Asharis Are Not From Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamat – Statments of The Salaf


Asharis

Brothers And Sisters : Ash’ariyyah of Today then they are upon a way and path which Abu Hasan al-Ash’aree declared himself free of in front of Allaah, and the scholars consider them to be other than Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah but rather, in the midst of Ahl ul-Bid’ah

Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah is used for those in opposition to the innovators and the people of the innovated sects, and this is the well known usage. So when they say in the books of criticism of narrators about a man, that he was from Ahl us-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’ah and he was not a person of theological rhetoric (Kalaam) and innovated ideas.

Thus, the Ash’ariyyah do not enter into it at all. Rather they are outside it and Imaam Ahmed and Ibn al-Madeenee have stated textually that whoever involves themselves in any theological rhetoric is not counted amongst the Ahl us-Sunnah, even if by that he arrives at the Sunnah, until he abandons debating and surrenders to the texts. So they do not lay down as a condition that a person merely agrees with the Sunnah, rather that he must take and derive with it (alone). So he who takes from the Sunnah is from its people even if he makes an error, and he who derives from somewhere else is in error even if in conclusion he agrees with it. But the Ash’ariyyah as you will see, 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]…

–> Let We See What Our Salaf Scholars Said About them

1 Imam Ibn Abdul Barr R.a : reported with his chain of narration from the scholars of the Maalikees in the east, Ibn Khuzaimah, 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 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: whether he is an Ash’aree, or other than an Ash’aree, and his witness is not accepted in Islaam ever. Indeed he is to be ostracized, and punished for his innovation and if he persists in it and repentance is to be sought from him”


Source : { Jaami Bayaan il-Ilmi wa Fadlihi (2/117) }

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Also Ibn Abdul Barr himself reports in [Al-Ihtiqaa] from the three scholars: Maalik, Aboo Haneefah and Ash-Shaafi’ee that they forbade theological rhetoric and spoke severely against its people, and that they are innovators and are to be punished. Its like is reported by Ibn ul- Qayyim in [Ijtimaa ul-Juyoosh il-Islaamiyyah] and what are the Ash’ariyyah except people of theological rhetoric

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2. Imaam Abul-Abbaas ibn Suraij known as ‘ash-Shaafi’ee the second’ and he was a contemporary of Al-Ash’aree, said: “We do not speak with Ta’weel (interpretation) of the Mu’tazilah, the Ash’arees, the Jahmiyyah, the apostates, the anthropomorphists (Mujassimah and Mushabbihah), the Karraamiyyah and those who declare Allaah to be like His creation (Mukayyifah – those asking about the modality of His attributes). Rather we accept them [the texts about Allaah’s attributes] without interpretation (Ta’weel) and we believe in them without declaring any likeness with the creation (Tamtheel)

Source : { See Ijtimaa ul-Juyoosh il-Islaamiyyah (p.62) for the belief of Ibn Suraij }

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3. Imaam Abul-Hasan al-Kurjee, one of the Shaafi’ee scholars of the fifth century said: “The Shaafi’ee Imaams have not ceased disdaining and detesting that they should be ascribed to al-Ashariyy and they disassociate themselves from that which al-Ash’aree built his madhhab upon, and they forbid their companions and beloved ones from approaching it, as I have heard from a number of the shaikhs and imaams. He then gave an example of the shaikh of the Shaafi’ees of his time Imaam Aboo Hamid al-Isfaareenee who was known as ‘ash-Shaafi’ee the third’ saying:

“The severity of the Shaikh against the people of theoretical knowledge is well known, to the point that he even made a distinction between the principles of the fiqh of ash-Shaafi’ee and the principles of al-Ash’aree. Notes upon this were added by Aboo Bakr ar-Raadhiqaanee and it is with me. He was followed in this by Shaikh Aboo Ishaaq ash-Sheeraazww in his two books, ‘al-Lumaa’ and ‘at-Tabsirah’ to the point that if a point of al-Ash’aree agreed with one saying amongst our companions he made distinction and said: “It is the saying of the Ash’ariyyah” and he did not include them amongst the companions of ash-Shaafi’ee. They disdained and avoided them and their madhhab in the principles of fiqh not to mention with regard to the principles of the Religion.”

Source :{ At-Tis’eeniyyah (p. 238-239) and see ‘Sharhul-Asfahaaniyyah’ (5:31) from the Fataawaa al-Kubraa itself. See also Ijtimaa ul-Juyoosh il-Islaamiyyah and Mukhtasirul Uloom for his belief and also Tabaqaatush-Shaafiyyah for his biography.}

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4.Author of at-Tahaawiyyah and its explainer were both Hanafees, He wrote his Aqeedah to explain the Aqeedah of Imaam Abu Haneefah and his companions, and it is very like what is found in Fiqh al-Akbar from him. They report from the Imaam that he clearly states the Kufr (disbelief) of one who says that Allaah – the Most Perfect and Exalted – is not upon the Arsh (throne) or remains silent about it.

Also his student Aboo Yoosuf declares Bishr al-Maareesee to be a Kaafir, and as is well known the Ash’ariyyah deny Allaah’s ascension and deny that He the Most High is above the Arsh (Throne) and it is also well known that their principles were taken from Bishr al-Maareesee!!

Source : See what is mentioned in Siyar A’laamin-Nubulaa in the Biography of Bishr (10/200-201) and al-Hamawiyyah (p.14-15)

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5. position of the Hanbalees with regard to the Ash’ariyyah is more famous than to need mention. So since Imaam Ahmad declared ‘Ibn Kullaab’ to be an innovator and ordered to be ostracized, and he was the true founder of the Ash’aree madhhab. The Hanbalees have not ceased to be involved in a long battle with them. Even to the time of the state of Nizaam ul-Mulk in which they behaved presumptuously, and after it the Hanbalees ejected every speaker who mixed anything from the madhhab of the Ash’ariyyah into his speeches. Ibn ul-Qushairi was one of those who experienced this, and because their madhhab had become so widespread, and due to the agreement of the scholars of the state, especially the Hanbalees that he should be opposed, so the Khaleefah al-Qaadir sent out al-I’tiqaad al-Qaadiree which clarified the aqeedah which was binding upon the Ummah in the year 433H.

Source : See al-Muntazam of Ibnul-Jawzee, events of the year 433, 469 &475 – (vols 8 & 9)

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6. The Qadi Abu Ya’la b. al-Farra’ al-Hanbali (d.458), the Imam of the Hanabilah in Baghdad of his time, said concerning this matter:

“Know that it is not permitted to reject these reports [on the Attributes] as a community of the Mu’tazilah did, nor to preoccupy oneself by interpreting (ta’wîl) them as the Ash’ariyyah do! What is obligatory is to take them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhâhirihâ); and that they are Attributes of Allah, the Exalted, not resembling the ones which are described from the Creations; and not professing Tashbîh in them. Rather [profess in them] how it is transmitted on the authority of our Shaykh and Imam, Abu Abdallah Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Hanbal, and others from the Imams of the Ashab al-Hadith who said concerning these narrations: pass them on as they have come. So they carried them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhâhirihâ) with the belief that they are Attributes of Allah, the Exalted, which do not resemble the rest of the ones that are described.”

[Abu Ya’la b. al-Farra’, Ibtal al-Ta’wilat li-Akhbar al-Sifat p.43-44]

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7. Abu’l-Wafa’ b. ‘Aqil al-Hanbali (d.513), one of the great Hanbalite Scholars, said:

“The Ash’arites spoke by way of the Jahmiyyah with regard to the interpretation (ta’wîl) of the ambiguous (al-mutashabih), the carrying of narrations from its apparent meanings (sarf al-ahâdith ‘an dhâhirihâ) by way of opinion, and the judging of reason contrary to revelation, and that is a great danger..”

