"Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali was born at Tus in
Persia in 450 A.H. (1058 A.D.) and died in the same city in 505
A.H. (1111 A.D.)"
He wasand continues to be a philosopher of note within
the Muslim world. Although his father died when he was
young, his guardians provided him with an education under the
esteemed theologian of his age, al-Juwayni, Imam al-Haramayn.
His keen intellectual talents were recognized. And, at the early age of thirty-three years old, he was appointed
university professor in Baghdad by the 'Abbasid vizier, Nizam
What makes his life and teachings especially
noteworthy is the impact that Greek philosophy had upon his
intellectual development. Several years after accepting
his professorship in Baghdad, his philosophic studies gave rise
to intense intellectual skepticism. Since he could not find satisfaction in skepticism, he was overcome with a deeply religious crisis
where he became entirely burdened with
the issue of his eternal destiny. This crisis gave rise
to psychosomatic symptoms; and, finally, he decided that he
must leave his professorship, so he could devote his life to seeking the
reward of paradise. He turned to the life of a
wandering ascetic, seeking religious reality in the practice of
Sufic mysticism. Towards the end of his life, he returned
to teaching. But now, he was devote religious philosophic
teacher who felt he had intellectual certitude in the reality
of Islamic Sufism.
Deliverance from Error (al-Munqidh min ad-Dalal) is a book authored
by al-Ghazali where he described his intellectual development and
journey to Sufic mysticism. Compared to other books,
this book gives
the most details of his life and most approximates an
The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidayah)
contains practical instructions for a Muslim who desires to
follow the pathway of Sufic mysticism.
The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahafut al-falasifa)
is a sustained attack upon Islamic speculative theology (kalaam)
and Greek philosophy (falasifa).
Last edited 04/02/2000
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