11/11/2017 Maturidi Heresiology and the Defining Parameters of Sunnism: A Synopsis
Presenter: DR. Gibril Fouad Haddad
The doctrinal creed of the largest denomination of Muslims who came to be known as ‘The Adherents to the Sunna and the Congregation’ found staunch defenders in the school of Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī (d. 333/945) who codified the theology of Abū Ḥanīfa (80-150/699-767) that dominated the central Asian region of Transoxania (present-day Uzbekistan and parts of Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan).
As the chief clearing-house of Sunni kalām and Sunnicentric heresiology together with Ashʿarism, Maturidism addresses, on the one hand, the entire spectrum of Sunni and non-Sunni beliefs and, on the other, all creeds other than Islam. Maturidi theology thus defined itself in dialectical contrast with Sunna-contrariant and Islam-contrariant doctrines.
This presentation surveys the bullet points of the most important Maturidi authorities and their doctrinal textbooks in descending order of antiquity. It highlights their heresiological resolutions (taqrīrāt) as the defining parameters of Sunnism and can serve both as an introductory synopsis and as a tool for the study of the school’s theology from its early founders to our time for a more systematic understanding of what it means to be Ahlus Sunna wal-Jama`ah.
Dr. Gibril Fouad Haddad is Senior Assistant Professor in Applied Comparative Tafsir and Co-Ordinator of Undergraduate Studies at SOASCIS. Dr. Haddad was hailed in the inaugural edition of The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World as “one of the clearest voices of traditional Islam in the West.” He is the author most recently of a monograph entitled Criminal Penalties and Reprisals: A Critique of ISIS’s Argument in Light of the Sources published in August by Malaysia’s Islamic and Strategic Studies Institute. Last year he published three books, among them a bilingual edition and translation of Forty Hadiths of the Prophet (saws) on Syro-Palestine and Its People and the first book-length study in English on Tafsir al-Baydawi, a 900-page edition and translation published jointly by UBD Press and Beacon Books (UK). Other published works of his include The Integrated Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, The Encyclopedia of Hadith Forgeries, and The Muhammadan Light in the Qur’an and Hadith, all of which are available for purchase online.