Are The Asharis & Matruidis From Ahlus Suunah Wal Jamaah/Ahlus Sunnah


Often the Asharis named after Abu Hasan al-Ash’aree (Shaykh Bin Baz said in Fatwa Ibn Baz that Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ashari was not one of Al-Ashairah, even if they (the Asharis) associated themselves with him. He gave up their Madhab and embraced the Madhab of Ahlus-Sunnah) and their philosophical (kalaami) counterparts Maturidis named after Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi claim to both be from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah or Ahlus Sunnah (In a fatwa by the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta by Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq Afify and Shaykh Bin Baz they said, “Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah are defined as those who hold fast to the Book of Allah, the Exalted, the Sunnah of their Prophet Muhammad regarding all their Aqeedah (beliefs) and Islamic principles. They never oppose the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah for rational argumentation or personal preference; rather, they stick to the principles of Iman (belief) and pillars of Islam observed by the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet)”.

In reality both these groups are from the Mutakallimoon (speculative theologians) and Ahl al-Kalaam (people of theological rhetoric) along with other misguided groups such as the Jahmiyyah, Mu’tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash’ariyyah, Maturidiyyah and the Karraamiyyah.

As both the Asharis and the Maturidis are from the Mutakallimoon and Ahl al-Kalaam this indicates that they are not from Ahlus Sunnah, as Ahlus Sunnah are opposed to any type of theological rhetoric (kalaam) or any sect involved in theological rhetoric.

All of the Mutakallimoon and Ahl al-Kalaam are sects who involved themselves in Ilm al-Kalaam (the science of theology) which was a method of reasoning developed by the Mutakalimoon in order to understand the religion especially aqeedah (Islamic beliefs).

This ‘science’ is far from anything remotely considered near Islam, in fact it is heretical because it stems from the works of Greek logic and philosophy particularly Aristotle and Plato. So this ‘science’ is not based on the Quran and Sunnah or the stances of the salaf us salaah (the first three generations of Muslims).

This ‘science’ was synthesized with Islamic thinking, thus from this ‘science’ sprouted various sects and this ‘science’ also gave the already existing sects fruition and growth.

Ilm ul Kalaam is rejected by Ahlus Sunnah because, the Prophet Mohammed and his illustrious Companions never ever indulged in it (i.e. mixing the Quran and Sunnah with Greek philosophy).

The four Imams of Ahlus Sunnah Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Imam Shafi’i, Imam Maalik and Imam Abu Haneefah (the Asharis and Maturidis also claim to follow them but in reality they only follow them in most areas of fiqh and very few areas of aqeedah) all rejected and fought against all ilm ul kalaam.

Hammaad Ibn Abi Hanifah said: “My father -may Allah have mercy upon him (Imam Abu Haneefah) – entered upon me one day, and with me were a group from the people of kalaam, and we were arguing at a door. So when I heard him approaching the house, I went out to him. So he said to me: O Hammaad! Who is with you? I said: So and so, and so and so, such and such, and such and such, and I named to him those who were with me. So he said to me: O Hammaad! Leave alone al-kalaam (theological rhetoric). And my father was not a man who mixed things up, nor was he from amongst those people who commanded something, then prohibited it. So I said to him: O father! Did you not used to command me with it? He said: Yes! O son of mine! And today I prohibit you from it. I said: And why is that? So he said: O my son! Verily these retarded ones are from the people of kalaam, from amongst those who you will see that they used to be upon one word and one religion, until shaytan came between them. So now you find amongst them enmity and differing, so be upon clarity…” (al-Makki, Manaaqib Abi Hanifah, 183-184)

Abd-Allah Ibn Naafi said: “I heard Maalik saying: Even if a man commits all of the major sins, except for Shirk (association) with Allah, then he returns from these desires and innovations, and he mentioned kalaam, he enters Paradise.” (Abu Nu’aym, al-Hilyah, 6/325)

Ishaq Ibn Isa (Ibn Najih al-Baghdadi) said: “Maalik said: Whoever seeks the religion through kalaam will deviate…” (Harawi, Dhammu’l-Kalaam, qaaf/173/alif)

Imam Maalik used to say, “I detest theological rhetoric, and the scholars of our land (Al-Madeenah) have not ceased to detest and prohibit it…” (Jaami’ Bayaanil ‘Ilm Wa Fadhlihi, p. 415)

Imam Ash-Shaafi’i (d.204) said, “My ruling regarding the people of Kalaam (theological rhetoric) is that they should be beaten with palm leaves and shoes and be paraded amongst the kinsfolk and the tribes with it being announced, ‘This is the reward of the one who abandons the Book and the sunnah and turns to theological rhetoric (kalaam).“ (Sharh ‘Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah og Ibn ‘Abdil-’Izz, p. 75)

Yunus al-Misri said: “ash-Shaafi’i said: It is better for a man to spend his whole life doing whatever Allah has prohibited -besides Shirk with Allah- rather than spending his whole life involved in kalaam.” (Ibn Abi Hatim, Manaaqibush-Shaafi’i, 182)

Abi Thawr said: “ash-Shaafi’i said to me: I have not seen anyone who has put on anything from kalaam and succeed.” (Ibn Battah, al-Ibaanah al-Kubraa, 535-536)

Imam Ahmad said: “If you see a man loving kalaam, then warn against him.” (Ibn Battah, al-Ibaanah, 2/540)

Imam Ahmad said: “Verily a person of kalaam will never succeed, ever. And you will never see anyone looking into kalaam, except that there is corruption in his heart.” (Ibn Abdu’l-Barr, Jaami Bayaanu’l-Ilm wa Fadlihi, 2/95)

Imam Ahmad said, “Whoever indulges in theological rhetoric will become a failure…” (As-Sunnah p. 235)

Also other scholars form the Ahlus Sunnah condemned kalaam, Aboo Yoosuf, the companion of Aboo Haneefah, said, “Whoever sought knowledge by Kalaam (theological rhetoric) will turn a heretical apostate.“

Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr said, “The people of Fiqh and Aathaar in all the various towns and cities are agreed unanimously that the Ahlul-Kalaam (People of theological rhetoric) are but Ahlul-Bida’ waz-Zaigh (the People of Innovations and Deviation). And they are not considered, by all of the above, to be amongst the ranks of the Scholars (in truth).“ (Reported by Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan Fee Bayaanil-Qur’aan)

Imam al-Barbahaaree said, “Rhetoric (kalaam) causes disbelief, doubts, innovations, misguidance and confusion. May Allah have mercy upon you! Know that heresy, disbelief, doubts, innovations, misguidance and confusion about the religion have never occurred except through theological rhetoric (Kalam) and because of the people of theological rhetoric, argumentation, debating and disputation…” (The Explanation of The Creed of Imaam Al Barbahaaree)

Imaam Al-Baghawee (d. 516) said, “So the scholars from the people of the sunnah are united upon the prohibition of quarrelling and argumentation, and upon discouraging others away from learning or discussing theological rhetoric. (Sharhus Sunah 1/216)

From the above it should already be clear that whatever sect involves them self’s in any type of kalaam is not counted amongst Ahlus Sunnah, even if through kalaam this sect arrives at the Sunnah.

Thus the Asharis and Maturidis will always be counted among the Mutakallimoon (speculative theologians) and Ahl al-Kalaam (people of theological rhetoric) until they abandon kalaam and surrender to the texts of the Quran and Sunnah, so both groups are from Ahlu Bidah and not from Ahlus Sunnah.

One point that must be clarified is that though the Asharis and Matruidis are not from Ahlus Sunnah, this is in a specific sense and not a general sense.

Ahlus Sunnah with the general meaning which is used for those in opposition to the Shee’ah, includes the Asharis and Matrudis though they are Mutakallimoon (speculative theologians) and Ahl al-Kalaam (people of theological rhetoric).

However Ahlus Sunnah with its specific meaning is used for those in opposition to the innovators and the people of the innovated sects like the Khawaarij, Murjiah, Mu’tazilah, the Shee’ah and all the other innovated sects, this is the well known meaning. This specific meaning does not include the Asharis and Matrudis because they are from the Mutakallimoon (speculative theologians) and Ahl al-Kalaam (people of theological rhetoric), which means they are from Ahlu Bidah.

