Imam Azam Abu Hanifa's thirst for knowledge
(May Allah shower His Mercy on him)
Today we have many facilities to acquire knowledge. We have published books, schools and institutions of knowledge have been established. On the other hand in the yesteryears there were no such facilities and comfort. To acquire knowledge, people would travel from one country to another. If people knew that so and so person has a Hadith, then they would travel for months and acquire it.
Hadhrat Imam Azam Abu Hanifa (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) went for Haj with his father at the tender age of 16. There he saw a Companion narrating a Hadith. Immediately he requested his father to introduce him to that Companion. In spite of the huge crowds, out of his desire for knowledge and the desire to look upon the blessed face of that Companion, Imam Azam (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) moved forward and listened to the Hadith directly from him as given in Musnad Abu Hanifa:
Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Imam Abu Yousuf (May Allah shower His Mercy on him), he said: I heard Hadhrat Imam Azam Abu Hanifia (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) say: I went for Haj along with my father in 93 Hijri and at that time my age was 16. I saw that a distinguished person is seated. People are present around him. On seeing this, I asked my father: Who is this distinguished person? He said: He is that Muslim who has the honor of being in the company of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). He is called ‘Abdullah bin Harith (May Allah be well pleased with him). Then I asked my father: What has he got? He said: He has those Hadith which he himself heard from the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). I asked my father: Present me to him so that I may hear something from him. Thereupon my father moved forward and started making a way between the crowd so much so that I got near him and I heard him say: The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The person who acquires understanding in religion, Allah removes his troubles and cares and grants him sustenance from such a source that he did not even think of it.
Hadhrat Abu ‘Umar (May Allah shower His mercy on him) says: Hadhrat Muhammad bin Sa’ad (May Allah shower His mercy on him) who was the scribe of Imam Waqidi, says: Verily, Imam Azam saw Hadhrat Anas bin Malik and Hadhrat 'Abdullah bin Harith (May Allah be well pleased with them). (Musnad Abu Hanifa, Hadith No. 1)