[Ibn ‘Aqil, Radd ‘ala’l-Asha’irah al-‘Uzzal p.69]

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8. Imaam Abu al-Qaasim Sa’d bin Alee az-Zanjaanee (d.471) [He is the trustworthy Haafidh, knowledgeable of the Sunnah. His biography can be seen in ‘Tadhkira al-Huffaadh’ and others.] said, “you have asked me, may Allaah help you, to explain what is correct according to me from the madhab of the salaf and the righteous khalaf to do with the Attributes of Allaah. So I reply with the reply of the faqeeh Abu al-Abbaas Ahmad bin Umar Suraij [He is the Imaam of the Shaafi’iyyah of his time and was regarded greater then the greatest of the Companions of Shaafi’ee even al-Mazanee.] – for he was asked about this… ‘and it is authentic from all of the People of Religion (Diyaanah) and Sunnah till this day that it is obligatory upon all Muslims to have faith in all of the verses and authentic narrations from the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) as they occur, and that inquiring about their meanings is a bid’ah [meaning those meanings other than their obvious meanings. This is the only way to understand this statement as it is the only way in which it conforms to what ibn Suraij writes at the end of his letter].…for example His saying, ‘the Most Merciful rose over the Throne’ ….our belief to do with the mutashaabiha (allegorical) verses is to accept them and not reject them. And neither to make ta’weel of [them with a differing explanation (to the clear meaning of the verse) or ta’weel of the opponents] (? Ta’weel al-Mukhaalifeen), and neither do we take them with the tashbeeh of the anthropomorphists…and we submit to the narration and verse literally as it was revealed. And we do not say (of them) with the ta’weel of the Mu’tazila, or the Asha’riyyah, or the Jahmiyyah, or the Mulahhida, or the Mujassima, or the Mushabbiha, or the Kiraamiyyah, or the Kayfiyyah. Rather we accept them without ta’weel, and we have faith in them without likening (Him to creation). And we say faith in them is obligatory, saying as they say is the Sunnah, and seeking ta’weel of them is a bid’ah.’” [‘Ijtimaa Juyush al-Islaamiyyah’ (pp. 170-174) of ibn al-Qayyim. ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pp. 226-227) of adh-Dhahabee, summarised and verified by al-Albaanee

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9. Abd al-`Aziz al-Rajihi al-Salafi writes in his ‘Sharh al-`Aqidat al-
Tahawiyya’:

أهل السنة يثبتون الرؤية والفوقية، الجهمية والمعتزلة، والخوارج وجمهور
الإمامية المتأخرين ينفون الرؤية والفوقية، الكلابية والأشاعرة يثبتون الرؤية
وينفون الفوقية والعلو .

‘The Ahl al-Sunnah affirm (both) the vision and Allah’s aboveness
(fawqiyya), the Jahmiyya, Mu`tazila, Khawarij and the majority of the
latter-day Imamiyya negate both the vision and Allah’s aboveness, while
the Kullabiyya and the Ash`aris affrim the ru’ya but deny Allah’s
Aboveness and Exaltedness (`uluww).’ He then goes on to prove that there
can be no ru’ya except in a direction (that is, the upper direction).

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10. Shaykh ’Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d.561H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“It is essential to carry the Attribute of al-Istiwaa (Allaah’s Ascending) by His Dhaat (Essence) over the Throne. Istiwaa does not mean sitting and touching – as the Mujassimah and Karraamiyyah say; nor does it mean ’uluww (grandeur and highness) – as the Ash’ariyyah say; nor does it mean isteelaa (conquering or dominating over) – as the Mu’tazilah say. None of this is related in the Sharee’ah. Neither has this been related from any of the Salafus-Saalih, from the Companions and the Taabi’een, nor from the Ashaabul-Hadeeth (Scholars of Hadeeth). Rather, it is related from them that they carried al-Istiwaa with its apparent meaning.”al-Ghunyatut-Taalibeen (1/50)

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11. al-Bayhaqee’s shaikhs is Abu Bakr ibn Fawrak.

Adh-Dhahabee described him as ‘Shaikh of the Mutakallimoon (people of theological rhetoric)” and also “He was an Ash’aree, a head in the field of theological rhetoric (kalaam)”, and “I say: He was taken in chains to Sheeraaz for his beliefs (aqaa’id) and Abdul-Waleed related that the Sultaan Mahmood asked him about Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) so he said: “He was Allaah’s Messenger, but as for today, then no”, so he ordered that he should be killed with poison. And Ibn Hazm said: “He used to say that the soul of Allaah’s Messenger has expired and faded away – and is not in Paradise.” End of adh-Dhahabee’s words. See as-Siyar (17/214/216). So al-Bayhaqee – may Allaah have mercy upon him – held a position in certain issues in which he was influenced by his shaikhs and he believed them to be correct – although he was mistaken in that.

