Talk:Traditionalist Theology (Islam)

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Can I ask why the section on Ibn Taymiyyah was removed?[edit]

Dear user:RookTaker, why has the second on Ibn Taymiyyah rh been removed. From what I understand Atharism is composed of two forms of the movement; one is tafwidh in ma'na and modality (totally bil la kayf) and the other form is affirmation of the ma'na and tafwidh bil la kayf in the modality.

There's an academic dispute between which was the true way of the salaf and Allah knows best. However I don't think it's right to exclude Ibn Taymiyyah's form of Atharism because it is the form widely adopted by modern day Hanbalites / Salafis.

Perhaps it is either fitting to include a sub section in this page on Ibn Taymiyyah's form of Atharism and latter day Hanbalites / modern day Salafis. Or there should be a dedicated page on the theology of salafis.


Secondly, would it not be appropriate to make mention that modern day Maturidis (do Ash'aris too? I don't know) take a somewhat similar approach in Atharism regarding some of the attributes of Allah? They do not make ta'wil but they make (I believe) total tafwidh in ma'na and in modality.

JazakAllahu khair. Sakimonk talk 21:32, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Ibn taymiyyah does not belong in any of the Islamic pages. He is a lie spread by followers of ISIS and the likes. He is Kafir according to muslims but for some reason a lie has been spread across the globe that he is one of the best teachers of Islam. Misdemenor (talk) 03:14, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, bias of editors can sometimes border on a comptetency issue. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I see no bias in editors removing fringe scholars. An example Ibn Hajar just google his passage. Misdemenor (talk) 02:20, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure you don't. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:53, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
You seem to be pushing Salafist POV on almost all of your edits. I suggest you stop now. Sakimonk was almost banned for this and you were the only one defending him. Misdemenor (talk) 18:53, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
That's funny. You think you know me because I disagree with you, and even added a personal attack. I'm sure you're a great judge of other editors' intentions. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:36, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Meaning and adoption of the term[edit]

Continuing the discussion on the Fringe theories noticeboard, I'm trying to round up sources that use the term Athari in order to understand its meaning and extent of adoption.

 The Atharis are often erroneously (but understandably) subsumed under the Hanbalite school of law (madhhab). [...] The Hanbalite madhhab, in contrast, largely maintained the traditionalist or Athari position [...] The works of Hanbalite scholars such as [...], among a few others, reveal instances of distinctly theological ideas occurring within Hanbalism, making it a far more diverse tradition than one may otherwise suspect. However, the overwhelming majority of Hanbalites did indeed fall firmly within the Athari camp with its unyielding rejection of theology. [...] one might think that the Athari movement (if synonymous with Hanbalism) was also relatively small [...] but [...] the texts and written sources generally reflect only the educated elites [...] Rather, the imaginative, narrative-centered, emotive piety of the Atharis must have retained broad appeal in the Sunni Muslim world. [...] The Atharis can thus be described as a school or movement led by a contingent of scholars (ulama), typically Hanbalite or even Shafi'ite, that retained influence, or at the very least a shared sentiment and conception of piety, well beyond the limited range of Hanbalite communities. pp. 34-36 J. Halverson. Theology and Creed in Sunni Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood, Ash'arism, and Political Sunnism
 Those who opted out of affiliation with the Ash'aris and Maturidis are often referred to as merely a group of Hanbalis [...] or Atharis, who relied on transmitted as opposed to rationally deduced sources. Their school is generally associated with an insistence on avoiding the use of rational argumentation in matters of belief, and a reliance solely on transmitted content (Qur'an and Hadith). p. 44 [...] the presence of Ash'ari thought was sufficiently great during the late Fatimid rule to have caused some protest from the rising Hanbalis and their non-Ash'ari Shafi'i allies. However, even the non-Ash'ari Shafi'is and the Hanbalis at times clashed in riots over theological issues; there was not a unified block of Athari "traditionalists" against the Ash'aris. p. 54 Aaron Spevack. The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of al-Bajuri
 In the wake of the tenth-century Ash'ari synthesis, some Muslim theologians still maintained the strict details of the early Sunni creed. This continuation of the original Sunni thelogical School is often referred to as the Salafi school of theology [...] or as followers of 'Traditional (Athari)' or ahl al-hadith theology. p. 168 Jonathan A.C. Brown. Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World

Any others? Eperoton (talk) 14:09, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

