr Salaah. Because of being Musaafir, Qasr of the Salaah was made. (Qasr is when a Musaafir -a person who travels 77.5 km or more- shortens his Fardh Salaah. In place of 4 Fardh of Zuhr, Asr and Esha, he only reads 2. But he has to read 4 if he follows a Muqeem (resident) Imam. Fajr and Maghrib remains the same.)  

After making Salaam after two Rak’aats, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) announced to the Musallees (people following the Imam), “Complete your Salaah! I am a Musaafir.”

One Muqeem (resident) from Makkah Mukarramah said (whilst he was in Salaah), “We know and are more aware of this Mas’alah than you and the one who taught you this (Mas’alah).”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “If you were as you say then you wouldn’t have spoken in Salaah.”

Hearing this answer, the Khalifah Haroon Rashid was overjoyed and remarked, “If I was offered this answer for half of my kingdom, I would have accepted the offer!”

The Khalifah Haroon Rashid’s  Desire and Imam Abu Yusuf’s Independence
Once, the Khalifah Haroon Rashid told Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih), “O Imam Saab! You come to us (visit us) very seldom whereas I always yearn for your visits and to be in your company.” Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “The yearning is due to my rare coming. If I come more often, the yearning and respect will fade away.” The Khalifah Haroon Rashid praised this answer of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Imam Abu Yusuf’s Method of Handling Matters
Sa’eed bin Uthmaan (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates on the authority of his father that once the Khalifah Haroon Rashid was delivering a Jumu’ah Khutbah, when suddenly a man stood up and addressed the Khalifah in the presence of all.  He said to the Khalifah, “Allah’s Qasam! You do not do justice in distributing wealth, nor do you do justice to the people /public. You did this and you did that!”(He mentioned some of the things the Khalifah did- Translator.)                       
By the command of the Khalifah, the man was caught and was brought to the Khalifah after the Jumu’ah Salaah.

The Khalifah Haroon Rashid also called Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullaahi alaih). When Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) came, he found the man in handcuffs and chains tied around his legs, with two executioners standing with their swords drawn next to him.

The Khalifah looked at Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) and  said, “O Ya’qoob! (This was Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) name as mentioned in the beginning of this book -Translator.) This man whom you see handcuffed and chained told me such things which till today no one had the guts to say!”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “O Ameerul-Mu’mineen! So what is the problem? Similar (and even worse than this) happened to our Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), yet  he (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) forgave them.                                                                                  
Once a man came to Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and said whilst taking a Qasam (oath) “Under oath I am telling you, do, justice!” Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) replied (calmly), “If I don’t do justice then who will do justice?” saying this, Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) made him Maaf.

Yet on another occasion, an Ansaari brought Hazrat Zubair (Radhiyallaahu anhu) (he was the cousin of our beloved Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)    -Translator) to Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) to judge between them. Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) passed the verdict in favour of  Hazrat Zubair (Radhiyallaahu anhu).

The Ansaari commented, “O Rasool of Allah! Did you pass the verdict in favour of Hazrat Zubair (Radhiyallaahu anhu) because he is your cousin?” Even then, Nabi  (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) made him Maaf.”

Hearing all of this, the anger of the Khalifah cooled down and ordered that the man be released.
Imam Abu Yusuf to the Rescue of  the Khalifah’s Nikaah
Once, the Khalifah Haroon Rashid had an argument with his wife Zubaidah. The argument became heated until eventually Queen Zubaidah uttered such words which caused the anger of the Khalifah to reach its peak. 

Due to anger, the Khalifah Haroon Rashid told his wife Zubaidah, “If you do not go out of my kingdom by the end of the day, you are divorced!”

When eventually both their anger had subsided, they were remorseful over what happened. However, they were in a problem as to what they should do to avoid Talaaq to fall. In the end they went to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said to them, “The kingdom of the Khalifah stretches from east to west (i.e. very vast is his kingdom). It is impossible to go out of this (vast) kingdom. 
However, Zubaidah should go to the Baitullaah, because that (the House of Allah) is not included in the kingdom of the Khalifah.” (This is because the Masaajid are  the Houses of Allah Azza Wajall on earth and they are not owned by anyone, not even the Khalifah.  Hence, Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed, “Indeed, the Masaajid belong to Allah.” -Translator)                                                        
The Khalifah and his wife were pleased with this verdict of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). Accordingly, they acted upon this which saved their Nikaah (marriage). In return, they gave Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) a gift which consisted of a huge some of wealth.

Another Solution
Bishr bin Waleed (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates that one day he asked Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih), “Hazrat! My father is a Christian. He is very old and weak. Sometimes I meet him or see him on the road. Should I help him by holding his hand?”  Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “Not when he is on  his way to the church.”

Imam Abu Yusuf’s ‘Ilm
Some have commented that if Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) had no other student besides Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih), then this would be sufficient.

Dawood bin Rashid (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “When I would find Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) engaged in any ‘Ilmee discussion, it would appear as if he was scooping handfuls of treasures of Ilm and Ma’rifat.

Hadith was on his tongue, Fiqah was on his tongue and in the field  of Ilm he was matchless.”

“Until both parties are not present, I cannot pass  my  verdict”
Once, the Khalifah Haroon Rashid asked Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih), “What is your verdict regarding faloodah  (a type of a desert) and lawzeenah  (sweetmeat made of almonds)? Which of the two is superior?”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) replied, “O Khalifah! I cannot pass my verdict until both  parties are not presented to me.”

The Khalifah Haroon Rashid instructed that both should be prepared and presented to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi  alaih) began eating (tasting) from  both dishes a little by little. Sometimes he ate from the and sometimes from the lawzeenah.

After eating a fair amount from both dishes, he called out, “O Khalifah! Until today, I have not seen two opponents fighting as much as these two dishes. Whenever I intend and make up my mind to pass my verdict in the favour of one, immediately the other overwhelms this one.”

Purchase a Boat to Save Your Nikaah
‘Allaamah Zaahid Al Kautharee (Rahmatullahi alaih) has written in his kitaab that once Imam Maalik (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrated, “It has reached me that a man once went to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) and said, “Hazrat! I have taken an oath that if I don’t purchase a jaariyah (slave girl) then my wife is divorced. However, I have realized that to do so is not easy upon me, because I have much love and attachment towards my wife and I have lots of respect for her.”                                                                         Hearing this, Qadhi Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “Why don’t you buy a boat because it is also a jaariyah?”

(Jaariyah is an Arabic word which means slave girl. It also has the meaning of a boat. Hence, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) used the second meaning to save the man’s Nikaah-Translator)

Your Silence was Best
There was a student in the Majlis-e-Dars (lessons) of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). Who would always remain silent.

Once, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) approached him and asked, “Why don’t you speak (ask)”?

The student replied, “Very well. If it is a command, I shall do so.” 

Later (during classes), he asked, “Hazrat! When should a fast be broken?”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “When the sun sets.”

The student asked, “And if the sun doesn’t set and half the night passes? Then what should a person in such a condition do?” Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “Brother! Your silence was best (for you). I have erred opening your tongue (i.e. making you speak).”

The Adab and Respect of Imam Abu Yusuf for the Qur’aan Majeed Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was a Haafiz of the Qur’aan  Majeed. In fact, this (Hifz of the Qur’aan Majeed) was the condition for enrollment in the Dars of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih). Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) would not allow any non-Haafiz as his students. Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) learnt the respect, Adab and honour for the Qur’aan Majeed from his honourable Ustaad, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Hazrat Muwaffaq (Rahmatullahi alaih) has written that once Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was going somewhere. Along the way, he passed by two people who were engaged in an argument concerning a transaction (business deal). One of them told the other, “Our example is like how it appears in the Qur’aan…” Thereafter he recited the Aayat: “(When two disputants came to Nabi Dawood (Alaihissalaam) so that he (Nabi Dawood) may judge between them the truth. Hence, one of them said,) “This is my brother. He has ninety nine ewes, while I have only one. He said, “Give it to me!” and he has been harsh towards me in speech.” (This can  be further studied under the Tafseer of Surah Saad, from  Aayat  number 21 -Translator.)

Upon hearing this, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) became extremely angry and due  to sorrow, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) went into a Haal (state) and almost became unconscious. When this state eventually went away, and Imam  Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) regained his (full) consciousness, in a stern voice, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said to the person, “Don’t you fear Allah?! You have made the Qur’aan Majeed a customary speech?! The one who recites the Qur’aan Majeed, should recite it with Khushoo’ (humility), Khudhoo’  (submission), Khauf (fear for Allah Ta’ala) and awe (respect). The Qur’aan Majeed should not be read in a way that it offends someone. Have you lost your intelligence that you have used the Kalaam of Allah for laghw wa  la’ib (play and amusement)?!”

Hazrat Muhammad bin Fudhail  (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “My heart was not clean towards Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) because he didn’t agree to all of the rules of the government.  But the day I heard him reprimanding in this way, I began liking him.”

Generosity and Selflessness When Qadhi Abu Yusuf  (Rahmatullahi alaih) became the  Qadhil-Qudhaat (chief judge), Allah Ta’ala had bestowed upon him plenty of wealth. Doors of Rizq were opened for him.

Despite all of this, he was not overtaken by pride. He didn’t appoint a guard to sit by his door.  Despite being the head of the court of justice, he lived his life as a student (seeking ‘Ilm).                              
However, it was his lifetime regret to accept this post (of becoming the chief judge). In his last days, he would lament and say, “If only I left this worldly abode in a state of poverty. If only I had not accepted the post of a Qadhi (judge).”

The Khalifah Haroon Rashid gave Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) land which was excluded from the payment of tax. Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) used to give all its yearly produce as Sadaqah (charity) to the poor.

Prior to his demise, much of his wealth was accumulated. Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) made Wasiyyat (bequest) that all his wealth should be distributed to the Ghurabaa’ (the needy).

