“The first Sunni scholar of Kalaam among the companions was
ˆAliyy ibn Abii Ţaalib, as he debated the Kħawaarijites on the issues of the promise and threat , and the Qadariyyah on predestination, will, and ability .
Then came ˆAbduļļaah ibn ˆUmar  with his sayings against the Qadariyyah, and his declaration of wanting noth-ing to do with them or their leader known as Maˆbad Al-Juhaniyy.
Al-Ĥasan Al-Başriyy ,
whom the Qadariyyah claimed as one of them. How can that be right, however, when in fact he wrote a letter to ˆUmar ibn ˆAbdulˆAziiz showing their faults, and chased their leader Waaşil away from his teaching sessions when he showed his deviations?
After him came
who was among the toughest opponents of the Qadariyyah, and then Al-Zuhriyy. The latter was the one that gave ˆAbdulMalik ibn Marwaan the fatwa that the blood of the Qadariyyah should be shed.
Following this generation came Jaˆfar ibn Muĥammad Al-Şaadiq, who authored a book refuting the ideas of the Qadariyyah and another refuting those of the Kħawaarijites. He also wrote an article against the extremists of the Shiites.
He is the one that said,
“The Muˆtazilites wanted to declare the Oneness of Aļļaah, but committed apostasy. They also wanted to declare Aļļaah just, but ended up attributing to Him stinginess.”
The first Kalaam scholars among the jurists and the heads of the schools of jurisprudence were
Abuu Ĥaniifah , and Al-Sħaafiˆiyy.
Abuu Ĥaniifah wrote a book against the Qadariyyah called
and he has an article that he dictated to champion the saying of the Sunnis that (real) ability comes at the point of action.
He said, however, that the (presumed) ability applies to two opposites , and this is the saying of a number of our companions.
The compa-nion of Abuu Ĥaniifah, Abuu Yuusuf , said:
“the Qadariyyah are apostates.”
The second was a refutation of deviant sects. He also mentioned some Kalaam issues in the book “Kitaab Al-Qiyaas”.
In it he pointed to having gone back on the saying of accepting the testimony of deviant sects.
After Al-Sħaafiˆiyy came his students that mastered the sciences of both jurisprudence and Kalaam.
Examples are Al-Ĥaaritħ ibn Asad Al-Muĥaasibiyy , Abuu ˆAliyy Al-Karaabiisiyy , Ĥarmalah , Yuusuf Al-Buwayţiyy , and Daawuud Al-Aşbahaaniyy.
The later scholars of Kalaam relied on Al-Karaabiisiyy for knowing the various sub-sects of the Kħawaarijites as well as all other sects. The jurisprudent and ĥadiitħ scholars relied on him for knowing the conditions for authen-tication (acceptance as authentic) of ĥadiitħ along with the types of flaws, and evaluating narrators.
The books of Al-Ĥaaritħ ibn Asad Al-Muĥaasibiyy became the primary source for the Kalaam scholars of our as-sociates , both the jurists and the Sufis.
As for Daawuud, the leader of the literalists, he wrote a lot on belief along with his many writings on jurispru-dence. His son, Abuu Bakr , was a scholar of jurisprudence, Kalaam
Another of the Kalaam scholars in the time of Al-Ma'muun is
ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid Al-Tamiimiyy (ibn Kullaab) ,
who crushed the Muˆtazilah in the assembly of Al-Ma'muun, and scandalized them with his eloquent exposure and clarifica-tion of their faults. The remains of his clarifications are in his books. He is the brother of Yaĥyaa ibn Saˆiid Al-Qaţţaan, the inheritor of the knowledge of ĥadiitħ and the master of narrator criticism.
Among the students of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid is ˆAbdulˆAziiz Al-Makkiyy Al-Kattaaniyy , who scandalized the Muˆtazilah in Al-Ma'muun's assembly. Yet another Kalaam scholar was his student, Al-Ĥusayn ibn Al-Fađl Al-Bajaliyy , the master of Kalaam, methodology, Quranic commentary and interpretation.
Later scholars relied upon his notes and pointers in interpreting the Qur'aan. He is the one that ˆAbdulˆAziiz ibn Ţaahir, the governor of Kħuraasaan
Among the students of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid is also Al-Junayd, the Sħaykħ of the Sufis and the Imam of the mo-notheists. He has an article that is written according to the requirements of the Kalaam scholars, but with Sufi expressions.
After this generation came the Sħaykħ of Insight, the Imam of the Horizons in debating and verification:
He is the one that became a cut in the throats of the Qadariyyah, the Najjaariyyah, the Jahmiyyah, the anthropomorphists, the Shiites and the Kħawaarij. He filled the world with his books. No Kalaam scholar has ever been bestowed with a following like the one he was endowed with. The rea- son is that all the People of Ĥadiitħ follow his way, as do all the People of Insight  that do not have Muˆtazilite inclinations.
Among his famous students are:
Abuu Al-Ĥasan Al-Baahiliyy  and Abuu ˆAbduļļaah ibn Mujaahid, and these two are the ones that developed the students that are the shining suns of their time and the masters of their generations, such as:
Abuu Bakr Muĥammad ibn Al-Ţayyib  (Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy) the head of the judges of Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula, Faaris (Southwest Iran), Karmaan (Southeast Iran) and all the border areas belonging to these lands, Abuu Bakr Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥusayn ibn Fuurak  (Ibn Fuurak), and Abuu Isĥaaq Ibraahiim ibn Muĥammad Al-Mihraaniyy  (Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy) .
Before these there was Abuu Al-Ĥasan ˆAliyy ibn Mahdiyy Al-Ţabariyy , the master of jurisprudence, Kalaam, methodology, literature, grammar and Ĥadiitħ. Among his heritage is a student like Abuu ˆAbduļļaah Al-Ĥusayn ibn Muĥammad Al-Bazzaaziyy , the master debater and author of books on all aspect of Kalaam.
Also before this generation was the Sħaykħ of the Sciences, Abuu ˆAliyy Al-Tħaqafiyy . In his time the Imam of the Sunnis was Abuu Al-ˆAbbaas Al-Qalaanisiyy , who authored more than one hundred and fifty books in Ka-laam. The books and critiques authored by Al-Tħaqafiyy against deviant groups are more than one hundred.
In our time we have reached Abuu ˆAbduļļaah ibn Mujaahid and Muĥammad ibn Al-Ţayyib (Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy) the head of the judges, Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥusayn ibn Fuurak, Ibraahiim ibn Muĥammad Al-Mihraaniyy (Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy) and Al-Ĥusayn ibn Muĥammad Al-Bazzaaziyy. Our own teachers fol-low the same path of these that we have reached, which is to enliven the truth and put its enemies in chains."
 He is referring to the Kħawaarijites' claim that Aļļaah does not forgive big sins, such as drinking wine, even if the person believes it is a sin (Uşuulu-d-Diin, Al-Bazdawiyy, Al-Maktabah Al-Azhariyyah, P. 256.)
 The Qadariyyah claimed that humans create their own actions, while Sunnis say that Aļļaah is the only creator, and that Humans only commit actions. The Sunni stance is unquestionably correct, because claiming that someone did something that Aļļaah has not willed, is equivalent to saying that He either did not know it or was unable to prevent it. This is clearly impossible.
 The great scholar and companion of the Prophet, the son of ˆUmar ibn Al-Kħaţţaab.
 Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥanafiyyah, the son of ˆAliyy, one of the greatest scholars of Islaam and famous for great physical strength.
