Ahmad ibn Hanbal

Muslim jurist and theologian (780–855)

Ahmad ibn Hanbal or Abū ʿAbdillāh Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Ḥanbal Ash-Shaybānī (November 780 — 2 August 855) often referred to as Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal or Ibn Ḥanbal for short, was an Arab Muslim jurist, theologian, ascetic, hadith traditionist, and founder of the Hanbali school of Sunni jurisprudence — one of the four major orthodox legal schools of Sunni Islam.

If my soul were in my hands, I would have released it.
If the scholars remains silent the grounds of dissimulation (Taqiyah), and the ignorant do not know, when will the truth be manifested?



Quote from his last Sermon


Quotes about

  • For centuries, scholars from the four different schools of Islam had taught in the Holy Mosque and crowds of students had traveled from near and far to gather in halaqas, circles of study, around their preferred teachers. The faithful prayed, at slightly different times, behind their imams; there was a prayer station for each school: Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali. When King Abdelaziz took control of Mecca in 1924, the Wahhabi clerics objected to the arrangement that had prevailed so far in the Holy Mosque. If the community of Muslims was one, and the call to prayer was one, why not pray behind one imam? The Wahhabi clerics won the debate, thereby dealing themselves all the power. But there was no rotation or compromise: the sole imam who would lead all five daily prayers in the Holy Mosque came from Wahhabi circles, with all that that entailed in puritanical intolerance. The number of halaqas dwindled rapidly, from several hundred to around thirty-five in the late 1970s. The Sufi sheikh that Sami had consulted that first day of the Mecca attack, Mohammad Alawi al-Maliki, was still drawing crowds, lecturing in his corner of the courtyard of the Holy Mosque, on the chair he had inherited from his father in 1971, the chair that been passed through generations. But few others were able to resist the onslaught of Wahhabi zeal. Harmony could be brought back, Sami thought, only if diversity was allowed to thrive again in the House of God. But this was not how the Al-Sauds would proceed. That was not the deal they had cut with Bin Baz to save their throne.
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
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