The following article seeks to highlight one such individual, Nouman bin Thabit, more commonly known as Imam Abu Hanifa (RH). He was born in the city of Kufa in the year 80 AH (689 AD). He is nicknamed Imam al-A’zam (the greatest leader) and is considered to be the first of the four Imams of the Islamic schools of fiqh (jurisprudence) known as madhabs (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali) that withstood the test of time and have been accepted by consensus of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah (Sunni Muslims). It is a testament to the strength and comprehensiveness of his madhab that the Hanafi school of thought has the most adherents of the four schools.
Hasan al-Basri (RH) was a Taabi’i, a person in the generation after the Sahabah. As a student of the Sahaba in Madina, Hasan al-Basri (RH) amassed knowledge of the Deen that spurred him into becoming a scholar of the highest caliber. An individual blessed with keen insight, he was disturbed by the hypocrisy of the Umayyad government and elite. Therefore, through his impassioned speech, he called for an end to the hypocrisy in Basra and a return to the straight path of Islam.
Following the birth of Imam al-Bukhari, he was given the name of Muhammad with the intention that he would love the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Indeed he did, and it was because of his love for the Prophet ﷺ that Imam al-Bukhari stood as a bulwark against an age of Islam fraught with uncertainty. Within the lands of the Muslims, deviant groups began to rise such as the Khawarij and Rawafidh who tarnished the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ and their collective legacy. They did so by slandering and falsifying the Prophetic Hadith, the sayings and stories of the Prophet as narrated through knowledgeable and upright individuals. Without the extensive knowledge of the narrators, their narrations, the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ would not have come to us and Islam would have disintegrated. Imam al-Bukhari was a pillar in the study of Hadith studies and preserved the tradition. He is most renown for his compilation of the most authentic hadith, the Sahih Bukhari which is taught to students of ‘ilm across the Muslim world.
History reveals that in Islam’s darkest times, this religion was safeguarded through beacons of light in the form of righteous individuals who upheld the true Islam. Adhering to the Sunnah of Muhammad ﷺ, they opposed injustice. They stood as pillars with their qualities of sacrifice, unflinching faith, morality, spiritual excellence, and intellect. We find that despite the attacks Muslims have faced, the Ummah always persevered and continued. By the will of Allah, it will continue to do so, as long as individuals hold fast to their Deen and follow the examples of those who suffered and triumphed before. The following article seeks to highlight one such individual, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz (RH).