How to Study the Hanbali Madhab From Beginner to Advanced

The first thing to do when a student wants to study Hanbali fiqh in a serious manner is to find a teacher. There is no way getting around this condition. It does not matter how many books, commentaries, or lectures you listen to, if you are not engaging with the texts of the school directly with a teacher to guide you through them, then there is a strong possibility of making serious flaws and having numerous misunderstandings. If you do not know where to find one in your area, then reach out to groups like المدرسة الحنبلية. They offer inexpensive Hanbali classes online in Arabic and English. They will work with you to find a suitable time insha’Allah.

The following is a list of books suggested by our teacher Sh. Yusuf bin Sadiq Al-Hanbali to take the student from a beginner to an advanced level in the Hanbali school. As an added benefit, he also provides some suggestions on what supplements to study under each level. Again, it is being assumed that the person already has a teacher that he/she is studying the following books with:

Beginner Level – أخصر المختصرات

This is a beginner level text in the school. As a supplement, use the sharh كشف المخدرات شرح أخصر المختصرات. The sharh provides additional details that are not mentioned in the text of أخصر المختصرات because it was designed to be quite brief. This will give the student a good fundamental grounding in the school.

You can also view my fiqh notes on this book here. I would also suggest Sh. Bajabir’s commentary on the book which is really good and helpful for beginners.

Intermediate Level – دليل الطالب

This is an intermediate level text in the school. As a supplement, the student should depend on حاشية ابن عوض which is far better than منار السبيل and نيل المآرب. In fact, it is the best written explanation for دليل الطالب.

Intermediate-Advanced Level – الروض المربع

This is an intermediate to advanced level text in the school. It is an explanation of the book زاد المستقنع, which is taught widely in the Arabian peninsula. However, if you study الروض المربع, there is no need to return to زاد المستقنع. As a supplement at this level, the following books are suggested:

This last book is very beneficial because it delves into justifications and clarifications behind the issues.

Advanced Level – منتهى الإرادات

This last book was not commented on much by Sh. Yusuf so I am borrowing a comment on it from another article. This is most likely the last book covered by students cover to cover with a teacher in private classes. It is studied with its sharh شرح منتهى الإرادات.

However, Sh. Yusuf did point out that the teacher who teaches this book would need to review the following books before lessons on this advanced level text:

  • حاشية البهوتي على المنتهى
  • حاشية البهوتي على الإقناع
  • حاشية الخلوتي على المنتهى
  • حاشية الخلوتي على الإقناع
  • حاشية ابن قائد على المنتهى
  • حاشية ابن فيروز على الروض المربع
  • دقائق أولي النهى للبهوتي
  • معونة أولي النهى لابن النجار
  • كشاف القناع شرح الإقناع
  • حاشية ابن حميد على شرح البهوتي
  • مطالب أولي النهى شرح غاية المنتهى وحاشية الشطي
  • بغية أولي النهى شرح غاية المنتهى
  • حاشية ابن عوض على هداية الراغب شرح عمدة الطالب
  • شرح الزركشي على مختصر الخرقي
  • المبدع شرح المقنع
  • تصحيح الفروع للمرداوي
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