Held in high esteem by generations of ‘ulamā° and laity alike, the four madhāhib have played a pivotal role in protecting and safeguarding the sharī’ah of Islām. None would however argue that the Ḥanbalī Madhhab has remained the least well understood and subject to the most misinterpretation and misrepresentation. In contrast to fiqh and ‘aqīdah, the relatively later development of this Madhhab, coupled with the fewest number of scholars and practitioners has resulted in a gap in the understanding of many regarding this Madhhab’s lesser-known sciences such as its uṣūl, governing principles, scholars, main texts and development.
Although not an overly popular topic with students of knowledge nor scholars, this text seeks to fill some of the aforementioned gaps, provide an introduction to elementary issues concerning the Madhhab and aims to clarify some prevalent misconceptions held not only by outsiders but also those claiming adherence to the Ḥanbalī Madhhab.
The author, Shaykh Yūsuf bin Ṣādiq al-Ḥanbalī, is one of the few traditional Ḥanbalī shuyūkh, who as well as being extensively qualified to teach the Ḥanbalī Madhhab and its related sciences, has received the required ijāzāt and permissions via the time-honoured method of Islamic scholars. It is hoped that the reader understands well the content presented and ignites in him or her the interest to further pursue studies into this important but often neglected science.