What is "athari aqeedah" (not ashari, but athari!) - arabic: أثري? Is this the aqeedah of ahlus-sunnah or an innovated aqeedah of people who do extreme tafweed?
The Athari 'Aqeedah is the 'Aqeedah of Ahlu-Sunnah wal Jama'ah. It's just another term used to describe it. Athari (أثري) is derived from the Arabic word athar (plural aathaar), literally meaning "remnant", and also referring to "narrations". What is meant by "narrations" is the authentic narration of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the narrations of the Salaf. Hence, those who follow the aathaar (narrations) are called the Atharis.
Now the Ash'aris will tell you that the Atharis are considered to be one of three acceptable Sunni schools of 'Aqeedah: Athari, Ash'ari, and Maturidi. They say that the Athari 'Aqeedah is one of the acceptable 'Aqeedahs of the Salaf, along with the Ash'ari and Maturidi 'Aqeedahs. However, they claim that the Atharis from among the Salaf did not give the attributes of Allah any meaning; rather they relegated the meaning to Allah (tafweedh). They claim that we (those who follow the true way of the Salaf today) interpret meanings of attributes literally or metaphorically, hence giving Allah a jism (body). And so they thereby conclude that we are not true Atharis.
But this is obviously a lie and distortion of the true historical facts, for there is only one 'Aqeedah of the Salaf, and that was the Athari 'Aqeedah, which was not one of tafweedh, as the Ash'aris claim.
I must state that we are not required to judge people's 'Aqeedah and put them "off the manhaj" or on it. If there is an individual who is clearly preaching the wrong 'Aqeedah, then it should be dealt with by those of knowledge and authority.
And Allah knows best.< Back to Questions