Often many of the Sufis (Sufi/Asharis) of today claim that there creed in regards to Allahs names and attributes is based on the creed of the classical Ashari scholars. However this is a deceptive statement because it is mixed with truth and false hood. The truth is they follow Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi, al-Juwayni al-Ghazali and al-Razi and other Ashari scholars who followed there creed. These scholars are classical Ashari scholars however there creed is not the same as the early classical Asharis scholars such as Abu Bakr Al-Baaqalaani, Al-Bayhaqi, al-Ashari (before he became salafi and after he left the Mutazilah), al-Qalanisi (contemporary of Ashari, not a student), Ibn Mahdi at-Tabari and others.
So the Sufi/Asharis of today do not follow the authentic Ashari creed the follow the creed of the later Asharis. However they would like the ummah to think they follow both sets of scholars. But it is impossible too follow both sets of scholars as the early Asharis follow the creed of Ibn Kullab al-Qattaan al-Basri (d. 240H, founder of the Khullabis) and his Khullabi sect so they should be called Khullabi Asharis. This creed is almost the same as the Salafis creed on Allahs names and attributes. The later Asharis adopted the creed of the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah in regards to Allahs names and attributes.
On the other hand today’s Sufi/Asharis follow the creed of the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah in regards to Allahs names and attributes however they try to hide this creed and pretended to follow the early Asharis creed of Kullabiyyah. They agree with the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah and make taweel and tateel (rejection of Allahs attribute) of Allah being above His Throne, with his Essence and the sifaat dhaatiyyah, such as Allahs face, two hands and two eyes (the early Khullabi Asharis affirm all these things with out taweel, tateel or tafweedh (claiming only Allah knows the meaning of the Attribute even though the meaning is known in the Arabic language but how the attributes works is unknown)). Today’s Sufi/Asharis also do tafweedh of Allahs names and attributes in addition too their innovated taweel and disgusting tateel. They claim by doing tafweedh they are following the salaf (early generations of Muslims) however this is one of the greatest lies upon the salaf.
The fact the modern day Sufi/Asharis follow the creed Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah in regards to Allahs names and attributes, reject the creed of the early Asharis and the fact that there classical scholars are actually not true Asharis and oppose the true early Khullabi Ashari creed in regards to Allahs names and attributes is a fact which the Sufi/Asharis would hate the ummah to known and so they go to great lengths to hide this fact. The reason they do not wish for this fact to be common knowledge is because much of the early Ashari Khullabi creed on Allahs names and attributes goes against what they say but aggress with the Salafi creed. However they slander and lie upon the Salafis because of there creed concerning Allahs names and attributes (which is in reality very similar to the creed of the early Asharis). They call Salafis the mujassimah (those who describe Allah as body among the creation) and the mushabbihah (those who believe Allah is like the creation or the creation is like Allah) for affirming a creed which the real Asharis (the early Ashari) agree with mostly.
The Khullabi creed in regards to Allahs names and attributes was to affirm all of Allahs name and attributes, (except Allahs sifaat Filiyyah (attributes tied to Allah’s will and power like such as istiwaa, nuzool, love, pleasure, anger and so on)). They were the first from the Mutakallimoon to affirm Allah being above His Throne, with His Essence, as well as to affirm the sifaat dhaatiyyah, such as Face, two Hands, two Eyes, without taweel (figurative interpretation), tafweedh (claiming only Allah knows the meaning of the Attribute even though the meaning is known in the Arabic language but how the attributes works is unknown), takyeef (trying to explain how Allahs attribute looks and/or works), tashbeeh (liking Allah to the creation or the creation to Allah) and tateel (rejection of the attribute).
The Khullabi would refute the false charges of tajseem (making Allah a body having human parts ) that the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah were throwing against them for affirming the sifaat dhaatiyyah, such as face, two hands and two eyes.
However they differ with the salafis of today and the salaf of the past (Ahlu Sunnah) on accepting Sifaat Filiyyah (attributes tied to Allah’s will and power), on accepting Allahs speech in its true form and on accepting the Quran with us today is Allah speech, they believed that the Quran we have in our presence is created. The Khullabi denied Sifaat Filiyyah such as love, pleasure, anger, as attributes connected to Allahs will and power which means Allah does these actions when he wills, however he wills and sometimes he does not do these actions. However they affirmed these attributes as eternal attributes of Allah’s essence negating the fact he does them how he wills and when ever he wills (negating they are connected to Allahs will and power). They also affirmed Allah has “speech”, they claimed that Allah’s speech is “Kalaam Nafsee”, a meaning present with Allah from eternity but they denied that Allah speaks by His will and power. The reason they denied these attributes is because they could not be reconciled with their flawed and corrupt intellectual proof that was adopted by all of the Mutakallimoon (theologians) (Jahmiyyah, Mutazilah, Kullabiyyah, Ashariyyah & Maturidiyyah) and which they wrongly made to be the foundation of the entire religion.
Many of today’s Sufi/Asharis would dispute this claim because they know that if it is proven to be true that the early Asharis who they claim to be following affirmed Allah being above His Throne, with His Essence, as well as to affirm the sifaat dhaatiyyah, such as Face, two Hands, two Eyes, without taweel (figurative interpretation), tafweedh (claiming only Allah knows the meaning of the Attribute even though the meaning is known in the Arabic language but how the attributes work is unknown), takyeef (trying to explain how Allahs attribute looks and/or works), tashbeeh (liking Allah to the creation or the creation to Allah) and tateel (rejection of the attribute) then this exactly what the Salafis (or Wahhabies as they say) affirm. It would mean that they would have to admit the Salafis are upon the truth according to their own classical scholars in this issue and that they have too make an open repentance for their slandering the scholars of Salafis and calling them Mujassimah (those who give Allah a body/form like the creation) and Mushabbihah (those who liken Allah to the creation or liken the creation to Allah) based on their affirmation of the previously mentioned attributes of Allah.
This repentance is what they have to do as the proof that the early Asharis were Khullabi comes from none other than the books of the Ashari scholars. Abdul Kareem Ash-Shahrastani (d. 548H) was a sixth century (hijri) Ashari scholar. He wrote in his book “al-Milal wan-Nihal” (p. 105-106): “Until the time came upon (the likes of) “…Abdullah bin Saeed al-Khullabi, Abu al-Abbas al-Qalanisi (a contemporary of al-Ashari), and al-Haarith bin Asad al-Muhaasibee (d. 243H). They were from the generality of the Salaf, except that they practised ilm ul-kalaam (theological, philosophical speculation)… (Until) there occurred a debate between Abu al-Hasan al-Ashari (founder of the Ashari aqeedah) and his (Mutazilah) teachers on…the issues pertaining to “as-salaah wal-aslah” (an issue pertaining to whether Allah is obligated or not to do what is best for His servants), so they disputed. And al-Ashari united with this faction (the Kullabiyyah: Imam al-Ashari took most of his aqeedah from Ibn Kullab (d. 240H) and his followers from Ahl ul-Kalaam, such as al-Haarith bin Asad al-Muhaasibee), so he supported their (the Khullabis) saying through the methodologies of speculative theological (discourse), and then that became a madhab for Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (meaning, the Asharis), and then the label of ‘Sifaatiyyah (Affirmers of the Attributes)’ transferred to the (early) Ashariyyah.”
The name, Sifaatiyyah (Affirmers of the Attributes) was first given to the Khullabis and as Imam Ibn Kullab was the first mutakallim (theologian of ahlu kalaam) to affirm many of Allahs attributes without taweel, takyeef, tashbeeh, tateel or tafweedh unlike the Mutakallimoon who preceded him, the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah who made tateel and taweel of Allahs names and attributes. As this was the case Imam Ibn Kullab was known as “Imam of the Sifaatiyyah”. However after he died the early Asharis took the bulk of the Khullabi creed and add a (very) few things to it and started to call them selves Asharis, as they stated that they are followers of Imam Al Ashari (even though the majority of his creed was taken from Ibn Kullab). These early Asharis were given the name, Sifaatiyyah (Affirmers of the Attributes) like the Khullabis before them as they affirmed the nearly exactly the same creed in regards to Allahs names and attributes.
Also Abdul-Malik al-Juwayni (d. 478H), known as Imam ul-Haramayn was the first early Ashari who started to leave the way of the creed of the Khullabis and incline towards a mixed creed of Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah aqeedah with a few remnants of Ashari creed. However he still recognised that the Asharis around his era and before him were Khullabi and that for that reason the Khullabis were the associates of the early Asharis and the later Asharis as both took from this creed but in different amounts. Abdul-Malik al-Juwayni in his book al-Irshaad, (p. 119) said “And Abdullah bin Saeed bin Kullab (d. 240h, he was the founder of the Khullabis) rahimahullaah, is from amongst our (the Asharis) associates…”
Plus even though al-Juwayni was one of the first early Asharis to stray from the creed of the Khullabis and early Asharis he still recognised that the Khullabi creed of affirming Allah being above His Throne with His Essence, the sifaat dhaatiyyah, such as Face, two Hands, two Eyes etc without using rational reasoning based upon ilm ul-kalaam (theological and philosophical speculation). Al-Juwayni (d. 478H) stated in his book al-Irshaad (p. 155): Chapter: Two hands, two eyes and face. Some of our leading scholars (early Asharis and many his era) have gone to the view that the two hands, two eyes and face are established attributes for the Lord, the Exalted, and that the path to affirming them is the revealed texts, without entering the realm of reason (ilm ul-kalaam (theological and philosophical speculation), which means they affirmed these attributes with out tafweedh, taweel, tashbeeh, takyeef or tateel unlike the later Asharis did or today’s Sufi/Asharis still do).
Abu Mansur Abdul Qahir al-Baghdadi (d. 429H) was an early Ashari who abandoned the Khullabi creed and started to adopt the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah creed and was therefore one of the first to turn the Ashari creed away from the Khullabi creed. However he understood that in his era and before his era most if not all Asharis were Khullabi that’s why in his book Usul al-Din (p.111-112) when talking about the two hands of Allah he makes a distinction between the what the Khullabi Asharis believed and what the later Jahmiyyah Mutazilah Asharis believed regarding Allahs two hands, he said: “And some of our associates (the Khullabis and early Asharis) claimed that two hands are two attributes for Allah, the Sublime and Exalted, and al-Qalanisi (a early Ashari Khullabi) said they are one attribute and some of our associates (those Asharis who abandoned the Khullabi creed and started to adopted the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah creed) made taweel of (Allahs two hands) them to mean qudrah (power) … and this is correct in the madhab (the creed of Asharis who abandoned the Khullabi creed)
Sayf al-Din al-Aamidee (d. 631H) was a very well known Ashari scholar of his time and he wrote in his book Ghayat al-Maraam (p. 135) “And from the associates (of the Ashari madhab) are those (the early Khullabi Asharis) who added to this and affirmed knowledge of the existence of attributes additional to what we (the Jahmiyyah Mutazilah Asharis) have mentioned and this is the likes of al-baqa (lasting, remaining), face, two eyes, two hands.” In this passage he makes it clear that the Asharis never affirmed a face, two eyes and two hands for Allah but he understood that some of those he called them self Asharis did affirm additional attributes to the seven they confirmed. These attributes were a face, two eyes and two hands for Allah. Those who use to affirm this were the early Ashari Khullabis as al-Juwayni Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi and the later Asharis rejected these attributes for Allah like the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah did before the Ashari sect was formed.
From what has preceded (even from the mouths of the Ashari scholars (above) themselves) shows how later Asharis/ and today’s Sufi/Asharis did/do not know their own creed and for this reason they have deviated from the early Khullabi Ashari creed.
The later Asharis (Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi, al-Juwayni, al-Ghazali and al-Razi and others) and the modern day Sufi/Asharis (al-Kawtharee, al-Bootee, as-Saqqaaf, al-Kabbaani, al-Habashi, G F Haddi, Nuh Keller, Hamza Yusuf, Abdul Hakim Murad, and others) have in their ignorance exited the Ashari creed and have adopted the creed of Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah in Allahs names and attributes.
The Jahmiyyah denied everything in its totality (names and attributes), and thus Allah became described with nothingness. The Mutazilah found a way to rationally justify the acceptance of the Names (on the surface only) whilst rejecting the sifaat (both dhaatiyyah and filiyyah) so both these groups make taweel which then leads them to make tateel of Allahs names and attributes. They agree with them and make taweel and tateel (reject/deny) of Allah being above His Throne, with his Essence and the make tateel of the sifaat dhaatiyyah, such as Allahs Face, two Hands and two Eyes just like the Jahmiyyah and Mutazilah. But the later Asharis/today’s Sufi/Asharis do taweel and tateel but they also do tafweedh claiming this was the way of the salaf (early generations of Muslims) however this is a lie.
So early Asharis took their creed from the Kullabiyyah in regards to Allahs names and attributes and the later Asharis/today’s Sufi/Asharis took their creed from a fusions of the Jahmiyyah, Mutazilah creed and tiny bit of the Ashari creed to make their creed more acceptable to the ummah.
The modern Sufi/Asharis of today argue that the Asharis standardized the doctrines of Ahlus Sunnah and in this article this lie has been exposed to be one of the greatest lies in Islamic history as the creed of the early, later or modern “Asharis” was not taken from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah it was taken from Ahlu Bidah (the Khullabis or the Jahmiyyah and the Mutazilah, all of this sects have been refuted by the salaf).