Aqidah schools of Islamic divinity

Aqidah is an Islamic term meaning “creed” or “belief”. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Muslim history and theology, denoting those matters over which Muslims hold conviction. The term is usually translated as “theology”. Such traditions are divisions orthogonal to sectarian divisions of Islam, and a Mu’tazili may for example, belong to Jafari, Zaidi or even Hanafi school of jurisprudence.

Textualist approach: Athari

The Athari school derives its name from the Arabic word Athar, meaning “narrations”. The Athari creed is to avoid delving into extensive theological speculation. They use the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and sayings of the Sahaba – seeing this as the middle path where the attributes of Allah are accepted without questioning ‘how’ they are. Ahmad bin Hanbal is regarded as the leader of the Athari school of creed. Athari is generally synonymous with Salafi. The central aspect of Athari theology is its definition of Tawhid, meaning literally unification or asserting the oneness of Allah.1)[66] Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah [1991]. Tariq al-hijratayn wa-bab al-sa’adatayn. Dar al-Hadith [1991]. p. 30.2)[67] al-Hanafi, Imam Ibn Abil-‘Izz. Sharh At Tahawiyya. p. 76.3)[68]al-Safarayni, Muhamad bin Ahmad. Lawami’ al-anwar al-Bahiyah. Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah. p. 1/128.4)[69] Abd al-Wahhab, ibn Abd Allah, Ibn, Sulayman [1999]. Taysir al-‘Aziz al-Hamid fi sharh kitab al-Tawhid. ‘Alam al-Kutub. pp. 17–19.

Kalām

Kalām is the Islamic philosophy of seeking theological principles through dialectic. In Arabic, the word literally means “speech/words”. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim (Muslim theologian; plural mutakallimūn). There are many schools of Kalam, the main ones being the Ash’ari and Maturidi schools in Sunni Islam.

Ash’ari

Ash’ari is a school of early Islamic philosophy founded in the 10th century by Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari. The Asharite view was that comprehension of the unique nature and characteristics of God were beyond human capability.

Maturidi

A Maturidi is one who follows Abu Mansur Al Maturidi’s theology, which is a close variant of the Ash’ari school. Points which differ are the nature of belief and the place of human reason. The Maturidis state that belief (iman) does not increase nor decrease but remains static; it is piety (taqwa) which increases and decreases. The Ash’aris say that belief does in fact increase and decrease. The Maturidis say that the unaided human mind is able to find out that some of the more major sins such as alcohol or murder are evil without the help of revelation. The Ash’aris say that the unaided human mind is unable to know if something is good or evil, lawful or unlawful, without divine revelation.

Murji’ah

Murji’ah (Arabic: المرجئة‎) is an early Islamic school whose followers are known in English as “Murjites” or “Murji’ites” (المرجئون). During the early centuries of Islam, Muslim thought encountered a multitude of influences from various ethnic and philosophical groups that it absorbed. Murji’ah emerged as a theological school that was opposed to the Kharijites on questions related to early controversies regarding sin and definitions of what is a true Muslim.

They advocated the idea of “delayed judgement”. Only God can judge who is a true Muslim and who is not, and no one else can judge another as an infidel (kafir). Therefore, all Muslims should consider all other Muslims as true and faithful believers, and look to Allah to judge everyone during the last judgment. This theology promoted tolerance of Umayyads and converts to Islam who appeared half-hearted in their obedience. The Murjite opinion would eventually dominate that of the Kharijites.

The Murjites exited the way of the Sunnis when they declared that no Muslim would enter the hellfire, no matter what his sins. This contradicts the traditional Sunni belief that some Muslims will enter the hellfire temporarily. Therefore, the Murjites are classified as Ahlul Bid’ah or “People of Innovation” by Sunnis, particularly Salafis.

Qadar’iyyah

The idea of Qadariyah, i.e. the Doctrine of Free-Will, came from a Persian named Sinbuya Asvari and his follower Ma’bad al-Juhani, both was put to death by the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.

Mu’tazili

Mu’tazili theology originated in the 8th century in al-Basrah when Wasil ibn Ata left the teaching lessons of Hasan al-Basri after a theological dispute. He and his followers expanded on the logic and rationalism of Greek philosophy, seeking to combine them with Islamic doctrines and show that the two were inherently compatible. The Mu’tazili debated philosophical questions such as whether the Qur’an was created or eternal, whether evil was created by God, the issue of predestination versus free will, whether God’s attributes in the Qur’an were to be interpreted allegorically or literally, and whether sinning believers would have eternal punishment in hell.

