ḤANᾹBILAH (sg., Ḥanbālī) is the name used to denote the followers of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, just as the names Shāfiʿīyah, Mālikīyah, and Ḥanafīyah are used to denote the followers of al-Shāfiʿī, Mālik, and Abū Ḥanīfah, respectively. Of these four groups, the Ḥanābilah has been considered anomalous, and rightly so, although not for the reasons usually given. Western writers have reiterated that this group was the smallest of the four; that it fought against the theology of kalām, which is quite true; that it fought against Sufism, which is definitely false. It is clear that the Ḥanābilah fought against philosophical theology (kalām ) and philosophical Sufism (monism, incarnationism), but certainly not against theology in its juridical form, nor against Sufism in its traditionalist, ascetic form. Some writers have described the Ḥanābilah as conservative; others, echoing the biased sources they use, have resorted to a wide range of pejorative epithets: fanatical, inflexible, anthropomorphic, obstructionist, intolerant, insignificant, and the like.
Emergence of the Madhhab
The Ḥanābilah, like the Ḥanafīyah, Mālikīyah, and Shāfiʿīyah, maintained schools in which it taught law as the principal subject. Nonetheless, the group called Ḥanābilah cannot be understood in its historical genesis and development as merely a "school of law," as it has been characterized heretofore. In modern Arabic, the term for "school of law" would be expressed by a literal equivalent of the English, something like madrasat al-fiqh. The classical Arabic term is madhhab, which means "a way of going," "direction," and, technically, "thesis" or "opinion." Each madhhab of law had institutions of learning—colleges of law—exclusively for its own members. This institution was at first the noncongregational mosque, or masjid, and later the madrasah, a term that in modern Arabic means "school." The madhhab itself was not a school; it was a guild in whose name schools were maintained.
The emergence of these guilds of jurisconsults dates from around the middle of the ninth century. Before that time, the jurisconsults were grouped geographically, as, for instance, the Iraqis, the Medinese, the Kufans, the Basrans, and the Syrians. The groups that came to be identified by the names of persons after the mid-ninth century have been referred to as "personal schools," to distinguish them from the earlier "geographical schools." The natural tendency has been to associate their chronological emergence with the dates of their eponyms: Abū Ḥanīfah (699–767), Mālik (707–795), al-Shāfiʿī (767–820), and Ibn Ḥanbal (780–855).
The historical reality was somewhat different; in fact, it may well have followed the exact reverse of this order. The "personal schools," according to Joseph Schacht, were so designated "soon after the time of Shāfiʿī," beginning with the Shāfiʿī madhhab. Henri Laoust placed the constitution of the Ḥanbālī madhhab "during the period from the Sunni reactionary movement of [Caliph] al-Mutawakkil (232–47/847–61) to the advent of the Buyids in 334/945." There is, of course, no way to determine the precise date of the emergence of a madhhab of law, or that of its extinction: The madhhab, though a guild, was neither founded nor dissolved by a formal act; its colleges of law were founded by such a formal act, the waqf, as charitable trusts, but not the madhhab. Its disappearance could, however, be determined through the disappearance of its representatives in a given locality—when the biographer of a jurisconsult of a given madhhab declares that the biographee was the last member of that madhhab in his locality—but the date of death would indicate the date of the madhhab 's extinction in that locality, not the date of the loss of its effectiveness, which no doubt had already taken place.
A madhhab came into existence because its members had interests to protect and to advance. What could these common interests have been for the Ḥanbālī madhhab? It was, like the three other surviving Sunnī madhhab s, a madhhab of law; as such it simply served the purpose of bringing together its member-jurisconsults. Consensus, ijmāʿ, was constituted on the basis of the legal opinions of the jurisconsults. But a legal opinion was issued by an individual jurisconsult, not by a "school" of jurisconsults, or even by a committee. Similarly, the practice of ijtihād— consulting the sources of the law to arrive at a solution for a legal question—was carried out by a single jurisconsult acting as an independent free agent.
Religious issues: traditionalism vs. rationalism
The madhhab s were guilds of law, but their genesis was due to reasons of religious philosophy. They issued from, and represented, the traditionalist movement, in opposition to the movement of rationalism in Islam. Were it not for this antagonism, the madhhab s of law might not have emerged as they did. Their traditionalism is indicated by their emulation of the Prophet. The founding members of the madhhab chose a great imam as their eponym and referred to themselves as his companions, in emulation of the greatest imam, the Prophet, and his companions.
The supreme struggle between traditionalists and rationalists came about in the Inquisition (miḥnah ) of the ninth century. It hinged on the question of whether the Qurʾān was the created or uncreated word of God. The inquisitors belonged to the rationalist theological movement of the Muʿtazilah. The Muʿtazilī thesis was that the Qurʾān is the created word of God; to say that it is his uncreated word would make it coeternal with God, a violation of God's unicity (tawḥīd) and hence of the very monotheistic character of Islam itself. The traditionalist thesis was that God's word is eternal. His fiat ("kun!") could not itself be created, because it is by this, his word, that God creates; a created thing could not bring other things into existence.
When the end of the Inquisition in 848 brought an end to the Muʿtazilah as a political force, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, flogged severely and imprisoned for refusing to adopt the Muʿtazilī thesis, emerged as the charismatic hero of Islam. The struggle that Ibn Ḥanbal undertook and carried to its termination had already been started by al-Shāfiʿī, a longtime foe of the Muʿtazilah whose life's work was dedicated chiefly to supporting the traditionalist movement. Al-Shāfiʿī did not live to see the end of the Muʿtazilī menace. The period following his death was witness to the apex of the Muʿtazilah's political power. But by the time of Ibn Ḥanbal (d. 855), who followed in his traditionalist footsteps, the formidable foe met its decisive downfall.
The Inquisition cleared the way for the rise of the madhhab s, which began to flourish, organizing the traditionalist movement. Many such guilds of law were founded; many disappeared from the scene, their membership absorbed by other guilds. In the eleventh century their number crystallized into the four madhhab s surviving today.
In a period of two centuries (mid-ninth to mid-eleventh), the mainstream of Muslim history moved relentlessly in the direction of traditionalism, engulfing all obstructions set up against it. The landmarks of this mainstream are unmistakable.
1. Al-Shāfi ʿī's Risālah (before 813/4)
From elements for the most part already at hand, al-Shāfiʿī forged a new science, a juridical theology, namely a study of God's law, with which he meant to replace kalām, a study of God himself. Juridical theology studies God's commands and prohibitions, not whether God is, or what he is. It deals with the fundamentals of obedience to God (religion), not just idle words (kalām ) about God himself, which may well lead to perdition.
2. The Inquisition (833–848)
The Inquisition ended with the decisive political demise of its masters and the victory of its victims.
