David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 12 (1):91-110 (2002)
At the basis of Ghazali's criticisms of Ash'arite kalam is the thesis that its primary function is the defence of traditional Islamic belief, the 'aqida, against the distortions of heretical innovations (al-bida'). Kalam is not an end in itself and it is error to think that the mere engagement in it constitutes the experientially religious. In the I[hdotu]ya' he maintains in effect that when it is pursued as an end in itself, its dogmas can constitute a veil preventive of the attainment of gnosis (ma'rifa). On the other hand, Ash'arite kalam when not pursued as an end in itself can be an aid in the quest after gnosis. This is implicit in his reference (in Kitab al-Arba'in) to his own major work of Ash'arite kalam, the Iqti[sdotu]ad fi al-i'tiqad, where he states that “it goes deeper in ascertaining [the truth] and is closer to knocking at the doors of gnosis than the official discourse encountered in the books of the mutakallimin.” The I[hdotu]ya' abounds with homilies, guides for the pious, particularly for those seeking mystical knowledge. Ash'arism pervades such homilies. Thus in Kitab al-Tawba, Ghazali formulates, analyzes and defends the concept of human choice in Ash'arite terms. He thus argues that each of the ingredients of this concept - knowledge, power, the decisive will, as well as the ensuing choice - is individually the direct creation of God. Not that the argument for this concept yields experiential knowledge of its meaning within the cosmic scheme of things. For Ghazali such knowledge is only attained through mystical vision. But the Ash'arite argument, when not pursued as an end in itself, can be an aid to the seekers of gnosis. It can bring them closer to knocking at its doors.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Carol L. Bargeron (2008). On Ghazālīan Epistemology: A Theory. Journal of Islamic Philosophy 4:51-68.
Raja Bahlul (1992). Ash'ari's Theological Determinisma and the Senses of 'Can'. Hamdard Islamicus 15 (1):39-57.
G. Legenhausen (1988). Notes Towards an Ash'arite Theodicy. Religious Studies 24 (2):257 - 266.
Richard M. Frank (1983). Moral Obligation in Classical Muslim Theology. Journal of Religious Ethics 11 (2):204 - 223.
Edward Omar Moad (2007). Al-Ghazali on Power, Causation, and 'Acquisition'. Philosophy East and West 57 (1):1-13.
Ignacio L. Götz (2003). The Quest for Certainty. Journal of Philosophical Research 28 (3):1-22.
Tamara Albertini (2005). Crisis and Certainty of Knowledge in Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) and Descartes (1596-1650). Philosophy East and West 55 (1):1-14.
Peter J. Awn (1983). The Ethical Concerns of Classical Sufism. Journal of Religious Ethics 11 (2):240 - 263.
Raja Bahlul (1992). Ghazali on the Creation Vs. Eternity of the World. Philosophy and Theology 6 (3):259-275.
Oliver Leaman (1996). Ghaz Li and the Ash'arites. Asian Philosophy 6 (1):17 – 27.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #140,569 of 1,696,632 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #144,179 of 1,696,632 )
How can I increase my downloads?