 Ţalĥah is one of the greatest companions of the Prophet, and is one of the famous ten that were promised
 Zayd ibn ˆAliyy ibn Al-Ĥusayn ibn ˆAliyy ibn Abii Ţaalib, the son of Zaynu-l-ˆAabidiin. One of the greatest scholars of all time and grandson of Al-Ĥusayn, the Prophet's grandson. He rebelled against the Umawiyy king Hisħaam ibn ˆAbdilMalik, was killed, cru-cified, beheaded and burned. He was the one that named those Shiites that reject Abuu Bakr and ˆUmar as “Al-Raafiđah” - The Re-jectors. They came to him offering their support in his rebellion if he would disavow Abuu Bakr and ˆUmar, but he said, “Rather I ally myself with them and disavow those who disavow them.” They responded, “Then we refuse you.” From this came the name of the sect. (Source: Al-Waafii bi-l-Wafayaat.)
 Al-Ĥasan Al-Başriyy is one of the greatest of the Taabiˆiin, the students of the Prophet's companions. He was the leader of the scholars in Başrah. He was eloquent, brave, ascetic and a master of fiqh. (Source: Al-Aˆlaam.)
 Abuu Ĥaniifah, Al-Nuˆmaan ibn Tħaabit (80 h. - 150 h.) is one of the four great Imams of Islam that founded the four schools of fiqh. He was the earliest of the four, and lived in Kuufah in
 What is meant here is not real ability, but presumed ability. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy, who narrates the belief of Abu Ĥaniifah in his famous ˆaqiidah says: And the ability which deeds occur by, is simultaneous with the deeds. This ability is the one depending on Aļļaah's creation of the ability to do good, which is forbidden to ascribe to creation. As for the ability that is associated with health, capability, mastery and defect free instruments; this (presumed ability) is before the deed, and this is the ability that accountability relates to.
 Yaˆquub ibn Ibraahiim ibn Ĥabiib Al-'Anşaariyy (113 h. -182 h.) was the companion of Abuu Ĥaniifah and his student. He was also the first to spread the teachings of the
 A well known Muˆtazilite deviant, known for following the school of Abuu Ĥaniifah in fiqh, but had some Muˆtazilite beliefs.
 The statement “Qur'aan” has two meanings. One is the book of the Qur'aan, the other is the eternal and everlasting speech of Aļļaah that is not letters, not sound, not sequential and does not change. If someone declares that the “Qur'aan is created,” then it is not blasphemy if he meant the book. However, if he meant Aļļaah's attribute, then it is blasphemy. Some of the Muˆtazilites meant the first meaning, but others meant the other.
 Ĥaaritħ ibn Asad Al-Muĥaasibiyy, the great Şuufiyy and encyclopedic scholar of Islaam. He is the Sħaykħ of the famous Şuufiyy, encyclopedic scholar and judge: Al-Junayd. It is said that people named him “Al-Muĥaasibiyy,” which in Arabic means “the one who calls to account,” because he was constantly calling himself to account for his own deeds in light of the teachings of Islaam. (Source: Ţabaqaat Al-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa).
 Al-Ĥusayn ibn ˆAliyy Yaziid Al-Karaabiisiyy, Abuu ˆAliyy, was one of the students of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy. He was a great scholar of Fiqh, Ĥadiitħ and Kalaam. He narrated the old sayings of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy from Bagħdaad, and it is said that Al-Karaabiisiyy was that greatest of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy's students there. Al-Bukħaariyy used to narrate the saying of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy through him, as mentioned in Ţabaqaat Al-Sħaafiˆiyah.