3. The Professions of Faith ( ʿaqāʾid; sg., ʿaqīdah)
The period following the Inquisition brought in a rich harvest of creeds by members of the traditionalist movement, headed by Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, six of whose creeds have survived. He apparently took his lead from al-Shāfiʿī, one of whose creeds has come down to the present. Among subsequent creeds, two are of particular significance, belonging as they do to the fundamental teachings of traditionalism: one by the great mystic al-Ḥallāj (d. 922), the other by al-Ashʿarī (d. 936?).
4. The Retraction of Ibn Shannabūdh (935)
Ibn Shannabūdh abjured his Qurʾanic variant readings as aberrant and unlawful. His retraction emphasized the sacred character of the Qurʾān in the Vulgate of the caliph ʿUthmān, and pointed to the success of the traditionalist thesis vindicated by Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal during the Inquisition.
5. The Defection of al-Ashʿarī
Forsaking the teachings of Muʿtazilī rationalism, al-Ashʿarī rallied to the doctrines of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal and placed himself squarely under the Ḥanbālī banner.
6. The Qādirī Creed (first third of the eleventh century)
Proclamations of the caliph al-Qādir in 1017, 1018, and 1029 culminated in a profession of faith bearing the name of the caliph, Al-iʿtiqād al-Qādirī, read by order of the caliph in 1040/1. Its contents, steeped in traditionalism, are directed chiefly against the Muʿtazilah, the Ashʿarīyah, and the Shīʿah. In contrast with Maʾmūn's inauguration of the Inquisition, the Qādirī creed, formulated two centuries later, dramatizes the distance traveled by traditionalism and proclaims its triumph in very clear terms.
7. The Organization of Knowledge
The success of traditionalism is clearly manifested in the development of the institutions of learning following the failure of the Inquisition. By the middle of the eleventh century, the rationalist institutions (dār al-ʿilm and others), essentially libraries where books on the "foreign sciences," such as Greek philosophy, were available for reading and discussion, had disappeared from the scene. Libraries became annexed to the madrasah s, where books on the "foreign sciences" could be read privately but never formed part of the regular curriculum.
All "personal schools" of law emerged from the traditionalist movement of the ahl al-ḥadīth (literally, "people of the ḥadīth," traditionalists). The transition from "geographical" to "personal" madhhab s came in response to the threat of the philosophical theologians, who had succeeded in gaining the support of the central power. The task of the traditionalists was not merely to counterbalance the force of their opponents but to tilt the scales in their own favor.
Economic issues: the waqf
To this religious weapon the traditionalists added an economic one: the charitable trust (waqf). As lawyers they were both the interpreters and the guardians of its law. A basic principle of its law was that nothing could be based on waqf that would be inimical to the tenets of Islam. Through their legal opinions they determined what was, and what was not, inimical. Furthermore, waqf s were founded by Muslim individuals, with individually owned private property. When caliphs, sultans, emirs, viziers, or any other official or functionary instituted waqf s, they did so as private Muslim individuals. There was no provision in the law for "official" waqf s. The object of waqf was charitable, immediately or eventually, and the founder's chief motive was qurbah, to draw near to God, through good works endowed in perpetuity.
All institutionalized learning in Islam was funded through such religious foundations. The lawyers designated as inimical to Islamic beliefs Greek philosophy, the foreign sciences, and kalām- theology, which, they felt, was tainted with philosophy. The kalām- theologians were thus excluded as such from the curriculum of the madrasah and cognate institutions; eventually, the dār al-ʿilm and its cognates, libraries that were meeting places of the rationalists, ceased to exist.
The exclusionary rule of waqf left out the philosophers and philosophical theologians. No longer in a position to beat the traditionalists, they joined them by infiltrating the juridical madhhab s as jurisconsults. The Muʿtazilī theologians found a home in the Ḥanafī madhhab, and later the Ashʿarīyah found theirs in the Shāfiʿī madhhab (there were some rare instances where a Muʿtazilī theologian was a Shāfiʿī jurisconsult and an Ashʿarī theologian, a Ḥanafī jurisconsult). One's Sunnī orthodox identity was determined by his membership in one of the Sunnī madhhab s. The madhhab s accepted one another; transfers from one to any other was unrestricted at any point in a member's lifetime.
Misconceptions concerning the Ḥanābilah
One particular misconception concerning the Ḥanbālī madhhab was its relatively reduced representation in the Islamic world when compared with the other madhhab s. This fact kept cropping up in the early studies on the Ḥanābilah, and its repeated mention is indicative of the scholars' perplexity when they were confronted with what appears to be the disproportionate attention this madhhab received from the annalistic sources in descriptions of riots. The explanation lies in its makeup in comparison with the Ḥanafī and Shāfiʿī madhhab s. (The Mālikī madhhab had a sparse membership in tenth-century Baghdad, and its last representative there left for points west in the eleventh century.) The Ḥanafī and Shāfiʿī madhhab s, as already mentioned, were infiltrated by the Muʿtazilah and Ashʿarīyah, respectively. This situation gave each of these two madhhab s an internal structure made up of two antagonistic groups, fundamentally opposed to each other on the theological level: one group belonging to the ahl al-ḥadīth (traditionalists) from which it issued, and the other belonging to the ahl al-kalām (rationalists). In Baghdad, there remained only one Sunnī madhhab representative of the ahl al-ḥadīth alone, free of infiltration by either group of ahl al-kalām: the Ḥanbālī madhhab.
Another factor to be considered is the reluctance of the religious intellectual to attack a fellow intellectual belonging to the same madhhab. This inhibition, from which a Ḥanafī or Shāfiʿī jurisconsult might suffer vis-à-vis a fellow jurisconsult of the same madhhab who happened to be also a philosophical theologian, did not afflict the Ḥanbālī jurisconsult. He felt free to fight not only any signs of rationalistic tendencies within his own madhhab, but also any and all groups hostile to the ahl al-ḥadīth. The Ḥanābilah fought as members of the ahl al-ḥadīth. Though their numbers were relatively small as members of the Ḥanbālī madhhab, they represented the overwhelming majority of Sunnī Islam as members of the traditionalist movement. Many a Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī traditionalist passed undetected in the ranks of the ahl al-ḥadīth. A perusal of the biographical dictionaries of Ḥanafī and Shāfiʿī jurisconsults would show the preponderance of traditionalist jurisconsults in their ranks, as compared with philosophical theologians.
The annalists, referring to struggles between antagonistic socioreligious groups, are apt to throw the historian off track by the way they identify the groups. The terms used may well hide their true identity. Ḥanafī may be used for Muʿtazilī, and Shāfiʿī for Ashʿarī, while Ḥanbālī remains a constant. This is why the Ḥanābilah must be seen in the light of their membership in the traditionalist movement, which encompassed all four madhhab s. In this movement, the Ḥanābilah played the role of spearhead. Because of the uniform structure of their madhhab, they were the group most frequently mentioned in the annals. It was easy to arrive at the conclusion that of all the groups they were the most contentious, considering the relatively small size of their madhhab. In reality they were but a fraction of the traditionalist movement, the mere tip of the iceberg.
