Ash'aris & Maturidies Ahlus-Sunnah? Should Ta'weel (interpretation) be made in Aqeedah?|
By Mufti Ebraheem Desai
Q.) A sheikh said Ahl-us-Sunnah wal Jamah are
those who follows the thought of Imam ibn Taymiyyah, that is to believe in
Allahs' sifat (attributes) without doing taweel (interpretation). The Ash'aris
and Maturidies do taweel which is not the way of the salaf. Therefore they are
not from the Ahlus-Sunnah. My question is that I follow the fiqh of Imam Abu
Hanifah and I believe that I am a Maturidie. Am I not then from Ahlus-Sunnah?
Please answer my question in detail. [Ansar Ali]
A.) The Maturidis and the Ash'aris are from the
Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa. Hereunder is a brief explanation on their beliefs
regarding the Sifat of Allah.
Basically, the Ulama of Aqaaid (beliefs) are of two categories, a) The Salaf
(former Ulama), b) Mutakallimeen (Ulama of Aqeedah)
Imam al-Nawawiy (RA) mentions in his commentary of Sahih Muslim, 'There are two
famous Madhabs with regards to the beliefs of the Sifaat of Allah:
1) The Madhab of majority of the Salaf and a few Mutakallimeen is to believe in
the reality of the Sifaat of Allah in accordance to whatever is appropriate for
Allah. The apparent known meanings of those Sifaat are not meant. No Ta'weel
(interpretation) should be made in the matter.
2) The Madhab of most of the Mutakallimeen and a few of the Salaf like Imaam al-Nawawiy
and Imaam al-Awzaa'ee is that Ta'weel will be made.
Both these Madhabs are unanimously accepted.
Actually, our Aqeeda is in accordance with the first Madhab. The second Madhab
came about because there were many misled groups in the latter times, like al-Mujassamah
who believe that Allah has the same qualities as human beings. The Mutakallimeen
had to refute these misled groups. To do so they made Ta'weelaat
(interpretations) by stating that these verse are not in their literal sense,
but indicate Power, Majesty, etc. In making Ta'weel, they did not intend to
oppose the Salaf, but to oppose the misled groups. The Mutakallimeen have stated
that if they were in the era of the Salaf, they would not have made any Ta'weel
in the verse of Sifaat.
As for Imaam al-Maturidee (who the Hanafis generally follow in beliefs) and
Imaam al-Awzaa'ee (who the Shaafi'ee generally follow in belief), they both
believe in not making Ta'weel. (see Muqaddamah of Kitaab al-Tawhid of Imaam al-Maturide
by Shaykh Fathullah Khaleef pgs.10-11). This is basically the view of the Ahlus
sunnah Wal Jamaa.
As for ibn Taymiyah (RA) believing in the Sifaat of Allah without Ta'weel, the
Shaykh is correct in his statement. (Fataawa ibn Taymiyah vol.6 pg.213; Cairo)
As for the statement of the Shaykh that the Ahlus Sunnah are confined to those
that follow the thoughts of ibn Taymiyah, this is incorrect as explained above.
The scholars of the Maturidee and Ash'ari schools of thought who came after the
founders of these schools adopted the view of making Ta'weel to combat the
deviated sects of their respective eras. But, these scholars knew the limits of
We advise that we maintain the belief of the Salaf, i.e. we don't make Ta'weel
1) This was the belief of Imaam al-Maturidee (and we are Maturidees)
2) The latter Ulama only made Ta'weel because of Dhuroorah (i.e. necessity in
combating the deviated sects).
3) These Ulama who made Ta'weel, they knew the limits of Ta'weel and we
sometimes might exceed the bounds which will lead us to Kufr.
We should also be aware that not all the beliefs of ibn Taymiyah are in
accordance with the Ahlus-Sunnah. We should remain cautious.
Shaykh Taqi-u-ddin Ahmad ibn Taymiyah was a
prominent Aalim (scholar) of Deen. Shaykh Taqi-u-ddin had his independent views
on many matters based on his vast knowledge and research. It is incorrect for
non-scholars and non-academics to pass a judgment especially on such learned
people. They should fear Allah and abstain from engaging themselves in such
discussions. Differences of opinion is a salient feature among the Ulama-e-Haqq
And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
taken (with Thanks) from Albalagh.net