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The Ashari & Matureedi Aqeedah

Q: is the Ash’ari’a sect bid’aat (an innovation)? Are its aqeedah (beliefs) not in accordance with the teaching of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam?

A: With regards to Aqeeda there emerged two great figures during the third century hijri, viz Imam Abul-Hasan Ash’ari and Imam Abu Mansoor Matureedi. Most of the Ulema after them subscribe to one of the two Schools of Aqeeda espoused by these Scholars, viz the Ash’ari and the Matureedi Schools. The Hanafi scholars favoured the School of Matureedi, while Shaafi Scholars inclined towards the Ash’ari School of Aqeeda. These two great Imams do not differ in the fundamental and basic beliefs of Quran and Sunnah. Instead their differences are confined to either academic definitions or to the secondary level of beliefs that spring from fundamentals. For example, they all believe and accept that Allah has unique and uncreated Attributes, and that these Attributes were with Allah since His existence, which is from forever. However, they will differ as to the definition of these attributes in an academic sense, or in how these attributes of Allah affect human beings.

It must be emphasized that these differences are not based on personal opinion, for aqeeda is never expounded and promoted in such a manner. Instead, the aqeeda that these great Imams expounded were based on Quran, Sunnah, and the fatwas of the Sahaaba and Ulema after them.  If any of them adopted a belief different to the other, it would be supported by the above sources of Islamic teaching.

On this basis you will understand that both Ash’ari and Matureedi belong to the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah. The Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah is that group who follow in the footsteps of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaaba. The Matureedi and Ash’ari Schools of Aqeeda do not divert from the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and his Sahaaba. The hue and cry with regards to the Aqeedah of Matureedi and Ash’ari and the question of them not belonging to the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah, only developed recently with certain ardent and biased followers of Ibni Taymiyyah, especially the Ulema of Saudi Arabia. Before then, for centuries. there has been total and absolute unanimity among all Scholars that the Ash’ari and Matureedi are of the Ahlus-Sunnah.

Mufti Siraj Desai

Q: Can you please explain who the  Ash’arees are? I am very confused about them because ulema-e-Deoband usually list themselves as Ash’aree or Matreedi, but Arabian scholars like Muhammad ibn saalih al uthaymeen and bin Baz clearly consider Ash’aree and Matreedi out of Ahle-Sunnah wal Jamaah.  Why do the Arabian scholars consider Ash’aree and Matreedi to be outside of Ahle-sunnah wal Jamaah. What is even more confusing is that our ulema respect the aforementioned scholar, but if you read fatwa work of these scholars, you will clearly see that they consider Ash’aree and Matreedi to be a batil sect.


A: Whomsoever’s actions and beliefs conform to the actions and beliefs of the Sahaaba are regarded as the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah. Since the actions and beliefs of the Ash’arees and Maatureedis conform to the Sahaaba, they enter within the purview of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah.

The founder of the Ash’aree school was Ali ibn Ismaeel ibn Abi Bishr al-Ash’aree al-Yamaani al-Basri. A descendent of the famous Companion Abu Musa al-Ash’aree. He passed away in the year 324 hijri.

The founder of the Maatureedi school of though was Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad, Abu Mansoor al-Maaturidi. He was born in maatureed, a district of Samarqand, in present day Uzbekistan. Aside from being one of the Imaams of the fundamentals of Deen, he was a prominent jurist of the Hanafi school, having studied under Nusayr ibn Yahya al-Balkhi and he was the author of numerous works in fiqh, usool, tafseer, and kalaam. he passed away in 333 hijri.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Al-Fiqh al-Akbar Explained (Pg. 15-17)

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

What is the beliefs of Imam Ahmed and ibn Taymiyya?

what is the beliefs of imam Ahmed ibn hanbal and is hanbali aqidah correct? Is hanbali fiqh similar or same to beliefs of shaykh ibn taymiyyah (ra)?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh.

Imām Abū ‘Abdillāh Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal ibn Hilāl (164 – 241 H) –rahimahullāh ta‘ālā –, the founder of the Hanbalī madhhab of fiqh, was a great imām of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. His madhhab is one of the four established schools of Islāmic jurisprudence. He was on the ‘aqīdah of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah.

However, the “Hanbalī ‘aqīdah” that developed shortly after Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbalrahimahullāh ta‘ālā, attributing itself to the great imām, became contaminated by anthropomorphic beliefs (meaning, the belief that – na‘ūdhu billāh – Allāh Ta‘ālā is a tangible, physical entity). Hāfiz Ibn al-Jawzī (510 – 597 H) – rahimahullāh ta‘ālā –, one of the major scholars of the Hanbalī school, wrote a treatise called Daf‘ Shubah al-Tashbīh(Repelling the Doubts of Likening [Allāh to creation]), defending Imām Ahmadrahimahullāh against the innovated beliefs later ascribed to him by those who claimed to follow his school.[1]

Ibn ‘Aqīl (431 – 513 H) rahimahullāh, also a major scholar belonging to the Hanbalī madhhab, wrote against the anthropomorphism that crept into his school.[2]

Ibn Taymiyyah, unfortunately, opposed the ‘ulamā’ of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah in many issues of ‘aqīdah. For example, he supported anthropomorphic ideas with respect to Allāh.[3] Moreover, he upheld the view that Hellfire will come to an end, which is in conflict with many verses of the Qur’ān and the established doctrine of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah[4]. He also believed in the misguided concept of “originated entities that have no beginning” (hawādith lā awwala lahā), which asserts that created beings have always existed along with Allāh Ta‘ālā.[5]

Major scholars of Ahlus Sunnah refuted Ibn Taymiyyah on these corrupt views. For example, his esteemed contemporary, Imām Taqī al-Dīn al-Subkī (683 – 756 H), wrote a work called al-Durar al-Mudiyyah fi l-Radd ‘ala Ibn Taymiyyah, in which he mentions Ibn Taymiyyah’s anthropomorphism and his view of “originated entities that have no beginning”. Imām Taqī al-Dīn Abū Bakr al-Husnī (752 – 829 H), a great jurist of the Shāfi‘ī madhhab, also wrote a refutation of Ibn Taymiyyah, called Daf‘ Shubah man Shabbaha wa Tamarrada wa Nasaba dhālika ila l-Imām Ahmada (Repelling the Doubts of the one Who Made a Likeness [between Allāh and creation] and Rebelled and Attributed that to Imām Ahmad). In it, he made reference to, and refuted, all the abovementioned aberrations of Ibn Taymiyyah.

Hence, Muslims should avoid any creed presenting itself as the so-called “Hanbalī ‘aqīdah,” or the ‘aqīdah of Ibn Taymiyyah.

Instead, for a common Muslim, the statements on Islāmic belief contained in al-‘Aqīdat al-Tahāwiyyah of Imām Abū Ja‘far al-Tahāwī (239 – 321 H) rahimahullāh, which has been endorsed by the ‘ulamā’ of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah[6], is sufficient.

Refuting the notion of any similarity between Creator and creation, Imām al-Tahāwī mentions:

من وصف الله بمعنى من معاني البشر فقد كفر

“The one who attributes Allāh with a property from the properties of man, he has disbelieved.”

Rejecting anthropomorphism, he says:

تعالى عن الحدود والغايات، والأركان والأعضاء والأدوات، لا تحويه الجهات الست كسائر المبتدعات

“[Allāh] is elevated beyond limits and boundaries, and parts, limbs and instruments. The six directions do not encompass Him like [they do] all created things.”

Rejecting the concept of the termination of Hellfire, he mentions:

والجنة والنار مخلوقتان، لا تفنيان أبدا ولا تبيدان

“Jannah and Nār are created. They will never perish nor come to an end.”

Rejecting the view that created things have always existed with Allāh, he writes:

له معنى الربوبية ولا مربوب ومعنى الخالق ولا مخلوق

“He had the property of Lordship when there was nothing lorded over and the property of Creator when there was no creation.”

One should learn the clear creed of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) as presented by Imām al-Tahāwī in his ‘Aqīdah, and avoid dabbling in dubious presentations of Islāmic beliefs. Muslims who are not ‘ulamā’ or do not have a background in the Islāmic sciences should suffice with the brief exposition found in al-‘Aqīdat al-Tahāwiyyah and must not delve into intricate matters of ‘aqīdah, as this will lead to confusion and may cause errors in belief.

