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If a person is a Hanafi, does that mean he is a Maturidi by default?

Question:

If a person is a Hanafi, does that mean he is a Maturidi by default?

Answer:

ﺑﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﯿﻢ

Firstly, it is important to know who Imam Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi and Imam Abul Hasan Al-Ashari were. In brief, these two great scholars were the leaders of Ahl ul Sunnah wal Jama’at; i.e. those whose beliefs conformed to the beliefs of the Prophet and his companions (may Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ be pleased with them). These two illustrious Imams imparted, spread, and defended the true, pure Islamic Creed. Nevertheless, they differ in twelve matters which are secondary issues of faith, not principle. In other words, they both agree upon the essential, fundamental beliefs of Islam; i.e. oneness of God, belief in the Messengers, etc., however, they have some minor differences in interpreting certain topics, which would not necessitate one becoming an innovator or a disbeliever, if one of the interpretations is favored over the other. The Ashari school of thought was famous in North Africa, because the majority of the Muslims there adhered to the Maliki Madhab, and the creed of the Malikis conformed to the beliefs of the Imam Al-Ashari. As for the Maturidi school of thought, it gained popularity in the Indian Sub-Continent and Byzantine Empire, because the Muslims of that region followed the Hanafi Madhab, and the creed of the Hanafis was consistent with the beliefs of Imam Al-Maturidi. In response to your first question, being a follower of the Hanafi Madhab does not, by default, entail being a Maturidi, because there were many Hanafis who sympathized with the Ashari school of thought as well.

And Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ knows best

Written by Shaykh Mohammad Ahsan Osmani

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