Talk:Al-Ghazali

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Name[edit]

It is highly improbable that a non-Persian scholar would have produced a work in Persian because Arabic was the predominant language in the Islamic World. I do not know what percentage of the non-Persian population actually spoke Farsi at the time but I am absolutely certain that there were by far more Arabic speaking people than Persian speaking. So,why would a non-Persian scholar write a book in Farsi? So, scholars who have produced some of their works in Farsi must have been Persians who had superior knowledge of their mother tongue, and because they intended to address the Persian audience. Would an American scientist publish his work in French instead of English today? Never! kamimihan — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kamimihan (talkcontribs) 07:57, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

In all Arabic sources, he is referred to as AL-Ghazali. This is likely a "nisba" (relationship) adjective that tells the origin of his family. In any case, he is never referred to as Ghazali, whether in Arabic or in English. I can't speak for popularized descriptions of him, but serious literature about him refers to him always as al-Ghazali, not simply Ghazali. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Agh.niyya (talkcontribs) 06:13, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Arab vs. Persian[edit]

was he a Arab??

He was muslim! Nationalism is a modern concept introduced to the islamic world by colonial powers.

Irrelevant, more quotations might be useful

Nationalism do not changes the fact he was of Persian origin. If he would be an Arab, he surely would had 4 legs and yawling IAAAA IAAA [ Your words tell us enough about your mentality ] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.107.217.39 (talk) 14:21, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Not my speciality, but my grasp of the history shows that since the C7th, when arab forces conquered Persia, there have been important questions over ethnicity within the Islamic world. I'd accept that Islam has generally been able to reach across national and racial divides, and that most Muslims accept the idea of a broad community of Islam, but the idea that race and nationality either don't matter within the Umma, or that dividions along these lines are all due to the perfidious colonials is ahistorical.---- Charles Stewart 09:54, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Postscript: wrt to above question: he was Persian. An afterthought on what I have written: I don't mean to say that muslims have no legitimate grievances against their colonisers, rather that, while divide and rule was an explicit, destructive strategy of European colonisers, its effectiveness depended upon there being divisions to exploit. ---- Charles Stewart 10:06, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think some people?! have this tendency to make all the great Muslim minds "Persian" when one cannot really tell with certainty. This is really very disturbing. -Serkan

I think it's disturbing to see the same thing from the Arab and Turks as well.--Zereshk 00:49, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

There needs to be some sort of consensus among all editors of Muslim scientists, as there are constant revert wars between Turks, Arabs, and Persians on whichever article you look at.Yuber(talk) 01:02, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I think the only way is to acknowledge everyone and be inclusive. Thus Rumi can be identified as both Turkish and Persian. Or Ibn Rushd can be mentioned to be both Arab and Spanish. Or Zinuddin Zidan is both French and Arab. Only then can we avoid this stupid racial shit, and get to the more important stuff.--Zereshk 07:49, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Although Islam is inclusive in theory, the reality is more complex. Read for instance this essay: Blasphemy Before God: The Darkness of Racism In Muslim Culture.

This article is unsatisfactory IMHO. It appears to be confusing and contradictory. Was Ghazali an Asharite or wasn't he? I have heard him quoted as saying that "the study of science and philosophy was harmful because it would shake man's faith in God and undermine the Muslim religion." Did he shut the door on Islamic science or not? I'm no clearer on this question after having read the article. --BirgerLangkjer 11:42, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

His name, where he was born and where he died screams Persian! We're not talking about Baghdad or Basrah here, we're talking about Khorasan/Tus and Kharmathein. Alireza Hashemi 22:27, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Al Ghazali is a persian who wrote all his major works in arabic, I don't see what's the point of quarelling about that, it's like discussing whether J.Conrad is English or polish, his works are English literature and that's the most important.--Sayih 17:41, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Sayih. He is a persian who wrote (mostly) in arabic.Hence his name should be written only in arabic in the beginning — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aa2-2004 (talkcontribs) 09:26, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

[*] I was going through the same thing with ibn khaldun, and we concluded his last name says it all. Same goes to Al-Ghazali, his last name is Arabic (Al-Ghazali). However, digging further into old Arabic books, I found out that his full last name is (in Chronological order) Al-Ghazali (Arabic, Profession) Al-Nishapur (Persian, Nishapur City) Al-Tus (Persian, Tus City). Therefore, we can safely conclude he is Persian, or at least that what he preferred to be.

Some comments in the article[edit]

Al-Ghazali explained in his autobiography why he renounced his brilliant career and turned to Sufism. It was, he says, due to his realization that there was no way to certain knowledge or the conviction of revelatory truth except through Sufism. (This means that the traditional form of Islamic faith was in a very critical condition at the time.) This realization is possibly related to his criticism of Islamic philosophy.

The comment this means that the traditional ..." seems an original research to me.

"Through his own religious experience, he worked to revive the faith of Islam by reconstructing the religious sciences upon the basis of Sufsm, and to give a theoretical foundation to the latter under the influence of philosophy. Thus Sufism came to be generally recognized in the Islamic community."

I am not sure that Sufism was not recognised in Islamic community before Al-Ghazali.

It wasn't Islamic faith that was in a critical condition, it was Al ghazali's faith. I read a brilliant comment by a Maliki sholar of the period .. and when did the islamic sciences die to be revived by Al Ghazali. Sufism had always been tolerated in Islamic community; but it posed no problem since it wasn't wide-spread. Al Ghazali's book إحياء علوم الدين was the main factor behind its rapid spread and the sudden halt of Islamic scientific movement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sayih (talkcontribs) 00:37, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

This article is disorganized and needs to be rewritten. At the very least it should have a prominently placed reference to Frank Rippel's entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/al-ghazali/). In addition some links are dead, notably:~ "4. ^ Muslim Philosophy, Islamic Contributions to Science & Math, netmuslims.com" and

"5. ^ Ghazali, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2006" Mkp624 (talk) 12:06, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Sources that he's Persian?[edit]

What are the sources that state he's Persian? Please provide some in the article, in accordance to WP:V. MB 14:01, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

The article doesnt say "he's Persian" (or Arab or Turk).--Zereshk 00:48, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Yet he's included in a list of Persian scientists, funny, don't you think? MB 15:08, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

He has many Persian writings the most important one being Kimiya As-Sa'adat. He was also from Tus, which did not have any Arab colonies unlike Merv. So he was Persian since Arabs did not write in Persian. --Ali doostzadeh 18:50, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Also, "scientists" in those days would also include philosophers. Modern science did not exist at the time.--Zereshk 07:46, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Alims[edit]

These "alim"s are belonging to Islam. Their Muslim identity is more important than their ethnic identity. There is no racism in Islam.

