A Non-believer’s call
Long, long ago, in a famous Arab city, there was a non-believer. He did not believe that Allah created everything. His belief was that there was no god and that everything came to be automatically.
One day he decided to call other people to follow the beliefs that he held. He went to the town centre and began to spread his mission. He stood in a place where many people were gathered and began to address people. He said to them that there is no god. Believing in a god is nonsense. How can you believe in someone that you have never seen?
Many people began to follow him and started doubting their own faith.
One day he made a challenge to the people and said that no one can prove that there is a god who created the universe. If any one can prove that, then he will stop following his own beliefs and begin to follow God’s commands.
Imam Abu Hanifa accepts the Challenge
At that time, there was a very big scholar, who used to live in that city. People used to follow his teachings and trust him in everything he would say. His name was Imam Abu Hanifa. He was a very intelligent person, as well as being very knowledgeable and wise.
Seeing the trouble that the non-believer was making around the town, Imam Abu Hanifa accepted the challenge. He decided to debate the non-believer in front of the people of the city. Soon the date, time and the location of the debate were fixed.
The Debate Day
On that particular day, the people of that city gathered in a huge square. It was a huge gathering. Many people came to see who wins the debate, so that they can follow the winner. The non-believer arrived very early.
People were eagerly waiting for Imam Abu Hanifa. He was taking too long to arrive. Many people began to doubt that he will arrive. The non-believer began to jump on the stage, telling people that Imam Abu Hanifa realised that he could not prove that there is God and, therefore, he has run away.
River, Broken Bridge and a Strange Boat without a Sailor
After a long wait, Imam Abu Hanifa arrived. People were quite angry and disappointed. They asked him about the reason for his lateness. Imam Abu Hanifa said:
“In order to arrive at this square, I had to cross a river. When I came close to the bridge, suddenly, it began to crack. Within minutes, it was all into pieces. There was no other way to cross the river. I was stuck on the other side.
Suddenly, I saw something which was quite startling and hard to believe. I saw a tree cut itself into many pieces. Then those pieces slowly began to move and get close to each other. In no time, the pieces started to take the shape of a boat. I was puzzled, but I was also pleased to see what was happening.
I needed a bridge or a boat. The bridge was broken. But that was not a problem any longer; I can use the boat to get to the other side. I got onto the boat. As soon as I got on, the boat began to move without anyone moving it. I just remained calm, and, within a few minutes, I was on the other side of the river.”
For the people of the city, it was an extraordinary tale. They found it quite hard to believe. The reaction of the non-believer was quite remarkable. He began to make fun of Imam Abu Hanifa and said:
“What a mad person! Nobody would believe in such a fairy-tale!
How could a bridge break without someone breaking it? How could a boat be made without someone making it? How could a boat run on water without a sailor?”
At that point, Imam Abu Hanifa broke his silence and said:
“If a small bridge cannot break without a breaker; if a little boat could not be made without a maker; and it could not be sailed without a sailor, how could you possibly think that this giant universe came to be without a maker?”
The non-believer could not give an answer. He lost. Imam Abu Hanifa won the debate without even debating!
It was a great day for the people of the city, as the non-believer was forced to give up his old beliefs and follow the beliefs of Imam Abu Hanifa.
Since then, the people of the city began to ignore the non-believers and their silly arguments.
Through his extraordinary intelligence, knowledge and wisdom, Imam Abu Hanifa was able to save the people from the evils of doubts and lack of faith in God Almighty.