Ash’aries and Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama’ah

Are the Ash'aries included amongst the Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah?

According to them they are Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah. They say they represent the Ahlus- Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah. They are the majority. According to many scholars who are not from Ash'ari, Salafis, Wahabis, Hanbalis and others, Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah represent those who follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah with the understanding of the companions.

With regards to issue of Aqeedah, they will not be considered as Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah - the true Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah. What we should keep in mind that somebody on an issue or in number of issues may not be holding the views of Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah, it does not mean that they should be written off from Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah, like Imam An-Nawawee, Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, in a general sense this represents a deviation, does not mean that anyone who held this opinion has become deviated, but one who holds opinions in a fanatical way where it covered all of their understand, that was their full understanding, yes, they have deviated from mainstream Islam, what is Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah.

The best approach in our times is to discuss these things out, if we are to try to reach those who hold these other opinions, we come to them saying as we do ‘We are the Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah and they are deviant,’ then we will not get any far. Rather than taking the sledgehammer approach, Salafi and them, the rest are all hammered, it is not going to turn anyone into a Salafi. It is only going to create animosity, it is better to reason out and be gentle. Prophet (ﷺ) said,

“Whenever it (gentleness) enters into anything it beautifies.” [1]

If Prophet Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ) was told to speak to Pharaoh, and was told to speak gently, than can’t we speak to our brothers and sisters more gently. Of course they have more right, we are not better than Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ) and they are not worse than Firawn. So the least we can do is to be gentle in our approach to be able to discuss with them, to be kind and reason with them.

Reference:

[1] [Narrated by Muslim, 4698]

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