Imam Al-Ghazali: Life, Work and Lessons
About The Course
This course will present the life and works of Imam al-Ghazali relating his major influences on current thinking on theory of knowledge, spirituality, politics, education, philosophy, psychology and science. The purpose is to acquaint students with these classical and traditional models of thinking and to drive motivation and the passion of learning, writing, and thinking in the ummah. Imam al-Ghazali was a true role model whose works have influenced great Muslim and non-Muslim thinkers even in the post-modern age. Students will learn about al-Ghazali’s main influencers, reasons for his success and how we can continue the legacy of a man who gave so much to the Muslim world and for generations in the future.
A total of about 70 works can be attributed to Al-Ghazali. His 11th century book titled The Incoherence of the Philosophers marks a major turn in Islamic epistemology. The Incoherence also marked a turning point in Islamic philosophy in its vehement rejections of Aristotle and Plato. The autobiography al-Ghazali wrote towards the end of his life, Deliverance From Error, is considered a work of major importance. In it, al-Ghazali recounts how, once a crisis of epistemological skepticism had been resolved by “a light which God Most High cast into my breast … the key to most knowledge”.
Another of al-Ghazali’s major works is Ihya’ Ulum al-Din (The Revival of Religious Sciences). It covers almost all fields of Islamic sciences: fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), kalam (theology) and sufism. It contains four major sections: Acts of worship (Rub’ al-‘ibadat), Norms of Daily Life (Rub’ al-‘adatat), The ways to Perdition (Rub’ al-muhlikat) and The Ways to Salvation (Rub’ al-munjiyat). The Ihya became the most frequently recited Islamic text after the Qur’an and the hadith. Its great achievement was to bring orthodox Sunni theology and Sufi mysticism together in a useful, comprehensive guide to every aspect of Muslim life and death. The book was well received by Islamic scholars such as Nawawi who stated that: “Were the books of Islam all to be lost, excepting only the Ihya’, it would suffice to replace them all.
14 Live Online Sessions
Duration : 4+ months
Sundays, 7 PM - 08.30 PM (London, UK)
Video Recordings Available
Starts on 27th February 2022
Pay in Full:
(Upto 40% Early Bird Scholarship)
Pay In 4 Installments:
£19.99 £12.49 per month
26th February 2022
Al Balagh Scholarship
AlBalagh Scholarship is available for learners who cannot afford the fee.
Introduction – Importance of Learning about Imam al-Ghazali
The Life of Hujjat al-Islam Imam al-Ghazali
Important Works of Imam al-Ghazali
Imam al-Ghazali’s Theory of Knowledge Famous and Wise Quotes
Imam al-Ghazali Programme of Spiritual Development
Imam al-Ghazali’s Theory of Khilafah and Politics
Contribution of Imam al-Ghazali in Education
Contribution of Imam al-Ghazali in Philosophy
Contribution of Imam al-Ghazali in Psychology
Contribution of Imam al-Ghazali in Science
What is the Legacy of Imam al-Ghazali
The Life and Works of the Proof of Islam- Imam al-Ghazali Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ṭūsiyy al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111) or Algazel as he is commonly known as in the western world, was a Persian polymath, who was one of the most prominent and influential philosophers, theologians, jurists, logicians and mystics of Islam.
Some Muslims consider him to be a Mujaddid, a renewer of the faith who, according to the prophetic hadith, appears once every century to restore the faith of the ummah. His works were so highly acclaimed by his contemporaries that al-Ghazali was awarded the honorific title “Proof of Islam” (Hujjat al-Islām).
Al-Ghazali believed that the Islamic spiritual tradition had become moribund and that the spiritual sciences taught by the first generation of Muslims had been forgotten. This belief lead him to write his magnum opus entitled Iḥyā’ ‘ulūm ad-dīn (“The Revival of the Religious Sciences”). Among his other works, the Tahāfut al-Falāsifa (“Incoherence of the Philosophers”) is a significant landmark in the history of philosophy, as it advances the critique of Aristotelian science developed later in 14thcentury Europe. He studied under al-Juwayni, the distinguished jurist and theologian and one of the most outstanding Muslim scholars of his time in Nishapur.
Al-Ghazali had an important influence on both later Muslim philosophers and Christian medieval philosophers. Margaret Smith writes in her book Al-Ghazali: The Mystic (London 1944): “There can be no doubt that al-Ghazali’s works would be among the first to attract the attention of these European scholars” (page 220). Then she emphasizes, “The greatest of these Christian writers who was influenced by al-Ghazali was St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), who made a study of the Arabic writers and admitted his indebtedness to them.
The focus of his religious philosophy was arguing that the creator was the centre point of all human life that played a direct role in all world affairs. Al-Ghazali’s influence was not limited to Islam, but in fact his works were widely circulated among Christian and Hebrew scholars and philosophers. Some of the more notable philosophers and scholars in the west include David Hume, Dante, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Moses Ben Maimon, a Jewish theologian, was deeply interested and vested in the works of Al-Ghazali. One of the more notable achievements of Ghazali was his writing and reform of education that laid the path of Islamic Education from the 12th to the 19th centuries. Al-Ghazali’s works were heavily relied upon by Islamic mathematicians and astronomers such as At-Tusi.
This course aims to:
- Explore the life and works of Imam al-Ghazali.
- Study about his contribution to many of the current modern sciences.
- Discuss what motivated him and how we can imbibe these qualities in us.
- Learn how we can continue his legacy with similar role models for our future generations.