@Eperoton: User:Doug Weller mentioned Haverston's comments over at Template_talk:Sunni_Islam#Atharis, which includes multiple mentions of them. The issue I have with comments on the noticeboard by a fellow editor is that Hanbalism is fiqh, or jurisprudence; Atharism is aqida, or creed. That they're two different things isn't a matter of opinion, just like how Twelver Shi'ism (a creed, branch and theology) isn't the same as Ja'fari jurisprudence even though the two go together 95% of the time. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:34, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
@MezzoMezzo: Jurisprudence and theology are different things, no doubt about it. It's less clear, however, whether most RSs give them different names in this case. Some use the same term (Hanbali) for both, while others don't. I've lined up some standard references which I'll go through in the coming days and report the results here. Eperoton (talk) 04:49, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
The Hanbali anti theological stance is not recognized by Sunnis because to recognize it would invalidate their own school. Only legal Hanbalism was recognized therefore you wont find athari in most reliable sources pertaining the subject. Hanbalisms rejection of theology may be one of the reasons why it has the smallest adherents of the four schools. Halverson assumes its an error when academics are intentionally leaving athari out due its unorthodox beliefs. Overall I believe the views above are fringe that use terms like "erroneously". It fails prominence to have its own article and even wikipedia arabic does not mention athari. The Hanbali article on wikipedia arabic has a section that lays out the difference between Ash'ari and Hanbali creed. Misdemenor (talk) 03:49, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
The source using the term "erroneously" is both reliable and scholarly; to label it fringe is factually inaccurate. We also have multiple academic sources clarifying the difference between Hanbalism and Atharism. Pointing toward other language Wikipedias isn't a form of evidence for anything. MezzoMezzo (talk) 10:19, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
My point was that if Athari is so popular and known it would be recognized in the Arabic site. If not Hanbalism I suggest it would be better to have a section for Athari in the Salafi movement article. Per these sources I found [1] [2] [3] The Salafi page also mentions that Athari is promoted mainly by Salafists citing Halverson. I believe the Amman message did recgonize true Salafi thought, which could be interpreted as Atharism. Misdemenor (talk) 15:15, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
It is absolutey not our job as editors to interpret sources; that's original research. Atharism predates Salafism, which is a modern movement, and it isn't fiqh so it is obviously quite different from Hanbalism, especially considering the fact that many Atharis follow/ed madhahib other than Hanbalism.
Every reliable source we've found has differentiated between Atharism and other ideas, and the fact that you keep jumping around, throwing out any suggestion you can in order to remove Atharism as an independent article, implies that there isn't any solid, policy-based reason for the suggestion. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:37, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Its not notable to have its own article therefore its against policy to keep this article. Athari is being pushed by the modern salafists alone so it doesnt matter if its old or not. The modern Salafist movement claims to follow the first three generations therefore the movement may be new but it claims to follow "original islam". I would have to disagree about salafism not being fiqh. Salafism claims to incorporate all aspects of early muslims including fiqh of the first three generations. Sunnis began calling Salafism, Wahhabism because it was not following Sunni fiqh but rather something else. My source prove that its being used as a niche by Salafists. Athari is not recognized and if it was that probably is in the past just like zahiri school. I totally agree it is original research to suggest the amman message even recognizes atharism. Im affraid articles like these will only cause a red flag mainly WP:RGW Misdemenor (talk) 04:10, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
I really am shocked by the amount of dishonesty and scarecrow arguments that I'm seeing here.
  1. First you said the issue was notability, then you claimed that Atharism is Hanbalism, now you're back to notability again.
  2. None of the sources mentioning Atharism, including the Muslim source (Suhaib Webb), are Salafist or pushing Salafism.
  3. I never said whether or not I view Salafism as fiqh.
  4. Sources other than the ones you provide mention Atharism independently; posting other sources don't cancel those out, that's not how it works.
  5. Atharism is obviously recognized by multiple modern academic sources so please don't assume that people reading the discussion.
  6. I never said that it's original research to say anything about the Amman Message, so please don't put words in my mouth (this is the second time).
You keep talking about Salafism, Salafism, Salafism...and yet this discussion isn't about that movement; it's about this ideology, which obviously predates Salafism and thus is not the same thing. By the way, are you claiming that Atharism is the same as Salafism or the same as Hanbalism now? I'm honestly having difficulty keeping track of the various positions you take in order to campaign against this article. MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:54, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Its always been a notability issue I have not changed my position on that. It seems the discussion is going around in circles. You must believe there's some revival that academics are just missing out on again. We shouldn't promote fringe ideas here. The islamic articles are being over run with Athari as the lead, this is in my opinion soapboxing. Relax nobody is putting words in your mouth, you replied to my comment about interpreting the amman message.. The modern Salafist movement is tied into Atharism and the sources I provided confirm that. The argument that Athari is old and independent is irrelevant. The question is what is Atharism currently not so much of what it was. Yes Athari had a diverse crowd in the past but now it is strictly a Salafist title. It fails the significant coverage portion of the notability policy of wikipedia. My position is that it should not have an independent article however im open to it being merged to another article. You seem to oppose its deletion therefore im attempting to compromise. The article also falsely calls it a key school within Sunni islam using an unreliable source such as muslim matters site. Misdemenor (talk) 06:02, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
I appreciate and respect your desire to compromise. With that in mind, I would like to draw your attention to a few policies here, and I believe the reminder is relevant.
  • The fringe policy is primarily in relation to pseudoscience; please see WP:FRINGE/PS. What you're doing is taking a theological view which might be a minority view (I'm not even touching that topic since my point here is that it's irrelevant) and you seem to be saying that because it's a minority view, it is also fringe. That's a misunderstanding of the content guideline.
  • Per WP:SIGCOV, a topic which is not mentioned in passing and is mentioned in multiple publications passes the basic guideline, and without even delving into this article, I took a thirty second look and found publications directly discussing Athari beliefs that have been published by Palgrave Macmillan and State University of New York Press, plus there's an uncited source here on the talk page that could be cited that was published by Oneworld Publications. I didn't even look at the article in detail to see if there's more, nor have we taken the time to search for further topics (I have JSTOR access that I could use, and other users have others). This is not a borderline article: we're looking at multiple reliable academic citations unaffiliated with the topic itself. Suggestion a merge without even looking for more sources isn't responsible.
Give it some thought. I have other plans and hadn't intended to get involved with this article, but I can do so if further research is needed, and I think that Eperoton is already taking a look. But going on the mentioned guideline and policy, there's no reason to delete or merge this article. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:37, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Source review[edit]

As promised, I've done some source review regarding the name of the article. The goal of this exercise is twofold: first, to find out what term is most prevalent in English-language RSs, as per WP:TITLE; and, secondly, to collect alternative terms, so that we can note them in the lead. In the interest of neutrality, I've reviewed all the encyclopedias and other recent multi-author reference works from major academic publishers that I was able to access. The summary of results is as follows:

  • Traditionalist: 1) Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Routledge; 2) The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam (Theology); 3) New Cambridge History of Islam (Vol. 4, Islam); 4) The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (The developed kalam tradition); 5) The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology (Hanbali theology); 6) The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology (Scripturalist and Traditionalist Theology)
  • Hanbali: 1) Encyclopedia of Islam, Brill, 2nd ed, Index; 2) EI2 Hanabila; 3) EI2 Ash'ariyya; 4) EI2 Aqida; 5) The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (The early creed)
  • Traditionist: 1) The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (The early creed)
  • Hadith scholars: 1) Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Routledge
  • Pious ancients: 1) EI2 Allah

I'm including some representative excerpts below. "Hanbali" seems to have been broadly adopted in EI2 discussions of theology, but it's mentioned there only in passing. Even the Hanabila article doesn't have a detailed discussion of Hanbali theology. EI2 is also somewhat older than the other sources. In view of this, "Traditionalism (Islam)" clearly seems to be a title that would best reflect current academic usage. I didn't not come across any use of the terms athari or athariyya in these sources.

 EI2 v. 13 (Index) Theology -> schools -> Sunni: Ash'ariyya; Hanabila; Maturidiyya; Mu'tazila 
 EI2 Hanabila v. 3 p. 168 Hanabila [...] denotes the followers of the school of theology, law and morality [...]
 EI2 Ash'ariyya v. 1 p. 696 (745) To the Hanbalis their use of rational arguments was an objectionable innovation.
 EI2 Aqida, v1, 333 (355) From the 5th/11th century onwards the followers of al-Ash'ari and other orthodox theologians, but not the Hanabila, largely abandoned bi-la kayf and accepted metaphorical interpretations of anthromoporphic terms.
 EI2 vol. 1, p. 438 (Allah): The 'pious ancients': [...] There was no question of a school, in spite of the fact that these people frequently set themselves in the Hanbalite tradition; it was a question of an inner attitude.
 The major Islamic theological schools are the Mu'tazila, Ash'aris, Maturidis, and the hadith scholars (traditionalists). p. 809 Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Routledge
 While kalām was considered a genuinely Islamic discipline, given that it was based on the study of the Qurʾān and the Sunnah, it was not universally considered among the central or indispensible Islamic disciplines, as was fiqh, given that some scholars within Islam, the traditionalists, opposed the use of speculation with regard to Islamic religious texts, favoring a literal acceptance of these texts. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam, "Theology"
 "the theologians were also challenged from the opposite end of the intellectual spectrum: from traditionalists who demanded the uncritical acceptance of Qur'anic statements and doctrines grounded in hadith, whether or not they made rational sense [...] What al Ash'ari then did was to use the tools of kalam in defence of traditionalist propositions about God. Not everyone was satisfied, and many strict traditionalists remained hostile to any application of the tools of rational thinking to matters of faith". New Cambridge History of Islam, vol. 4, pp. 43-44, Jonathan Berkey
 Ahmad ibn Hanbal was regarded as the champion of a traditionism that sought to minimise the use of reason and to seek religious unity by applying literalist explanations. In his confrontation with Mu‘tazilism, however, Ibn Hanbal had been obliged to take a clear stand on all the issues at stake, and hence was publicly associated with a kind of Sunnī traditionist creed. [...] Thus, by the mid-tenth century, the Muslim world had begun to settle on several defining and immensely enduring doctrinal alignments that have not been substantially altered since: the Ash‘arī, Māturīdī and Hanbalī Sunnīs, two varieties of Mu‘tazilism among the Twelver and the Zaydī Shī‘a, the Neoplatonism of many Ismā‘īlī Shī‘a, and the Ibāī doctrines among the residual Khārijites.  Khalid Blankinship, The early creed. The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (p. 51). 
 What was the Arabic for “theology”? The obvious answer is kalām, or speech, which represents well the scope of early theology, [...] This was taken in two directions, the first allowing the use of reason, as in the case of the followers of Shāfi‘ī and Abū Hanīfa, and the second based on a literal reading of hadith, as with the supporters of Ibn Hanbal. [...] In Western accounts these two groups of thinkers are sometimes called Rationalists and Traditionalists (terms commended by Abrahamov and Makdisi, among others), but these labels are not always helpful. It is not that some scholars known as Traditionalists favoured irrationality, or that “Rationalists” did not use the hadith; it was more a matter of emphasis than a difference in kind. Oliver Leaman. The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (p. 81)
 As Makdisi observed, the Ḥanbalīs were the most consistently traditionalist in both law and theology. Traditionalists within the Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī law schools also opposed Kalām. However, they did not voice their criticism as openly in order to safeguard the unity of their respective schools. As we will see, some Ḥanbalī scholars drew on Kalām and later the philosophy of Ibn Sīnā in their theologies, but, on the whole, the Ḥanbalīs were the most vociferous in propagating traditionalist theological doctrines. Jon Hoover. Ḥanbalī Theology. The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology
 the traditionalist theology has remained the core of Islamic theology. It was a flexible theology that used both the Qurʾān and the Sunna and rational considerations. Through these two devices it challenged the rationalist theology and tried to refute both the rationalist methods and specific theological issues based on reason. [...] Denying the use of any rational argument when dealing with the Qurʾān and the Sunna characterizes some traditionalists, and one may call this approach ‘pure traditionalism’. [...] Ibn Ḥanbal (d. 241/855), no doubt an epitome of traditionalism [...] In summing up the traditionalist attitude toward rational arguments Ibn Taymiyya states: [...] The traditionalists’ criticism of the rationalists, mainly the mutakallimūn, caused the former to develop an unfavourable attitude toward the latter. Scripturalist and Traditionalist Theology. Binyamin Abrahamov. The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology

Eperoton (talk) 02:49, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Dang, I'm honestly impressed. I'd worried for a while that real life had gotten you busier than usual, but it turns out that I should have been more optimistic.
Hat's off to you; you really went above and beyond with this. Per Wikipedia:Article titles, I'd have to agree with your recommendation here - to begin with, using English versions of titles is preferable if reliable sources tend to use those, and in this case it doesn't even seem to be close anyway.
What's the next step, then? Is there a period by which we wait for more feedback to arrive, or do we notify relevant Wikiproject talk pages to collect more views? I'm assuming we wouldn't necessarily change the article name right away, but the stats you've posted here are quite overwhelming. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:44, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, MezzoMezzo. Traditionalism (Islam) already redirects to Sunni Islam, so I'll open a page move request later today. Posting a notice on Wikiproject Islam is a good idea. Eperoton (talk) 12:21, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm a bit "technologically challenged" at the moment, and won't get around to it in the next couple of days. But you don't need to wait for me. Eperoton (talk) 23:04, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps just leave it as it is and add the other names to the article. All the wikipages in other languages use the word "Athari" and academics in the West seem to be divided over the proper term. Something like: Athari (Arabic: أثري‎; textualism) is a school or movement of traditionalist Islamic scholars who reject Islamic "theology" (kalam) in favor of strict textualism in interpreting the Quran. The name is derived from the Arabic word athar, literally meaning "remnant", and also referring to a "narrative." Western academics have referred to this school of theology using various names including the Traditionalist, Traditionist, Textualist, Literalist, Salafi, or Hanbali School of Islamic theology' and then give citations where each is used. In the Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology on page 81 it states that "the institutionalism of forms of Ash'arism and even more "traditionalist" approaches such as that if Ibn Hanbal..." seems to imply that traditionalist has a broader meaning and would include all those who oppose the Mu`tazilites. The last citation above also states "the traditionalist theology has remained the core of Islamic theology. It was a flexible theology that used both the Qurʾān and the Sunna and rational considerations....Denying the use of any rational argument when dealing with the Qurʾān and the Sunna characterizes some traditionalists, and one may call this approach ‘pure traditionalism’" which seems to imply that the term Traditionalist would also include the Maturidi and Ash'ari.
The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology edited by Sabine Schmidtke p. 537 "They considered Ash'arism, along with the maturidi school, the only valid standard bearers of Sunni Islam, with harsh condemnations of athari theology." [4] Patapsco913 (talk) 02:07, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
I didnt see Athari on the Arabic wikipedia last time I checked however I did see Hanbali theology. I agree that traditionalism isnt necessarily the right word here, princeton for example considers Ash'ari to be traditional:"Despite the wish of the traditionalists to dissociate themselves from theology as practiced by Mu'tazlis. however there arose in the second part of the ninth century groups best exemplified by Abu al-Hasan al-Ashari, who created a Sunni traditionalist theology. Ash'ari theology (and also that of the Maturidis) generated a long fight within traditionalism (including Hanbalism)"-The Princeton Encylopedia of Islamic Political Thought-p.550 [5] Misdemenor (talk) 22:06, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
We can't use other WP articles as RSs (btw, the Arabic article linked here is about antiquities and has nothing to do with theology), but it's true that I missed the article in the Oxford Hanbook which uses "athari". I also forgot to check the Princeton encyclopedia article, which differs in its terminology from other sources (in fact, all other sources I've seen). Besides classifying Ash'arism as traditionalism, it also associates "kalam" with Qadaris and Mu'tazilis and states that it "largely disappeared as an independent science in Sunnism". There were a couple of other idiosyncracies I came across but didn't report. IIRC, the Oxford History of Islam uses "literalism" and the theology article in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic World titles the most relevant section "Ibn Taymiya". These exceptions don't alter the overall results about the relative prevalence of the terms in RSs, however. Do others have objections to the method I used to estimate it? Or to the idea that the title should reflect prevalent usage in RSs? Eperoton (talk) 22:49, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
I think the Arabic page that links to Ahl al-Hadith seems to have some of the components of Athari in it. The English language Ahl al-Hadith page seems to be a mix of a concept combined with specific groups. Your right on the linkage, the current Athari page links to something like "artifact" when it should more appropriately be linked to a word for "narration." Ahl al-Hadith actually translates to "people talk" in google translate.Patapsco913 (talk) 00:54, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
The Arabic article linked to this one is "Athaar" which refers to artifacts, and it literally means "traces." Egyptian pyramids and stuff are called athaar. It seems like a mistake but might require meta-wiki skills to fix.
Ahl al-Hadith mixes the ancient concept with the modern movement; they're too different things and I suggested an article split to denote the difference, but there was too much opposition. This was well over a year ago, maybe two, I don't remember. It contains some material from Athari because:
  1. Ahl al-Hadith is a movement that generally follows Athari creed.
  2. Salafism is a movement that generally follows Athari creed.
  3. Wahhabism is a movement that always follows Athari creed.
  4. All three movements are separate and different per a long consensus established by multiple discussions and surveys of reliable sources, but because the wider movements follow the same creedo/theology/whatever we call it, there have been occasional attempts to just bunch them all together, which ignores historical reality.
Overall, the Arabic articles on Ahl al-Hadith and related terms are rather useless. I tried editing on Arabic Wikipedia for a while and found that the actual mods there encourage use of primary sources above all else, don't enforce rigorous standards regarding citation of claims and more readily accept things like Youtube videos and blogs as valid sources. It's a mess and isn't likely to help us much here.
So, to recap...User:Eperoton, you seem to favor a page move to Traditionalism, and so do I. User:Patapsco913, please correct me if I've misunderstood you, but I believe that you favor keeping the article under the current name? I'm unsure of what User:Misdemenor wants so the discussion would be better served by me not guessing and waiting for a brief summary of position to be posted. Is this basically where the four of us stand currently, prior to seeking help from Wikiprojects or anything like that? MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:29, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I've had my eye on Ahl al-Hadith, for the reasons you mention, but I'm afraid we may get distracted from the issue at hand. I'm also anxious to find a common ground on policies and sources, rather than simply enumerate our preferences (per WP:CONSENSUS). This was the reason for my two questions above: Do others have objections to the method I used to estimate prevalent usage? Or to the idea that the title should reflect prevalent usage in RSs? To be clear, they aren't rhetorical questions. If there are concerns, I'd like to discuss them. Eperoton (talk) 03:42, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I think the methodology is fine. However, the word "traditionalist" is a very broad word. It would seem odd to label someone such as Ibn Hazm on their wikipage under Creed as a Traditionalist instead of the very specific term, Athari. Traditionalist can mean a lot of things to a lot of people; and even some scholars use the term to refer to all those who opposed the Mutazilites which would include the Ashari and Maturidi. A non-Athari could be deemed a Traditionalist.
Here are some references that refer to Al Qaradawi as a traditionalist although he is not an Athari[6][7]
If we go to the page on Islamic Fundamentalism, it states "Traditionalists are sometimes connected to the popular forms of Sufism such as the Barelvi school in Pakistan." Barelvis are not Atharis at all.
So in my opinion, "Traditionalist School of Islamic Theology" and "Textualist School of Islamic Theology" are too generic, "Hanbali School of Islamic Theology" is too confusing given there is a School of Jurisprudence under the same name, "Salafi School of Islamic Theology" excludes non-Salafis; and "Literalist School of Islamic Theology" might require too much explanation. My suggestion would be to leave it as Athari but have a detailed paragraph explaining the different terminologies by academics.Patapsco913 (talk) 17:10, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
@Patapsco913: How's "Hanbali School of Islamic Theology" too confusing? 19:10, 19 May 2016 (UTC)CounterTime (talk)
It seems we're still discussing our personal opinions rather than what we see in RSs. Remember, WP:NPOV applies to article titles too. As it happens, I personally wish that the field of Islamic studies adopted the term "athari" in place of "traditionalist", but it's not our role as WP editors to champion one term over another based on personal preferences. Is there a policy-based argument for using Athari? Eperoton (talk) 19:28, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: I don't think there will be any, I would like to add that from my somewhat minimalistic reading of secondary and tertiary arabic sources on Islamic theology, the prevalent way is to use "followers of Ibn Hanbal", "Hanabila", "Hanbaliyin", whereas "Atharis" or "Traditionalists" weren't used that much. 19:39, 19 May 2016 (UTC)CounterTime (talk)
"Traditionalist" is derived from "tradition" as translation of "hadith", so it doesn't easily map to Arabic, but that shouldn't be an issue. Terminology is language-specific, so it's English-language RSs we have to look at for guidance on terminology. Eperoton (talk) 20:56, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: The translation of "traditionalist" (in this context) would be Athariyin. 21:35, 19 May 2016 (UTC)CounterTime (talk)
@Eperoton: I propose that it be renamed Traditionalist Theology (Islam). This should differentiate between traditionalist fiqh used in many RS to refer to the four sunni schools of law. Misdemenor (talk) 23:59, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
@Misdemenor: I support your proposal. Eperoton (talk) 00:38, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
How about "Traditionalist school of Islamic theology" which already maps to AthariPatapsco913 (talk) 01:32, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm inclined toward Misdemenor's suggestion, because it's specific without being too wordy. "Traditionalist school of Islamic theology" is also specific and technically in line with the reliable sources that Epereton surveyed above, but it's a few words longer. I'd favor the latter choice simply for the sake of being concise. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:45, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Misdemenor's version is closer to what we see in RSs. Either that or "Traditionalism (Islamic theology)". Eperoton (talk) 03:46, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Looks like the discussion has converged to a consensus, with no objections put forth over the last week. I'll go ahead and move the page. Thanks, everyone.
I've made a minimal update to the lead. It will take a bit of additional effort to reflect the additional sources and update the template. Eperoton (talk) 12:35, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