Other misconceptions regarding the Ḥanbālī school that have developed in Islamic studies over the years arise from the uncritical use of sources hostile to the Ḥanābilah and from the neglect of sources that could have been used to provide some control and a more balanced account. The following misconceptions are perhaps those that die the hardest.
Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal is often represented as a disciple of al-Shāfiʿī, a notion that can be construed to give two opposing views of their relationship. One—which would be true—is that there was a kinship of spirit between the two great imams. The other—which would be false—is that Aḥmad must have had a falling-out with al-Shāfiʿī and that he must have rejected the Shāfiʿī school in order to found one of his own. Both imams belonged to the traditionalist ahl al-ḥadīth movement from which all the madhhab s emerged. Aḥmad and al-Shāfiʿī were the "patron saints" of two traditionalist madhhab guilds whose chief concern was not only to raise the prophetic traditions to the level of sacred scripture—in this, al-Shāfiʿī led the way, and Aḥmad followed in his footsteps—but also to fight for the primacy of faith and thus put a stop to the spread of rationalism.
The Ḥanbālī outlook is often regarded as basically legalistic and therefore incompatible with the interior life of Ṣūfī mysticism. The hostile attitude of Ibn Ḥanbal and his followers, particularly Ibn al-Jawzī and Ibn Taymīyah, seemingly gives credence to such a view. But such hostility, when it existed, was directed toward certain Ṣūfīs and certain Ṣūfī practices. At no time has the Ḥanbālī madhhab, or the followers just mentioned, condemned Sufism as such, or all adepts of Sufism. The reason for this is clear and rather simple. Sufism, like the Ḥanābilah, issued from the ahl al-ḥadīth movement, and the Ḥanbālī madhhab boasted of many Ṣūfīs. Close to a third of the notices in Ibn Rajab's biographical work on the Ḥanbālī madhhab are devoted to Ṣūfīs. Among the great Ḥanbālī Ṣūfīs are Ibn Samʿūn (d. 997), al-Ḥarawī al-Anṣārī (d. 1088), and ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī (d. 1166), head of the first Ṣūfī order in Islam that has come down to this day, which included among its members Ibn Taymīyah, a so-called enemy of Sufism. What the Ḥanābilah did indeed condemn in Sufism were Ṣūfīs steeped in pantheism (ittiḥādīyah ) or incarnationism (ḥulūlīyah ).
Members of the Ḥanbālī madhhab have been criticized as rigidly opposed to reason, as partisans of a literalist interpretation of the Qurʾān and ḥadīth, professing the most rigidly dogmatic doctrines in comparison with the other madhhab s, as steeped in obscurantism and crass anthropo-morphism, as fanatical and intolerant. These judgments by Western Orientalists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are in great measure attributable to the paucity of printed sources available at the time and to the one-sidedness of these sources, hostile to the Ḥanābilah and utilized without testing the authors' bias.
AḤmad ibn Ḥanbal
Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, like al-Shāfiʿī before him, was of pure Arab stock, and like al-Shāfiʿī, whom he greatly admired, he gave a preponderant place to the sunnah of the Prophet as sacred scripture alongside the book of God, the Qurʾān. His teachings form the doctrinal basis of the madhhab that bears his name.
Born in Baghdad in December 780, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal died there in July 855. A biographer says of him: "He left Merv in his mother's womb, was born in Baghdad, grew up there, and died there." He was known as "the imam of Baghdad." Profoundly interested in the study of ḥadīth, he began to devote himself to it at the age of fifteen and made his way throughout the lands of the eastern caliphate in search of its authoritative transmitters. He traveled in Iraq (Kufa, and especially Basra), the Hejaz, Yemen, and Syria, the regions of the so-called geographical schools of law. Between the ages of twenty-three and thirty-four he made the pilgrimage to Mecca five times, along with two pious retreats in Medina.
Though a great admirer of al-Shāfiʿī, and one who was ready to lay down his life for the same religious ideals, Ibn Ḥanbal cannot be considered simply as the disciple of the great imam. He studied under a great number of ḥadīth experts of this day, and many transmitted ḥadīths on his authority, among them the authors of the "six books" of ḥadīth: al-Bukhārī, Muslim, and Abū Dāwūd directly; al-Tirmidhī, al-Nasāʾī, and Ibn Mājah indirectly, through his disciples. Al-Shāfiʿī himself is said to have transmitted on Ibn Ḥanbal's authority. Ibn al-Jawzī, in his biography of Ibn Ḥanbal, gives the names of his teachers of law: Hushaym ibn Bashīr (d. 799), a disciple of Ibrāhīm al-Nakhaʿī, and after Hushaym's death, Sufyān ibn ʿUyaynah (d. 814). Among Ibn Ḥanbal's other important teachers was ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Mahdī (d. 814), in answer to whose request al-Shāfiʿī had written his famous Epistle.
Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal's persistent passive resistance to the Inquisition earned him the undying respect and admiration of the following generations down to this day. His funeral, the scene of genuine popular emotion, was followed by a procession that numbered in the hundreds of thousands. His tomb became one of the most visited places of pilgrimage. Poets hailed him as the hero (fatā) of Islam. The scars he carried to his grave were the badges of his bravery.
Among Aḥmad's works are the Radd ʿalā al-jahmīyah wa-al-zanādiqah, Kitāb al-sunnah, and Kitāb al-masāʾil, which present answers to questions addressed to him on dogmatics, law, and ethics, and the Kitāb al-ṣalāt, on ritual prayer and its performance. The Kitāb al-waraʿ, on asceticism, is quoted extensively by Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī in his Qūt al-qulūb (Sustenance of the souls), and again by al-Ghazālī, whose Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn (Revivification of the religious sciences) is based on al-Makkī's work.
By far the most celebrated work of Ibn Ḥanbal is his Musnad, a title that designates a collection of ḥadīths resting on the authority of the persons by whom they have been transmitted, traced back to the Prophet himself and arranged under the names of the first guarantor of the ḥadīths. This arrangement is distinguished from the one followed by the generation after that of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal and referred to as the Ṣaḥīḥ s, or collections of "sound" ḥadīths. It has often been said that these books constitute a codification of ḥadīths in Islam, and because the Musnad of Ibn Ḥanbal is not included among the "six books," the implication is that its contents were not reliable. In contrast, the two ṣaḥīḥ s of al-Bukhārī and Muslim were seen as the most important works on ḥadīth and the most "sound." This interpretation is misleading.
