Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Ḥanbal Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Shaybānī (Arabic: احمد بن محمد بن حنبل ابو عبد الله الشيباني‎; 780–855 CE/164–241 AH), often referred to as Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal or Ibn Ḥanbal for short, or reverentially as Imam Aḥmad by Sunni
Muslims, was an Arab
Muslim jurist, theologian, ascetic, and hadith traditionist. An enormously influential and vigorous scholar during his lifetime,[9] Ibn Hanbal went on to become "one of the most venerated"[10] and celebrated personalities in the tradition of Sunni
Islam, within which he was often referred to by such reverent epithets as True Shaykh of Islam,[11] Proof of the Faith,[11] and Seal of the Mujtahid Imams.[11] He has been retrospectively described as "the most significant exponent of the traditionalist approach in Sunni
Islam,"[12] with his "profound influence affecting almost every area of" orthodox Sunni
thought.[12] One of the foremost classical proponents of the importance of using hadith literature to govern Islamic law and life, Ibn Hanbal is famous for compiling one of the most important Sunni
hadith collections, the celebrated Musnad,[13] an enormous compendium of prophetic traditions that has continued to wield considerable influence in the field of hadith studies up to the present time.[9] Additionally, Ibn Hanbal is also honored as the founder of the Hanbali
school of Sunni jurisprudence, which is one of the four major orthodox legal schools of Sunni
Islam.[9] Having studied fiqh and hadith under many teachers during his youth,[14] Ibn Hanbal became famous in his later life for the crucial role he played in the Mihna, the inquisition instituted by the Abbasid Caliphate al-Ma'mun towards the end of his reign, in which the ruler gave official state support to the Mutazilite
dogma of the Quran
being created, a view that contradicted the orthodox doctrine of the Quran being the eternal, uncreated Word of God.[9] Suffering physical persecution under the caliph for his unflinching adherence to the traditional doctrine, Ibn Hanbal's fortitude in this particular event only bolstered his "resounding reputation"[9] in the annals of Islamic history. Throughout Islamic history, Ibn Hanbal was venerated as an exemplary figure in all the traditional schools of Sunni
thought,[9] both by the exoteric ulema and by the mystics, with the latter often designating him as a saint in their hagiographies.[15] The fourteenth-century hadith master al-Dhahabi referred to Ibn Hanbal as "the true Shaykh of Islām and leader of the Muslims in his time, the ḥadīth master and Proof of the Religion."[11] In the modern era, Ibn Hanbal's name has become controversial in certain quarters of the Islamic world. This is due to the influence some[who?] believe he had upon the Hanbali
reform movement known as Wahhabism, which cites him as a principal influence along with the thirteenth-century Hanbali
reformer Ibn Taymiyyah. However it has been argued by certain scholars that Ibn Hanbal's own beliefs actually played "no real part in the establishment of the central doctrines of Wahhabism,"[16] as there is evidence, according to the same authors, that "the older Hanbalite authorities had doctrinal concerns very different from those of the Wahhabis,"[16] rich as medieval Hanbali literature is in references to saints, grave visitation, miracles, and relics.[17] In this connection, scholars have cited Ibn Hanbal's own support for the use of relics as simply one of several important points upon which the theologian's opinions diverged from those of Wahhabism.[8]


1 Biography

1.1 Early life and family 1.2 Education and work 1.3 Death

2 The Mihna 3 Views and thought

3.1 Theology

3.1.1 God 3.1.2 The Quran 3.1.3 Intercession 3.1.4 Mysticism 3.1.5 Relics 3.1.6 Visitation to the Prophet's grave

3.2 Jurisprudence

3.2.1 Independent reasoning by muftis 3.2.2 Misusing Hadith 3.2.3 Private interpretation

3.3 Ethics

3.3.1 Differences of Opinion

4 Works 5 Historical views 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading

8.1 Primary 8.2 Studies

Biography[edit] Early life and family[edit]

A manuscript of Ibn Hanbal's legal writings, produced October 879.

Ahmad ibn Hanbal's family was originally from Basra, Iraq, and belonged to the Arab
Banu Shayban
Banu Shayban
tribe.[18] His father was an officer in the Abbasid army in Khurasan
and later settled with his family in Baghdad, where Ahmad was born in 780 CE.[2] Ibn Hanbal had two wives and several children, including an older son, who later became a judge in Isfahan.[19] Education and work[edit] Ahmad Ibn Hanbal studied extensively in Baghdad, and later traveled to further his education. He started learning jurisprudence (Fiqh) under the celebrated Hanafi
judge, Abu Yusuf, the renowned student and companion of Imam Abu Hanifah. After finishing his studies with Abu Yusuf, ibn Hanbal began traveling through Iraq, Syria, and Arabia
to collect hadiths, or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. Ibn al-Jawzi states that Imam Ahmad had 414 Hadith
masters whom he narrated from. With this knowledge, he became a leading authority on the hadith, leaving an immense encyclopedia of hadith, the al-Musnad. After several years of travel, he returned to Baghdad
to study Islamic law under Al-Shafi'i. He became a mufti in his old age, but is remembered most famously, as the founder of the Hanbali
madhab or school of Islamic law, which is now most dominant in Saudi Arabia, Qatar as well as the United Arab
Emirates.[20][21][22] Unlike the other three schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, and Shafi), the Hanbali
madhab remained largely traditionalist or Athari
in theology.[23] In addition to his scholastic enterprises, ibn Hanbal was a soldier on the Islamic frontiers (Ribat) and made Hajj five times in his life, twice on foot.[24] Death[edit] Ahmad Ibn Hanbal died on Friday, 12 Rabi-ul-I, 241 AH/ 2 August, 855 at the age of 74-75 in Baghdad, Iraq. Historians relate that his funeral was attended by 800,000 men and 60,000 women and that 20,000 Christians and Jews converted to Islam
on that day.[25] The Mihna[edit] Main article: Mihna Ibn Hanbal was famously called before the Inquisition or Mihna
of the Abassid Caliph
al-Ma'mun. Al-Ma'mun
wanted to assert the religious authority of the Caliph
by pressuring scholars to adopt the Mu'tazila view that the Qur'an was created rather than uncreated. According to Sunni
tradition, ibn Hanbal was among the scholars to resist the Caliph's interference and the Mu'tazila
doctrine of a created Qur'an—although some Orientalist sources raise a question on whether or not he remained steadfast[26] Ibn Hanbal's stand against the inquisition by the Mu'tazila
(who had been the ruling authority at the time) led to the Hanbali
school establishing itself firmly as not only a school of fiqh (legal jurisprudence), but of theology as well.[27] Due to his refusal to accept Mu'tazilite authority, ibn Hanbal was imprisoned in Baghdad
throughout the reign of al-Ma'mun. In an incident during the rule of al-Ma'mun's successor, al-Mu'tasim, ibn Hanbal was flogged to unconsciousness. However, this caused upheaval in Baghdad
and al-Ma'mun was forced to release ibn Hanbal.[24][dead link] After al-Mu’tasim’s death, al-Wathiq became caliph and continued his predecessor's policies of Mu'tazilite enforcement and in this pursuit, he banished ibn Hanbal from Baghdad. It was only after al-Wathiqu's death and the ascent of his brother al-Mutawakkil, who was much friendlier to the more traditional Sunni
beliefs, that ibn Hanbal was welcomed back to Baghdad.[citation needed] Views and thought[edit] Ibn Hanbal's principal doctrine is what later came to be known as "traditionalist thought," which emphasized the acceptance of only the Quran
and hadith as the foundations of orthodox belief.[12] He did, however, believe that it was only a select few who were properly authorized to interpret the sacred texts.[12] Theology[edit] God[edit] Ibn Hanbal understood the perfect definition of God
to be that given in the Quran, whence he held that proper belief in God
constituted believing in the description which God
had given of Himself in the Islamic scripture.[9] To begin with, Ibn Hanbal asserted that God
was both Unique and Absolute and absolutely incomparable to anything in the world of His creatures.[9] As for the various divine attributes, Ibn Hanbal believed that all the regular attributes of God, such as hearing, sight, speech, omnipotence, will, wisdom, etc., were to be affirmed as "realities" (ḥaqq), and all the attributes called "ambiguous" (mutas̲h̲ābih), such as those which spoke of God's hand, throne, omnipresence, and vision by the believers on the day of resurrection, were to be understood in the same manner.[9] Furthermore, Ibn Hanbal "rejected the negative theology (taʿṭīl) of the Jahmiyya and their particular allegorizing exegesis (taʾwīl) of the Quran
and of tradition, and no less emphatically criticized the anthropomorphism (tas̲h̲bīh) of the Mus̲h̲abbiha, amongst whom he included, in the scope of his polemics, the Jahmiyya as unconscious anthropomorphists."[9] Ibn Hanbal was also a critic of overt and unnecessary speculation in matters of theology; he believed that it was fair to worship God
"without seeking to know the 'mode' of the theologoumena (bilā kayf),"[9] and felt it was wise to leave to God the understanding of His own mystery.[9] The Quran[edit] One of Ibn Hanbal's most famous contributions to Sunni
