Classical Sunni theological school (tenth to twelfth centuries), founded by Abu al-Hasan al-Ashari, that became an important religious movement forming a middle ground between the rationalism of the Mutazilis and the literalism of the Hanbalis. Used a rational approach to religious truth but preserved the primary importance of scriptural revelation as the sole source of certainty. Acknowledged that reason may play a role in defending truth, convincing others, and participating in moral actions, but held that all moral actions are governed by God. Associated with the Shafii school of law. Assimilated into the Maliki school of law in the tenth century. Opposed by Hanbalis in the eleventh century.
See also Theology