Did Imam Ahmed Ibn Hambal use weak ahadith?
As far as I have read he used it only when he had to resolve a fiqh issue which had no source of information in the authentic hadith. Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah has said in ‘Al Qaaid al Jaleela fit Tawassuli wal Waseelah’,
"None of the Imams have said that it is permissible to consider something waajib or mustahab by way of weak hadith, and whoever said so differed from the consensus."
What we know from what you have quoted about is that:
- Imaam Ahmed did not prohibit the use of weak ahadith in situations where the hadith is talking about virtues and is established that it is not a lie.
- The issue is not that he said or not; the issue is did he use weak ahadith or not. The answer is yes he did, and if you read books like the ‘Usool of Madhab Imaam Ahmed’ I think by Ibn Uthaymeen you will get the details.
- The following is from the same source you have quoted from "and that is the action which is known to be lawful with a Shari'ah evidence, and there has been narrated in its virtue hadith that is not known to be a lie, it is possible that the reward will be true and none of the Imams have said that it is permissible to consider something required [waajib] or recommended [mustahabb] by way of a weak hadith, and whoever said so differed from the consensus [ijma'a]." This a quote from Sheikh ul Islam proving that a weak hadeeth can be used provided certain conditions are met Insha allah.
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