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Ahlul Athar or Atharees

Q: I would like to find clarity and closure on the school of ‘aqidah that is ascribed to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (RA) which is refered to as the Ahl al-Athar or the Atharis. What are the core differences between this school and the other two viz. the Asha’irah and the Maturidis? Is the Athari school that is claimed to be followed different to that followed by Imam ibn Hanbal and other early Hanbali ‘ulama? A clear explanation on this issue is required as many are being confused and led astray by bringing up the Athari ‘aqidah.


A: Imaam Ahmed bin Hambal (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) subscribed to the beliefs and actions of the Sahaba and the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah. As far as the atharees are concerned, we have no knowledge of their beliefs or actions. If you inform us regarding it, perhaps we would be in a better position to issue a ruling.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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