Ash'ari,Maturidi Vs SalafiyyaShaykh Huseyn Hilmi Isik al Maturidi(rah)[died.1422AH,Istanbul,Turkey] wrote:
"It is not right to say that the madhhabs of al-Ashari and al-Maturidi were founded later. These two great imams explained the knowledge of itiqad and iman communicated by Salaf as-salihin, arranged it in classes and published it making it comprehensible for youngsters. Al-Imam al-Ashari was in al-Imam ash-Shafi'i's chain of disciples. And al-Imam al-Maturidi was a great link in al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's chain of disciples. Al-Ashari and al-Maturidi did not go out of their masters' common madhhab; they did not found new madhhabs. These two and their teachers and the imams of the four madhhabs had one common madhhab: the madhhab in belief well-known with the name Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. The beliefs of the people of this group are the beliefs of the Sahabat al-kiram, the Tabiin and Taba' at-Tabiin. The book, Fiqh al-akbar, written by al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, defends the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. The word 'Salafiyya' does not exist in that book or in al-Imam al-Ghazali's Iljam Al-awam 'ani 'l-kalam. These two books and Qawl al-fasl(69), one of the explanations of the book Fiqh al-akbar, teaches the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat and answers the heretical groups and hilosophers."
Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) brought the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnat. The "Sahabat al-kiram derived these teachings of iman from the source. And the Tabiin Izam, in their turn, learned these teachings from the Sahabat al-kiram. And from them their successors learned, thus the teachings of Ahl as-Sunnat reached us by way of transmission and tawatur. These teachings cannot be explored by way of reasoning. Intellect cannot change them and will only help to understand them. That is, intellect is necessary for understanding them, for realizing that they are right and for knowing their value. All the scholars of hadith held the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnat. The imams of the four madhhabs in deeds, too, were in this madhhab. Also, al-Maturidi and al-Ashari, the two imams of our madhhab in beliefs, were in the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. Both these imams promulgated this madhhab. They always defended this madhhab against heretics and against materialists, who had been stuck in the bogs of ancient Greek philosophy. Though they were contemporaries, they lived at different places and the ways of thinking and behaving of the offenders they had to meet were different, so the methods of defense used and the answers given by these two great scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat were different. But this does not mean that they belonged to different madhhabs. Hundreds of thousands of profoundly learned 'ulama' and awliya' coming after these two exalted imams studied their books and stated in consensus that they both belonged to the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. The scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat took the nass with their outward meanings. That is, they gave the ayats and hadiths their outward meanings, and did not explain away (tawil) the nass or change these meanings unless there was a darura to do so. And they never made any changes with their personal knowledge or opinions. But those who belonged in heretical groups and the la-madhhabi did not hesitate to change the teachings of iman and 'ibadat as they had learned from Greek philosophers and from sham scientists, who were Islam's adversaries."
"Ustad Ibn Khalifa Aliwi, a graduate of the Islamic University of Jami' al-Azhar, wrote in his book Aqidat as-Salafi wal-khalaf: "As 'Allama Abu Zuhra writes in his book Tarikh al-madhahibi 'l-Islamiyya, some people, who dissented from the Hanbali madhhab in the fourth century after Hegira, called themselves Salafiyyin. Abu 'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi and other scholars in the Hanbali madhhab, too, by proclaiming that those Salafis were not the followers of Salaf as-salihin but were the owners of bidat, belonging to the group of Mujassima, prevented this fitna from spreading. In the seventh century Ibn Taymiyya waged this fitna again."
"The la-madhhabi have adopted the name 'Salafiyya' and say "great imam of Salafis" for Ibn Taymiyya. This word is true in one respect since the term 'Salafi 'had not existed before him. There had existed Salaf as-salihin whose madhhab was Ahl as-Sunnat. Ibn Taymiyya's heretical beliefs became the source for the Wahhabis and other la-madhhabi people. Ibn Taymiyya had been trained in the Hanbali madhhab, that is, he had been Sunni. But, as he increased his knowledge and reached the grade of fatwa, he took to self-sufficiency and began to assume superiority to the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat. The increase in his knowledge brought about his heresy. He was no longer in the Hanbali madhhab, because being in one of the four madhhabs requires having the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnat. A person who does not have the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnat cannot be said to be in the Hanbali madhhab. "