There is not MEANT to be any racism in Islam but you know as well as I that, that isn't the case with many Muslims who say they practice Islam. --JH

Clear copyvio[edit]

This article is copied verbatim from here. As an example, two paragraphs from the article:

Al-Ghazali is one of the greatest Islamic theologians and mystical thinkers. He learned various branches of traditional Islamic religious sciences in his home town of Tus, Gorgan and Nishapur in the northern part of Iran. He was also involved in Sufi practices from an early age. Being recognized by Nizam al-Mulk, the vizir of the Seljuq sultans, he was appointed head of the Nizamiyyah College at Baghdad in AH 484/1091 CE. As the intellectual head of the Islamic community, he was busy lecturing on Islamic jurisprudence at the College, and also refuting heresies and responding to questions from all segments of the community. Four years later, however, al-Ghazali fell into a serious spiritual crisis and finally left Baghdad, renouncing his career and the world. After wandering in Syria and Palestine for about two years and finishing the pilgrimage to Mecca, he returned to Tus, where he was engaged in writing, Sufi practices and teaching his disciples until his death. In the meantime he resumed teaching for a few years at the Nizamiyyah College in Nishapur.
Al-Ghazali explained in his autobiography why he renounced his brilliant career and turned to Sufism. It was, he says, due to his realization that there was no way to certain knowledge or the conviction of revelatory truth except through Sufism. (This means either that the traditional form of Islamic faith was in a very critical condition at the time, or he simply did not agree with the standard day to day grind of "ordinary" Islam.) This realization is possibly related to his criticism of Islamic philosophy. In fact, his refutation of philosophy is not a mere criticism from a certain (orthodox) theological viewpoint. First of all, his attitude towards philosophy was ambivalent; it was both an object of criticism and an object of learning (for example, logic and the natural sciences). He mastered philosophy and then criticized it in order to Islamicize it. The importance of his criticism lies in his philosophical demonstration that the philosophers' metaphysical arguments cannot stand the test of reason. However, he was also forced to admit that the certainty of revelatory truth, for which he was so desperately searching, cannot be obtained by reason. It was only later that he finally attained to that truth in fana' which in Sufism refers to the state of losing one's self and ego. Through his own religious experience, he worked to revive the faith of Islam by reconstructing the religious sciences upon the basis of Sufism, and to give a theoretical foundation to the latter under the influence of philosophy. Thus Sufism came to be generally recognized in the Islamic community. Though Islamic philosophy did not long survive al-Ghazali's criticism, he contributed greatly to the subsequent philosophization of Islamic theology and Sufism.

And from the original article:

al-Ghazali is one of the greatest Islamic Jurists, theologians and mystical thinkers. He learned various branches of traditional Islamic religious sciences in his home town of Tus, Gurgan and Nishapur in the northern part of Iran. He was also involved in Sufi practices from an early age. Being recognized by Nizam al-Mulk, the vizir of the Seljuq sultans, he was appointed head of the Nizamiyyah College at Baghdad in AH 484/AD 1091. As the intellectual head of the Islamic community, he was busy lecturing on Islamic jurisprudence at the College, and also refuting heresies and responding to questions from all segments of the community. Four years later, however, al-Ghazali fell into a serious spiritual crisis and finally left Baghdad, renouncing his career and the world After wandering in Syria and Palestine for about two years and finishing the pilgrimage to Mecca, he returned to Tus, where he was engaged in writing, Sufi practices and teaching his disciples until his death. In the meantime he resumed teaching for a few years at the Nizamiyyah College in Nishapur
Al-Ghazali explained in his autobiography why he renounced his brilliant career and turned to Sufism. It was, he says, due to his realization that there was no way to certain knowledge or the conviction of revelatory truth except through Sufism. (This means that the traditional form of Islamic faith was in a very critical condition at the time.) This realization is possibly related to his criticism of Islamic philosophy. In fact, his refutation of philosophy is not a mere criticism from a certain (orthodox) theological viewpoint. First of all, his attitude towards philosophy was ambivalent; it was both an object and criticism and an object of learning (for example, logic and the natural sciences). He mastered philosophy and then criticized it in order to Islamicize it. The importance of his criticism lies in his philosophical demonstration that the philosophers’ metaphysical arguments cannot stand the test of reason. However, he was also forced to admit that the certainty, of revelatory truth, for which he was so desperately searching, cannot be obtained by reason. It was only later that he finally attained to that truth in the ecstatic state (fana’) of the Sufi. Through his own religious experience, he worked to revive the faith of Islam by reconstructing the religious sciences upon the basis of Sufsm, and to give a theoretical foundation to the latter under the influence of philosophy. Thus Sufism came to be generally recognized in the Islamic community. Though Islamic philosophy did not long survive al-Ghazali’s criticism, he contributed greatly to the subsequent philosophization of Islamic theology and Sufism.

This should be labelled accordingly. Ori Redler 08:14, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

Neil deGrasse Tyson claims that Al-Ghazali is one of the people responsible for the decline of science and civilisation in arabic/persian/muslim culture. I see in this article that he denounces Aristotle. But I couldn't really find a good explanation about his role in the decline of civilisation that has been lasting till today. Just look at the number of muslim nobel prize winners. --80.56.36.253 13:03, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Such prominent Muslim scientists as there are nowadays mostly work in Western institutions in Western countries. Prominent scientist Steven Weinberg freely grants the existence of the Arabian Golden Age, and the presence of brilliant Muslims among his colleagues. But, he says, in forty years he has never seen a scientific paper worth reading from a Muslim country.

The Sanity Inspector 02:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

  • But I couldn't really find a good explanation about his role in the decline of civilisation that has been lasting till today. Look at the "Legacy" section in the wiki article on al-Ghazali' The Incoherence of the Philosophers to see one hypothesis.

The Sanity Inspector 13:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I think what Neil deGrasse Tyson has stated is completely incorrect. Have you ever read in any of Ghazali's works where he has declined the science and civilisation? I am sure, you have not. Here's the online edition of his book Book of Knowledge in his work Ihya'ul Uludmuddin (The Revival of Religious Sciences): LINK
Ghazali has dedicated a complete book on Sciences and Knowledge, and he has never declined science or civilisation.
In his book Kimyaye Sa'aadat (Alchemy of Happiness), he writes, using a strong language, about the scholars and some Sufis of that period who used to prohibit people from learning modern sciences: ...and those who call themselves as Shaikh or Peer, and tell people not to learn knowledge because it will become a veil between them and their lord, are fully in ignorance. They have not yet found the truth. Any modern science that the society needs is an obligation upon an individual to learn. (I hope there wasn't any mistake in translation).
I suggest to go directly to the original source instead of listening from a person reporting.Ariana310 13:33, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I just came across this speech of Neil deGrasse Tyson in which he said that Imam Ghazali wrote: "Mathematics is the work of Devil". In such a scholarly seminar or conference, he does not even cite a single sentence of Ghazali, which would justify what he says. It seems that he is completely unfamiliar with the works of Ghazali. Here are some books of Ghazali in which he directly talks about Mathematics; its status in Philosophy and in Islam: al-Munqidh min ad-dalal, Miyar al-Ilm fi fan al-mantiq (Criterion of Knowledge in the Art of Logic) and in the Preface of Incoherence of Philosophers. -Ariana310 07:34, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

He cites the line about wool turning black in the fire because Allah wills it rather than a chemical change. Al-Ghazali did help launch Sufism into the mainstream and result in the downfall of Baghdad as the intellectual capital of the world. There's a reason why most of the science from that time gets traced back to that period in time and ever since the Muslim world has stopped producing any good scientific literature or study. He may not have been directly responsible but he did a lot to help orthodox Islam to take charge in the area. Tyson never argued with was the downfall of society or civilization... just that it was the downfall of independent thought and scientific inquiry in the area. He doesn't appear to be wrong. It isn't a criticism if al-Ghazali more of Sufism itself, but does warrant a note in the article as others have prior to and since made the claim and it's largely accurate. Tat 03:13, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I think you should see the sentence from the way Al-Ghazali wanted to express, not to make our own interpretations. The sentence is more philosophical than a scientific reasoning. Saying "wool turning black in the fire because Allah wills it rather than a chemical change", he tries to demonstrate that each action in this world is done by Allah's will and that Allah has let the actions to take place. He believes in a superior being i.e. Allah, thus in that logic, it is completely logical to say that all actions are done by the superior being. Your criticism can be targeted on the principal belief of Al-Ghazali, i.e. Does the superior being which is Allah have all the actions, activities, chemical and physical changes under his own will or not? Then in this case, I think Al-Ghazali has defended very well, more than any other person, his believes and orthodox Islamic believes. Now, if we suppose you do not agree with this point (the thesis which I wrote in a form of question), you should criticize this main and principle thesis (the existence of such a superior being, or the attributes of that superior being), not to state that Al-Ghazali has denounced the sciences. Ariana 18:12, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

sufism, for the large majority at that time, meant the abandon of all life pursuits for the sake of contemplation and woship, wearing rags and self-imposed poverty. it was of very negligible influence as long as the practice had been minor and limited. Al Ghazali's book Ihia olum eddine إحياء علوم الدين fanned sufism on a large scale. that's a well-known fact. The results were devastating. it's noteworthy to compare regions where the book had great influence to those where it had but little influence, like El Andalus; Islamic Spain. El Makkari المقري in his famous oeuvre نفح الطيب Nafhu et Tib pointed out that sufis were considered very idle people and discouraged. Sciences in El Andalus remained thriving even when Granada, the last kingdom, fell to the reconquesta while the other parts of the Islamic world plunged into darkness, scientifically speaking. El Ghazali unintentionally did what he woud have condemned were he to live to see the consequences of his own writings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sayih (talk contribs) 13:11, 3 December 2007 (UTC) --Sayih 18:06, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

By the way El Ghazali does not represent the so-called Orthodox Islam. His views concerning the spiritual domain are rather mild , tolerant and loose. Though his views attracted the multitude, well-versed scholars - who had always represented the mainstream - condemned them as nonconformist. His books were decreed to be burned in many cities/states. However, The process of decline was irreversible and sufism gained the mainstream for the first time in history.. this lasted until the 19th century when scholars gained back the main stream and sufism shrank to the corner.. it's generally looked at as heresy today. ps. I should note that well-versed scholars العلماء /olama/ are very mild in their views, they stick to texts ie Qur'an and the true hadiths of sunna without rigid of far fetched interpretations. They are generally regarded as the guardians of the true understanding of Islam and they often speak against extremism on both ends and favor an active role in life. --Sayih 15:34, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Al Ghazali criticized metaphysics, not mathematics or physics. Also he had weak influence due to the fact that they were Sunni not Sufi.--BelalSaid (talk) 02:46, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

This entire discussion seems to ignore site policies and guidelines. Our opinions as editors mean nothing; the bottom line is: what do the sources reflect? Neil Degrasse Tyson criticized Ghazali, claiming he said math is the devil. Is Tyson a notable person whose opinion has an audience? Yes, absolutely. Is Youtube a reliable source? Not really, especially for such negative content. If a reliable source can be found reporting what he said, then it needs to be in the article; represented as Tyson's own view and not as objective fact, of course. On the other hand, it's not the job of editors to insert rebuttals to Tyson's comments on the article or this talk page; a Wikipedia article is measured by its sources, and part of WP:NPOV is that we represent the facts, what happened and who said what, not whether or not we agree with said sources. MezzoMezzo (talk) 08:56, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Sources and Division of Knowledge[edit]

User:Lakho Shahnaz, you have been adding content to "Sources and Division of Knowledge" w/o any referencing or citing. You also have been adding that w/o taking care of the manual of style. I am removing all that stuff until you bring references to it. You have been informed of these issues at your talkpage but there was no improvement. Please have a look at WP:CITE, WP:V and WP:MOS. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 10:55, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Removed image[edit]

I removed the image, made by an unknown artist at an unknown date, clearly not made in the era of al-Ghazali and therefore unencyclopedic.S711 12:13, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Removed Imam Nawawi "criticism"[edit]

I removed that because 1. Imam Nawawi was not a critic of Imam Al Ghazali. 2. There was no source mentioned for it. This is what Imam Nawawi has said about Imam Al Ghazali "if all the books of Islam were lost, the Ihya would suffice them all", such is the depth and detail of this remarkable work." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.212.128.145 (talk) 18:00, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

While you are correct about it needing a source, the more appropriate action would be to add the fact tag. Nawawi was a well-known critic of Ghazali, and this criticism is also well known. I'll add the fact tag now with the criticism, shouldn't take too long to find the source. MezzoMezzo 20:11, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Descartes[edit]

The section on René Descartes definitely needs a citation of some sort. I appreciate that both al-Ghazali and Descartes placed doubt at the heart of their philosophy, but Descartes' focus upon the thinking subject seems to me to be (prima facie) a million miles from al-Ghazali's focus upon religious faith, which was strongly critical of speculative thought.

I'm not saying what's written is necessarily wrong (I don't know to tell you the truth) but without it being traceable to a verifiable source one cannot know, and it just looks like the author(s) are using hearsay to patch together influences where they might not exist.

I followed the footnote provided for the claim that scholars think Descartes was dishonest in not giving Ghazali credit and found that in the work cited the author writes, "I do not wish to argue that al-Qhazali influenced the thinking of Descartes (a matter for which I have no evidence)." The article by Sami M. Najm is available through Jstor, <http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/1397536.pdf> So unless the contributor to this section has some scholarly sources to support this serious charge against Descartes it should be retracted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.54.26.105 (talk) 20:44, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I deleted this sentence but see that it has been reverted. The attribution is false. The cited scholar explicitly states that he does not have evidence for a claim that Ghazali influenced Descartes. JPHayes (talk) 18:29, 14 June 2009 (UTC)JPHayes

Najm's article is interesting and notes parallels in the thought of Ghazali and Descartes so I have reworked the passage to note this but have removed the falsely referenced claim suggesting intellectual dishonesty on the part of Descartes. Najm does not argue this and makes it clear he's not even arguing for a chain of influence from Ghazali to Descartes.JPHayes (talk) 18:50, 14 June 2009 (UTC)JPHayes

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 21:00, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Removed Imam Nawawi "criticism"[edit]

To the very best of my knowledge there is no evidence of Imam Nawawi being a critic of Al-Ghazali at all, in fact he enjoyed praise from Imam Nawawi (as previously stated in section 10 of this page) and other eminent scholars, hence I removed it. However as can be noticed, the edition was undone, therefore I'm writing now to those that have the opinion that he actually was a critic, to kindly provide evidence as a reference. If that won't be possible after a reasonable time period has elapsed, then it would be very unreasonable to suggest the criticism of Imam Nawawi to stay at the article.

In brief, the proposal is that those whose opinion it is that Imam Nawawi was a critic should set a reasonable time limit to find evidence, after which if not found, that portion of the article should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hubbud Deen (talkcontribs) 21:59, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

That whole section is OR and it seems to do with theological polemics on the internet that is outside of the interest of wikipedia. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 04:09, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
The criticism is known, give me some time to locate and i'll do my best; the request is quite reasonable.
As for the accusation that the material is theological polemics, this is based on the user's own POV. This is evident in the fact that the removal of the content featured an edit summary using the term "Wahabi" - which is recognized as a derogatory slur and should not be used again - despite there being no mention of wahhabism or anything of the sort in the section. Let's please put our personal opinions aside and base edits on information and sources, as the user who started this discussion asked. MezzoMezzo (talk) 05:36, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
This is not a place for polemical debate. And usually it is followers of Ibn Wahab (and it is not a slur and widely used in the literature) who criticize Sufi Muslim scholars. I mean what is the connection to the article if another person like Ibn Taymiyyah has an opinion on Ghazzali? I think some of these quotes have been cherry picked for polemical debates. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 01:45, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I already mentioned it once, i'll say it again. the long consensus here is that wahabi is a derogatory slur; don't throw it around. As for polemical debate, this clearly isn't the case; biographies on famous people frequently display criticism, especially people involved in philosophy and/or organized religion. It is very much relevant if the criticism is from notables within whichever realm, in this case organized religion. As for quotes being cherry picked, that's just your own opinion. You may assume whatever you want about the motives of other editors, but the bottom line is that the criticism is notable and sourced. If you personally don't like it then that is fine, the article isn't here to say who's right and who's wrong, but to remove it is censorship; Wikipedia is not censored. MezzoMezzo (talk) 05:18, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Which consensus is that? It is used all over the media. Also there is no censoring as long as proper citation in English translations are given or the original Arabic is brought. And the material is most likely taken from a Wahabi (what is the correct term?) website. I do not think websites with polemical material should be introduced here. Also if Wahabi was a slur than more than 1000 mainstream google books would not use it [1]. Please show me the consensus. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 05:23, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't particularly care about what the media says in this context, as we're not editing the new media; we're editing on Wikipedia. It is indeed an insulting term and has been treated as such by site administrators in the past. Your request to be "shown" this consensus is misleading - there is no official page of words you can't use to my knowledge. The fact that users have been blocked in the past for directing the term at other users is proof enough.
As for your suggestion that the material is most likely brought from a website, again, that is just your opinion. That you would say it without proof would lead a casual observer to believe you have some sort of bias; you're turning sourced content on notable criticism of a prominent individual into some sort of an ideological debate when it isn't a debate at all. As editors we're not here to make judgment calls on who is correct, we simply provide the information. It is adequately sourced criticism in line with WP:V and WP:RS, and thus there is no reason to be removing it. That you're calling it cross debate when it clearly isn't makes it appear that you're removing content you simply disagree with. I want to assume that isn't the case, i'm just pointing out what it looks like. Your best course of action would be to familiarize yourself with site policy and realize that showcasing criticism is not validating it; this is standard in many articles on individuals. MezzoMezzo (talk) 05:29, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

It is not adequately sourced. Where is the publisher, date? where is the original Arabic? Who did the translation? What does theological biased polemics have to do with a biography of a person? And as per the term, please show me the admin who banned it and I will discuss it with him. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 05:49, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Per WP:V and WP:S, it is quite adequately sourced. You don't just make up your own criteria; we function based off of official site policy here. If you can find something based on site policy then we can discuss that, but if you're going to make demands out of nowhere then we have nothing to discuss.
You have also once again called this theological polemics - this makes you look rather intellectually dishonest considering I have explained multiple times that criticisms of individuals isn't polemics, it's notable information. Check articles on such random but still religious/philosophical figures such as Jerry Falwell, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and Socrates - you will find sections for criticism. I have to admit the fact that you keep bringing this up is causing me to be weary of this discussion; this is completely inappropriate and makes it appear that you're trying to censor criticism of a guy you like. That is not good. You should probably alter your position or at least your approach to alleviate those fears.
Regarding the admin, you can discuss it with User:Ryan Postlethwaite if you would like. MezzoMezzo (talk) 15:28, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
No it is not adequate. Lets look at the sources. What is: "Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, part 4, p. 71 ". Where is the edition? Who is the publisher? Who is the translator? And the other critic: "Abu 'Umar ibn as-Salah, a well-known Shafi'i scholar wrote". What is the criterion for a well-known? And the citation is even worst. What is "Tabaqaat Ashaab al-Shafa’i" Where is the page, publisher, original and translator? I don't mind criticism as long as it is not undo weight. That is there are a list of scholars who have mentioned his significance. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 15:42, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Majmoo' al-Fataawa is the most well known collection of Ibn Taymiyyah; there is no "publisher" considering the book was written closer to Al-Ghazali's time. AS for the book of Aboo 'Umar, the page number is not on hand so if you take issue with that then there is not much I can object to in that sense. However, what you have asked of the well sourced content is not reasonable; if you cannot come up with a policy based issue with it, then I cannot in good faith allow you to remove content when it appears your primary reason is because you disagree with it. MezzoMezzo (talk) 16:01, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
After being advised by a number of people Ali, i'm going to leave this up to your discretion. If you feel that the criticism does not belong here then my objections are removed, after review due to getting some third party feedback on this. Best regards, MezzoMezzo (talk) 17:04, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Actually, the book is known, but it has to be published or else who has the original manuscript? It would also need the translator. So that is why I believe it was taken from a website which is devoted to polemics. We can say some scholars had a difference of opinion with Ghazzali with regards to some matters, but it should have equal weight at least with scholars who have praised this person. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 17:18, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Which Sufi Order?[edit]

I'm wondering which Sufi Order he was a part of? its disappointing that its not mentioned in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.106.37.243 (talk) 09:45, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

At the time of Al-Ghazali, none of the four famous tariqas existed. Although Abdul-Qadir Gelani lived during the same period as Ghazali, but his tariqa was not such famous at that time to be called as a specific tariqa. However, Ghazali was the disciple of Abu Ali Farmadhi. Ariana (talk) 12:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Ghazali a physician?[edit]

It's written in the article that Ghazali was also a physician and in his areas of interest Medicine has been added. I don't think that he was sufficiently qualified in this field and he has no works on medicines. If I am right, I think we should remove this (being a physician). Ariana (talk) 12:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Secondary sources rarely describe him as such too, I'll support the removal. --pashtun ismailiyya 21:10, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

"Islamic" is not nationality[edit]

He has been introduced as "Islamic theologian". "Islam" is not a country and "Islamic" is not a nationality, he should be introduced as a "Persian", not 'Islamic". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shayan7 (talkcontribs) 16:50, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Dead external link[edit]

The link for a Ghazali documentary is dead: [2] gets

"The item is not available due to issues with the item's content."

Greatest Muslim after Muhammad?[edit]

This phrase doesn't sit well with me. It is part of Sunni belief and creed to hold the best of Muslims after Muhammad was Abu Bakr. (See The Creed of al-Tahawi and Abu Hanifa's Al Fiqh al-Akbar). Maybe rephrase this to say something different? M2k41 (talk) 20:21, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps it can be rephrased as follows: Ghazali has sometimes been acclaimed in both the East and the West by secular scholars as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad. A note may be added in the reference describing Imam Abu Hanifa's opinion. Regards-Shahab (talk) 11:18, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Ghazali influenced Islam more than any other person you mentioned . abu bakar was a political figure. It doesn't mean that ghazzali was best. But his influence is more on Islamic philosophy than any other scholar. If you are talking about companions then Ali and ibn Abbas were greatest in knowledge after the prophet. Don't edit article in wrong way. blessings. Zikrullah (talk) 04:28, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Major Works[edit]

the following is inappropriately worded,

  • as Ghazali effectively discovered philosophical skepticism that would not be commonly seen in the West until René Descartes, George Berkeley and David Hume. The encounter with skepticism led Ghazali to embrace a form of theological occasionalism, or the belief that all causal events and interactions are not the product of material conjunctions but rather the immediate and present will of God.

He didn't "discover" it he developed it, and he didn't "encounter" it. These terms objectify the issue to the point of implying they are an entity separate from him which he found somewhere and befriended.Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 08:00, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

this statement although accurate is problematic,

  • or the belief that all causal events and interactions are not the product of material conjunctions but rather the immediate and present will of God.

Al ghazali believed he witnessed the reason for the cause and effect or he could see the hand of God at work in them directly, he didn't give up the material causes and effect, he was a scientist also so it needs to be expressed better.

  • or the belief that all causal events and interactions are not merely the product of material conjunctions but simultaneously the immediate and present will of God.

i thought this was more accurate as the original implicitly implied he didn't believe in the material causes which are stated in the Quran, rather islam says look for Gods signs in them and this is what al Ghazali did and saw.Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 08:07, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I have read the article more carfully and thier are a number of issues regarding this understanding of cause and effect. This pre dates ghazali himself is founded in the Quran in a number of verses...

  • "You threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw." (8:17)
  • And that it is He Who makes laugh, and makes weep, and that it is He Who gives death and gives life." (54:43-44)

Allah dissociated making-laugh, making-weep, the giving of death and of life from their respective causes, attributing all to Himself.

Similarly

  • "And We carried him upon a thing of planks and nails, That ran (upon the waters) in Our sight, as a reward for him who was rejected." (54:13) reffering to nuh and the ship he was on.
  • Don't you see that ships sail on the sea by God's blessing so that He can show you something of His signs?...

(Qur'an, 31:31)

The Quran is full of these disasosiations from the physical causes to the spiritual reality of the matter. I think these points should be reworded in the article.Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 22:03, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

A lot can be said on this issue but i thought id Quote something on this specifically as the article needs better phrasing becouse at present in its literal wording it accuses al ghazali of not believing in something fundamental in Islam and that is the physical causes.

  • "Things do not act of their own nature. Neither does water quench thirst, nor does bread sate hunger, nor does fire burn, but Allah creates satedness simultaneously with eating, and hunger at other times. Likewise, drinking is the drinker's doing while quenchedness is from Allah, and killing is the killer's doing while death is from Allah." Ibn Khafif (d. 371), al-`Aqida al-Sahiha (§41), in Ibrahim al-Dusuqi Shatta, Sira Ibn Khafif (Cairo: al-Hay'a al-`Amma li Shu'un al-Matabi` al-Amiriyya, 1977)
  • A man asked al-Tustari (d. 283): "What is sustenance?" He said: "Perpetual dhikr." The man said: "I was not asking about that, but about what sustains one." He replied: "O man, things are sustained by nothing but Allah." The man said: "I did not mean that, I asked you about what is indispensible!" He replied: "Young man, Allah is indispensible." Abu Nu`aym, Hilya al-Awliya' (10:218 #15022).
  • "Satiation, quenching, and combustion are phenomena which Allah alone creates, since bread does not create satiation, nor does water create quenching, nor does fire create combustion, although they are causes for such results. But the Creator is Himself the Causator (al-Musabbib), not the causes. This is just as Allah said: "You threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw." (8:17) He denied that His Prophet was the creator of the throw, although he was its cause. Allah also said: "And that it is He Who makes laugh, and makes weep, and that it is He Who gives death and gives life." (54:43-44) Thus He dissociated making-laugh, making-weep, the giving of death and of life from their respective causes, attributing all to Himself. Similarly, al-Ash`ari (d. 330?) dissociated satiation, quenching, and combustion from their causes, attributing them all to the Creator Who said: "Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God save Him, the Creator of all things." (6:102) "Is there any creator other than Allah?" (35:3) "Nay, but they denied what they could not comprehend and whereof the interpretation had not yet come unto them." (10:39) "Did you deny My signs when you could not compass them in knowledge, or what was it you did?" (27:84)." Ibn `Abd al-Salam (d. 660), al-Mulha fi I`tiqad Ahl al-Haqq in Rasa'il al-Tawhid (p. 11-27) and al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (8:219-229).

Taken from "Shaykh al-Butis Commentary on the Hikam (#3): Foreordained Destiny and the Inefficacy of Material Causes-and-Effects"

Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 06:16, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Minor edit's[edit]

  • Ghazali bitterly denounced Aristotle, Socrates and other Greek writers as

i removed the word bitterly, its assuming his nature, while it is the essence of the Sufi path to loose all forms of anger and base emotions. his ihyah Ulum al din is dedicated to this issue of overcoming such emotions. it also isn't sourced that he was "bitter".

