You should know that Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Ash‘ari is the Imam of Ahl al-Sunna and at their forefront, followed by Shaykh Abu al-Mansur al-Maturidi. Know also – as some of our Shaykhs have mentioned to us, may Allah have mercy upon them – that the companions of al-Shafi‘i and his followers follow him (Abu al-Hasan) in matters of doctrine, and follow al-Shafi‘i in matters of law. The companions of Abu Hanifa follow Shaykh Abū al-Mansur in doctrine and follow Abu Hanifa in law. This is what our Shaykhs have imparted to us.
And we beseech Allah, the Exalted, asking Him to grant these two noble Imams a generous reward for what they have expended of sincere advice to the Muslims. We beseech Allah, the Exalted, asking Him to include us among those perform the actions of those granted Divine success: those who traverse the path of the rightly-guided and realized ones; by His largess, bounty, and generosity – Amen! There is no contention between the two Shaykhs and their followers except in twelve issues.