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In Islam, a Maturidi (Arabic: ماتريدي‎‎) is one who follows Abu Mansur Al Maturidi's systematic theology, which is close to the Ash'ari theology (Aqidah). The term also denominates the School of Kalaam, or systematic theology, of those who follow Al-Maturidi's theology. In this article, the term "Maturidis" will refer to the adherents of this School.


Maturidism is considered to be a key school of Sunni Islam. The scholar Al-Saffarini (d. 1188) gave the following definition of the three Sunni schools in his Lawami al-Anwar:

"Ahl al-Sunnah consist of three groups: the textualists (al-Athariyya), whose Imam is Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Ash`aris, whose Imam is Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari, and the Maturidis, whose Imam is Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and they are all one sect, the saved sect, and they are Ahl al-Hadith."[1]


Points about which the Maturidis differ from the Ash'aris are, among others, the nature of belief and the place of human reason. The Maturidis state that iman (faith) does not increase nor decrease, but remains static; it is rather taqwa (piety) which increases and decreases. The Ash'aris and say that belief does in fact increase and decrease.

Regarding the increased emphasis placed on the role of human reason, the Maturidis say that the unaided human mind is able to find out that the more major sins such as alcohol or murder are immoral and evil without the aid of revelation. The Ash'aris disagree, and conclude that the unaided human mind is unable to determine if something is good or evil, lawful or unlawful, moral or immoral, without the direct aid of divine revelation. Another point where Ash'aris and Maturidis differ regarding the role of human reason is divine amnesty for certain non-Muslims in the afterlife.

Both the Ash'aris and Maturidis follow occasionalism, a philosophy which refutes the basis for causality, but also proves the existence and nature of the Islamic belief of the tawhid (oneness of God) through formal logic.

This theology is popular where the Hanafi school of law is followed, particularly the lands of the former Ottoman and Mughal empires, viz. in Turkey, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Levant, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.

See also

External links


  • Article "Kalam" in The Encyclopedia of Islam, 1st edition.