Life events of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal
Fatwa No: 86269


I read that Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal was tortured during his time. He was given even lashes. I want to know why he was tortured. At that time whether he was a qualified scholar (or) just in the beginning (or) near his end. I want to know in detail please.


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on him) was imprisoned and exposed to severe torture upon the breakout of the trial of "the creation of the Qur'an". Some of those whose hearts and minds diverted from the True Path claimed that the Qur'an was not the Speech (Words) of Allah, rather a creation of Him, just as other creations. They succeeded in getting access to the ruler at that time and introduced that fallacy to him. They did their level best to convince him of their allegation, to which he, unfortunately agreed. When Imam Ahmad along with other scholars of our Salaf (righteous predecessors) took firm stance and opposed that trial (allegation), they were imprisoned and mercilessly tormented. Some of them succumbed under coercion, while some others used double entendre (equivocation) to evade that critical situation. Imam Ahmad stood firmly and proclaimed clearly and out loud the falsity of that allegation. For this brave opposition, he was exposed to unbearable torture until ultimately Allah, the Exalted, granted him triumph and made right to prevail and wrong to vanish. He defiantly and bravely stood in the face of that trial thanks to Allah then to his advanced level of Islamic knowledge. He, Imam Ahmad , went on as a role model for his followers in his commitment to the approach of the Prophet's companions in the matter of belief. For more details about this story, one may refer to some biographical and history books such as: Ibn Katheer 's "Al-Bidayah Wan-Nihayah" [the beginning and the end] and Ath-Thahabi 's 'Siar A'laam An-Nubalaa' [biographies of noble figures] and others. Allah knows best.

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