The Atheists and Abu Hanifa Another Time
Once Imam Abu Hanifa was called to a debate with some freethinkers
and atheists and there was a time set for this debate.
When the time of the debate was about to start, the freethinkers were
in a particular place before an assembly of people. Imam Abu Hanifa was very
late from the agreed upon time. The attendees awaited him until they ere
unable to stand or bear more and the freethinkers started to boast amongst
themselves of their claims of rejecting the existence of Allah (Exalted and
Dignified be He). They took from the absence of Imam Abu Hanifa from
the agreed time, as a proof of his inability to prove what he claimed.
While the boasting of the atheists was about to reach its climax and
the annoyance of the attendees from the late of the Imam was about to reach
its peak, Imam Abu Hanifa arrived. He immediately begged the attendees
to excuse him, claiming that he was supposed to attend in time, saying ‘I
was on the opposite bank of the Tigris river and I did not find a boat to
bring me across the river. So I was obliged to await more time but I did
not find any boat. When I was despondent about finding a boat to transfer
me to the opposite bank of the river I was about to return to my house.
But from a far distance, I saw some wooden boards coming towards me on their
own (without any sailor). When these boards came near me, they began to
organize themselves until they form a beautiful boat so I mounted it, crossed
the river and came to you.
Therefore, all freethinkers said, do you mock us O Abu Hanifa?! Is it
not logical that the wooden boards can come to you on their own as you have
descried and form themselves a boat?! He said, this is what you have gathered
to argue with me. If you do not accept that the boards can make themselves
into a boat, so, how do you claim that this well-knitted and marvelous world,
with heaven, earth, Man and animal, created itself and its creation happed
haphazardly without a creator?!. Therefore, the freethinkers were unable
to pronounce any word or give any proclaim their (return) to Islam at the
hands of Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him).8