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Al-Ghazali (/ˈɡɑːzˌɑːli/;[14] full name Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī أبو حامد محمد بن محمد الغزالي; latinized Algazelus or Algazel, c. 1058 – 19 December 1111) was a medieval Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic[15][16] of Persian origin.[17][18][19]

Al-Ghazali was a Sufi, and is credited with having initiated a rapprochement between Islamic orthodoxy and Sufi tradition. His religious apologetic work Tahāfut al-Falāsifa ("Incoherence of the Philosophers") favors Muslim faith over philosophy and was extremely influential in turning medieval Muslim thought away from Aristotelianism, philosophical debate and theological speculation, leading to the eventual defeat of the rational Persian Mutazilite by the dogmatic Sunni Asharite school of theological belief. Within Islamic myth he is considered to be a Mujaddid or renewer of the faith, who, according to the prophetic hadith, appears once every century to restore the faith of the ummah ("the Islamic Community").[20][21][22] His works were so highly acclaimed by his contemporaries that al-Ghazali was awarded the honorific title "Proof of Islam" (Hujjat al-Islam).[1]

Al-Ghazālī (Algazel)
أبو حامد الغزالي
Al-Ghazālī in Arabic calligraphy
Title Hujjat ul-Islam (honorific)[1]
Born Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ġaz(z)ālī
1058 CE
Tus, Greater Khorasan, Seljuq Empire
Died 19 December 1111 (aged 53)
Tus, Greater Khorasan, Seljuq Empire
Era Islamic Golden Age

Great Seljuq Empire (Nishapur)[2]:292
Abbasid Caliphate (Baghdad) / (Jerusalem) / (Damascus)

Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni[3][4]
Jurisprudence Shafiʿi
Creed Ashʿari[5][6]
Main interest(s) Sufism, theology (kalam), philosophy, logic, Islamic jurisprudence
Notable work(s) The Revival of Religious Sciences, The Aims of the Philosophers, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, The Alchemy of Happiness, The Moderation in Belief, On Legal theory of Muslim Jurisprudence


The believed date of al-Ghazali's birth, as given by Ibn al-Jawzi, is AH 450 (1058/9). Modern estimates place it at AH 448 (1056/7), on the basis of certain statements in al-Ghazali's correspondence and autobiography.[23]:23–25

He was born in Tabaran, a town in the district of Tus, Khorasan (today part of Iran).[23]:25 A posthumous tradition—the authenticity of which has been questioned in recent scholarship—tells that his father, a man "of Persian descent",[24] died in poverty and left the young al-Ghazali and his brother Ahmad to the care of a Sufi. Al-Ghazali's contemporary and first biographer, 'Abd al-Ghafir al-Farisi, records merely that al-Ghazali began to receive instruction in fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) from Ahmad al-Radhakani, a local teacher.[23]:26–27

He later studied under al-Juwayni, the distinguished jurist and theologian and "the most outstanding Muslim scholar of his time",[23]:29in Nishapur, perhaps after a period of study in Gurgan. After al-Juwayni's death in 1085, al-Ghazali departed from Nishapur and joined the court of Nizam al-Mulk, the powerful vizier of the Seljuq sultans, which was likely centered in Isfahan. After bestowing upon him the titles of "Brilliance of the Religion" and "Eminence among the Religious Leaders", Nizam al-Mulk advanced al-Ghazali in July 1091 to the "most prestigious and most challenging" professorial at the time, in the Nizamiyya madrasa in Baghdad.[23]:34

He underwent a spiritual crisis in 1095, and consequently abandoned his career and left Baghdad on the pretext of going on pilgrimage to Mecca. Making arrangements for his family, he disposed of his wealth and adopted an ascetic lifestyle. 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".[25] After some time in Damascus and Jerusalem, with a visit to Medina and Mecca in 1096, he returned to Tus to spend the next several years in 'uzla (seclusion). This seclusion consisted in abstaining from teaching at state-sponsored institutions, though he continued to publish, to receive visitors, and to teach in the zawiya (private madrasa) and khanqah (Sufi monastery) that he had built.

Fakhr al-Mulk, grand vizier to Ahmad Sanjar, pressed al-Ghazali to return to the Nizamiyya in Nishapur; al-Ghazali reluctantly capitulated in 1106, fearing (rightly) that he and his teachings would meet with resistance and controversy.[23]:53–4 He later returned to Tus, and declined an invitation in 1110 from the grand vizier of Muhammad I to return to Baghdad. He died on 19 December 1111. According to 'Abd al-Ghafir al-Farisi he had several daughters, but no sons.[23]:57–59

School affiliations

Al-Ghazali contributed significantly to the development of a systematic view of Sufism and to 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.[26] Al-Ghazali received many titles such as Sharaf-ul-Aʾimma (شرف الأئمة), Zayn-ud-dīn (زين الدين), Ḥujjat-ul-Islām (حجة الإسلام).

He is viewed as the key member of the influential Asharite school of early Muslim philosophy and as the most important refuter of the Mutazilites. 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.[26]


Haruniyah (هارونیه) structure in Tus, Iran, named after Harun al-Rashid, the mausoleum of Al-Ghazali is thought to be situated at the entrance of this monument

A total of about 60 works can be attributed to Al-Ghazali.[27]

Incoherence of the Philosophers

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.

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.[28] Al-Ghazali gave as an example of the illusion of independent laws of cause the fact that cotton burns when coming into contact with fire. 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". Averroes, by contrast insisted while God created the natural law, humans "could more usefully say that fire cause cotton to burn—because creation had a pattern that they could discern."[29] [30][31]

The Incoherence also marked a turning point in Islamic philosophy in its vehement rejections of Aristotle and Plato. 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 2007 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.[32] On the other hand, Hassan Hassan in 2012 argued that while indeed scientific thought in Islam was stifled in the 11th century, the person mostly to blame is not Al-Ghazali but Nizam al-Mulk.[33]


Munqidh min al-dalal (last page)
Last page of Al-Ghazali's autobiography in MS Istanbul, Shehid Ali Pasha 1712, dated AH 509 (AD 1115-1116).

The autobiography al-Ghazali wrote towards the end of his life, Deliverance From Error (المنقذ من الضلال al-munqidh min al-ḍalāl) is considered a work of major importance.[24] In it, al-Ghazali recounts how, once a crisis of epistemological skepticism was resolved by "a light which God Most High cast into my breast ... the key to most knowledge,"[34]:66 he studied and mastered the arguments of kalam, Islamic philosophy, and Ismailism. 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) 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.[35]:307

The Revival of Religious Sciences

Another of al-Ghazali's major works is Ihya' Ulum al-Din or Ihya'u Ulumiddin (The Revival of Religious Sciences). It covers almost all fields of Islamic sciences: fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), kalam (theology) and sufism.

It contains four major sections: Acts of worship (Rub' al-'ibadat), Norms of Daily Life (Rub' al-'adatat), The ways to Perdition (Rub' al-muhlikat) and The Ways to Salvation (Rub' al-munjiyat). 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.[36] The book was well received by Islamic scholars such as Nawawi who stated that: "Were the books of Islam all to be lost, excepting only the Ihya', it would suffice to replace them all."[37]

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.

Works in Persian

Al-Ghazali wrote most of his works in Arabic and few in Persian. His most important Persian work is Kīmyāyé Sa'ādat (The Alchemy of Happiness). It is al-Ghazali's own Persian version of Ihya'ul ulumuddin (The Revival of Religious Sciences) in Arabic, but a shorter work. 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. It is translated to English, Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, Azerbaijani and other languages.[38]

Apart from Kimya, the most celebrated of al-Ghazali's works in Persian is 'Nasīhatul Mulūk (The Counseling Kings), written most probably for Sultan Ahmad Sanjar ibn Malekshah. In the edition published by Jalāluddīn Humāyī, the book consists of two parts of which only the first can reliably be attributed to al-Ghazali. The language and the contents of some passages are similar to the Kimyaye Sa'adat. The second part differs considerably in content and style from the well-known writings of al-Ghazali. It contains the stories of pre-Islamic kings of Persia, especially those of Anoshervān. Nasihatul Muluk was early translated to Arabic under the title al-Tibr al-masbuk fi nasihat al-muluk (The Forged Sword in Counseling Kings).

Zād-e Ākherat (Provision for the hereafter) is an important Persian book of al-Ghazali but gained less scholarly attention. The greater part of it consists of the Persian translation of one of his Arabic books, Bedāyat al-Hedāya (Beginning of Guidance). It contains in addition the same contents as the Kīmyāyé Sa'ādat. The book was most probably written during the last years of his life. Its manuscripts are in Kabul (Library of the Department of Press) and in Leiden.

Pand-nāma (Book of Counsel) is another book of advice and probably attributed to Sultan Sanjar. 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!) is a short book of counsel that al-Ghazali wrote for one of his students. The book was early translated to Arabic entitled ayyuhal walad. Another Persian work is Hamāqāti ahli ibāhat or Raddi ebāhīyya (Condemnation of antinomians) which is his fatwa in Persian illustrated with Quranic verses and Hadiths.

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 collection was gathered by one of his grandchildren after his death, under five sections/chapters. 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 1106, 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.


Al-Ghazali had an important influence on both later Muslim philosophers and Christian medieval philosophers. Margaret Smith writes in her book Al-Ghazali: The Mystic (London 1944): "There can be no doubt that al-Ghazali’s works would be among the first to attract the attention of these European scholars" (page 220). Then she emphasizes, "The greatest of these Christian writers who was influenced by al-Ghazali was St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), 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." In addition, Aquinas' interest in Islamic studies could be attributed to the infiltration of ‘Latin Averroism’ in the 13th century, especially at the University of Paris.

The period following Ghazali has "has tentatively been called the Golden Age of Arabic philosophy" initiated by Ghazali's successful integration of logic into the Islamic seminary Madrasah curriculum.[39]

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.[40] At the same time, in his refutation of philosophers he made use of their philosophical categories and thus helped to give them wider circulation.[40]

His reforms are widely seen as having initiated the decline of scientific research in the Islamic world. Against this view, Saliba (2007) has given a number of examples especially of astronomical research flourishing after the time of al-Ghazali.[32]


Al-Ghazali had mentioned the number of his works "more than 70", in one of his letters to Sultan Sanjar in the late years of his life. Some "five dozen" are plausibly identifiable, while several hundred attributed works, many of them dublicates due to varying titles, are doubtful or spurious. The tradition of falsely attributing works to Al-Ghazali increased in the 13th century, after the dissemination of the large corpus of works by Ibn Arabi.[27] Bibliographies have been published by William Montgomery Watt (The works attributed to Al-Ghazali), Maurice Bouyges (Essai de chronologie des oeuvres d'Al-Ghazali) and others.

Abdel Rahman Badawi prepared a comprehensive bibliography of all works attributed to Al-Ghazali, with a total of 457 entries:

  • 1–72: works definitely written by al-Ghazali
  • 73–95: works of doubtful attribution
  • 96–127: works which are not those of al-Ghazali with most certainty
  • 128–224: are the names of the Chapters or Sections of al-Ghazali's books that are mistakenly thought books of his
  • 225–273: books written by other authors regarding al-Ghazali's works
  • 274–389: books of other unknown scholars/writers regarding al-Ghazali's life and personality
  • 389–457: the name of the manuscripts of al-Ghazali's works in different libraries of the world

The following is a short list of his major works:




  • Maqasid al falasifa (Aims of the Philosophers) [written in the beginning of his life, in favour of philosophy and presenting the basic theories in Philosophy, mostly influenced by Avicenna's works]
  • Tahafut al-Falasifa (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), [in this book he refutes the Greek Philosophy aiming at Avicenna and Al-Farabi; and of which Ibn Rushd wrote his famous refutation Tahafut al-tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence)]
  • Miyar al-Ilm fi fan al-Mantiq (Criterion of Knowledge in the Art of Logic)
  • Mihak al-Nazar fi al-mantiq (Touchstone of Reasoning in Logic)
  • al-Qistas al-mustaqim (The Correct Balance)


  • Fatawy al-Ghazali (Verdicts of al-Ghazali)
  • Al-wasit fi al-mathab (The medium [digest] in the Jurisprudential school)
  • Kitab tahzib al-Isul (Prunning on Legal Theory)
  • al-Mustasfa fi 'ilm al-isul (The Clarified in Legal Theory)
  • Asas al-Qiyas (Foundation of Analogical reasoning)
  • The Jerusalem Tract.[42]:29

Reception of his work

According to William Montgomery Watt, Al-Ghazali considered himself to be the Mujaddid (Revivier) of his age. Many, perhaps most, later Muslims concurred and according to Watt, some have even considered him to be the greatest Muslim after the Prophet Muhammad.[43]

As an example, the Islamic scholar al-Safadi states:

Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad, the Proof of Islam, Ornament of the Faith, Abu Hamid al-Tusi (al-Ghazali) the Shafi'ite jurist, was in his later years without rival[44]

and the jurist, al-Yafi'i stated that:

He was called The Proof of Islam and undoubtedly was worthy of the name, absolutely trustworthy (in respect of the Faith) How many an epitome (has he given) us setting forth the basic principles of religion: how much that was repetitive has he summarised, and epitomised what was lengthy. How many a simple explanation has he given us of what was hard to fathom, with brief elucidation and clear solution of knotty problems. He used moderation, being quiet but decisive in silencing an adversary, though his words were like a sharp sword-thrust in refuting a slanderer and protecting the high-road of guidance.[45]

The Shafi'i jurist al-Subki stated that:

"If there had been a prophet after Muhammad, al-Ghazali would have been the man".[46][47]

Also a widely considered Sunni scholar Al Dhahabi in wrote praise of Al Ghazali: “Al-Ghazzaali, the imaam and shaykh, the prominent scholar, Hujjat al-Islam, the wonder of his time, Zayn al-Deem Abu Haamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Toosi al-Shaafa’i al-Ghazzaali, the author of many books and one possessed of utter intelligence. He studied fiqh in his own town, then he moved to Nisapur in the company of a group of students. He stayed with the Imaam al-Haramayn and gained a deep knowledge of fiqh within a short period. He became well-versed in ‘ilm al-kalaam and debate, until he became the best of debater.”[48]

Ibn Rushd (Averroes), a rationalist, famously responded that "to say that philosophers are incoherent is itself to make an incoherent statement." Rushd's book, The Incoherence of the Incoherence, attempted to refute al-Ghazali's views, though the work was not well received in the Muslim community.[49]

According to Firas Alkhateeb: "When one reads Imam al-Ghazali’s works at a very superficial level, one can easily misunderstand what he is saying as anti-scientific in general. The truth, however, is that al-Ghazali’s only warning to students is to not fully accept all the beliefs and ideas of a scholar simply because of his achievements in mathematics and science. By issuing such a warning, al-Ghazali is in fact protecting the scientific enterprise for future generations by insulating it from being mixed with theoretical philosophy that could eventually dilute science itself to a field based on conjecture and reasoning alone."[50]

See also


  1. ^ a b Hunt Janin, The Pursuit of Learning in the Islamic World, p. 83. ISBN 0786419547
  2. ^ a b Griffel, Frank (2006). Meri, Josef W., ed. Medieval Islamic civilization : an encyclopedia. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415966906.
  3. ^ Meri, Josef W.; Bacharach, Jere L. (2006). Medieval Islamic Civilization: A-K. Taylor and Francis. p. 293. ISBN 0415966914.
  4. ^ Böwering, Gerhard; Crone, Patricia (2013). The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Princeton University Press. p. 191. ISBN 0691134847. Ghazali (ca. 1058–1111) Abu Hamid Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Ghazali al-Tusi (the “Proof of Islam”) is the most renowned Sunni theologian of the Seljuq period (1038–1194).
  5. ^ A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2009). Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Foundations of Islam). Oneworld Publications. p. 179. ISBN 978-1851686636.
  6. ^ Leaman, Oliver (2006). The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 84. ISBN 0415326397.
  7. ^ Frank Griffel, Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology, p. 77. ISBN 0199724725
  8. ^ Frank Griffel, Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology, p 75. ISBN 0199724725
  9. ^ Andrew Rippin, The Blackwell Companion to the Qur'an, p 410. ISBN 1405178442
  10. ^ Frank Griffel, Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology, p 76. ISBN 0199724725
  11. ^ The Influence of Islamic Thought on Maimonides Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, June 30, 2005
  12. ^ Karin Heinrichs, Fritz Oser, Terence Lovat, Handbook of Moral Motivation: Theories, Models, Applications, p 257. ISBN 9462092753
  13. ^ Muslim Philosophy Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine., Islamic Contributions to Science & Math,
  14. ^ "Ghazali". Collins English Dictionary.
  15. ^ "Ghazali, al-". The Columbia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  16. ^ Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.109. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  17. ^, « Persian polymath Al-Ghazali published several treatises... »
  18. ^, « Al-Ghazali est né en 450 de l’Hégire, soit 1058 de l’ère chrétienne, dans la ville de Tus (Khorassan) ou dans un des villages avoisinants, au sein d’une famille persane de condition modeste... »
  19. ^, « A native of Khorassan, of Persian origin, the Muslim theologian, sufi mystic, and philosopher Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali is one of the great figures of Islamic religious thought... »
  20. ^ Jane I. Smith, Islam in America, p. 36. ISBN 0231519990
  21. ^ Dhahabi, Siyar, 4.566
  22. ^ Willard Gurdon Oxtoby, Oxford University Press, 1996, p 421
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Griffel, Frank (2009). Al-Ghazālī's Philosophical Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195331622.
  24. ^ a b Böwering, Gerhard. "ḠAZĀLĪ". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  25. ^ Nicholson, Reynold Alleyne. (1966). "A literary history of the Arabs". London: Cambridge University Press. p. 382.
  26. ^ a b R.M. Frank, Al-Ghazali and the Ashʿarite School, Duke University Press, London 1994
  27. ^ a b "about five dozen authentic works, in addition to which some 300 other titles of works of uncertain, doubtful, or spurious authorship, many of them duplicates owing to varying titles, are cited in Muslim bibliographical literature. [...] Already Ebn Ṭofayl (d. 581/1185, q.v.) observed that Ḡazālī wrote for different audiences, ordinary men and the elite (pp. 69-72), and Ḡazālī himself completed the rather moderate theological treatise, Eljām al-ʿawāmmʿan ʿelm al-kalām “The restraining of ordinary men from theology,” in the last month before his death" Encyclopedia Iranica.
  28. ^ Craig, William Lane (2001). The cosmological argument from Plato to Leibniz. Eugene, OR.: Wipf and Stock. p. 89. ISBN 978-1579107871.
  29. ^ Kadri, Sadakat (2012). Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia . macmillan. pp. 118–9. ISBN 9780099523277.
  30. ^ For al-Ghazali's argument see The Incoherence of the Philosophers. Translated by Michael E. Marmura. 2nd ed, Provo Utah, 2000, pp.116-7.
  31. ^ For Ibn Rushd's response, see Khalid, Muhammad A. ed. Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings, Cambridge UK, 2005, p.162)
  32. ^ a b "Many orientalists argue that Ghazali's Tahafut is responsible for the age of decline in science in the Muslim World. This is their key thesis as they attempt to explain the scientific and intellectual history of the Islamic world. It seems to be the most widely accepted view on the matter not only in the Western world but in the Muslim world as well. George Saliba, a Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University who specializes in the development of astronomy within Islamic civilization, calls this view the "classical narrative" (Saliba, 2007)." Aydin, Nuh. "Did al-Ghazali kill the science in Islam?". Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  33. ^ Hasan Hasan, How the decline of Muslim scientific thought still haunts, The National, 9 February 2012.
  34. ^ McCarthy, Richard Joseph (1980). Freedom and fulfillment: "al-Munqidh min al-Dalal" and other relevant works. Boston: Twayne. ISBN 0805781676.
  35. ^ James, William (2012). Bradley, Matthew, ed. The Varieties of Religious Experience. Oxford Univ Press. ISBN 9780199691647.
  36. ^ Hunt Janin, The Pursuit of Learning in the Islamic World 610-2003, p 83. ISBN 0786429046
  37. ^ Joseph E. B. Lumbard, Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition: Essays by Western Muslim Scholars, p. 291. ISBN 0941532607
  38. ^ Translated into English by Mohammed Asim Bilal and available at
  39. ^ "Ghazâlî had successfully introduced logic into the madrasa (though it was studied in other venues as well (Endress 2006)). What happened to it after this time was the result of the activities of logicians much more gifted than Ghazâlî. This period has tentatively been called the Golden Age of Arabic philosophy (Gutas 2002). It is in this period, and especially in the thirteenth century, that the major changes in the coverage and structure of Avicennan logic were introduced; these changes were mainly introduced in free-standing treatises on logic. It has been observed that the thirteenth century was the time that “doing logic in Arabic was thoroughly disconnected from textual exegesis, perhaps more so than at any time before or since” (El-Rouayheb 2010b: 48–49). Many of the major textbooks for teaching logic in later centuries come from this period. [...] For all his historical importance in the process of introducing logic into the madrasa, the logic that Ghazâlî defended was too dilute to be recognizably Farabian or Avicennan." Tony Street (July 23, 2008). "Arabic and Islamic Philosophy of Language and Logic". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
  40. ^ a b Sells, Michael Anthony (1996). Early Islamic Mysticism: Sufi, Qurʼan, Miraj, Poetic and Theological Writings. New York: Paulist. ISBN 9780809136193.
  41. ^ "The Mishkat al-Anwar of al-Ghazzali Index".
  42. ^ At the insistence of his students in Jerusalem, al-Ghazali wrote a concise exposition of Islam Khalidi, Walid; Khalidi, commentary by Walid (1984). Before their diaspora : a photographic history of the Palestinians, 1876-1948. Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0887281435.
  43. ^ William Montgomery Watt, Al-Ghazali: The Muslim Intellectual, p. 180. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1963.
  44. ^ al-Wafa bi'l wafayat, p. 274 - 277. Also see Tabaqat al-Shafiyya, subki, 4, 101.
  45. ^ Margaret Smith, Al-Ghazali, The Mystic, p. 47
  46. ^ Tabaqat al-Shafi’iyyah al-Kubra, Cairo, 1324/1906, Vol. IV, p. 101
  47. ^ Margaret Smith, Al-Ghazali, The Mystic, p. 48
  48. ^ Al-Dhahabi. Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’. 9. Lebanon: Dar Al-Hadith. p. 323.
  49. ^ Menocal, Maria Rosa (29 November 2009). "The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain". Little, Brown – via Google Books.
  50. ^ "Al-Ghazali and the Revival of Islamic Scholarship". 22 May 2013.


  • Haque, Amber (2004), "Psychology from Islamic perspective: contributions of early Muslim scholars and challenges to contemporary Muslim psychologists", Journal of Religion & Health, 43 (4): 357–377, doi:10.1007/s10943-004-4302-z
  • Savage-Smith, Emilie (1995), "Attitudes toward dissection in medieval Islam", Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 50 (1): 67–110, doi:10.1093/jhmas/50.1.67, PMID 7876530

Further reading

  • Macdonald, Duncan B. (1899) 'The life of al-Ghazzali', in Journal of the American Oriental Society. 20, p. 122 sqq.
  • Laoust, H: La politique de Gazali, Paris 1970
  • Campanini, M.: Al-Ghazzali, in S.H. Nasr and O. Leaman, History of Islamic Philosophy 1996
  • Campanini, Massimo, Ghazali, in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 1610691776
  • Watt, W. M.: Muslim Intellectual: A Study of al-Ghazali, Edinburgh 1963
  • Zwemer, S. M. A Moslem Seeker after God, New York 1920
  • Nakamura, K. Al-Ghazali, Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Dougan, A. The Glimpse. A study of the inner teaching of the Mishkat al-Alwar (The Niche for Lights) by Abdullah Dougan ISBN 0-9597566-6-3
  • A comparison between the philosophy of Ghazali and the Copenhagen Interpretation: Harding, Karen (1993). "'Causality Then and Now: al-Ghazali and Quantum Theory'" (PDF). American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. 1 (2): 165–177. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-04.
  • Watt, W. Montgomery (1953). The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd.

External links

Early Islamic scholars
Muhammad (570–632) prepared the Constitution of Medina, taught the Quran, and advised his companions
`Abd Allah bin Masud (died 650) taught Ali (607-661) fourth caliph taught Aisha, Muhammad's wife and Abu Bakr's daughter taught Abd Allah ibn Abbas (618-687) taught Zayd ibn Thabit (610-660) taught Umar (579-644) second caliph taught Abu Hurairah (603 – 681) taught
Alqama ibn Qays (died 681) taught
Husayn ibn Ali (626–680) taught Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (657-725) taught and raised by Aisha Urwah ibn Zubayr (died 713) taught by Aisha, he then taught Said ibn al-Musayyib (637-715) taught Abdullah ibn Umar (614-693) taught Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (624-692) taught by Aisha, he then taught
Ibrahim al-Nakha’i taught
Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin (659–712) taught
Hisham ibn Urwah (667-772) taught Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (died 741) taught Salim ibn Abd-Allah ibn Umar taught Umar ibn Abdul Aziz (682-720) raised and taught by Abdullah ibn Umar
Hammad bin ibi Sulman taught
Muhammad al-Baqir (676-733) taught Farwah bint al-Qasim Abu Bakr's great grand daughter Jafar's mother
Abu Hanifa (699 — 767) wrote Al Fiqh Al Akbar and Kitab Al-Athar, jurisprudence followed by Sunni, Sunni Sufi, Barelvi, Deobandi, Zaidiyyah Shia and originally by the Fatimid and taught Zayd ibn Ali (695-740) Ja'far bin Muhammad Al-Baqir (702–765) Ali's and Abu Bakr's great great grand son taught Malik ibn Anas (711 – 795) wrote Muwatta, jurisprudence from early Medina period now mostly followed by Sunni in Africa and taught
Al-Waqidi (748 – 822) wrote history books like Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, student of Malik ibn Anas Abu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 829) wrote biographies and history books, student of Malik ibn Anas
Abu Yusuf (729-798) wrote Usul al-fiqh Muhammad al-Shaybani (749–805)
Al-Shafi‘i (767—820) wrote Al-Risala, jurisprudence followed by Sunni and taught Ismail ibn Ibrahim
Ali ibn al-Madini (778–849) wrote The Book of Knowledge of the Companions
Ibn Hisham (died 833) wrote early history and As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Muhammad's biography
Isma'il ibn Jafar (719-775) Musa al-Kadhim (745-799)
Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780—855) wrote Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal jurisprudence followed by Sunni and hadith books Muhammad al-Bukhari (810-870) wrote Sahih al-Bukhari hadith books Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (815-875) wrote Sahih Muslim hadith books Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi (824-892) wrote Jami` at-Tirmidhi hadith books Al-Baladhuri (died 892) wrote early history Futuh al-Buldan, Genealogies of the Nobles
Ibn Majah (824- 887) wrote Sunan ibn Majah hadith book
Abu Dawood (817–889) wrote Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith Book
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni (864- 941) wrote Kitab al-Kafi hadith book followed by Twelver Shia
Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923) wrote History of the Prophets and Kings, Tafsir al-Tabari
Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (874–936) wrote Maqālāt al-islāmīyīn, Kitāb al-luma, Kitāb al-ibāna 'an usūl al-diyāna
Ibn Babawayh (923-991) wrote Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih jurisprudence followed by Twelver Shia
Sharif Razi (930-977) wrote Nahj al-Balagha followed by Twelver Shia
Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-1274) wrote jurisprudence books followed by Ismaili and Twelver Shia
Al-Ghazali (1058–1111) wrote The Niche for Lights, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, The Alchemy of Happiness on Sufism
Rumi (1207-1273) wrote Masnavi, Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi on Sufism
Key: Some of Muhammad's Companions Key: Taught in Medina Key: Taught in Iraq Key: Worked in Syria Key: Travelled extensively collecting the sayings of Muhammad and compiled books of hadith Key: Worked in Iran

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