Analogical reasoning (Qiyas), was likewise rejected as a valid source of law by Ibn Hanbal himself, with a near-unanimous majority of later Hanbalite jurists not only accepting analogical reasoning as valid but also borrowing from the works of Shafi'ite jurists on the subject. -- Hanbali, Wikipedia

This seems surprising---the founder of Hanbali school held that qiyas were invalid, yet there's a subsequent "near-unanimous majority" accepting qiyas.

Question: Does the Hanbali school of thought accept qiyas despite Ibn Hanbal rejecting it, and if so why?

I'm wondering if this is accurate, and if it is accurate, how these two pieces of information fit together.

In What are basic (osol al fiqh) differences & similarities between the 4 (existing) Legal Sunni Schools: Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, & Shafi'i? Charts?, we have

Qiyas: in the hanbali madhab is only used in case of necessity. -- Medi1Saif

which makes me think the Wikipedia passage is misleading.

  • Wikipedia is a unreliable source and to use evidence from there is risky so it will be invalid to use evidence from there. Apr 11, 2017 at 12:14
  • Ibn Hanbal didn't reject it, but he didn't use it himself. In fact Arabic Wikipedia quotes him quoting Imam a-Shafi'i saying something similar to my quote.
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 11, 2017 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


Ahmad ibn Hanbal didn't reject qiyas, but he rarly used it i've just read a paper called إقناع الناس بقول الإمام أحمد بحجية القياس (Convincing people that Imam Ahmad confirmed the authenticity of Qiyas) which extracted 6 examples of him using qiyas in his book masail al-Imam Ahmad and was presented in this Arabic thread.

But this small amount of used evidences shows that Imam Ahmad rarely used qiyas as it was his last choice or something he only used in case of necessity (the absence of any other source) which is exactly what he quoted from his teacher Imam a-Shafi'i according Arabic wikipedia.

Of course the hanbali and each other school have borrowed definitions from a-Shafi'i as their osol- al fiqah was only compilled and arranged later.

Comment on your Statement: I'm wondering if this is accurate, and if it is accurate, how these two pieces of information fit together.

Note that maybe a reason for the misleading interpretations of Imam Ahmad rejecting qiyas were many statements of him against the hanafi school, as according to him they were execively using qiyas and rejecting ahadith (if you check the sources of both madhabs you'll find that hanafis would use qiyas much earlier than hanbalis, as they don't trust da'if ahadith at all). Imam al-Bukhari is also known for his opposition towards the hanafis.

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