Jabr’iyyah

Jahmis were the followers of the Islamic theologian Jahm bin Safwan who associate himself with Al-Harith ibn Surayj. He was an exponent of extreme determinism according to which a man acts only metaphorically in the same way in which the sun acts or does something when it sets.5)[70] P. W. Pestman, Acta Orientalia Neerlandica: Proceedings of the Congress of the Dutch Oriental Society Held in Leiden on the Occasion of Its 50th Anniversary, 8th-9th May 1970, p 85.

Bāṭen’iyyah

The Bāṭen’iyyah theology, was originally introduced by Abu’l-Khāttāb Muhammad ibn Abu Zaynab al-Asadī,6)[71] “ABU’L-ḴAṬṬĀB ASADĪ”. Retrieved 22 April 2015.7)[72] “ḴAṬṬĀBIYA”. Retrieved 22 April 2015. and later developed by Maymūn al-Qaddāh8)Öz, Mustafa, Mezhepler Tarihi ve Terimleri Sözlüğü (The History of madh’habs and its terminology dictionary), Ensar Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2011. (This is the name of the trainer of Muhammad bin Ismā‘īl as-ṣaghīribn Jā’far. He had established the principles of theBāṭen’iyyah Madh’hab, later.9)[73] Öz, Mustafa, Mezhepler Tarihi ve Terimleri Sözlüğü [The History of madh’habs and its terminology dictionary], Ensar Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2011. This is the name of the trainer of Muhammad bin Ismā‘īl as-ṣaghīribn Jā’far. He had established the principles of theBāṭen’iyyah Madh’hab, later. and his son ʿAbd Allāh ibn Maymūn10)[74] “ʿABDALLĀH B. MAYMŪN AL-QADDĀḤ”. Retrieved 22 April 2015. for the esoteric interpretation(([75] Halm, H. “BĀṬENĪYA”. Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 4 August 2014. of the Qur’an. In the history of Islam, Seveners, Qarmatians, Fatimids and Hashashins were amongst the followers of this school of divinity.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_schools_and_branches
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References   [ + ]

1. [66] Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah [1991]. Tariq al-hijratayn wa-bab al-sa’adatayn. Dar al-Hadith [1991]. p. 30.
2. [67] al-Hanafi, Imam Ibn Abil-‘Izz. Sharh At Tahawiyya. p. 76.
3. [68]al-Safarayni, Muhamad bin Ahmad. Lawami’ al-anwar al-Bahiyah. Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah. p. 1/128.
4. [69] Abd al-Wahhab, ibn Abd Allah, Ibn, Sulayman [1999]. Taysir al-‘Aziz al-Hamid fi sharh kitab al-Tawhid. ‘Alam al-Kutub. pp. 17–19.
5. [70] P. W. Pestman, Acta Orientalia Neerlandica: Proceedings of the Congress of the Dutch Oriental Society Held in Leiden on the Occasion of Its 50th Anniversary, 8th-9th May 1970, p 85.
6. [71] “ABU’L-ḴAṬṬĀB ASADĪ”. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
7. [72] “ḴAṬṬĀBIYA”. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
8. Öz, Mustafa, Mezhepler Tarihi ve Terimleri Sözlüğü (The History of madh’habs and its terminology dictionary), Ensar Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2011. (This is the name of the trainer of Muhammad bin Ismā‘īl as-ṣaghīribn Jā’far. He had established the principles of theBāṭen’iyyah Madh’hab, later.(([73] Öz, Mustafa, Mezhepler Tarihi ve Terimleri Sözlüğü [The History of madh’habs and its terminology dictionary], Ensar Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2011. This is the name of the trainer of Muhammad bin Ismā‘īl as-ṣaghīribn Jā’far. He had established the principles of theBāṭen’iyyah Madh’hab, later.
9. [73] Öz, Mustafa, Mezhepler Tarihi ve Terimleri Sözlüğü [The History of madh’habs and its terminology dictionary], Ensar Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2011. This is the name of the trainer of Muhammad bin Ismā‘īl as-ṣaghīribn Jā’far. He had established the principles of theBāṭen’iyyah Madh’hab, later. and his son ʿAbd Allāh ibn Maymūn(([74] “ʿABDALLĀH B. MAYMŪN AL-QADDĀḤ”. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
10. [74] “ʿABDALLĀH B. MAYMŪN AL-QADDĀḤ”. Retrieved 22 April 2015. for the esoteric interpretation(([75] Halm, H. “BĀṬENĪYA”. Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 4 August 2014.

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pseudonym: Ball-peen Hammer Green

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