This 13th-century manuscript is an extensive work containing the opinions and teachings of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, compiled by Abu Bakr al-Khallal al-Baghdadi.
Who was Ibn Hanbal?
Ibn Hanbal, who was born and died in Baghdad (780–855 CE/164–241 AH), was the founder of the eponymous Hanbali school, one of the four main legal schools of Sunni Islam. He was an eminent jurist, theologian and scholar, and is considered one of the great intellectual figures of Islam. He was a strong proponent of using scriptural sources, the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the custom or precedent set by the Prophet), to answer questions of law. For that reason, he compiled an important collection of hadiths, known as the Musnad.
The compiler of this manuscript, Abu Bakr al-Khallal al-Baghdadi (d. 923 CE/311 AH), studied jurisprudence and devoted his life to the task of bringing into writing the legal system of Ibn Hanbal. Although the manuscript contains a large number of hadiths transmitted by Ibn Hanbal, the main object of this work is to record the teachings and utterances of the great Imam himself, based on the Prophetic Sunnah.