Content removal by Saheehinfo[edit]

@Saheehinfo: You've just removed content sourced to RSs from this article and from Schools of Islamic theology. You'll have to do better than dimissing it as "unreliable information", and I'll give you an opportunity to justify your edits before reverting. As to your comment "athari predates salafis by hundreds of years", it contradicts the quote from a RS which you've also removed. Eperoton (talk) 19:37, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

@Eperoton: The Salafi movement came into existence about two centuries ago according to many reliable sources such as:
  • The Salafi movement emerged at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth....
Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, p 61, Princeton University Press
  • It [Salafism] began and developed largely..... during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
John Esposito, The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics, Oxford University Press, p 38
  • While Salafis themselves see their origins extending back to the seventh century, historians date the inception of the Salafism to the late 19th century...
Edward E. Curtis, Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History, Infobase Publishing, p 499
The Athari school of theology has existed for over one thousand years. This can be seen in the book Theology and Creed in Sunni Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood, Ash'arism, and Political Sunnism by Jeffry R. Halverson, Palgrave Macmillan.
So Salafi cannot be the same as Athari, as the former only came into existence in the nineteenth century whereas Athari existed centuries before.
Also, the Salafi movement is not a school of theology but a revivalist movement (read Edward E. Curtis, Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History). Athari on the other hand is a school of theology as can be seen in the following:
There are three main schools of Sunni theology that are typically identified, namely the Ashari, Maturidi and Athari schools.
Spevack, Aaron (2014). The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of Al-Bajuri. State University of New York Press. p 41.
So it is incorrect to equate Salafi with Athari when the former is a movement and the later is a school of theology. Saheeh Info 20:41, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
@Saheehinfo: Your quotes refer to one or both of the modern movements called Salafism. That doesn't mean that traditionalist theology isn't also known by that name. Here's a concise summary from the Salafism article in Oxford Bilbiographies:
 News reports often mention the “Wahhabi movement” or “Wahhabi Islam” without providing any context. This controversial modern Islamic movement actually represents part of a larger phenomenon in Islamic thought: Salafism. [...] Although this conservative and iconoclastic trend has always existed in Islamic thought, it is most commonly identified with two periods: the burgeoning of classical Salafism with the 14th-century scholar Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), and the Salafism of the 18th-century movements of revival and reform. This early modern incarnation of Salafism in turn gave birth to two trends in Salafism that have flourished until today. Despite their common use of the term Salafi, these two modern movements are in fact very different, and they will be referred to here as modernist Salafism and traditionalist Salafism. 
Now, Salafism is probably not the best term to use in a running text discussing traditionalist theology, because other terms are more common and there's risk of confusion, but that's a different matter. It should be addressed by using a different term, where appropriate, and not by removing properly sourced content, which you will hopefully restore yourself. By WP:NPOV we have to note this usage of Salafism both in this article and in Schools of Islamic theology because it appears in major academic references (also Salafīyah in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World -- see the sections Origins and Ibn Ḥanbal, Articulator of Classic SalafĪyah). Eperoton (talk) 21:04, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton:, none of the sources I listed above refer to Salafiyya as a historic school of theology or a historic movement. All of them, identify Salafism as a modern movement that originated in the nineteenth century.
In fact Henri Lauziere in his 2008 PhD thesis at Georgetown University entitled "The Evolution of the Salafiyya in the Twentieth Century Through the Life and Thought of Taqi al-Din al-Hilali" has a section entitled "Does the Salafiyya exist since the middle ages?" in which he spends a number of pages rebutting the claim that the term Salafiyya was used historically to refer to a movement or school of theology. He states that:
Today, puristic Salafis adopt the surname “al-Salafi” en masse; they refer to the label “Salafiyya” in various circumstances to evoke a specific understanding of Islam that is supposed to differ from that of other Sunnis in terms of creed, law, morals, and behavior. The word “Salafiyya,” used as a noun and an adjective, is omnipresent in books, articles, and sermons; it is used as a name for a number of associations, magazines, and bookstores. Salafi-related expressions and slogans have never been so used at any time in history..... This is an entirely modern phenomenon. In actuality, much of the hints suggesting the medieval existence of a religious orientation named “Salafiyya” result from unsubstantiated retroactive ascriptions carried out by twentieth-century scholars. (emphasis mine).
In another of his works, he states that:
I contend that thinking and speaking about Salafism — that is, the very act of articulating this concept in either its modernist or its purist version—is a phenomenon of the twentieth century. Contrary to popular belief, it dates neither from the medieval period nor from the late nineteenth century.
Henri Lauzi, The Making of Salafism: Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century, Columbia University Press
Therefore, we have many reliable sources that make no mention of Salafiyya as a historic school of theology, but rather only refer to Salafiyya as a modern movement.
We have one author (Jonathan A.C. Brown) who seems to identify Salafiyya to be the same as the Athari school.
We have one author (Henri Lauziere) who seems to explicitly reject the notion that the Salafiyya was a historic movement / school of theology.
Given the above, I would consider it inappropriate to use the term Salafiyya in the lead of the article. At best, the article could perhaps state that "according to Jonathan A.C Brown the term "Salafiyya" is an alternative term to Athari though this is disputed by others such as Henri Lauziere".
Finally, per WP:BRD I have reverted your change until we get consensus on the talk page first. Saheeh Info 12:55, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
@Saheehinfo: Per WP:NPOV, we have to reflect all significant viewpoints. An article in Oxford Bibliographies would be significant in itself, but it's far from being the only RS supporting this usage. You have conveniently ignored the artice from The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World I cited above. Here's the another article from Oxford Bibliographies: "Salafism is usually traced to the doctrines and legacy of the 9th-century Baghdad religious figure Ahmad Ibn Hanbal". Here's the SALAFIYYA article from MacMillan's Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World: "Major figures in the definition of the salafi perspective and approach are Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855), the founder of the Hanbali school, and Ahmad ibn Taymiyya (1263–1328)". There's more. Eperoton (talk) 13:26, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
@Saheehinfo: You talk about maintaining the consensus, yet it seems to me that this is merely your way of trying to get your disruptive edits passed off as the consensus. George Custer's Sabre (talk) 16:43, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
On WP:BRD, note this part: "BRD is not a policy, though it is an oft-cited essay. This means it is not a process that you can require other editors to follow." I try to follow BRD. If you do too, Saheehinfo, I suggest you stop reverting until you can convince other editors that you're not violating WP:NPOV, which is a policy. Eperoton (talk) 17:05, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Another note: Lauziere isn't even contradicting what the lead currently says, which is that traditionalist theology is known as salafi, among other things. He's arguing that it shouldn't be called that. We can add a terminology section to this article, outlining the debates around the relative merits of these terms. "Salafi" isn't the only one that has its detractors. Given the widespread terminological confusion surrounding this area, it should be a useful addition. Eperoton (talk) 19:01, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
@GorgeCustersSabre: - Please read WP:EDITCONSENSUS before you start making accusations of being "disruptive". WP:EDITCONSENSUS states that: Consensus is a normal and usually implicit and invisible process across Wikipedia. Any edit that is not disputed or reverted by another editor can be assumed to have consensus. Should that edit later be revised by another editor without dispute, it can be assumed that a new consensus has been reached. So the version of the article which was in place until a few days ago is assumed to be the consensus version by virtue of the fact that it wasn't disputed or reverted by other editors. In fact this edit was made by Eperoton himself and I had no problem with it. It was not "my edit", I was merely reverting (per WP:BRD) to a version that was agreed upon until we come to a conclusion on the talk page. However, the latest edit that Eperoton suggested is being disputed by me for the reasons outlined above. As such, this new version is not the consensus version. Also note that WP:CONACHIEVE states that, "Editors usually reach consensus as a natural process. After one changes a page, others who read it can choose whether or not to further edit. When editors do not reach agreement by editing, discussion on the associated talk pages continues the process toward consensus.".
@Eperoton: - I have highlighted the fact that a number of reliable sources make absolutely no mention of the existence of Salafism prior the the nineteenth century. In fact some sources completely negate the possibility of this entirely. I will once again restate some of these sources for this view below:
The scholar Henri Lauziere in his 2008 PhD thesis at Georgetown University entitled "The Evolution of the Salafiyya in the Twentieth Century Through the Life and Thought of Taqi al-Din al-Hilali" has a section entitled "Does the Salafiyya exist since the middle ages?" in which he spends a number of pages rebutting the claim that the term Salafiyya was used historically to refer to a movement or school of theology. He states that:
Today, puristic Salafis adopt the surname “al-Salafi” en masse; they refer to the label “Salafiyya” in various circumstances to evoke a specific understanding of Islam that is supposed to differ from that of other Sunnis in terms of creed, law, morals, and behavior. The word “Salafiyya,” used as a noun and an adjective, is omnipresent in books, articles, and sermons; it is used as a name for a number of associations, magazines, and bookstores. Salafi-related expressions and slogans have never been so used at any time in history..... This is an entirely modern phenomenon. In actuality, much of the hints suggesting the medieval existence of a religious orientation named “Salafiyya” result from unsubstantiated retroactive ascriptions carried out by twentieth-century scholars. (emphasis mine).
In another of his works, he states that:
I contend that thinking and speaking about Salafism — that is, the very act of articulating this concept in either its modernist or its purist version—is a phenomenon of the twentieth century. Contrary to popular belief, it dates neither from the medieval period nor from the late nineteenth century.
Henri Lauziere, The Making of Salafism: Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century, Columbia University Press
Lauziere is making it very clear that according to him Salafism is a phenomenon of the twentieth century and does not date back to the medieval period.
Another reliable source states that While Salafis themselves see their origins extending back to the seventh century, historians date the inception of the Salafism to the late 19th century...
Edward E. Curtis, Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History, Infobase Publishing, p 499
This source also makes it clear that Salafism originated in recent times and is not a historic movement. There are many other sources.
Per WP:NPOV and WP:RS the above point of view should be reflected in the article. As for the sources you provided for the existence of Salafism from the medieval period, then I will concede that some authors have accepted that the term existed before the nineteenth century (though these sources only discuss the matter at a high level compared to the lengthy work on the subject by Lauziere). However, even if we were to accept this, I feel that the usage of the word "Salafiyya" should not be mentioned as a statement of fact as you have suggested in the lead, given that academics differ regarding whether the phrase "Salafiyya" even existed in medieval times. We should rather add a new terminology section where the discussion around the term Salafiyya could be elaborated (along with others such as Hanbali which is also assumed by some to be the Traditionalist theology).
Finally, if you are equating Salafism with the Traditionalist theology (Atharism) then why do we have 2 separate articles in the first place? Saheeh Info 07:34, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
@GorgeCustersSabre: The lead makes no statement about medieval usage. It's in the present tense and refers to current usage in RSs, as it should. The fact that the term salafi is used in this way isn't contradicted by any RSs I'm aware of. It's also true that some RSs don't use it in this way, and some use it in a different way. The same goes for the term ahl al-hadith, which has a number of different uses, and for "traditionalist" which at least the Princeton Encylopedia of Islamic Political Thought uses in application to Ash'aris in the sense of "traditional". I'll write a terminology section about this shortly, but how do you propose we reflect all that in the lead? We can allude to the controversies discussed in the terminology section there, but simply dropping some common terms from the list because they're controversial isn't consistent with NPOV.
In the context of the Salafi article, this one should correspond to a subsection called something like "Classical Salafism", which doesn't yet exist, and there should also be a terminology section there. As I just discussed in Talk:Salafi_movement#Much_confusion, that article has plenty of problems of its own. I'm currently reading up on the subject so I can improve it. Eperoton (talk) 13:31, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: - You are right. I agree with everything you say above. Regards, George Custer's Sabre (talk) 14:26, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I had a copy & paste accident. I meant to ping Saheehinfo. Eperoton (talk) 16:06, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton:, it is a pity that Saheeh Info can't see the value of what you have so carefully tried to say. Regards, George Custer's Sabre (talk) 17:49, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Saheehinfo: The salafi connotation in the source seems to be referring to the modern salafi movement being a proponent of traditionalism. It is accurate representation as "athari" which may have been independent previously, is now associated with ibn taymiyyahs work alone according to Sunnis. Mainstream sunnis believe Ashari and Maturidi already include Athari or Traditionalist thought within their respective framework. This is interesting because although Salafis claim to have the backing of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Sunni establishment doesnt seem to think so.

