بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
السلام علیکم ورحمته اللہ وبرکاته
A Musnad (plural: masaaneed) is a book in which the author has placed the ahadeeth narrated by each companion in separate chapters, each of them under the name of the relevant companion. Among the Masaneed are the Musnad of Abdu bin Humaid, the Musnad of Ad Darimi, the Musnad of Abu Yala, the Musnad of Al Bazzar, the Musnad of Abu Dawood, the Musnad of Al Hasan bin Sufyan, the Musnad of Ishaq bin Rahawaih, the Musnad of Ubaidullah bin Musa and the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad.
Musnad of Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal:
The most important and exhaustive of all the Musnad works available to us is that of Imaam Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal al-Marwazee ash-Shaybaanee. Ibn Hanbal, may Allaah be pleased with him, was descended from the Arab Shaybaanee tribe. He was born in Marw, where his father had gone for the purpose of Jihaad in 780 CE and was carefully brought up by his pious mother, Safiyyah bint Maymoonah in Baghdad. His father died at the age of 30, while Ahmad was quite young. He received his early education from the leading scholars of the region, and began the serious study of hadeeth at the age of 15 under Ibraaheem ibn ‘Ulayyah. After studying with all the major hadeeth experts of the capital, he began to travel in search of knowledge in 799. He wandered through Basra, Kufa, the Yemen, the Hijaaz, and other centers of hadeeth learning, attending the lectures of the traditionists, taking notes, and discussing them with scholars and fellow students. He finally returned to Baghdad in 810, where he met Imaam al-Shaafi‘ee and with whom he studied fiqh and usooI al-fiqh.
He made the service and teaching of the Prophet’s message the sole object of his life, and continued doing that until 833, when a storm of persecution erupted against the orthodox theologians throughout the ‘Abbaasid Empire. Caliph al-Ma’moon, under the influence of his philosophically minded associates, publicly accepted the Mu‘tazilite creed, including the notion that the Qur’aan was created. When most scholars refused to join him in his conversion, he first threatened, and then persecuted them. Many scholars, including Imaam Ahmad May Allaah be pleased with him, refused to yield. The Caliph, who was then at Tarsus, ordered that they should be put in chains and sent to him. Although these orders were carried out, al-Ma’moon died before his devout prisoners had reached their destination.The Caliph had made a will wherein he asked his successor to carry out his wishes with regard to the propagation of the doctrine on the creation of the Qur’aan. His two immediate successors, al Mu‘tasim and al-Waathiq, fiercely carried out this policy. This Mihnah (persecution) continued with varying vigour until the third year of the reign of al-Mutawakkil, who, in the year 848, finally put a stop to it and returned to mainstream Sunni belief.
Imam Ahmad was being punished, and its narrated:
تقدم إليه ابن أبي دؤاد، وقال له: يا أحمد قل في أذني القرآن مخلوق حتى أخلصك من يد الخليفة؛ فقال له الإمام أحمد: يا بن أبي دؤاد قل في أذني القرآن كلام الله وليس بمخلوق حتى أخلصك من عذاب الله عز وجل
Ibn Abi Du’ad came to him and said, ‘O Ahmad, say in my ear: ‘The Qur’an is created,’ so that I may save you from the hand of the Caliph.’ So Imam Ahmad said to him, “O Ibn Abi Du’ad, say in my ear: ‘The Qur’an is the Speech of Allaah, it is not created,’ so that I save you from the punishment of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic!!”
[“Al-Manhaj Al-Ahmad”, 1/35]
After the mihnah was over, Imaam Ahmad lived for about eight years. Most of this period, he devoted to teaching, while the rest he spent in prayers and the remembrance of Allaah. Throughout his life Ibn Hambal inspired those who knew him with his pious character. He boycotted his sons, Saalih and ‘Abdullaah, because they had accepted stipends from the caliph.
Ibn Hambal’s Musnad occupies an important place in hadeeth literature, and has served as an important source for various writers on the different genres of Arabic literature.
Satan talking to Imam Ahmed on his death bed
Abdullah bin Ahmed said:
“When death approached my father, I sat with him and in my hand was a scrap of cloth with which I wanted to tie his beard and he began to drift in and out of consciousness, then he opened his eyes and said, indicating with his hand: “No, not yet. No, not yet” And he repeated it three times. After the third repetition ,I said to him: Oh, my father! What is this thing which you have said at this time? You fall into unconsciousness so that we say that you have gone,then you return (to consciousness) and say: “No, not yet. No, not yet”
He said to me : Oh, my son! Do you not know?” I said: “No”.
He said :” Satan – May Allah’s curse be upon him – stood before me, he lowered himself on his knuckles and said to me:”Oh, Ahmad! You have eluded me.” But I replied: “No, not yet, not yet until I die.”
May Allaah Subhanahu wa tal’aa give us Hidaya and Emaan. Aameen.