Download PDF: [S] Imam Shaybani’s Strictness (Islamic story)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Idris Haddad – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that, “Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him – was indeed one of the greatest authorities in Ahadith and during his era, there was no one like him.” (Tabqaat Hanaabilah)
The great Imam was also extremely pious, noble and was a true symbol of Imaan. Hadrat Sayyiduna Idris Haddad – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that, “The son of the great Imam, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah – may Allah be pleased with him, had taken the responsibility of making sure that he serves his father some food and bread every day. However, when he accepted the post of Qadi, the great Imam refused to accept this food from that moment onwards and never accepted this food again. In fact, until the moment of his passing, he refused to accept food from his son ever again.” (Tadkiratul Awliyah)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Idris Haddad – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that, “Whenever I saw him, I always noticed that the great Imam was either in Salaah, reading the Qur’an or reading a certain book. He was never found busy in any worldly activities. Whenever he deeply concentrated on these activities, there are times when he never used to eat any food for two or three days in a row. When he happened to see any member of his family, (merely to satisfy them), he used to drink some water. Because of this, they used to assume that he was full.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Idris Haddad – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that when they had initially stopped punishing the Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him – and he returned home, people sent him wealth and money from all directions. In spite of the fact that he himself was in need of something, he returned all of this back to the people.
It is mentioned that his uncle, Hadrat Sayyiduna Ishaq – may Allah be pleased with him, also took the time to count exactly how much was returned and it was calculated to be about fifty thousand Dinaars. Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him –then said to his uncle. “O my uncle, I can see you counting and calculating something which is of no value to you.” He uncle replied, “Today you have turned away so much of wealth, but you are in need of every coin.” He replied, “If I had searched for this, I would not have found it and now that I have abandoned it, it comes willingly to me.” (Sayr)
Taqwah and fear for Allah.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Idris Haddad – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that one day Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him – came to Mecca Shareef and he experienced immense poverty. He also had a bucket with him and decided to approach a fruit seller and acquire certain things by keeping the bucket as a guarantee for payment. A few days later, when this state of poverty had ended, he returned to the fruit seller and after returning the money which he had borrowed, he asked for his bucket.
When the fruit seller looked in his shop, he noticed that there were two identical buckets in his shop. He then mentioned to the great Imam, “I am now completely confused on which was your bucket. However, you may take whichever you wish.”
The great Imam also mentioned that he himself was confused, and therefore, was not prepared to take back his bucket. The fruit seller also replied that he was not prepared to keep any of these buckets for himself. They then decided to sell both buckets and gave the money away in charity. (Hulyatul Awliyah)
The same reports that whenever Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him – used to attend any Janazah, on that day he did not eat any food and never slept on that night. At the same time, whenever he saw any grave, he used to weep in such a manner that it was even more than a lady who had lost her child.
One day, the great Imam left his house and his eyes fell on a certain lady, he immediately recite the “La Hawla”. He also made a promise that whenever he leaves his house in future, he will cover his face so that his eyes do not fall on any female.
Whenever there was any new issue, Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him – never used to record this in his book until and unless he did not present it in the court of various other ‘Ulama. If their opinion was according his opinion, then only he recorded this issue or else he desisted from recording this.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Idris Haddad – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that, “The state of the great Imam’s piety was to such a degree that if the pen he was recording with dried of ink he used to wipe it on his hair and not use a piece of cloth. When he was asked the reason for this, he replied, ‘The ink on this pen is the balance of the knowledge which I will record, therefore, I cannot use a piece of cloth to wipe this pen because perchance, the piece of cloth will be placed in an unclean place.’”
There is no doubt that state of piety of these eminent Imams is something which boggles the mind. This clearly proves that these blessed creation were sent by Allah Almighty to this world for a specific reason and mission and hence their very behaviour was certainly different from ordinary people.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Mohammed bin Moosa – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him – was born in 165 A.H. and passed away at the age of seventy seven. He was buried after the Jumu’ah Salaah. His Janazah Salaah was performed by Hadrat Sayyiduna Mohammed bin Taahir – may Allah be pleased with him. The number of people who took part in his Janazah was said to be eight hundred thousand. In today’s count, it would equal to millions. After all, 274 A.H. was still considered as early Islam.
An Imam who recorded nearly a million Ahadith.
There is no doubt that the great Imam was considered as one of the most pious and learned people of his era. Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him – was also someone who was the greatest authority in Hadith at that time. He also had the knowledge to separate authentic Hadith from non-authentic Hadith. He also knew the personal history of each narrator of Hadith. He is said to have also recorded nearly a million Ahadith with their complete Sanad and subject matter which in itself equalled nearly one hundred fifty thousand.
It is mentioned that one of the reasons that people all over the Muslim world have such respect for him until the present time is because in spite of the immense trial and difficulty he had to endure, he remained steadfast and displayed immense patience. In fact, people admit that when they used to look at him, it was like they were looking at a fierce lion.