Maturidiyya (Arabic: ماتريدي‎) is one of the main schools of Sunni Islam theology. It was formalized by Abu Mansur Al Maturidi and brought the beliefs already present among the majority of Sunnis under one school of systematic theology (kalam). It is considered one of the orthodox Sunni creeds alongside the Ash'ari school.[1] Māturīdism has been the predominant theological orientation among the Sunni Muslims of Persia prior to its conversion to Shiaism in the 16th century, Hanafis, and the Ahl al-Ray (people of reason) and enjoyed a preeminent status in the Ottoman Empire and Mughal India. Outside the old Ottoman and Mughal empires, the majority of Turkic tribes, Central Asian, and South Asian Muslims also believe in Maturidi theology. The Maturidi school prioritizes the traditions of Sufism and Persian- over Arabian interpretation of Islam.[2]


The Maturidi view holds that:

  • All attributes of God are eternal and not separated from God.[3]
  • Ethics have an objective existence and humans are capable of recognizing it through reason.[4]
  • Although humans are intellectually capable of realizing God, they need revelations and guidance of Prophets, because human desire can divert the intellect and because certain knowledge of God has been specially given to these Prophets (i.e. the Quran was revealed to Muhammad, who was given this special knowledge from God and only through Muhammad did this knowledge become accessible to others).[5]
  • Humans are free in determining their actions within scope of God-given possibilities. Accordingly, God has created all possibilities, but humans are free to choose.[6]
  • The Quran is the uncreated word of God, however when it takes form (in sound or letters) it is created.
  • The Six articles of faith.[7]
  • Religious authorities need reasonable arguments to prove their claims.[8]
  • Support of science and falsafa.[9]
  • The Maturidis state that iman (faith) does not increase nor decrease depending on one's deeds; it is rather taqwa (piety) which increases and decreases. The Ash'aris say that faith itself increases or decreases according to one's actions.[10]

Maturidism holds, that humans are creatures endowed with reason, that differentiates them from animals. Further, the relationship between people and God differs from that of nature and God; humans are endowed with free-will, but due to God's sovereignty, God creates the acts the humans choose, so humans can perform them. Ethics can be understood just by reason and do not need prophetic guidance. Maturidi also considered hadiths as unreliable, when they are in odd with reason.[11] However, the human mind alone could not grasp the entire truth, thus it is in need of revelation in regard of mysterious affairs. Further, Maturidism opposes anthropomorphism and similitude, while simultaneously does not deny the divine attributes. They must be either interpretated in the light of Tauhid or be left out.[12]

See also

External links


  1. ^ "Maturidiyah". Britanicca. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  2. ^ Marlène Laruelle Being Muslim in Central Asia: Practices, Politics, and Identities BRILL, 11.01.2018 ISBN 9789004357242 p. 21
  3. ^ Cenap Çakmak Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia [4 volumes] ABC-CLIO 2017 ISBN 978-1-610-69217-5 page 1014
  4. ^ Oliver Leaman The Biographical Encyclopedia of Islamic Philosophy Bloomsbury Publishing 2015 ISBN 978-1-472-56945-5 page 311
  5. ^ Cenap Çakmak Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia [4 volumes] ABC-CLIO 2017 ISBN 978-1-610-69217-5 page 1014
  6. ^ Cenap Çakmak Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia [4 volumes] ABC-CLIO 2017 ISBN 978-1-610-69217-5 page 1014
  7. ^ Oliver Leaman The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia Taylor & Francis 2006 ISBN 978-0-415-32639-1 page 41
  8. ^ Ulli Roth, Armin Kreiner, Gunther Wenz, Friedo Ricken, Mahmut Ay, Roderich Barth, Halis Albayrak, Muammer Esen, Engin Erdem, Hikmet Yaman Glaube und Vernunft in Christentum und Islam Kohlhammer Verlag 2017 ISBN 978-3-170-31526-6 page 83
  9. ^ Ulli Roth, Armin Kreiner, Gunther Wenz, Friedo Ricken, Mahmut Ay, Roderich Barth, Halis Albayrak, Muammer Esen, Engin Erdem, Hikmet Yaman Glaube und Vernunft in Christentum und Islam Kohlhammer Verlag 2017 ISBN 978-3-170-31526-6 page 83
  10. ^ Cenap Çakmak Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia [4 volumes] ABC-CLIO 2017 ISBN 978-1-610-69217-5 page 1015
  11. ^ Rico Isaacs, Alessandro Frigerio Theorizing Central Asian Politics: The State, Ideology and Power Springer, 2018 ISBN 9783319973555 p. 108
  12. ^ Mohammad Sharif Khan, Mohammad Anwar Saleem Muslim Philosophy and Philosophers PH Publishing, 1994 ISBN 9788170246237 p. 30
  • Article "Kalam" in The Encyclopedia of Islam, 1st edition.
Abu Ishaq al-Saffar al-Bukhari

