faydh al-bari

Imam Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri – “Our Scholars, the Maturidis”

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Imam Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri refers to the Maturidis as “Our ‘Ulama”:

“…And know that, within this chapter heading (tarjama), the author (Imam al-Bukhari) has made an indication towards two things:

The first is the affirmation of the attribute of Takwin (bringing into existence), the proponents of which, are our scholars (‘ulama-una) – the Maturidis. This is to the extent that even al-Hafidh (ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani) stated this explicitly [that it is the view of the Hanafi Maturidis], although he is from those from whom it would not be expected for him to say something in favour of the Hanafis.
The Ash’aris, on the other hand, negate it. The explanation is that according to the Ash’aris the attributes are seven, and Allah is pre-eternal with His seven attributes. Regarding the attributes such as Ihya’ (giving life), Imata (causing death), and Tarziq (granting sustenance), they say that these are an expression about the connection of the Qudra (Power) to them. Thus, according to them, Ihya’ is an expression about the connection of the Qudra and Irada (Will) with the life of someone, and likewise the likes of it (i.e. Imata, Tarziq etc.). Thus, they dispensed with the attribute of Takwin, and they opined that with the combination of Qudra and Irada they are not in need of Takwin. Then they further say that although these attributes are pre-eternal, their connection to the things that are sustained and so on [i.e. the things that are given life, the things that are given death etc.] are temporal…”

[Faydh al-Bari ‘ala Sahih al-Bukhari, ed. Maktaba Rashidiyya, vol. 7, pg. 572]

NOTE: This is an important quote, as it highlights the fact that even if Imam Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri held any views contrary to the official Maturidi stance, then it should be considered to be his personal ijtihad on the matter, and should not lead one to (falsely) conclude that he was not a Maturidi. These types of ijtihad also occur from well-known, fellow Ash’aris and Maturidis – such as Imam al-Iji and his views in regards to the kalam of Allah.

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واعلم أن المصنف أشار في تلك الترجمة إلى أمرين: الأول إلى إثبات صفة التكوين، القائل بها علماؤنا الماتريدية، حتى صرح به الحافظ مع أنه ممن لا يرجى منه أن يتكلم بكلمة يكون فيها نفع للحنفية. وأنكرها الأشاعرة. فالتفصيل: أن الصفات عند الأشاعرة سبع، واللّٰه تعالى مع صفاته السبع قديم. وقالوا في نحو صفة إحياء، والإماتة، والترزيق أنها عبارة عن تعلق القدرة بها. فالإحياء عندهم عبارة عن تعلق القدرة والإرادة مع حياة أحد، وكذلك أمثالها. فاستغنوا عن صفة التكوين ورأوا أن لهم بمجموع القدرة والإرادة غنية عن التكوين. ثم قالوا: إن تلك الصفات، وإن كانت قديمة، إلا أن تعلقها بالمرزوقات ونحوها حادث.

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