Ibn ḥanbal, Aḥmad

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Ibn Ḥanbal, Aḥmad (780–855 (AH 164–241)). The founder of a school of sharīʿa of a highly conservative nature. His most famous work was the Musnad, a vast collection of traditions edited from his lectures by his son. He did not formally establish a school of fiqh, but laid the foundations built on by others. Rigorous against bidʿa (innovation), his conservative theology made even fewer concessions than al-ʿAsharī (see also HANBALITES); yet on many matters of law, he held two opinions, giving to his school a degree of flexibility, albeit within bounds.