Abu Mansur al-Maturidi

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Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī
Imammaturidi.jpg
Tomb-shrine of Imam Māturīdī, Samarkand
Scholastic theologian, Jurist;
Leader of Guidance (Imām al-Hudā)
Shaykh al-Islām
Diver into the Sea of Knowledge
Aʿraf al-nās bi-madhāhib Abī Ḥanīfa
Born 853
Samarkand
Died 944
Samarkand
Venerated in Traditional Sunni Islam[note 1]
Major shrine Tomb of Imam Māturīdī, Samarkand
Controversy His theology is controversial among contemporary Sunni movements that adhere to the Athari creed, such as the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia
Influences Abu Hanifa

Abū Manṣūr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Maḥmūd al-Samarḳandī (853-944 CE; Persian: محمد بن محمد بن محمود أبو منصور ماتریدی سمرقندی حنفی‎), often referred to as Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī for short, or reverently as Imam Māturīdī by Sunni Muslims, was a Sunni Hanafi jurist, theologian, and scriptural exegete from ninth-century Samarkand who became the eponymous codifier of one of the principal orthodox schools of Sunni theology, the Maturidi school,[1] which became the dominant theological school for Sunni Muslims in Central Asia[2] and later enjoyed a preeminent status as the school of choice for both the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire.[3]

In contrast to Ashʿarī (d. 936), the founder of one of the other major orthodox Sunni theological schools, Maturidi adhered to the doctrine of Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 772) as transmitted and elaborated by the Hanafi theologians of Balkh and Transoxania.[4] It was this theology which Maturidi systematized and used to refute not only the opinions of the Mutazilites, the Karrāmites, and other heterodox groups among the Sunnis, but also non-Muslim theologies such as those of Chalcedonian Christianity, Miaphysitism, Manichaeanism, Marcionism, and Bardaisanism.[5]

Name[edit]

Maturidi's epithet or nisba refers to Māturīd (or Māturīt), a locality in Samarkand.[6]

Life[edit]

Relatively little is known about the life of Maturidi, as the sources available "do not read as biographies, but rather as lists of works that have been enlarged upon by brief statements on his personage and a few words of praise."[7] What is evident, however, is that the theologian lived the life of a pure scholar, as "nothing indicates that he held any public office, nor that he possessed more disciples, popularity, or association with the Sāmānid court of Bukhārā than anyone else."[8] It is accepted, moreover, that Maturidi had two principal teachers, namely Abū Bakr al-Jūzjānī and Abū Naṣr Aḥmad b. al-ʿAbbās al-ʿIyāḍī (d. ca. 874-892), both of whom played significant roles in the shaping of Maturidi's theological views.[9] Maturidi is said to have lived the life of an ascetic (zāhid),[10] and various sources attribute numerous miracles (karāmāt) to him.[11] Although he is not usually considered a mystic, it is nevertheless very possible that Maturidi had some interaction with the Sufis of his area, as "Hanafite theology in the region could not always be sharply separated from mystical tendencies,"[12] and many of the most important Hanafi jurists of the area were also Sufi mystics.[13]

Theology[edit]

Maturidi defined faith (īmān) as taṣdīḳ bi ’l-ḳalb or "inner assent, expressed by verbal confession (ịḳrār bi ’l-lisān)."[14] For Maturidi, moreover, works (aʿmāl) are not a part of faith.[15] Additionally, Maturidi held that "faith cannot decrease nor increase in substance, though it may be said to increase through renewal and repetition."[16]

Maturidi supported using allegorical interpretation with respect to the anthropomorphic expressions in the Quran, though he rejected many of the interpretations the Mutazilites would reach using this method.[17] In other instances, Maturidi espoused using the traditionalist bilā kayf method of reading scripture, which insisted on "unquestioning acceptance of the revealed text."[18] Maturidi further refuted the Mutazilites in his defense of the Attributes of God "as real and eternally subsisting" in the Essence of God (ḳāʾima bi ’l-d̲h̲āt).[19] His chief theological divergence from Ashʿarī was that he held the attributes of essence and action to be "equally eternal and subsistent in the Divine Essence."[20] Thus, "he insisted that the expressions 'God is eternally the Creator' and 'God has been creating from eternity (lam yazal k̲h̲āliḳan)' are equally valid, even though the created world is temporal."[21] Furthermore, Maturidi staunchly defended the Beatific Vision (ruʾya, literally "vision [of God]") against the Mutazilites, but "consistently rejected the possibility of idrāk, which he understood as grasping, of God by the eyes."[22]

Work[edit]

When Maturidi was growing up there was an emerging reaction[23] against some schools within Islam, notably Mu'tazilis, Qarmati, and Shi'a. The Sunni scholars were following Abu Hanifa. Maturidi, with other two preeminent scholars,[24] wrote especially on the creed of Islam and elaborated Abu Hanifa's doctrine, the other two being Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari in Iraq, and Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahawi in Egypt.[25]

While Al-Ash'ari and Al-Tahawi were Sunni together with Maturidi, they constructed their own theologies diverging slightly from Abu Hanifa's school. Al-Ash'ari, enunciated that God creates the individual's power (qudra), will, and the actual act[26] giving way to a fatalist school of theology, which was later put in a consolidated form by Al Ghazali.[27] Maturidi, followed in Abu Hanifa's footsteps, and presented the "notion that God was the creator of man’s acts, although man possessed his own capacity and will to act".[28] Maturidi and Al-Ash'ari also separated from each other in the issue of the attributes of God,[29] as well as some other minor issues.

Later, with the impact of Persianate states such as Great Seljuq Empire[30] and Ottoman Empire,[31] Hanafi-Maturidi school spread to greater areas where the Hanafi school of law is prevalent, such as Afghanistan, Central Asia, South Asia, Balkan, Russia, China, Caucasus and Turkey.

Maturidi had immense knowledge of dualist beliefs (Sanawiyya) and of other old Persian religions. His Kitāb al-Tawḥīd in this way has become a primary source for modern researchers with its rich materials about Iranian Manicheanism (Mâniyya), a group of Brahmans (Barähima), and some controversial personalities such as Ibn al-Rawandi, Abu Isa al-Warraq, and Muhammad b. Shabib.[32][33]

Legacy and veneration[edit]

Although there was in the medieval period "a tendency to suppress Maturidi's name and to put Ashʿarī forward as the champion of Islam against all heretics,"[34] except in Transoxiana, Maturidism gradually "came to be widely recognised as the second orthodox Sunni theological school besides" Ashʿarīsm.[35] It is evident from the surviving fifteenth-century accounts of Maturidi's tomb in the cemetery of Jākardīza in Samarkand that the theologian's tomb was "visited ... and held in honor for a long time" throughout the medieval period.[36] This veneration of the theologian seems to have arisen out of traditions preserved by several later scholars which detailed Maturidi's wisdom and spiritual abilities. For example, Abul Muīn al-Nasafī (d. 1114) stated that Maturidi's spiritual gifts were "immeasurably plentiful"[37] and that "God singled him out with miracles (kāramāt), gifts of grace (mawāhib), divine assistance (tawfiq), and guidance (irshād, tashdīd)."[38]

Contemporary Salafism and Wahhabism, however, tends to be very critical of Maturidi's legacy in Sunni Islam due to their aversion towards using any rational thought in matters of theology, which they deem to be heretical,[39] despite this antagonism being a position that conflicts with the consensus of Sunnism throughout history.[40][41] As such, it is often said that mainstream "orthodox Sunnism" constitutes the followers of the theological traditions of Maturidi and Ashʿarī,[42][43] while Salafism and Wahhabism have often been interpreted by the proponents of the two major schools to be minority splinter theological traditions opposed to the mainstream.[44][45] Furthermore, the minor theoretical differences between the theological formulations of Maturidi and Ashʿarī are often deemed by their respective followers to be superficial rather than real,[46] whence "the two schools are equally orthodox" in traditional Sunnism.[47] The traditional Sunni point of view is summarized in the words of the twentieth-century Islamic publisher Munīr ʿAbduh Agha, who stated: "There is not much [doctrinal] difference between the Ashʿarīs and Māturīdīs, hence both groups are now called People of the Sunna and the Community."[48]

Writings[edit]

  • Kitāb al-Tawḥīd ('Book of Monotheism')
  • Kitāb Radd Awa'il al-Adilla, a refutation of a Mu'tazili book
  • Radd al-Tahdhib fi al-Jadal, another refutation of a Mu'tazili book
  • Kitāb Bayan Awham al-Mu'tazila ('Book of Exposition of the Errors of Mu'tazila)
  • Kitāb Ta'wilat al-Qur'an ('Book of the Interpretations of the Quran')
  • Kitāb al-Maqalat
  • Ma'akhidh al-Shara'i' in Usul al-Fiqh
  • Al-Jadal fi Usul al-Fiqh
  • Radd al-Usul al-Khamsa, a refutation of Abu Muhammad al-Bahili's exposition of the Five Principles of the Mu'tazila
  • Radd al-Imama, a refutation of the Shi'i conception of the office of Imam;
  • Al-Radd 'ala Usul al-Qaramita
  • Radd Wa'id al-Fussaq, a refutation of the Mu'tazili doctrine that all grave sinners will be eternally in hell fire.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Salafi Sunnis by and large do not venerate saints, whence they do not venerate him.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  2. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  3. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  4. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  5. ^ G. Vajda, Le témoignage d’al-Māturīdī sur la doctrine des Manichéens, des Daysanites et des Marcionites, in Arabica, xii [1966], 1-38, 113-28
  6. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  7. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 125
  8. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 125
  9. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 125
  10. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 131
  11. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 131
  12. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 131
  13. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 131
  14. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  15. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  16. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  17. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  18. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  19. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  20. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  21. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  22. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  23. ^ Williams, J. A. (1994). The word of Islam. London: Thames and Hudson. p. 145.
  24. ^ Ali, A. (1963). Maturidism. In Sharif, p. 260. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
  25. ^ Ali, A. (1963). Maturidism. In Sharif, p. 259. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
  26. ^ Gimaret, D. (1980). The´ories de L’Acte Humain en The´ologie Musulmane. Paris: J. Vrin.
  27. ^ Hye, M. A. (1963). Ash'arism. In Sharif, p. 226. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
  28. ^ Shah, M. (2006). Later Developments. In Meri, J. W. (Ed.),Medieval Islamic civilization: an encyclopedia, (Vol. 1), (p. 640). New York:Routledge.
  29. ^ Lucas, S. C.(2006). Sunni Theological Schools. In Meri, J. W. (Ed.),Medieval Islamic civilization: an encyclopedia, (Vol. 1), (p. 809). New York:Routledge.
  30. ^ Hughes, A. (2004). Ash'arites, Ash'aria. In Martin, R. C. et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, (Vol. 1), (pp. 83-84). New York: Macmillan Reference USA
  31. ^ DeWeese, D. (2004). Central Asian Culture and Islam. In Martin, R. C. et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, (Vol. 1), (p. 139). New York: Macmillan Reference USA
  32. ^ See G. Vajda, "Le Témoignage d'al-Maturidi sur la doctrine des manichéens, des daysanites et des rnarcionites", Arabica, 13 (1966), pp. 1-38; Guy Mannot, "Matoridi et le manichéisme", Melanges de l'Institut Dominicain d'Etudes Orientales de Caire, 13 (1977), pp. 39-66; Sarah Stroumsa, "The Barahima in Early Kalam", Jarusalem Studies In Arable and Islam, 6 (1985), pp. 229-241; Josef van Ess, "al-Farabi and Ibn al-Rewandi", Hamdard Islamicus, 3/4 (Winter 1980), pp. 3-15; J. Meric Pessagno, "The Reconstruction of the Thought of Muhammad Ibn Shabib", Journal of American Oriental Society, 104/3 (1984), pp. 445-453.
  33. ^ The Authenticity of the Manuscript of Maturidi's Kitäb al-Tawhid[permanent dead link], by M. Sait Özervarli, 1997. (Retrieved on: 23 December 2008)
  34. ^ Macdonald, D. B., “Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann.
  35. ^ Madelung, W., “Māturīdiyya”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  36. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 130
  37. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 131
  38. ^ Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, trans. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), p. 131
  39. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  40. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  41. ^ Thomas, David, “Al-Māturīdī”, in: Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500, General Editor David Thomas.
  42. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  43. ^ Macdonald, D. B., “Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann.
  44. ^ Madelung, W., “al-Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
  45. ^ Thomas, David, “Al-Māturīdī”, in: Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500, General Editor David Thomas.
  46. ^ Macdonald, D. B., “Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann.
  47. ^ Macdonald, D. B., “Māturīdī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann.
  48. ^ Munīr ʿAbduh Agha, Namudhaj min al-A`mal al-Khayriyya, p. 134

Further reading[edit]

Primary[edit]

  • Bazdawī, Uṣūl al-dīn, ed. H. P. Linss, Cairo 1383/1963, index s.v.
  • Abu ’l-Muʿīn al-Nasafī, Tabṣirat al-adilla, quoted in Muḥammad b. Tāwīt al-Ṭānd̲j̲ī, Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī, in IFD, iv/1-2 (1955), 1-12
  • Ibn Abi ’l-Wafāʾ, al-Ḏj̲awāhir al-muḍīʾa, Ḥaydarābād 1332/1914, ii, 130-1
  • Bayāḍī, Is̲h̲ārāt al-marām, ed. Yūsuf ʿAbd al-Razzāḳ, Cairo 1368/1949, 23
  • Zabīdī, Itḥāf al-sāda, Cairo n.d., ii, 5
  • Laknawī, al-Fawāʾid al-bahiyya, Cairo 1924, 195

Secondary[edit]

  • M. Allard, Le problème des attributs divins dans la doctrine d’al-Ašʿarī, Beirut 1965, 419-27
  • M. Götz, "Māturīdī und sein Kitāb Taʾwīlāt al-Qurʾān," in Isl., xli (1965), 27-70
  • H. Daiber, "Zur Erstausgabe von al-Māturīdī, Kitāb al-Tauḥīd," in Isl., lii (1975), 299-313

External links[edit]