Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal is remembered for many things. He was an Imam in Fiqh, Hadith, and many other sciences. In fact, his madh-hab is one of the four established madh-habs of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah. Yet, the one matter he is most remembered for- one of the most defining moments in the History of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah_- is his stance in the time of the Mihnah (the Inquisition).
Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Madini, the great teacher of Imam al-Bukhari said, “Truly, Allah supported this religion with Abu Bakr as-Siddiq the day of the apostasy (ar-Riddah), and He supported it with Ahmad ibn Hanbal the day of the Inquisition ( al-Mihnah).”
Imam ash-Shafi’i said, “I left Baghdad and did not leave behind me anyone more virtuous, more learned, more knowledgeable than Ahmad ibn Hanbal.” ‘They said: “Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom’