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The Life Of A Ghazali Essay

886 words - 4 pages

Al-Ghazali was a Muslim Theologian, Jurist, Philosopher and Mystic of Persian Decent. He was born in 1058 A.D. in Khorasan, Iran. He received his early education from Baghdad and Nishahpur where he received a high-level scholarship in the field of religion and philosophy. For his efforts, he was made the professor at the Nizamiyah University of Baghdad, which was recognized as the greatest institute for learning during the ‘Golden Era of Islam’.

Belonging to Sunni denomination, Al-Ghazali practiced Shafi jurisprudence and associated with the Asharite school of thought. He was a key member of the Asharites and the primary refuter to the Mutazilites. However, his views and thoughts ...view middle of the document...

Ghazali argued that an infinite time was related to an infinite space. With his clarity of thought and force of argument, he was able to create a balance between religion and reason, and identified their respective spheres as being the infinite and the finite, respectively. (Chris Marvin)

In the field of mysticism, he felt that people had started taking Sufism in the wrong way. They dejected the concept of obligatory prayers and maintained that the truth was not in prayer rather than in the heart. Ghazali purified this approach to Sufism and reinstated the authority of the religion in its orthodox form. He still pushed on people to practice unpretentious Sufism, which he maintained was the right path towards attaining the ‘Absolute Truth’.

Ghazalis work on Islamic jurisprudence and theology cannot be forgotten. One of his most important contribution to Islamic sciences is ‘The Revival of Religious Sciences. It comprises of four sections: Acts of worship, Norms of daily life, the ways to Perdition and the ways to Salvation. Its unique feature was that it brought Sunni theology and Sufi mysticism together in a practical pattern. It covered every aspect of a Muslim’s daily life and even death.

Al-Ghazali also wrote an autobiography during the latter part of his life. His autobiography entitled ‘Deliverance from Error’ is similar to Descartes’ ‘Meditations. Both texts begin with the arising of doubts and then go on to talk about how these doubts might be eased. Comparable to Descartes, Deliverance from error ends with returning from the doubt similar to embarking on a journey and successfully reaching the final destination in the end. In this excursion,...

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