A response to claims of unorthodoxy of my theological claims within ‘My Reasons for Joining the Quilliam Foundation’ piece.

There has been some discussion surrounding my statement on my reasons for joining the Quilliam Foundation. In particular, my theological statements concerning the relationship between reason and revelation based on the Maturidi school of thought. I would like to respond to some of the points raised from two online posts. The gist of both criticisms is that in presenting my views I had misused the Maturidi position and that my views fall outside of Islamic orthodoxy namely, they are better placed within the Mu’tazilite school of thought. The first criticism is by Mufti Zameel which can be found here. Zameel begins by summarising from a text entitled Qamar al-Aqmar (Maktabat al-Bushra)’ and then makes his own colourful conclusions. Some preliminary comments: I have not read the text in question – nevertheless, I will go on the assumption that the summary is a fair representation of its contents. However, it is important to note that this is a commentary, of a commentary of a usul al fiqh’ (juristic methodology) book, rather than a major textbook on theology, which is the discipline this topic accurately falls under. Also, historically some Ash’ari theologians held the same beliefs of the Maturidi in terms of knowing good and evil through reason, which is not known or simply omitted by Zameel. Zameel begins to outline that

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