Ghazali's Chapter on Divine Power in the Iqti ād

Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 4 (02):279- (1994)
The theological foundations of Ghazali's causal theory are fully expressed in the chapter on the attribute of divine power in his al-Iqtid (Moderation in Belief). The basic doctrine which he proclaims and argues for is that divine power, an attribute additional to the divine essence, is one and pervasive. It does not consist of a multiplicity of powers that produce a multiplicity of effects, but is a unitary direct cause of each and every created existent. In a defense of the doctrine of kasb (acquisition), Ghazali argues (a) that power in all animate creatures is created directly (i.e. without intermediaries) by God and (b) that there is created with it the object of power, normally, but erroneously regarded as its effect: the object of power is in fact directly created by God. It exists with the created power, but not by it. In his critique of the Mu'tazilite theory of the generated act he again denies that created power has any causal efficacy and denies that inanimate things have any causal efficacy. What one normally regards as the effects of inanimate causes are in reality their concomitants, directly caused by divine power
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