In fact, legal studies were in the process of development in the newly founded colleges of law that were flourishing at the time. Because of the recent achievements of al-Shāfiʿī and Ibn Ḥanbal, institutionalized education had taken on a strong traditionalist orientation, and law, based heavily on the study of ḥadīth, had become the queen of the Islamic sciences. To make the collections of ḥadīths more easily studied for their legal content, the order was changed to accommodate students of law. Instead of arranging ḥadīths according to their chains of transmitters (isnād, whence the term musnad ), they were chosen for their legal content and arranged according to the chapters of books on law. The new collections were referred to as "sound" (ṣaḥīḥ ), not in the sense that former collections were less so, but rather to emphasize that the new collections were also sound, in spite of their innovative arrangement according to subject, rather than according to their authoritative transmitters.
Great musnad collections date after as well as before the so-called Six Books, and they specialize in one or more transmitters or groups of transmitters. Aḥmad's Musnad is a collection of several musnad s including those of the first four "Rightly Guided" (Rāshidūn) caliphs, the principal companions of the Prophet, the Anṣār, the Meccans, the Medinese, the Kufans, the Basrans, and the Syrians.
Followers of Ibn Ḥanbal
Aḥmad left two sons, who were half brothers: Ṣāliḥ (818–880), qāḍī ("judge") of Isfahan and a transmitter of his father's legal opinions; and ʿAbd Allāh (828–903), a transmitter of most of his father's works. In addition to the sons, a number of disciples carried on the transmission of Aḥmad's legal thought contained in his masāʾil, including: (1) al-Kawsaj, a native of Merv who settled in Nishapur and died there in 865; he was a source for al-Bukhārī, al-Tirmidhī, and Isḥāq ibn Rāhawayh; (2) al-Athram (d. 874 or 875), who arranged what he collected of the masāʾil according to the chapters of law books; (3) Ḥanbal ibn Isḥāq (d. 886), Aḥmad's first cousin; (4) al-Maymūnī (d. 887), of Raqqah, a disciple of Aḥmad from 820 to 842 (al-Mardāwī, in his Inṣāf, attributes to al-Maymūnī one sixteen-volume work and two other large volumes, containing Aḥmad's masāʾil ); (5) al-Marwazī (d. 888), one of Aḥmad's favorite disciples and the transmitter of his Kitāb al-waraʿ; (6) Abū Dāʾūd al-Sijistānī (d. 888), author of Kitāb al-sunan, one of the "six books," so highly regarded that he was often compared with his professor Aḥmad in learning and piety; (7) Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī (d. 890), author of a characteristically Ḥanbālī traditionalist profession of faith (ʿaqīdah ) against the legitimacy of philosophical theology (kalām ); (8) Ḥarb al-Kirmānī (d. 893), a Ṣūfī, who transmitted masāʾil of Aḥmad and of Ibn Rāhawayh; (9) Ibrāhīm al-Ḥarbī (d. 898), a philologist and ḥadīth expert who was Aḥmad's disciple for twenty years and was often compared with him in learning and piety.
The tenth century ushered in the rise of Ḥanbālī literature. The name that dominates the early part of this period is that of Abū Bakr al-Khallāl (d. 923). He was a student of al-Marwazī, had a teaching post in the mosque of al-Mahdī, and knew Aḥmad's son ʿAbd Allāh personally. It is to his scholarship that the Ḥanbālī madhhab owes its first corpus juris and the first biographical history of the madhhab, Ṭabaqāt al-ḥanābilah, of which some folios have survived and are preserved in the Ẓāhirīyah, the National Library of Damascus.
Two other names dominate the first half of this period: al-Barbahārī and al-Khiraqī. Al-Barbahārī (d. 941), a disciple of al-Marwazī and the Ṣūfī Sahl al-Tustarī, was an activist who struggled against the Shīʿah and the Muʿtazilah and fought for the reform of the Sunnī caliphate, now under the influence of the Buyids. A true traditionalist, al-Barbahārī was hostile to kalām and opposed al-Ashʿarī, his contemporary. It is said that al-Ashʿarī wrote his Ibānah after a discussion with al-Barbahārī, which, if true, would explain partly al-Ashʿarī's rallying to the banner of Ibn Ḥanbal. Al-Barbahārī is a key figure in the social and political history of this period.
Al-Khiraqī (d. 946) gave the Ḥanābilah one of its most important works, Al-mukhtaṣar fī al-fiqh (The Epitome on Law), on which the fifteenth-century Ḥanbālī Yūsuf ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī reports that three hundred commentaries were written over the centuries. Al-Khiraqī is said to have written many other works that did not enjoy wide diffusion. The reason given is that he had left Baghdad, and his books, apparently lacking the diffusion they would have received had he remained there, were eventually destroyed when his house burned. Among his disciples were three members of the Ḥanābilah famous in their day: Ibn Baṭṭah, Abū al-Ḥasan al-Tamīmī, and Ibn Samʿūn.
Other Ḥanbālī followers of repute belonging to this period include Abū Bakr al-Sijistānī (d. 928), Abū Muḥammad al-Rāzī (d. 939), and Abū Bakr al-Najjād (d. 959), a Ṣūfī and ḥadīth expert. This period also witnessed some of the most fervently Sunnī professions of faith (ʿaqīdah s), a constant in Ḥanbālī history.
The names that stand out in the second half of this century are those of Ibn Samʿūn, Ibn Baṭṭah, and Ibn Ḥāmid. Ibn Samʿūn was a famous Ḥanbālī Ṣūfī who had studied under the direction of a number of Ṣūfīs, among them Abū Bakr al-Shiblī and al-Ḥuṣrī (d. 981). Ibn Samʿūn studied ḥadīth under Ibn Abī Dāwūd, and held a number of sessions in which he dictated ḥadīths. Highly regarded in his own madhhab, he had a reputation—and disciples—far beyond it. He is mentioned in the twenty-first of the Maqāmāt (Assemblies) of al-Ḥarīrī, "Al-Rāzīyah." The two Ashʿarī scholars, al-Bāqillānī (d. 1013) and al-Isfarāʾinī (d. 1027), as a mark of high respect when greeting him, used to kiss his hand. Ibn Baṭṭah is known especially for his two works Al-ibānah al-kubrā and Al-ibānah al-ṣughrā, the second of which was translated and studied by the eminent Islamicist Henri Laoust. Other important Ḥanbālī personalities of this period include Abū Bakr al-Ᾱjurrī (d. 971) and al-Ṭabaranī (d. 971). Al-Ᾱjurrī, a Ṣūfī and ḥadīth expert, is claimed by both the Ḥanbālī and Shāfiʿī madhhab s, a phenomenon of rather frequent occurrence, because both madhhab s are profoundly traditionalist and may well have come into existence as "personal madhhab s" at approximately the same time. Ᾱl-Ᾱjurrī authored a Kitāb al-sharīʿah on Islamic law. Al- Ṭabaranī wrote three famous muʿjam s, a Kitāb al-sunnah, and a musnad of the Syrian ḥadīth experts.