In the book ‘The Methodology of the Asharees in Aqeedah pp.15-21’ by Shaykh Safar bin Abdur-Rahmaan al-Hawaalee  explains the term Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaaah (Ahlus Sunnah) is used with two separate meanings:

“A. The General Meaning: which is used for those in opposition to the Shee`ah, so it is said: Those who claim adherence to Islaam are of two classes: Ahlus Sunnah and the Shee`ah. So Shaykh ul-Islaam titled his book in reply to the Raafidees `Minhaaj us-Sunnah` and in it he made the two meanings clear, and clearly stated that the positions of the innovated sects are from the Ahl us-Sunnah only with this particular meaning (of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah).

This meaning covers everyone except for the Shee`ah, such as the Asharis, especially since with regard to the subject of the companions and the khulafaa (caliphs) the Asharis are in agreement in methodology between them as will follow.

B. The Specific Meaning: Which is used for those in opposition to the innovators and the people of the innovated sects, and this is the more frequent usage. So when in the books of criticism of narrators when they say about a man that he was from Ahlus Sunnah and the like, then what is meant is that he was not from one of the innovated sects such as the Khawaarij, the Mu`tazilah and the Shee`ahs and he was not a person of theological rhetoric (Kalaam) and innovated ideas.

So as for this meaning then the Asharis do not enter into it at all…So he who takes from the Sunnah is from its people even if he makes an error, and he derives from somewhere else is in error even if in conclusion he agrees with it.

But the Asharis…take and derive from other than the Sunnah and they do not agree with it in their conclusions, so how can they be from its people (people of the Sunnah).”


In conclusion the Asharis and the Matruidis are from the Mutakallimoon (speculative theologians) because they base their aqeedah on ilm ul kalaam so they are also from Ahl al-Kalaam (people of theological rhetoric).

This means they are from Ahlu bidah because all the sects included in Ahl al-Kalaam are innovated sects upon bidah.

However as both these sects are not from the shee’ah both sects fall within Ahlus Sunnah in a genral sense (i.e. any Islamic sect that is not a shee’ah sect is classed as Ahlus Sunnah in general).

But they are not included in Ahlu Sunnah (with the specific definition of being upon the Quran and Sunnah in all matters and free from bidah (innovations)), due to them being from the Mutakallimoon (speculative theologians).

On the other hand both sects are not totally rejected from Ahlus Sunnah (with its specific meaning)as they fall within Ahlus Sunnah (in a specific sense) in what they agree with Ahlus Sunnah in and they are from Ahlu Bidah in what they differ with Ahlus Sunnah in.

If them being included in Ahlus Sunnah in aspecif sense some matters makes some Muslims laim that the Asharis or the Matruidis are from Ahlu Sunnah (with the specific definition completly and not from Ahlu Bidah), even though both sects are from the Mutakallimoon (speculative theologians) and Ahl al-Kalaam (people of theological rhetoric) should read the words of Imam Ibn Abdil Barr reported with his chain of narration from the scholars of the Maalikees in the east Ibn Khuzaima that he said in the book of witnesses (Kitaab us-Shuhudaat) in explanation of the saying of the Maalik that it is not permissible to accept the witness of the people of innovation and innovated sects, and he said:

“The people of the innovated sects in the view of (Imam) Maalik and the rest of our Companions are the people of theological rhetoric (Kalaam). So every person of the theological rhetoric is from the people of the innovated sects and innovation…his witness is not accepted in Islam ever. Indeed he is to be ostracized and punished for his innovation and if he persists in it repentance is to be sought from him.”(Jaami Bayaan il-Ilmi wa Fadlihi (2/117))

Side Points

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said “The Matrudiyyah are one of the groups whose opinions include true and false views, and some things that go against the Sunnah. It is known that these groups vary with regard to the truth, how near or far they are; the closer they are to the Sunnah, the closer they are to the truth and the right way. Among them are some who went against the Sunnah with regard to basic principles, and some who went against the Sunnah with regard to more subtle issues. There are some who refuted other groups who are farther away from the Sunnah, so they are to be praised with regard to their refutation of falsehood and what they have said of truth, but they have overstepped the mark in so far as they have rejected part of the truth and gone along with some falsehood. So they have refuted a serious bidah by means of a lesser bidah, and refuted falsehood with a lesser form of falsehood. This is the case with most of the philosophers (ahl al-kalaam) who claim to belong to Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah…” (al-Fataawa, 1/348)

Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaimeen said: “So – for example – the Ash’arees and the Maatooreedees are not considered from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in this particular matter (i.e. concerning the Names and Attributes of Allaah). Rather, they oppose what the Prophe (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions were upon with regards to accepting the Attributes of Allaah – the Most Perfect – upon their haqeeqah (real meaning). This is why, whoever says that Ahl us-Sunnah are three groups: the Salafees, the Asharis and the Maturidis – then such a person is indeed mistaken.

Rather we say: How can all three be considered Ahlus Sunnah and they differ with each other? What is there after Truth, except misguidance. How can they all be Ahlus Sunnah, whilst each one of them refutes the other – this is not possible – except if it is possible to reconcile the opposites. There is no doubt however, that one of them is truly Ahlus Sunnah – but which one? Is it the Ash’arees, the Maatooreedees or the Salafis? Whichever of them agrees with the Sunnah is considered to be Ahl us-Sunnah, whilst whichever of them opposes it is not. So we say: The Salaf are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and this description cannot be true for anyone else other than them. So how can those who oppose the Sunnah be called Ahl us-Sunnah – this is not possible. How is it possible to say Ahl us-Sunnah are of three differing groups, but we say that they are in agreement? So where is the agreement and concensus?

Rather, Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah are those who hold on to what the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions were upon, and to the aqeedah of the Salaf – until the Day of Judgement – and they are the Salafees.” Sharh Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah (1/123)

Shaykh Faraj Al Marji provided evidence as to why the Asharis are not from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah. (Though these eight points are about the Asharis, as the  Maturidis share  a very similar aqeedah, these points  can also be used to show how the Maturidius are also not from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah also.)

The eight points are as follows:

1) Masdar At Talaqi (that which is used as evidence). According to Ahlus Sunnah it is the Qur’an and the Sunnah according to the understanding of the companions. According to the Asharis it is the intellect. One of their Imams named As Sanuusi said: “And the bases of Kufr are six; and the sixth is holding onto beliefs only using what is apparant from the Qur’an and the Sunnah without putting it infront the evidences from the intellect”

2) How they affirm the existence of Allah. Ahlus Sunnah affirm Allah’s existence by the Fitrah (natural state) of man and they see this as something that is neccesary for every human being to know. As for the Asharis their evidences is that something has to come before everything (Al Qidam) and also occurences of events. In other words they rely upon the intellect rather than the Fitrah to establish Allah’s existence.

3) Establishing Allah’s Tawheed: Ahlus Sunnah establish Allah’s Tawheed in his Lordship, Worship and his names and attributes. According to the Asharis establishing Tawheed is negating Allah having an associate or associates and negating him being divided into different pieces.

4) Imaan: Ahlus Sunnah say that Imaan is statements, actions and belief and that it increases and decreases. The Asharis say it is only belief.

5) The Qur’an: Ahlus Sunnah say that the Qur’an contains the words of Allah in statements, letters and meaning. The Asharis say that the Qur’an is an expression of Allah’s words and not the actual words of Allah. So they say if Allah’s speech is expressed in Hebrew it would be the Taurah and if expressed in Arabic it would be the Qur’an. {They also deny Allah’s words having letters and voice.}

6) In Qadr: Ahlus Sunnah believe in Qadr and say that mankind has choice and is under Allah’s will. As for the Asharis they negate the choice of the slave and say that mankind is forced but is shown as if he has choice.

7) Prophethood: Ahlus Sunnah believe that Prophets are chosen by Allah and Allah knows who he sends with his message. And he specifies these Prophets with evidences and descriptions. As for the Asharis they say that there is Prophethood except with miracles.

8) The Sifaat of Allah: Ahlus Sunnah affirm all of Allah’s descriptions and names without denying, twisting their meanings, making them similar to the creation and asking how they are. As for the Asharis they only affirm 7 descriptions of Allah {according to their intellect} and they make distort the meanings of the rest.

Shaykh Rabee bin Haadee was asked “Are the Asharees from Ahlus-Sunnah (the people of the Sunnah) except when it comes to the names and attributes (of Allah)?”

The shaykh replied “No they have a lot of issues with them, and are the names and attributes (of Allah) something small?! The Ash’aarees in these times are Tayjaniyyah, Marganiyyah, Suhrawardiyah, Soofiyyah (sufis), grave worshippers, the majority of them. We ask Allah for well being, they named themselves Ash’arees and they named themselves Ahlus-Sunnah.”

Related Topic : Link : Asharis Are Not From Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamat – Statments of The Salaf

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