The Life of Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi and the Socio-Political and Theological Context of Central Asia in the Tenth Century

  • Aref Chaker
Keywords: Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdi, Islamic theology, Sunni theology, Central Asia


Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdi is one of the most influential theologians in the Muslim World. He emerged in the tenth century in Central Asia and established his own theological school, alMāturīdiyyah; a school that played and continues to play a pivotal role in the formation of the Sunni synthetic theological movement in the Muslim world. A review of the studies undertaken concerning alMāturīdi demonstrates the influence of the socio-political and theological context of Central Asia on al-Māturīdi has not been studied, examined or analysed. This paper focuses on studying this overlooked aspect in Sunni theology. It evaluates the existence of any influence of the social, political, cultural and religious factors on al-Māturīdī’s works and his academic identity. It examines the nature of these influences, positive or negative, by undertaking a qualitative content analysis of all biographical, historical and geographical literature relevant to al-Māturīdi and Central Asia. The study uncovered the strong influence these factors had on al-Māturīdi. These influences were all positive in many of his writings. More importantly, these factors helped shape the synthetic theological paradigm al-Māturīdi adopted in much of his literature.