Approximately 400,000 (of that era’s currency) was distributed to the poor in Makkah Mukarramah, Madinah Munawwarah, Kufa and Baghdad.

Just One Container from which Mother and Son used to Make Wudhu from
The life of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) portrays a perfect example of Akhlaaq (good character). Despite being seated in the court of justice, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) maintained his lofty pedestal of Akhlaaq.
                                                   Many people loose their focus in regard to (maintaining their) Akhlaaq (good character), however, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was an exception to this.

During his days of being a Qadhi (judge), Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) would meet people, adopt humility, help the needy, take care of the needs of people and respect and honour  ‘Ilm (Deeni knowledge).

He experienced days of poverty in  his youth. Yet, not once did he use words of ingratitude (when mentioning his young days).

One such episode is narrated hereunder.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Mubaarak (Rahmatullahi alaih) says, “Once I was by Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). In our discussion, he explained his state of poverty. I consoled him. Upon leaving, accidently, I bumped and broke a container which was near him. Upon seeing this, Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) face displayed grief. However, he didn’t utter a word.

I asked him, “What is the matter?” He replied, “This was the only container which my mother and I used to use for drinking water and making Wudhu.” Upon hearing this, Abdullah bin Mubaarak (Rahmatullahi alaih) was much affected and sent some money to repay for the damage he caused.

Softheartedness, Generosity and Humility
Just like how Imam Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullahi alaih) had many excellent dispositions, likewise, soft heartedness and generosity were outstanding qualities which were found in Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). We (generally) notice that when a person is not aware of his good nature etc., then people take  advantage of his softheartedness and generosity which at times exceeds the boundary of Israaf (extravagance). However, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was not bereft of understanding his responsibilities. 

This can be understood from the following. Once, a man came to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) and said, “I wrote a letter in your name to a certain person and requested a particular sum of money. The person sent me the money. Now he is asking me to repay him. Please help me in the situation I find myself in.”

When Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) heard this, he immediately gave an instruction that the man be arrested and put in jail until he repays the full amount.
                                                                                                           Upon hearing this verdict of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) the man said, “Hazrat! Once I did the same with your Ustaad, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih). I wrote a letter in his name to acquire some money from a particular person. The man in turn  gave me the money. When I informed Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih), he repaid the man on my behalf and said, “Write a letter in my name to whoever you assume will give you money upon seeing my name.”

The man continued, “Hazrat! You are also from his (Imam Abu Hanifah’s) students. I expected the same from you. However, not only did you refuse me, you even imprisoned me.”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “Brother! I am not Imam Abu Hanifah! He was a prominent and a renowned scholar. People used to respect him due to his knowledge and virtue. Hence, upon seeing his name money was given. On the other hand, I am a government  dignitary. Hence, there is a great possibility that whomsoever you write a letter to in my name will give you money due to fearing me, though he dislikes it (giving money ).”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) kept him in jail for some time in order to teach him a lesson. When the man understood his error and Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was comfortable that he was remorseful, he called for him and told him, “I repaid your debt to the man on your behalf. And I hereby release you. And I warn you that even if that man returns the money to you happily, you should not accept it. Go, don’t do this in future!”

Answering the Falsehood of the Ahl-e-B id’at
Once, enemies, haasideen (envious people) and adversaries publicized that Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) view is of the Qur’aan Majeed being Makhlooq (a created object). (In reality, the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’at’s Aqeedah (belief) that the Qur’ aan Majeed is the Kalaam of Allah -Translator.)

The close companions and student of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) approached him and said, “Hazrat! You prevent us from adopting this Aqeedah (belief) whilst you teach others the opposite?”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was baffled at this. His close companions and students explained the rumour which had been publicized. He remarked, “You people are witness to have fallen for the trap of the haasideen and adversaries. They are dense in their mentalities. What difficulty is there upon them to publicize a blatant lie regarding me if they could lie regarding Allah Ta’ala (by claiming that the Qur’aan Majeed is Makhlooq)!” Then Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “This is the habit of the Ahl-e-Bid’at. They attribute their (corrupt) beliefs upon others whilst in reality they (upon whom they attribute their corrupt beliefs) are totally in opposition to that.”

A Similar Incident
A similar incident to the one mentioned above is recorded that once adversaries falsely claimed and publicized that Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) accepts the Shahaadat (testimony) of a person who believes (i.e. adopts the corrupt Aqeedah) that Allah Ta’ala is not aware of actions prior to the actions occurring (Na’uthu Billaah!).

When Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) came to know of this, he remarked, “This is  totally incorrect. If such a man is brought to me, I will ask him to make Taubah (from this corrupt Aqeedah of his.) If he refuses to do so, I will command that he be executed.”

Imam Abu Yusuf’s Bond with Fiqah
Hasan bin Abi Maalik  (Rahmatullahi alaih) said that once Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “I (once) became so sick that I lost my memory. As a result I forgot the all Deeni knowledge besides ‘Ilm-e-Fiqah.”

