Are al-Ash`ariyyah sect from the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa`ah?

Question 522: Does Al-Ash`ariyyah group (a Muslim group that bases issues of faith on logic) belong to Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream)?

Answer: Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa`ah are defined as those who hold fast to the Book of Allaah, the Exalted, the Sunnah of their Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regarding all their `Aqeedah (beliefs) and Islamic principles. They never oppose the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah for rational argumentation or personal preference; rather, they stick to the principles of Eemaan (belief) and pillars of Islaam observed by the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet). They are represented in the leading guides and callers to goodness and success, such as Al-Hasan Al-Basree, Sa`eed ibn Al-Musayyib, Mujaahid, Aboo Haneefah, Maalik, Al-Shaafi`ee, Al-Awzaa`ee, Ahmad, Al-Bukhaaree and those who took their path and followed their example by promoting their `Aqeedah and way of seeking more here.