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In Islam, a Maturidi (Arabic: ماتريدي) is one who follows Abu Mansur Al Maturidi's systematic theology, which is close to the Ash'ari theology (Aqidah). The term also denominates the School of Kalaam, or systematic theology, of those who follow Al-Maturidi's theology. In this article, the term "Maturidis" will refer to the adherents of this School. The Maturidis and Ash'aris are the two principal schools of systematic theology that are recognized by Sunni Islam.
Points about which the Maturidis differ from the Ash'aris are, among others, the nature of belief and the place of human reason. The Maturidis state that iman (faith) does not increase nor decrease, but remains static; it is rather taqwa (piety) which increases and decreases. The Ash'aris and Atharis both say that belief does in fact increase and decrease.
Regarding the increased emphasis placed on the role of human reason, the Maturidis say that the unaided human mind is able to find out that the more major sins such as alcohol or murder are immoral and evil without the aid of revelation. The Ash'aris disagree, and conclude that the unaided human mind is unable to determine if something is good or evil, lawful or unlawful, moral or immoral, without the direct aid of divine revelation. Another point where Ash'aris and Maturidis differ regarding the role of human reason is divine amnesty for certain non-Muslims in the afterlife. The Ash'ari view as explained by al-Ghazali says that a non-Muslim who was unreached by the message of Islam, or was reached by it in a distorted fashion, is not responsible for this in the afterlife. The Maturidi view states that the existence of God is so evident and rationally discernible, that every human being who has intellect and the ability to think (thus excluding children and the mentally ill and disabled) and was unreached by the message of Islam and does not believe in God will end up in hell, and divine amnesty is only available to those non-Muslims who believed in God and were unreached by the message.
Both the Ash'aris and Maturidis follow occasionalism, a philosophy which refutes the basis for causality, but also proves the existence and nature of the Islamic belief of the tawhid (oneness of God) through formal logic.
This theology is popular where the Hanafi school of law is followed, particularly the lands of the former Ottoman and Mughal empires, viz. in Turkey, the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Levant, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.
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- Article "Kalam" in The Encyclopedia of Islam, 1st edition.