المعنى الاصطلاحي :
An Islamic theological sect ascribed to Abu al-Hasan al-Ash‘ari. Some of their beliefs are: "irjaa" (excluding actions from the reality of faith), "jabr" (claiming that one has no independent will, power or ability, and that he is compelled in his actions), giving precedence to the reason over the divine texts, negating the divine attributes of optional acts (divine will), and other beliefs.
الشرح المختصر :
"Al-Ashaa‘irah" (Ash'arites) is a large sect from the sects ascribed to Islam. They adopt the scholastic theologians' method in affirming their beliefs and rebutting those who oppose them. This sect is attributed to Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Isma`il al-Ash`ari, who died in 324 A.H. This sect emerged in the fourth century and afterwards. The foundations of their beliefs started with intellect-related innovations that Al-Ash`ari took from Ibn Kullaab and which was related to the speech of Allah, the Almighty; His actions; and divine destiny. This sect then developed and delved deeper into the methodologies of scholastic theology, the intellect, and Sufism until it became, in the eighth century, an intellectual philosophical "Murji'ah" ("irjaa": excluding actions from the essence of faith) "Jabriyyah" ("jabr": claiming that one has no independent will, power, or ability and that he is compelled in his actions) sect. The founder of this sect, Al-Ash`ari, went through three phases in regard to his beliefs: 1. "I`tizaal" (abandoning) that Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash`ari took after Abu `Ali al-Jubbaa'i, the shaykh of the Mu`tazilites in his time, and he followed this ideology for forty years. 2. Then he dissociated himself from the ideology of "i`tizaal" and started following the way of `Abdullah ibn Sa‘eed ibn Kullaab, which included affirming the attributes of Allah that conform with the intellect and negating the attributes of Allah’s actions. 3. Returning to the methodology of the righteous predecessors in general, while affirming all of Allah’s attributes without distortion or figurative interpretation. Some of the most important beliefs of the Ash'arites are as follows: 1. Giving precedence to the intellect over the texts of the Qur'an and the Sunnah when there is apparent contradiction. 2. They do not accept solitary Hadiths in matters related to creed because, in their opinion, they cannot be a source of knowledge. 3. Restricting "Tawheed" (pure monotheism) to "Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah" (monotheism of Lordship) while negating dualism, multiplicity, composition and partition; for this reason, they interpret the "ilah" (deity) as the One capable of invention. 4. Excluding actions from the concept of faith and restricting faith to belief in the heart. 5. They consider the Qur'an a creature and not the real speech of Allah, for His speech is abstract. 6. They believe in "jabr" (claiming that man has no independent will, power, or ability, and that he is compelled in his actions) when it comes to destiny, and that the slave's ability has no effect on the occurrence of actions. 7. They absolutely negate wisdom and reasoning in Allah’s actions. 8. They only affirm seven of Allah’s attributes, while negating those which are related to Allah’s will and His essence, such as Allah’s ascending, descending, speaking, and anger.
التعريف اللغوي المختصر :
"Al-Ashaa‘irah" (sing. ash‘ari) is a name ascribed to Al-Ash‘ari, which is the name of a man called Abu al-Hasan al-Ash‘ari. "Ash‘ar" is a tribe in Yemen.