Abu Ishaq al-Saffar al-Bukhari (Arabic: أبو إسحاق الصفّار البخاري‎), was an important representative of the Sunni theological school of Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (d. c. 333/944) and the author of Talkhis al-Adilla li-Qawa'id al-Tawhid (Arabic: تلخيص الأدلّة لقواعد التوحيد‎) which is a voluminous kalam work.He lived in Bukhara under the dominance of West Karakhanids. His theological works, his method in kalam, and frequent reference to his works by Ottoman and Arab scholars indicate that al-Saffar is a respected and authoritative Hanafi-Maturidi theologian who systematically establishes his ideas about kalam believing that information based upon reason, revealed knowledge and senses are determinative in his area.

Abu Mansur al-Maturidi

Abū Manṣūr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Maḥmūd al-Samarḳandī (853–944 CE; Arabic: أبو منصور محمد بن محمد بن محمود الماتریدي السمرقندي الحنفي‎), often referred to as Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī for short, or reverently as Imam Māturīdī by Sunni Muslims, was a Sunni Hanafi jurist, theologian, and scriptural exegete from ninth-century Samarkand who became the eponymous codifier of one of the principal orthodox schools of Sunni theology, the Maturidi school, which became the dominant theological school for Sunni Muslims in Central Asia and later enjoyed a preeminent status as the school of choice for both the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire.In contrast to Ashʿarī (d. 936), the founder of one of the other major orthodox Sunni theological schools, Maturidi adhered to the doctrine of Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 772) as transmitted and elaborated by the Hanafi theologians of Balkh and Transoxania. It was this theology which Maturidi systematized and used to refute not only the opinions of the Mutazilites, the Karrāmites, and other heterodox groups, but also non-Muslim theologies such as those of Chalcedonian Christianity, Miaphysitism, Manichaeanism, Marcionism, and Bardaisanism.

Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi

Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi was a Hanafite jurist who lived during the second half of the 10th century. He authored various books on theology and jurist works. His work was enumerated by Brockelmann and his little work has been edited twice by AWT Juynboll.

His time of death is not quite certain.

Abu al-Mu'in al-Nasafi

Abu al-Mu'in al-Nasafi (Uzbek: Абул-Муина ан-Насафи; Arabic: أبو المعين النسفي‎), was considered to be the most important Central Asian Hanafi theologian in the Maturidite school of Sunni Islam after Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (d. 333 A.H), provides a fairly detailed account of al-Maturidi Central Asian predecessors.

Abu al-Yusr al-Bazdawi

Abu al-Yusr al-Bazdawi (Arabic: أبو الْيُسر الْبَزْدَوي‎), was a prominent Central Asian Hanafi-Maturidi scholar and a qadi (judge) in Samarqand in the late eleventh century and author of the Kitab Usul al-Din [Book of the Principles (Fundamentals) of Religion].


Ashʿarism or Ashʿari theology (; Arabic: الأشعرية‎ al-ʾAšʿarīyya or الأشاعرة al-ʾAšāʿira) is the foremost theological school of Sunni Islam which established an orthodox dogmatic guideline based on clerical authority, founded by the Arab theologian Abu al-Hasan al-Ashʿari (d. 936 / AH 324). The disciples of the school are known as Ashʿarites, and the school is also referred to as the Ashʿarite school, which became the dominant strand within Sunni Islam. It is considered one of the orthodox schools of theology in Sunni Islam, alongside the Maturidi school of theology.Amongst the most famous Ashʿarites are Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Nawawi, Al-Ghazali, Izz al-Din ibn 'Abd al-Salam, Al-Suyuti, Ibn 'Asakir, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Qurtubi and Al-Subki.


Azariqa (Arabic الأزارقة, al-azāriqa), The strongest and the most extremist branch of Khawarij, who follow the leadership of Nafi ibn al-Azraq al-Hanafī al-Handhalī.

Grand Imam of al-Azhar

The Grand Imam of al-Azhar (Arabic: الإمام الأكبر), also known as Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar (Arabic: شيخ الأزهر الشريف), currently Ahmed el-Tayeb, is a prestigious Sunni Islam title and a prominent official title in Egypt. He is considered by some Muslims to be the highest authority in Sunni Islamic thought and Islamic jurisprudence and holds a great influence on followers of the theological Ash'ari and Maturidi traditions worldwide. The Grand Imam Heads the al-Azhar Mosque, and by extension al-Azhar University, and is responsible for official religious matters along with the Grand Mufti of Egypt.


