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The Wit of Imam Abu Hanifa

Imam Abu Hanifa was approached by the Umayyads to be their judge. He refused and spent ten days in jail, being lashed ten times each day. After the revolution, the Abbasid Caliph approached him to become his Chief Judge. The following discussion ensued:

Khalifa: I want you to become my Chief Judge.

Imam Abu Hanifa: The truth is that I am not qualified.

Khalifa: Liar! You are the most qualified one in the land!

Imam Abu Hanifa: You yourself admitted that I am not qualified.

Khalifa: And when did I say that?

Imam Abu Hanifa: Just now. You accused me of lying. A liar cannot be a chief judge. And if you say it was merely an expression and that in fact I am truthful, then you must accept my statement that I am not qualified.

Such was the brilliance of Abu Hanifa.


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