Imam Ibn Balban said in his work Mukhtasar al-Ifadat:
“Point of benefit: If a person walks with someone who is higher than them in terms of rank and virtue, then he should walk on the other person’s hand side, similar to how he would be to the Imam in the prayer. If however the other person (he is walking with) is lesser than him in rank then he should walk on the other person’s left hand side, meaning that this person is to his right.”
Please find below an extract from a work showing the difference in approach of the classical Hanbali scholars and modern day scholars of the Salafi Movement of Najd.
Imam Ibn Aqil al-Hanbali (d.513 hijri) said in his fiqh work al-Tadhkirah regarding what a person should say when visiting the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in Madina the Illuminated,
“O Allah, I turn to you by means of Your Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), the Prophet of Mercy. O Messenger of Allah! I turn by means of you to my Lord to forgive my sins. O Allah I ask You by his right that You forgive my sins.”
1. Shaykh Nasir Salamah, the editor of this text (and a Qadi at a Shariah court in Saudi Arabia at the time of publishing) footnotes this statement with the following,
“Seeking dua from the Prophets and other than them such as the Awliyah and seeking help from them after their passing away is Shirk al-Akbar…”
2. This extract clearly highlights the divergence in approach of the classical Hanbalis and the Salafi scholars of the Najd.
3. Does Shaykh Nasir Salamah and other Salafi scholars regard Imam Ibn Aqil al-Hanbali to have left the folds of Islam? According to their principles of takfir recorded in Durar al-Saniyyah and other works Imam Ibn Aqil al-Hanbali was not Muslim as he committed Shirk al-Akbar on a clear cut issue and had access to the Quran and Sunnah and thus has no excuse.