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The Responsa of Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal and the Formation of Ḥanbalism

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This essay provides an analytical description of the sources and collectors of the legal responsa (masāʾil) of Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal (d. 241/855). It outlines the contents and characteristics of the various Masāʾil works, the backgrounds and approaches of their authors, and their current status (manuscripts and editions). The essay also describes efforts by Aḥmad’s students and followers to address contradictions and discrepancies among his statements and to identify general principles within them in order to make possible the articulation of the legal doctrine of the Ḥanbalī madhhab.

Affiliations: 1: King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


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