Imaam Abu Abdullah; Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (R.A) was born in Baghdad, where a great number of scholars and muhadditheen were present. Imaam Ahmad (R.A) traveled far and wide in order to acquire knowledge. During the period of acquiring knowledge Imaam Ahmad (R.A) made every effort to practice upon every prophetic tradition.
Imaam Ahmad (R.A) was well known for his God-fearing and abstinent ways, for these reasons he was top-rated amongst the great people of his time.
Amongst Imaam Ahmad’s (R.A) literary works Kitaabul-Musnad (Musnade-Ahmad) is the most popular. A total number of 40 000 Ahaadeeth have been recorded.
NAME AND GENEALOGY: Imaam Ahmed Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hanbal Ibn Hilaal Ibn As’ad Ibn Idrees Ibn Abdullah Ibn Hayyaan Ibn Abdullah Ibn Anas.
RENOWNED ADDRESS / OTHER NAMES: Imaam Abu Abdullah.
YEAR AND PLACE OF BIRTH: During the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal 164 A.H, Imaam Ahmad (R.A) was born in Baghdad. Following a short while after his birth, Imaam Ahmad (R.A) Ibn Hanbal’s father took leave from this world. Imaam Ahmad (R.A) himself has reported, “Neither have I seen my father, nor my grandfather. My mother brought me up.”
ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE: During his childhood days Imaam Ahmad (R.A) acquired basic teachings at a Maktab. It was from these very days his good character, pious and scholastic ways were recognised.
Abu Afeef (R.A) has reported, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (R.A) was within our learning group at the Maktab. At that time he was very young, and we, as students were aware of his piety.
Having acquired basic teachings, at the age of 16, Imaam Ahmad (R.A) commenced the teachings of ahaadith, which was done within the teaching circles of Qaazi Abu Yusuf (R.A).
Having acquired knowledge from the great scholars and Muhadditheen of Baghdad, Imaam Ahmad (R.A) further traveled to Kufa, Basrah, Makkah, Medina, Yemen, Syria etc, and acquired knowledge from their great scholars.
A SMALL GLIMPSE OF IMAAM AHMAD’S (R.A) TEACHERS:
Ismaa’eel Ibn Ulayyah, Hushaym Ibn Basheer, Hammad Ibn Khaalid Khayyaat, Mansoor Ibn Salama Khazaa’i, Uthmaan Ibn Umar Ibn Faaris, Abun-Nadhr Haashim Ibn Qaasim, Yazeed Ibn Haroon Waasiti, Muhammad Ibn Ja’far Gundur, Wakee Ibn Jarrah, Abu Usaamah, Sufyaan Ibn Uyaynah, Muhammad Ibn Idrees Shaafi’ee (R.A) etc.
A SMALL GLIMPSE OF IMAAM AHMAD’S (R.A) STUDENTS:
Imaam Ahmad’s (R.A) two sons; Saalih and Abdullah, Hanbal Ibn Is’haaq, Hasan Ibn Sabbah Bazzar, Abbas Ibn Muhammad , Muhammad Ibn Ismaa’eel Bukhari, Abu Zur’aa Raazi, Ibrahim Harabi, Husayn Ibn Mansoor, Dawood Ibn Amr, Khalaf Ibn Hishaam, Abul Qaasim Bagawi.
IMAAM AHMAD’S (R.A) LITERARY WORKS:
1. Kitaabul Musnad ( Musnad-e-Ahmad ).
2. Kitaabut Tafseer.
3. Kitaabun Naasikh Wal Mansookh.
4. Kitaabut Taareekh.
5. Kitaabu Hadeeth-e-Shu’baa.
6. Kitaabul Muqaddam Wal Mu’akhar Fil Qur’aan.
7. Kitaabu Jawaabaatil Qur’aan.
8. Kitaabul Manaasikil Kabeer.
9. Kitaabul Manaasikis Sagheer.
Imaam Nadeem (R.A) has mentioned the following to be amongst Imaam Ahmad’s (R.A) literary works:
Kitaabu Taa’atir Rasool.
Kitaabur Radd Alal Jahmiyyah.
IMAAM AHMAD’S (R.A) CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN:
Imaam Ahmad’s (R.A) children:
1. Saalih, ( born from Imaam Ahmad’s first wife Aa’isha ).
2. Abdullah, ( born from Imaam Ahmad’s second wife Rayhaanah ).
The following were born from a slave girl Imaam Ahmad (R.A) purchased:
3. Zainab Umme Ali.
4. / 5. Hasan and Husayn, ( twins, who passed away shortly after birth).
1. Zuhayr Ibn Saalih.
2. Ahmad Ibn Saalih.
IMAAM AHMAD’S (R.A) FATEFUL DEATH: In Rabi-ul-Awwal, nine days before his death on the 2nd, Imaam Ahmad (R.A) fell ill. During these days crowds of people would gather in order to greet Imaam Ahmad (R.A). Hence, two days before his death Imaam Ahmad (R.A) slowly requested for young children to be brought by his bedside. Children would attend his bedside one by one. Imaam Ahmad (R.A) would place his hand on their heads and weep.
However, on Thursday Imaam Ahmad’s (R.A) situation worsened and on Friday morning on the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, Imaam Ahmad (R.A) took leave from this world.
Imaam Ahmad’s (R.A) fateful death not only caused grief to Muslims, but also to Jews, Christians and Fire-worshippers. Over 600,000 people attended the Janaaza prayer, and for one week Salaate-Janaazah was offered at his grave. Imaam Ahmad (R.A) was 77 years of age when he took leave from this world.