  • Ghazali famously claimed that when fire and cotton are placed in contact, the cotton is burned directly by God rather than by the fire

This isn't sourced that he stated it this specific way rather this is the asertion of the person interpreting his words and assuming he understood what ghazali meant. I have also addressed this issue above and who ever wrote this did not have Al ghazali's grasp on the issue.

i have added the following words

  • the cotton is burned directly by God Who simultaneously willed the fire to burn, a claim which he defended using logic. He argued that because God is usually seen as rational, rather than arbitrary, his behaviour in normally causing events in the same instance they are witnessed

The explanation in the brackets itself explains the same thing.Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 07:24, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

because the person assumed he was against it in some manner this seems apologetic, Al ghazali was simply emphasizing the spiritual realities he wasnt focusing on science he was addressing problems since people in his time became entirely materialistic or attached to the material causes it became necessary to emphasis the spiritual causes, this is why his most famous work is entitled the "revival of religious sciences" he wasn't claiming to bring anything new like much of this article claims he was reviving what previous generations already knew and understood but never systematized it the way al ghazali did.Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 07:36, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Ghazali was responsible for formulating the Ash'ari school of atomism. He argued that atoms are the only perpetual, material things in existence, and all else in the world is “accidental” meaning something that lasts for only an instant. Nothing accidental can be the cause of anything else, except perception, as it exists for a moment.

I dont think accidental is the right word here as it has other meanings in common usage of the word [Occurring unexpectedly, unintentionally, or by chance...which isnt what he meant as it negates the existance of God]. i think ephemerial [ existing only briefly] is a better word in this case.Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 21:41, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't know anything about the Ash'ari school of atomism, but I do know something about its Greco-Roman antecedents. I doubt that the edit is an improvement, though the existing text was also almost certainly flawed. "Accidental" is likely to be the philosophically correct term, and "ephemeral" probably changes the subject entirely and misses the point (agreeing with the "briefely" [sic] which was probably the least correct part of the existing text). My assumption in saying this (and again, I don't really know but am working with some probably useful analogies) is that the atomists said, "Only the atoms and the void are eternal and truly have their own existence. Everything else that we say "is," for example, a butterfly or a brick, is but a temporary configuration of atoms. The butterfly is not essentially a "butterfly" but only accidentally one, its "butterfly-ness" being merely the accidental (now you should recognize even the ordinary sense of the word) characteristics of something with entirely other principles of being (namely those of the atoms)." Or some such.
In general, I have seen that some of your edits are improvements, but we have to be careful. If something doesn't make sense to you, flag it, but don't replace it unless you're working from a reliable understanding. It won't do to change things just because we have a hunch that a new text would be more correct, even when it is obvious that there is some problem before us. This is tricky, but I'll restore the word accidental with a link to accident (philosophy) and try not to commit to any new claim to which I have no title. Wareh (talk) 22:45, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
  • "Only the atoms and the void are eternal and truly have their own existence.

In Islam Only god is eternal according to all theological schools, Ashari, maturidi etc so he could not have been saying this at all.

  • He argued that atoms are the only perpetual, material things in existence, and all else in the world is “accidental” and lasting for only an instant.

I think this section should be sourced for clarification or removed the issue from the imam's perspective is not as technical as it seems and is common sense by today's understanding of science. Consider yourself from the moment you are born until you are fully grown, you start of as a cell which multiplies then grows and changes forms multiple times until it takes on human shape then you are born and you grow into an adult. Your perception during this time is changing and You are lasting only briefly while the atoms and materials you are made from continue. their is a rule in chemistry similar to this, matter can not be created or destroyed it merely changes state and this essentially is what he was saying, when you die your atoms go back into the earth but are not destroyed. He was relating this back to human perception [which was the point not the Atomism], your form isn't lasting but the matter is lasting, in the context of creation he wasn't saying matter is eternal as it goes against an Ashari fundamental belief that Only God is eternal and all else is created.

This issue is starting to be more confused when the term "accidental" is used and is linked to a page crediting Aristotle with the theory while Imam al Ghazali's The Incoherence of the Philosophers was directed at Aristotle and Plato.

would this be better?

  • He argued that atoms are the only perpetual [continual], material things in existence, and all else in the world is “accidental” [having temporary attributes or form] which lasts for only an instant in comparison with the universe. [or you can use the word creation instead of universe which is a term ghazali would have used]

"lasting for only an instant" by itself may give the impression of something popping in and out of existence momentarily for a split second.Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 07:11, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Your suggested replacement - "He argued that atoms are the only perpetual [continual], material things in existence, and all else in the world is “accidental” [having temporary attributes or form] which lasts for only an instant in comparison with the universe." - is acceptable to me. However, accident (philosophy) should still be linked. Ghazali's polemic with Plato and Aristotle is beside the point (anyway, Aristotle violently rejected the materialism of atomism, precisely because its conception of what is accident was unacceptable to him); the point is that the philosophical concept of "accident" applies here (as your proposed new text seems to accept) and was still current for Ghazali. (Perhaps it is desirable for accident (philosophy) to trace variations and employments of the concept in a wider scope; but it still remains the place to treat the philosophical concept of an accident.)
I think we found a compromise, so I will pass over other reservations. In any case, I did want to mention that it looked like the previous text was cited and based on Gardet's article "djuz," so that it was not liable to simple removal, unless we consulted Gardet to show it didn't provide the support. If we want to depart more seriously from something like your proposed compromise, I think we'd need new reliable sources to back us up.
Thanks for your suggested replacement: it seems to satisfy everyone. Wareh (talk) 14:52, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
i have made the necessary changes to the article. Iβn Kᾱτhir τᾱℓк 06:25, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • The theologian Adud al-Din al-Iji (1281–1355), under the influence of Al-Ghazali's Ash'ari doctrine of occasionalism, which maintained that all physical effects were caused directly by God's will rather than by natural causes,

This needs to be changed in light of the other passages i have reworded above. Its self contradictory in that it places "all physical effects" caused by God which would include all reactions changes of state on All levels of creation [meaning it doesnt matter how deep you go in terms of observing these reactions] at heads with "natural causes" as if it where a separate entity from God in al ghazali's understanding [see his book the 99 attributes of God [or here] for his understanding of the creator]. Natural causes and Causes by God are the same thing, he is saying God is behind the "natural causes" not separate from it which is why he says simultaneously not before or after. he is mixing theology with observable science and doesn't claim you can observe God physically or empirically measure him in any way but rather he is the ultimate cause behind the naturally observable causes. His works as understood by other scientist caused them to focus on the observable rather than purely philosophy and move away from speculation which should be an indication of what he was saying, as the remainder of the paragraph states.

I think it should be removed as it has been sufficiently covered elsewhere in the page.

  • The theologian Adud al-Din al-Iji (1281–1355), under the influence of Al-Ghazali's Ash'ari doctrine of occasionalism,

If you want to understand what he meant by God is the cause you have to understand his sufi path and what he said regarding it as well as combine that with his theological understanding of God as he stated in his book on God, in no way was he claiming God is physical and the physical agent behind the reactions in the universe.

Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 20:10, 25 January 2011 (UTC)


The lead into into the cosmology section is inadequately worded and does not accurately reflect the source.

Issues.

  • medieval philosophers and theologians developed the concept of the universe having a finite past with a beginning (temporal finitism).

This isn't accurate, they developed arguments in defense of their faiths who proposed the concept of a created universe as stated by the source.

I think this is more accurate,

  • medieval philosophers and theologians developed apposing arguments for the universe having a finite past with a beginning (temporal finitism).
  • The Christian philosopher, John Philoponus, presented the first such argument against the ancient Greek notion of an infinite past. His logic was adopted by many, most notably; Muslim philosopher....

Inaccurately attributes the argument in its current form to John Philoponus while the source says

  • Whitrow's necessarily abbreviated history of the argument against infinite temporal regression correctly traces its roots to John Philoponus (d. 580?); but it omits what is undoubtedly the most significant phase of the argument's history, namely, its formulation and development by the medieval Arabic and Jewish philosophers.1

further, "traces its roots" and His logic was adopted by many are two different things in the context of this statement at large. No direct relationship is established that these specific scholars directly took this argument from his works [what ever traces its roots may mean] at best it's assumed that he was the first to propose a simple form of it but that does not establish much more since each holy book had statements for a created universe [the torah and the bible predate him and presenting an argument against something does not mean its notion was originated by him] in them and the Quote says the argument was developed by Medieval Arabic and Jewish scholars.

i would suggest,

  • These arguments roots can be traced back to the Christian philosopher, John Philoponus but the most significant aspect of such arguments history was there development and formulation by Medieval Arabic and Jewish philosophers, most notably; Muslim philosopher, Al-Kindi (Alkindus); the Jewish philosopher, Saadia Gaon (Saadia ben Joseph); and finally Ghazali.They proposed two sorts of logical arguments....

I think it was summed up in a hasty manner negating specific phases in history such as their motivations to defend their respective books and not simply rely on his specific argument for its sake alone and the fact more than one argument was present whose "roots" where traced back they didn't simply copy and paste what he said word for word nor did they all say the exact same thing. Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 04:38, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

This line isnt sourced and highly inaccurate.

  • Whether the actual outcome of "freezing Islamic thinking in time" was the goal of Ghazali is highly debatable

"Islamic thinking" is an all encompassing term covering far to many areas of knowledge, in this phrasing it is not accurate and no one ever claimed "Islamic Thinking" froze, the only thing that was stopped formally [not even philosophy was stopped in a formal manner by concensus the way this was] in islam was Ijtihad or independant legal reasoning [from the methedologies of the legal schools of thought] since it was deemed that no one alive was qualafied to do it with the same integrity as the people who had come beffore and all the topics had been discussed and rulled upon. This is prior to the industrial age which changed more than any one could percieve at the time.Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 21:18, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

This sentence doesn't belong in a biography, i don't know what purpose it serves in informing us about him and seems to be advocating a position so i think it should be removed unless someone can explain its purpose in this page.

  • But only taking Ghazali's final conclusions, while lacking a comparable education (and a reflection process) in the area, and as a result being unable to trace Ghazali in his thought process, only exacerbates the probability of the misuse of Ghazali's conclusions.

Iβи Kᾱτhiɍ (talk) 07:49, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I thought the word classification was more accurate than types in this line.

  • He stated that there are two types of diseases: physical and spiritual

Iβn Kᾱτhir τᾱℓк 03:15, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

This line is highly problematic,

  • Ghazali played a very major role in integrating Sufism with Islamic law (Sharia). He combined the concepts of Sufism very well with the Shariah laws. He was also the first to present a formal description of Sufism in his works.

I understand why this is worded this way but it is still inaccurate. To integrate something means to join or bring them together becouse they where once separate, and to combine with shariah law also has the same connotations. If the reality was they where separate prior to al ghazali then effectively what you are saying is that he introduced something new into Islam and Shariah law. But the history of Sufism in Islam itself is a testimony against this fact and traces its lineage and teaching right back to the prophets companions and him in an unbroken chain of teachers known as a silsila [see also 1, 2.]

Al ghazali systematized and elucidated the sufi path and its teachings identifying clearly what was part of orthodox islam so what wasn't could be rejected. This is why he is called the Reviver of the religion by his contemporaries and those who came after him.

  • In the Munqidh, the spiritual autobiography composed approximately between 501/1107 and 503/1109, he reveals an almost messianic feeling of being aware that "God Most High has promised to revive His religion at the beginning of each century" (al-Ghazali (1967a): 75). Al-Ghazali had the conviction that he was the person designated to carry out this task for his epoch, and pursued his reforming aim by composing a great work, whose title is significantly The Revivification of the Sciences of Religion (Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din), and an exhaustive abridgement of the major work, that is the Book of the Forty Principles of Religion (Kitab al-arba‘in fi isul al-din), as well as its Persian summary Kimiya-yi sa‘adat ("The Alchemy of Happiness"). Source.

His major work the ihya is also not a work of islamic law and has never been considered that, i would suggest,

  • Ghazali played a very major role in systematizing Sufism and elucidating its place within Islam and Islamic law (Sharia). He combined the concepts of Sufism very well with the Shariah laws. He was also the first to present a formal description of Sufism in his works.

im still looking for a better word than combined in the second part of the sentence but i think the first part explains enough to minimize any confusion in the second. Iβn Kᾱτhir τᾱℓк 03:38, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

This is not accurate,

  • This traditional view, however, has been disputed by recent scholarship, which has shown that scientific and philosophical activity continued to flourish in the Islamic world long after him.

It goes back to the assumption that ghazali challenged science. also Logic and philosophy are not the same thing at least islamically speaking. What Ghazali challenged was kalam or speculative philosophy which wasnt grounded in either the Quran or sunnah and was pure conjecture in comparison to revelation, It did stop this kind of philosophy from becoming popular no one is claiming that people stopped outright which i think is the distinction between the assertion in that sentence and the quotes it claims support it [at least in its current wording]. If you click on Golden age that era is mostly associated with science and technology not philosophy although i am not saying it didn't have role just not the primary one. Its also contradictory to say he attempted to stop philosophy and then claim the fact that "successful integration of logic into the Islamic seminary Madrasah curriculum." by al ghazali is the proof against him.

The paragraph is also no longer coherent see for example this

  • as well as a long process of reflection, he had criticized the philosophical method.

which leads into this

  • This traditional view, however, has been disputed by recent scholarship,

no one is challenging the fact he criticized the philosophical method.

and with out access to the original sources its difficult to know what they said and how to best integrate that into the page. The best immediate solution would be to take out the lead sentence and leave the quotes in. Iβn Kᾱτhir τᾱℓк 04:10, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

This needs minor clarification, to emphasis whos work is similar to whos.

