Abu Bakr al-Khallal

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Abu Bakr al-Khallal
Personal Details
Born Ahmad bin Muhammad
Died 923
Era Islamic Golden Age
Region Mesopotamia
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Hanbali
Creed Athari

Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Harun bin Yazid al-Baghdadi, better known as Abu Bakr al-Khallal, was a Medieval Muslim jurist.[1]

Al-Khallal was a student of five of Ahmad ibn Hanbal's direct students, including Ibn Hanbal's son Abdullah.[2] His documentation on Ibn Hanbal's views eventually reached twenty volumes and ultimately lead to the preservation of the Hanbali school of Islamic law.[3] He was considered the principal Hanbalite scholar of his time.[4]


Al-Khallal's exact date of birth is not known. He died in 923 at the age of 78, which means that he must have been born during Ibn Hanbal's twilight years.[5] The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History estimates al-Khallal's year of birth as 848.[1]

Aside from his legal efforts, virtually nothing is known of al-Khallal's life.[1][2] During his efforts to compile the views of Ibn Hanbal, al-Khallal ended up spending periods of time living in Fars Province, Syria and Mesopotamia.[6] According to Muslim historian Al-Dhahabi, there was no such thing as an independent Hanbalite school of law prior to al-Khallal's efforts at compiling Ibn Hanbal's views.[6] Al-Khallal's status within the school was not universally accepted, and he and his students were often in conflict with fellow Hanbalite Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali al-Barbahari and his students.[7]


The historian Dhahabi stated that, "Before him (al-Khallal) there were no independent school of the imam's; not until he followed up Ahmed's texts, wrote them down and checked there proofs after 300 A.H."[8]

The 20th century Hanbali jurisprudent Badran called al-Khallal's collection "the very root of the Hanbali school, from which sprang all later books of Hanbali jurisprudence."[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Khallal, Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Harun al-" at The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History. Ed. Stanley Nider Katz. Web version. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN 9780195336511
  2. ^ a b H. Laoust, al-K̲h̲allāl. Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill Online, 2013. Reference. Accessed 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ Abu Zayd Bakr bin Abdullah, Madkhal al-mufassal ila fiqh al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal wa-takhrijat al-ashab. Riyadh: Dar al 'Aminah, 2007.
  4. ^ Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings, vol. 1: From the Creation to the Flood, pg. 72. Trns. Franz Rosenthal. New York: SUNY Press, 1989. ISBN 9781438417837
  5. ^ Ziauddin Ahmad, ABŪ BAKR AL-ḴH̱ALLĀL—THE COMPILER OF THE TEACHINGS OF IMĀM AḤMAD b. ḤANBAL. Islamic Studies, vol. 9, #3, pgs. 245-254. Islamabad: International Islamic University, Islamabad, September 1970.
  6. ^ a b Christopher Melchert, The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law: 9th-10th Centuries C.E., pg. 143. Issue 4 of Studies in Islamic Law and Society, V. 4. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1997. ISBN 9789004109520
  7. ^ Christopher Melchert, Formation, pg. 150.
  8. ^ a b Melchert, Christopher (1 Nov 1997). The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law: 9th-10th Centuries C.E. p. 143. ISBN 9004109528. 

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