The Hanafi (Arabic: حنفي‎ Ḥanafī) school is one of the four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence (fiqh). It is named after the scholar Abū Ḥanīfa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit (d. 767), a tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani. The other major schools of Sharia in Sunni Islam are Maliki, Shafi`i and Hanbali.Hanafi is the fiqh with the largest number of followers among Sunni Muslims. It is predominant in the countries that were once part of the historic Ottoman Empire, Mughal Empire and Sultanates of Turkic rulers in the Indian subcontinent, northwest China and Central Asia. In the modern era, Hanafi is prevalent in the following regions: Turkey, the Balkans, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, parts of Iraq, parts of Iran, parts of Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of India and China, and Bangladesh.


Jahmī (Arabic: جهمي‎) was a pejorative term used especially by early Hanbalites to refer to the followers of Jahm ibn Safwan (d. 128/746). In the modern era it is also used by followers of Salafism against Muslims who believe the Quran is a created thing, not the eternal speech of Allah.


Karramiyya (Arabic: كرّاميّه‎, translit. Karrāmiyyah) is a sect in Islam which flourished in the central and eastern parts of the Islamic worlds, and especially in the Iranian regions, from the 9th century until the Mongol invasions in the 13th century.

The sect was founded by a Sistani named Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Karrām (d. 896) who was a popular preacher in Khurasan in the 9th century in the vicinity of Nishapur. He later emigrated with many of his followers to Jerusalem. According to him, the Karrāmites were also called the "followers of Abū'Abdallāh" (aṣḥāb Abī'Abdallāh) . . Its main distribution areas were in Greater Khorasan, Transoxiana and eastern peripheral areas of Iran. Early Ghaznavids and the early Ghurid dynasty granted the Karrāmīyan rulership. The most important center of the community remained until the end of the 11th century Nishapur. After its decline, the Karrāmīya survived only in Ghazni and Ghor in the area of today's Afghanistan.

Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari

Muhammad Zahid b. Hasan al-Kawthari (1296 AH – 1371 AH/1879–1952) was the adjunct to the last Shaykh al-Islam of the Ottoman Empire, a Hanafi Maturidi scholar and a polymath.


Murjiʾah (Arabic المرجئة) is an early Islamic school of theology, whose followers are known in English language as Murjites or Murjiʾites (Arabic المرجئون). The school is now considered extinct.


The Nukkari (also Nakkari or Nakkariyah; in Latin sources named Canarii) are one of the main branches of the North African Ibadi, founded in 784 by Abu Qudama Yazid ibn Fandin al-Ifrani. Led by Abu Yazid al-Nukkari, they revolted against the ruling Fatimids in Ifriqiya (today's Tunisia and eastern Algeria), conquering Kairouan in 944 and laying siege to Sousse, but were ultimately defeated in 947. Remnants of the Nukkari are thought to have survived on the island of Djerba.

Nur al-Din al-Sabuni

Nur al-Din al-Sabuni (Arabic: نور الدين الصابوني‎), was one of the theologians within the Maturidite school of Sunni Islam, and author of Al-Bidayah min al-Kifayah fi al-Hidayah fi Usul al-Din (Arabic: البداية من الكفاية في الهداية في أصول الدين‎).


The Sufris (Arabic: الصفرية‎ aṣ-Ṣufriyya) were Khariji Muslims in the seventh and eighth centuries. They established the Midrarid state at Sijilmassa, now in Morocco.

In Tlemcen, Algeria, the Banu Ifran were Sufri Berbers who opposed rule by the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates, most notably under resistance movements led by Abu Qurra (8th century) and Abu Yazid.The Khawarij were divided into separate groups such as the Sufri, Azariqa, Bayhasiyya, Ajardi, Najdat, and Ibadi. Only the Ibadi continue to exist today.

Sunni Islam

Sunni Islam () is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by 75-90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word sunnah, referring to the behaviour of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions.According to Sunni traditions, Muhammad did not clearly designate a successor and the Muslim community acted according to his sunnah in electing his father-in-law Abu Bakr as the first caliph. This contrasts with the Shia view, which holds that Muhammad announced his son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor, most notably at Ghadir Khumm. Political tensions between Sunnis and Shias continued with varying intensity throughout Islamic history and have been exacerbated in recent times by ethnic conflicts and the rise of Wahhabism.The adherents of Sunni Islam are referred to in Arabic as ahl as-sunnah wa l-jamāʻah ("the people of the sunnah and the community") or ahl as-sunnah for short. In English, its doctrines and practices are sometimes called Sunnism, while adherents are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis, Sunnites and Ahlus Sunnah. Sunni Islam is sometimes referred to as "orthodox Islam", through some scholars view this translation as inappropriate.The Quran, together with hadith (especially those collected in Kutub al-Sittah) and binding juristic consensus form the basis of all traditional jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. Sharia rulings are derived from these basic sources, in conjunction with analogical reasoning, consideration of public welfare and juristic discretion, using the principles of jurisprudence developed by the traditional legal schools.

