The Hanbali school (madhhab
is a Muslim school of law or fiqh . In the first 150 years of Islam, there were many such "schools". In fact, several of the Sahābah, or contemporary "companions" of Muhammad, are credited with founding their own...

) is one the schools of Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

 or religious law within Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

. The jurisprudence school traces back to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal Abu `Abd Allah al-Shaybani was an important Muslim scholar and theologian. He is considered the founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh...

 (d. 855) but was institutionalized by his students. Hanbali jurisprudence is considered very strict and conservative, especially regarding questions of dogma and cult. It is mainly prevalent in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, although currently it is being revived in western countries, with new books and classes being taught for English-speaking people. It is also the main madh'hab of the important Islamic pilgrimage sites of Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...


God's attributes

Hanbal refuted and rejected the Jahmites' and the Mu`tazilites' views of God. For Hanbal, both the Jahmites and the Mu`tazilites erred in conceiving of God without eternal attributes. Hanbal believed that God has many attributes and names as mentioned in the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 and that God is One. Hanbal asserted that God's Oneness
Tawhid is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds God is one and unique ....

 was not understood by the Jahmites and the Mu`tazilites. Hanbal stated that the ahl al-sunnah wa-al-jama`ah, or Sunnis, believe that God is eternal with His power and light and that He speaks, knows, and creates eternally.

Annihilation of the eternals

Hanbal disagreed with the Jahmites' and the Mu`tazilites' view that no other eternals exist except God because the eternal is God and God is One. Hanbal believed that Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

 and Paradise
Paradise is a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a land of luxury and...

 are eternal because God made them eternal.

The beatific vision

Hanbal believed that the people or the inhabitants of Paradise are able to see God and that God will make them see Him as their highest reward. He did not allow a beatific vision in this world - only in the Hereafter will this vision be bestowed upon the beloved of God. The Mu`tazilites and the Jahmites totally reject the beatific vision of God even in Paradise.

God's word

Hanbal believed that God's word is eternal, that God Himself spoke to Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 the prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

 and Moses heard His words, and that God did not create His words when He communicated with Moses. Since the speech of God is an Attribute, and God is eternal, all of God's Attributes are eternal as well. The Jahmites and the Mu`tazilites believe that God created His words to make Moses able to understand His words.

The Qur'an

Hanbal believed that the Koran is uncreated because the Koran is the word of God and the word of God is not created, and thus the Koran is God's word or speech and His revelation. The Mu`taziltes and the Jahmites believe that the Koran, which is readable and touchable, is created like other created creatures and beings. Ibn Hanbal maintained that the Koran is indeed a thing, but that it is not created like other created things. Hanbal refused to include the Koran in the category of the created creatures of God like the earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 and the heavens
Heavens was an independent rock band featuring Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio and Josiah Steinbrick. The duo signed to Epitaph Records and released their debut album, Patent Pending, on September 12, 2006....

. There are other existing things not mentioned by God that they are created by God. Among those things are the Chair, the Throne and the Guarded Tablet (Lawh-i-Mahfuz). They are not among the created creatures like the earth and the heavens. Hence Hanbal asserted that the Koran is uncreated.

Notable rulings

  • Wudu - One of the seven things which nullifies the minor purification includes, touching a woman for the purpose of carnal desire. This ruling is similar to the Maliki
    The ' madhhab is one of the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is the second-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 25% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and in some parts of Saudi Arabia...

     opinion, however the Shafi'i opinion is that merely touching a woman will break the wudu, while the Hanafi opinion is that merely touching a woman doesn't break the wudu.
  • Al-Qayyam – The hands are positioned below the navel while standing in prayer, similar to the Hanafis, though others state a person has a choice ie. either above the navel or near the chest
  • Ruku – The hands are to be raised (Rafa al-Yadayn) before going to ruku, and standing up from ruku, similar to the Shafi'i school. While standing up after ruku, a person has a choice to place their hands back to the position as they were before. Other madh'habs state the hands should be left on their sides.
  • Tashahhud
    The Tashahhud is the portion of Salah where the Muslim kneels are on ground and facing Qibla in Mecca.Sunni Muslims recite the Tashahhud as:التحيات لله والصلوات والطيبات، السلام عليك أيها النبي ورحمة لله...

    – The finger should be pointed and not moved, upon mentioning the name of Allah.
  • Tasleem – Is considered obligatory by the Madh'hab.
  • Salat-ul-Witr
    Witr is an Islamic prayer that is performed at night after isha'a and before fajr . There are a few distinguishing factors of the witr prayer that sets it apart from the fard and sunnah prayers. Witr has an odd number of rakat prayed in pairs, with the final raka'ah prayed separately...

    – Hanbalis pray Two Rak'ats consecutively then perform Tasleem, and then One Rak'at is performed separately. Dua Qunoot is recited after the Ruku'
    Rukūʿ refers to the bowing down following the recitation of the Qur'an in the standing position while praying according to Islamic ritual . There is a consensus on the obligatory nature of the ruku...

     during Witr
    Witr is an Islamic prayer that is performed at night after isha'a and before fajr . There are a few distinguishing factors of the witr prayer that sets it apart from the fard and sunnah prayers. Witr has an odd number of rakat prayed in pairs, with the final raka'ah prayed separately...

    , and Hands are raised during the Dua.

List of Hanbali scholars

  • Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali al-Barbahari (d. 329A.H.)
  • Ibn Aqil
    Ibn Aqil
    Abu al-Wafa Ali Ibn Aqil ibn Ahmad al-Baghdadi was an Islamic theologian from Baghdad, Iraq. He was trained in the tenets of the Hanbali school ., Among his works of jurisprudence that have survived are Wadih fi usul al-fiqh and Kitab al-funun.-Notes:...

     (d. 488A.H.) – One of the most intelligent jurists the Hanbalis ever had within their ranks.
  • Abdul-Qadir Gilani (d. 561A.H.) A Hanbali theologian, great preacher.
  • Abu-al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi (d. 597A.H.) A famous jurist, exegete, critic, preacher and a prolific author, with works on nearly all subjects.
  • Hammad al-Harrani
    Hammad al-Harrani
    Hammad al-Harrani or Abu al-Thana' Hammad ibn Hibat Allah ibn Hammad ibn al-Fudayl al-Harrani al-Hanbali was a Muslim scholar, poet, merchant and traveler who left his home town Harran to live in Alexandria under the reign of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi. Both towns were dominated by Hanbali school...

     (d. 598A.H.) A jurist, critic and preacher who lived in Alexandria under the reign of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi.
  • Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi
    Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi
    Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi is a classical Sunni Islamic scholar and a prominent Hadith master.-Works:He is the author of many famous works, including :*al-Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal *Umdat al-Ahkam -References:...

     (d. 600A.H.) A prominent hadith master from Damascus and a cousin of Ibn Qudamah
  • Ibn Qudamah
    Ibn Qudamah
    Imam Mawaffaq ad-Din Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi was a noted Islamic scholar of the Hanbali madhhab, author of many treatises of Hanbali jurisprudence and doctrine, including al-Mughni as well as Tahrim an-Nazar Imam Mawaffaq ad-Din Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi (Arabic...

     (d. 620A.H.) One of the major Hanbali authorities and the author of the profound and voluminous book on Law, al-Mughni, which became popular amongst researchers from all juristic backgrounds.
  • Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyah (d. 728A.H.) – A well known figure in the Islamic history, known by his friends and foes for his expertise in all Islamic sciences.
  • Ibn al-Qayyim
    Ibn al-Qayyim
    Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr...

     (d. 751A.H.) – The closest companion and a student of Ibn Taymiyah who shared with him the moments of ease and hardship, until the latter’s death in the citadel.
  • Ibn Rajab
    Ibn Rajab
    Zain ad-Din, Abu al-Faraj, 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ahmad ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Abi al-Barakat Mas'ud as-Sulami, al-Baghdadi, al-Hanbali, also known as Ibn Rajab, which was a nickname he inherited from his grandfather who was born the month of Rajab, was a Muslim...

     (d. 795A.H.) – A prominent jurist, traditionist, ascetic and preacher, who authored several important works, largely commenting upon famous collections of traditions.
  • Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab
  • Ibn Humaid
    Ibn Humaid
    Abdullah Ibn Humaid, also known as Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Humaid was the former Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia and Imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca. His son Salih, is the current Imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca as well as the head of the Saudi Consultative Council.- Biography :He was...

     (d. 1295A.H.) – A Hanbali jurist, traditionist , historian.
  • Ibn al-Sa'di (d. 1376A.H.) – A prominent jurist, exegete, grammarian with a great interest in poetry.
  • Ibn al-Uthaymeen
    Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen
    Sheikh Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn Muhammad ibn al-Uthaymeen at-Tamimi an-Najdi was one of the most prominent Sunni Islamic scholars of the latter half of the twentieth century...

     (d. 1421A.H.) – A leading jurist, grammarian, linguist, and a popular preacher.
  • Ibn Baz (d. 1420A.H.)

External links

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