There are three types of people that are against the honorable science of Kalaam: complete heretics, some deviant innovators, and imitators of literalists that associate themselves with Islam:
As for the heretics, one would expect nothing less from them, since they have no one to expose their blemishes and blind imitation of habits other than the specialists in Kalaam. Indeed, it has been said:
كل العداوات قد ترجى مودتها … إلا عداوة من عاداك في الدين
All enmities are hoped to turn to affections
Except the enmity of religious inclinations
As for the innovators, especially the Muˆtazilah and those who deny predestination, they did not generally reject Kalaam as a scientific field, but engaged in it. They were only against Sunni Kalaam.
As for the literalists, they are of three kinds:
1- Those who say Kalaam has no basis in the religion because neither the Prophet nor the companions engaged in it. They also argue based on misguided interpretations of certain statements in the Qur’aan or in hadith narrations. This group (of literalists) is the most harmful to the common people among all groups against Sunni Kalaam. This is because they appear to (but not actually) find justification in the religion itself for their objections and convince people of their misguided interpretations.
2- Those that believe that the science of Kalaam is the foundation of the religious sciences, but do not admit it because unlike some others they did not try to learn it, or tried but were unable to master it. Hence, they become against it out of arrogance and envy.
3- Foolish imitators who follow one of the groups mentioned.
With regard to the first type of literalists, it is in fact known that there are no authentic narrations from the great scholars that attack or speak against this knowledge or science. And how can someone who claims to be a Muslim object to a science which:
- Establishes and proves that Allaah is One and has attributes of complete perfection and refutes that Allaah has any flaws and declares Him clear of the wrong ideas that the deviants and blasphemers ascribe to Him?
- Proves and affirms Prophethood based on miracles and on the same bases shows the difference between a prophet and a liar?
- Establishes what an accountable person is accountable for, and when and how?
What trace of belief is left in someone who objects to this science and encourages people to avoid it?
Source: Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Ali ibn Ahmad As-Sabtiyy (614/1217), Maktabah Al-Thaqaafah Al-Deeniyah, 2008, p. 25-26