The eleventh century ushered in the final phase of the period that brought about the restoration of Sunnī traditionalism following the collapse of the rationalist-inspired Inquisition. It was a century that witnessed the emergence of the Ḥanābilah at the head of a movement that was the mainstay of the caliphate. A Ḥanbālī of this century, Ibn Baqqāl (d. 1048), expressed the matter in this statement made in the caliphal court in the presence of the vizier Ḥājib al-Nuʿmān: "The caliphate is a tent, and the Ḥanābilah are its tent ropes; should the tent ropes fall down, the tent would topple over." The implication was clear. The caliphate must give its support to traditionalism, whose adherents are the guardians of the source of its legitimacy.
The name that leads the first half of this century is that of Ibn Ḥāmid (d. 1012), the greatest Ḥanbālī master and jurisconsult of his time. His Kitāb al-jāmiʿ, in four hundred volumes, treated the divergences in legal opinions among the jurisconsults. He wrote extensively on theology and on law and its theory and methodology, but none of his works is extant.
Al-Sharīf Abū ʿAlī al-Hāshimī (d. 1037), a disciple of Abū al-Ḥasan al-Tamīmī, wrote many works, among them Kitāb al-irshād on law, and a commentary on al-Khiraqī's epitome on law. He had a study circle in the mosque of Manṣūr for legal opinions and notarial work. His ʿaqīdah has been preserved in his biographical notices.
Abū ʿAlī al-ʿUkbarī, known as Ibn Shihāb (d. 1037), a disciple of Ibn Baṭṭah, was a Ḥanbālī of broad culture, expert in the fields of law, belles lettres, Qurʾanic science, ḥadīth, and poetry, and was known for his legal opinions. He was also a copyist, a profession that did not simply furnish him with his livelihood but actually made him rich. In his will he left one-third of his property for the benefit of Ḥanbālī students of law, but they received none of it: The sultan is said to have confiscated the estate. Al-ʿUkbarī, in an autobiographical note, said that he earned 25,000 dirhams from copying manuscripts, a good part of this coming from his specialty of copying the Dīwān (Collected works) of the poet al-Mutanabbī in three nights, on paper that cost him five dirhams, which he would then sell for a sum between 150 and 200 dirhams.
The second half of this century is led by Qāḍī Abū Yaʿlā (d. 1066), whose name is cited extensively in the works of his successors. He was a favorite disciple of Ibn Ḥāmid, who chose him from among his students to teach the others during the master's absence on the pilgrimage to Mecca. With Abū Yaʿlā is at the beginning of the period of Ḥanbālī history better served by the sources: More of its literature has been preserved in the libraries of the Islamic and Western worlds. Abū Yaʿlā was a successful master jurisconsult under whose direction some of the great Ḥanbālī intellectuals studied and became master jurisconsults in turn. It is in this period that madrasah s began to flourish in Baghdad. This is also the period in which rationalist influences succeeded in getting a hearing among some of the leading lights of the Ḥanābilah. Abū Yaʿlā is one, and Ibn ʿAqīl, who belongs to this period and the next, is another. The parents of both intellectuals were of the Ḥanafī madhhab, where the ideas of the Muʿtazilah may well have been familiar to members of the family circles. That Abū Yaʿlā was influenced by kalām -theology may be clearly seen in his Muʿtamad fī uṣūl al-dīn (The reliable book on the fundamentals of religion), where the influence of Ashʿarī doctrines is palpable, although the author avoids the term kalām in the title and uses the more traditionalist term uṣūl al-dīn for "theology."
Among Abū Yaʿlā's many works, Al-muʿtamad survives only in his abridged version; other important writings include Al-aḥkām al-sulṭānīyah, a treatise on government and public administration with the same title and, for the most part, the same text as the work of al-Māwardī (d. 1058); Al-ʿumdah fī uṣūl al-fiqh, on legal theory and methodology, still in manuscript (Cairo); and Kitāb al-riwāyatayn, on positive law and also unpublished (Istanbul). Abū Yaʿlā's standing in the Ḥanbālī madhhab is such that he came to be referred to simply as "the judge" (al-qāḍī ), the organizer of his madhhab and one of its great teachers.
Two of Abū Yaʿlā's students especially helped to spread the madhhab beyond the confines of Baghdad. Qāḍī Ḥarrān (d. 1083), whom Abū Yaʿlā appointed as his judicial representative in Ḥarrān, was the author of works on law, legal theory and methodology, and theology, none of which has survived. Abū al-Faraj al-Shīrāzī (d. 1094), who is credited with carrying the Ḥanbālī madhhab to Jerusalem and Damascus, wrote on law and legal theory and methodology, as well as on traditionalist theology, which involved him in recurrent altercations with Syrian rationalists of the Ashʿarī movement. Al-Shīrāzī stands at the head of a long line of Ḥanbālī descendants known collectively as "the family of Ibn al-Ḥanbālī."
One of Abū Yaʿlā's students who deserves special mention is the sharīf Abū Jaʿfar (d. 1077), an activist of the stamp of al-Barbahārī who was in constant struggle against what he considered to be the heretical innovations of his period. His fight against corrupt practices—prostitution and illicit alcoholic beverages—brought him into conflict with officials of the Seljuk sultan, as well as with those of the caliph, who was his first cousin. He was intransigent in his attitude against the two rationalist movements, the Muʿtazilah and the Ashʿarīyah, in their attempt to strengthen their footholds in the capital. Among his writings, the best known is his Ruʾūs al-masāʾil, a work on positive law in which he argues in favor of the legal opinions of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, a manuscript of which is in the Ẓāhirīyah in Damascus. Ibn ʿAqīl, in his Kitāb al-funūn, has preserved a legal opinion of Sharīf Abū Jaʿfar that throws some light on the Seljuk forces who invaded Baghdad in mid-century, long hailed as the saviors of Sunnism against the Buyid Shīʿah. The Seljuks pillaging the inhabitants of Baghdad in 1055, said the sharīf, should be brought to justice as highway robbers, because the inhabitants had no defense against them. Abū Jaʿfar led a turbulent life, which often put him under house arrest or in prison. His biographers seem to think that he did not die a natural death. At his funeral, the popular masses, his powerful arm against enemies, cried out during the procession: "Invoke God's mercy upon the sharīf —martyred, assassinated, poisoned."
