Al- Ghazali's Philosophical Theology by Frank Griffel

By Frank Griffel

The Muslim philosopher al-Ghaz=al=i (d. 1111) used to be probably the most influential theologians and philosophers of Islam and has been thought of an expert in either Western and Islamic philosophical traditions. Born in northeastern Iran, he held the main prestigious educational publish in Islamic theology in Baghdad, merely to give up the location and educate at small colleges within the provinces for no funds. His contributions to Islamic scholarship variety from responding to the demanding situations of Aristotelian philosophy to making a brand new form of Islamic mysticism and integrating either those traditions-falsafa and Sufism-into the Sunni mainstream. This e-book bargains a finished research of al-Ghaz=al=i's existence and his realizing of cosmology-how God creates issues and occasions on this planet, how human acts relate to God's energy, and the way the universe is based. Frank Griffel bargains a significant revision of conventional perspectives on al-Ghaz=al=i, displaying that his most crucial success was once the production of a brand new rationalist theology during which he reworked the Aristotelian perspectives of thinkers akin to Avicenna to accord with highbrow currents that have been well-established inside Muslim theological discourse. utilizing the main authoritative resources, together with reviews from al-Ghaz=al=i's scholars, his contemporaries, and his personal letters, Griffel reconstructs each level in a turbulent occupation. The al-Ghaz=al=i that emerges bargains many surprises, rather on his reasons for leaving Baghdad and the character of his "seclusion" afterwards. Griffel demonstrates that al-Ghaz=al=i meant to create a brand new cosmology that moved clear of issues held past via Muslim theologians and Arab philosophers. This new theology aimed to supply a framework for the pursuit of the traditional sciences and a foundation for Islamic technology and philosophy to flourish past the twelfth century. Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology is the main thorough exam so far of this crucial philosopher.

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Ibn Sı¯na¯ . al-Naja¯ t, edition Sabrı . ¯ al-Kurdı¯ 1938 / edition Da¯nishpazh¯uh 1985. ———. al-Ta ¯¶lı qa¯ t, edition Badawı¯ 1973 / edition al- ¶Ubaydı¯ 2002. ¯ ¯ ,7 edition Ziriklı¯ 1928 / Da¯r Sa Rasa¯ 7il Ikhwa¯n al-safa . ¯ dir edition, Beirut. This page intentionally left blank 1 A Life between Public and Private Instruction Al-Ghaza¯lı¯’s Biography In the West, al-Ghaza¯lı¯’s life has frequently attracted more attention than his teachings. Every student of Islamic studies knows that at the peak of his career, al-Ghaza¯ lı¯ left his prominent teaching position and became a Sufi.

85 The Niz. a¯miyya madrasa in Nishapur became the cradle of Avicenna’s lasting influence on Ash ¶arite theology. For the young al-Ghaza¯lı¯, plunging into this sea of knowledge must have been an unforgettable moment, one he still vividly remembered forty years later in his conversation with Sanjar. In 2003, Jules Janssens suggested that there was a period in the life of the young alGhaza¯lı¯ when he was an adept of the philosophical school and a follower of Avicenna. 86 None of al-Ghaza¯lı¯’s biographers mentions such a period.

They are free from restraint in their pursuit of the vanities of this world. They eat what is forbidden, follow their passions, and are eager for fame, wealth, and worldly success. When they meet pious people they look down on them with pride and contempt. When they witness piety in someone whom they cannot beat intellectually because of his abundant knowledge, perfect intelligence, and penetrating mind, they bring him to a point where his goal becomes deception (talbı¯s), to win over the hearts [of these people], and to change [their] attitude towards him.

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