(CLARIFICATION :Although we consider all muslims groups other than Shia as Sunni but for the of understanding we have used the term Sunni for Ashari-Maturidi and Salafi for other.We did not like it but found no option to clear the matter if any one having better suggestion please inform us in comments.)
All sunni muslim groups (All other than Shia) come in either of the two categories.
Letus know the backgroung and situation for the developement of these school of Aqeedah.
Difference in strategies for dealing with deviated thought of past like Muatazila and Jehmia, Halwia and Qadria etc.
POSITION OF AHLE SUNNAT AGAINST MUATAZELLA
1.In 2-3 hundred Hijri so many deviated and wrong Aqeeda thought came to islamic intellectual circle under the influence of greek philosphy.Muatazelis were most prominent among them as they got patronage from Abbasi Khaleefa Mammon and Moatasim
To counter the wrong Aqeeda and approach of Muatazeli ,and others deviated groups, Ahle sunnat Wal Jamaat side was initially led by Imam Ahmad Ibne Hanbal(R.A) and the final assult was led by Imam Abul Hasan Ali Ashari (R.A) (Born in 260 Hijri).Imam Abul Hasan Ashari actually has put the final nail in the coffin of Muatazilla.
All the Muslim intellectuals were influenced and terrified.One can assess the gravity of the situation by this historical fact. Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi describe in these words “ Famous Ulema were collected and talked and written statement and answer were taken ,Mamoon became very furious after seeing the answer,And ordered to kill two (Shaikh Baseer ibne waleed & Sheikh Ibrahim Ibnul Menhdi) of them.And ordered that all those who still have aqeeda other than Khalqe Quran should be brought infront of him.They were 30,But after this order only 4 remained stick to the correct Aqeeda. These four were Imam Ahmad Ibne Hanbal, Muhammad bin Nuh,.Sajjada and Qawariri. Because of fear second day Sajjada and 3rd day also backtracked. Now only two remained stick to the Aqeeda of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat These glorious two were 1.Imam Ahmad Ibne Hanbal, 2.Muhammad bin Nuh. These two were sent to Mamoon with HATHKADI in there hand” (Tareekh e Dawat O AzeematVol 1 page 95).
You will cry with Joy by knowing the glorious moment of Islamic history.
Then Imam Abul Hasan Ashari led the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat to end this fitna finally.
1. He Emphasised that muslim should know and believe the aqeeda as detailed in quran and Ahadith as explained by sahaba and great scholars and Imams of first few generation of muslim
2. No philosophical and interpretational approach (Taweel is commonly used word for this among scholar) will be applied to explain it.
You can understand it by this incidence
With this it is clear that he used these Interpretational approach to deal with the misled group only.
“My Aqeeda on which I am is to hold Quran Majeed And Sunnat Rasool with firm Hand and to accept and comply from scholars and Hadeeth only,I am firm on this Maslak, and I am adherent and follower of Imam Ahmad Ibne Hanbal (May Allah increase his level in Akhrat and give him the best reward).Whosoever is away from his Maslak I am away from him. Because he was such a Great Scholer and complete leader and Allah clarified the right through him and weaned the wrong on his hand.Allah glorified the Sirate Mustaqeem and downed the Ahle Bidat ,and the spoiler,and those who create confusion on the hand of Imam Ahmad Ibne Hanbal.May Allah bless his mercy on the great Imam”
1.He was of the view that source of Aqeeda is only Quran and Sunnat and explanation of Salfussalihin.
1. He became successful in stopping the flood of Muatazellah, and leashed a fresh blood in muslim Ummah and gave confidence to Ahle Sunnat to counter any further intellectual assault on the Aqeeda of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.
3.Apart from verbal argument with Muatazellah he has written so many books also to neate the Aqeeda of naturist,atheist and other non believers. Some people has counted number of his books as 300 hundred.(Ref Tabeene kizbul Muftari).
Thats why he is regarded as Imam Of Ahle Sunnat.He has been described by Shah waliullah (R.A) as the Mujaddid of 3RD Century Hijri.He died in 324 Hijri and on his death it was announced that today Nasir e Sunnat has died.(From Saviors of Islamic sprit in short and after editing)
1. Salafi Scholars do not agree with the second part of his approach that was used to fight with deviated thoughts.
2.It is the difference that has been blown out of proportion and sometimes some salafi books/audio talk mention Ashari-Maturidi as deviated and take their name along with Muatazellah,claimiong that they are like them in using philosphical approach. (MAZ ALLAH)
STAND OF PRESENT DAY SALAFI SCHOLARS
1.I have not read any book/talk from any big Salafi Alim negating/ countering Imam Abul Hasan Ashari (R.A) approach for dealing the deviation.(I am telling my knowledge only).
Imam Ibne Taimiyyah R.A (Salafi brother takes his name but he is not with them on the issue) denounced all deviated thought but never took name of Ashari-Maturidi as deviated. In Aqeedatut Wasitiyah he writes detailing about the deviated groups ...............................
He writes (Aqeedatut Wasitiyah page no 15-16)
The Saved Group (al-firqah an-najiyah), The people of the Sunnah and the Community believe these things, as they believe what Allah revealed in His Precious Book (i.e., the Qur'an);
(They believe) without distorting or denying and without asking how (takyif) or shaping (tamthil); Rather, they comprise the center of the groups of the Ummah (the Muslim nation), as the Ummah comprises the center of all nations.
With regard to the Attributes of Allah, The Glorified, The Exalted, they comprise the center between the denying Jahmiyah and the people who shape and create likenesses (ahl at-tamthil al-mushabbihah);
And they comprise the center between the Qadariyah and the Jabriyahwith regard to [the acts of Allah the Exalted], and
between the Murji'ah and the Wa'idiyah of the Qadariyah and others without regard to [Allah's threat], and
between the Haruriyah and the Mu'tazilah and
between the Murji'ah and the Jahmiyah with regard to [the names of faith and religion],
and between the Rawafid and the Khawarij with regard to the (Prophet's Companions).
2. But the writing/talk of some of low level salafis demonise the Asharis. Some also put him in the category of muatazella accusing him of interpretational approach (Taweel). (MAAZ ALLAH)
But all these are low level scholars /alims.(May Allah pardone them. If they are doing out of ignorance may Allah give them knowledge. If they are doing for out of groupism may Allah give them hidayat and taufeeq to write with Ikhlas and to be fearful about Akhirah. (ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST)