By Martin Whittingham
This publication is the 1st of its sort to concentration totally at the Qur’anic interpretation of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), a towering determine of Sunni Islam. Martin Whittingham explores either al-Ghazali’s hermeneutical tools and his interpretations of specific Quranic texts, and covers al-Ghazali’s mystical, criminal and theological matters. Divided into components: half one examines al-Ghazali’s felony and Sufi theoretical discussions half asks how those theories relate to his perform, analysing the single 3 of al-Ghazali’s works that are centrally interested in analyzing specific Qur’anic passages: Jawahir al-Qur’an (The Jewels of the Qur’an); Al-Qist as al-mustaqim (The right Balance); and Mishkat al-anwar (The area of interest for Lights). offering a brand new element of entry to the works of al-Ghazali, this booklet should be welcomed via students and scholars of Islamic reviews, non secular experiences, hermeneutics, and somebody drawn to how Muslims comprehend the Qur’an.
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Additional info for Al Ghazali and the Qur'an: One Book, Many Meanings (Culture and Civilization in the Middle East)
Al-Ghazālī’s references to his earlier works, al-mustaqīm (al-Ghazālī 1353) and (al-Ghazālī 1966) show that he means syllogistic demonstration here. If the proof is not decisive, it permits only a proximate, rather than remote interpretation, that is, one not far removed from the apparent meaning—here, given al-Ghazālī’s scheme, an interpretation which does not lie too far down the scale of levels of interpretation. The implications of this emphasis on syllogistic logic are considered later. The fifth factor determining if an interpreter is guilty of unbelief is whether mentioning an interpretation would bring harm to Islam, or if it is obvious that it is too foolish a suggestion to cause damage.
28–46). The names and ‘Shāfi‘ī’ denoted not only the titles of two legal schools of thought, but also two patrician political parties whose hostility led at times to rioting. The two groups vied for important political posts, and this divisive situation might help to explain al-Ghazālī’s otherwise puzzling return, in the Shāfi‘ī cause, to al-fiqh. The social climate in Nishapur during the exact years of al-Ghazālī’s final stay there is not known, but it may help explain why al-Ghazālī returned to a field of scholarship which he had otherwise left behind in order to devote himself to work which was either Sufi-influenced, or else reflected personal concerns.
However, a careful reading of al-Ghazālī’s words shows that ta’wīl in is not always used to denote a process of interpretation, but can also refer to an opinion formed as a result of interpretation. In a discussion of demonstrable proof, al-Ghazālī writes, ‘If it is not definitive, it only permits a proximate interpretation’ (al-Ghazālī 1961:201; my translation—cf. tr. 119, which seems to assume a process of interpretation here). Additionally, in a reference to factors affecting the validity of a charge of unbelief, the word ta’wīl, having been used once, is implicitly referred to a second time.
Al Ghazali and the Qur'an: One Book, Many Meanings (Culture and Civilization in the Middle East) by Martin Whittingham