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12. Qaadee Abu Ya’laa (d. 458H) said: “It is not permissible to repel these narrations – as is the way of the group from the Mu’tazilah. Nor to become preoccupied with ta’weel – as is the way of the Ash’ariyyah. It is obligatory to carry them upon their dhaahir (apparent) meaning; and that the Attributes of Allaah do not resemble any one of His creation, nor do we have an aqeedah (belief) that there is any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them. Rather [we believe] in what has been reported from our Shaikh and our Imaam, Abu Abdullaah, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal, and others from the Scholars of Ashaabul-Hadeeth.” Ibtaal ut-Ta’weelaat (p.4)

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13. – Shaykh AbdulMuhsin bin Hamd al-Abbaad al-Badr said:

‘All praise belongs to Allaah the Lord of all the Worlds, and the praise, peace and blessings of Allaah be upon His Messenger and upon his Family and his Companions.

To proceed:

In response to the question about the Asha’irah: Are they from the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jammah or not?

I say: ‘The Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jammah are the Noble Companions –Radi Allaahu anhum, and those who followed their path, just as the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said in explaining the ‘Firqat an-Najeeyah’ (the Saved Sect): ‘They are those who are upon what I am upon and my Companions.’

Their belief in the Names of Allaah – the All-Mighty and the Magnificent – and His Characteristics (Sifaat) is that they affirm for Allaah –Azza wa Jal- what is affirmed in the Book and the Sunnah from the Names and Characteristics in the way which they befit Allaah -Subhanahu Ta’ala- without explaining how they are, or resembling them with anything else, or with Tamtheel (to liken Allaah or His Characteristics to that of the creation), or Tahreef (alteration and distortion of wording or meaning), or Ta’weel (metaphorical interpretation) of them or cancelling them. Just as Allaah -Azza wa Jal- said:

<< لَيۡسَ كَمِثۡلِهِۦ شَيۡءٞۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ >>

<< there is nothing like unto Him and He is the All-Hearing the All-Seeing>> [Shura : 11]

In this Ayaah there is the affirmation that Allaah Ta’ala has the two Sifaat (Characteristics) of Hearing and Seeing, which is in His statement: << and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.>>, and not likening Allaah to resembling anyone with Him as is in His statement: <<There is nothing like unto Him>>

The Asha’irah are those who ascribe to the Madhab (School of Thought) of Abul-Hasan al-Asha’ari -Rahimullaah- who was born in the year 270 A.H. and died in the year 330 A.H. That Madhab on which he was before he came back to the Madhab of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah. That Madhab which was on Ta’weel (metaphorical interpretation) of most of the Sifaat (Characteristics of Allaah), which is opposite to the Madhab of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah.

Therefore, the Asha’irah are from the deviated Islaamic sects, they are deviated from what Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah are upon. It is not perceivable to the intellect that the truth was hidden from the Companions, and the Successors but then after that the truth had occurred in following a belief which was born after their time.

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr in his book ‘Fath al-Bari’ (13/407) quoted many statements from the Salaf about the authentic Aqeedah which is established upon the Book and the Sunnah and the understanding of the Salaf of the Ummah, he summed it up by saying:

‘Many quotes have preceded from the people of the third period of time and they are the Fuqaha (scholars) of the different lands, like Thawri, al-Awzaiee, Malik, al-Layth and those who lived at their time, and likewise those who took from them, from the other Imams. So how can a person not trust what the people of the first three generations agreed upon, and they are the best generations, with the testification of the owner of the Sharia?’

Ibn Hajr also quotes from al-Hasan al-Basari that he said:

‘If what al-Ja’ad is saying is true, then the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- would have conveyed it.’

Al-Ja’ad is Ibn Dirham the founder of the Madhab al-Jahmeeyah.[1]

I will say the like of what al-Hasan al-Basari -Rahimullaah- said:

‘If what the al-Asha’irah and other than them from the philosophers say is true, then the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- would have conveyed it.’

[Taken from: ‘Takeed al-Musalamaat as-Salafeeyah’ p. 5]

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14 – Shaykh Ahmad Yahya an-Najami said:

‘The truth of which there is no contention about, is that the Asha’irah and Matroodeeyah are from the groups of the Ahl-ul-Bida’. It is not allowed for anyone to say that they are from the Ahl-ul-Sunnah and whoever claims that these two groups are from the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah then he has squeezed himself between a grave and serious mistake, and a humiliating danger, and he will be questioned on the Day of Judgement about his statement before he is freed to go on his path.

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fatawa in (3/347) after speaking about this issue:

‘With that it becomes clear that the people with the most right to be the Firqat Najeeyah (the saved sect) are the Ahl-ul-Hadeeth and Sunnah those who do not have someone they biasedly follow except the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and they are the most knowledgeable of the people regarding his statements, his situations, and they are the greatest in distinguishing between the authentic and weak of those statements and situations. Their Imams are scholars regarding those statements and situations and they are the people of knowledge of its meanings, and they follow them, with truth, action, love, with loyalty to the one who is loyal to it and have enmity to the one who has hatred to it. . . . [until he said]… and whatever the people differed over in regards to the issues of Sifaat (Characteristics of Allaah), al-Qadr (pre-destiny), al-Waeed (threat of punishment), Names of Allaah, enjoining the good, forbidding evil and other issues, then here they would return those issues to Allaah and His Messenger. They would refer to the Tafseer (explanation) of those general wordings of which the people of sects and differences differed over and whatever was in agreement with the Book and the Sunnah they would affirm that, and whatever was in opposition to the Book and the Sunnah they would regard that as false. They would not follow speculation or what their souls inclined and desired, because following speculation is ignorance, and following one’s desires without guidance from Allaah is oppression, and together that is evil: ignorance and oppression.’

How can those who apply the intellect in issues of al-Eemaan, which are well-established in the Book and the Sunnah be from the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah, when they accept what they want from the Book and the Sunnah and reject what they want?!
This is why the Asha’irah and Matroodeeyah only affirm seven Sifaat of Allaah from His Sifaat, and they metaphorically interpret all the other Sifaat of Allaah, which in turn leads to cancelling out the Sifaat of Allaah.

How can that person be from the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah when he metaphorically interprets the saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<ar-Rahman ascended the Throne>> by saying [Isteewa means] Allaah conquered His Throne, so it is as if this person is saying that someone else had taken Allaah’s Throne and then after that Allaah had to conquer it?!

How can that person be from the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah when he metaphorically interprets the hadeeth that Allaah descends the last third of the night which is established in the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- saying:
‘Allaah –Azza wa Jal- descends every night to the heavens of the Dunyaa, at the second half of the night, or at the third of the night and says: who is making Dua’ to Me so that I can respond to him; who is asking of Me so that I can give him it; who is seeking forgiveness from Me so that I can forgive him until Fajr comes in.’

[Collected by Ahmad, and it is originally in Bukhari and Muslim]

So the person who metaphorically interprets this, says it means: ‘Allaah’s command descends,’ [and not Allaah Himself] even though Allaah’s –Azza wa Jal- command descends at every time and moment.

How can that person be from Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah who metaphorically interprets Allaah’s Two Hands to mean Allaah’s blessings, even though Allaah –Subhana wa Ta’ala- connected/linked/explained that thing which is specific for the hand, which is spending, Allaah –the Most Magnificent- said:
وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ يَدُ ٱللَّهِ مَغۡلُولَةٌۚ غُلَّتۡ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَلُعِنُواْ بِمَا قَالُواْۘ بَلۡ يَدَاهُ مَبۡسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيۡفَ يَشَآءُۚ

<< The Jews say: ‘Allaah’s Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty).’ Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His Bounty) as He wills. >>[2] knowing that the blessings which the Noble (Jaleel) Lord confers upon His worshippers are so many they cannot be enumerated?!

