Development of AQEEDAH SCHOOL

 Schools of Aqeedah among present day Sunni Muslim
(Sunni Muslim here we mean all muslims other than shias,Here sunni includes deobandis,barelvis,kerala sunni AP and EK ,Salafis ,mujahid of kerala,Supporters of Jamaat e Islami and Tablighi Jamaat.... etc)

There are only two surviving schools of Aqeedah among mainstream muslims today. 
They are 
1.    Ashari-Maturidi School of Aqeedah
2.    Salafi 

(Some people may take name of aqeedah schools like deviated groups like muatazellah ,jehmia and Qadria etc..... But these schools have already died and only part of history .They have no following at all all over the world.So there is no justification in taking thert name here.)
Muatazeliwas were most prominant among deviated thoughts :This school was developed between the 8th and 10th centuries(200-300Hijri).  Mu’tazili thought relies heavily on logic,and Greek philosophy. Between 200-300 hijri this Fitna became very serious because of patronage from King Mamoon and Muatasim. By the grace of Allah it has no longer any following,among present day muslim.There is no need to know further about muatazelli,it was a fitna and knowledge about is not a kind of knowledge that Rasulullah sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has asked to attain and it is of no use in Akhirah.

So these are only the surviving school of Aqeeda among sunnis muslims all over the world.
1.  In matter of jurisprudence there are four school (hanfi,shafai,maliki,hanbli) plus Salafis/ahle Hadith/mujahids but in Aqeeda there are only two blocks.
2.  The groups (namely Deobandi,Barelvi,kerala Sunnis AP and Ek) belong to Ashari/Maturidi School of Aqeedah 
3. While Salafis/Ahle Hadith/kerala Mujahids are of Salafi School.
4.  Jamaat E Islami and Tablighi Jamaat are basically Dawah movement and in principle do not involve in Aqeeda differences issue.
   (It is a perception is that Tabligh is synonymous to Deoband and Jamaat Islami is close to Ahle Hadith, but in reality this perception is not true.The individual member of Tabligh and JI may be closer to these in his personal capacity but on organization level they don’t have any proximity to any group.
 Princilples of Ashari-Maturidi and Salafi Aqeedah

1.The difference of  Ashari/Maturidi and Salafi are not in principle.
 2.In principle Both agree that muslim should believe the aqeeda as detailed in quran and Ahadith as explained by sahaba and great scholars and Imams of first few generation. 
2.They also unanimous that no philosophical and interpretational approach will be applied to explain it.

These Aqeedah School came in 3 hundred Hijri

1. Aqeedah is a matter well explained in quran and hadith.So there was no difference/school of aqeedah among Sahabah and first two hundred Hijri of muslim.

 2. Around 200-300 Hijri many Philosphical and logical groups came  and Ahle sunnat Ulema faced a new situation. 

3.These Aqeedah School came into existance to deal with this new situation. Afterward some acessary things came in between but the basic difference is  in th strategies for dealing with deviated thought of that time like Muatazila ,Jehmia, and Qadria etc.

What is the evolution of Aqeedah school,Why and How it developed ??????????????

As We came to know that there are two school of Aqeedah among sunni muslim .Letus know the backgroung and situation for the developement of these school.


1.In 2-3 hundred Hijri so many deviated and wrong Aqeeda came under the influence of greek philosphy.

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.
To deal with the Fitna Imam Abul Hasan Ashari used a two  way approach.
First Part of his approach
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 and no philosophical and interpretational approach (Taweel is commonly used word for this among scholar) will be applied to explain it.

2.  Second part of his approach
To counter the philosophical explanation and approach of misled group like Muatazila, al-Mujassamah etc the philosophical and interpretaional approach should be applied. By the help and bounty of Allah He proved through Logic and philosophy also that Quranic Ayats and Ahadith explaining Aqeeda are correct in their meaning. He established the supremacy of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat over all other groups who were claiming themselves as Ratioal,logical and philosophical.
         By the help of Allah He not only deafted and chased away the groups of Deviated Aqeeda ,He also saved Ummat from a big catastroph.
Muslim Ummah between 200-300 Hijri
           The danger was very acute and eminent, with the help of Muslim king Mamoon and Muatasim the follower of greek philosophy in the name of Muatazila etc had became successful in influencing good number of intellectual class/philosopher/thinker of muslim Ummah. Our Intellectual started coming under the impression that Greek philosophy is superior and they started making yardstick of it to judge the principles of Quran and Ahadith.
Gravity of the situation of muslim Intellectual
One can assess 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). 
A practical case of muslim glory and intellectual victory
I will advice every muslim to read the whole story and the hardship faced by Imam and final victory of Imam Ahmad (R.A.).
Imam Ahmad has himself narrated the whole story. (Tareekhul Islam Az Zahbi translation page 41-49).
A sufficient detail history of Imam Ahmad Ibne Hanbal and Imam Abul Hasan Ashari has been included in the book Tareekh e dawat o azeemat (Vol.1) by sheikh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi.(or Its translation in English is by name of “Saviors of Islamic Sprit”. Both books are freely available on internet as PDF).You will cry with Joy by knowing the glorious moment of Islamic history.
After Imam Hanbal death
After Imam Ahmad Ibne Hanbal death Muatazell again surfaced with some other issues. Then Imam Abul Hasan Ashari led the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat to end this fitna finally. He brought these philosophical and logical approach to deal with the specific situation .(Out of necessity).
He was not an advocator of interpretational approach. You can understand it by this incidence
“One of his student Abu Abdullah bin Khafeef asked Imam Abul Hasan Ashari that I could not understand one point why you remain silent initially and give time to Muatazelli.You are of such capability that you can start the debate and then you can defeat them.Imam Ashari replied “I donot like to utter these sentences and points by my own tongue but once it is utterd by anyone then to counter it and to prove it as wrong becomes duty of people with right path” (Tabeen e kizbul muftari page 95,Tareekhe dawat o Azeemat Vol.1 page 107).
With this it is clear that he used these Interpretational approach to deal with the misled group only.
He himself written his position on Aqeeda in his book in these words
“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”
Summary and conclusion Of Imam Abul Hasan Ashari thought can be described as.
           1.He was of the view that source of Aqeeda is only Quran and Sunnat.
         2. But as under the influence of Greek philosophy issue is already burning and philosophy is based on some hypothetical man made terms that is obviously not in quran and hadeeth, to remain silent at this juncture only because that these term are not in quran and hadith is a grave mistake.
        3.It will undermine the superiority of Quran and Sunnat and will be considered its weakness. (Nauzubillah).
        4. Already muslim youth mind and a good number of intellectual and kings were under influence and supremacy of the greek philosophy.
         5. So to counter them and to support the Aqeeda of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ther is no harm in using logic and philosophical approach/hypothetical philosophical words prevailing at that time. He considered it not only necessary rather Jihad of that time.
          6. He was of the view that sahaba did not used these words because they did not faced the situation.
       7. In making Ta'weel,(Interpretational approach) he did not intend to oppose the Salaf, but to oppose the misled groups. He has stated if he was in the era of the Salaf, he would not have made any Ta'weel.
        8. By this approach 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. And he finished the job he undertook in the best possible manner.
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)
 May Allah give him best reward.

             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).
           But the writing of some of low level salafis  demonise the Asharis. Some also put him in the category of muatazella  accusing him of interpretational approach (Taweel). 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) 
TO Know the differences between Salafi and Ashari schools click here.