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Abu Bakr B. Nasir
Abu Bakr B. Nasir

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab This is an introduction to the Hanbali madhhab. For this, I am
Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab This is an introduction to the Hanbali madhhab. For this, I am
Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab This is an introduction to the Hanbali madhhab. For this, I am

This is an introduction to the Hanbali madhhab. For this, I am making use of the introduction to the madhhab by Sh. Muhammad al-Habdan in his introduction to his Tahqiq of Zad al-Mustaqni' (pp. 15-34, Dar al-Jawzi print). He has made an extremely brief presentation summarized from al-Madkhal al- Mufassal Ila Fiqh al-Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal Wa Takhrijat al-Ashab by Sh. Bakr Abu Zayd, may Allah have mercy on him. I am also making recourse to the work of Sh. Bakr and also the Madkhal of ibn Badran (which Sh. Bakr himself referred to extensively), amongst other works.

History of the Beginning of Madhhabs

The beginning of madhhabs can be traced back to before the era of the famous Imams. For example, we find the people of Madina relying on the fatawa of ibn Umar, the people of Makkah on the fatawa of ibn Abbas, and the people of Kufa on the fatawa of ibn Mas'ud.

The Types of Fiqh Addressed in Every Madhhab

(1) The ahkam of Tawhid. It would be incorrect to say about such ahkam that it is according to such-and-such madhhab, because these are definitive rulings agreed upon by the Ummah.

(2) Definitive juristic rulings. Such rulings can also not be referrred to as the madhhab of a particular Imam. Therefore, one would not say, "The madhhab of so-and-so is that the five prayers are obligatory"!

(3) Rulings based on ijtihad, coming from the Imam himself by way of narrations or indications (tanbihat).

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab (4) Rulings based on ijtihad, derived by the scholars of the madhhab

(4) Rulings based on ijtihad, derived by the scholars of the madhhab by extracting them based on the established rulings of the madhhab on other issues. This is known as takhrij. Such rulings fall under what can be known as the madhhab istilahi. These rulings were not made by the Imam but can appropriately be considered to be part of the official 'madhhab'.

(5) Rulings based on ijtihad dervied the scholars of the madhhab by practicing ijtihad in deriving the rulings without attempting to make takhrij on the madhhab.

*******

Al-Shatibi states, "The Shari'a has not specified rulings for every individual

issue in particular. It provides general rulings and broad expressions that

address innumerable scenarios."

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Ikhtilaf

Ibn Taymiyya states in al-Fatawa 14/159, "Disputing ahkam could be a mercy if it does not lead to a tremendous evil such as the ruling being concealed. For

his reason, when a man authored a book which he entitled, Kitab al-Ikhtilaf,

Ahmad said, 'Call it Kitab al-Sa'ah (i.e. ease, accommodation)'. 'Umar b. 'Abd

al-'Aziz used to say, 'I would not like it had the Companions of Allah's

Messenger (ملسو هيلع الله ىلص) never disagreed, because if they agreed on something and someone differed with them, he would be astray. However, if

they differed, and one person adopted the opinion of one, and another adopted the opinion of the other, there would be ease (sa'ah) in the matter."

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Causes of Error in Counting Opinions as the Imam's Madhhab

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab (1) Relying on an opinion he retracted (2) Not paying attention to

(1) Relying on an opinion he retracted

(2) Not paying attention to the manner in which he qualifies a statement or

makes it absolute.

(3) Additions from some of the scholars of the madhhab (4) Relying on books that have been criticized in the madhhab

(5) Misunderstanding. Ibn Rajab (al-Qawa'id, 169) states about Abu Bakr 'Abd

al-'Aziz, known as Ghulam al-Khallal, "Abu Bakr frequently would narrate the

words of Ahmad by the meaning he understood as a result of which great

distortion would result. He fell into this sort of thing greatly in the book Zad al-

Musafir."

(6) Combining two narrations when they should be distinguished as separate narrations, or the reverse.

(7) Distortion or misreading (Tashif) in the text of a narration. (8) Using unreliable manuscripts.

(9) The Imam might express an opinion, and then one of the scholars of the

madhhab might further qualify it, and then the one transmitting this information might attribute all back to the Imam.

One example of an error is the issue of fasting the thirtieth of Sha'ban due to

clouds. It is attributed to him that fasting this day is obligatory, but this has no

basis in his words, nor in those of his companions. His expressed view was that

it is recommended as concluded by ibn Taymiyyah (al-Fatawa, 25/99).

In summary, it is important to know the methods by which the true position of

the madhhab - and in particular, the Imam - can be known, and to exercise

great care in applying them. Sh. Bakr has devoted a work to this topic which he

later incorporated into his book, al-Madkhal Li Fiqh al-Nawazil: al-Qadaya al-

Mu'asira because many contemporaries, when making ijtihad concerning

nawazil, will make takhrij from an opinion that was attributed to an Imam

erroneously.

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab Stages of the Madhhab’s Development (1) Laying the foundations It goes without

Stages of the Madhhab’s Development

(1) Laying the foundations

It goes without saying, that Imam Ahmad was one of the greatest Imams of Hadith in the history of Islam, and his Musnad is the most comprehensive compendium of Hadith written by any major hadith scholar. As a result he was sought out by students far and wide. The students in his lessons with pen and ink writing down would be no less than five hundred, and the total number of attendees would be much more. His lessons would also be filled with people seeking fatwa and asking questions, as a result of which, his lessons were not merely lessons of Hadith but lessons of Fiqh as well.

It goes without saying that the Madhhab got its start with Imam Ahmad’s lessons and with his students writing down his answers to questions. The books gathering his answers to questions number about 200. This is on top of the 30 different works that the Imam himself wrote, some short and some long.

Many of his students would go on to teach Fiqh themselves, to become Qadis, and to be sought out by students from around the Muslim world, which lead to their writings spreading far and wide.

(2) The Stage of Transmission and Development

In this stage, the scholars of the Madhhab began compiling the masa’il of Ahmad, arranging them, and formulating the madhhab. One of the most notable works that paved the way for this process is al-Jami’ Li Ulum Ahmad by Abu Bakr al-Khallal (311 H). Unfortunately, this work has not survived down to our times, at least not in its entirety.

The scholars of the Hanbali madhhab are usually divided by the scholars into three eras: mutaqaddimin, mutawassitin, and muta’akhirin.

The scholars of these first two stages would encompass the era of the

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab ’mutaqaddimin’ , the last of whom is al-Hasan b. Hamid (403 H).

’mutaqaddimin’, the last of whom is al-Hasan b. Hamid (403 H).

(3) The Stage of Formulation and Redaction

With the end of the last two stages, the books of riwayah were recorded and standardized in works such as al-Jami’ of al-Khallal and Jami’ al-Madhhab by al- Hasan b. Hamid. This was accompanied by the writing of manuals, the first of which being the Mukhtasar al-Khiraqi.

The work of redaction of the Madhhab was undertaken by the major scholars from the Mutawassitin, starting with Abu Ya’la, the student of al-Hasan b. Hamid, and ending with al-Burhan ibn Muflih (884 H). It also encompasses scholars from the Muta’akhirin, starting with the muhaqqiq of the madhhab, ‘Ala’ al-Din al-Mardawi (885 H).

(4) The Settling of the Madhhab

This stage starts from during the period of the muta’akhirin until the modern age. We could also look at this stage as the stage of relying on the books of the Madhhab. It is rare for the scholars of this stage to engage in takhrijor verification of the madhhab.

This stage eventually leads into the final stage:

(5) Revival of the Legacy

This stage begins in the modern age with the advent of modern mass printing, and continuous efforts in formal academia and by independent researchers to publish and edit the classical works. Over 250 classical works of the Hanbali Madhhab have been published in this period as detailed by Sh. Bakr in the final section of his Madkhal.

Ahmad’s Five Basic Juristic Principles

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab As Abuz-Zubair stated: Despite being an exceptional jurist, Imam Ahmad detested that

As Abuz-Zubair stated:

Despite being an exceptional jurist, Imam Ahmad detested that his opinions be written and compiled, fearing that it may swerve his students away from studying the sources of Law, the Quran and the Sunnah. Yet, as Ibn al-Jawzi comments, Allah knew the sincerity in his heart and raised around him faithful students who would record his opinions, such that an independent school of jurisprudence and theologywas formed and attributed to Imam Ahmad.

Imam Ahmad employed exceptional caution while formulating juristic opinions and issuing verdicts, and would frequently warn his students of speaking in a matter in which you have no reputable predecessor. This prudent attitude is clearly demonstrated in the thought process applied by Ahmad in extrapolation of laws from the divine sources.

Ibn al-Qayyim has given an excellent and brief yet comprehensive explanation of the fundamental juristic principles (Usul) of Ahmad in I’lam al-Muwaqqi’in (1/28-33), so I will leave it to him to explain those principles:

And in the City of Peace (Baghdad)[1], there was a great number of muftis. When [the Khalifah] al-Mansūr built it, he had a great number of Imāms, jurists, and traditionists brought there. One of the most notable muftis was Abū ‘Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam; he was a mountain into which a soul had been blown in respect to knowledge, greatness, nobility, and character. Another of them was Abu Thawr Ibrahim b. Khalid al-Kalbi, the disciple of al-Shafi’i. He had sat with al-Shafi’I and taken from him. Ahmad used to revere him and he would say, “He is like al-Thawri.”

Also present there was the absolute Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah, Ahmad b. Hanbal, who filled the earth with knowledge, Hadith, and Sunnah, to the extent that the Imams of Hadith and Sunnah after him are his followers until the Day of

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab Resurrection. Furthermore, he – may Allah be pleased with him - had

Resurrection. Furthermore, he may Allah be pleased with him - had an extreme dislike for the authorship of books, and he liked that Hadith should be written alone (without comments). He disliked that his words should be written down, and it would weigh heavily upon him. However, Allāh knew his noble intention and so it came to pass that more than thirty volumes of his statements and his fatawa were written down. Allah, subhanahu, has blessed us to have acquired most of them such that we missed only a little. Al-Khallal collected his statements in al-Jami al-Kabir and they reached about twenty volumes or more, and his verdicts (fatawa) and his legal answers (masa’il)were narrated and transmitted century after century. Thus, he became an Imam and a role model for Ahl al-Sunnah across their varying classes, to the extent that even those mujtahids who differ with his madhhab and the muqallids who follow someone else hold his statements and his fatawa in great esteem and acknowledge their status and their closeness to the Divine Texts and the fatawa of the Companions. Anyone who considers his fatawa and the fatawa of the Companions will realize how they accord with one another. He will see that all have issued from the same source, to the extent that if there were two opinions amongst the Companions on an issue, there will be two narrations from him concerning that issue. He would seek out the fatawa of the Companions in the same fashion that his followers seek out his fatawa and statements, or even more so. So much so that he even puts their fatawa before mursal hadiths. Ishaq b. Ibrahim b. Hani’ states in his Masa’il, “I asked Abū ‘Abd Allāh (Ahmad b. Hanbal), ‘Which do you prefer: a mursal tradition from Allah’s Messenger (ملسو هيلع الله ىلص) with reliable narrators, or a muttasil tradition from the Companions and Tabi’in with reliable narrators?’ Abu ‘Abd Allah responded, ‘From the Companions is preferable to me.’”

His fatawa were based on five fundamentals:

Firstly, the Divine texts (nusus); if he found a text, he would give fatwa according to it, and he would pay no heed to anything that opposed it nor anyone, no matter who he may be. This is why he ignored the dissent of ‘Umar concerning

-the woman who has received the final divorce, because of the hadith of Fatimah b. Qays;

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab -and concerning tayammum due to sexual defilement, because of the hadith of

-and concerning tayammum due to sexual defilement, because of the hadith of ‘Ammar b. Yasir;

-and also his disagreement concerning the pilgrim keeping on the perfume he applied before entering ihram, because of the authenticity of ‘A’ishah’s hadith on that issue;

-his not allowing the mufrid and the qarin to void their rite and make it tamattu’, because the hadiths for that are authentic.

Likewise, he did not give any consideration to the opinion of ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Talha, Abu Ayyub, and Ubayy b. Ka’b that there is no ghusl for intercourse without ejaculation, because of the authentic hadith of ‘A’ishah that she and Allah’s Messenger (ملسو هيلع الله ىلص) would bathe due to that. He also did not give consideration to the opinion of ibn ‘Abbas – and it is a narration from ‘Ali – that the waiting period of the pregnant woman whose husband has died is the longer of the two periods because of the authentic hadith of Subay’ah al- Aslamiyyah. He did not give any consideration to the opinion of Mu’adh and Mu’awiyah that the Muslim may inherit from the disbeliever because of the authentic hadith disallowing inheritance between them. He also did not consider the opinion of ibn ‘Abbas about money changing, because the hadith against it is authentic, nor his opinion allowing donkey meat for the same reason. There are many such examples, for he would not place before the authentic hadith any practice, opinion, analogy, statement of a Companion, or not knowing of any difference of opinion which many people call Ijma’ and they put it ahead of authentic hadiths. In fact, Ahmad declared the one who claims this sort of Ijma’ to have lied, and he did not tolerate placing it before authentic hadiths. Likewise, al-Shafi’i states in his revised Risālah that the issue in which disagreement is unknown cannot be termedijma’. His words are “Not knowing of differing does not constitute Ijma’.” ‘Abdullah b. Ahmad b. Hanbal relates: I heard my father say, “When a man claims ijma’ concerning something, it is a lie. Whoever claims ijma’ is a liar. The people might have disagreed. How does he know that it did not reach him? Therefore, let him say, ‘We do not know that the people have differed’ - this is the claim of Bishr al- Marisi and al-Asamm – rather, he should say, ‘we do not know that the people differed’ or ‘it has not reached me.’” These are his words.

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab The texts of Allah’s Messenger ( ملسو هيلع الله ىلص ) are

The texts of Allah’s Messenger (ملسو هيلع الله ىلص) are too venerable for the Imam and for the rest of the Imams of Hadith that they should prefer over them a supposition of ijma’ which in reality is nothing more than not knowing that someone differed. If this was acceptable, then the texts would be nullified, and it would be acceptable for anyone who does not know of a differing opinion concerning the ruling of an issue to put his ignorance concerning the differing opinion over the texts. This is the claim of ijma’ that Ahmad and al-Shafi’i rejected. It is not as some people think that they were doubting the existence of ijma’.

Section

The second of Ahmad’s principles for fatwa is the fatawa of the Companions. When he would find a verdict from one of them, and none of them was known to have opposed it, he would not take anything over it. He would not say that constitutes ijma’, but out of his caution in choosing his words, he would say, “I do not know of anything that goes against it” or something along those lines. For example, Abu Talib reports that he said, “I do not know of anything that goes against the opinion of ibn ‘Abbas, ibn ‘Umar, and eleven of the Tabi’in:

‘Ata’, Mujahid, and the scholars of Madinah concerning the slave taking a concubine.” Similarly, Anas b. Malik said, “I do not know of anyone who has rejected the testimony of the slave.” This was quoted from him by Imam Ahmad. Thus, when the Imam would find this sort of verdict from the Companions, he would not give preference to any practice, opinion, or analogy over it.”

Section.

Imam Ahmad, would likewise, never give precedence to a scholarly opinion or analogical deduction (Qiyas) over that of the Companions’, to the extent that if they were divided into two camps over an issue, two different narrations would similarly be documented from Imam Ahmad.

Section

The third of his principles is that if the Companions differed, he would choose from their opinions that which was nearest to the Book and Sunnah without departing from their opinions. However, if he did not find one of them to be

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab more in agreement, he would cite the disagreement concerning the issue without

more in agreement, he would cite the disagreement concerning the issue without giving a certain endorsement to any one view.

Ishaq b. Ibrahim b. Hani relates in his Masa’il, “Abu ‘Abd Allah was asked, ‘A man will be asked by his people about an issue in which there is disagreement, (what should he do)?’ He said, ‘He should decree according to the view that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, and the one that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, he should refrain from it.’ He was asked, ‘Is this obligatory on him.’ He replied, ‘No.’”

Section

The fourth principle is acting on the mursal or weak (da’if) hadith when there is nothing on the topic contradicting it. He would give this preference over analogical reasoning (qiyas). By da’if, he does not mean that which is categorically false (batil), rejected (munkar), nor that which is reported by a narrator accused of lying. In that case, it would be unacceptable to adopt it and act on it. For Ahmad, da’if was the category besides sahih and a type of hasan. He did not categorize hadith as Sahih, Hasan, and Da’if. For him, there was only Sahih and Da’if. However, he regarded Da’if as being of levels. Therefore, if he did not find an athar or statement of a Companion on the topic, nor was there any consensus against it, acting on the weak hadith would be preferable to him over acting on analogical reasoning.

In fact, there is no Imam who does not agree with him on this principle in general, because every single one of them at some point has placed weak hadith before analogy at some point.

Abu Hanifah preferred the hadith about laughing out loud in prayer over strict analogical reasoning, although the scholars of hadith are agreed about its weakness. He also put the hadith of ablution with nabidhof dates over analogy, while most hadith scholars consider it weak. He put the hadith ‘the limit of menstruation is ten days’ which is weak by their agreement over analogy as well; the blood that a woman has on the thirteenth day will be the same as the blood she has on the tenth day in respect to definition, nature, and characteristics. He placed the hadith “there is no dowry of less than ten dirhamsbefore analogy even though they are in agreement that it is weak, in fact batil, for strict analogy dictates that as the dowry is a compensation in

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab exchange for conjugal rights, whatever amount they agree to should be permissible,

exchange for conjugal rights, whatever amount they agree to should be permissible, be it great or small.

Al-Shafi’i put the hadith about hunting in Wajj before analogy in spite of its weakness. He gave preference to the hadith permitting prayer in Makkah at the prohibited time even though it is weak and even though analogy dictates it be regarded like all other cities. Also, in one of his two opinions, he preferred the hadith “Whoever vomits or has nosebleed should perform ablution and continue his prayer from where he left it” over analogy even though the hadith is weak and mursal.

As for Malik, he prefers mursal, munqati’, balaghat, and the statement of the Companion over analogy

The fith principle: if Imam Ahmad was presented with an issue in which there is no text, nor a statement from the Companions or one of them, nor a mursal or weak report, he would resort to the fifth principle, analogical reasoning (qiyas), which he would use due to necessity. He states as reported in al- Khallal’s book, “I asked al-Shafi’i about analogy, and he replied, ‘It is only to be resorted to due to necessity’ or something of that meaning.”

These five principles are the principles on which he based his verdicts and around which his verdicts revolve. Sometimes, he would refrain from issuing a verdict, because of the existence of conflicting evidences, or because the Companions differed on that issue, or because he was unaware of there being any report or any opinion from a Companion or a Tabi’i concerning the issue.

He very much disliked and discouraged issuing verdicts on matters in which there was no report from the Salaf, as he told one of his students, “Beware of speaking on an issue in which you have no precedent.”

He would allow seeking fatwa from the Fuqaha’ of Hadith and the followers of Malik, and he would direct people to them, but he would disallow seeking fatwa from anyone who ignores hadith and does not base his madhhab on it, and he would not allowing acting on such a person’s fatwa.

Ibn Hani’ said, “I asked Abu ‘Abd Allah about the meaning of the hadith ‘Those of you boldest in giving verdicts are the boldest in entering the Fire, Abu ‘Abd Allah, may Allah have mercy on him, said, ‘It is to give a verdict not based on

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab (reports) he has heard.’” He also relates, “I asked him about the

(reports) he has heard.’” He also relates, “I asked him about the one who gives a verdict on an issue unclear to him. He said, ‘The sin is on the one who issues the verdict.’ I said, ‘Then in what manner can he give a verdict if he does not know about it?’ He said, ‘He should give verdict based on research, as he does not know what its evidence is.’[2]

Abu Dawud states in his Masa’il, “I cannot count how many times I heard Ahmad being asked about issues of knowledge in which there was disagreement to which he replied, ‘I do not know.’ And I heard him say, ‘I have not seen anyone who excelled in giving verdicts like ibn ‘Uyaynah: it was the easiest thing for him to just say, ‘I do not know.’”

‘Abdullāh b. Ahmad relates in his Masa’il, “I heard my father say: ‘Abd al- Rahman b. Mahdi said: A man from the West asked Malik b. Anas about an issue, to which he replied, ‘I do not know.’ He said, ‘O Abu ‘Abd Allah (Malik), you are saying that you do not know?’ He said, ‘Yes, so inform those who sent you that I do not know.’”

‘Abdullah also states, “I would frequently hear my father asked about issues to which he would reply, ‘I do not know,’ and he would often hesitate concerning issues in which there was difference of opinion. He would often say, ‘Ask someone other than me.’ If asked, ‘Who then should we ask?’ he would reply, ‘Ask the scholars,’ and he would hardly ever name a particular person.” He also states, “I heard my father say, ‘Ibn ‘Uyaynah would not issue verdicts concerning divorce and he would say, ‘Who is proficient in this?!’”

End Quote from ibn al-Qayyim

Some reference works on the Usul of Ahmad:

Sh. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Turki has written a work on the subject titled Usul Madhhab al-Imam Ahmad.

Sh. ‘Uthman b. Ibrahim al-Murshid has written a Master’s thesis entitled al-Ra’i ‘Ind al-Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal. It was submitted at Umm al-Qura University in 1394 AH. According to Sh. Bakr, it is unpublished.

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab  Also, one may refer to Sh. Bakr’s al-Taqrib Li Ulum ibn

Also, one may refer to Sh. Bakr’s al-Taqrib Li Ulum ibn al-Qayyim and the index on Usul for Majmu’ Fatawa ibn Taymiyyah to see some very important discussions on the Usul of Ahmad.

Sh. Bakr states in al-Madkhal al-Mufassal (1/150), “Ibn Badran al- Dimashqi (1346 AH) has compiled the Usul of the madhhab in Sections 3,4, and 5 of al-Madkhal Ila Madhhab al-Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal(pp. 49- 200), comprising two-thirds of the book, and it suffices from all other works because of the verification, precision, detail, and excellent arrangement it contains. It is, on the whole, an explanation and clarification of ibn al-Qayyim’s comprehensive word concerning the Usul of Ahmad’s madhhab."

[1] May Allāh facilitate its liberation.

[2] The meaning of this exchange is not very clear in Arabic, and hence, this translation is based on the understanding of the translator.

Some Notes Concerning Terminology Used in the Hanbali Madhhab

Whenever one reads any book, it is important to understand the terminology used in it in order to understand the work properly. This is also true for the books of Fiqh. Each madhhab, and in some cases, each author has certain terminology that the reader must be familiar with. These terminologies are often times explained in the introductions or conclusions of the books. There are also certain books devoted to explaining these terminologies. Two published works dealing with defining the terminology used in Hanbali books are al-Mutli' and al-Durr al-Naqi. If Allah wills, these will be mentioned again when surveying the Hanbali literature.

The Conventions of the Imam in His Answers

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab (1) Answers explicitly stating one of the five ahkam taklifiyya : tahrim,

(1) Answers explicitly stating one of the five ahkam taklifiyya: tahrim, karaha, wujub, nadb, and ibaha. This is considered a nass in the madhhab without any disagreement.

(2) When he responds and emphasizes his response with an action or by swearing an oath. This is considered a nass in the madhhab without any disagreement.

(3) It was the habit of Imam Ahmad, out of his great caution, to avoid frequent use of explicit expressions like halal and haram. Therefore, Imam Ahmad would typically resort to use of certain expressions which indicate the view that he inclines to. Sometimes, there is disagreement as to what his intent is behind these expressions. Some such expressions are the following:

* I like it (yu'jibuni)

* Good (hasan)

* It is befitting (yanbaghi)

* It is not befitting (la yanbaghi)

* I dislike it (akrahu)

* I fear (akhaafu, akhshaa)

* I hope (arju)

* There is no harm in it (la ba'sa bihi)

* I hope there is no harm in it (arju an la ba'sa bihi)

* I am not so brave (ajbanu 'anhu)

* I am not so bold as to speak about that (la ajtari'u 'alayh)

* Leave it (da'hu)

* Leave this issue (da' hadhihi 'l-mas'ala)

Sh. Bakr Abu Zayd has listed seventy such expressions, cf. al-Madkhal al- Mufassal, vol. 1 pp. 167-170. He goes on to explain them in vol. 1, pp. 243-264.

Imam al-Hasan ibn Hamid (403 H), the teacher of al-Qadi Abu Ya'la, has written a work devoted to the explanation of such expressions used by Ahmad in his answers to question. It is entitled Tahdhib al-Ajwiba. It was studied and edited by Dr. 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Qayidi as his doctoral thesis, and published by Maktaba

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab al-'Ulum wal-Hikam . Examples of Some Terms Used in Hanbali Fiqh Books

al-'Ulum wal-Hikam.

Examples of Some Terms Used in Hanbali Fiqh Books

As knowledge of these terms is only needed by those who can read these works in Arabic, a few examples will serve our purposes here:

(1) "The madhhab is such and such" - this applies both to positions stated explicitly by the Imam as well as those deduced by the scholars of the Hanbali School. Ibn Hamdan has written a lengthy criticism in Sifat al-Fatwa of the practice of claiming a certain position to be the madhhab without knowledge or sound basis. Al-Mardawi has quoted his words in full in the epilogue of al- Insaf (12/267-276).

(2) Zahir al-Madhhab - This is the well known (mashhur) opinion in the madhhab.

Al-Mardawi states in the introduction of Tashih al-Furoo' (1/52), "Shaykh al- Islam ibn Taymiyya, may Allah have mercy on him, said, 'It has been reported from Abul-Barakat (Majd al-Din), our grandfather, that if someone asked him about zahir al-madhhab, he would say it is whatever Abul-Khattab gave preference to in his Ru'us al-Masa'il.' He also said, 'It can also be known from al-Mughni and Sharh al-Hidaya by our grandfather. And whoever is familiar with the usul of Ahmad and his statements will recognize the correct opinion in his madhhab in most issues.'"

(3) Qawl, this term applies to any opinion in the madhhab, be it from the Imam himself or scholars of the madhhab, be it a wajh, ihtimal, or takhrij.

(4)al-Asahh, al-mashhur, al-ashhar, etc. - all of these expressions indicate tarjih of a certain opinion in the madhhab.

(5) Al-Shaykh - some scholars use this title to refer to al-Muwaffaq ibn Qudama, while others, particularly later scholars, use it meaning Taqi al-Din ibn Taymiyya.

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab (6) Al-Shaykhan , the Two Shaykhs - this refers to Muwaffaq ibn

(6) Al-Shaykhan, the Two Shaykhs - this refers to Muwaffaq ibn Qudama and Majd al-Din Abul-Barakat 'Abd al-Salam ibn Taymiyya, the grandfather of Sh. al- Islam Taqi al-Din ibn Taymiyya.

(7) Shaykhuna - Abul-Wafa' ibn 'Aqil and Abul-Khattab al-Kalwadhani use this expression referring to al-Qadi Abu Ya'la. When it is used by ibn al-Qayyim or by ibn Muflih in al-Furoo', it refers to Sh. al-Islam ibn Taymiyya. In hisMukhtasar, ibn Razin uses it for al-Muwaffaq ibn Qudama.

(8) Shaykh al-Islam - two scholars in the madhhab are famous with this title: al- Muwaffaq ibn Qudama and Taqi al-Din ibn Taymiyya.

Ibn Badran has discussed its usage at length in his Madkhal (p. 407) and Sh. Bakr Abu Zayd in Mu'jam al-Manahi al-Lafziyya.

(9) Al-Qadi - for the mutawassitin, this refers to Abu Ya'la (459 H); for the muta'akhirin, it refers to al-Mardawi (885 H), as can be seen in al-Muntaha and al-Iqna'. Al-Mardawi himself uses it to refer to Abu Ya'la.

(10) "Al-Munaqqih", "al-Mujtahid", "al-Mujtahid fi Tashih al-Madhhab" - these are all titles for 'Ala' al-Din al-Mardawi (885 H), signifying the great role he played in redacting the madhhab in his works such as al-Insaf, Tashih al-Furoo', and al-Tanqih al-Mushbi'.

For more on the terminologies of the Hanbali Madhhab, refer to Madkhal no. 4 of Sh. Bakr's al-Madkhal al-Mufassal, Ch. 6 of ibn Badran's Madkhal, pp. 405- 422, and ibn Duhaysh's al-Manhaj al-Fiqhi al-'Aam li 'Ulama' al-Hanabila, pp.

97-168.

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab The Spread of the Hanbali Madhhab The roots of the Hanbali Madhhab

The Spread of the Hanbali Madhhab

The roots of the Hanbali Madhhab naturally lie in Baghdad, the home of Imam Ahmad, then it spread to other lands, but not as much as the other major madhhabs.

