Do we approach the 2 theological schools of thought (Maturidi, Ashari) as we approach the other four
Do we approach the two theological schools of thought (Maturidi, Ashari) as we approach the four juristic schools of thought; i.e. we must restrict our self to one school?
ﺑﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﯿﻢ
Moving on to your second question, the approach to the two theological schools of thought is not the same as the approach to the four juristic schools of thought, because the former is related to one’s beliefs, whereas the latter pertains to one’s actions. Nonetheless, a layman should not delve into these intricate matters. As long as one’s creed is in compliance with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, he/she will be considered a believer. It is not necessary for someone to call themselves Maturidi or Ashari. What is necessary is to believe in that which they believed in. It is advised that you study the book: Al Aqidah At Tahawiya; this book is a summary of the beliefs of Ahl ul Sunnah wal Jama’at. Like I mentioned earlier, they only had minor differences, and a person will not be asked about these intricacies on the Day of Judgement.
Notwithstanding, if a Hanafi scholar, for example, is in favor of the Ashari school over the Maturidi school in those 12 particular matters where both schools differ, then he is not restricted to the Maturidi school. One of the main reasons why is that it is not okay to pick and choose between one of the four juristic madhabs because it would entail following one’s whims, in terms of practice, in making one’s decision in matters of religion, which is prohibited. On the other hand, if a person chooses an opinion (of one of the two schools) related to creed, based upon sound research, then that would not constitute following one’s desires, because this is correlated to one’s belief, not practice.
And Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ knows best
Written by Shaykh Mohammad Ahsan Osmani