In matters of creed, the Sunni tradition upholds the six pillars of iman (faith) and comprises the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools of rationalistic theology as well as the textualist school known as traditionalist theology.

Tabsirat al-Adilla

Tabsirat al-Adilla fi Usul al-Din: 'ala Tariqat al-Imam Abi Mansur al-Maturidi (Arabic: تبصرة الأدلة في أصول الدين على طريقة الإمام أبي منصور الماتريدي‎, lit. 'Exposition of the Proofs in the Basic Principles of Religion on the Basis of the Arguments of Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi's Teachings'), better known as Tabsirat al-Adilla (transl. Instruction on Cogent Proofs), is considered as the second most important kalam book of the Maturidite school, after Kitab al-Tawhid of al-Maturidi himself, composed by Abu al-Mu'in al-Nasafi.

al-Nasafi's presentation of the issues in this work is more systematic and his style is more accessible than that of al-Maturidi. The book is even more appreciated by the experts than “Kitab at-Tawhid” that it gives more perfect and detailed information about the main principles of the science of kalam. It is probably because of this style that Nur al-Din al-Sabuni (d. 580 A.H. / 1184 A.D.), a later representative of Maturidite school, states that al-Nasafi's work was his main source. And perhaps because of this fact that Abu al-Mu'in al-Nasafi was appreciated among the specialists in this field with the honourable title “Sahib at-Tabsira” (The author of Tabsira) and became famous among the experts of the science of kalam.

The connection between al-Nasafi and al-Maturidi in the Tabsirat al-Adilla is clear and needs no further proof. Because al-Nasafi admires al-Maturidi, he refers to his ideas several times, and he always supports his views against Mu'tazilite and Ash'arite thinking. In addition, he gives a list of the scholars of the Hanafite-Maturidite school in Transoxania and their works, which is not available in any other source. al-Nasafi throughout Tabsirat al-Adilla refers to the views of al-Maturidi mostly as "qala al-Shaikh al-Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi", without naming his work.

In his explanations, al-Nasafi follows closely the views of al-Maturidi and sometimes gives direct quotations from him. He also gives the views of his opponents in a fairly objective way. In discussing the issues, al-Nasafi develops a semantic analysis, a method not used or really developed by his followers.

Traditionalist theology (Islam)

Traditionalist theology is a Islamic scholarly movement, originating in the late 8th century CE, who reject rationalistic Islamic theology (kalam) in favor of strict textualism in interpreting the Quran and hadith. The name derives from "tradition" in its technical sense as translation of the Arabic word hadith. It is also sometimes referred to by several other names.

Adherents of traditionalist theology believe the zahir (literal, apparent) meaning of the Qur'an and the hadith are the sole authorities in matters of belief and law; and that the use of rational disputation is forbidden even verifying the truth. They engage in a literal reading of the Qur'an, as opposed to one engaged in ta'wil (metaphorical interpretation). They do not attempt to conceptualize the meanings of the Qur'an rationally, and believe that their realities should be consigned to God alone (tafwid). In essence, the text of the Qur'an and Hadith is accepted without asking "how" or "Bi-la kaifa".

Traditionalist theology emerged among hadith scholars who eventually coalesced into a movement called ahl al-hadith under the leadership of Ahmad ibn Hanbal (b. 780–d. 855). In matters of faith, they were pitted against Mu'tazilites and other theological currents, condemning many points of their doctrine as well as the rationalistic methods they used in defending them. In the tenth century al-Ash'ari and al-Maturidi found a middle ground between Mu'tazilite rationalism and Hanbalite literalism, using the rationalistic methods championed by Mu'tazilites to defend most tenets of the traditionalist doctrine. Although the mainly Hanbali scholars who rejected this synthesis were in the minority, their emotive, narrative-based approach to faith remained influential among the urban masses in some areas, particularly in Abbasid Baghdad.While Ash'arism and Maturidism are often called the Sunni "orthodoxy", traditionalist theology has thrived alongside it, laying rival claims to be the orthodox Sunni faith. In the modern era it has had a disproportionate impact on Islamic theology, having been appropriated by Wahhabi and other traditionalist Salafi currents and spread well beyond the confines of the Hanbali school of law.

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