  • Scholars have noted the similarities between Descartes' Discourse on Method and Ghazali's work[4] and the writer George Henry Lewes went even further by claiming that "had any translation of it [The Revival of Religious Sciences] in the days of Descartes existed, every one have cried out against the plagiarism."[36]

added dates and the words later and earlier. Iβn Kᾱτhir τᾱℓк 06:02, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Stub and rework[edit]

For background information, please see RFC/U and Cleanup. With 87 edits, User:Jagged 85 is the main contributor to this article after 19 October 2007 (2nd is Shahab with 24 edits). The issues are a repeat of what had been exemplarily shown here, here, here or here. I restore contents to the last pre-Jagged 85 version (17 October 2007) with the current categories, references, external links etc. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 12:40, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Is there any intention to find significant and continuous sections of the article that have nothing to do with any problematic editors? Exempli gratia I have just restored my section on Al-Ghazali's autobiography. I hate to think there may be other such sections indifferently thrown out with the bathwater as it were. Wareh (talk) 13:35, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Of course there are! Except the strategy of clearing is much less annoying to me ignorant reader, rather than leaving it be so that I all the time have to suspect that I'm being cheated, by being presented a fantasy picture concocted by inflating facts and writing down undue leaps-to-conclusions. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 09:15, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Decline of Islamic thought[edit]

Removed the dubious content under "Ijtihad". Peter Adamson and Richard C. Taylor. "The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy." Cambridge University Press, 2004, p.105 states:

Partly as a result of al-Ghazali’s attack, Avicenna’s thesis that after death only the soul survives – and his theses that God knows particulars in a universal way and that the world is co-eternal with God – found little sympathy amongst later Muslim thinkers. That is not to say that all of Avicenna’s ideas were dead ends, or worse, to restate the often-repeated claim, now discredited, that al-Ghazali’s attack succeeded in extinguishing philosophical activity in post-classical Islamic intellectual history.

Al-Andalusi (talk) 01:34, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Drawing pictures of Human beings[edit]

Hadith - Bukhari 3:428, Narrated Said bin Abu Al-Hasan:

While I was with Ibn 'Abbas a man came and said, "O father of 'Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures." Ibn 'Abbas said, "I will tell you only what I heard from Allah's Apostle . I heard him saying, 'Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.' " Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn 'Abbas said to him, "What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects."

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Majilis (talkcontribs) 07:03, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Please see wp:notcensored Wikipedia is not bound.
I am not sure what Hadith has to do with this. Wikipedia is not bound by religious teaching, please see WP:CENSOR and WP:NPOV, these documents explain in detail why I and other editors continue to restore your albeit good-hearted acts of vandalism. You are wasting valuable editing time and I will call upon the administrators to look into this matter if we are unable to resolve it calmly by civil discussion. -- Dront (talk) 16:17, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Because you are putting pictures of Islamic Scholars on the public page, thus you are showing no respect to the people of Islamic faith -- Majilis (talk) 2:27, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
From WP:CENSOR, "Wikipedia will not remove content because of the internal bylaws of some organizations that forbid information about the organization to be displayed online. Any rules that forbid members of a given organization, fraternity, or religion to show a name or image do not apply to Wikipedia because Wikipedia is not a member of those organizations.", can you at least read this paragraph since you appear to be unwilling to follow any of the links we are providing you with? -- Dront (talk) 02:01, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

impact on science[edit]

Although it is nowadays disputed one should mention this thesis, that al-ghazalis work led at least partly to the decline of science in the islamic world. there should be a discussion on this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.35.211.79 (talk) 16:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)


This is really why people have issues with Wiki. Both sides of the arguments havn't been presented, especially in regards to the refutations from Academia in regards to Al Ghazali having a negative influence on scientific progression. For example, G. Saliba asserts that science continued to flourish well after Ghazali's time - http://muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=1330

I recommend someone with credibility and unbias to look into the matter more and display a more balance article, rather than what is evidently misleading right from the get-go.

Original research in the reception section[edit]

I noticed a likely unintentional violation of WP:OR in the reception section recently. The original version said:

"Al-Ghazali was considered by most sunni scholars and laymen to be the Mujaddid (Revivier) of his age."

The source was given as "W. Montgomery Watt, Al-Ghazali: The Muslim Intellectual, p. 180, Edinburgh University Press," which is ok as a citation I suppose, though it would only have taken another minute to complete it (William Montgomery Watt, Al-Ghazali: The Muslim Intellectual, p. 180. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1963.). When I checked, however, this wasn't what was actually found on page 180. Watt states:

"Al-Ghazali thought himself to be the "renewer" of religion for the sixth Islamic century, and many, perhaps most, later Muslims have considered that he was indeed the "renewer" of his age. Some have even spoken of him as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad."

This raised a number of issues. First, Watt is making a value judgment and the word "perhaps" indicates that he is not reporting an absolute factual statement, but rather what he has noticed in his scholarly work. Thus it is more appropriate to report this as Watt's statement, not objective fact.
Second, he indicates that the subject viewed himself that was and "many, perhaps most" later Muslims agreed. Thus to state that he was considered by most to be a renewer is a misrepresentation of the source, and I don't really know where the "scholars and laymen" comment came from - Watt didn't say that.
While Al-Ghazali's reputation is of no dispute, there is occasionally a tendency on the part of some Muslim editors to write overly-positive prose for historical Muslim figures who they personally find to be "good" or "important." Regardless, WP:NPOV must be followed at all times in addition to only writing text which the source itself verifies. Given the first misrepresentation here, I think it would be a good idea to further inspect the other sources in the section for accuracy in the text of this article as well. MezzoMezzo (talk) 05:22, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Isn't this the same Imam who...[edit]

Isn't this the same Imam who was referred to by Neil DeGrasse Tyson in his YouTube video, "The Islamic Golden Age: Naming Rights"? FFI, see URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDAT98eEN5Q (In particular, see 5:00 and/or 6:40 into the recording.) If yes, then his role in the downfall of Islamic/Arabic scientific studies and investigation need to be addressed in the article. LP-mn (talk) 17:24, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes it is the same. ♆ CUSH ♆ 07:55, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
NDT heavily slandered Ghazali with his baloney about Ghazali saying that mathematics was "of the devil", a statement for which NDT gives no evidence at all. For a brief explanation of Ghazali's actual views, see [3] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Acnjryu56758 (talkcontribs) 13:14, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Consistency on name: Al-Ghazali or al-Ghazali[edit]

I see inconsistency in how his name is written: sometimes it is Al-Ghazali and sometimes it is al-Ghazali. Obviously the beginning of a sentence warrants the capital A, but usage inside sentences should be consistent. Please decide which is appropriate and ensure its use throughout Wikipedia. I came across the problem while reading the Averroes article, but the main Al-Ghazali article also suffers so there are probably more. — Molly-in-md (talk) 12:13, 10 May 2016 (UTC)