What is your opinion about those who support the creed of the Ashaa‘irah in ‘Aqeedah (Islamic creed) and claim that it is the creed of the Hanafi, Shaafi‘i and Maaliki scholars?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
The ideology of the Ashaa‘irah in ‘Aqeedah is based on the views of Abul-Hasan Al-Ash‘ari during the second stage of his life. During that stage he followed the views of Ibn Kilaab. Later on, he renounced this ideology and retracted many of his creed-related views and in his books he stated his belief which generally conforms to that of the People of Hadeeth.
Whoever carefully studies the Quran, the Sunnah and the sayings of the Companions and Taabi‘is (their successors) from the first three generations will find that most of the current creed of the Ashaa‘irah is at variance with them. The beliefs of the Ashaa‘irah differ from those held by the righteous predecessors regarding a number of fundamental issues in religion. These include ’Eemaan (faith), fate, the Speech and the Highness of Allaah The Almighty over His creation and many of His Attributes that they interpret figuratively or affirm but consign their meanings to Allaah The Almighty.
Their claim that the ideology of Ashaa‘irah is the same as that of the Hanafi, Shaafi‘i and Maaliki scholars is invalid. Most Hanafi scholars adopt the creedal views of Maatureediyyah. On the other hand, the Shaafi‘i and Maaliki scholars who adopted the methodology of Ashaa‘irah were the later scholars of these schools. Furthermore, a group of the best Shaafi‘i and Maaliki scholars support the methodology of the Salaf (first three generations of Muslims) and People of Hadeeth. In fact, most early scholars of the Ashaa‘irah adopted a methodology that contradicts that of their later scholars.
Even if we were to suppose that most of those scholars adopted the methodology of Ashaa‘irah in creed, there is no comparison between them and the senior scholars of Hadeeth and prominent Muslim Imaams belonging to the first three generations.
And Allaah Knows best.
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