The Confession of Al-Ghazzali

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Item Code: NAJ536
Author: Claud Field
Language: English
Edition: 2001
ISBN: 8171511589
Pages: 70
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7 inch X 4.5 inch
Weight 90 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

This book is based on the philosophical thought of AI-Ghazzali. His life sketch has been given in brief will help the reader to know about him



A Bou Hamid Muhammad Ibn Muhammed Al Ghazzali was born in the city of Tus in Khorassan, A.D. 1058, one year after the great poet and free thinker Abu’l Ala died. He was the son of a dealer in cotton thread (GhazzaJ), whence his name. Losing his father in early life, he was confided to the care of a Sufi, whose influence extended through his subsequent career. On finishing his studies he was appointed professor of theology at Bagdad. Here he achieved such splendid success that all the Imams became his zealous partisans. So great, indeed, was his renown, so ardent the admiration he inspired, that the Muhammadans sometimes said: "If all the books of Islam were destroyed, it would be but a slight loss, provided Al GhazzaJi's work on the Revivification of the Sciences of Religion were preserved." The following short treatise gives the history of the mind of this remarkable man in his pursuit of truth. It might not inaptly bear the title "Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit." In its intellectual subtlety it bears a certain resemblance to Newman's Grammar of Assent, and in its almost Puritanical sense of the terrors of the world to come, it is akin to Bunyan's Grace Abounding. It is also interesting as being one of the very few specimens of genuine Eastern autobiography.

After describing the difficulty with which he escaped from an almost Pyrrhonic scepticism, "not by systematic reasoning and accumulation of proofs, but by a flash of light which God sent into my soul," he reviews the various sects whom he encountered in his search for truth:

1. The scholastic theologians, who profess to follow reason and speculation.

II. The philosophers, who call themselves masters of Logic and Demonstration.

III. The Sufis, who claim an immediate in- tuition, and who perceive the real manifestation of truth as common men perceive material phenomena.

After mastering the first two systems and still finding the great problem unsolved, he was forced to pronounce philosophy incompetent, and to seek in some higher faculty than reason the solution of his doubts. The intuition or ecstasy ("wajd") of the Sufis was to him a sort of revelation. His search for truth occupied several years, in the course of which he renounced his professorship of theology at Bagdad and went into devotional retirement at Jerusalem and Damascus, and also performed the pilgrimage to Mecca.

He returned for a short time to Nishapur, the birthplace of Omar Khayyam, his elder contemporary, whom, as Professor Browne tells us in his History of the Persian Literature, he met and disliked. He finally went back to Tus, his native place, where he died, A.D. 1111. Professor D B Macdonald, in an article on Ghaz-zali in Journal of the American Oriental Society, quotes the following account of his death as related by his brother Ahmad, "On Monday at dawn my brother performed the ablutions and prayed. Then he said, 'Bring me my grave- clothes,' and he took them and kissed them, and laid them on his eyes and said, 'I hear and obey the command to go into the King'. And he stretched out his feet and went to meet Him and was taken to the good-will of God Most High."

The great service which AI-GhazzaIi rendered to the Sufis was, as Mr. Whinfield has pointed out, in the preface to his translation of the Masnavi, to provide them with a metaphysical terminology, which he had derived from the writings of Plotinus the Neo-Platonist. He also gave them a secure position in the Church of Islam.

In his Development of Muslim Theology, Professor Macdonald calls GhazzaJi "the greatest, certainly the most sympathetic figure in the history of Islam, and the only teacher of the after generations ever put by a Muslim on a level with the four great Imams" He further says of him: Islam has never outgrown him, has never fully understood him. In the renaissance of Islam which is now rising to view, his time will come, and the new life will proceed from a renewed study of his works:'




Introduction 7
Ghazza!i's Search for Truth 11
The Subterfuges of the Sophists 16
The Ditl'erent Kinds of Seekers after Truth 21
The Aim of Scholastic Theology and Its Result 22
Concerning the philosophical Sects and the Stigma of Infidelity which Attaches to Them All 27
Division of the Philosophic Sciences. 30
Sufism 46
The Reality of Inspiration: Its Importance for the Human Race 58

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