Abu Bakr al-Khatib al-Baghdadi
I am pretty sure that Abu Bark Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee was Hanbali being that he was in Baghdad, but I want to be 100% sure of that.
Can you confirm this for me, and provide information if you have it
Wa `alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
Judging by his biographies, while al-Khatib al-Baghdad may have started as a Hanbali, it is clear that his madhhab of choice was the Shafi`i. While Baghdad was one of the centers for Hanbali scholarship, it is because Baghdad was one of the centers for Islamic scholarship in general.
Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Thabit, Abu Bakr al-Baghdad (392 – 463 AH).
Ahmad bin `Ali ibn Thabit was born in 392 AH, in the Hijaz. He became a well known historian and hadith master, and perhaps the most important early codifier of the sciences of hadith. His pursuit of hadith and its ancillary disciplines did not prevent him from delving into other fields. He followed the Ash`ari school of `aqidah, and the Shafi`i madhhab in legal rulings. His principle teachers in Shai`if fiqh include Abu Tayyib al-Tabari and Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Muhamali; he also studied under Abu Hamid al-Asfaraini, the well known Shafi`i legist and theologian. It is also said that he started as a Hanbali and then became a Shafi`i.
His more than 56 works include: Tarikh Baghdad, al-Nukhala’, al-Kifaya fi `Ilm al-Riwaya, Taqyi al-`Ilm, and Sharaf Ashab al-Hadith.
When his death drew near he gave away all of his property and declared his works an endowment for all Muslims. He died in Baghdad in 463 AH. May Allah grant him His mercy.
And Allah knows best.
Wa al-salamu `alaykum,