thought was the considerable role he played in bolstering the orthodox doctrine of the Quran
being the "uncreated Word of God" (kalām Allāh g̲h̲ayr mak̲h̲lūḳ).[9] By "Quran," Ibn Hanbal understood "not just an abstract idea but the Quran
with its letters, words, expressions, and ideas—the Quran
in all its living reality, whose nature in itself," according to Ibn Hanbal, eluded human comprehension.[9] Intercession[edit] It is narrated by Abū Bakr al-Marwazī in his Mansak that Ibn Hanbal preferred one to make tawassul or "intercession" through the Prophet in every supplication, with the wording: "O God! I am turning to Thee with Thy Prophet, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad! I am turning with you to my Lord for the fulfillment of my need."[28] This report is repeated in many later Hanbali
works, in the context of personal supplication as an issue of jurisprudence.[29] Ibn Qudamah, for example, recommends it for the obtainment of need in his Wasiyya.[30] In the same way, Ibn Taymiyyah
Ibn Taymiyyah
cites the Hanbali
fatwa on the desirability of the Prophet's intercession in every personal supplication in his Qāida fil-Tawassul wal-Wasiīla where he attributes it to "Imām Ahmad and a group of the pious ancestors" from the Mansak of al-Marwazī as his source.[31] Mysticism[edit] As there exist historical sources indicating patently "mystical elements in his personal piety"[32] and documented evidence of his amiable interactions with numerous early Sufi saints, including Maruf Karkhi,[33] it is recognized that Ibn Hanbal's relationship with many of the Sufis
was one of mutual respect and admiration. As such, early sources state: "[Ibn Hanbal] used to greatly respect the Sūfīs and show them kindness and generosity. He was asked about them and was told that they sat in mosques constantly to which he replied, 'Knowledge made them sit.'"[34] Furthermore, it is in Ibn Hanbal's Musnad that we find most of the hadith reports concerning the abdal, forty major saints "whose number [according to Islamic mystical doctrine] would remain constant, one always being replaced by some other on his death" and whose key role in the traditional Sufi conception of the celestial hierarchy would be detailed by later mystics such as Hujwiri and Ibn Arabi.[15] It is, in fact, reported that Ibn Hanbal explicitly identified Maruf Karkhi
Maruf Karkhi
as one of the abdal, saying: "He is one of the Substitute-Saints, and his supplication is answered."[35] Of the same Sufi, Ibn Hanbal later asked rhetorically: "Is religious knowledge anything else than what Maruf has achieved?"[15] Additionally, there are accounts of Ibn Hanbal extolling the early ascetic saint Bishr the Barefoot and his sister as two exceptional devotees of God,[36] and of his sending people with mystical questions to Bishr for guidance.[37] It is also recorded that Ibn Hanbal said, with regard to the early Sufis, "I do not know of any people better then them."[38] Moreover, there are accounts of Ibn Hanbal's son, Sālih, being exhorted by his father to go and study under the Sufis. According to one tradition, Sālih said: "My father would send for me whenever a self-denier or ascetic (zāhid aw mutaqashshif) visited him so I could look at him. He loved for me to become like this."[35] As for the Sufis' reception of Ibn Hanbal, it is evident that he was "held in high regard" by all the major Sufis
of the classical and medieval periods,[39] and later Sufi chroniclers often designated the jurist as a saint in their hagiographies, praising him both for his legal work and for his appreciation of Sufi doctrine.[39] Hujwiri, for example, wrote of him: "He was distinguished by devoutness and piety ... Sufis
of all orders regard him as blessed. He associated with great Shaykhs, such as Dhul-Nun of Egypt, Bishr al-Hafi, Sari al-Saqati, Maruf Karkhi, and others. His miracles were manifest and his intelligence sound ... He had a firm belief in the principles of religion, and his creed was approved by all the [theologians]."[40] Both non- Hanbali
and Hanbali
Sufi hagiographers such as Hujwiri and Ibn al-Jawzi, respectively, also alluded to Ibn Hanbal's own gifts as a miracle worker[41] and of the blessedness of his grave.[42] For example, Ibn Hanbal's own body was traditionally held to have been blessed with the miracle of incorruptibility, with Ibn al-Jawzi relating: "When the Prophet's descendant Abū Ja'far ibn Abī Mūsā was buried next to him, Ahmad ibn Hanbal's tomb was exposed. His corpse had not putrified and the shroud was still whole and undecayed."[43] Although there is a perception that Ibn Hanbal or his school were somehow adverse to Sufism, scholarship has revealed that this opinion is more partial than objective, for there is no proof that the Hanbali school "[attacked] Sufism in itself any more than any other school,"[44] and it is evident that "during the first centuries some major Sufis
[such as Ibn Ata Allah, Hallaj, and Abdullah Ansari] ... followed the Hanbalite school of law."[44] By the twelfth-century, the relationship between Hanbalism and Sufism was so close that one of the most prominent Hanbali
jurists, Abdul Qadir Jilani, was also simultaneously the most famous Sufi of his era, and the tariqa that he founded, the Qadiriyya, has continued to remain one of the most widespread Sufi orders up till the present day.[44] Even later Hanbali authors who were famous for criticizing some of the "deviances" of certain heterodox Sufi orders of their day, such as Ibn Qudamah, Ibn al-Jawzi, and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, all belonged to Abdul Qadir Jilani's order themselves, and never condemned Sufism outright.[44] Relics[edit] As has been noted by scholars, it is evident that Ibn Hanbal "believed in the power of relics,"[15] and supported the seeking of blessing through them in religious veneration. Indeed, several accounts of Ibn Hanbal's life relate that he often carried "a purse ... in his sleeve containing ... hairs from the Prophet."[15] Furthermore, Ibn al-Jawzi relates a tradition narrated by Ibn Hanbal's son Abdullah, who recalled his father's devotion towards relics thus: "I saw my father take one of the Prophet's hairs, place it over his mouth, and kiss it. I may have seen him place it over his eyes, and dip it in water and then drink the water for a cure."[45] In the same way, Ibn Hanbal also drunk from the Prophet's bowl (technically a "second-class" relic) in order to seek blessings from it,[45] and considered touching and kissing the sacred minbar of the Prophet for blessings a permissible and pious act.[46] Ibn Hanbal later ordered that he be buried with the hairs of the Prophet he possessed, "one on each eye and a third on his tongue."[15] As for other traditional reports, al-Dhahabi relates that Ibn Hanbal "used to seek blessings from the relics of the Prophet."[8] Citing the aforementioned report of Ibn Hanbal's devotion towards the Prophet's hair, al-Dhahabī then goes onto staunchly criticize whoever finds fault with the practices of tabarruk or seeking blessings from holy relics, saying: "Where is the quibbling critic of Imām Ahmad now? It is also authentically established that Abd Allāh [Ibn Hanbal's son] asked his father about those who touch the pommel of the Prophet's pulpit and touch the wall of the Prophet's room, and he said: 'I do not see any harm in it.' May God
protect us and you from the opinion of the dissenters and from innovations!"[47] Visitation to the Prophet's grave[edit] When asked by his son Abdullah about the legitimacy of touching and kissing the grave of the Prophet in Medina, Ibn Hanbal is said to have approved of both these acts as being permissible according to sacred law.[48] Jurisprudence[edit] Independent reasoning by muftis[edit] Ibn Hanbal also had a strict criterion for ijtihad or independent reasoning in matters of law by muftis and the ulema.[49] One story narrates that Ibn Hanbal was asked by Zakariyyā ibn Yaḥyā al-Ḍarīr about "how many memorized ḥadīths are sufficient for someone to be a mufti [meaning a mujtahid jurist or one capable of issuing independently-reasoned fatwas]."[49] According to the narrative, Zakariyyā asked: "Are one-hundred thousand sufficient?" to which Ibn Hanbal responded in the negative, with Zakariyyā asking if two-hundred thousand were, to which he received the same response from the jurist. Thus, Zakariyyā kept increasing the number until, at five-hundred thousand, Ibn Hanbal said: "I hope that that should be sufficient."[49] As a result, it has been argued that Ibn Hanbal disapproved of independent reasoning by those muftis who were not absolute masters in law and jurisprudence.[49] Misusing Hadith[edit] Ibn Hanbal narrated from Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā al-Qaṭṭān that the latter said: "If someone were to follow every rukhṣa [dispensation] that is in the ḥadīth, he would become a transgressor (fāsiq)."[50] It is believed that he quoted this on account of the vast number of forged traditions of the Prophet.[49] Private interpretation[edit] Ibn Hanbal appears to have been a formidable opponent of "private interpretation," and actually held that it was only the religious scholars who were qualified to properly interpret the holy texts.[12] One of the creeds attributed to Ibn Hanbal opens with: "Praise be to God, who in every age and interval between prophets (fatra) elevated learned men possessing excellent qualities, who call upon him who goes astray (to return) to the right way."[12] It has been pointed out that this particular creed "explicitly opposes the use of personal judgement (raʾy) ... [as basis] of jurisprudence."[12] Ethics[edit] Differences of Opinion[edit] Ibn Hanbal was praised both in his own life and afterwards for "his serene acceptance of juridicial divergences among the" various schools of Islamic law.[51] According to later notable scholars of the Hanbali school like Ibn Aqil and Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Hanbal "considered every madhhab correct and abhorred that a jurist insist people follow his even if he considered them wrong and even if the truth is one in any given matter."[52] As such, when Ibn Hanbal's student Ishāq ibn Bahlūl al-Anbārī had "compiled a book on juridicial differences ... which he had named The Core of Divergence (Lubāb al-Ikhtilāf)," Ibn Hanbal advised him to name the work The Book of Leeway (Kitāb al-Sa'a) instead.[53] Works[edit] The following books are found in Ibn al-Nadim's Fihrist:

Usool as-Sunnah : "Foundations of the Prophetic Tradition (in Belief)" asSunnah : "The Prophet Tradition (in Belief)" Kitab al-`Ilal wa Ma‘rifat al-Rijal: "The Book of Narrations Containing Hidden Flaws and of Knowledge of the Men (of Hadeeth)" Riyad: Al-Maktabah al-Islamiyyah Kitab al-Manasik: "The Book of the Rites of Hajj" Kitab al-Zuhd: "The Book of Abstinence" ed. Muhammad Zaghlul, Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-'Arabi, 1994 Kitab al-Iman: "The Book of Faith" Kitab al-Masa'il "Issues in Fiqh" Kitab al-Ashribah: "The Book of Drinks" Kitab al-Fada'il Sahaba: "Virtues of the Companions" Kitab Tha'ah al-Rasul : "The Book of Obedience to the Messenger" Kitab Mansukh: "The Book of Abrogation" Kitab al-Fara'id: "The Book of Obligatory Duties" Kitab al-Radd `ala al-Zanadiqa wa'l-Jahmiyya "Refutations of the Heretics and the Jahmites" (Cairo: 1973) Tafsir : "Exegesis" Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal

Historical views[edit] Ibn Hanbal has been extensively praised for both his work in the field of prophetic tradition and his defense of orthodox Sunni
dogma. Abdul-Qadir Gilani
Abdul-Qadir Gilani
stated that a Muslim could not truly be a wali of Allah except that they were upon Ibn Hanbal's creed; despite praise from his contemporaries as well, Yahya ibn Ma'in noted that Ibn Hanbal never boasted about his achievements.[19] His juristic views were not always accepted. Qur'anic exegete Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, who at one time had sought to study under Ibn Hanbal, later stated that he did not consider Ibn Hanbal a jurist and gave his views in the field no weight, describing him as an expert in prophetic tradition only.[54] Likewise, Andalusian scholar Ibn 'Abd al-Barr did not include Ibn Hanbal or his views in his book The Hand-Picked Excellent Merits of the Three Great Jurisprudent Imâms about the main representatives of Sunni
jurisprudence.[55] Thus, while Ibn Hanbal's prowess in the field of tradition appears to be undisputed, his status as a jurist has not enjoyed the same reception. See also[edit]

Athari Hanbali


^ a b "مناهج أئمة الجرح والتعديل". Retrieved 2010-03-21.  ^ a b Roy Jackson, "Fifty key figures in Islam", Taylor & Francis, 2006. p 44: "Abu Abdallah Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal ibn Hilal al-Shaybani was born in Baghdad
in Iraq
in 780" ^ The History of Persia by John Malcolm – Page 245 ^ a b c A Literary History of Persia from the Earliest Times Until Firdawsh by Edward Granville Browne – Page 295 ^ Spevack, Aaron (2014). The Archetypal Sunni
Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of Al-Bajuri. State University of New York Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-4384-5370-5.  ^ See Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 307 ^ Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, tr. Nicholson, chap. 21, p. 117. ^ a b c Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 390 ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n H. Laoust, "Ahmad b. Hanbal," in Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. I, pp. 272-7 ^ Mohammed M. I. Ghaly, "Writings on Disability in Islam: The 16th Century Polemic on Ibn Fahd's "al-Nukat al-Ziraf"," The Arab
Studies Journal, Vol. 13/14, No. 2/1 (Fall 2005/Spring 2006), p. 26, note 98 ^ a b c d Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 301 ^ a b c d e f g Holtzman, Livnat, “Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson ^ 1st ed., Cairo 1311; new edition by Aḥmad S̲h̲ākir in publ. since 1368/1948 ^ Manāḳib, pp. 33-6; Tard̲j̲ama, pp. 13-24 ^ a b c d e f Christopher Melchert, The Ḥanābila and the Early Sufis, Arabica, T. 48, Fasc. 3 (Brill, 2001), p. 356 ^ a b Michael Cook, “On the Origins of Wahhābism,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Jul., 1992), p. 198 ^ Christopher Melchert, The Ḥanābila and the Early Sufis, Arabica, T. 48, Fasc. 3 (Brill, 2001); cf. Ibn al-Jawzī, Manāqib al-imām Aḥmad, ed. ʿĀdil Nuwayhiḍ, Beirut 1393/1973 ^ H. A. R. Gibb et al., eds. (1986). "Aḥmad B. Ḥanbal". Encyclopaedia of Islam. A-B. 1 (New ed.). Brill Academic Publishers. p. 272. ISBN 90-04-08114-3. Aḥmad B. Ḥanbal was an Arab, belonging to the Banū Shaybān, of Rabī’a,... CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ a b Foundations of the Sunnah, by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, pg 51-173 ^ "Imam Ahmad Ibn #longliveasaptia Hanbal".  ^ al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’ 9:434-547 #1876 and Tadhkira al-Huffaz 2:431 #438 ^ "Islamic schools of thought (madhabs)".  ^ Halverson, Jeffry R. (2010). Theology
and Creed in Sunni
Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood, Ash'arism, and Political Sunnism. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 34. The Hanbalite madhhab, in contrast, largely maintained the traditionalist of Athari
position.  ^ a b "Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal". Archived from the original on May 16, 2007.  ^ Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, pp.136-137. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615. ^ Brill, E.J., ed. (1965-1986). The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7. pp. 3. ^ Williams, W. Wesley (2008). Tajalli Wa-Ru'ya: A Study of Anthropomorphic Theophany and Visio Dei in the Hebrew Bible, the Qur'an and early Sunni
Islam. p. 229. ISBN 0549816887.  ^ Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 389 [trans slightly revised]. ^ Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 389. ^ Ibn Quduma, Wasiyya al-Muwaffaq Ibn Quduma al-Maqdisi, p. 93; see Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 389 ^ See Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 389. ^ Holtzman, Livnat, “Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson; cf. Ibn al-Jawzī, Manāqib al-imām Aḥmad, ed. ʿĀdil Nuwayhiḍ, Beirut 1393/1973 and Christopher Melchert, The Ḥanābila and the Early Sufis, Arabica, T. 48, Fasc. 3 (Brill, 2001), pp. 355-56 ^ H. Laoust, "Ahmad b. Hanbal," in Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. I, pp. 272-7; Christopher Melchert, The Ḥanābila and the Early Sufis, Arabica, T. 48, Fasc. 3 (Brill, 2001), p. 356 ^ Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 387; see ; see Ibn Abī Ya'lā, Tabaqāt al-Hanābila, II.279 ^ a b Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 387 ^ John Renard, Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment, and Servanthood (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008), p. 158 ^ Hujwiri, Kashf al-Majhub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Leiden: Brill, 1911), p. 117 ^ al-Ghiza al-Albab, I, p. 120 ^ a b Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Al-Wabil al-Sayyib min al-Kalim al-Tayyib, trans. Michael Abdurrahman Fitzgerald and Moulay Youssef Slitine as The Invocation of God
(London: Islamic Texts Society, 2000), p. 153 (note by Timothy Winter) ^ Hujwiri, Kashf al-Majhub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Leiden: Brill, 1911), pp. 117-118 ^ Ibn al-Jawzī, The Life of Ibn Hanbal, XXIV.2, trans. Michael Cooperson (New York: New York University Press, 2016), p. 89; Hujwiri, Kashf al-Majhub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Leiden: Brill, 1911), pp. 117-118; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Al-Wabil al-Sayyib min al-Kalim al-Tayyib, trans. Michael Abdurrahman Fitzgerald and Moulay Youssef Slitine as The Invocation of God
(London: Islamic Texts Society, 2000), p. 153 (note by Timothy Winter) ^ Ibn al-Jawzī, Manāqib al-imām Aḥmad, ed. ʿĀdil Nuwayhiḍ, Beirut 1393/1973 ^ Ibn al-Jawzī, The Life of Ibn Hanbal, XCV.7, trans. Michael Cooperson (New York: New York University Press, 2016), p. 298 ^ a b c d Eric Geoffrey, Introduction to Sufism: The Inner Path of Islam
(Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2010), p. 121 ^ a b Ibn al-Jawzī, The Life of Ibn Hanbal, XXIV.2, trans. Michael Cooperson (New York: New York University Press, 2016), p. 89 ^ Imam Ahmad, Al-'Ilal wa Ma'rifat Ar-Rijal, II, p. 492 ^ Al-Dhahabī, Siyar, IX.457; cited in Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 390 ^ Ibn Hanbal, Al-'Ilal wa Ma'rifat Ar-Rijal, II, p. 492 ^ a b c d e Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 306 ^ Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-'Ilal wa-Ma'rifat al-Rijāl, ed. Wasi Allah ibn Muhammad Abbas (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Risāla, 1983), I:219; cited in Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 306 ^ Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 313 ^ Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 306; see Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmū' al-Fatāwā, 20:365 ^ Gibril F. Haddad, The Four Imams and Their Schools (London: Muslim Academic Trust, 2007), p. 313; see Ibn Abī Ya'lā, Tabaqāt al-Hanābila, I.111, etc. ^ Yaqut al-Hamawi, Irshad, vol. 18, pg. 57-58. ^ Camilla Adang, This Day I have Perfected Your Religion For You: A Zahiri Conception of Religious Authority, pg. 20. Taken from Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim Societies. Ed. Gudrun Krämer and Sabine Schmidtke. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2006.

