The Moderation in Belief

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Al-Iqtisād fī al-iʿtiqad
The Moderation in Belief.jpg
SubjectIslamic Theology
Publication date
12th century

Al-Iqtisād fī al-iʿtiqad (Arabic: الاقتصاد في الاعتقاد‎), or The Moderation in Belief is a major theological work by Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazali.[1] George Hourani indicated that the Iqtisad and Mizan al-amal were completed before or during Ghazali's crisis of faith. It led him to abandon his notorious post at the Niẓamiyya school in Baghdad and enter the path of Tasawwuf. In it, he offers what scholars consider as the best defence of the Ash'arite school of Islamic theology. He also expressed strong reservations about a theology based on taqlid and marked by polemics. In this book, Ghazali makes an attempt to respond to the extreme literalists and the Muʿtazilites. It is the balance between reason and revelation that led to the title of book The Moderation in Belief.[1][2][3]


Ghazali begins the book with praise for God and importance of revelation. On one hand, he says, a person who is not guided by reason will misunderstand the revelation while on the other hand a rationalist may exceed the limits leading to rejection of the plain meaning of revelation. The right course, he says, is to reconcile reason with revelation, one that puts reason at the service of understanding and then interprets the revelation. Reason, together with the Revelation, is light upon light as mentioned in Quran chapter 24, verse 35. Next comes an explanatory chapter with its four introductions and four main sections. Ghazali's main topic throughout is in praise of God, depicting it as a work of theology.[3]


A translation into English of the first sections was published as a dissertation by Dennis Morgan Davis Jr. in 2005.[3]

The first complete English-language edition of was made by Aladdin M. Yaqub, and published by the University of Chicago Press in 2013.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Al-Ghazali's "Moderation in Belief"".
  2. ^ "Al-Ghazali from Encyclopedia Iranica".
  3. ^ a b c "Al-ghazālī on Divine Essence: A Translation from The Iqtiṣād Fī Al-iʿtiqad with Notes and Commentary" (PDF). Retrieved December 9, 2017.