The other students of Abū Yaʿlā finished their careers in the first half of the twelfth century. Some who had begun their legal studies with him completed them after his death with one or another of his older disciples. Among the Ḥanābilah of this period are Abū al-Fatḥ al-Ḥulwānī, al-Mukharrimī, and Ibn Abī Yaʿlā. Al-Ḥulwānī (d. 1112), like Abū Jaʿfar, was a jurisconsult and ascetic. He studied law first with Abū Yaʿlā, then with the sharīf and Yaʿqūb al-Barzabīnī. He is the author of the Kitāb al-mubtadī fī al-fiqh, a textbook on law for beginners. Ibn Abī Yaʿlā ("son of Abū Yaʿlā," d. 1131) was the second of Abū Yaʿlā's three sons, and his name attests to the great renown of the father as well as to that of this particular son. Ibn Abī Yaʿlā is known especially for his biobibliographical history of the Ḥanbālī madhhab from its beginnings down to his day.
A great Ḥanbālī mystic of this period is the celebrated ʿAbd Allāh al-Anṣārī al-Ḥarawī (d. 1088), of Herat (Persia) as indicated by his name. He studied in his hometown and also in Nishapur, Ṭūs, Bisṭām, and Rayy. The origins of his membership in the Ḥanbālī madhhab are not known, but there is no doubt that he was a Ḥanbālī, and a pugnacious one to boot. He made this clear in his declarations, as well as in his writings, which include Dhamm al-kalām, a condemnation of kalām -theology; Manāqib al-Imām Aḥmad, a biographical work extolling the excellence of Ibn Ḥanbal's virtues; and Manāzil al-sāʾirīn, the most important Ḥanbālī treatise on mysticism. The last-named work attracted many commentaries, including one by the Ḥanbālī jurisconsult and mystic Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyah, the disciple of Ibn Tay-mīyah, himself a jurisconsult and theologian, and a member of the Qādirīyah Ṣūfī order. Al-Anṣārī also wrote a Qaṣīdah dālīyah (Ode rhyming in dāl [the eighth letter of the alphabet]), a profession of faith in defense of Ḥanbālī beliefs; the title was later taken up by al-Kalwadhānī for the same purpose. The biographer Ibn Rajab cites some of al-Anṣārī's other verses in which he declares that "My madhhab is the Ḥanbālī madhhab ", and again, "I am a Ḥanbālī and shall be one as long as I live, and, on my death bed, my last will and testament to my fellow Muslims will be that they follow the principles of Ibn Ḥanbal." What al-Anṣārī meant was that they should become traditionalists in opposition to the rationalism of the Ashʿarī movement that he opposed: "Our God shall be seen sitting on his throne [i. e., beatific vision]; his word is eternal [i. e., the Qurʾān is not created]; his prophet is Arab. Anyone who says other than this is an Ashʿarī!"
Yaʿqūb al-Barzabīnī (d. 1093) was a classmate of Sharīf Abū Jaʿfar. They completed their legal studies together, were both received as notaries by the chief qāḍī Damaghanī, and then began to teach law during the lifetime of their master, Abū Yaʿlā. Al-Barzabīnī wrote a taʿlīqah (summa ) that was the abridgment of that of his teacher Abū Yaʿlā; extracts from it appear in the Dhayl of Ibn Rajab. Ṭalḥah al-ʿᾹqūlī (d. 1118), who began his legal studies under Abū Yaʿlā, was one of al-Barzabīnī's first students. Like both his teachers, he too became a qāḍī and professor of law; he taught two works of Abū Yaʿlā on the latter's formal authorization and had a post in the mosque of Manṣūr, where he held sessions of legal disputation. Ibn Qudāmah cites him in the Mughnī and his Kāfī.
Abū Saʿd al-Mukharrimī (d. 1119), jurisconsult and Ṣūfī, headed the first Ḥanbālī madrasah in Baghdad; heretofore the madhhab 's institutions of learning had been mainly mosque-colleges (masjid s). His legal studies took place with the qāḍī Abū Yaʿlā, then with the sharīf Abū Jaʿfar, and finally with the qāḍī Yaʿqūb al-Barzabīnī. He too was a qāḍī in the Bāb al-Azaj quarter on Baghdad's east side, where he built his madrasah sometime between 1102 and 1117. This was the madrasah that later became known as that of the Ḥanbālī Ṣūfī ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī. Al-Jīlānī enlarged it and made it into a madrasah and ribāṭ (monastery) for jurisconsults and Ṣūfīs. Ibn Rajab emphasizes that Abū Saʿd al-Mukharrimī stood at the head of a long line of Ṣūfīs, ascetics, and ḥadīth masters. His name occurs in the Ṣūfī pedigrees of later Ḥanbālī scholars.
Abū Khāzim ibn Abī Yaʿlā (d. 1133), born one year before the death of his famous father, was the last of Abū Yaʿlā's three sons and bore the name of his paternal uncle, Abū Khāzim. He studied law, the disputed questions, and legal theory and methodology with al-Barzabīnī. He wrote on the disputed questions and issued a commentary on al-Khiraqī's Epitome.
Abū al-Khaṭṭab al-Kalwadhānī (d. 1116) was one of the great disciples of Abū Yaʿlā. Essentially a jurisconsult, al-Kalwadhānī excelled in law and its disputed questions. His reputation in law was so great that the celebrated Shāfiʿī jurisconsult and ambassador of the sultan Burkiyārūq to the caliph would exclaim at the approach of al-Kalwadhānī: "Here comes Law." His writings include the unpublished Al-tamhīd on legal theory and methodology (Ẓahirīyah) and Al-tahdhīb fī al-farāʾiḍ, on decedents' estates, also unpublished (Munich), which was criticized by the Ḥanbālī vizier Ibn Yūnus (d. 1197) in his Awhām Abī al-Khaṭṭab. Among his other works are the "Ode rhyming in dāl" (Damascus, 1908), the profession of faith that is his only known work treating of theology, and numerous treatments of positive law.
The most brilliant and successful student of al-Kalwadhānī was Abū Bakr al-Dīnawarī (d. 1138), who was in turn the professor of law of the well-known polymath Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 1200), as well as of Ibn al-Munā (d. 1187) and the Ḥanbālī vizier Ibn Hubayrah (d. 1165). The caliph al-Mustaẓhir appointed al-Dīnawarī to the chair vacated by the death of his professor al-Kalwadhānī in the mosque of Manṣūr, and the event is reported by Ibn ʿAqīl along with the disputations on law that usually took place in honor of the inauguration of the new professor of law.
Abū al-Ḥasan al-Zāghūnī (d. 1132), a contemporary of Ibn ʿAqīl, was the Ḥanbālī master jurisconsult who came closest to Ibn ʿAqīl in breadth of knowledge. The extensive list of his books given by Ibn Rajab includes works on positive law, disputed questions of law, decedents' estates, theology, and legal theory and methodology, a collection of his academic sermons, a history, collections of legal opinions (fatāwā), and ḥadīth, none of which has survived. He had a chair for legal disputations and academic sermons in the mosque of Manṣūr. Two great Ḥanbālī scholars were his students: Ṣadaqah ibn al-Ḥusayn and Ibn al-Jawzī.
