Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
Save to active project

Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (ä´məd Ĭb´ən hăn´băl), 780–855, Muslim jurist and theologian. His disciples founded the fourth of the four major Sunni schools of jurisprudence, the Hanbali. Ibn Hanbal's conception of law was principally influenced by hadith which led him to reject the officially sanctioned theology that promoted the dogma of the creation of the Qur'an. He held the view, for which he was imprisoned, that the Qur'an was uncreated and largely abstained from teaching until the revival of Sunnism in 847. While the official recognition of the importance of his work was late in coming, Ibn Hanbal enjoyed wide popular support and was known as the imam of Baghdad. Among his most important works are the Musnad, a major collection of hadith traditions, and the Kitab as-Sunna, in which he laid out his dogmatic position. He advocated a literal interpretation of the Revealed Text, rejecting allegorizing exegesis and anthropomorphism. Belief in God, according to Ibn Hanbal, should leave to God the understanding of the Divine mystery. A derivative of his axiomatic acceptance of the Qur'an as the uncreated Word of God was to stress the dominance of the Qur'an and Sunna. He even objected to the codifying of his thought, for fear of infringing on the authority of these two sources. His political views targeted the dissenting groups within Islam, the Shiites and Kharijis. His thought, as transmitted by Ibn Taymiyya, has inspired many political-religious movements including Wahhabiyya (see Wahhabi) and Salafiyya.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?