 Ĥarmalah ibn Yaĥyaa Al-Tujiibiyy, (166 h.-243 h.) was a great Ĥaafiţħ (master savant of Ĥadiitħ) and Faqiih (master savant of Fiqh) from
 Yuusuf ibn Yaĥyaa Al-Buwayţiyy, Abuu Yaˆquub (?- 231 h.) from Buwayţ in the Şaˆiid area of
 By “our associates,” he means the scholars of the Sħaafiˆiyy, Maalikiyy and Ĥanbaliyy schools of Fiqh (Islamic laws and prac-tices) and the scholars that have similar methodology. They are referred to as “the People of Ĥadiitħ”. People of Ĥadiitħ” as opposed to the “People of Insight” are terms used by the scholars to refer respectively to the fiqh scholars that have a strong apparent focus on Ĥadiitħ, and those with a strong focus on deeper issues of meaning. It does not mean that the latter group ignores authentic ĥadiitħs, both groups agree that authentic Ĥadiitħ without any flaws must be applied. It also does not mean that the former lack deep insight. It is rather a matter of how the two groups apparently differ in their ways. One finds the former speaking much like Ĥadiitħ specialists, while the latter focuses on long and intense debates on finer points of the meaning of ĥadiitħs and the Qur'aan. The latter will often refuse to go by the apparent meaning of Ĥadiitħ due to a weakness related to its meaning, while the former will largely (but certainly not always) override such flaws based on the strength of the chain of narration. To fully understand the differ-ences needs a lengthy study of Uşuulu-l-Fiqh – the scholarly methodology for drawing judgments regarding Islamic laws and practic-es directly from the four sources: The Qur'aan, Ĥadiitħ, ijmaaˆ and analogy. An important note also is that the “People of Ĥadiitħ” in scholarly terminology of old has a different meaning than those that call themselves by this name today.
 Muĥammad ibn Daawuud ibn ˆAliyy ibn Kħalaf Al- Ţħaahiriyy (255 h. - 297 h.) was an Imam and son of the Imam Daawuud Al-Ţħaahiriyy. He took over his father’s position as a Mufti and teacher after his father. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).
 In the manuscript it is written “Ibn Sħurayĥ”, but it is likely a typographical error, and should be Ibn Surayj, because he was the head of the Sunnis at that time and wrote very many books, as indicated by Abuu Manşuur:
 Al-Jaaruuf was a philosopher of the school of equality of proofs.
 The claim of equality of proofs is when someone looks at the evidences presented by two opponents and then declares himself unable to decide who is right. The book of Al-Jaaruuf, which defended the idea of equality of proofs, was written by a philo-sopher against Al-Jubbaa'iyy, who was a Muˆtazilite. This belief of equality of proofs is basically agnosticism, in the sense that they neither affirm nor deny, but its followers fall into three groups: First, those who question the existence of the Creator. Second, those who believe in the Creator, but doubt prophethood. Third, those who believe in the Creator and the prophethood of Muĥammad, but have doubts about other beliefs. (See Al-Fişal fi-l-Milal by Ibn Ĥazm).
 He seems to mean Abuu Al-Ĥusayn Ibn Al-Raawandiyy (? h.- 298 h.), who was a philosopher accused of numerous heresies. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).
 ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid ibn Kullaab, Abuu Muĥammad Al-Qaţţaan (? – d.245H), was one of the greatest Kalaam scholars of his time. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). He is also mentioned with the last name Al-Tamiimiyy by Al-Subkiyy in Ţabaqaat Al-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa. In Ţabaqaat Al-Sħaafiˆiyyah it is stated in the biography of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid ibn Kullaab that Abuu Ĥasan Al-Asħˆariyy was heavily influenced by him and by Ĥaaritħ ibn Asad Al-Muĥaasibiyy
 Yaĥyaa ibn Saˆiid Al-Qaţţaan Al-Tamiimiyy, Abuu Saˆiid (120 h. – d.198H) one of the Imams of Ĥadiitħ science. He gave the Fat-was of Abuu Ĥaniifah and is regarded as a highly trustworthy Ĥaafiţħ. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).
 ˆAbdulˆAziiz ibn Yaĥyaa ibn ˆAbdulˆAziiz Al-Kinaaniyy Al-Makkiyy (? h. - 240) was among the students of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy and debated Bisħr Al-Mariisiyy. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).
 Al-Ĥusayn ibn Al-Fađl ibn ˆUmayr Al-Bajaliyy (178 h. - 282 h.) was one of the leaders of the knowledge of the meanings in the Qur'aan. He was originally from Al-Kuufah, but the governor ˆAbdulˆAziiz ibn Ţaahir brought him to Naysaabuur where he bought a house for him. He stayed there teaching until he died.
 Al-Junayd ibn Muĥammad ibn Al-Junayd Al-Bagħdaadiyy, Abuu Al-Qaasim, Al-Kħazzaaz (? - 297) was one of the greatest scholars of all time. One of his contemporaries said, “I have not laid my eyes on anyone like Al-Junayd. The scribes come to his lessons to learn from his words, the poets for his eloquence, and the Kalaam scholars for the meaning of what he says. The great scholars and historian Ibn Al-'Atħiir said about Al-Junayd: “The top scholar in the world in his time.” He is considered as one of the great imams of Sufism for his compliance to the sciences of Ĥadiitħ and Qur'aan along with leadership in Şuufiyy knowledge. He said, “Our way is controlled by the Qur'aan and Ĥadiitħ.” (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).
 ˆAliyy ibn Ismaaˆiil ibn Isĥaaq, Abuu Al-Ĥasan, was among the descendants of the famous companion Abuu Muusaa Al-Asħˆariyy. He is the founder of the Asħˆariyy school in beliefs and a Mujtahid scholar. He authored some 300 books. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). He outlined the Sunni belief system in detail with explanations and proofs more than anyone else before him. For this rea-son, the Sunni scholars call themselves followers of the Asħˆariyy school.
 The people of insight are the followers of the Ĥanafiyy school today. Their belief are identical to that of the Asħˆariyy school, although they are usually called Maaturiidiyys as opposed to Asħˆariyys. The differences between these two schools basically come down to semantics. For this reason, the label as an “Asħˆariyy” follower is applied to followers of both schools.
 Abuu Al-Ĥasan Al-Baahiliyy Al-Başriyy was a direct student of Al-Asħˆariyy. The Ĥaafiţħ Ibn ˆAsaakir narrated from Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy that he, Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy and Ibn Fuurak would have a lesson with Al-Baahiliyy once every week. Abuu Bakr said that he was so preoccupied with worship of Aļļaah that we had to remind him of the length of the lessons. He would also sit behind a curtain so that neither the three of them, nor the commoners that would attend could see him. When asked about this he answered, “You can see the commoners with your eyes, and they are people that tend to be negligent of religious concerns, and this way you will also look at me with the same eyes. Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy used to say, “I was like a drop in the ocean beside Abuu Al-Ĥasan Al-Baahiliyy.” On the other hand, Al-Baahiliyy used to say, “Beside Abuu Al-Ĥasan Al-Asħˆariyy I was a like a drop beside the ocean.” This was all mentioned by Ibn ˆAsaakir in Tabyiin Kadħibi-l-Muftariyy under the biography of Al-Baahiliyy in the chapter listing the students of Al-Asħˆariyy.
 Muĥammad ibn Aĥmad ibn Muĥammad ibn Yaˆquub ibn Mujaahid (? - 370 h.) was a scholar of the Maalikiyy school a stu-dent of Al-Asħˆariyy, and the teacher of Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).
 Muĥammad ibn Al-Ţayyib ibn Muĥammad ibn Jaˆfar, Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy, Al-Qaađii al-Baaqillaaniy (338 h. - 403 h.) was the head of the Asħˆariyys of his time. He wrote many books, some of which are in print. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). Al-Dħahabiyy in his “Taariikħu-l-Islaam” V. 28, P. 89 relates that Al-Baaqillaaniy was once sent by the Muslim ruler to debate the Christian scribes of the Roman Emperor. When he arrived to the emperors hall they had made the entrance to the emperor very low, to the extent that one had to bow down in order to enter. Al-Baaqillaaniy realized that it was a trick to make him bow to the emperor, so he turned and entered back end first. Once there, he turned to one of the monks and said, “How are the wife and kids?” Astonished, the em-peror replied, “Do you not know that the monk elevates himself having a wife or kids?” Al-Baaqillaaniy closed his trap by quickly replying: “You consider him above this, but you do not consider Aļļaah to be clear of and above having a female companion and child?” He was also mockingly asked, “What happened to ˆAa'isħah?” They were referring to the time that she, the Prophet's wife, was accused by the hypocrites of having been unfaithful. They wanted to make him lose his temper by their insinuations. Al-Baaqillaaniy answered: “As what happened to Maryam. (They were both accused of adultery), then they were both declared inno-cent by Aļļaah, and Maryam brought a baby, while ˆAa'isħah did not.” They could find no response to this, because he had shown them that permitting the slander of ˆAa'isħah would imply permitting ugly and heretical slander of Maryam even more.
 Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥasan ibn Fuurak Al-Anşaariyy Al-Aşbahaaniyy (? - 406 h.) was among the greatest scholars of belief me-thodology, as well as Sħaafiˆiyy fiqh (jurisprudence).
 Ibraahiim ibn Muĥammad ibn Ibraahiim ibn Mihraan, Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy (? - 418 h.) was a great scholar of be-liefs, methodology and fiqh. He used to be nicknamed “the pillar of the religion.” He was also a reliable narrator of Ĥadiitħ. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). He was one of the teachers of Abuu Manşuur –the author himself.
 Abuu Al-Ĥasan ˆAliyy ibn Muĥammad ibn Mahdiyy Al-Ţabariyy was a student of Al-Asħˆariyy in Al-Başrah. The meaning of one of his poems is: He is not lost who has a companion able to mend his ways. For the world is merely by its inhabitants and a per-son is by his companions.
 I was unable to find anyone of this name that is of Abuu Manşuur's generation or earlier. The Al-Ĥusayn ibn Muĥammad Al-Bazzaaziyy mentioned in Al-Waafii bi-l-Wafayaat died in 495 h., which seems too late for being meant here.
 Muĥammad ibn ˆAbdulWahhaab ibn ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn ibn ˆAbdulWahhaab, Abuu ˆAliyy Al-Tħaqafiyy (244 h. - 328 h.) was among the greatest scholars of all time in fiqh, methodology and belief. He stayed in Naysaabuur. Ibn Kħuzaymah told him one time: “It is not allowed for any of us to give fatwaa as long as you are alive.” (Source: Siyar 'Aˆlaam Al-Nubalaa').
 Aĥmad ibn ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn Kħaalid Al-Qalaanisiyy Al-Raazii, was among the Sunni scholars that lived in the time of Al-Asħˆariyy and fought deviants. His appearance as a defender of the faith was earlier that that of Al-Asħˆariyy, and he was not among his students. (Source: Ibn ˆAsaakir in Tabyiin Kadħibi-l-Muftarii P. 293.)
Ibn `Ata' Allah al-Iskandari (RA) (d. 709 A.H)
The Debate with Ibn Taymiyya
What he said to Ibn Taymiyya regarding SHAYKH IBN AL ‘ARABI;
Shaykh Ibn 'Ata' Allah died at around sixty years of age in the middle of Jumada II 709 H/November 1309 CE. As befitting an eminent and learned teacher, he died in the Mansuriyyah Madrasah. His funeral procession was witnessed by hundreds of people and he was buried in the Qarafah Cemetery in Cairo in what is today called the 'City of the Dead', at the foot of Jabal al-Muqattam. His tomb became famous as the site of homage, visitation, prayer, and miraculous occurrences. To this day this is still the case.
This pious and extraordinary contemplative figure left behind a spiritual legacy no less impressive than those of his own beloved Shaykh, and the eminent founder Shaykh Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili. All the biographers refer to Ibn 'Ata Allah with illustrious titles and reverence and mention how marvellously he spoke and how uplifting his words were. In spite of the fact that he followed the Maliki madhbab, the Shafi'is laid claim to him, most probably because some of his earlier teachers had been Shafi'i scholars, not to mention some of his students.