The first Sunni of the generation following the companions to engage in Kalaam debates was Umar ibn Abdul Aziz,
The Khalifah and great scholar. He is counted as the fifth righteous Khalifah after the first four. He was born in 61 h. and died in 101 h. – may Allah reward him. He became Khalifah in 99 h., and during his short rule peace and justice quickly spread. He forbade cussing Ali ibn Abi Talib, which had become a habit of speakers in the Masjids of the day. It is said that he died from being poisoned. (Source: Al A`laam.)
he wrote an eloquent letter against the ideas of the Qadariyyah sect. After him came Zayd ibn Ali ibn Al Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Zayd ibn Ali ibn Al Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son of Zayn al Abideen. One of the greatest scholars of all time and grandson of Al Husayn, the Prophet’s grandson. He rebelled against the Umawi king Hisham ibn Abdul Malik, was killed, crucified, beheaded and burned. He was the one that named those Shi’ites that reject Abu Bakr and Umar as “Al Raafidah” – The Rejectors. They came to him offering their support in his rebellion if he would disavow Abu Bakr and Umar, but he said, “Rather I ally myself with them and disavow those who disavow them.” They responded, “Then we refuse you.” From this came the name of the sect. (Source: Al Waafi bi-l-Wafayaat.)
He wrote a book rejecting the Qadariyyah sect based on proofs from the Quran. Then came Al Hasan Al Basri,
Al Hasan Al Basri is one of the greatest of the Taabiˆiin, the students of the Prophet’s companions. He was the leader of the scholars in Basrah. He was eloquent, brave, ascetic and a master of fiqh. (Source: Al A`laam.)
whom the Qadariyyah claimed as one of them. How can that be right, however, when in fact he wrote a letter to Umar ibn Abdul Aziz showing their faults, and chased their leader Wasil away from his teaching sessions when he showed his deviations?
After him came Ash-Sha`bi, who was among the toughest opponents of the Qadariyyah, and then Al Zuhri. The latter was the one that gave Abdul Malik ibn Marwan the fatwa that the blood of the Qadariyyah should be shed.
Following this generation came Ja`far ibn Muhammad Al Saadiq, who authored a book refuting the ideas of the Qadariyyah and another refuting those of the Khawarij. He also wrote an article against the extremists of the Shi’ites. He is the one that said, “The Mu`tazilites wanted to declare the Oneness of Allah, but committed apostasy. They also wanted to declare Allah just, but ended up attributing to Him stinginess.”
Translation and Commentary by Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji