Who Was Aboo Al-Hasan Al-Ash’aree?

It should be pointed out that Aboo al-Hasan al-Ash’aree himself went through three phases during his lifetime.

During the first phase, he was a Mu’tazilee. However, alter the scholars of the Mu’tazilah could not satisfy his questions on particular issues of faith, he left them and started teaching the ‘aqeedah of Aboo Muhammad Ahdullaah ibn Sa’eed ibn Kullaab (d. 240 A.H.).

Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash’aree during this stage, tried to refine the beliefs of the Mu’tazilah and defend the teachings of Ahlus-Sunnah, but unfortunately the methodology that they used to refute the Mu’tazilah was itself greatly influenced by Greek philosophy.

Thus, they themselves fell into many errors, especially in the area of the Names and Attributes of Allaah.

During the last stage of his life, al-Ash’aree rejected the teachings of Ibn Kullaab and accepted the ‘aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah. It was also during this stage that he wrote his book al-Ibaanah, in which he defended the ‘aqeedah of the salaf, and believed in the Attributes of Allaah, such as istiwaa (rising over the throne), wajh (Face), yad (Hand) and other attributes.

Therefore, in reality, those who claim to be Ash’aree are not truly following Aboo al-Hasan al-Ash’aree, for if they were, they would follow the ‘aqeedah that he had at his death, and not the ‘aqeedah of Ibn Kullaab. which he renounced before his death.

[Taken from “An Introduction To the Sciences Of The Qur’aan”, by Yaasir Qaadhi, p. 40]

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