Further reading[edit]

Arabic Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Ibn Hanbal

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Primary[edit] al-Ājurrī, Kitāb al-Sharīʿa, Beirut 2000[1] al-Dhahabī, Siyar aʿlām al-nubalāʾ, ed. Shuʿayb al-Arnaʾūṭ and Ḥusayn al-Asad, 25 vols., Beirut 1401–9/1981–8 Ibn Abī Yaʿlā, Ṭabaqāt al-ḥanābila, ed. Muḥammad Ḥāmid al-Fiqī, 2 vols., Cairo 1952 Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, al-Masāʾil wa-l-rasāʾil al-marwiyya ʿan al-imām Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, ed. ʿAbdallāh b. Salmān b. Sālim al-Aḥmadī, 2 vols., Riyadh 1991 Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, al-ʿIlal wa-maʿrifat al-rijāl, ed. Waṣiyyallāh b. Muḥammad ʿAbbās, Bombay 1408/1988 Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, Kitāb al-ṣalāh (with a supplement comprising Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya's al-Ṣalāh wa-aḥkām tārikīhā), ed. Zakariyyā ʿAlī Yusūf, Cairo 1971 Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, Kitāb al-zuhd, ed. Muḥammad Jalāl Sharaf, Beirut 1981 Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, al-Musnad lil-imām Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, ed. Aḥmad Muḥammad Shākir, 20 vols., Cairo 1416/1995 Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, al-Radd ʿalā l-zanādiqa wa-l-Jahmiyya, in ʿAlī Sāmī al-Nashshār and ʿAmmār Jumʿī al-Ṭālibī (eds.), ʿAqāʾid al-salaf (Alexandria 1971), 51–103 Ṣāliḥ b. Ḥanbal, Sīrat al-imām Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, ed. Fuʾād ʿAbd al-Munʿim Aḥmad, 2 vols. in one, Alexandria 1401/1981 Ibn al-Jawzī, Manāqib al-imām Aḥmad, ed. ʿĀdil Nuwayhiḍ, Beirut 1393/19732 Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa-l-nihāya, 16 vols., Cairo 1418/1998 Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Ijtimāʿ al-juyūsh al-islāmiyya, ed. ʿAwwād ʿAbdallāh al-Muʿtaq, Riyadh 1419/1999 Ibn Taymiyya, Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql, ed. Muḥammad Rashād Sālim, 11 vols., Riyadh 1979–81 Abū Nuʿaym al-Iṣfahānī, Ḥilyat al-awliyāʾ wa-ṭabaqāt al-aṣfiyāʾ, 10 vols., Beirut 1409/1988 Marʿī b. Yūsuf al-Karmī, al-Shahāda al-zakiyya fī thanāʾ al-aʾimma ʿalā Ibn Taymiyya, ed. Najm ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Khalaf, Beirut 1404/1984 Abū Bakr al-Khallāl, al-Sunna, ed. ʿAṭiyya al-Zahrānī, 7 vols., Riyadh 1410/1989 Abū Bakr Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥajjāj al-Marwazī, Kitāb al-waraʿ, ed. Samīr b. Amīn al-Zuhayrī, Riyadh 1418/1997. Studies[edit] Binyamin Abrahamov, Islamic theology. Traditionalism and rationalism, Edinburgh 1998 Binyamin Abrahamov, "The bi-lā kayfa doctrine and its foundations in Islamic theology," Arabica 42/1–3 (1995), 365–79 Muḥammad Abū Zahra, Ibn Ḥanbal. Ḥayātuhu wa-ʿaṣruhu wa-fiqhuhu, Cairo 1947 Michael Cooperson, "Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal and Bishr al-Ḥāfī. A case study in biographical traditions," SI 86 (1997/2), 71–101 Michael Cooperson, Classical Arabic biography. The heirs of the prophets in the age of al-Maʾmūn, Cambridge 2000 Daniel Gimaret, "Theories de l'acte humain dans l'école ḥanbalite," BEO 29 (1977), 157–78 Ignáz Goldziher, "Aḥmed b. Muḥammad b. Ḥanbal," EI1 Ignáz Goldziher, Vorlesungen über den Islam, Heidelberg 1910 Gibril F. Haddad, The four imams and their schools, London 2007 Wael B. Hallaq, "Was al-Shafiʿi the master architect of Islamic jurisprudence?," IJMES, 25 (1993), 590 Livnat Holtzman, "Human choice, divine guidance and the fiṭra tradition. The use of ḥadīth in theological treatises by Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya," in Yossef Rapoport and Shahab Ahmed (eds.), Ibn Taymiyya and his times, Karachi 2009 Livnat Holtzman, Predestination (al-qaḍāʾ wa-l-qadar) and free will (al-ikhtiyār) as reflected in the works of the Neo-Ḥanbalites of the fourteenth century, Ph.D. diss., Bar-Ilan University 2003 (in Hebrew) Nimrod Hurvitz, The formation of Ḥanbalism. Piety into power, London 2002 Nimrod Hurvitz, "From scholarly circles to mass movements. The formation of legal communities in Islamic societies," American Historical Review 108/4 (2003), 985–1008 Henri Laoust, "Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal," EI2 Henri Laoust, La profession de foi d'Ibn Baṭṭa, Damascus 1958 Henri Laoust, "Les premières professions de foi ḥanbalites," in Mélanges Louis Massignon (Damascus 1956–7), 3:7–35 Wilferd Madelung, "The origins of the controversy concerning the creation of the Koran," in J. M. Barral (ed.), Orientalia hispanica ( Leiden
1974), 1:504–25 George Makdisi, "Ḥanbalite Islam," in Merlin L. Swartz (ed.), Studies on Islam
(Oxford 1981), 216–64 Christopher Melchert, "The adversaries of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal," Arabica 44 (1997), 234–53 Christopher Melchert, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Oxford 2006 Christopher Melchert, The formation of the Sunni
schools of law, 9th–10th centuries C.E., Leiden
1997 Christopher Melchert, "The Ḥanābila and the early Ṣūfīs," Arabica 48/3 (2001), 352–67 Christopher Melchert, "The Musnad of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal," Der Islam 82 (2005), 32–51 Christopher Melchert, "The piety of the Hadith
folk," IJMES 34 (2002), 425–39 John A. Nawas, "A reexamination of three current explanations for al-Maʾmūn's introduction of the miḥna," IJMES 26 (1994), 615–29 Walter M. Patton, Aḥmed ibn Ḥanbal and the miḥna, Leiden
1897 Muḥammad Z. Siddiqi, Ḥadīth literature, ed. and revised by Abdal Hakim Murad, Cambridge 1993 Morris S. Seale, Muslim theology. A study of origins with reference to the Church Fathers, London 1964 Susan Spectorsky, "Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal's fiqh," JAOS 102/3 (1982), 461–5 Susan Spectorsky, Chapters on marriage and divorce. Responses of Ibn Ḥanbal and Ibn Rāhwayh, Austin 1993 W. Montgomey Watt, The formative period of Islamic thought, Edinburgh 1973 W. Montgomey Watt, Islamic creeds, Edinburgh 1994 Wesley Williams, "Aspects of the creed of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. A study of anthropomorphism in early Islamic discourse," IJMES 34 (2002), 441–63.

