by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen (hafidhahullaah)

‘‘So – for example – the Ash’arees and the Maatureedees are not considered from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in this particular matter (i.e. concerning the Names and Attributes of Allaah).

Rather, they oppose what the Prophe (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions were upon with regards to accepting the Attributes of Allaah – the Most Perfect – upon their haqeeqah (real meaning).

This is why, whoever says that Ahlus-Sunnah are three groups: the Salafees, the Ash’arees and the Maatureedees – then such a person is indeed mistaken. Rather we say: How can all three be considered Ahlus-Sunnah and they differ with each other? What is there after Truth, except misguidance. How can they all be Ahlus-Sunnah, whilst each one of them refutes the other – this is not possible – except if it is possible to reconcile the opposites. There is no doubt however, that one of them is truly Ahlus-Sunnah – but which one? Is it the Ash’arees, the Maatureedees or the Salafees? Whichever of them agrees with the Sunnah is considered to be Ahlus-Sunnah, whilst whichever of them opposes it is not. So we say: The Salaf are Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and this description cannot be true for anyone else other than them. So how can those who oppose the Sunnah be called Ahlus-Sunnah – this is not possible. How is it possible to say Ahlus-Sunnah are of three differing groups, but we say that they are in agreement? So where is the agreement and consensus? Rather, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah are those who hold on to what the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions were upon, and to the ’aqeedah (creed) of the Salaf – until the Day of Judgement – and they are the Salafees.’’ [26]


[1] Related by Imaam al-Laalikaa‘ee in Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (3/430) and also by Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee in Dhammut-Ta‘weel (p. 18) and the chain of narrators is hasan (good).

[2] Related by al-Aajurree in ash-Sharee’ah (p. 314), al-Bayhaqee in al-Asmaa‘ was-Sifaat (p. 453) and also in al-I’tiqaad (p. 118) and the chain of narrators is hasan.

[3] Related by Ibnul-Jawzee in Manaaqibul-Imaam Ahmad (p. 155-156)

[4] Related by Imaam adh-Dhahabee in al-’Uluww (no. 217)

[5] Sunanut-Tirmidhee (3/24)

[6] al-Ghuniyah ’an Kalaam wa Ahlihi – as quoted in Mukhtasarul-’Uluww (no. 137)

[7] ’Aqeedah Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah Ashaabul-Hadeeth wal-A‘immah (no. 3)

[8] Ibtaalut-Ta‘weelaat li-Akhbaaris-Sifaat (p. 21)

[9] at-Tamheed (1/145) of Ibn ’Abdul-Barr

[10] Dhammut-Ta‘weel (p. 11) of Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee

[11] al-’Aqeedatul-Waasitiyyah (p. 3-4)

[12] What is meant by tafweedh – according to Ahlul-Kalaam (the people of innovated speech and rhetoric) – is: Affirming the wording of the Attributes, but leaving knowledge of their meaning and how the Attribute is, to Allaah.  However, the way of the Salaf was to affirm both the textual wording and the meaning of Allaah’s Attributes – in the way that befits Him – whilst refraining from asking questions concerning how the Attributes are; resigning knowledge of that to Allaah.

[13] Related by al-Bayhaqee in al-Asmaa‘ was-Sifaat (no. 516) and al-Laalikaa‘ee in Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (no. 665), Ibn Taymiyyah said in Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/365), ‘‘It is established from Rabee’ah.’’  He also said in al-Hamawiyyah (p. 80), ‘‘Al-Khallaal narrated it with an isnaad (chain of narrators), all of whom are thiqaat (precise and reliable).’’

[17] al-Ibaanah ’an Usoolid-Diyaanah (p. 133).  The ascription of this book to Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree, and that it was his final book concerning ’aqeedah (creed) – has been testified to by a number of Scholars, and from them: al-Haafidh Ibn ’Asaakir in Tabyeenul-Kadhibul-Muftaree (p. 152), al-Bayhaqee in al-I’tiqaad (p. 31), Imaam adh-Dhahabee in al-’Uluww (no. 276) and Ibnul-’Imaad in Shadharaatudh-Dhahab (p. 303).

[18] al-Ghuniyah ’an Kalaam wa Ahlihi – as quoted in Mukhtasarul-’Uluww (no. 137)

[19] Related by adh-Dhahabee in Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (17/566)

[20] Ibtaalut-Ta‘weelaat (p. 4)

[21] al-Kalaam ’alas-Sifaat (p. 19-20) of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee

[22] at-Tamheed (7/145) of Ibn ’Abdul-Barr

[23] al-Ghunyatut-Taalibeen (1/50) of ’Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee

[24] al-Jaami’ li-Ahkaamil-Qur‘aan (18/216)

[25] al-Fatwaa al-Hamawiyyatul-Kubraa (p. 66)

[26] Sharhul-’Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah (1/123) of Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen