Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was kept in prison for 28 months, with a heavy chain around his feet. He was publicly humiliated, slapped and spat upon. Every evening he used to be flogged. All this was because of the controversy regarding whether the Quran was `uncreated'
The Shaf'i school is considered the easiest school and the Hanbali is considered the hardest in terms of social and personal rules.
The government of Saudi Arabia vigorously enforces its prohibition against all forms of public religious expression other than that of those who follow the government's interpretation and presentation of the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam. This is despite the fact that there are large communities of non-Muslims and Muslims from a variety of doctrinal schools of Islam residing in Saudi Arabia. Under the Hanbali interpretation of Shari'a law, judges may discount the testimony
of people who are not practicing Muslims or who do not have the correct faith. Legal sources report that testimony by Shi'a is often ignored in Saudi courts of law or is deemed to have less weight than testimony by Sunnis. The explanation of Saudi officials is that their Hanbali school of Islam religiously mandates that they deny other religions the right to function openly on the Arabian Peninsula - a right that is clearly protected in international law.
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