Among the original minds of the century stood the towering figure of Ibn ʿAqīl (d. 1119). His family background was Ḥanafī-Muʿtazilī. At the age of sixteen he began his legal studies in the Ḥanbālī madhhab. During his graduate years he studied Muʿtazilī kalām- theology privately and in secret. After the death of his rich and powerful Ḥanbālī patron, Abū Manṣūr ibn Yūsuf, in 1067, he was pursued by a faction of his Ḥanbālī madhhab and was forced to go into hiding for a period of five years. Finally in 1072, in order to regain his freedom, he signed a retraction in which he abjured the Muʿtazilah and the veneration he had shown for the great mystic al-Ḥallāj in a treatise. Reflecting on this retraction in later life, Ibn ʿAqīl said that his companions had misunderstood his intention in studying under the direction of Muʿtazilī masters: "My Ḥanbālī companions demanded that I cease my relations with a certain group of intellectuals, and this prevented me from acquiring useful knowledge." As for his treatise in veneration of al-Ḥallāj, it appears to have remained in circulation among Ṣūfīs of the Ḥanbālī madhhab.
With Ibn ʿAqīl traditionalist thought reached new heights of achievement. His writings give evidence of a genuine attempt to achieve harmony between faith and reason. His two outstanding works are Kitāb al-funūn, of which only one of two hundred volumes has survived, and Al-wāḍiḥ fī uṣūl al-fiqh, a summa on legal theory and methodology written according to the scholastic method later to be used in the Christian West.
Besides the schools of Harran, Damascus, and Herat, the Ḥanābilah, by this time, had also spread to Isfahan, where ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Mandah (d. 1077) was as much an activist as the Ṣūfī al-Ḥarawī al-Anṣārī was in Herat. Among Ibn Mandah's works is a refutation of the Jahmīyah.
The Ḥanbālī names that dominate the twelfth century are those of Ibn Hubayrah, ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī, and Ibn al-Jawzī. Less famous, but no less interesting because of his membership in the Ḥanbālī madhhab, is the unusual figure of Ṣadaqah ibn al-Ḥusayn.
Ibn Hubayrah received his Ḥanbālī education under Abū al-Ḥusayn ibn al-Farrāʾ (d. 1132), Ibn al-Zāghūnī, and Abū Bakr al-Dīnawarī and studied the literary arts under al-Jawālīqī, the Ḥanbālī grammarian who succeeded his master al-Tibrīzī to the post of grammarian in the Madrasah Niẓāmīyah. Ibn Hubayrah became vizier of Caliph al-Muqtafī in 1149 and remained in that post under al-Mustanjid for a total of sixteen years, until his death in 1165. He founded a madrasah, endowed it, and established his own library in it as a waqf in perpetuity. He wrote a work on grammar, Al-muqtaṣid, an epitome of Ibn al-Sikkīt's Iṣlāḥ al-manṭiq, and a work on the five pillars of Islamic worship, Al-ʿibādāt al-khams. But his most important work is his Kitāb al-ifṣāḥ (Aleppo, 1928), a commentary on the ḥadīth collections of al-Bukhārī and Muslim, within which a whole independent work on law was written as commentary on a single one of its ḥadīth s. In preparation for the writing of Kitāb al-ifṣāḥ, the vizier spent 113,000 dinars to invite scholars from all parts for discussions on law. The work contains those doctrines on which there was unanimity among the four eponymous imams of the Sunnī madhhab s as well as questions that remained in dispute. The Kitāb al-ifṣāḥ was copied and used far and wide.
ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī is the famous Ḥanbālī Ṣūfī whose Ṣūfī brotherhood is still prosperous in the present day. He studied law under al-Mukharrimī, al-Kalwadhānī, Ibn ʿAqīl, and Abū al-Ḥusayn ibn al-Farrāʾ. In a recently published Ṣūfī silsilah ("chain") of initiation for Ibn Qudāmah, al-Mukharrimī, previously known only as a jurisconsult, appears for the first time as the Ṣūfī who passed on the Ṣūfī cloak (khirqah ) of initiation to ʿAbd al-Qādir. It was also the madrasah of al-Mukharrimī to which ʿAbd al-Qādir succeeded as administrator, professor of law, and Ṣūfī master; under his direction the institution was enlarged, and it has been maintained on Baghdad's east side down to this day. He studied Sufism under the Ṣūfī shaykh Ḥammād al-Dabbās (d. 1131), who was severely criticized by Ibn ʿAqīl. ʿAbd al-Qādir wrote two well-known works: Al-ghunyah li-ṭālibi ṭariq al-ḥaqq (The seeker's sufficiency in search of the truth), in which, basing his teachings on the Qurʾān and the sunnah, he included an ʿaqīdah of profoundly orthodox inspiration that is a succinct presentation of Ḥanbālī traditionalist beliefs. He was severely criticized by his Ḥanbālī contemporary Ibn al-Jawzī, no doubt because of scholarly rivalry, but was ably defended by ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Maqdisī, Ibn Qudāmah, and Ibn Taymīyah. The last two are known to have belonged to the Ṣūfī order of ʿAbd al-Qādir, and perhaps also ʿAbd al-Ghanī, who, with his cousin Ibn Qudāmah, had studied with ʿAbd al-Qādir for the period of forty days that preceded the Ṣūfī master's death.
Ibn al-Jawzī, whose life spanned all but thirteen years of this twelfth century, was a jurisconsult, ḥadīth expert, historian, preacher, and polemist. A prolific author, he wrote his first work—a "bibliography of works pertaining to the Qurʾān and its sciences," according to an autobiographical note—at the age of thirteen. A famous preacher and sermon writer whose talents were highly praised by the Spanish Muslim traveler Ibn Jubayr, Ibn al-Jawzī said he preached his first sermon at the age of seventeen. Into the works of this polymath passed a great amount of the writings of Ibn ʿAqīl, Ibn Hubayrah, and others otherwise lost. He first studied law under the direction of Ibn al-Zāghūnī, whom he was later to criticize; after Ibn al-Zāghūnī's death he studied with al-Dīnawarī, Abū Yaʿlā the Minor, grandson of Qāḍī Abū Yaʿlā, and al-Nahrawānī, under whom he worked as repetitor (muʿīd), and whom he succeeded as professor of law in his two madrasah s. By the year 1179, he held five professorships of law in madrasah s of which he was also the administrator. That date also coincides with the date his history of Baghdad, Al-muntaẓam, is terminated. With Ibn al-Jawzī, the Ḥanbālī madhhab reached the apex of its influence in the Abbasid capital, owing in large measure to his own weight with the caliph. Under the vizierate of the Ḥanbālī Ibn Yūnus (d. 1197), Ibn al-Jawzī was once again active in public life, but he lived the life of an exile in Wāsiṭ from 1194 to 1199, when he was allowed, through the intervention of the caliph's mother, to return to Baghdad. He died two years later.
