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Unformatted text preview: WHY D I D ALGHAZZAL I ATTACK P H I LOSOPHY AND P H I LOSOPHERS? DESCR IBE WHAT H E SAID AND OUTL I NE H IS PO INTS. Ab mid Mu ammad ibn Mu ammad al-Ghaz l ū Ḥā ḥ ḥ ā ī (1058–1111), often Algazel in English, was born and died in Tus , in the Khorasan province of Persia . He was an Islamic theologian , jurist , philosopher , cosmologist , psychologist and mystic of Persian origin, and remains one of the most celebrated scholars in the history of Sunni Islamic thought. He is considered a pioneer of methodic doubt and skepticism , and in one of his major works, The Incoherence of the Philosophers , he changed the course of early Islamic philosophy , shifting it away from an Islamic metaphysics influenced by ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy , and towards an Islamic philosophy based on cause-and-effect that was determined by God or intermediate angels , a theory now known as occasionalism . Ghazali has sometimes been acclaimed by secular historians such as William Montgomery Watt to be the greatest Muslim after Muhammad (traditionally among Muslims, the greatest Muslims after the Prophet , according to authentic hadith , is the generation of his contemporaries ). Besides his work that successfully changed the course of Islamic philosophy—the early Islamic Neoplatonism developed on the grounds of Hellenistic philosophy, for example, was so successfully refuted by Ghazali that it never recovered—he also brought the orthodox Islam of his time in close contact with Sufism . The orthodox theologians still went their own way, and so did the mystics, but both developed a sense of mutual appreciation which ensured that no sweeping condemnation could be made by one for the practices of the other. Ghazali contributed significantly to the development of a systematic view of Sufism and its integration and acceptance in mainstream Islam. He was a scholar of Sunni Islam, belonging to the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence and to the Asharite school of theology . Ghazali received many titles such as Sharaful A'emma , Zainuddin Hujjatul Islam , meaning "Proof of Islam" He is viewed as the key member of the influential Asharite school of early Muslim philosophy and the most important refuter of Mutazilites . However, he chose a slightly different position in comparison with the Asharites; his beliefs and thoughts differ, in some aspects, from the Asharite school. Ghazali was born in 1058 in Tus, a city in Khorasan province of Persia. His father, a traditional Sufi, died when he and his younger brother, Ahmad Ghazali , were still young. One of their father's friends took care of them for the next few years. In 1070, Ghazali and his brother went to Gurgan to enroll in a madrassah (Islamic seminary). There, he studied fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) next to Ahmad ibn Muhammad R dk n and Abu'l Q sim ā ā ī ā Jurj n . After approximately 7 years studying, he returned to Tus. ā ī The I ncoherence of the Philosophers The Incoherence of the Philosophers...
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This document was uploaded on 04/19/2010.
- Spring '09