Ahmad Taymur relates that ibn Farhun stated in al-Dibaj, "As for the madhhab of Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on him, it emerged in Baghdad and its surrounding areas, then it spread in many of the lands of al- Sham, but it has become weak now," meaning: in the 8th Century Hijri. [Taymur Pasha, al-Madhahib wa Intisharuha, p. 81]

Ibn Khaldun states, "As for Ahmad b. Hanbali, his followers (muqallids) are

few

surrounding areas. They are the most prolific of people in respect to preserving the Sunnah and narration of Hadith." [Al-Muqaddima, p. 448]

Most of them are found in al-Sham and 'Iraq in Baghdad and its

Al-Suyuti states, "They are very few in number in Egypt. I have not heard of their presence there except in the 7th Century and afterwards. This is because Imam Ahmad, may Allah be pleased with him, lived in the 3rd Century, and his madhhab only spread outside 'Iraq in the 4th Century. It is in this century that the Ubaydis came to power in Egypt, and they eliminated all those present there of the Imams of the other three madhhabs by killing, exile, and displacement. They established the madhhab of Rafd and the Shi'ah,and they were not eliminated from there until the last part of the 6th Century. That is when the Imams from the other madhhabs returned to Egypt, and the first Hanbali Imam I know of to take up residence in Ebypt was al-Hafiz 'Abd al- Ghani al-Maqdisi the author of 'Umdat [al-Ahkam]." [Cf.,al-Madhahib wa Intisharuha, p. 82]

It then spread further at the time of al-Qadi 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Malik al-Hajjawi who became the Hanbali Qadi al-Qudah of Egypt in the year 738 AH. Al-Maqdisi states that the Hanbali Madhhab was present in the 4th Century in Basra, in the provinces of al-Daylam [modern Gilan] and al-Rahab, in Suways in the province of Khuzestan, and in Baghdad the dominant groups

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab were the Hanbalis and the Shi'ah. [Ibid., p. 83] The followers of

were the Hanbalis and the Shi'ah. [Ibid., p. 83]

The followers of the Hanbali Madhhab amongst laymen have been few throughout history to the extent that they did not constitute the majority of dwellers of any region through most of history except in Najd and then later in much of the Arabian Peninsula as a result of the movement of Imam Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Wahhab, may Allah have mercy on him.

Ahmad Taymur states, " We have not heard of their predominance in any territory except the lands of Najd at this time, and in Baghdad in the 4th Century." [Ibid., p. 83]

The Hanbali Madhhab also had a considerable historical presence in al-Sham. Majd al-Din al-'Ulaymi, in his al-Manhaj al-Ahmad, lists the most famous Hanbali scholars of Palestine from the 6th Century until the 9th Century.

Reasons for the Madhhab's Lack of Prevalence in Comparison to Other Madhhabs

There are a number of reasons for the Madhhab's lack of prevalence, amongst them:

* The Hanbali Madhhab was established later and the other three m madhhabs

were already more established in many lands. In Iraq, the madhhab of Abu Hanifah was predominant, in Egypt the Shafi'i and Maliki madhhabs, and in al- Maghrib and al-Andalus the Maliki madhhab.

* There were few Hanbali Qadis, and Qadis were instrumental in promoting

their respective madhhabs. Abu Yusuf and Muhammad b. al-Hasan, may Allah have mercy on them, were instrumental in promoting the madhhab of Abu Hanifah. After this initial period of Hanafi domination of the judiciary in 'Abbasid lands, the Shafi'i Madhhab played a prominent role in the judiciary as

well. As for the Maliki madhhab, Asad b. al-Furat was instrumental in promoting it in al-Maghrib. In al-Andalus, the Umayyad state also worked to

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Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab

Introduction to Hanbali Madhhab promote the Maliki madhhab. The Hanbali madhhab did not receive such preference

promote the Maliki madhhab. The Hanbali madhhab did not receive such preference except in the Arabian Peninsula in recent times.

* The Hanbali Madhhab has spread considerably in the modern age as Saudi universities and scholars (amongst others) have done considerable work in editing and publishing important Hanbali works and teaching the Hanbali madhhab. Because of this new wave of writing about and teaching the Hanbali madhhab, the present era can be considered a period of its revival.

**Based on Sh. 'Abd al-Malik b. Duhaysh's al-Manhaj al-Fiqhi al-'Amm Li 'Ulama al-Hanabila wa Mustalahatihim Fi Mu'allafatihim, pp. 63-65. Sh. al-Duhaysh himself has played a hand in publishing many Hanbali works.**

Fi Mu'allafatihim , pp. 63-65. Sh. al-Duhaysh himself has played a hand in publishing many Hanbali

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