Imams of Ahlus Sunnah, Imams of the Mutakallimun, Shaykhs of al-Islam, Imam al-Ilm al-Kalaam!
Sayyiduna Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi 242-333AH. Descendant of the Sahabi, Sayyiduna Abu Ayyub al-Ansari رضي الله عنه
Sayyiduna Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari 260-324 AH. Descendant of the Sahabi, Sayyiduna Abu Musa al-Ashari رضي الله عنه.
Imam al-Maturidi and Imam al-Ash’ari رضي الله عنهما Were From the Salaf Us-Saliheen رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين (First Three Centuries After The Prophetic Age). They never met, their students eventually did. When they met and discussed Aqeedah issues, they discovered that these were ‘two sides of the same sword!
They Simply Defended And Upheld The Transmitted Beliefs Of The Qur’an and Sunnah, As Upheld By Mainstream Sunni Islam (as-Sawad al-Adh’am) In Each Generation Before Them, From The Extremes Of Excessive Literalism and Excessive Rationalism.
Their Teachings and Methodology Were Accepted As The Standard Of Mainstream Sunni Islam By Clear General Consensus (Ijmah) Of The Scholarly Community (Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah) In Their Own Times And In Every Generation.
There is no (Doctrinal) difference between Ash’aris and Maturidis, hence both groups are Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah i.e. the as-Sawad al-Adham.
Two foremost Imams of the Mutakallimun of Ahlus Sunnah, known in their time as the Imams of Guidance!
They did not innovate anything new. Their creed was in accordance with the Sahaba al-Kiraam (Salaf us-Saliheen – the Pious predecessors) رضي الله عنهم.
Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi رضي الله عنه surpasses Imam Jafar at-Tahawi رضي الله عنه as a transmitter and commentator of Imam Abu Hanifa’s رضي الله عنه legacy in Kalam. Both Imam al-Maturidi and Imam at-Tahawi followed Imam Abu Hanifa and his companions in the position that belief (al-Imaan) consists in; “Conviction in the Heart and Affirmation by the Tongue.”
Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari, رضي الله عنه surpasses Imam ash-Shafi`i رضي الله عنه as a transmitter. Imam al-Ash’ari followed Imam ash-Shafi’i and his companions in the position that belief (al-Imaan) consists in; “Conviction in the Heart and Affirmation by the Tongue and Practice with the Limbs.”
The supreme imams of Orthodox Muslims in the field of beliefs (Aqeedah) and Oneness of Allah عزوجل (al-Tawheed), and most experts in Orthodox belief and its proof and defense (al-Mutakallimun) insisted on the unbelief of every Sectarian (Mubtadi‘) whose heresy was in itself outright unbelief, or directly implied unbelief as, for example, whoever held that what he worshipped had an image (Sūrah), or a limit (Hadd), or extremity (Nihāyah), or that (what he worshipped might move or be still. There is no difficulty for anybody who has a mind to comprehend the unbelief of the Karrāmiyah, the anthropomorphist’s (al-Mujassimah), for claiming that He عزوجل , the Transcendent, is a body, and has a limit, and an extremity underneath Him عزوجل , and that Heعزوجل contacts His throne, and that He عزوجل is the site of occurrences, and that speech and will recur to Him عزوجل again and again, (whereas the truth of the matter is that His speech and His will are preeternal and one and single).
The Maturidis and Ash’aris are the elite of Ahlus Sunnah and the supporters of the laws (Shari’ah) of the Religion. They stood up to refute the innovators of misguidance (Ahl al-Bid’ah) among the Qadariyyah, Mu’tazila , Khawarij, Rawafidh and others. The one who slanders them, in fact, slanders Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah. The one in charge of Muslims has to discipline such people in a way to stop others from imitating them!
“One who departs from what Shaykh al-Islam Imam al-Mutakallimun Sayyiduna Abu al-Hasan al-Ashari and Shaykh al-Islam Imam al-Mutakallimun Sayyiduna Abu Mansur al-Maturidi رضي الله عنهما reported is not a Sunni. These two Imam’s followed the footprints of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم and his Companions رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين.”
[Imam Ahmad Shihab ad-Din al-Qalyubi رحیم اللہ in Kanz ar-Raghibin]
The Maturidiyyah according to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم!
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم said, “Verily, you shall conquer Constantinople and truly what a wonderful leader will her leader be, and truly what a wonderful army will that army be!”
[Ahmad, al-Hakim, ad-Dhahabi, as-Suyuti, al-Haytami]
Both the leader and his army were Hanafis Maturidis Sufis
The Asha’irah according to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم!
The Prophet SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Aalihi Wa Sahbihi Wa Sallam said; “The Ash`aris among people are like a precious parcel containing musk.”
[Ibn Sa`d, al-Qushayri, as-Subki, Ibn Asakir]
“The best of men are the men of the Yemen. Faith is Yemen.”
