Was al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee an Ash'ari?
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Tuesday, June, 23 2009 and filed under Misconceptions
Key topics: Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee

A claim is made by the Ash'ariyyah that al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (d. 463H) had leanings towards the Ash'ariyyah - and there occurs in his works and treatises what falsifies that, this particular treatise in this article being an example.

The creed of al-Baghdaadee is found in a single preserved manuscript in adh-Dhaahiriyyah Book House in Damascus, collection no. 16.

This treatise "An Issue Pertaining to the Attributes of Allaah" contains the quotation of two matters:

The first: A report of the Haafidh, al-Khateeb about one of the issues from the Masaa'il of Imaam Abu Abdullaah Ahmad bin Hanbal regarding the belief in the Speech of Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic - and a rejection of the saying of the Jahmiyyah.

The second: A fatwaa of al-Khateeb regarding the issue of the Attributes. He mentions a summary of the creed of the Salaf regarding the Attributes of Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic. He affirmed in this fatwaa that the way of the Salaf is the middle way - just as he affirmed the Salafi principle:

Speaking about the Attributes is a branch of speaking about the Essence (Dhaat)

- so he affirmed the Attributes whilst negating tashbeeh (resembling them to the creation) and he destroyed ta'weel (figurative interpolation).

He also rejected from the People of Innovation their reviling of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Athar due to their narrating the ahaadeeth pertaining to the Attributes and he made clear the obligation of referring the unclear verses (mutashaabihaat) to the precise and clear (muhkam) ones and having faith in all of that and submitting to that.

Then he divided the ahaadeeth which have been reported about the Attributes into three types - from the perspective of acceptance and rejection and he made clear that whatever ahaadeeth are established then they are treated in the same way as what has come in the Qur'aan with respect to affirming (the Attributes) and negating tashbeeh (resemblance).

And this establishes the fact that the Haafidh, al-Khateeb was upon the creed of the Salaf, Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Hadeeth and not as some of them claim and associate him with the companions of al-Ash'aree - even if his saying about affirming the Attributes in general agrees with the saying of al-Ash'aree in 'al-Ibaanah' (al-Ash'aree's last book) - in which (al-Ash'aree) followed the (way of the Salaf). This cannot be correct as a proof for associating him with al-Ash'aree - since affirming the Attributes was the madhhab of the Salaf before al-Ash'aree even existed and al-Khateeb was the Imaam of the Ahl ul-Hadeeth in his time. Therefore associating him with them, the Salaf, is an obligation besides which there is no other option.

In fact, you will see in the first issue contained in this creed that which will declare al-Khateeb to be totally innocent and free from his being upon the madhhab of al-Ash'aree. This due to the fact that the issue of al-Lafdh (the utterance of the Qur'aan) is one of major things that take the ash'arees away from the creed of the Salaf, Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Hadeeth.