Upon hearing this, someone asked, “Hazrat! the reason for that?” Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “Besides Fiqah, whatever else I knew was in my memory. Due to the sickness, my memory was lost, hence I forgot whatever I had learnt (by memory). From maturity till today, I am bonded with Fiqah. My example is like a  person who returns to his hometown after leaving it for several years. Tell me, will he forget the way to his house? In fact, automatically his feet will head towards the direction of his house.”

Imam Abu Yusuf – Great, Noble and Eloquent Imam 
Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was a great Imam, a perfect Faqeeh, an expert scholar, a Haafiz of Sunan (Ahaadith), a Mujtahid of Islam and the foremost student of Imam Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih). Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was the first to write Kitaabs in the Hanafi Math-hab. He was the first to dictate Masaa’il and to spread them. Hence, they reached far and wide.  He was the first to be a Qaadhi Qudhaat (chief judge). He was known by all the titles Ulama are generally called by nowadays.

‘Allaamah bin Abdil Barr (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “In my knowledge besides Imam Abu Yusuf there is no Qadhi whose Hukm (authority) spread to the East and West.”

Muhammad bin Ja’far (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “Imam Abu Yusuf was the greatest Faqeeh of his era. He reached the most perfect stage (of perfection) in ‘Ilm (knowledge), Hilm (forbearance), dominiance and  rank.”

Husain bin Waleed (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “When Imam Abu Yusuf used to speak, one would be left flabbergasted at the elegance and beauty of his speech.”

He further said, “I once heard him discussing difficult Mas’alah. His tongue (i.e. speech) a appeared as  if it was moving (flowing) like an arrow striking its target. Most of the people could not understand his speech and explanations due to its elegance. We used to marvel at this and have lengthy discussions of how Allah Ta’ala made his tongue in command of the art of speech and how every difficulty appears easy for him.”  

Wash your Mouth before Taking  His Name
Imam Tahaawi (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates with his Sanad (chain of narrators) that once Ibne Abi Imraan said, “The great Muhaddith, Ali bin Ja’d (Rahmatullahi alaih) was once dictating to us Hadith and Masaa’il. During classes he said,  “Imam Abu Yusuf narrated to  us…  …  …”                                                                                                
From the crowded class which consisted of zealous, ardent and dedicated students, someone remarked, “What?! Are you  mentioning Abu Yusuf?”

Ali Bin Ja’d (Rahmatullahi alaih) perceived from the manner of this  remark and comment that Imam Abu Yusuf’s (Rahmatullahi alaih) name was not taken with its due respect. Respectable words, titles  and honour were not used. Hence, Ali Bin Ja’d (Rahmatullahi alaih) in a raised and stern voice bawled out to the student, “Whenever you intend to mention Imam Abu Yusuf’s name, you should first wash your mouth with ‘Ashnaan’  (a type of a fragranced grass) mixed in warm water. Only after you do this can you take his honourable name on your tongue.”

Muhaddith A’mash and Imam  Abu Yusuf
Once, Muhaddith A’mash (Rahmatullahi alaih) (who was one of Imam Abu Yusuf’s Ustaads) asked Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) a Mas’alah.  Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) answered the Mas’alah.

Hearing the answer, Muhaddith A’mash (Rahmatullahi alaih) asked  in surprise, “From whence have you taken this answer and what is the basis (proof) for the answer?”

Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied, “Hazrat! I answered the Mas’alah in the light of a particular Hadith that you have narrated to us.”                                                                             
Muhaddith A’mash (Rahmatullahi alaih) smiled and said, “Abu Yusuf!  I remember that Hadith from before your father got married, but only today, after you explained it to me, have I learnt its interpretation (i.e. meaning) and it is perfectly correct. My  mind did not even go to that (explanation).”

Imam Abu Yusuf’s Maqaam (status) in the Eyes of His Ustaad, Imam Abu Hanifah
In his student days,  Imam  Abu  Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) dedicated his full concentration, attention and effort in studying. It was by virtue of the Barkat (blessings) of his handing himself over, humility and Muhabbat (love) that his Ustaad, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) also loved him wholeheartedly.

Once, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) had taken  ill.  His Ustaad, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) went to visit him. Upon leaving, when reaching the door, Imam Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullahi alaih) became pensive (sorrowful and thoughtful).

Someone asked the reason for this sudden reaction. Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) lamented, “May Allah Ta’ala not make it, but if this youngster passes away, then the greatest scholar on earth will be lost.” 

Hazrat Ismail (Rahmatullahi alaih), the grandson of Imam  Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) said,  “My grandfather (Imam Abu Hanifah) had ten special students. However, none (of them) was on par to Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih).

