Hanbal, Hanafi, the school of fiqh, or the name

Hanbal, Imam Ahmad Ibn The founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh. He was born in 164 ah and died in 241 ah, aged 77 years. His birthplace is not known for certain but it is generally accepted as being either in Baghdad, present-day Iraq or Merv, an abandoned city, now an archaeological site, in Turkmenistan. It is accepted that his place of death was Baghdad, however. Hanbal studied under the Imam Shafi’i, who also founded a school of fiqh, and the two schools therefore have many similarities. Hanbal had disputes with the caliph over the right to make laws, arguing that only the Qur’an could be the source of laws, and it was not up to the caliph to interpret them. The caliph was, in Hanbal’s view, merely a public administrator. This effectively meant that the rulers of nations should be advised by Islamic scholars and that their rule was therefore not absolute within their jurisdictions.

Hanbali One of the four main schools of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) within Sunni Islam, named after Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. The other three schools are Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi’i. Hanbal introduced the concept of istislah (that the public interest should be an important consideration in law-making) and this theory runs through the Hanbali school. The concept that political leadership is merely a social tool and that leaders should themselves be governed by Shariah leaves little room for political independence, and indeed where governing administrations follow the Hanbali school, such as in Saudi Arabia and much of the Arabian Peninsula, they are considered strict regimes.

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Hanifite Alternative form of Hanafi, the school of fiqh, or the name given to those who follow it.

hanifiyyah The action and mindset of complete devotion and submission to Allah.

haqiqa The third stage in a Sufi’s journey to perfection, the complete sequence being shari’a, tariqa, haqiqa and marifa.

haqq, haq Literally, the truth. Haqq is also another name for Allah. In the jurisprudence of transactions, haqq means the right of a party in the transaction, for example, the right of a creditor to be paid.

haram, haraam Acts or items which are forbidden and capable of incurring punishment by Allah, for example, fornication, eating pork, consuming alcohol, viewing pornography. The sixth, final and most extreme degree on the ahkam spectrum (see haram hurma mu-abbad, haram hurmatum mu aqqatah).

haram hurma mu-abbad A haram (forbidden) ruling that is eternal, forever binding.

haram hurmatum mu aqqatah A haram (forbidden) ruling that lasts only for a specified time.