❝I was recently reading al-Hidayah by Abi-l Khattab and al-Jami’ al-Saghir by al-Qadi Abu Ya’la (two of the early Hanbali scholars), and it’s as though I was reading al-Muntaha or al-Iqna’ or Ar-Rawdh al-Murbi’ (the relied upon texts by the later Hanbali scholars).
The Madhhab is one. Some people when they hear about the Madhhab of the Muta’akhirin (the late Hanbali jurists), they think that it is different to the Madhhab of the Mutawassitin or Mutaqaddimin (early Hanbalis); that’s a big mistake.
We even have some of the small ‘relied-upon’ texts by the Muta’akhirin that explain whether each ruling is the explicit statement of Imam Ahmad (r).❞
— The Faqih, Shaykh Ahmad al-Qu’aimi al-Ahsa’i (h)