Abu Bakr al-Khallal

ʾAḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Yazīd al Baghdādī (Arabic: أبو بكر الخلال) better known as Abū Bakr al Khalāl, was a Medieval Muslim jurist.[1]

Abu Bakr al-Khallal
أبو بكر الخلال
أبو بكر الخلال.png
Ahmad bin Muhammad
Died311 AH / 923 CE
EraIslamic Golden Age
Main interest(s)Fiqh
Muslim leader
Influenced by

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 led 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 al-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 their proofs after 300."[8]

The 20th century Hanbali jurisprudent Ibn 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.. pp. 143. ISBN 9004109528.

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