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Guide Muslim intellectual : a study of al-Ghazali

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According to biographer Duncan B. Macdonald, the purpose of abstaining from scholastic work was to confront the spiritual experience and more ordinary understanding of "the Word and the Traditions.

The seclusion consisted in abstaining from teaching at state-sponsored institutions, but he continued to publish, receive visitors and teach in the zawiya private madrasa and khanqah Sufi monastery that he had built. Al-Ghazali reluctantly capitulated in , fearing rightly that he and his teachings would meet with resistance and controversy. He died on 19 December According to 'Abd al-Ghafir al-Farisi, he had several daughters but no sons. Al-Ghazali contributed significantly to the development of a systematic view of Sufism and its integration and acceptance in mainstream Islam.

As a scholar of orthodox Islam, he belonged to the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence and to the Asharite school of theology. He is viewed [ by whom? However, he chose a slightly-different position in comparison with the Asharites.

His beliefs and thoughts differ in some aspects from the orthodox Asharite school. A total of about 60 works can be attributed to Al-Ghazali. His 11th century book titled The Incoherence of the Philosophers marks a major turn in Islamic epistemology. The encounter with skepticism led al-Ghazali to embrace a form of theological occasionalism , or the belief that all causal events and interactions are not the product of material conjunctions but rather the immediate and present Will of God.

STRENGTHENING THE CORE :: A Study of the Duties of Brotherhood by Imam Al-Ghazali – Part One

In the next century, Averroes drafted a lengthy rebuttal of al-Ghazali's Incoherence entitled The Incoherence of the Incoherence ; however, the epistemological course of Islamic thought had already been set. While it might seem as though a natural law was at work, it happened each and every time only because God willed it to happen—the event was "a direct product of divine intervention as any more attention grabbing miracle".

Further Reading on Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali

Averroes , by contrast insisted while God created the natural law, humans "could more usefully say that fire caused cotton to burn—because creation had a pattern that they could discern. The Incoherence also marked a turning point in Islamic philosophy in its vehement rejections of Aristotle and Plato.

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The book took aim at the falasifa , a loosely defined group of Islamic philosophers from the 8th through the 11th centuries most notable among them Avicenna and Al-Farabi who drew intellectually upon the Ancient Greeks. This long-held argument has been criticized. George Saliba in argued that the decline of science in the 11th century has been overstated, pointing to continuing advances, particularly in astronomy, as late as the 14th century. Though appreciating what was valid in the first two of these, at least, he determined that all three approaches were inadequate and found ultimate value only in the mystical experience and insight the state of prophecy or nubuwwa [ citation needed ] he attained as a result of following Sufi practices.

William James , in Varieties of Religious Experience , considered the autobiography an important document for "the purely literary student who would like to become acquainted with the inwardness of religions other than the Christian" because of the scarcity of recorded personal religious confessions and autobiographical literature from this period outside the Christian tradition.

It covers almost all fields of Islamic sciences: fiqh Islamic jurisprudence , kalam theology and sufism. The Ihya became the most frequently recited Islamic text after the Qur'an and the hadith. Its great achievement was to bring orthodox Sunni theology and Sufi mysticism together in a useful, comprehensive guide to every aspect of Muslim life and death. Ghazali rewrote The Revival of Religious Sciences in Persian to reach a larger audience; he published this book under the name The Alchemy of Happiness. After the existential crisis that caused him to completely re-examine his way of living and his approach to religion, Al-Ghazali put together The Alchemy of Happiness [46] to reassert his fundamental belief that a connection to God was an integral part of the joy of living.

The book is divided into four different sections. The first of these is Knowledge of Self , where Al-Ghazali asserts that while food, sex, and other indulgences might slake humans appetites temporarily, they in turn make a human into an animal, and therefore will never give true happiness and fulfillment. Here he states that the world is merely a place where humans learn to love God, and prepare for the future, or the afterlife, the nature of which will be determined by our actions in this phase of our journey to happiness [46].

The final section is Knowledge of the Future World, which details how there are two types of spirits within a man: the angelic spirit and the animal spirit. Al-Ghazali details the types of spiritual tortures unbelievers experience, as well as the path that must be taken in order to attain spiritual enlightenment [46]. This book serves as a culmination of the transformation Ghazali goes through during his spiritual awakening. The second chapter has a more specific focus: sexual satisfaction and gluttony. The ultimate goal that Ghazali is presenting not only in these two chapters, but in the entirety of The Revival of the Religious Sciences , is that there must be moderation in every aspect of the soul of a man, an equilibrium.

Al-Ghazali crafted his rebuttal of the Aristotelian viewpoint on the creation of the world in The Eternity of the World. Al-Ghazali essentially formulates two main arguments for what he views as a sacrilegious thought process.

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Central to the Aristotelian approach is the concept that motion will always precede motion, or in other words, a force will always create another force, and therefore for a force to be created, another force must act upon that force. Ghazali counters this by first stating that if the world was created with exact boundaries, then in its current form there would be no need for a time before the creation of the world by God. Ghazali veers from the often hardline stance of many of his contemporaries during this time period and states that as long as one believes in the Prophet Muhammad and God himself, there are many different ways to practice Islam and that any of the many traditions practiced in good faith by believers should not be viewed as heretical by other Muslims.

