1.2.3 Ghazālī, Al-Muṣtaṣfā

Renowned theologian and philosopher Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111) proposed an approach to reconcile revelation and reason that influenced the course of Islamic theology.


Link to English text here (Read pages 6-16)

Guiding Questions:

  • Why does Ghazali identify ‘ilm al-kalam as the highest science?
  • Does his classification into “religious” and “secular” sciences sound appropriate?
  • Do you think that the classification is intended to dismiss the secular sciences as less important or even unnecessary, or is Ghazali simply classifying the two types of knowledge on the basis of the sources used by each: revelation in the case of the religious sciences and nature in the case of secular sciences?
  • When viewed this way, does Ghazali’s elevation of kalam as a combination of the two kinds of sciences make more sense?

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