“al-Harith bin Miskin entered upon Ahmad bin Hambal while he was being tortured, and narrated:
“Yusuf bin ‘Umar bin Yazid narrated to me that Malik bin Anas said: “az-Zuhri was dragged away until he was beaten with a whip.” So, it was said to him: “But az-Zuhri was brought out in front of the people had has books hung from his neck!” So, Malik said: “Sa’id bin al-Musayyib was beaten with a whip, and his hair and beard were shaven off, and Abu az-Zinad was beaten with a whip, as was Muhammad bin al-Munkadir.””
And ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said: “Do not envy anyone who has not been harmed for the sake of this affair (i.e., Islam)!””
So, Ahmad became pleased at these narrations of al-Harith’s.”
[‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’; p. 321]
“And the people are still being put to trial for the Sake of Allah, and being patient upon that. For example, the Prophets would be killed, and the righteous people of the previous nations would be killed and burned alive. One of them would even have his flesh combed off of his body with a metal comb, and he would remain upon his religion, despite this.
The Messenger of Allah was poisoned, as was Abu Bakr. ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali were all killed. al-Hasan was poisoned, and al-Husayn was killed. ‘Abdullah bin az-Zubayr, ad-Dahhak bin Qays, and an-Nu’man bin Bashir were also all killed, and Khubayb bin ‘Udayy was crucified.
al-Hajjaj killed ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Abi Layla, ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Ghalib al-Hidani, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Abu al-Bukhtari at-Ta’i, Kumayl bin Ziyad, and crucified Mahan al-Hanafi. He had also crucified ‘Abdullah bin az-Zubayr beforehand.
al-Wathiq killed Ahmad bin Nasr al-Khuza’i and crucified him.
As for those who were persecuted from the major scholars: ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Abi Layla; he was whipped by al-Hajjaj over four hundred lashes, then al-Hajjaj killed him.
Abu az-Zinad was whipped by Banu Umayyah, and Abu ‘Amr bin al-‘Ala’ was whipped by Banu Umayyah over five hundred lashes, and Rabi’ah ar-Ra’i was also whipped by Banu Umayyah.
‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi was whipped by al-Hajjaj over four hundred lashes, and Yazid ad-Dabiyy was also whipped over four hundred lashes by al-Hajjaj.
Thabit al-Binani was whipped by al-Jarud (the successor of Ibn Ziyad), and ‘Abdullah bin ‘Awn was whipped over seven hundred lashes by Bilal bin Abi Bardah.
al-Imam Malik bin Anas was whipped by al-Mansur over seventy lashes, and Abu as-Sawwar al-‘Adawi and ‘Uqbah bin ‘Abd al-Ghafir were also lashed several times.”
[‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’; p. 322]
Shabat (one of Ahmad’s torturers who later repented) said:
“I whipped Ahmad bin Hambal with over eighty lashes. If I had struck an elephant with these lashes, they would have caused it to collapse.”
[‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’; p. 157]