Al-Ghazali wrote most of his works in Arabic and few in Persian. It is one of the outstanding works of 11th-century-Persian literature. The book was published several times in Tehran by the edition of Hussain Khadev-jam, a renowned Iranian scholar. The language and the contents of some passages are similar to the Kimyaye Sa'adat.

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Imam al-Ghazali Research Papers - terszakhraloter.ml

The second part differs considerably in content and style from the well-known writings of al-Ghazali. The book was most probably written during the last years of his life. The introduction to the book relates that Al-Ghazali wrote the book in response to a certain king who had asked him for advice. Ay farzand O son!

The book was early translated to Arabic entitled ayyuhal walad.

Al-Ghazali's Crisis of 1095

Faza'ilul al-anam min rasa'ili hujjat al-Islam is the collection of letters in Persian that al-Ghazali wrote in response to the kings, ministers, jurists and some of his friends after he returned to Khorasan. The longest letter is the response to objections raised against some of his statements in Mishkat al-Anwar The Niche of Light and al-Munqidh min al-dalal Rescuer from Error. The first letter is the one which al-Ghazali wrote to Sultan Sanjar presenting his excuse for teaching in Nizamiyya of Nishapur ; followed by al-Ghazali's speech in the court of Sultan Sanjar. Al-Ghazali makes an impressive speech when he was taken to the king's court in Nishapur in , giving very influential counsels, asking the sultan once again for excusing him from teaching in Nizamiyya.

The sultan was so impressed that he ordered al-Ghazali to write down his speech so that it will be sent to all the ulemas of Khorasan and Iraq. During his life, he authored over 70 books on science, Islamic reasoning and Sufism. The experience that he had with suspicion drove al-Ghazali to shape a conviction that all occasions and connections are not the result of material conjunctions but are the present and prompt will of God. The work covers all fields of Islamic science and incorporates Islamic statute, philosophy and Sufism.

It had numerous positive reactions, and Al-Ghazali at that point composed a condensed form in Persian under the title Kimiya-yi sa'adat "The Alchemy of Happiness". Although al-Ghazali said that he has composed more than 70 books, attributed to him are more than books. Al-Ghazali likewise assumed a noteworthy part in spreading Sufism and Sharia.

He was the first to consolidate the ideas of Sufism into Sharia laws and the first to give a formal depiction of Sufism in his works. His works fortify the position of Sunni Islam, contrasted with different schools of thought. Al-Ghazali had an important influence on both later Muslim philosophers and Christian medieval philosophers. Then she emphasizes, "The greatest of these Christian writers who was influenced by al-Ghazali was St.

Thomas Aquinas — , who made a study of the Arabic writers and admitted his indebtedness to them, having studied at the University of Naples where the influence of Arab literature and culture was predominant at the time. The period following Ghazali "has tentatively been called the Golden Age of Arabic philosophy" initiated by Ghazali's successful integration of logic into the Islamic seminary Madrasah curriculum. Al-Ghazali also played a major role in integrating Sufism with Shariah. He was also the first to present a formal description of Sufism in his works.

His works also strengthened the status of Sunni Islam against other schools. The Batinite Ismailism had emerged in Persian territories and were gaining more and more power during al-Ghazali's period, as Nizam al-Mulk was assassinated by the members of Ismailis. Al-Ghazali strongly rejected their ideology and wrote several books on criticism of Baatinyas which significantly weakened their status.

Al-Ghazali succeeded in gaining widespread acceptance for Sufism at the expense of philosophy. His influences and impact on Sufism and Islam during the 11th century has been a subject of debate in contemporary times. Some fifty works that he had written is evidenced that he was one of the most important Islamic thinkers of his time.

After the death of Al-Ghazali, it is believed there followed a long era in which there was a notable absence of Islamic philosophers, contributing to the status of Ghazali in the modern era. The staple of his religious philosophy was arguing that the creator was the center point of all human life that played a direct role in all world affairs. Al-Ghazali's influence was not limited to Islam, but in fact his works were widely circulated among Christian and Hebrew scholars and philosophers. Some of the more notable philosophers and scholars in the west include David Hume, Dante, and St.

Thomas Aquinas. One of the more notable achievements of Ghazali were his writing and reform of education that laid the path of Islamic Education from the 12th to the 19th centuries CE. Al-Ghazali's works were heavily relied upon by Islamic mathematicians and astronomers such as At-Tusi. Early childhood development was a central focal point of Al-Ghazali. He worked to influence and develop a program to mold the young minds of children at an early age to develop their mind and character.

He stressed that socialization, family, and schools were central in the achievement of language, morality, and behavior. He emphasized incorporating physical fitness such as games that were important in the development of young minds to attract the idea of attending schools and maintaining an education. In addition, he stressed the importance of understanding and sharing cultures in the classrooms to achieve a civic harmony that would be expressed outside the classroom and kindness to one another.

In his writings he placed this responsibility upon the teachers. His treatise on early education centered on Islamic laws, God, and memorizing the Qur'an to achieve literary skill. Ghazali emphasized the importance that there should be a dual respect in regard to the teacher and the pupil. Whereas the teacher guides the student and takes the role of a father figure and offers council to the student, and the student respects the teacher as a patriarch. He stressed that the teacher needed to pay attention to the learning paces of his students so that he could help them be successful in academic achievements.