Sunni refuation against athari/salafi by Foudah:

  "Let us now take a moment to focus on Wahhabite thought, or Taymite thought (i.e. The followers of Ibn Taymiyya as I sometimes like to call it. Their view-point can be summed up in the following: the Salafi were upon the true creed and their affair remained for a while. Afterwards their occurred a disconnection and the innovators from other sects became dominant, and that as continued unabated till today---barring he specific time periods in which certain callers, to their doctrine appeared. The most important of these callers, according to the Wahhabis, are Ibn Taymiiya and his student Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya...[But what they mention to you] are disconnected and disparate individuals in separate times and places: and this, in my view is one of the biggest proofs demonstrating the falsehood of their ideas, beliefs and rulings in which they oppose Ahl al-Sunna wa'l-Jama'a [i.e, Sunni Islam]"

[8] Misdemenor (talk) 14:49, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

@Eperoton: - I disagree with some of the points you made in your last message. I will first however answer the following question you raised:
"I'll write a terminology section about this shortly, but how do you propose we reflect all that in the lead? We can allude to the controversies discussed in the terminology section there, but simply dropping some common terms from the list because they're controversial isn't consistent with NPOV"
As far as I understand the following terms have been used in academia (to some extent) to refer to the "Traditionalist school":
- Athari.
- Hanbali creed / traditionalism (see for example The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology). Problematic as some academics hold that some non-Hanbalis were also "Traditionalist"
- Salafi. Problematic. Some scholars reject the entire notion that this phrase was used to refer to the "Traditionalist school". Others only use this to refer to the modern Salafi movement.
- Ash'ari. Problematic. I always assumed that this was a competing school to Athari.
- Ahl al-Hadith. Problematic. Most academic scholars use this term to refer to the modern revivalist movement in the sub continent
To my mind the above list of terms can only be properly understood by the reader if they were explained in detail in the article body. Simply listing the terms in the lead would cause confusion (e.g. how does the reader differentiate between the modern Salafi Movement and the so called Classical Salafism if it is not elaborated on?). WP:NPOV doesn't seem to state that the lead of an article necessarily needs to contain all the information in the article body. If you disagree, can you explain where it does? If anything, Wikipedia guidelines seem to suggest the opposite. WP:LEADCLUTTER states that:
Because the lead is the first section a visitor reads, it is also the one most frequently edited and may become cluttered with parenthetical details (sometimes to the point of absurdity). If this happens, the lead may need to be reduced.
Therefore, I feel that the lead would end up containing too many parenthesis if we added the above list (there are already 3). Further, the suggestion made in WP:ALTNAME states that:
Alternatively, if there are more than two alternative names, these names can be moved to and explained in a "Names" or "Etymology" section; it is recommended that this be done if there are at least three alternate names, or there is something notable about the names themselves. Once such a section or paragraph is created, the alternative English or foreign names should not be moved back to the first line
Although the above refers to article titles, it does seem to be reasonable guidance for the lead of this article also.
I was wondering also if you explain what you understand the difference is between "Salafi" and "Traditionalist Theology"? I ask because you seem to be suggesting that they are the same thing. If so, why should we have separate articles in the first place?
Now regarding the other part of your message you stated that "The lead makes no statement about medieval usage. It's in the present tense and refers to current usage in RSs, as it should."
I would disagree. The entire article is about a medieval school of theology which according to the article "is originally traced back and attributed to the 9th century theologian Ahmad ibn Hanbal" so it stands to reason that the lead too should describe this medieval school.
It is also worth noting that the source that you used as evidence for the lead specifically relates to the medieval usage of the term. The quote is as follows:
In the wake of the tenth-century Ash'ari synthesis, some Muslim theologians still maintained the strict details of the early Sunni creed. This continuation of the original Sunni :theological School is often referred to as the Salafi school of theology [...] or as followers of 'Traditional (Athari)' or ahl al-hadith theology. Famous adherents to this school :include the Sufi 'Abdullah al-Ansari of Heran (d. 481) and the Damascene scholar Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728)
So the quotation is certainly about a medieval school of theology.
You next state that "The fact that the term salafi is used in this way isn't contradicted by any RSs I'm aware of."
I would again disagree. The term Salafi is often time used by academics to refer to a revivalist movement within Sunni Islam that emerged from the nineteenth century as opposed to a school of theology. I would argue that the term is seldom used to describe an ancient school of theology (though the sources you identified do support this view). Please note the following examples of sources where the word Salafi is used specifically to refer to a nineteenth / twentieth century movement and not to a school of theology. There are plenty more sources like this.
  • The Salafi movement emerged at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth....
Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, p 61, Princeton University Press
  • It [Salafism] began and developed largely..... during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
John Esposito, The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics, Oxford University Press, p 38
  • While Salafis themselves see their origins extending back to the seventh century, historians date the inception of the Salafism to the late 19th century...
Edward E. Curtis, Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History, Infobase Publishing, p 499
You next state that "The same goes for the term ahl al-hadith", which has a number of different uses,"
I agree with this. In a number of academic works Ahl al-Hadith (or Ahl e-hadith) is used to refer to a modern reform movement in the sub continent as opposed to what is traditionally understood to be the Ahl a-Hadith.
"and for "traditionalist" which at least the Princeton Encylopedia of Islamic Political Thought uses in application to Ash'aris in the sense of "traditional"."
This would be problematic. The Ash'aris are a competing school of theology (for the most part) to the Athari school.
So to conclude, I would be happy for a new section on "terminology" to be added. I feel that this section should follow WP:NPOV in that all reliable sources should be taken into account and represented. If for example, some academics use the phrase "Hanbali Theology" and others do not, then this should be explained. I do not feel that this section could be adequately summarised in the lead and therefore will inevitably result in confusion. Additionally, there doesn't appear to be any wikipedia guidelines that indicate that this information should be in the lead. In fact, the guidelines indicates otherwise. Saheeh Info 18:52, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
@Misdemenor: - As far as I understand, a number of modern non-Salafis are Athari in aqeedah. Mohammad Akram Nadwi calls himself Athari but is Hanafi and opposes the Salafis. I think Yusuf Qaradawi is Athari also and not Salafi. Also, historically a lot of Hanbali scholars were Athari.Saheeh Info 18:59, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Akram might just be against the title but he follows Ibn taymiyyah which is the basis of "Athari". [9]. Qaradawi is also a Salafi [10] Misdemenor (talk) 19:55, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
@Saheehinfo: We're getting a major disconnect on the meaning of some common English words. I will address it next, but I don't want to fixate on this if we can reach a consensus on the substance, and we seem to be moving in that direction. Your concern about discussing terminology in the lead without sufficient clarity is a valid one. My main concern is to alert the readers who come to this page looking for a different name to the fact that alternative names exist. This doesn't have to be done by listing them in the lead. It can be also done by a phrase like "it is also sometimes referred to by several other names", hyperlinked to a terminology section.
Now, for the semantics, I'm surprised that we've been talking past each other. "Is known as" doesn't mean "is equivalent to", as you seem to read it, so if some sources use the term Y (say, "Mr. Fantastic") to refer to X, the statement "X is also known as Mr. Fantastic" is true, and it is not contradicted by some sources that refers to X as "Bob", nor by existence of another person called Mr. Fantastic, nor by a source that argues that X is not fantastic enough to be called "Mr. Fantastic". It certainly doesn't mean "X was known as Mr. Fantastic in the Middle Ages". I hope that makes things clear, because I don't know how to put it any clearer. It's true that "is known as" isn't the only way to put it. One can also use a phrase that emphacizes differences in nomenclature like "is sometimes referred to as". Eperoton (talk) 02:18, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: You stated that: It can be also done by a phrase like "it is also sometimes referred to by several other names", hyperlinked to a terminology section.
I like this idea, and feel that it would improve the article and also minimise confusion. If you are planning to write a terminology section (there is no rush) then could you add it here on the talk page first so that we can agree on the content.
I am rather busy at the moment but will hopefully reply to the point you made on semantics soon. Saheeh Info 19:55, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
@Saheehinfo: Sure, please see my sandbox. I still need to format some of the refs, but the text of the terminology section is pretty much what I want it to be. Eperoton (talk) 02:15, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: - I am fine with the terminology section you have suggested and would be happy for it to be added. One point to note is that not all academics accept the idea that there exists a group of "traditionalists" or "rationalists" in the first place. Aaron Spevack states that:
It also becomes clear that the rational ('aqli) sciences have had a long and varied history in Islam, and that there use was by no means exclusive to a group of "rationalists", nor was there discouragement restricted to a group of "traditionalists". Thus as Abrahamov notes, it is more useful to speak in terms of "rationalist" and "traditionalist" tendencies, as it is next to impossible, in my opinion, to find a Sunni scholar who is wholly one and not the other. In fact, I argue, as others before me have, that it is time to reject the "rationalist" versus "traditionalist" categories as a false dialectic and as artificially constructed categories that do not, at all, accurately depict the reality of Sunni theological and legal history.
Spevack, Aaron (2014-09-09). The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of al-Bajuri. SUNY Press. p. 102. ISBN 9781438453712.
So perhaps that should be included somewhere in the article in the first place. Thanks Saheeh Info 17:56, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
@Saheehinfo: Thanks, I worked that in. Eperoton (talk) 22:32, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Recent Changes[edit]