Imam Abu Yusuf’s Era
Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was famous for his ‘Ilm, Fazal, Fiqah, Hadith and justice. Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullaahi alaih) flourished in the time when great Aimmah (plural of Imam) of the Tabi’een and Tab-e-Tabi’een lived. In that era, ‘Ilm, Tafseer, Hadith, history, the four Mathabs etc. were welcomed, discussed and taught in almost every home. Great and prominent scholars lived in that era, the likes of Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad bin Hambal, Imam Shafi’ee, Sufyaan Thawree, Imam Awza’ee, Abdullah bin Mubaarak, Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah, Muhammad bin Ishaaq, Yahya bin Ma’een, Wakee’ bin Jarraah, et al. may Allah Ta’ala’s Special Mercy be upon all of them. Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi alaih) and other great Aimmah praised the ‘Ilm and the high rank of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) which clearly denotes the status of Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih). 

We have already quoted the sayings of great scholars in the previous lines, however, we will quote few more in the following paras.

‘Sayyidul Ulama’-the Leader of the Ulama
Whenever Ali bin Saalih (Rahmatullahi alaih) who was in the company and Khidmat (service) of great and prominent Ulama of his time, the likes of Imam Shu’bah and Imam Abu Thi’b (Rahmatullahi alaihima) used to narrate from Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih), he would say, “Sayyidul Ulama and Afqahul Fuqaha said… … …”                                                                                                   Meanings:

• Sayyidul Ulama-The leader of the Ulama
• Afqahul Fuqaha-The most well versed of jurists.

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Eminent Student
Hazrat Talha bin Ja’far (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “Imam Abu Yusuf was famous and eminent. His ‘Ilm and Fazal (virtue) was of a very high stage. His ‘Ilm (knowledge), Hikmat (wisdom), nobility, dignity and rank had reached their perfect state. He was the first to spread the knowledge of Imam Abu Hanifah far and wide.”

Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad were none lesser (in virtue and status) than the three Imams
Saahibain, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad (Rahmatullahi alaihima) both settled on lofty pedestals of ‘Ilm, ‘Amal, Fiqah, Ijtihaad, Istimbaat and Istikhraaj of Masaa’il.

Both were in no way lesser in Ijtihaad and Istimbaat of Masaa’il than the Aimmah-e-Thalaathah (the three Imams of the three Mathabs, viz. Imam Maalik, Imam Ahmad bin Hambal and Imam Shafi’ee (Rahmatullahi alaihim).

Imam Shafi’ee and Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rahmatullahi alaihima) both benefitted from Saahibain. The Challenge of the Khalifah    
                                                                                         “Bring forth someone like Abu Yusuf!”
When the Abbasi government saw no way to maintain their rulership except with the Hanafi Fiqh and Fuqaha, Khalifah Haroon Rashid made Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) the Qadhil-Qudhaat (chief judge). (Before this he was a magistrate judge-Translator.)

It was as though Imam Abu Yusuf was in charge of all the ministers and court cases.

Hafiz Ibne Abdul Barr said, “Qadhi Abu Yusuf was in charge of appointing judges in the east and west.” Imam Abu Yusuf himself said, “I was given authority of all the courts of the cities.”

However, haasideen (jealous people) and adversaries could not bear to see this great Maqaam (position) Imam Abu Yusuf enjoyed. 

Hence they began objecting: “Abu Yusuf is a great Faqeeh and Aalim. You (Haroon Rashid) have overstepped the limits in raising his post. You have given him superlative Izzat (honour) and Ikraam (respect). On what basis have you done this?”

Responding to this and many other similar objections, Haroon Rashid said, (Note: Haroon Rashid was also a great and qualified scholar and Faqeeh-Translator)

“(I have done this because) I know  Imam Abu Yusuf very well. I am forced to hand him this high position and pedestal of honour and respect on the basis of his experience in this field.

Allah’s Qasam! I have taken his Imtihaan in every Baab (section/subject) of  ‘Ilm and found him to be the most  experienced, accomplished, talented and well versed. He used to join us for Hadith Dars (classes). We used to write down  (notes  etc. during classes). But he had no need to write. After classes, the students used to surround him and correct their notes from his memory (i.e. Imam Abu Yusuf would repeat the lessons by memory and the students would correct errors in  their notes -Translator.)

With regards to his status in Fiqah, no one has come on par  with him till today. Great and  prominent scholars would (go to him and) appear/look small in front of him.

Great Fuqaha would come to him.  He used no notes nor any Kitaab when addressing the public. When we used to be together (in  a Majlis/gathering), he would ask the Ulama and Fuqaha if they had  any questions. They would say,  “We would like to ask regarding  such and such a Baab (section/chapter).”

There and then, Imam Abu Yusuf  would answer them. And in no time he would solve difficult Masaa’il. This was that specialty which the Ulama of his time did not have.

Besides all of these points, he is perfect, firm and righteous on his Deen and Math-hab.”

Thereafter, Haroon Rashid challenged them by saying, “Bring  forth anyone who is on par to Imam Abu Yusuf!”   

Imam Abu Yusuf as the Qadhi These are not the only incidents in the life of Imam Abu Yusuf. Many other occasions denote how Imam Abu Yusuf upheld Islam whilst he was a Qadhi Qudhaat (chief judge). The reason for him accepting this high post was to uphold the Laws of Allah Ta’ala, hence we can see his success in this regard.

Together with his effort, good character and the ‘Tafaqquh’ (deep understanding of Islamic Knowledge) he raised and stabilized this post and even had such an influence and created such firmness within the government that the ministers and government officials began to envy him and became jealous.

When Wahb bin Wahb Abdil Bukhtari was appointed to be in charge of this post after Imam Abu Yusuf, he used to concoct Ahaadith to justify the permissibility of every act of Haroon Rashid. He did this a few times. At first Haroon Rashid did not say anything.

Haroon Rashid was also well versed in ‘Ilm (he was also a scholar). But how long could he remain silent bearing in mind that he stayed in the company of a trustworthy, religious and Allah-Fearing Qadhi (i.e. Imam Abu Yusuf)?

Once Haroon Rashid was pigeon-flying, and Qadhi Wahb came to him. The Khalifah Haroon Rashid asked, “Is there even a Hadith for this (pigeon flying)?”

Immediately he quoted the following ‘Hadith’: “Hishaam bin ‘Urwah narrated to me that his father narrated from Ummul-Mu’mineen, Hazrat Aisha who used to say that Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) used to pigeon-fly and he even showed a liking to it.” (Note, this is a concocted narration-Translator)

Upon hearing this, Haroon Rashid raged with anger and in a stern voice said, “Get out of my sight! If you were not from the Quraish, I would have expelled you!” And this is what happened, he was expelled after a few days. 

Imam Abu Yusuf was a great Qadhi who was in charge of all the courts of the government. A great Khalifah, Haroon Rashid, who was powerful and autocratic, yet his respect for Imam Abu Yusuf was such that he gave Imam Abu Yusuf permission to enter his court-room with his conveyance. Unlike others who had to keep their conveyance outside and walk in the court-room. When Imam Abu Yusuf would enter the court-room, Haroon Rashid would be the first to make Salaam. Imam Abu Yusuf had permission to enter the court-room at any time. 

Why do you come to Muhaddith Abu Mu’aawiyah in the Presence of Imam Abu Yusuf?
Hasan Bin Maalik said, “When we would go to Muhaddith Abu Mu’aawiyah to learn the Ahaadith pertaining to Ahkaam-e-Fiqh which were narrated by Hajjaaj bin Artaat, he would ask us, “Is Qadhi Abu Yusuf not among you?” 

We would say, “Yes, he is.”

Then in surprise he would say, “You people are strange! You leave Imam Abu Yusuf and come to me?!”

He further said, “We would gather by Hajjaaj bin Artaat. When he dictated Ahaadith to us, Imam Abu Yusuf used to memorize them. After classes, we would write down the Ahaadith from Imam Abu Yusuf.”

The Status of Hanafi Fiqh Someone once asked Imam Muzanee (Rahmatullahi alaih) (the most senior student of Imam Shafi’ee Rahmatullahi alaih) regarding the people of Iraq. He answered in the following manner:

“Their leader is Imam Abu Hanifah.The staunch follower of Hadith among them is Imam Abu Yusuf. The one who deduced the most Masaa’il among them is Imam Muhammad. The most analogical among them is Imam Zufar.”

You are One of Your Kind
Ibne Abi Imraan (who is one of Imam Tahaawi’s Ustaads) said, “I have seen Ali bin Ja’d Thawree to be a proficient and well versed person. I have seen Hasan bin Saalih to be a unique person of his time. I have seen Ameerul-Mu’mineen in Hadith, Imam Malik. I have seen Ibne Abi Thi’b endowed with distinguished and special qualities. I have seen Laith bin Sa’d to be inimitable in his era. I have seen Shu’bah bin Hajjaaj to be a unique person of his kind. However, I have not seen anyone possessing what Imam Abu Yusuf had.”

Great scholars of his (Imam Abu Yusuf’s) time have mentioned many praises regarding him. If all have to be mentioned, this book will become lengthy. 

Imam Abu Yusuf’s Beautiful Palace
Al-Qawwaas said, “Once I went to meet Ma’roof Karkhee. He asked me regarding the well-being of Imam Abu Yusuf. I told him, “Hazrat! He is unwell. His sickness is deteriorating.” 

Ma’roof told me, “See, if Imam Abu Yusuf’s sickness deteriorates and something happens (i.e.  he passes away) then inform me immediately! Don’t delay in informing me!” 

Al-Qawwaas further said, “As I left and passed Darur-Rafeeq, I saw Imam Abu Yusuf’s Janaazah emerging (i.e. being carried to the graveyard). People were gathering in multitudes. I also joined in following the Janaazah. Then I remembered Ma’roof’s words. I thought to myself that if I go to inform Ma’roof, I will miss the Janaazah Salaah. Ma’roof will miss the Janaazah as well. Nevertheless, I remained for the Janaazah Salaah.

