What is your opinion concerning a person supporting the Ashaa‘irah school of Islamic creed and saying that the Hanafi, Shaafi‘i and Maaliki scholars adopt the same philosophy?
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 is His slave and Messenger.
The Ashaa‘irah philosophy of Islamic creed is based upon the views of Abu'l-Hasan Al-Ash‘ari in the second stage of his life. In this stage, he agreed with Ibn Kullaab . Later, he changed most of his previous opinions. He wrote his new opinions in his books that were generally in harmony with the opinions of the scholars of Hadeeth. On contemplating the Quran, the Sunnah and the opinions of the Companions their successors, and their successors, it is clear that the philosophy that is now adopted by most of the Ashaa‘irah is completely different from that.
To be able to compare and judge the philosophy of Ashaa'irah, one may read Usool I‘tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wa'l Jamaa‘ah by Al-Laalakaa’i, Al-Hujjah by Al-Asfahaani, Al-‘Uluww by Ath-Thahabi, As-Sunnah by ‘Abdulaah Ibn Ahmad, At-Tawheed by Ibn Khuzaymah, At-Tawheed by Ibn Mandah, Mu‘taqad Ahlul-Hadeeth by As-Saabooni and other recognized books.
There is a difference of opinion between the Ashaa‘irah and the Righteous Predecessors concerning some major issues, such as the definition of Eemaan (faith), and Qadar (fate), and the confirmation of speech being an attribute of Allaah The Almighty, the Highness of Allaah The Almighty and most of the attributes of Allaah that they interpret figuratively or believe in but refuse to interpret at all.
The allegation that the Hanafi, Shaafi‘i and Maaliki scholars adopt the philosophy of the Ashaa‘irah is false. Most of the Hanafi scholars are Maatureediyyah. The Shaafi‘i and Maaliki scholars who agree the Ashaa‘irah are the later scholars of these Schools. There are some honorable Shaafi‘i and Maaliki scholars who adopt the philosophy of the Righteous Predecessors and scholars of Hadeeth. There is a difference of opinion among the early and late scholars of the Ashaa‘irah. If we suppose that most of them agree with the opinions of the Ashaa‘irah, then they are not to be compared to the prominent scholars of Hadeeth and the great scholars of the first three generations of Muslims.
Allaah Knows best.
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