v t e

Islamic theology

Fields Theologians Books


Aqidah ‘aql Astronomy Cosmology Eschatology Ethics Kalam Fiqh Logic in philosophy Peace in philosophy Philosophy Physics Philosophy of education


Abd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani Abdul Hosein Amini Abdulhakim Arvasi Abū Ḥanīfa Abu l-A‘la Mawdudi Abu Yusuf Ahmad ibn Hanbal Ahmad Sirhindi Ahmad Yasavi Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi Akhtar Raza Khan al-Ash‘ari al-Ballūṭī al-Baydawi al-Dhahabi al-Ghazali al-Hilli al-Jahiz al-Jubba'i al-Kindi al-Masudi al-Maturidi al-Mufid Al-Qasim al-Qushayri al-Razi Al-Shafi‘i al-Shahrastani al-Shirazi al-Tirmidhi Allameh Majlesi Amr ibn Ubayd Dawud al-Zahiri Fazlur Rahman Malik Hasan of Basra Hacı Bayram-ı Veli Haji Bektash Veli Hüseyin Hilmi Işık ibn ‘Arabī ibn al-Jawzi ibn ‘Aqil ibn Hazm ibn Qudamah Ibn Taymiyyah Ja’far al-Sadiq Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi Malik ibn Anas Mahmud Hudayi Morteza Motahhari Muhammad al-Baqir Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr Muhammed Hamdi Yazır Muhammad Hamidullah Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri Muhammad Taqi Usmani Nasir Khusraw Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi Said Nursî Shaykh Tusi Sheikh Bedreddin Wasil ibn Ata Zayd ibn Ali Zayn al-Abidin

Key books

Crucial Sunni

al-Irshad al- Aqidah

Buyruks Kitab al Majmu Masnavi Nahj al-Balagha Epistles of Wisdom Risale-i Nur



Ash'ari Maturidi Traditionalism




Abu Muslim Sunpadh Ishaq al-Turk



Babak Mazyar Ismail I / Pir Sultan Abdal
– Qizilbash / Safavid conversion of Iran to Shia Islam



Jarudi Batriyya Alid dynasties of northern Iran

Hasan al-Utrush

List of extinct Shia sects

Dukayniyya Khalafiyya Khashabiyya

Imami Isma'ilism


Sevener Qarmatians Hamza / al-Muqtana Baha'uddin / ad-Darazi – Druzes


Hafizi Taiyabi


Assassins Nizaris

Nasir Khusraw
Nasir Khusraw

Imami Twelver

of Twelvers


Akhbari Shaykhi Usuli


Qutb ad-Dīn Haydar
Qutb ad-Dīn Haydar
– Qalandariyya Baba Ishak
Baba Ishak
– Babai Revolt Galip Hassan Kuscuoglu
Galip Hassan Kuscuoglu
– Rifa'i-Galibi Order


al-Khaṣībī / ibn Nusayr – Alawites Fazlallah Astarabadi (Naimi) / Imadaddin Nasimi
Imadaddin Nasimi
– Hurufism / Bektashism and folk religion



ibn Ibāḍ Jābir ibn Zayd


Ibn Safwan

Murji'ah Karramiyya Qadariyah

Ma'bad al-Juhani Muʿtazila Bahshamiyya


Azariqa Najdat Sufri

Abu Qurra


Abu Yazid


v t e

Muslim scholars of the Hanbali

by century (AH CE)


Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Ahmad ibn Hanbal
(founder of the school) Abu Dawood Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub al-Juzajani


Abu Bakr al-Ajurri Abu Bakr al-Khallal Al-Hasan ibn Ali al-Barbahari Ibn Battah Ibn Manda


Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi Al-Qadi Abu Ya'la Ibn Aqil Khwaja Abdullah Ansari


Abdul-Razzaq Gilani Abdul-Qadir Gilani Awn ad-Din ibn Hubayra Diya al-Din al-Maqdisi Hammad al-Harrani Ibn al-Jawzi


Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi Ibn Qudamah Zayn al-Din al-Amidi


Ibn Abd al-Hadi Ibn Muflih Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya Ibn Rajab Ibn Taymiyyah




Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab


Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais Abdullah Ibn Jibreen Abul Kalam
Azad Ibn Humaid Jonathan A.C. Brown Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen Saeed Abubakr Zakaria Saleh Al-Fawzan Saud Al-Shuraim

Scholars of other Sunni
Islamic schools of jurisprudence

Hanafi Maliki Shafi'i Zahiri

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 90072121 LCCN: n82120532 ISNI: 0000 0000 8399 4717 GND: 118885855 SELIBR: 191232 SUDOC: 068966032 BNF: cb145609516 (data) SNAC: w6h73s3w

^ Entire bibliography is taken from Holtzman, Livnat, “Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Ev