Soon thereafter, I went to meet Ma’roof Karkhee and informed him of Imam Abu Yusuf’s demise.  He became extremely sad and remorseful. The colour of his face changed and he continuously repeated  ‘Inna Lillaah…’

I asked him, “O Abu Mahfooz! (This was his Kunyat). Why do you show such remorse, regret and sadness in missing the Janaazah Salaah?”

He replied, “Last night I saw a dream. I saw Jannat and I saw a splendid palace with beautiful curtains hanging and servants standing in wait. I asked the people of Jannat,“Who is this prepared for?”

They replied, “For Qadhi Abu Yusuf.”

I asked, “How did he achieve this stage? What earned him this splendid palace?”

They replied, “By virtue of him spreading ‘Ilm and patiently bearing the bitter tongues of adversaries. And him forbearing the torments of people with a smile on his face.”

If Only This Did Not Transpire! Abu Bakr Khassaaf (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates from  his father that when Imam Abu Yusuf was on his  death-bed, he (Abu Bakr’s father) sat by his head side. Imam Abu Yusuf was asked, “Do you have any fear or grief in this state?”

He replied, “By Allah! Yes! Regarding one matter. Once, a Christian made a case against Haroon Rashid. I called for both, Haroon Rashid and the Christian. When the Khalifah Haroon Rashid came, a Musalla (rug) was spread on which he sat. However, I did not ask for a Musalla for the Christian to sit on. This is what bothers me. This is my heartfelt remorse and regret with which I am leaving this worldly abode. If only this did not transpire!”

Taqwa, Piety and His Children’s TarbiyatUpbringing
Ibrahim bin Jarraah (Rahmatullahi alaih) narrates, “Once we were sitting by Imam Abu Yusuf. Bishr bin Waleed was also with us. Imam Abu Yusuf’s son Yusuf was also present. They began discussing a Mas’alah. However, Imam Abu Yusuf looked intensely at his son and remarked, “What are you wearing?”

The reason was that his son wore an expensive Jubbah. On the other hand, Imam Abu Yusuf’s Taqwa and piety demanded non-tolerance at seeing his children donning expensive (and smart) clothes.

Zuhd, Wara’ and Ibaadat

(Zuhd-Abstinence from the luxury and comfort of the world.

Wara’-Very high state of Taqwa, awareness of Allah Ta’ala)

Ahmad bin Atiyyah said that Muhammad bin Sumaa’ah used to say, “Despite the lofty position of being a Qadhil-Qudhaat (chief judge), the responsibilities, tasks, managing the vast kingdom’s matters, seeing to basic needs etc. his daily Ma’mool (practice) was to perform hundred Rak’aats Nafl Salaah.”

Muhammad bin Sabbaah (Rahmatullahi alaih) said, “Imam Abu Yusuf was a pious man. He used to perpetually be in the state of Rozah (fast).”

Taqwa and Fear for the Aakhirat Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was extremely virtuous and pious. At times he was heard supplicating to his Rabb, 

“O Allah! You are aware that I have never committed a Haraam (forbidden) act, nor did I consume any Haraam wealth.

O Allah! You are aware that whenever two people (or groups) presented their cases to me, never did I favour any one of them nor did I desire that the judgement be in favour of a certain one of them, even if he was the Khalifah of the time.

O Allah! In return of this, do forgive me.”

Abu Hafs commented that Imam Abu Yusuf’s whole life is testimony to the above.

At times, Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) was heard petitioning,

“O Allah! You are aware that whenever two parties came to me, and if one of them was weaker than the other, then I would always treat them equally. I treated the Khalifah and a normal layman /shopkeeper equally. Never was my mind (or heart) persuaded by the status, rank and distinction of any person.

O Allah! If I ever did so, then do forgive me.”

A Warrant of Jannah in a dream Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) himself said, “Once I saw Imam Abu Hanifah in a dream and that he was in Jannat. He was surrounded by Sahaabah from all sides and he was in the centre. Upon seeing me, he said, “Abu Yusuf! Bring a pen and paper so that I can write down the names of my companions in Jannat.”  I said, “Hazrat! Do write my name in that blessed list.” Upon my request, Imam Abu Hanifah wrote my name also in the list.”

His Penitence and Focus on Allah Azza Wa Jall on His Deathbed Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) fell ill a few days before his death. He sensed that his days were limited. He used to repeatedly say during these last few days, 

“I spent seventeen years as a Qadhi (in the work of Iftaa and Qadhaa etc.). Now my time is near (to leave this temporary abode-Translator).”

He used to be overcome with a unique Haal (spiritual ecstasy) during his illness.

The just and honest way in which  he managed the position of a Qadhi has been explained (in the period of which he was the Qadhi). However, in his last moments, he lamented, “If only I left this world inpoverty and hunger and I did not accept the post of a Qadhi! Then too I am grateful unto Allah that I did not commit Zulm (oppression) on anyone intentionally, nor did I favour a party, nor was it my desire that a particular party win a case.”

