Brief Response to the Claim: “Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal was a Muhaddith & not a Faqih

Just like the post yesterday where we gave a short response on the claim that Imam Abu Hanifah was not a Muhaddith, an opposite claim is usually made upon Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahmatullahi alayh), some claimed that he was not a Faqeeh (Jurist) but only a Muhaddith (Hadith Narrator), the following is the testimony of the scholars who refute such contention.

Imam Abu Ubaid Qasim Bin Salam (rahimahullah) [d.224H] said:

“The knowledge of Hadith went to its apex in four scholars and Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) is the most learned Faqeeh of them.”

Imam Abu Thaur Ibraheem bin Khalid (rahimahullah) said:

“Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) was more learned Faqeeh than Sufyan Ath-Thauri (rahimahullah).” [Imam Adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullah), Tazkirat-ul-Huffaz, 2/16]

Ibn ‘Aqeel said:

“One of the most surprising thing that I have heard from the young and ignorant folk is their saying that Ahmad (bin Hanbal) is not a scholar of fiqh, but a scholar of hadeeth. And this is the limit of ignorance, since he had preferred sayings which he based upon Ahadeeth and are not known by most people, and he had things that were extra to that which the greater scholars had.”

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