[Ahmad, Tabarani, al-Haytami]
”The various parts of the Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah in Aqeedah (Beleifs) as the al-Ash’ari and the al-Maturidi, in Fiqh (jurisprudence) such as the al-Hanafi, al-Maliki, ash-Shafi’i and al-Hanbali, in Tasawwuf (Sufism) such as the al-Qadri, al-Chisti, an-Naqshabandi and as-Sohurwardi, this is the truth.”
[Shaykh Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Hanafi al-Maturidi al-Naqshbandi MuHadith al-Dehlawi رحیم اللہ]
al-Qur’an “And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah and be not divided.”
Allah has forbidden separation, and disagreement with consensus (ijma) is separation.
Hence, if Allah has forbidden separation then surely we must all unite on the unanimously accepted Aqeedah of our pious predecessors. This unanimity (in Aqeedah) was transmitted by the two great Imam’s, Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari and Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi رضي الله عنهما and the scholars who followed their path.”
[Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحیم اللہ in al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyya]
This unanimity was transmitted by the two great Imam of Ahle Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah Shaykh ul-Islam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Shaykh ul-Islam Abul al-Hasan al-Ashari RadiAllahu Anhuma and and the scholars who followed their path.”
“‘Man of Bid’ah’ means one whose beliefs are different from the Ahl as-Sunnah faith. The Ahl as-Sunnah faith, is the faith of Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Imam Abu al-Hassan al-Ash’ari, and those who followed them. One who brings forth something which is not approved by Islam becomes a man of Bid’ah.”
[Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحیم اللہ in al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyya]
”The way of Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari رضي الله عنهما is the same way that the esteemed scholars follow the notable for schools of law (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali) who know the permissible from the prohibited, who are engaged in giving victory to the religion of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم.”
[Shaykh ul-Islam Imam Taj ud-din as-Subki ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحیم اللہ]
“Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari (and Imam Abu Masur al-Maturidi) رضي الله عنهما is one who defended the creed and one who authored books and works refuting the atheists and others among the Mu’tazilah, Jahmiyyah, Khawarij, Rawafid and all other innovators of misguidance.”
[Imam al-Khatib al-Baghdadi ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحیم اللہ in Tarikh al-Baghdad]
“Agreement has formed in subscribing to Ash’ari and Maturidi doctrine (Aqeedah) among the Shafi’is, the Malikis, the Hanafis and the nobility of the Hanbalis.”
[Shaykh Abd as-Salam ibn Mashish al-Alami رحیم اللہ]
”It requires sound understanding to see how the al-Ash’ari and al-Maturidi Aqeedah has not deviated from transmitted sources (i.e. the Qur’an, Sunnah and the way of the Salaf us-Saliheen رضي الله عنهما.) Sound understanding requires sound reasoning and looking beyond the superficial aspects of the school which make it appear otherwise, such as many of the Ash’ari and Maturidi text in Aqeedah not containing a lot of quotes from the Qur’an and Sunnah, most of the Ash’ari and Maturidi scholars being referenced as scholastic theologians (Mutaklimeen), Ash’ari and Maturidi scholars speaking with the language of the philosopher etc. These are some of the things that I heard which makes one believe that the Ash’ari and Maturidi School is not based on transmitted sources.”
[Imam Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحیم اللہ]
“The people of Hadith are all in agreement that Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari and Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi رضي الله عنهما was Imams of Hadith and their school is the same as the people of Hadith. They presented the essentials of the Religion according to the methodology of Ahlus Sunnah and they refuted the factions of misguidance. They were a drawn sword against the Mu’tazilah, Khawarji, Rawafid etc. and all the innovators, and the apostates. The one who slanders them or defames them, in fact, speaks ill of the entire Ahlus Sunnah.”
[Imam al-Qushayri ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحمة الله عليه in al-Risala]
“The Ahlus Sunnah among the Malikis, the Shafi’is, the majority of the Hanafis speak with the tongue of Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari and Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi رضي الله عنهما and argue with their arguments.”
[Imam Ibn Musa al-Mayurqiرحمه الله ]
“The Believer should adapt himself to the Sunnah and to the Jama’ah. The Sunnah is the way shown by RasoolAllah صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم. The Jama’ah is composed of the things done unanimously by the Sahaba al-Kiram رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين who lived in the time of the four caliphs of Khulafa’ ar-Rashideen (and others in their path) رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين. A Muslim must prevent the multiplication of the people of Bid’ah and keep away from them, and should not greet them (as given in many Hadith on this issue). Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RadiAllahu Anh, the Imam of our Madhab, said that greeting a man of Bid’ah meant loving him since it had been declared in a Hadith, ‘Disseminate (your) greeting (Salaam)! Love one another in this way!”
[Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani al-Hanbaliرحمه الله ]
“The Ahlus Sunnah consist of three groups: the textualists al-Atharis (Hanbali Mufawid), whose Imam is Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Ash’aris, whose Imam is Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari, and the Maturidis, whose Imam is Abu Mansur al-Maturidi رضي الله عنهم…. and they are all one group, the saved sect (al-Firqatun Najiyyah), and they are Ahl al-Hadith, the Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah.”
[Imam Muhammad Saffarini al-Nabulusi al-Hanbali رحمه الله in Lawami` al-Anwar]
”When we use the term ‘Ahlus Sunna Wa’l Jama’ah’, what is meant are the Ash’aris and the Maturidis.”
[Imam Ibn Hajr al-Haytami ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari, Imam al-Baydawi ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari]
The Prophet said: “He who deviates from the largest group of Muslims, even as much as a hand span, has himself cut off his connection with Islam”.
”Allah will never let my Ummah agree upon misguidance, and the hand of Allah is over the group (Jama’ah), so follow the great mass of believers (as-Sawad al-‘Adham), and whoever dissents from them departs to hell”
The Majority of the scholars of the Ummah is Asha’irah and Maturidiyya. The the Ummah has always been Asha’irah and Maturidiyyah and that’s the majority.
”The Sunnis are the Ash’ari and the Maturidi.”
[Imam Ibn Hajr al-Haytami ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحیم اللہ in Fatawa al-Hadithiyya]
”The Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah are the Maturidi and Ash’ari.’’
[Imam Ibn Abideen ash-Shaami al-Hanafi al-Maturidi رحمه الله in Radd al-Muhtar]
‘’Asha’irah and Maturidiyya (Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah) are same, however they differed in Furoo’ issues (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali) not in Usool (Aqeedah).
“The Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah (i.e. al-Maturidi Wa al-Ash’ari) is the successful group and it is this group which weighs or determines its thoughts and its according to the scales of the Holy Qur’an”.
[Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحیم اللہ in al-Mujarribaat]
“As the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم has stated, follow this ‘as-Sawad al-Adham’, and when the four Madhabs (i.e. Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’I’ and Hanbali) are within the as-Sawad al-Adham then the following of any one of them, is followance of the Sawad al-Adham. Therefore, refuting any one of them is refuting the Sawad al-Adham “.
[Shaykh Shah Wali’ullah al-Hanafi al-Maturidi al-Naqshbandi MuHaddith al-Dehlawi رحمه الله in Aqdul al-Jayyad]
“Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari رضي الله عنهما were contemporaries, and both were striving for the same cause. The difference was that Imam al-Ashʿari was geographically closer to the camps of the opponent [the Muʿtazila]. Baṣra had been the birthplace of the Muʿtazila ideology and the place from where it grew and spread, and it was also one of the main fronts in the ideological war between the Muʿtazila and the scholars of Hadith and Fiqh. Though imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi was far from this battlefield, its echoes had reached the lands where he lived, and hence, there were Muʿtazila in Transoxiana mimicking the Muʿtazila of Iraq. It was Māturīdī who stood up to combat them.”
[Shaykh Muhammad Abu Zahra al-Azhari رحمه الله in Tarikh al-Madhahib al-Islamiyyah]
“By Sawad-e-Azam is meant those who are called the Ahlus Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah. i.e. the MAturidis and Ash’aris.”
[Imam Sufyan as-Souri in al-Mizaanul Kubra]
“Each Believer must protect his faith by learning the creed (Aqeedah) of one of the imams who are incontestably worthy of respect, and well-grounded in knowledge (i.e. from among the followers of Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari and Imam Abu Masur al-Maturidi رضي الله عنهما, as indicated in the passages before).”
[Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad ash-Shafi’i al-Ash’ari رحیم اللہ]
“Salvation depends on the fact that every single belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah be so firm that one will remain firm even if the sky and the earth vanishes.”
[Imam Ahmad Rida al-Hanafi al-Maturidi al-Qadri رحیم اللہ]
The Sunni Scholars works in compliance with and defends the actual teachings of Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah. Throughout the world, this association is spreading the teachings of Aqeedah of Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari رضي الله عنهما and the teachings of Fiqh according to the four Imams, i.e. Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Ash-Shafi’i, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal رضي الله عنهم. However, some people who did not learn the proper teachings of Ahlus Sunnah, they are misrepresenting the actual teachings of Ahlus Sunnah.
To defend the creed of Ahlus Sunnah is an obligation and it is in this regard this advisory note is being presented and our aim is not to spread tribulations and discord in the Muslim community.
So a Traditional Sunni Muslim is a follower of one of the four Madhabs AND a follower of one of the two schools of creed, crystal clear and simple, do not let anyone else tell you otherwise!
It is in summary the followers of Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari and Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi in Aqeedah, and this saved group is represented by the adherents of one of the four schools – Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali today.!
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
الصلوۃ والسلام علیک یا سیدی یارسول اللہ
وعلٰی آلک واصحابک یا سیدی یا حبیب اللہ