In his risaalah (letter) to Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abd al-Lateef, an associate and co-student, Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhaab, amongst the many advices and clarifications he presented, mentioned about the Ahl al-Kalaam (al-Durar al-Saniyyah, 6th edition, 1417H, 1/52) :
Alongside this: The Ahl al-Kalaam and their followers are from the shrewdest of people, and the most intelligent of them to the extent that they have intelligence, memorization and understanding that would bewilder the wise person, yet they and their followers affirm that they are opposers to the Salaf. Even when the leading scholars of the Mutakallimin, when they refuted the Philosophers when they made ta'weel of the verses pertaining to the command(s) and prohibition(s), such as when they said that "fasting" means "to conceal our secrets", and "Hajj" really means "to visit our shaykhs", and "Jibreel" really refers to the "active intellect" and other such fabrications of theirs, they (the Ahl al-Kalaam) refuted them by saying, "This explanation (tafseer) is opposed to what is well-known by necessity in the religion of Islaam." So the Philosophers said to them, "You yourselves have rejected the uluww (aboveness in essence) of Allaah over His creation and His arising over His Throne, alongside the fact that it is mentioned in the [revealed] Books, upon the tongues of the Messengers, and the Muslims, all of them, and the people of other religions, are united regarding it. So how can our ta'weel (explanation) be a distortion?! And yet your ta'weel (of al-uluww) is correct?!" So not a single one of the Mutakallimin was able to answer this objection.
Much of the opposition to Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhaab came when he defended and promoted what the Salaf and the leading Imaams were upon in matters of creed in opposition to the Ahl al-Kalaam who had inherited the Hellenized conceptual tools of the Jews, Christians and Sabeans and had entered them into the speech about belief in Allaah, in particular His attributes. This was in addition to him calling to the pure monotheism preached by every Messenger from Nuh (Noah) to Ibrahim, to Moses, to Jesus, to Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).
In the above passage, Ibn Abd al-Wahhaab has pointed out one of the greatest of follies of the Ahl al-Kalaam and their disgraces in that they opened the door for the Mutafalsifah (al-Farabi, Ibn Sina) - those who were trying to merge the views of Aristotle and Plato with the Shariah texts - to apply the same approach of ta'weel (figurative interpretation) to the texts that relate to the commands and prohibitions which they, the Ahl al-Kalaam, had applied to the texts relating to Allaah's attributes. This matter has been illustrated in detail at Asharis.Com in this article:
- How the Philosophers Slapped the Ash'arites Into Intellectual Oblivion and Made Mockery of Their Intelligence: Between the Uluww of Allaah and the Qidam (Eternity) of Allaah - (see here)