Annals of Muslim History

When Imams Stood Up To Tyranny: Imām Ahmad Bn Nasr Al-Khuzā’ī


The Qur’ān is the uncreated Word of Allāh. The agreement of the Ulamā of Sunnah is to this effect but there was a time in our history, during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph Ma’amūn, when through the Mu’utazilah, the claim that the Qur’ān was a Creation among the Creations of Allāh became widespread. The Caliph Ma’amūn commanded that this position be taken as the official position of the State and that every Judge and Official of the State who disagreed with it be ousted and punished. This incidence and episode became known as the Mihna in the face of which only a few stood among the Ulamā and lasted for 15 years, but it was indeed a period of Persecution and trial for the Ulamā of the Ummah.

In the face of this tyranny, persecution and trial, four Imams were steadfast: Abū ‘Abdillah Ahmad bn Hanbal, Ahmad bn Nasr bn Mālik Al-Khuzā’ī, Muhammad bn Nūh bn Maymūn, and Nu’aym bn Hammād – rahimahumullāh.

As for Ahmad bn Nasr Al-Khuzā’ī, he was born Ahmad bn Muhammad bn Thābit bn ‘Uthmān bn Mas’ūd bn Yazīd Al-Khuzā’ī. He was also known as Abū Al-Hasan Ibn Shaybawayh, rahimahullāh.

This was mentioned by Al-Hāfidh Al-Mizzī in Tahdhību Al-Kamāl

He was regarded as one of the Great Imams, a Hāfidh and a Thabt by Adh-Dhahabī – rahimahullāh – in the Siyar.

Of his students were Abū Dāwud As-Sijistānī and Yahya bn Ma’īn who was his contemporary.

Imām Ahmad bn Nasir Al-Khuzā’ī and a friend of his, also an ‘Alim had taken Bay’ah from some of their Students to stand for the Dīn , to speak the truth and to command to Ma’arūf and to forbid people from Munkar, until a large following had gathered around them. It was known that he called against the establishment of the order of Bid’ah which was the Order of Wāthiq that the Qur’ān was created and he warned people from the holding of that erroneous position.

When the secret of his activities leaked to Wāthiq, he ordered that he be brought to him in Samurrā’ from Baghdād and he was brought to him in chains.

He said to Imām Ahmad: “What do you say about the Qur’ān?”

He said: “It is the word of Allāh”

He said: “Is it created?”

He said: “It is the word of Allāh”

He said: “Will you see your Lord on the Day of Qiyāmah?”

He said: “That is how it has come in the Narrations”

He said: “Woe unto you…”

He then sought the position and Fatwah of his Palace Scholars, three of them, their verdicts on Imām Ahmad. They all ordered that he be beheaded and he was killed.

He was killed 237 years after the Hijrah on the 28th day of Sha’aban and his head was left on the gates of the city center in Baghdād throughout the month of Ramadān while his body was left on the crucifix in Samurrā’. Many of the Huffādh who witnesses that period mentioned that after his head was hung, it was heard reciting the Qur’ān. Sūratu Yāsīn and Sūratu ‘Ankabūt. This was mentioned by Adh-Dhahabī in the Siyar and Ibn Kathīr in Al-Bidāyah Wa An-Nihāyah rahimahullāh..

As for the Scholars who passed verdicts against him, Allāh’s wrath was evidenced in their lives and they had horrible endings.


When trials befall the Believers, it is expected of them to stand but their inability to hold their stances and be steadfast may be excused but same may not be the case for the ‘Alim for Allāh has taken from the ‘Ulama the Convenant of Standing upon the Truth and living by it.

How many of such Imams have we in this era for in times of tribulations and difficulty on the Path of Steadfastness, the Ummah look toward the Bearers of it’s Ilm?

اللهم أبرم لهذه الأمة أمر رشداً يُعز فيه أهل طاعتك، ويُذل فيه أهل معصيتك.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazakumullāhu Khayran


Islamnode is a platform for the dissemination of sound Knowledge of Islam and an orientation of Muslims of the Sciences of the Din in accordance with the Pristine Knowledge taught by the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – to the Companions – Ridwanullah ‘Alayhim – and understood by them, their Students and those who followed them of the earliest generations. We follow the Sunnah of the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – and promote the Works of the Ulama of Sunnah from the first generation to date. Our goal is to propagate the Sciences of Islam, to disseminate the sound understanding of the Salaf and to enable the sound education of Muslims in this era.

Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x