Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim
Is The Hanbali Madhhab Defunct
My question is: is the Hanbali madhab defunct today? Or are there
still scholars of ahlus sunnah who represent it, and if so like who?
In order to answer that, we must first know what makes a madhhab
"defunct" and who should we consider as "Ahl Al-Sunnah"?
Depending on how you want to play with definitions and evidence, you can
get the answers to turn out however you want. For the sake of argument, I'm
going to take a very liberal approach to things:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does make the Hanbali madhhab the code of the
land, giving precedence to classical books like Al-Bahuti's Kashshaf
Al-Qina` and Sharh Al-Muntaha. They obviously have to make
use of some modern fatawa, but at least when it comes to needing options
the Hanbali madhhab has a large supply and can easily make use of findings
from other madhhabs to make tarjih without ever having to go outside of the
madhhab. This certainly is more than you can say about the countries being
ruled by a modern, conventional Cannon of law that is only loosely based on
the Shari`a and has no qualms with going against ijma` and putting female
non-Muslims judges in charge of the Muslim courts.
As for "Ahl Al-Sunnah", anyone who stays within the Ash`ari, Maturidi, and
Athari approaches to `aqidah should be considered Ahl Al-Sunnah. Given the
severe consequences of taking people out of Paradise and sizzling them over
the flame, I refer this back to the experts of each school to tell us what
this means. But I will say this: Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi had words to say about
the `aqidah of `Ali Al-Zaghuni and Al-Qadhi Abu Ya`la yet he still relies
upon them for transmitting the madhhab, and some members of Bani Qudama had
words to say about Ibn Al-Jawzi's `aqida and yet they still relied upon him
transmitting the madhhab.
And Allah knows best.
wa al-salamu `alaykum