Allaah the Magnificent said:

<< وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَةَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآۗ >>

<< And if you would count the graces of Allaah, never could you be able to count them. >>[3]

How can that person be from Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal Jammah when he metaphorically interprets the Hadeeth: ‘Allaah does not look at the one who drags his garment below his ankles out of pride.’
[Agreed upon by Bukhari and Muslim] and other Hadeeth with this meaning; he metaphorically interprets ‘Allaah looking’ in this Hadeeth that the meaning of ‘looking’ is metaphorical for mercy, meaning that Allaah will not have mercy upon them?!

There are other deviated metaphorically interpretations, which transfer the texts present from Allaah –Azza wa Jal – in His Book or upon the tongue of His Messenger, which comprise of lofty meanings, which are befitting Allaah –Azza wa Jal- and they metaphorically interpret them with a false interpretation.

If we think about it, what has obligated them to metaphorically interpret the Sifaat like this, then we find that they claim that the condition and state of the intellect is that this is how Allaah should be characterized with those [distorted] characteristics; because they made and took the foundations of the people of Kalam (rationalistic theology & philosophy) as the foundation, and they used this foundation above that of the texts of the Sharia’, which came in the Book of Allaah, and in the Sunnah of the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- which affirm for Allaah –Azza wa Jal- Names and Characteristics which befit His Majesty.

So the Asha’irah and Matroodeeyah made those foundations rationalistic theology (Kalam), which was taken from the philosophers, and the people of logic (Mantiq) those who were drowned in knowledge of rationalistic theology, and they spent their time in it, and wasted their lives in it, and their end result was confusion.’

[Taken from: ‘Takeed al-Musalamaat as-Salafeeyah’ p. 7]

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15. Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz – may Allaah protect him – says: “As for what occurs in the words of al-Bayhaqee – may Allaah have mercy upon him – in his book ‘al-I’tiqaad’ with regard to such things – then this is from what entered upon him from the speech of the mutakallimoon (people of theological rhetoric), and their false additions. This was passed to him and he believed in the correctness of that, whereas the truth is that it is from the speech of the People of Innovation, not from the speech of the People of the Sunnah.” Tanbeehaat Haammah alaa maa katabahu ash-Shaikh Muhammad Alee as-Saaboonee fee Sifaatillaahi – Azzawajall (p.23)

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16. Shaikh Ibn al-Uthaimeen – may Allaah protect him – 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 Ash’arees and the Maatooreedees – then such a person is indeed mistaken.

Rather we say: How can all three be considered Ahl us-Sunnah and they differ with each other? What is there after Truth, except misguidance. How can they all be Ahl us-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 Ahl us-Sunnah – but which one? Is it the Ash’arees, the Maatooreedees or the Salafees? 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)

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17 .Muhaddis Shaykh -Al -Albani :

Questioner: The next question is, “Are the Ash’aris from Ahlus-Sunnah? And what is out stance towards the modern-day Ash’aris?”

Al-Albaani: I do not share [the view of] some of the noble scholars of the past and present that we say about a group from the [many] Islamic groups that it is not from Ahlus-Sunnah due to its deviation in one issue or another from what we hold to be religion before Allaah تبارك وتعالى, and thus, the exact same answer as was given to the previous question applies to this one, i.e., about an Islamic Jama’ah or Jamaa’aat when its manhaj is clinging to the Book and the Sunnah upon the manhaj of the Salaf as-Saalih but who deviated in some issues in thought or writing and thus left the manhaj which they [i.e., the Salaf] were pleased with as their religion and aqidah, if it is like that then we say they are from Ahlus-Sunnah.

As for those amongst them who proclaim, as we hear from some of the later Ash’aris, that, ‘‘The madhhab of the Salaf is safer, but the madhhab of the Khalaf is more informed and is more precise.’’ At that time we say: they have left the fold of Ahlus-Sunnah.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 305.

Questioner: … the issue of the Ash’aris, can we say that the Ash’aris are from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah?

Al-Albaani: The just answer is that they are from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in many things and not from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in a few things.

Questioner: Jazaakallaahu khair.

Al-Albaani: Wa iyyaak.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 327..

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