Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim

Following Other Mathhabs

Are there any particular conditions in the Hanbali mathhab when it comes to making taqlid of one of the other mathhabs?

It is unlawful for someone who is not qualified to make ijtihad to seek out dispensations simply because they are easier. Someone who knows the evidence for a particular ruling to such a degree that he or she is entitled to exercise ijtihad on the issue may follow whatever their ijtihad leads to. Section w14 in The Reliance Of The Traveler talks about this in detail, quoting from Imam Ibn Hajar's Al-Fatawa Al-Hadithiyyah.

The late Hanbali scholar Imam Al-Safarini (d 1188 AH) writes about this subject at the very end of Lawaqi` Al-Anwar Al-Bahiyah, his commentary on his poem concerning the `aqidah of Ahl Al-Sunnah. After discussing the issues concerning the obligatoriness of those not qualified to make ijtihad to follow one of the four schools, whether or not it is necessary to follow a specifically follow one of those schools, and whether or not it is permissible to follow another school if it is in fact necessary, he discusses the conditions for following another school. He gives three conditions:
1. That the person not combined between the mathhabs in such a way that contradicts scholarly consensus, such as marrying without a dowry, without the bride's guardian, and without witnesses since there is no mujtahid scholar who has given this as his opinion

2. That the person believe the merit (Ar. fadl) of the one he is following, even if it is based on transmitted (m: and not first hand)

3. That the person not seek out the easiest from among the mathhabs

I have not yet seen in writing where a Hanbali rejects following another mathhab in something that is a condition for another action, for example just following another mathhab in what it considers the minimal actions wudu and then praying according to the Hanbali mathhab. When I mentioned examples like this to a Hanbali sheikh his answer was "If this is not permissible, then what's the benefit of making taqlid of another mathhab?!?" And Allah knows best.

[Note: This book of Imam Al-Safarini is the same book where he writes that the saved sect is Ahl Al-Sunnah and that it includes three schools: the Athariyah (the followers of Imam Ahmad), the Ash`ariyah (the followers of Abi Al-Hasn Al-Ash`ari), and the Maturidiyah (the followers of Abi Al-Mansur Al-Maturidi). The defense of his position is that these three schools all follow the same methodology, namely that of Ahl Al-Hadith.]

[Sources: Lawami` Al-Anwar Al-Bahiyah, Tabsirat Al-Qani`, The Reliance Of The Traveler]