Imam Sha’bee writes in his Kitaab ‘Kifaayah’,

“When the agonies of death (Sakaraat) overcame Imam Abu Yusuf, he supplicated,

“O Allah! I always kept Your Kitaab, the Sunnah of Your Nabi and the Sahaabah’s views in mind (before passing a verdict). I made Imam Abu Hanifah a bridge between You and I. You are Most Aware that I did not have any enmity for any superior person nor any weaker one. Never was I inclined to a superior group,  nor  bigoted towards a weak man, party or group.

O Allah! In Your Knowledge if I am speaking the truth, then forgive me.”

Allaamah Ibne Jawzee (Rahmatullahi alaih) said,“On his deathbed, Imam Abu Yusuf was heard supplicating,          

“O Allah! You are well aware that I did not oppress anyone. I did not force anyone. I did not pass an incorrect verdict intentionally upon anyone. I passed my judgements whilst keeping Your Kalaam and Your Nabi’s Sunan (Hadith) in mind. Whenever I was confronted with any difficulty, I placed Imam Abu Hanifah between You and I. Imam Abu Hanifah was more aware and well versed of Your Ahkaam (Laws) than I and never did he overstep the boundaries of Your Ahkaam (Laws).”

The Stages of Imam Abu Hanifah and Saahibain-Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad (Rahmatullai alaihim)
Ibne Abi Rajaa’ narrates from Muhammadiyah (who was regarded to be from among the Abdaal-a class of Auliyah), 

“Once I saw Imam Muhammad (Rahmatullahi alaih) in a dream. I asked him, 

“O Abu Abdillah! How did Allah treat you?”

He replied, “Allah forgave me and told me, “If I wanted to punish you, I wouldn’t have made you a treasure of ‘Ilm (i.e not given you so much of Knowledge).”  

I asked him, “What about Imam Abu Yusuf?”

Imam Muhammad replied, “Fawqee.” (i.e. he is in a higher stage (of Jannah) than me.)

I asked, “What about Imam Abu Hanifah?”

He replied, “Fawqahu Bitabaqaat.” (i.e he is in A’laa ‘Illiyeen which is many stages above him.)

The Acknowledgement of Opponents
It is written in Hadaaiqul-Hanafiyah that a day after Imam Abu Yusuf passed away one of his adversaries was seen much grieved and sorrowful. When people enquired about this state of his, he replied, “Last night in a dream I saw Imam Abu Yusuf in Jannat. I asked the door-keepers of Jannat as to what Amal (action) Imam Abu Yusuf did which earns him this lofty stage.

They replied, “He acquired and taught ‘Ilm with patience and endurance and due to spreading and propagating ‘Ilm.”

Golden Words of Advice Hereunder are a few golden and precious words of advice this great Imam offered. After all, studying and reading his life which bears testimony to his handing himself over to ‘Ilm and be known as a mountain of knowledge and playing an important role in the Hanafi Math-hab, one would have asked him for Naseehat if he was alive today. However, he has left behind plenty of advice and examples of how to treat and learn ‘Ilm. For the benefit of the reader we present some hereunder. 

➡ Imam Abu Yusuf would advise his students, “O Students! Learn and study ‘Ilm only and solely for the pleasure of Allah. Do not entertain any other intention with it. It is my experience that in whichever class/lesson I sat submissively I left the Dars with dignity and honour. And in whichever Dars I sat with arrogance and vanity, I left with disgrace.” (This is a very important Sabaq (lesson) for students of Deen. Always sit with utmost respect, humility and attention in front of your Ustaad. A student of Deen should never point out faults and errors of his Ustaad. This leads to his quick destruction in both, Dunya and Aakhirat-Translator.) 

➡ “Abstain from the company of the one who is oblivious (fearless) of the disgrace and humiliation of Qiyaamat.”  (Students of Deen should befriend people who speak and discuss Deeni topics in their free time. There is great harm in discussing worldly and non-Deeni topics in one’s free time. This results in the Noor of ‘Ilm evaporating from one’s heart which leads to one failing to gain Tafaqquh (a deep and thorough understanding of Deen, Masaa’il, Fiqah, Hadith, Tafseer etc.-Translator.) 

➡ Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi alaih) would say, “Ilm is such that if you hand yourself fully to it, it will give you in return only a little of it. When you have acquired some of it, don’t relax on it (the little you have). Infact, continue in its quest (to gain and learn more).”  

➡ “It is a disgrace for government officials to be shabbily dressed and live a life of jest (play, amusement, fun, sports, touring, merrymaking and transgressing the Laws of Allah). However, it is an honour for Ulama (Hufaaz are also included-Translator) and Qudhaat to live a simple lifestyle.” 

➡ “The one who searches for Naadir (rare and scarce) Hadith will fall prey to slandering (unintentionally) Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam).” 

➡ “There are three fundamental Ni’mats (bounties):  

1. Islam- No Ni’mat can be perfect without it.

2. Health- There is no pleasure in any leisure without it.

3. Independency- Without which one will experience no Sukoon (peace of mind).”


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