Bookmark and Share

1. Orientations
a. Figures
2. Koran
3. Theology
4. Concept of divine
5. Sharia
6. Muhammad
7. Cult and Festivals
8. Mecca
9. Cultic personalities
10. Caliph
11. Structures
12. Popular religion
13. Others
14. Calendar

Open the online Arabic language course

Islam / Theology /
Abu al-Hassan al-Ash'ari
Arabic: 'abū l-hassani l-'ash¢ariPlay sound

(873-935) In Islam, Arab theolgian and founder of the Ash'ari school of theology.
With Ash'ari comes one of the central theological schisms of early Islam. He completed his studies and remained loyal to the Mu'tazili orientation until he was around 40. He came to disagree with his teacher, al-Jubba'i, on the question of God's predetermination. So successful was his efforts that his line would win acceptance among the conservative learned of his time, and be adopted by Sunnis.
Ash'ari is considered as the founder of Islamic scholasticism, and is noted for using dialectics in order to combat Mu'tazilism.
He would first acceptance with the Shafi'i school of law, the Hanafites accepted teachings of his contemporary al-Maturidi, which differed only marginally. Hanbali was in opposition to Ash'ari.
He produced a large number of texts, one early scholar claims as many as 300, another 99. Only three or four have survived, two are of great importance to the understanding of, and development of, Islamic faith.

Clarification on the origin of religion
In Arabic, 'al-ibāna ¢an 'usūl 'ad-diyāna, short Al-Ibana.
This text was written to fight the doctrines of Mu'tazilism. The writing style is most passionate.

Islamic articles
In Arabic, maqālāt 'al-'islāmiyīn, short Maqalat.
This is a neutral catalogue of Islamic sects. Its presentation is very precise and unbiased.
Ash'ari here lists the following sects: Shi'i, Khariji, Murji'i, Mu'tazili, Mujassima, Jahmiya, Dirariya, Najjariya, Bakriya and Nussak, in addition to what is presented the orthodox line, which was the Sunni branch.
He also lists deviating teachings of Al-Qattan, Zuhayr al-Athari, Abu Mu'adh at-Tawmani

873 or 874: Born in Basra.
Around 915: Reaches a point of schism with his teacher, al-Jubba'i.
935: Dies in Baghdad.

By Tore Kjeilen