The Four Imams
Imam Abu Hanifa
Imam Abu Hanifa (ra), (85 H. – 150 H) said,
“If it were not for two years, I would have perished.” He said, “for two years I accompanied Sayyidina Ja’far as-Sadiq and I acquired the spiritual knowledge that made me a gnostic in the Way.”
It is mentioned in the book Ad-Durr al-Mukhtar, vol 1. p. 43, on the explanation of Ibn ‘Abidin who said,
“Abi Ali Dakkak, one of the sufi saints, received his path from Abul Qassim an-Nasarabadi, who received it from ash-Shibli, who received it from as-Sirr as-Saqati who received it from al-Ma’ruf al-Karkhi, who received it from Da’ud at-Ta’i, that he received the knowledge, both the external and the internal, from the Imam Abi Hanifa (r), who was supporting the Sufi Spiritual Path.”
Imam Malik (r) said,
“whoever studies Jurisprudence [fiqh] and didn’t study Sufism will be corrupted; and whoever studied Sufism and didn’t study Jurisprudence will become a heretic; and whoever combined both will be reach the Truth.” His saying is mentioned and explained in the book of the scholar ‘Ali al-Adawi of the explanation of Imam Abil-Hassan, a scholar of fiqh, vol. 2, p 195, Imam Malik was born in 95. H. and died in 179.
Imam Shafi’i (d, 204 H) said,
“I accompanied the Sufi people and I received from them three knowledges:
1. they made me to know how to speak;
2. they made to know how to treat people with leniency and a soft heart;
3. they made to be guided in the ways of Sufism.”
This is mentioned in the book Kashf al-Khafa and Muzid al-Albas by Imam ‘Ajluni, vol. 1, p 341.
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal
Al-Imam Ahmad (r) said, advising his son, saying “O my son, you have to sit with the People of Sufism, because they are like a fountain of knowledge and they keep the Remembrance of Allah in their hearts. they are the ascetics and they have the most spiritual power.”
This is explained in the book Tanwir al-Qulub p. 405, by Shaykh Amin al-Kurdi.
Imam Ahmad said about the Sufis, as mentioned in the book al-Ghiza al-Albab, vol. 1, p. 120, “I don’t know people better than them.”
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America