Ṣadaqah ibn al-Ḥusayn was the most atypical Ḥanbālī intellectual, a veritable maverick of his madhhab. He was a jurisconsult, belletrist, poet, philosophical theologian, and historian. Unfortunately, none of his works are extant. He studied dialectic, kalām, decedents' estates, and, in secret, logic and philosophy. Unlike his contemporary Ibn al-Jawzī, he lived a secluded life teaching in his mosque-college in the Badrīyah quarter (Bāb Badr) on Baghdad's east side, where he led the people in prayer, issued legal opinions to those who solicited them from him, and taught various subjects to students who frequented his mosque. One of his works, on theology, is entitled Ḍawʾ al-sārī fī maʿrifat al-Bārī (A torch in the night to light the way toward God); his history is a continuation of that of his teacher Ibn al-Zāghūnī covering the period from the latter's death in 1132 to a period close to his own death. Like the Muntaẓam of Ibn al-Jawzī, it was an annalistic and biographical work.
From this point to the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols in the middle of the thirteenth century, the Ḥanābilah no longer boast of names comparable in reputation to those just treated. Nevertheless, there are some figures worthy of a place in the history of Ḥanbālī thought. Ibn al-Ghazzāl (d. 1218), known as a sermon writer, wrote a treatise on the mystic al-Ḥallāj in which he made use of Ibn ʿAqīl's earlier work on this mystic. Ibn Nuqṭah (d. 1232) was a ḥadīth expert and historian whose history, not extant, is often cited as a source. Al-Qaṭīʿī (d. 1237), a disciple of Ibn al-Jawzī, wrote a continuation of al-Samʿānī's (d. 1168) continuation of the History of Baghdad of al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī (d. 1071). Al-ʿUlthī (d. 1237) was a pious ascetic who criticized the policies of Caliph al-Nāṣir, the Ṣūfī practices of a disciple of ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī, and Ibn al-Jawzī's allegor ical interpretation of the divine attributes. Muḥyī al-Dīn Yūsuf (d. 1258), son of Ibn al-Jawzī, was a Ṣūfī and held the post of muhtasib (market superintendent) of Baghdad under Caliph al-Nāṣir. He was considered more expert than his father in jurisprudence and dialectic. He wrote several works, including Al-īḍāḥ fī al-jadal (Dialectic Made Clear), which is still in manuscript. While on an official visit in Damascus in 1254, he founded a madrasah called al-Jawzīyah. Returning to Baghdad, he was killed, with his three sons, during the Mongol invasion four years later.
With the fall of Baghdad, Damascus became the center of learning for the Ḥanbālī madhhab, whose masters had perfected their studies in Baghdad. Important Ḥanbālī intellectual dynasties developed in Damascus over the years: the descendants of the eleventh-century al-Shīrāzī who became known as the family of "Ibn al-Ḥanbālī," the Munajjā family founded by Wajīh al-Dīn Asʿad ibn Munajjā (d. 1209), and the Qudāmah family, also referred to as the Maqādisah (sg., Maqdisī), meaning those who came to Damascus from Palestine (Jammāʿīl, a place near Jerusalem, Bayt al-Maqdis). The most well-known member of the third family is Muwaffaq al-Dīn ibn Qudāmah (d. 1223). Ḍiyāʾ al-Dīn al-Maqdisī (d. 1245), who had gone to Baghdad to perfect his studies, brought back to Damascus works with which he later endowed the madrasah he founded in Baghdad called the Ḍiyāʾīyah. Many of the works of this madrasah are now in the Ẓāhirīyah in Damascus.
Another exodus from Ḥarrān brought to Damascus the Taymīyah family, the most illustrious member of which was Aḥmad ibn Taymīyah (d. 1328). Two other members of the family were Fakhr al-Dīn ibn Taymīyah (d. 1226), a disciple of Ibn al-Jawzī and professor of law in the madrasah founded by Nūr al-Dīn in Harran; and Majd al-Dīn ibn Taymīyah (d. 1254), nephew of Fakhr al-Dīn and grandfather of the famous Ibn Taymīyah. The son, ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm (d. 1283), qāḍī of Harran, was the one who fled from the Mongols and took the family to Damascus. The famous son, Taqī al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Taymīyah, the father, and the grandfather collaborated, each after the other, on a work in the field of legal theory and methodology called Al-musawwadah (The draft), of which Aḥmad ibn Taymīyah's disciple, Shihāb al-dīn Aḥmad al-Ḥarrāni al-Dimashqi (d. 1344), made a fair copy, distinguishing between the contributions of the three authors (Damascus, 1964).
Among Aḥmad ibn Taymīyah's disciples, by far the most famous was Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyah, a Ṣūfī like Ibn Taymīyah. Just as Ibn Taymīyah wrote a commentary on the Ṣūfī work of ʿAbd al-Qādir, Futūḥ al-ghayb, Ibn Qayyim commented on the Manāzil al-sāʾirīn of al-Anṣārī al-Ḥarawī. He also wrote Iʿlām al-muwaqqiʿīn, on legal theory and methodology, and a profession of faith in verse (rhyming in the letter nūn ), Al-nūnīyah. Ibn Rajab, a disciple of Ibn Qayyim, wrote the well-known history of the Ḥanābilah from 1068 as a continuation of Ibn Abī Yaʿlā. His Qawāʿīd (Cairo, 1933) is an important work on jurisprudence.
Of the Mufliḥ family, Shams al-Dīn ibn Mufliḥ (d. 1361), a student of Ibn Taymīyah, is the author of Al-ādāb al-sharʿīyah (3 vols., Cairo, 1929–1930), and the chief qāḍī Burhān al-Dīn ibn Mufliḥ (d. 1480) authored a history of the Ḥanābilah, not extant. A member of the ʿAbd al-Hādī family also deserves mention: Yūsuf ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī (d. 1503), a prolific author, many of whose works are preserved in the Zāhirīyah. He was a voracious reader, and his signature is found on the margins of a great many manuscripts in that library and elsewhere. One of his students in ḥadīth, the Ḥanafī historian Ibn Ṭūlūn (d. 1546), wrote his biography. Among the other Ḥanbālī scholars worthy of mention, the following may be cited: al-Mardāwī (d. 1481), author of Kitāb al-inṣāf, a twelve-volume work on law, and Kitāb al-taḥrīr, on legal theory and methodology; al-Hujāwī (d. 1561), whose Iqnāʿ is a basic manual on Ḥanbālī law; al-Bahūtī (d. 1641), the well-known Ḥanbālī