Hanbaliyyah, Hanbali School, Hanbalis
The Hanbali school is
the fourth orthodox school of law within Sunni Islam. It derives its
decrees from the Qur'an and the Sunnah, which it places above all forms of
consensus, opinion or inference. The school accepts as authoritative an
opinion given by a Companion of the Prophet, providing there is no
disagreement with anther Companion. In the case of such disagreement, the
opinion of the Companion nearest to that of the Qur'an or the Sunnah will
The Hanbali school of law
was established by Ahmad b. Hanbal (d.855). He studied law under
different masters, including Imam Shafi'i (the founder of his own school).
He is regarded as more learned in the traditions than in jurisprudence.
His status also derives from his collection and exposition of the hadiths.
His major contribution to Islamic scholarship is a collection of
fifty-thousand traditions known as 'Musnadul-Imam Hanbal'.
In spite of the importance of Hanbal's work his school did not enjoy
the popularity of the three preceding Sunni schools of law. Hanbal's
followers were regarded as reactionary and troublesome on account of their
reluctance to give personal opinion on matters of law, their rejection of
analogy, their fanatic intolerance of views other than their own, and
their exclusion of opponents from power and judicial office. Their
unpopularity led to periodic bouts of persecution against them.
The later history of the school has been characterised by
fluctuations in their fortunes. Hanbali scholars such as Ibn Taymiyya
(d.1328) and Ibn Qayyim al-Jouzia (d.1350), did display more tolerance to
other views than their predecessors and were instrumental in making the
teachings of Hanbali more generally accessible.
From time to time Hanbaliyyah became an active and numerically strong
school in certain areas under the jurisdiction of the 'Abbassid Caliphate.
But its importance gradually declined under the Ottoman Turks. The
emergence of the Wahabi in the nineteenth century and its challenge to
Ottoman authority enabled Hanbaliyyah to enjoy a period of revival. Today
the school is officially recognised as authoritative in Saudi Arabia and
areas within the Persian Gulf.
Hanbaliyyah does not possess a distinctive symbol system.
There are no official
figures identifying the number of people associated with the school.
Headquarters / Main Centre
The school has no headquarters or main centre.
Overview of World Religions Project
Ibn Hanbal (d.855), to whom the Hanbali school is attributed, used
the foundation of Al-Shafi`i for the development of his line of
thought. He emphasized methods of choosing Hadith, even preferring a
weak Hadith over a strong analogy.
Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri
THE ELEMENTS OF ISLAM, Chapter 4
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any scholarly texts on this
subject which have yet been translated into English. We know
that a number of Arabic scholars have written wonderful texts
in Arabic, and look for the day when we will be able to add
higher quality texts to this presentation.
Pillars of Faith
Testament of Abraham
Revelation - Hadiths from Book 1 of al-Bukhari
Belief - Hadiths from Book 2 of al-Bukhari
Knowledge - Hadiths from Book 3 of al-Bukhari
Times of the Prayers - Hadiths from Book 10 of al-Bukhari
Shortening the Prayers (At-Taqseer) - Hadiths from Book 20 of al-Bukhari
Pilgrimmage (Hajj) - Hadiths from Book 26 of al-Bukhari
Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihad) - Hadiths of Book 52 of al-Bukhari
ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED) - Hadiths of Book 93 of al-Bukhari
Hanafiyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Malikiyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Shafi'iyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Hanbaliyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Maturidiyyah Theology (Sunni)
Ash'ariyyah Theology (Sunni)
Ja'fari Theology (Shia)
Nusayriyyah Theology (Shia)
Zaydiyyah Theology (Shia)
Early Islamic History Outline
Kaaba, Black Stone
Interactive Muslim Calendar
The individual articles presented here were generally first published
in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed
on the Internet in December 1997.
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