Imam ‘Azam and his motherImam Abu Hanifa obeyed his mother in everything she said. Whenever he went to the circle of ‘Umar ibn Dirar, he took her along on a beast. Once, she made a vow to do something and asked him to give a verdict about it but was dissatisfied with his (Imam Abu Hanifa’s) answer. She said, “I will only be at peace if you find (this) out from the preacher Zur’ah.” So he took her to him and she put her question to Zur’ah. He said, “The Faqih of Kufa is with you! Why ask me?” So, out of respect for his mother, the Imam said, “I will dictate the edict (fatwa) and you issue it.” Thus, she was satisfied.
The ‘Amir of Kufa, Ibn Hubayra offered the Imam the post of judge and he refused. So Yazid (had him) flogged with 110 lashes. He said that he was not so hurt with the punishment as with the pain that it caused his mother who said to him, “Nu’man! Give up this knowledge for which you have to suffer.” He said, “Mother, if I had sought the world with this knowledge then I would have earned much but I have acquired it only to please Allah and to earn deliverance.
Akhbar Abu Hanifa Wa Ashabihi pg. 53, ‘Uqud al-Juman pg. 292, Tarikh Baghdad, v13, pg.266.
Adapted from Qadi Athar Mubarakpuri’s “Achievements of Muslim Women in the Religious and Scholarly Fields.”