@Eperoton: Good job on updating the article. A few issues though, Ash'ari is not the only creed thats orthodox, its also Maturidi.[11] The line insinuates its a claim to "orthodoxy" rather then a established fact. I also would like Ibn Hajars opposition to ibn taymiyya's version of athari, reinstated into the article. Ibn hajars refutation was key to the establishment of denying athari a foothold within Sunni circles. Perhaps a criticism section should be added onto the article. Misdemenor (talk) 23:41, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, Misdemenor. You make a good point about Ash'ari vs. Maturidi. Brown holds Maturidism to be too close to Ash'arism to merit a separate discussion in his book (this seems to be a common but contested view), so he clearly doesn't mean to exclude Maturidi from that statement. Adding it there shouldn't raise objections. Here's the original sentence: The Ash‘ari school of theology is often called the Sunni ‘orthodoxy.’ But the original ahl al-hadith, early Sunni creed from which Ash‘arism evolved has continued to thrive alongside it as a rival Sunni ‘orthodoxy’ as well. If you think I misrepresented it in some way, let me know. Creating a Criticism section is a good idea. Eperoton (talk) 01:49, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: and @Misdemenor: - One thing to note is that according to at least one reliable source their appears to be differences between earlier and later scholars within the Athari school. Aaron Spevack states that:
A strong case can be made that later Atharis, especially Ibn Taymiyya also differed substantially from the early Atharis of whom Ahmad b. Hanbal is a prime example.
Spevack, Aaron (2014-09-09). The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of al-Bajuri. SUNY Press. p. 45. ISBN 9781438453712.
I think this should be represented in the article somewhere (perhaps the history section?) and should also be made clear in any criticisms. Saheeh Info 18:07, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Well Ibn Taymiyyah had been ignored by most Islamic scholars, and condemned in the 16th century, until his works were recently revived in the 18th century via Wahhabism. Sunnis accuse Ibn Taymiyyah's Athari of anthropomorphism while Ibn Hanbal is acquitted of these charges. See the following passage from the same book by Spevack: "His definition of the Ahl al-Sunna was more restricted than that of others, at least at first glance, as he declared the followers of al-Ash'ari and al-Maturidi to be the sole representatives of the Ahl al-Sunna, although he declared Ahmad b. Hanbal free of anthropomorphism, citing Ibn al-Jawzi's defense of Ibn Hanbal. In doing so, he also declares Ibn Taymiyya and his student Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya to be heretics"-p.77- As explained in the source added into the criticism section. This fatwa against Ibn taymiyyah's Athari by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, in the 16th century effectively closed further discussion per consensus, and opposition to Ash'ari became rare. Yes your proposal looks like a good fit in the history section. Misdemenor (talk) 14:13, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Agreed, the article needs to do a better job of reflecting diversity among traditionalists and the history section ends rather abruptly, though the polemics over anthropomorphism are a better fit for the beliefs section. There's already something on that at the end of On the Attributes of God. I would also like to add a section about methods of argumentation. Sources point to this as a major difference between Ibn Taymiyya and earlier figures. Eperoton (talk) 22:38, 17 July 2016 (UTC)