Learned Muslims should beware of some unreliable commentaries of al-‘Aqīdat al-Tahāwiyyah which oppose the clear statements of Imām al-Tahāwī, famous amongst them, Sharh al-‘Aqīdat al-Tahāwiyyah of Ibn Abi l-‘Izz (d. 792 H), in which the commentator adopted some of the erroneous views of Ibn Taymiyyah. Some of the reliable commentaries of Imām al-Tahāwī’s ‘Aqīdah are those by Qādī Ismā‘īl ibn Ibrāhīm al-Shaybānī (d. 629 H), Abū Hafs Sirāj al-Dīn al-Ghaznawī (d. 773) and ‘Abd al-Ghanī al-Maydānī (d. 1298), all of which are in print[7].

And Allah Ta‘ālā Knows Best

Zameelur Rahman

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



[1] قال ابن الجوزي: ورأيت من أصحابنا (الحنابلة) من تكلم فى الأصول بما لا يصلح، وانتدب للتصنيف ثلاثة: أبو عبد الله بن حامد (ت. ٤٠٣) وصاحبه القاضي أبو يعلى (ت. ٤٥٨) وابن الزاغوني (ت ٥٢٧) فصنفوا كتبا شانوا بها المذهب (الحنبلي)، ورأيتهم قد نزلوا مرتبة العوام فحملوا الصفات على مقتضى الحس…فرأيت الرد عليهم لازما لئلا ينسب الإمام أحمد إلى ذلك (دفع شبه التشبيه، المكتبة الأزهرية، ص٦-١٠)


[2] قال ابن عقيل: تعالى الله أن يكون له صفة تشغل الأمكنة، وليس الحق تعالى بذي أجزاء وأبعاض فيعالج بها…فما أسخف هذا الإعتقاد وأبعده عن مكون الأملاك والأفلاك…تعالى الله عن تجاهل المجسمة (دفع شبه التشبيه، ص ٤٣)

[3] قال ابن تيمية – على سبيل المثال: وإن أردت (أي الإمام الرازي بقوله الحنابلة التزموا الأجزاء) أنهم وصفوه بالصفات الخبرية مثل الوجه واليد، وذلك يقتضي التجزئة والتبعيض، أو أنهم وصفوه بما يقتضي أن يكون جسما والجسم متبعض ومتجزئ وإن لم يقولوا هو جسم فيقال له: لا اختصاص للحنابلة بذلك بل هذا مذهب جماهير أهل الإسلام بل وسائر أهل الملل وسلف الأمة وأئمتها! (بيان تلبيس الجهمية، مجمع الملك فهد ج١ ص٢٥١)

[4] بعض أقواله منقولة في رفع الأستار لإبطال أدلة القائلين بفناء النار، المكتب الإسلامي

[5] قال ابن تيمية: وإن قدر أن نوعها (الحوادث) لم يزل معه فهذه المعية لم ينفها شرع ولا عقل! بل هي من كماله! قال الله تعالى: أفمن يخلق كمن لا يخلق أفلا تذكرون. والخلق لا يزالون معه! (شرح حديث عمران بن حصين، مؤسسة الريان، ص٨٤)
قال الحافظ في فتح الباري: وهي أصرح فى الرد على من أثبت حوادث لا أول لها من رواية الباب، وهي (أي القول بحوادث لا أول لها) من مستشنع المسائل المنسوبة لابن تيمية (أي المنقولة منه) (وانظر: النقد القويم لما كتبه ابن تيمية على حديث عمران بن حصين)

[6] قال الإمام تاج الدين السبكي: وهذه المذاهب الأربعة – ولله الحمد – فى العقائد واحدة، إلا من لحق منها بأهل الإعتزال (من الحنفية والشافعية) والتجسيم (من الحنابلة)، وإلا فجمهورها على الحق يقرون عقيدة أبي جعفر الطحاوي، التي تلقاها العلماء سلفا وخلفا بالقبول (معيد النعم، دار الكتب العربي، ص ٢٢-٣)

[7] شرح العقيدة الطحاوية للقاضي إسماعيل بن إبراهيم بن علي الشيباني، دار الكتب العلمية
شرح عقيدة الإمام الطحاوي لأبي حفص سراج الدين عمر بن إسحاق الغزنوي الهندي، دارة الكرز
شرح العقيدة الطحاوية لعبد الغني الغنيمي، دار البصائر

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